Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Heaven’ Category

Heaven’s Rain

The best thing one can do when it's raining is...

Image by Krikit ♥ via Flickr

Tonight, Greg and I watched the incredible true story as told on ‘Dateline’ about the horrific murders in October of 1979 of an Oklahoma Baptist pastor and his wife – while their two teenage children watched and amazingly – although wounded themselves – survived.

It is incredible and heart wrenching.  It is also a story of forgiveness. Some 15 years after the murders – the older of the two children, Brooks Douglass faced the  man who had shot his parents, serving life in prison at the time.  As he told the story on Dateline – he was very emotional when he told this part of the story.  He said he made a decision to forgive the man.  When he did – something inside of him broke – and all the years of pent-up anger and emotion – were released.  All because of being willing to forgive.  He did it for his parents, his sister – but mostly he did it for him.

It is powerful.  Raw and Gritty.  And I was amazed at his courage – and the courage of his young teenage sister who repeatedly had to testify in court over the next 15 years to have the men put away for good.

Brooks eventually ran for Oklahoma senate – and won – passing a bill that would usher in new ‘victim’s rights’.  And he began to write his story – and  eventually wrote the screen play for the movie of these events called ‘Heaven’s Rain’ – due to come out in February.

The subject of forgiveness is a difficult one.  Especially when we have been wronged.  I have a difficult time with it – and I have never had anything so hideous done to me personally or any of my family members.  But it doesn’t matter.  If we withhold forgiveness from another person who has wronged us – it is like poison and will eat us up inside.  The bible says to ‘forgive’ – not for them – but for us.  And showing mercy and grace to others is so necessary for our own personal healing – that’s why there is so much emphasis on this in scripture.

I encourage you to watch the special about this amazing true story as told on Dateline.

Below is the movie trailer in which Brooks – now in his 40’s plays the role of his father.  Very moving.

God Bless

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The Recent Tragedies

A couple of weeks ago my husband did a memorial service for a 16-year-old girl who died tragically from a gun-shot wound.  And last night a young 17-year-old girl from the church body where we were on staff for 13 years – was killed in an automobile accident.

Both of these events – as well as many more this past year, seem senseless and hard to understand.  I can’t even begin to know the depth of sorrow that the family members and close friends are going through.  It is one of life’s biggest mysteries.  But I also believe that these lives are in God’s hands – and sometimes when you have no other explanation for things that happen – it is reassuring and comforting to know.

One of my favorite older Michael W. Smith songs is a song called ‘I hear Leesha’ – written about a young girl lost in a car accident.  It is reported that she was the younger of two sisters in the car – and the older one survived.  The older sister had a terrible time over the loss until she had a vision where she saw her sister in heaven telling her,”I’m okay”.  It’s a very moving and powerful song – especially if you’ve ever lost anyone close to you.

This song is dedicated to the families of these two girls – and I am praying that you will find comfort in your time of deepest darkness and sorrow.

God Bless


Seems like it was only yesterday
She was living here
Yea, she was living here
Lord knows why He’s taken her away
It isn’t very clear, no it isn’t very clear
Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing
Chorus:
I hear Leesha
Singing in heaven tonight
And in between the sadness
I hear Leesha
Telling me that she’s alright
Life goes on even after life
That’s what I believe
Yea, that’s what I believe
Leesha’s gone, but she will still survive
In a memory that I’m keeping here with me
Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul
All is peaceful

Come To Jesus

Guatemala: handsy Jesus

Image by xeni via Flickr

Fairly unknown artist, Mindy Smith came on my Pandora radio this afternoon singing a song she had written for her Mother – when her Mother was dying from cancer.  The song is called, ‘One moment more’ – and is really beautiful.  As I was listening to it – the song below caught my eye – ‘Come To Jesus’ – and it peaked my curiosity – so I listened to it – and was moved – the images of angels and Jesus are so beautiful – it was so encouraging to me – so I knew I had to post it.

