Musings on Music

Well, this definitely falls under the classification of random musing! I also find it deliciously conflicted that I’m musing on music. Ha ha! Well, here we go!

In the last year, I have run into many people that have reminded me of the mathematical qualities of music. After all, there are whole notes, quarter notes, half notes, etc. And music results in frequencies that are both predictable and determinate. At the base of mathematics is logic and reason. After all, 2+2=4 because there is a reasonable building of 2 on 2 resulting in the logical conclusion of 4.

As such, we can conclude that music, while being mathematical, is also logical. After all, musical theory is based on logical structures of music, shown to flow naturally and properly. If you’ve spent much time in music, you can usually predict (with some accuracy) where the flow of a piece will go. Put more specifically, if I hear the arrangement of the previous 4-6 notes, I can make reasonable estimations of where the next notes will fall. Granted, the possibilities are greater than one possibility, but they are far from incalculable, if I know one thing: was the piece composed for the pleasure of the listener or to promote dissonance.

Mind you, I am not expert on music. This is merely my experiences either from being the son of a music major and a personal love of music or from those I have known who have taken the time to teach me details of musical theory and such.

But here’s an interesting collision. Music evokes emotion. In fact, composed properly, it can evoke specific emotions. A composer can lead a person to feel passion, anger, grief, irritation, etc. Granted, each person will interpret the composition through various lenses, but it is still very likely that the piece will evoke the intended emotion.

So, here’s where this gets most interesting. As I have made clear on this blog, and in real life, I see this world through a lens of what’s termed general revelation. By this, I mean that I believe God has revealed Himself throughout His creation.   As such, anywhere I look, and I can find some attribute of God in what He has created. There is always some fingerprint of the Artist on His masterpiece.

Today, as I was listening to a much-loved composition, I noted that while it was music, which is considered mathematical (thus logical, as shown above), I was also emotionally affected by it.   As such, I came to a personal conclusion that music reveals an interesting aspect of God. In this incredible medium, which affects so many people and can aid memory recall tremendously, we find a poetic mystery. Logic and emotion are wonderfully entangled in a unique and moving way.

Rarely does pure logic affect the emotional state of a person. Rarely do emotions mix well with logic.   Yet, in the mystery of music, the two are entwined, logic granting emotional response and emotions built by logical structures, in the forms of notes, rhythm, and movements. Normally, emotions must bow to logic or logic is tainted by emotion.   In many cases, emotion and logic being mixed usually results in one or both being compromised.

Yet, in music both are really needed to properly convey whatever thought evoked the piece. And, as if miraculously, both come together in what might have appeared as an impossible relationship. The notes of the piece, the rhythm, any lyrics, and all movements combine together to evoke emotional responses, which, even in the simplest, can cause us to remember lyrics even decades later! Words that hold little specific meaning to us can become imbedded in our minds because the tune was catchy.

I think this is why music has become such a powerful medium.   It is one of the few things in this world that most reflects God Himself. (Yes, I am making that statement carefully.) We can see evidence of His love, attributes of mercy, power, beauty, etc. But in music, we find a unique intertwining of logic and emotion, a medium that expresses itself through the air, a force which can have a profound effect on one or many at any given time, and an expression which conveys some aspect of the author. It is a profound expression, which points to the reality that only in a world with a profoundly expressive God could we get such an expression. (I could go on to argue this, but I’ll leave it as a simple statement for now.)

Enjoy the music! =)

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Observations on Sacrifice

I was considering something today, thinking back over my life, thinking what I would do differently if I had it to do over again. I live my without regrets, but I do reflect and acknowledge that there are things that should have been done differently. And it is by this that this blog post becomes important.

Sacrifice. We don’t know, in America, what sacrifice truly is. Often, we think sacrifice is not going out to dinner on our one night that week, not buying our morning Starbucks for a week or one day a week. We don’t, typically, understand going without meals for several days, not eating so your children can eat, eating two times a week so your children can eat four times. These are sacrifices that others have to make, and we don’t often have to.

In the blessing we have lost an important attribute. Sacrifice.

