I didn’t ask if you read the Bible or if you believe what the Bible says. I asked if you like the Bible. Think about that for a few seconds.
I recently discovered an author and speaker, Keith Ferrin, who suggests that many of us don’t really like the Bible. We read it out of an obligation or habit but we don’t really like it, not really. If that doesn’t apply to you or if you are completely satisfied with your relationship with Jesus Christ through his love letter to you, the Bible, then there is no reason for you to read any further. Continue reading Do You Like the Bible?
I was recently given the opportunity to receive a PDF copy of Emotions by Charles Stanley if I would be willing to read it and write an honest review. I thought about it for about 3 seconds and jumped at that opportunity. As my tagline says, “I believe there is always more to be learned.” My review is what appears below.
For those who know me you know you would not describe me as being emotional. You would likely describe me as wearing my emotions up my sleeve as I generally don’t express them outwardly very often.
For that reason a book with a title of Emotions is probably not one that I would have thought would be very interesting based on the title or have caught my eye on the bookshelf of my local book store. This book is not about the “Rah! Rah! Go Team!” expression of emotions but the emotions we all feel and experience but seldom discuss with anyone else because we think we are the only ones experiencing them. Continue reading Emotions
In the OUTRAGEOUS life Dwayne Morris challenges the reader, and himself as well I believe, to live the outrageous life that God has planned for us instead of settling for any plan we can devise and try to execute on our own. God’s plan is always better and we have to have the faith to trust God that his plan is the best for us. That statement sounds weird but it is how most of us live our lives, thinking we know better than God. This book WILL challenge you – so if you don’t want to be challenged then I suggest you look for something different. Continue reading Outrageously Good
If your experience in school is anything like mine was, there were some classes you were required to take because they were part of your core curriculum that you thought or maybe even said, “I will never use this again after I get out of this class.” Does that ring any bells?
Well, the literature classes I was required to take in college such as English Literature and American Literature and maybe a Mythology class or two fit into that category for me. At least I thought they did at the time. You know the ones where you had to read something you didn’t want to read and then interpret it to try to match whatever the instructor thought it meant. I tended to agree with Mr. or Mrs., not sure which, Cliff since I used their notes when available.
Lately though I have been thinking maybe I learned more than I thought I did. I think songwriters today are comparable to the classical literary poets and authors of old studied in school. Maybe I learned to recognize and appreciate artistry when I see or hear it.
If you listen to music on the radio or by other means do you listen to the words of the songs?
I am old-fashioned in that when I get a new release I like to open the CD case and read the lyrics as I listen to the music the first or second time through. As a side note, even if you don’t buy music and get the CD most lyrics can be found online somewhere so you don’t have to buy the CD to be able to read the lyrics.
This ensures I am not mis-hearing any words and helps me to really understand the music. I know the melody and beat of the music is important but the lyrics are just as important, probably more important to me. I am of the old school that believes that what you put into your mind has a lot to do with your mood and outlook on everything you do. If you are listening to negative, degrading words over and over to a beat you will hear them and they will be ingrained in your sub-conscious mind and that will affect your mood and possibly your behavior. You might not even think you are listening to the words, you just like the music, but whether consciously or not your mind is hearing them.
Positive, upbeat is better than negative, explicit
So, whenever possible, I listen to positive, upbeat, encouraging songs. If any music has to have an “Explicit” label on it you will not find it in my catalog of music. I have a similar standard for comedians as well. If you can’t be funny without the vulgar, explicit language then you are just not funny. I wrote about this a while back in Adult? Language.
Because of the way I listen to music a song will often come to mind as I travel through life that speaks to me, encourages me, and makes the journey more enjoyable, or, depending on the situation, bearable.
I will be sharing some of these lyrics from time to time and hope by doing so that someone else might discover the poetry and artistry contained in many of today’s songs in ways you might not have before. It might even introduce you to some new artists that might be an encouragement to you too.
For your consideration, this song was written by Toby McKeehan, Jamie Moore, and Ryan Stevenson.