Ever gone through a hard time?  And you don’t know how you’ll make it through?  Maybe the lyrics of this song will encourage you today – and maybe you’ll feel that you are not alone – even when it seems you are.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Oh, my baby, when you’re older
Maybe then you’ll understand
You have angels to dance around your shoulders
‘Cause at times in life you need a helping hand

Oh, my baby, when you’re prayin’
Leave your burden by my door
You have Jesus standing at your bedside
To keep you calm, keep you safe,
Away from harm

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don’t seem worth livin’
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Oh, my baby, when you’re cryin’
Never hide your face from me
’cause I have conquered hell and driven out the demons
I have come with a light to set you free

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don’t seem worth livin’
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Oh, oh
Oh, oh
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, my baby, when you’re dying
Believe the healing of His hand
Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival
Here in Heaven you will finally understand
Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival
Here in Heaven you will finally understand

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don’t seem worth livin’
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

I Will Remember You

Downtown Jeannette, Pennsylvania, looking down...

Image via Wikipedia

25 years ago Greg and I were youth pastors in a few different places.  One of them was Jeannette, PA.  The picture to the right is the downtown of Jeannette.  We were blessed with sweet memories – a crazy, fun small group of teenagers that were like our very own kids – even though we weren’t much older than they were!

Lately I’ve been blessed to find my ‘lost boys’ and connect with them again on Facebook.  One even found me because of my blog!  I’m so glad for these means of finding people today in our world.  Still looking for the girls!

I also had coffee this morning with my dear friend, Deanna.  She is the kind of friend who just loves me – doesn’t judge me or lecture – just loves.  It is powerful to have these kind of friends in our lives.  She is an example of God‘s richest blessings.

I was thinking about finding the ‘lost boys’ of my past – and today having  rich friendships – and it made me wonder if heaven will be a little bit like this.  Reunions of the heart and mind with people who are dear to us – that have been removed for a time.  What a day that will be – to ‘connect’ with all of them again!  Some who have gone on before – or some that for a number of reasons – are not ‘connected’ with me right now.  In heaven – there will be no more tears, sadness or separation.  We will be able to hold those we love – in a warm embrace.  It will complete our lost and empty feeling that we feel in relationships gone wrong here on earth.  And the Bible says, “He will wipe away all our tears” – and I believe it.

I’ve had a ‘little’ taste of heaven down here – with my wonderful friends – and with my blessing of finding something that was once lost – and now is found.

I will be walking one day
Down a street far away
And see a face in the crowd and smile
Knowing how you made me laugh
Hearing sweet echoes of you from the past
I will remember you

Look in my eyes while you’re near
Tell me what’s happening here
See that I don’t want to say goodbye
Our love is frozen in time
I’ll be your champion and you will be mine
I will remember
I will remember you

Later on
When this fire is an ember
Later on
When the night’s not so tender
Given time
Though it’s hard to remember darlin’
I will be holding
I’ll still be holding to you
I will remember you

So many years come and gone
And yet the memory is strong
One word we never could learn
Goodbye
True love is frozen in time
I’ll be your champion and you will be mine
I will remember you
So please remember
I will remember you
I will remember you
I will remember you
I will remember you

Leesha

One of my favorite older Michael W. Smith songs – written about a young girl lost in a car accident.  It is reported that she was the younger of two sisters in the car – and the older one survived.  The older sister had a terrible time over the loss until she had a vision where she saw her sister in heaven telling her,”I’m okay”.  It’s a very moving and powerful song – especially if you’ve ever lost anyone close to you.  Enjoy!