When I was courting my ex, I thought that I could not live my life well, if I did not marry her. I thought this transient status of courtship could not survive some years. I felt that it would be leading her along. And perhaps, I would have been, if we dated for several years. But the reality of was much deeper than that. The reality is that if we had spent those years cultivating our friendship and truly getting to know each other, understanding each other, perhaps the character flaws that lead to the death of our marriage would have surfaced or would have been non-existent. Perhaps, the relationship would never have survived as mere friends.

It occurs to me that, had I taken more time, we could have found ourselves in better places. Having such directionality to my life could have caused me to purpose myself, similar to how the marriage did, but in a better way. Without having to support a wife, without having a bifurcated focus, it could have pushed me in a way that honored God more directly; paying off my debts, accumulating a safety-net of savings, etc. Thus, when the time came to provide for my bride, I would have been more capable than I was those years ago.

Instead, the hard-knocks we should have encountered in our courtship were encountered in our first years of marriage, as a layoff lead to financial hardships, as the opportunities for jobs lead to moving to a more remote area, separating us from family. While all this appeared to strengthen us initially, it eventually proved to be more damaging than either myself or our families realized.

For some years prior, God had led me down paths that had shaken me, breaking me in various ways, always pushing me to grow. Consequently, I failed to realize that the new difficulties were too much for my ex. I was ignorant of the ways such struggles were impacting her, and she chose to keep it to herself. Our foundation began crumbling because it had never been properly laid.

Instead, if we had chosen to sacrifice, giving up that which we so desired and wanted, and established a plan, striving to achieve the goals, knowing that it would take some time, perhaps more time than we wanted. Even still, ultimately achieving those goals would have been a greater blessing than either of us could have realized.

As I think about these things, I look at where my life is now. I realize how much I could have done with the resources God gave me. I could have had these experiences that I did, but I could have had them in a much smarter way.  It would have been difficult, but that difficulty could have worked out insufficiencies in my life, areas where I needed to, frankly, grow up!

Look for the things that God has asked you to sacrifice on. Rather than looking at them as some sort of deprivation, as something that God or society has held you back from, see the Master’s blessing. See what God is saving you from, what He is protecting you from. And let that sacrifice be your meager offering to an infinite, loving, powerful, compassionate, gracious, merciful God who cares more for you than you can ever think possible!

For me, with all my mistakes, He has still given me beautiful children whom I am blessed to care for. He has broken me until I’ve submitted to His incredible will (brokenness is not bad, see here). And He has granted me the opportunity to let my mistakes teach me and, through the mediums of our time, to give others the opportunity to learn from my mistakes.

Before I leave this topic of sacrifice, I must say that if you have never given yourself to Jesus, if you have never made the ultimate human sacrifice of placing yourself down at the foot of the cross, giving up your sin for His salvation, then today is your day, dear reader! Do not close the window, do not leave this blog, without letting go and giving your life to God’s service, not as some religious or patronizing act, but as a true sacrifice in thankfulness for what He has already given to you, Himself, His Son’s life, broken and bleeding for you, risen again as the victorious Savior He is! All you have to do is cry out to Him, admit your sin, and as Romans 10:9 says,” that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” And then live, just live, in that thankfulness, serving Him, not in some religious piety, but in an honest sacrifice of love to the God who loved you first!

Vires et Honorem – 10 Corinthians 15:10

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No-Win Scenarios

“I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.” – Capt. James T. Kirk

When I was growing up, I often heard, “Nope, can’t do that!”  I didn’t hear it from people trying to tell me what I could or could not do in a career.  It’s not like I was held back from my dreams or even held from the things I wanted.  Instead, I was the guy who was outside the social circles.  I was not the popular kid!  I’ve always been better in my head than with my body.  I could work a math problem, but I couldn’t catch a football.  I could even program a computer, but I can’t throw a baseball into a guys mitt with any regularity!

So, I started working on the questions people put down.  “God can’t exist.”  Oh, really?  LOL!  “You can’t switch out of Psychology mid-term and go to Trigonometry.  You’ll never pull off the grade!”  Ha ha!  Watch me!  =D

You get the point.  I don’t believe in no-win scenarios…mostly.  There are some scenarios that extremely violate the laws of physics or specifically violate some particular logic sufficient to consider them a closed-case impossibility.  However, these are fewer than most people like to admit.  In most any situation, there is a way that it works.

