Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Denominations’

Visiting The Past

Yesterday Greg and I were on a day trip, about an hour from our home.  We went to a park, explored a rocky beach, enjoyed the nice sunshiny day, had a run-in with a VERY LARGE dog at an off-lease park and after Daisy yelped and ran under the safety fence to get away from him – we decided it was time to call it a day.

We were driving past a city where 40 years ago, my Dad had been a music/youth leader in an Assembly of God church.  Our family used to make the hour-long trek to church twice a week so he could have this job.  I was about 10, but my memories are clear.  I could see the church in my mind.  The hallways and many rooms, the nursery where I used to love to help watch the babies, the youth room, the choir room and the sanctuary where we spent much of our time.

I learned to ride a bike at that church.  Oddly enough, it was in one of its downstairs hallways.  And then outside in the parking lot, with the help of an older friend.  I spent many hours alone, as I was too young to be in the youth choir and the youth group.  My parents did make some exceptions for me and there are even a few pictures of me with that youth choir, though I did not have a matching uniform.  Too young I often entertained myself in that church, downstairs in the many rooms and making up many games and imaginary people.  In the parking lot our missionette group practiced to be in a local parade.

I asked Greg if we could try to find that church.  If was difficult, because the name has now changed.  The area looks completely different as well.  40 years is a long time.  And my memory is not very good when it comes to navigation and direction.  But eventually we found it.

I expected it to look very strange inside.  After all, when you’re a child things always appear differently and usually we remember them as large – when in fact, they are small.  I walked in what must have been the front door, but I do not remember it being there.  It looked very much as I remembered it.  The same hallways downstairs and same rooms.  I rounded a familiar corner and took a look into the sanctuary.  How small it was!  What a strange thing to be standing there 40 years later and have the memories come flooding back.

When we visit the past, things can be strangely out-of-place but sometimes it is just as we remember it.

We all have a story.  We all have those crazy memories from being a child.  And sometimes we just need to pay it a visit.  I’m glad I did.

 

God Bless

History and Story behind the Words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

God Bless America

God Bless America (Photo credit: wstera2)

My favorite.

Enjoy this great story by the great Orson Wells.

Happy 4th and God Bless!

Things That Don’t Bring Shame

Running after our own desires only brings shame

When was the last time this statement had you nodding your head in agreement?

Heard an excellent message yesterday morning at a church we were visiting.  The pastor had many great points about Ephesians 1 – and in particular what God desires for us.

Are our own desires always bad?  When they don’t line up with the word of God and God’s ultimate plan for our lives – our desires can bring us only temporary happiness – but not lasting joy.

Heard another excellent video message this morning from Joyce Meyer.  She was speaking on the subject of “Fear”.  One of the best I’ve ever heard on this subject.  In the middle of the message – she almost echoed the words above that the pastor had spoken yesterday – “when we follow after something from the flesh – it only satisfies for a little while – but then we end up feeling REALLY STUPID and having tons of regret”

The question should be:  “What does God want for my life?”  Period.  He has so much more planned for me than I can ever imagine – and the things He does not give me is only to protect me or give me something better instead.

That simple trust is very hard.  We want what we want.  I want what I want.  I sometimes try to “help” God, trying to manipulate circumstances to get it – instead of just giving it up and asking what He wants for me.

Are you asking for something today and God is saying, “No”?  Is it a desire of the flesh?  Is it something He does not want for you?  Is it withheld because of the great lesson you are going to learn from it?

God will never give you something that causes shame.

You can take that to the bank, my friend.

Romans 9:33 – As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

I am praying for you

God Bless

God Speaking

This is such a cool picture! A visual reminder of God’s Love – expressed through His creation. Okay – so it’s maybe a coincidence and not a planned “heart” in the sky, but I like to think those little “coincidences” are gentle and visual reminders – like an unexpected gift for no reason at all.  Nothing planned or organized – nothing brilliantly orchestrated by any of our efforts – it just appears and suddenly our day is just a little brighter.

Ever been driving down the road, you’re having a bad day – and then suddenly something comes on the radio – just for you?  Or you look up at a billboard or sign on the side of the road that has just the right phrase in it – like a sign from the heavens?

Sometimes those little “coincidences” aren’t really “coincidences” at all.  They may be God speaking.

I have a student learning the following song by Mandisa called, “God Speaking” – it is powerful and really makes you thing.  I just had to post it for you today – I know someone can greatly benefit from this and be encouraged today.

When was the last time you just knew God was using an extra ordinary thing in your day to speak to you?

God Bless

What Is Your Personal Truth? – Part Two

true! when u have faith! i saw this, and i wan...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I touched on a subject that is delicate.  One that is personal and can sometimes be secretive.  Ownership and a grasp of a deep and contemplative question:  What is your personal truth?  I explained it – and expanded on it just a little in an attempt to show how if we are not able to grasp that for ourselves – it is impossible to be totally authentic with God.

