A Real Sermon in a Song

Happy Monday Everybody!

Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on “My Wall-Smacking Incident.” It’s good to be encouraged by other believers and also to know that I’m not the only one that does not see the occassional wall! Today’s post was promised to my friend S.O. a long time ago – and I typed it out but never posted it. Slacker. I know. Anyway, better late than never! So, here we go! A Real Sermon in a Song!

I was browsing the internet when I came across an interesting video.

I just was not ready for what I saw.

The pastor of the church was singing secular music…in the Sanctuary…at the podium, to describe the way that he felt about the Lord. He said that the music was alright so long as you recognized who you were singing to. When the original artists composed and sang the songs, they were speaking of a relationship between a man and a woman. Something about that video rang wrong within me. I could not relate – I could not understand why this servant of the Lord would ever bring sensual and sexually-oriented music into the Sanctuary and promote it from the pulpit.

I began to feel sorrow for the congregants – most of who knew the words to the songs and were singing right along with the pastor. God calls us to be different – peculiar. We are not to be like the world. The sanctuary is not a concert hall for secular crooning.

And just when I thought, oh man, this can’t get worse, with the next breath, the pastor began to combine secular songs with worship hymns – light and darkness cannot co-exist. But again, his premise was it being about who you were singing to.

I guess it would have been far too easy to open the pages of the Bible to sing a worship song?!?! David has left plenty of psalms to sing. Many of hymns could have been sung which glorified the Lord and could be directly correlated with Scripture.
And then, there are other hymns, composed by men and women who have come to know and love the Lord. There is a wealth of praise in the pages of your hymnal. One of my favorite hymns is “A Mighty Fortress” whose lyrics begin strongly with these words:

A mighty fortress is our God,

a bulwark never failing;

our helper he amid the flood

of mortal ills prevailing.

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.

That is a real sermon in a song – and the lyrics above are only the first part of the song. There are three more stanzas that could be sung that will deliver honor to the Lord.

And then, there is the ever known and popular, “Amazing Grace”, which puts us into proper reverence of the Lord along with a realization of who we truly are when we look right into the first two stanzas:

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.”

Again, a real sermon in a song. Sermons are designed to help us to see where we are and to recognize where we need to be in the Lord. They are designed to help us grow closer to the Lord. They are needful to help us realize where our worship should reside. And, that is why I struggle with the video. There is no proper pathway to worship and instruction from the Lord that has its foundation in the secular. A song sung about or to a woman (or man), a mere created being, can never compare to a song sung about the Creator. The two will never equal out.

Thus, when we desire to sing a song of praise and worship to the Lord, ensure that the source is true.

Sing Scripture.

Sing Hymns.

Sing to the Lord that which really was designed to glorify Him. And when you do, you will then be singing a real sermon in a song.

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My Wall-Smacking Incident

I flew into a wall recently – hit it hard too.

I, like the bird from yesterday’s post, was not paying attention and the enemy delivered a blow.

But, unlike that bird, I refuse to surrender. This blow is not lethal – it’s a lesson.

When I hit the wall, shock blanketed me; surprise governed me. And even though I was aching, I still had to deal with a decision that loomed straight ahead of me.

Enter my spiritual godmother. Notice I said spiritual – not fairy.

I called her to recount my wall-smacking experience. She listened and then she asked:

“How long are you going to allow this to dwell in your spirit?”

Hunh? What does she mean? It just happened!! I was a bit puzzled. Thus, when I did not immediately respond but instead sat on the phone pondering, she said:

“It’s been too long already.”

With those two sentences, she delivered healing balm to my wounds. For you see, it is not for the Christian to dwell on the wall and try to analyze why it was there, how many times it has appeared and how many times you flew over successfully and on and on. Instead, for the Christian, it’s time to rejoice in the fact that we can get up from a wall-smacking and move on with our lives. Go on and bandage your hurt with a Holy Ghost band-aid and get on with it.

There is a greater work that must be done so that God is glorified. So, if you read this blog post and find yourself therein – smarting from a wall-smacking, get on up and get back to work – or I’ll have my spiritual godmother call you!

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Be on the Lookout

If you dropped by yesterday and are wondering if this post is the one that I was working on, I have some news. No, this one is not that one. (sad face) I started that one Friday and now it’s finished but because of some things that have happened since then, I feel that I should hold onto it for a minute. Never fear though, I’m sure the Lord will let me know when it’s a good time to post it. In the meantime, here’s today’s post!