This philosophy has guided me for many years, but mostly from a selfish, “I won’t let you lose” attitude!  And then, I came across a stunning reality in the midst of my world-collapsing.  My attitude had a truthful root (and a lot of selfish roots that I had to let God pull up!).  This truthful root is reflected in my life verse…

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

In our day-to-day world, the impossibilities of life are constantly confronting us.  From every corner, we can see another monster that waits to devour us.  Whether your a single parent or just another person trying to find their place to make an impact, challenges are a fact of life!

I started fighting those facts of life by my own will, but now I find that I can fight them by His Spirit.  When I began to challenge the impossible, I could challenge the perceived impossibles.  I took on what others wouldn’t, found the path that others missed, put together the disparate pieces that others had dismissed.  But in Christ, I can conquer even the insurmountable!  I can believe that people can change because I know the One who can change them!  I can step into the unknown because I know the One who knows all things!

You see, what I once did out of rebellion, I can now do out the power of my Savior!  It is no longer a question of what I am capable of, but what He is capable of!

I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.  My God is bigger than that!

Vires et Honorem – 1 Corinthians 15:10

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A Solid Quote from C.S. Lewis on Being…

The question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. - C.S. Lewis

The question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. – C.S. Lewis

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A Heartfelt Mind-Meld: Dark Days and Comfort

Did you know that to comfort also means to strengthen? Did you know that a comfort is something that strengthens you? I definitely didn’t! I thought comfort was something that simply made you feel good, not something that was supposed to remove your weakness.

That puts a unique spin on many of the verses in the Bible that talk of being comforted or comforting. One day, I was bemoaning my present singleness, and an interesting exchange occurred between me and God. (Yes, I talk WITH God. No, I’m not insane…well, at least not dangerously insane! LOL!) Whether it was my own mind or God, I don’t truly know, but I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t just think of this. I digress; God’s question to me was why I wanted a spouse so badly. He asked me what was wrong with where I was right now. That’s when I realized, I wanted a soft, cushy life. I wanted my kids to get good grades, grow up to be model citizens, and I wanted life to be a simple walk through until the grave and then go be with Jesus. I wanted…I wanted Heaven on Earth.

Don’t gloss over that!   I really did want Heaven right now. I wanted the end of all pain and suffering, all hell to be contained! And that’s not what He has promised us here. He has promised to be with us. He has promised not to leave us. He has promised to strengthen us. He has promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.   He has promised us persecution.

Ouch…those last two seem at odds with each other, but only from a worldly perspective. From a Biblical perspective, they are actually one and the same. Is persecution fun? I guarantee you that Pastor Saeed Abedini would tell you that it is quite painful and discouraging. I know he would tell you it is not easy. Was Jesus mistaken? Did He misspeak about His yoke or His burden? No.

I forget who the pastor was, but I heard a pastor the other day on Grace FM (a radio station in most of Colorado that brings Worship and the Word to listeners, www.897gracefm.com) who was speaking on how Jesus, enduring horrendous beatings, was able to, in part, endure the cross because He was looking to the resurrection. We have a similar comfort as we look to Heaven. We can endure the hardships of this life because we look to Heaven.

As I sit and write this, I have been struggling with my own pains. Life has been very busy, and it’s gotten to me. I felt, frankly, almost claustrophobic. And in the midst of this, I began to spiral into my own frustrations and pains. And in the midst of that, I did what so many of us have done; I began to question why God would allow this! And in that moment, God began to speak again.

Why do we blame God for such things? Because He doesn’t stop it…wait. We blame God, but who’s causing the pain? Well, I don’t want to give too much credit to the Evil One, but the reality stands that in our morally anesthetized culture, we have allowed strongholds of sin in our lives, in our hearts and our minds. And when God grabs ahold of us, He will begin to take down those strongholds as we surrender to Him. But the Evil One will not let go of us that easily!

Just like a child who gets mad at his father for discipline, we are quick to blame God when we have created the problem. Could God have stopped us? Yes!   But like a father who doesn’t stop his child from a mistake, God lets us do things because He wants our love by choice, not compulsion. And yet, like any good father, He is right there when we’re willing to learn by love, rather than hard knocks.