First – what does truth mean?  It can mean two things:

1.  Truth can be scary.  What if I admit something about my character to God that is less than what others believe of me – or less than I even have attempted to believe about myself?  What if God does not accept me when He finds out?  What if He rejects me?

2. Truth brings personal responsibility.  As long as no one knows – and I have cleverly hidden all aspects of myself from God – then I cannot be held responsible.  Once revealed for what it really is – I must take ownership and change the behavior.  There is no middle ground on this.  And this can be scary.

And although most of us believe that God is a loving God who forgives – whether raised in church or not – it is still easy to believe this in our head only – and not really believe it with our heart.  I mean – there’s a limit to what God will forgive, right?  Or what He will accept about me, right?  And so with this thinking it can be difficult to really come clean with things like:

Dishonesty

Failure (moral or otherwise)

Addiction

Greed and selfishness

Idolatry

It is easy to hide from things in the above list –  and not really admit or own it.

What if my personal truth looks like this?:

 I am a failure

 I am a liar

I am an addict

I am worthless

I caused someone I love to go away

I am not lovable

If God knew what I thought He would not love me

All of the above statements could be true in your life today.  But here is the really good news:

God has a different view of truth.  He is able to cut to the chase whether I am honest about myself to Him or not.  He will wait for a confession – and an admission of truth from me – He is a gentleman.  And when I allow Him to change how I see that truth based on His reflection of love and grace – I find there is no fear – only a far greater understanding of myself than I ever thought I had.  And it’s okay – because He loves me anyway – just the way I am – broken, full of sin and failure, unable to help myself or even be honest about it.

His personal truth for ME radically changes my life.

His truth looks like this:

I don’t see personal failure – I see a bruised masterpiece

I don’t see addiction – I see a wonderful freedom

I don’t see inadequacy and the feeling of worthlessness – I see a precious gift

I don’t see the sin – it’s been covered

God’s truth is better than my attempt at truth

God’s truth is better than my self-righteous claim

God’s truth does not have any room for my pride or feeling of entitlement

What I try to deny and hide from Him – He knows and will deal with me

God’s truth about me – is the only truth I need in my life.

God’s truth is the only thing that will change my behavior from the inside out.

His truth says:

I am worth so much – that He sent His son – to die for me. 

Wow.  Is it really possible that I’m worth dying for?  How can that be?

He values me

He loves me

I am worthy

I am validated

I am loved

And no matter what I do – I cannot change this truth about myself – as God sees me.  It is indisputable in His eyes.

Are there areas of your heart that you have not allowed God to shine His truth?  How long has it been since you were able to “come clean” with Him?

I am praying today that you would not believe a “truth” about yourself that is destructive and steeped in failure or inadequacy to measure up.  I am praying that you will confess these “truths” to God and allow Him to begin a new “truth” in your life today – a “truth” that He sees you as – valuable and lovable – no matter what.

God Bless


Don’t Scratch!

A washing machine.

Image via Wikipedia

Greg and I love to read “The Truth Will Set You Free – But First It Will Make You Miserable” by the late Jaimie Buckingham.  It is full of humorous stories and irreverent humor from someone who has learned not only to laugh at the absurdities of life – but has also learned to laugh at himself.

In the first chapter entitled, ‘My Washing Machine has a demon’ – he talks about the ‘sock gobbling demon’ in his Ripmore – spitting out only one sock – after two had been put in the wash to begin with.  He continues to poke fun at the different denominations by referring to ‘the demon’ in his washing machine and how many don’t believe such a thing could be possible.  Church of God, Pentecostals, Primitive Baptists – they are all in there – and he makes fun of each one stating what each believes on the subject.  It is not meant to be serious at all – but those of us that have been in the ‘church world’ for very many years think it’s hysterical – and pretty accurate.

Do you have a ‘sock gobbling demon’ in your washing machine?  We do.  Many of my socks are ‘widowed’ and alone.  It is frustrating and makes me want to scream!!   I know you need to tie them together or put them in a mesh bag to keep them from separating in the wash cycle – but who wants to do that?  No – I guess I’d rather lose my socks than do things the ‘right’ way.

In one part of this chapter he talks about his cat, Mrs. Robinson – who prefers to scratch – rather than live in ‘legalistic bondage’ to a flee collar.  I guess I’m a little like that cat – who prefers to do things my own way sometimes – even when it isn’t the best way – and even when it takes a lot more time and energy to do so – but it is nice to scratch – and do my own thing. So I keep scratching.

How many of us are ‘scratchers’?  Preferring NOT to live under or in ‘bondage’ to barriers and rules – even if they are good for us.  Rules are restrictive – boundaries are just for kids, right?  Wrong.

Try doing ‘your own thing’ – for very long and you’ll see that there are very good reasons for boundaries and rules – set in place by God himself because he loves you and me so much.

So – Mrs. Robinson – put your flea collar on – and live under God’s protection for your life – and you will be blessed.

 

God Bless

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