waiting…

I won’t cry.
The answers are not clear.

Fear is there.
Some things are unavoidable.

My wildest dreams could never have included this again.
Again, what is “this?”

It’s a crazy time.
I feel so far away.

But that is my fault.
Not His.

As I do every day,
I need Him now.

I need Him to hold me up.
The strength only He can provide is my hope.

So I sit here.
Waiting…

k

music and worship…

So… lately the subject of music has been on my mind. Mostly praise and worship music. There also seems to be a lot of talk about it. Facebook, radio, blogs, etc.

I was reading a post on Facebook from Hillsong United. They are a group from Australia. They have become quite popular. With that popularity has come controversy. I don’t know all of the ‘ins and outs’ but apparently some think they are “selling God” with their music and ministry.

The comments were not offensive, per se, they were more accusatory…claims of idolatry and such.

My feelings on the subject of music have been pulled in many directions over the course of my Christian life.

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Ok…I need to stop here. I’m attempting to write a nice “thought out” blog about this subject. However, what I really want to say is this…

I love music in general. Praise and worship music is my favorite because I can praise, pray to, and worship my Lord and Savior while listening and singing along. Is that so bad?

Do I “feel” anything while singing? Yeah. I guess I do. Sue me. I don’t know if it’s the Holy Spirit. I don’t know for sure if when I’m singing a prayer like song that the Lord hears me. Is the Spirit interceding for me? Again…I don’t know.

My problem is this…several times I’ve heard/read that worship music before a sermon isn’t biblical. Worship music is a form of paganism. And just today in that post from Hillsong, a person declared that they were “selling God.”

Should secular music be cut out of my life? I don’t know. There were times that I thought it should be. As a new believer I sold dozens of my cds in my collection because they were not Christian. Now I wonder if that was the “right” thing to do. Now folks are questioning other folks for owning cds by Christian artists.

Is music and singing biblical? Yes. The Bible speaks of people singing and dancing before the Lord. The Bible speaks of singing and worshiping God in heaven for all of eternity.

So where are we/am I going wrong? I’m confused.

Honestly, so many of the songs I love tell a story…they’re prayers. It’s as if someone else wrote exactly what I am feeling or have felt. I can relate to the lyrics. If the song is more prayer like, it’s as if I am praying to God just as the author of the song is.

And so many others who are listening.

Help me out. Anyone reading this. Help me to know exactly what is or is not biblical about enjoying praise and worship music.

k

Christmas Eve…

I was up before the sun today. There was good reason. My oldest daughter had to be at work by 7am. Although she hates waking up early, she is glad to be off early today. It’s going to be a busy day in the department store where she works. Just thinking of all the last minute shoppers at the mall makes me feel stressed! Going to the grocery store today is not something I’m looking forward to either. That will be just as bad.

There’s a lot to think about this Christmas Eve day. There have been terrible tragedies across the country in recent weeks. Sad news has even reached my very own backyard, so-to-speak…a suicide at the beach and what appears to be an attempted suicide in our local mall. So horribly sad. People are feeling hopeless. That makes me sad.

One of my friends posted her thoughts on Facebook last night:

It just breaks my heart that people feel that all hope is gone. How I pray for those tonight who are might even be reading this – those who are feel there is nothing left. For those who do not know the Hope that is there for the taking. You might even say, “I don’t need God – He can’t give me anything or change my circumstances.”

With God there is HOPE – With God there is something to look forward to – With God there is forgiveness, grace, mercy and love – it’s yours for the taking. You have nothing to lose! Give Him a try – I promise you will NOT be disappointed!

I could not have said it better myself.

As I drove back home after dropping my daughter off at work I heard the song “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” Translated that means “glory to God in the highest.” The song was actually getting me a little choked up. Really. The song praises God. It calls us to give Him all the glory! I will! The Creator of the earth, who sent his son for us, deserves praise.

Without that incredible Christmas miracle we would have absolutely no reason to even celebrate Christmas. Because of the gift of Jesus, we can have that hope and not be discouraged. We can know that with His grace, mercy, and love, we are forgiven and that He loves us NO MATTER WHAT!!! No one should be so discouraged that they can’t see the Light.

Without God there is no Christmas. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will work within me to make that light known to others.

k

our life by the book…

Many of us live our lives “by the book.” But I wonder, what book?

Yvon Prehn, my good friend, teaches the Sunday School class that I attend. I really enjoy her teachings. Anyway, last Sunday her lesson was entitled “Our Life by the Book.” Yes, I borrowed the name 🙂 The lesson gave me some ideas for this blog.

There is a little book sitting on my shelf. A friend from work let me borrow it. She said I just “had” to read it. I had heard about it already. The story was making it’s way around the internet and television. I was skeptical, to say the least. But I took it from her.

We didn’t have a lot of time to talk about it, but she was so excited about it…so thrilled it seemed. She went over some of the points I had already heard about. “He saw his grandpa in Heaven! And he talked to Jesus,” she went on. She also mentioned the wings if I remember correctly. Apparently the little boy at the center of this book said that everyone in Heaven had wings. That’s not true. The Bible clearly tells us that angels and humans are completely separate. God created the angels before humans were created. We don’t die, go to Heaven, and “earn” wings…No matter what all the nice books and Hollywood movies tell us.

I hated to burst her bubble…I’m not good with confrontation or telling people they are wrong. But she is. He is. The whole book is! So, gently, I told her, “You know, this story goes against scripture.” I winced waiting for an argument. I didn’t get one. She just went on about how wonderful it was that he got to visit Heaven and how it HAD to be real because of the things he “knew.” I knew better…not because I’m smarter, but again because of what the Bible tells us. Satan and his gang of demon angels know stuff about us. It’s very easy for him/them to get us to believe this kind of thing.

The book…oh…it’s “Heaven is Real” written by Todd Burpo. It is a story about his son’s “trip to Heaven and back.” That right there goes against the Bible. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that people are destined to die ONCE…not die and come back to tell us about it…and then die later. That brings up another subject. 2 Cor. 12:1-4 tells us that Paul knew of a man who was caught up to Heaven and returned. He was not allowed to speak of what he saw there. There are other stories as well in the Bible.

I’m not bashing the book, or other books and stories like it. In fact, I learned that there was another story going around YouTube, which I have not looked up, about a woman claiming that she is able to go to and from Heaven whenever she wants to. There are probably many other stories and books like it.

But are people relying on these stories and books to get their information about faith, heaven or the “afterlife?” They are living their lives by the wrong book! As Yvon told us in our lesson last Sunday, we need a source of guidance, a standard by which we live our lives, and gain discernment. That book is the Holy Bible.

We need The Bible. It’s the only book where we can get the Truth about life, death, salvation and Heaven. Just because the book I mentioned is about a little boy and is very heartwarming on the surface doesn’t make it fact. I realize that it’s hard to hear the truth about it. We don’t want to believe that this adorable little boy is telling stories that just are not true. But that is the way is really is. It happens all the time…with other individuals…like psychics. But that is a whole new subject and blog post!

k