Our journey, our walk on this Earth with Jesus will not be easy. His yoke is easy, and as we look to Him and Heaven, we will find that true. But in the day-to-day, we will find ourselves sometimes pushed to trust Him in the fiery furnace, to believe He will come through in the lions’ den, and to hold to His word, His morals, if you like, in the midst of deadly persecution.

Surrender to Him, look to Heaven, and walk in faith. He loves you, friend. Keep that in mind. And gird yourself with His armor and fight!

Vires et Honorem – 1 Corinthians 15:10

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A Heartfelt Mind-Meld: He trains my hands!

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;” – Psalm 144:1

I have a friend who is a military/war buff.  He signed up on 9/11, and he loves to serve his country, though he currently does so at home due to injury.  I remember how he talked of this verse in relation to actual physical war, but I want to bring your attention to a different war.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” – Ephesians 6:12-13

My dear reader, we have a totally different war that we are fighting.  Daily, we, in the US (at least), are now bombarded with talk of ISIS, a group that is barbarically murdering people in the style once reported of the Crusaders, namely, “convert or die…horribly!”  We hear of markets collapsing.  We know more and more people out of work.  We watch prices rise, and we wonder how we will raise our children in this seemingly-desolate-wasteland of a world!

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, though.  And thanks be to God that He prepares my hands for battle!  For some of you, that will be a real battle, as your hands are prepared to handle many types of weapons to meet the foes on the field of battle.  For fellows like myself, my hands are failing me.  Daily, I am introduced to another limitation of my feeble hands.  And that’s ok!  God prepares my spiritual hands, and if, one day, my physical hands are worthless, my spiritual hands will still engage in battle!

But how does this relate to you?  You are engaged in a battle now for your soul and your children’s souls.  If you don’t have kids right now, your future children could be at stake.  I don’t purport to know the details of anyone’s future, but I know that I wish I’d thought about my children long ago when I chose the woman I was going to marry and have babies with.   So, let’s think about your future children, if you don’t have any now.

Post divorce, there are many great temptations.  Some are simple: “I want sex!”  Others are more complex: “If God was really in control, why did my world crumble like this?”  But within each of them is a threatening enemy ready to sink his sword into your belly and end your “woes,” as it were.  You may think it’s just sex, but then you find yourself embroiled in some sort of twisted scene because your ex got jealous and is taking it out on you, or perhaps you managed to father a child by that momentary tryst.  Maybe you go deep into asking whether God is in control, and rather than seek the truth, you jump into “God’s not in control!  Screw Him!” and you run into other sins, perhaps over-consumption of alcohol?  Perhaps you’re even raising your kids, but you don’t spend time with God and your example is anything but Godly?  At any turn, there lies an enemy to try and derail our life of service to Christ.

Recently, I partook in a charity ride that challenged me to temperatures below what I had done (approaching freezing), mileage I had done, but elevation double-and-half-again of my highest efforts.  In short, I was pushing myself way beyond my limitations.  As I took on the first half of the challenge, I began to realize I was woefully under-prepared for these grades.  I had intended to push myself on my stationary at home in the weeks leading up to the ride, but one thing led to another, and it didn’t happen!  On this course, I felt every failure to train!  In the end, I had to quit (my body literally refused to work) just 6.5 miles and 500 feet from the end of the course!

I missed the congratulatory cheering of crossing the finish line.  I missed the blessing of saying, “I did it!!!”  I missed out because I allowed myself to be swayed.  Granted, one could argue that I have three kiddos to manage.  Another could argue that I was insane trying to train for that with kids and a job and everything else.  Still, I know the truth; I failed to plan for the event, and it showed!

How often, in our own lives, do we take on a challenge without considering the cost?  How often do we tell ourselves sweet lies so we can continue down a course that will end in destruction?  How often are we trying to make it by on our strength when God has asked us to do something in His strength?

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” – Luke 14:26-33, emphasis mine

God was quite gracious to me on my ride.  A SAG vehicle (Support-And-Gear) picked me up because my legs were cramping from the quads, to the hamstrings, even the calves.  I ended up back at my hotel in a hot tub for two hours.   At the end of things, I spent a few days with specific knots in my quads and calves at the site of the most intense crampings.  It could have been far worse!