Seems like it was only yesterday
She was living here
Yea, she was living here
Lord knows why He’s taken her away
It isn’t very clear, no it isn’t very clear
Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing
Chorus:
I hear Leesha
Singing in heaven tonight
And in between the sadness
I hear Leesha
Telling me that she’s alright
Life goes on even after life
That’s what I believe
Yea, that’s what I believe
Leesha’s gone, but she will still survive
In a memory that I’m keeping here with me
Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul
All is peaceful

2nd Chapter Of Acts

This is my very favorite “2nd chapter of Acts” song!  I’m so glad I found this recorded version from their album – you can hear the great harmonies much better than a live concert.  When I hear this song – I am in junior high school again – and I can remember right where I was when first hearing this amazing song.  I hope that it will bring back pleasant memories for you too – when you hear it – and for those of you that have never heard them – you’re in for a rare treat!

Enjoy and God Bless!

I’ve been told that there are those
Who will learn how to fly
And I’ve been told that there are those
Who will never die
And I’ve been told that there are stars
That will never lose their shine
And that there is a Morning Star
Who knows my mind

So why should I worry?
Why should I fret?
‘Cause I’ve got a Mansion Builder
Who ain’t through with me yet

(Repeat)

And I’ve been told that there’s a
Crystal lake in the sky
And every tear from my eyes
Are saved when I cry
And I’ve been told there’ll come a time
When the sun will cease to shine
And that there is a Morning Star
Who knows my mind

How Do You Define Success?

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Albert Schweitzer

Heard an excellent message on Sunday morning.  The topic: “How do you define success?”  Pastor Greg was speaking from the book of Luke – the portion on “The Beatitudes” – where Jesus is speaking “Kingdom” concepts to the crowd and especially the disciples.  He was speaking things that were in direct contradiction to the way human nature and limited senses allowed them to comprehend.  They always had trouble understanding what Jesus was trying to teach them because it went against everything they were taught – everything they knew.  They saw Him with people – heard Him teach  walked right there beside Him – working crowds of people with such grace and mercy – healing people and dealing with things without impatience or crankiness.  But they still did not understand Him – and they were right there with Him.  Today we still don’t get it – even though we have the Bible – and many writings from scholars and very wise intellectuals to help us be  “enlightened” and “informed” on what scripture said and what Jesus really meant when He said it.  Our ways are so much different from His.  Our definitions of “greatness” have more to do with “power” and “being the best” than it does with being “meek” and “humble” – even “poor in spirit”.  We care more about how we look to those around us – than just simply doing what’s right.  Even though we know from what we read here that the “last will be first” and that success here on earth is very different from success with God.

This led to the question – “how do you define success?” – and more importantly, “how do you define your success?”  What will people say about you will you die?  My husband deals with this all the time when he councils with grieving families – preparing to do a someone’s funeral service.  He will meet with the family and hear their stories.  How does their family remember them?   Was it their spotless house?  Their finely manicured lawn and beautifully landscaped yard?  Did they have many possessions but no happiness?  Did they invest in people?  What do their friends and family say about them?  Do they even have anything nice they can say about them?  Sometimes – there isn’t much nice to say.  Sometimes the person was never able to give love – never showed any compassion to anyone – never had any friends.  Sad, sad, sad.

But the happier funerals have been where the one that passed on was a positive influence – and a happy person – one who had found the secret of success in their own personal life – and lived it out.  Creating a legacy from personal success – a relationship with Jesus – the giver of ultimate joy and peace – and one who surrounded themselves with good people in their lifetime – who learned from mistakes – pulled themselves up time and time again – who would not give in – or give up.  Who loved people and had love returned back to them.  Who was happy in what they did – and was content.

I love the quote at the top of this article – because  I would have to say that success for me is doing something that I feel I have been gifted in – and doing it with my whole heart and soul – loving God,  my family and friends with everything in me – being a positive encourager and lover of people – and finding that all the joy and happiness that is given away – is again brought back to me full circle and running over. That to me – is success.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

And like Paul in this scripture – I want to do my best to live this out in my own life.  I know I do not hit the mark all the time – but it is my ultimate goal. I am still learning.  I am still on a journey.  A journey to learn to be contented – and find success through contentment.

I am praying for you tonight – that you too would find the secret of “being content” and also be able to write your own “personal” statement of success.

God Bless

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