Thursday, August 10, 2017

Friends In High Places


Have you ever wanted to defend yourself? We all have. We want others to know what really happened but we risk the "he said, she said" situation. For the Believer, there is comfort to ponder that the Creator knows PERFECTLY what happened, who did and said what. We can sit back, relaxed and confident, knowing that our reputation and the truth are safe in HIS hands. And the truth WILL be revealed in HIS timing. God said to Jeremiah "Do not be afraid of them for I am with you to deliver you..." (1:8) and in Psalm 27 we read "The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Hymnal

I was raised on the Worship in Song Hymnal published by the Nazarene Publishing House.  It was opened every time we had service at the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness.)  In fact, I had some of the song numbers memorized due to so much time being spent in it.  I used it to begin playing hymns and improvising.  One of the first hymns I learned to improvise on was "Jesus Lover of My Soul," page 37.  It was especially fitted for early improvisation.  I remember my Uncle Leon Wright, helping me with one of those early experiences.  I am grateful.
 Using a hymnal helped me to learn to read music and understand the concept of four part harmony.
 I learned a lot of Theology about God by singing from a hymnal.  "A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing....for still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.  His craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate.  On earth is not his equal..."
Hymns and Gospel songs speak to the soul.  When learning about Hymns, knowing stories behind them can be especially meaningful.  Take, for example, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go," page 35 in the Worship in Song Hymnal.  The words were written by George Matheson.  Something happened between he and his fiance.  There was no marriage.  From his sorrow he wrote the beautiful words that have spoken to many hearts since..."O love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee, I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be."  Truly, the love of Christ never lets those who are His, go.  It draws us in.  It soothes.  It strengthens.  It gives us hope. 

The Destruction of God's Prized Creation...

From the beginning, when sin came into the world, the Enemy has done everything possible to destroy God's prized creation, Mankind. One way he does this, is by destroying normal procreation. Homosexuality, Lesbianism, "over population," abortion, and, yes, Transgenderism. For parents to embrace the idea that their child was "born in the wrong body" when they clearly have the reproductive organs of a particular gender (boy OR girl) plays right into the evil designs of the Enemy. Yes, I believe there is absolute truth. Yes, I believe that the Holy Bible is the source of that absolute truth. And yes, I believe that Romans 1:18-32 describes our current culture clearly.
"18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Peace of Christmas

I'm so thankful for the message of Christmas! Jesus came to give us life more abundantly! He is the Way, Truth and Life. No man comes to God except through Him. This year has been very hard at times for me, working through some very difficult emotional battles and struggles. Just want to say as Christmas time is here again, that the struggles and battles have lessened and that joy and peace have been stealing themselves back into my soul. Such a wonderful feeling. Got a long ways to go, but glad I'm on my way! If I have Jesus, I have everything. If I have Jesus, all WILL be well. Merry Christmas to all!
An appropriate carol for this post. "Still, Still, Still" A beautiful Austrian carol presented by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir...


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Christmas Thoughts

Christmas thoughts. I am finding joy in the fact that Jesus was the Word made flesh. He laid aside His glory, left heaven to dwell among us earthlings. John 1:14 says "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." One of my favorite carols is "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." "It first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, having been written by Charles Wesley." (wikipedia) In this stanza, we see the Gospel, clearly laid out. "Christ, by highest heaven adored
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel" 
So thankful that Jesus came. He came so we could see what God is like. He came to walk beside us. He came to save us.  
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

God in Flesh Appearing

I love Christmas! I love the music, the decorations, the parties, church services, the concerts, the family times, etc. It is also my privilege each December to play and sing LOTS of Christmas music, sacred and secular as I travel around to play for the Greatest Generation. One of my many favorites is "O Come All Ye Faithful." I especially like the words of verse three..."Yea, Lord we great Thee, born this happy morning. Jesus, to Thee be all glory given. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.." I was overcome yesterday when singing this song at one of my gigs. Think about it. Christianity is the ONLY "religion" whose God became a man. He became a man out of love. He WANTS us to be saved. As it states in Colossians 1:15-18, if we see Jesus, we will know what God is like. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." That is why He came. So, we could see God, the Father. So, we could be saved. I LOVE Christmas! Here is one of the most beautiful versions of this glorious carol by Josh Groban.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhFTXYB69pw

Friday, October 28, 2016

Why Should Children Study Music?



Created within us is the desire to enjoy music and find beauty in listening to it as well as in playing an instrument or singing.  Much joy can be felt when one hears the “Hallelujah Chorus” or when one masters a piece on the piano. 
Practice of the same piece of music repeatedly, and the feeling of accomplishment when it’s mastered, brings a child great joy and satisfaction after the hard task of practice.  Self-esteem can be helped when the child sees that he has played a beautiful piece of music and receives compliments from parents and friends. 
Music helps the brain!!!!  For example, the visual cortex and the occipital lobe are used when the student reads music on two different lines simultaneously.  The primary motor cortex, the Prefontal cortex and the cerebellum all are used when all ten fingers get involved!!!!!  Think of the coordination which is required to do that, especially when all ten fingers are on different keys!  (http://www.encoremusiclessons.com/lessons/piano#infographic_piano_lessons_are_good_for_you_and_your_brain)
Can the study of music help your child learn other things?  It appears that it does help!  A study done by a Canadian research group and published on September 20, 2006, “showed that the children who received music instruction excelled above their peers in memory skills as well as ‘non-musical’ abilities such as literacy, mathematics and even IQ.”  (http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Can_Music_Help_Learn/)
Not all children will excel at sports or academics.  But, many children, can, with practice and proper teaching, master an instrument and find a niche to fit in.  The feeling of playing an instrument with a group of other children in band or orchestra, or accompanying someone on the piano, brings a sense of camaraderie.  While very few will advance to play sports in college, much less professionally, music will stay with the child for life.  As an LPN and pianist, I have watched the effects of music on the elderly.  It may cause them to dance, clap or sing.  Give your child a gift which can last a lifetime-the gift of music!