And in our own lives, I find God will often do that, providing a rescue in the midst of the battle we picked with no consideration of if we could win.  Still, there will be bruises, wounds, and possible losses if we run ahead without considering the Lord’s request!  We are called to not lean on our own understanding but to trust Him with everything!

Consider where you are running ahead of God, or where you are running under your own strength rather than His.  Let Him train your hands for the spiritual battle ahead of you; don’t turn to the right nor to the left, but stay straight on the narrow road, that He may be your guide and work wonderful miracles through your life!

Surrender!

Vires et Honorem – 1 Corinthians 15:10

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The Calling of Ezekiel

Years ago, I struggled with speaking the truth when I knew it was just going to be rejected.  Tonight, I struggled in the same way, and as I did, I heard the same thing I heard some 10 years ago, reminding me of this deep truth.

And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel— not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.

Ezekiel 3:4-7


“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

Ezekiel 3:17-21

In case that is too long for you, here’s the summation: If God puts the truth on your heart, and you don’t speak, He WILL hold you accountable for not speaking.  Stand strong, those who reject you have already rejected Him, as long as you speak the truth in love!

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A Heartfelt Mind-Meld: The New Man…

You know, the first night…when the world collapsed…I slept in my clothes.  I couldn’t even take off my shirt without falling apart.  While to some of you that seems pathetic, to many of you, a tear just fell because you know where I was that day.

That shirt doesn’t fit me these days.  Just before everything went horribly wrong, I had lost 118 pounds over a year.  It was the first time in my life I’d lost that much.  Eventually, I gained it all back, and I have since lost some of it, and I continue to work to lose more with what time I do have.  But that shirt doesn’t fit me anymore.

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.

Luke 2:21-22

I have clothes that are too big and some that are too small, but it has nothing to do with size.  By the grace of God, I am no longer the man I was.  And God help me, I never want to be him again!  You see, we can spend nights and days trying to figure out who did what.  My ex has her sins, and I have mine.  And in the legal arena, there may be cause to bring them to bear for the safety of little ones.  But when the legalities are put aside, and the truth gets laid on your shoulders, it’s just you and God!

The first night, I couldn’t take my shirt off.  I felt too bare.  The next night, I managed to take it off, but I still couldn’t go without a shirt of some-sort on.  By the end of the first week, I was able to sleep shirtless, as always, but my pillow learned to hold the rain.  In the midst of that pain, it’s easy to feel that “I don’t deserve this” or “I didn’t want this!  I didn’t bring this!”  Brother, let me tell ya that you are totally normal to feel that!  During this time, you will be totally normal to feel such things.  And I will not take that away.

Still, I have to proceed forward because you and everyone else here needs to understand these few things that it took me two years to understand.

1) It’s not about who deserves what!  It’s about Jesus!

Right about now, I probably would’ve burst into tears and asked, “What does He WANT from me?!?”  As a beloved friend once said to me, “He wants all of you!”  And He deserves that.

Did you hear me?  He deserves that!  You and I are sinful, fallen beings.  We don’t legitimately deserve anything good.  Jesus, on the other hand, is perfect and gave His own life to be brutally, horrendously, viciously beaten and hung on a cross to die!  He did that so that He could have you…if you’re willing.  See, He’s also a perfect gentleman and will not force Himself on you.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  He won’t force Himself?  What do you call this?!?!?”  I call it an intervention!  What you don’t see, based on such a response, is the cliff you were headed for at 90 miles an hour; He stopped you and, yes, that hurts!  But it would hurt a whole lot worse if He didn’t.  He loves you so much that He was willing to take more abuse from your anger than to risk you not knowing He cared.  Dude, when’s the last time someone loved you so much that they were willing to put it all on the line, all for the chance to save you from your own self and from eternal death?

He wants all of you!

2) You need to let your sin die!

I don’t know what you’re into, but I know that if you’re reading this and even remotely identifying with it, there’s a reason Jesus decided to split your life open and wrench your heart out.  Even if His entire purpose is to make Himself known by this trial, I am still sure that there is some area of your life that you have yet to fully surrender to Him.  If you’ll open your ears to hear, I know He’ll make it apparent.  Let Him have you; let Him begin to cut out the cancer of sin.