Flipping through the channels on a lazy day, I landed on a station that carried footage of nature. I watched, intrigued by a bird that had perched on the waters, bobbing up and down with the waves. So cute! This bird was clearly relaxed and unconcerned. He even tucked his neck into himself for whatever reason – I’m guessing he was grooming himself. Nevertheless, this activity by said bird continued. I kept watching.

And then it happened.

There was no scary music or even a change in tempo. In fact, the water that lulled this bird into a lackadaisical state never changed its pace. But then, right when I least expected it – tragedy.

The bird was attacked by a seal. I was shocked! Horrified! I sat up and yelled at the television, angry at the seal!

The seal rose up from the water, grabbed the bird by the neck, and swiftly took it underneath the water. And without any further detail, I can tell you, the seal won.

He cheated – He snuck up on that bird and delivered an unrecoverable blow. Now, you may say that’s nature, and you would be right. But, it is also the way that our enemy operates.

As Christians, we have to be on the lookout. We cannot afford to perch on the waters of life and bob up and down without a care in the world. When we do, we forfeit our defenses. Instead, we need to be on the alert – watching, ready.

When we spend time looking inwardly, grooming ourselves or being overly concerned about ourselves, the enemy has time to plan and execute his attack. You are no longer a threat to him because you are so wrapped up in yourself – enjoying yourself – bobbing along with the current.

Be careful of the current; it is the thing that will lull you into a false sense of security that will allow the enemy to move forward with his plan of attack.

Be vigilant. Be alert. Know that your enemy is never too far away. Make sure that you take steps such that you will not become his prey.

I’m sitting up yelling this message out to you – so please take notice. I don’t want you to become like that little bird – a victim of his adversary. Instead, I desire that you be victorious. This is just a little something for you to think about.

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Prayer Request

Hello Bloggy and Facebook friends!

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Today, I am working on a post that’s not quite ready yet. So instead of posting something half-baked, I wonder if you would join me in prayer?

This Tuesday morning, let’s pray for the following:

1. The safety of God’s children, near and far – missionaries across the world and those in our very midst

2. This great nation, whose greatness is compromised by increasing sin – help us turn back to God

3. God-fearing leadership and sound ethical decision making – let us do what glorifies God and not our wallets

4. A return to holiness to those who have lost their way – help us be a path towards righteousness and not toward destruction

5. Salvation for the lost – help them to want to be found by a loving Savior

6. A true heart’s desire to learn the Word of God – not so that we can have a head knowledge but so that we can have a true heart knowledge and live out the principles in a godly way that gives God glory – not ourselves

7. Peace and tranquility in our hearts and in our minds – help us to find rest by turning to the Peacegiver

8. Relationships – first with God, then with each other.

Thanks y’all.

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Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Shift Confirmed

So, last Thursday, I blogged about feeling a shifting in my life. I did not have any hard details, but the feeling was unmistakable.

Saturday, as I was cleaning my house, I felt an undeniable move of God. I wept and worshipped.

Sunday, as I prayed for the ministers, my God let me know that He was there. And, then He showed Himself strong. The choir delivered the congregation into the presence of the Lord and then, the minister preached a sermon entitled: My Life is About to Shift.

I blogged Thursday, God confirmed Sunday.

Shift Confirmed.

I left church Sunday, floating. Knowing that I had had the Lord and knew that He was about to shift things for me felt great. And, like I blogged, I don’t know how the shifting will manifest itself, but I know that it will. And, because I know that God knows, He sees and He cares, then I have to think that whatever is going to take place will be for my own good and definately for His glory.

Lord, I’m ready. Shift me.

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I feel things shifting… .

I feel things shifting… .

And, I’m glad. For so long, I’ve felt stuck in a rut. An endless routine, with work-related travel sprinkled in to break-up the monotony.

I don’t know what will happen… .

But, I am anticipating great things. I feel like God is putting things in order for me. Taking care of essential things so that every other thing can fall into place.

I woke up this morning… .

Ain’t that good news? I know – I sound like a “seasoned saint” at a revival. But, I missed my revival this year doing some of that work-related travel – so lemme just have this one, ok? So, I woke up this morning – glad …. happy. And, it was not because I got a full night’s rest. But, it was because I realized how to rest with the Lord. I found my spot and snuggled close to Him last night.

So, what’s the point… .

Let God be God. When you step out of the way, He will order things. He will move things and set them up for your success; your happiness; your peace; your joy. Slide over and let Him drive.

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Daisy Chain Update

I know that I’ve been talking an awful lot about Mary DeMuth’s Daisy Chain. That’s because I want you to read it. I am halfway through the book now. I’ve got probably 150 pages to go – via rough estimate. And, I’ve just got to say – y’all need to read this book.