For me, I had some serious sin in my life.  In fact, I had grown so accustomed to my sin, I didn’t even realize it was killing me.  As God has worked in my life, He is transforming how I think, the ways I see things, and even my very perception of my life and the people around me.  While I’m gonna date myself a bit, it’s kind of like the Matrix, in that scene near the end, when Neo finally sees the Matrix for what it is!  At the same time, I have to remember to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, for nothing else will make this work possible except keeping myself wholly submitted to Him.

If you try to grab the Surgeon’s scalpel, you will cut yourself.  You may make a small nick, a huge gash, or pop an artery.  But no matter what happens, you can be assured you’ll have done damage!  Let the Master Surgeon do His job, and you listen and obey!  Yes.  Your sin will scream bloody murder!  You may even feel as though someone is taking your last gold coin on the day to buy bread when you haven’t eaten in 10 days.  Well, don’t just let that person have the gold coin, toss it to them!  And bless ’em!  =)

He wants all of you, and He wants to clean you up!

3) He wants to restore you!

This is where I can’t speak too much.  I’m only part of the way there…or, at least, I feel like I am.  But I know my God!  He promises to restore the years the locust have eaten, and I believe Him!  Two years ago, I couldn’t say that!  Two years ago, the world still felt like it was imploding right under my feet.  But in two years, He has taught me how faithful He is, and how perfect His plans are.

He means what He says, and He says it in Joel 2:25, “Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you.”  This is the outpouring of God on repentance.  When we surrender to Him, turn from our sin, and seek His face, He is more than happy to pour forth blessings, even if the trial does not subside.  Yes, sometimes, the trial continues amidst the blessings, as He works out whatever His purpose is, to His good pleasure.

My dear brother, the hour of the Lord is coming, when He will return.  Perhaps we will not see our restoration here, or perhaps we will.  In whatever situation, we know the Lord is good!  And we know He will take care of us!

So, let us rest in Him: surrendered, sin purged, letting Him be our Lord and Master!  The time is short, so let us get serious about the things of the Lord.  Perhaps, we can get a few more to join with us, in Jesus, before we go!

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Vires et Honorem

1 Corinthians 15:10

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A Heartfelt Mind-Meld: On Hopelessness…

Just a brief note, guys!  Today, I find myself being torn sometimes to believe that things are hopeless, that my life will never get better, that things will continue to degenerate in the world around, that life is just over, as I know it!

And what precipitated this?  It’s profound!  It was a comment from my son who was mad that I made him do homework.  He quipped, “Why don’t you do your work, Dad?!?”  Nevermind that I had just gotten his brother and sister to bed, had sorted laundry the night before, was working on the last few loads, and, at that moment, was folding freshly-dried laundry (including his shirts).  Yeah…I was wasting time!  Still, as the situation was handled and resolved (he got a brief, I swear – brief, lecture and went on with his work), the hit was still affected, and my heart still sank a bit, feeling undervalued and with no actual, physical person to lean on.

I don’t know about you, but these episodes, some event discouraging me, have been common to me as I have walked this road.  While the world has many names for it (depression, discouragement, hopelessness…), I put a single phrase to it: spiritual warfare.  While such a simple bout of discouragement may not sound like spiritual warfare, we need to remember that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

When the enemy (or the flesh) begins to bang on your door, telling you that you’re worthless, telling you that your kids will hate you, telling you that your kids will turn out dysfunctional, telling you lies, you need to turn your eyes to Jesus.  Call out for Him!  He is there, waiting for you!  Do not believe the lies that there is no hope!  He is hope!

7eventh Down (“Seventh Down”) expresses this beautifully in their song “Just Say Jesus,” and as a testimonial, I can tell you it works!  All you have to do is speak His name, whisper, grunt, scream His name and your soul will open as His arms encapsulate you in true love!  Enjoy the song, and, as always….

Vires et Honorem – 1 Corinthians 15:10

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We’ve Moved!!!!!

Hey all!  With the new series started, I’ve decided to move this blog to its own place!  We will no longer be posting at this site.  You can find us at: http://www.messytruth.com

I hope you enjoy the new digs!  And I trust we’ll see you there!

Blessings!

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