In my mind, I picture Jed. I see him enduring and pressing his way. And, then that same Jed that I cheer on from inside my mind does some quick lying – leaving me to say – hunh? Didn’t see that coming. Didn’t see the plot twist coming with the shoe either. But, you’ll just have to get the book and read it to know what I’m talking about. I kid you not, this book is worth the time investment thus far. I’m reading a little at night before I go to bed.

Word of caution – if you are reading Daisy Chain, then do not read the book excerpt from the next book on Mary’s blog. I took a sneak peak and wish I hadn’t done so… . At any rate, get Daisy Chain and read it. You will enjoy it.

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Legacy of Faith

This weekend, I went to a family reunion. This one was the one for my maternal grandfather’s side of the family. I had such a great time. It’s funny how we will travel from far and wide and descend upon a destination just for the sake of fellowship. That was my case.

And, while I was there, hearing about my family and their rich faith, I could not help but to allow my mind to drift back to childhood memories. Every summer, I would go down and visit my maternal grandparents. Oh I would laugh and play all summer long!

Those times are precious.

I would tell you stories – but maybe another time.

As a result of my trip down memory lane, I began to really think about what it will be like to see my family – the entire family again; and for the first time. This place is not my home – and neither is it yours if you are a believer. Heaven is. And one day, I will see my grandparents again and I will see for the first time, the faith-walkers that preceded me. Oh what an exciting time it will be!

Those were my thoughts this weekend as we lit candles in their remembrance. They left behind a legacy of faith. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for the rest of my life. I pray that the legacy that I will leave (should He tarry) will be one rich in faith as well, trusting in the Lord.

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My New Yum-O Treat

Friday reminds me of food.

I know the connection sounds wierd but just think about it. You usually go out to eat on Friday and Saturday nights. You blow off the diet on Friday night. Friday is essentially free night – free to be a lover of all things tasty without feeling guilty. At least those are the rules for my house.

It was on a Delta flight that I was introduced into my newest fascination. I’ve never been a pretzel gal, but this…well, this treat is yum-o!

What is it?

I have been smacking down on these little tasty buddies. Oh so yummy. I’ve moved from original to Honey Mustard & Onion. If you have denied your taste buds the priviledge, I would ask that you reconsider, and run on out and buy yourself a bag. Afterall, live a little, it’s Friday!

Have a good weekend!!!

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My She Speaks Top 10

Lots of folks have been posting about their She Speaks experience, some organizing them into a Top 10 list … so, after some consideration, I am joining the pack. Here are my top picks:

10. Because the Lord loves me so, He made sure that there was a resource table. I love me some books y’all. And, I shopped…and kept visiting the table to make sure nothing new had been added. When will I ever get the chance to read all of these books that I HAD to have? Ah…time will tell.

9. Hearing about other ministries efforts to offer salvation to the lost and to grow / shepard those who have been found. With so many tracks (speaking, writing, women’s ministry etc) there were lots of opportunities to hear how God has been moving.

8. I love a well-organized event. I give big hugs to the P31 staff and volunteers for putting together a well-thought out and God-led event. I could see the fruit of your work from the notebooks to powerpoints to the accomodations and seating and well, you get the point. Kudos.

7. Meeting new people who are already making an impact for the Lord. I shall never forget Carol Davis (who is famously funny but with a heart that beats for God), Mary DeMuth (who fabulously gave us Daisy Chain – Read it, I am) and Jennifer Rothschild, (who I am blessed to have meet as well) and whom I blogged about earlier.

6. Reconnecting with former She Speaks pals. I met Kathy while I was previously and we had the opportunity to reconnect in person after having spent much of our friendship development through blogs and email.

5. Joining a writer’s group – how cool is that. It was a self-selecting process but I believe that God has really pulled this group of women together. It’s the badge on the right – Sisters in Ink. Can’t wait to see what God will do with all of this.

4. The valuable lessons taught to my eager ears. I praise God for all the teachers that poured over their Bibles and sat with God so that they would have something valuable to give to us. Thank you.

3. Having the opportunity to meet with some great agents and editors. How kind of them to spend any time with me! I can’t wait to see what unfolds as a result of our meetings.

2. Sponsoring a child through Compassion. I would put her name but I don’t know if I am supposed to. Just know that God led me to her and I am trusting Him to keep her safe. The way He did it let me know that it was all Him. And, well, that’s all good.

1. My number one – and number one is the Prayer Room! Oh the experiences I had in there. I found my name on Elohim. Perfect for me. I needed to be reminded. God spoke at She Speaks.

So, these are my top 10. Hope you enjoyed the list. And, if you have a Top 10 list on your site, please leave a comment linking to your list.

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Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.