Some days life feels perfect, other days it just ain’t workin’ / The good, the bad, the right, the wrong, and everything in between/ It’s crazy, amazing, we can turn a heart through the words we say/ Mountains crumble with every syllable, hope can live or die
So speak life, speak life / To the darkest night / Speak life, speak life / When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why / Look into the eyes of the broken hearted / Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope, you speak love / You speak life
Some days the tongue gets twisted, other days my thoughts just fall apart / I do, I don’t, I will, I won’t / It’s like I’m drowning in the deep / Well, it’s crazy to imagine words from our lips as the arms of compassion / Mountains crumble with every syllable, hope can live or die
Lift your head a little higher / Spread the love like fire / Hope will fall like rain when you speak life with the words you say / Raise your thoughts a little higher / Use your words to inspire / Joy will fall like rain when you speak life with the things you say / Lift your head a little higher / Spread the love like fire / Hope will fall like rain when you speak life with the words you say.
Words like that encourage me and I think they would encourage you too. It is also how I try to use my words. I am not always successful but it is a goal I strive for. This one is not too hard to interpret.
You may or may not have recognized the first author’s name.
He is more popularly known as Toby Mac
and this song comes from his latest release called Eye On It. I am not generally a fan of the hip-hop music genre which is one category his music usually fits into. He started out as a rapper with DC Talk. I was fortunate enough to see him in concert at Six Flags in St. Louis a little over four years ago. I was impressed by the professionalism and artistry of their live show
as well as the message in the music. There were a few of his earlier songs I did like but I was not really a Toby Mac fan until after this show. My kids were fans and now I was too. I think they were more DC Talk fans though and I am more of a Toby Mac fan.
I became an even bigger fan when I learned he was a father of five and only about 3 years younger than me. I am a father or four. I don’t know about you but when there are things I share in common with others that helps me identify with them more. He is a Christian, husband and father and I am too. We both enjoy good music but that is where the similarities end. I cannot sing, cannot dance or perform in front of thousands of people. However I might one day write a song or two. We’ll see.
This is only one of the songs I really like on this CD. There are many more such as Steal My Show, Eye On It, Unstoppable, Forgiveness and Favorite Song to name a few. If you have never listened to Toby Mac here is your chance. You can go hear and listen to Speak Life now. I hope you enjoy it. Maybe you will find a new artist, author or poet you like too.
Until next time…Speak Life!
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Many of you may already know this or maybe not. I guess that is one of the reasons I write. Those that have knowledge on a particular subject, including me, often need to be reminded. Those that don’t might just learn something new or get a new perspective on what they already know. Come to think of it, that is one of the reasons I read too. I like to learn new things and often need to be reminded.
Today’s post is about a topic I have known to be true for many years. I remember hearing a sermon on this subject when we lived in Birmingham in the late 1980’s and have heard it many times since then in other sermons, bible studies, and in conversations with others, which is who I normally have my conversations with.
God, Not Listening?
Many people claim they have been praying for something for years and God is not listening to them or must not care about them because He hasn’t answered their prayers. You might be wondering to yourself,
“I wonder what Garth Brooks has to say about this?”
Well, he did have a song several years ago on the subject of thanking God for unanswered prayer. I couldn’t help it because of my peculiar mind but every time I heard this song I either said to myself or to anyone who might be with me at the time, “there is no such thing as unanswered prayer” as that is what I believe.
Could our interpretation be wrong?
The prayers of God’s children, those who have accepted His gift of salvation and eternal life, are always heard by our Heavenly Father and always answered. However, we are often not perceptive enough or wise enough to understand the answer.
Often, we will get a no answer and believe it can’t be true because we “know” God wouldn’t do that to us so we ignore the answer and continue following our own plan.
Sometimes we get a yes answer and have a similar reaction. “God couldn’t really want me to do that” so, again, we ignore the answer we didn’t want to hear and forge our own path. That is called free will, which we all have, but along with that we have to accept the consequences of those free will choices we all make.
Probably the hardest answer to accept is the not now answer. This is because we all live in the “gotta have it and gotta have it now” world. This could be God trying to teach us patience, which is often a hard and painful lesson to learn or He could just be saying we are not ready yet or He has something better in mind.
How do I know what God is saying?
The way I understand this is our prayers are us talking to God and God’s Word, the Bible, is Him talking to us. Yes, He still speaks to us today every day through His Word. Of course the catch there is you have to be spending time in His Word to be able to hear and discern what He is saying to you. One of the benefits of my new Early to Rise challenge is helping me be much more consistent spending time in God’s Word reading my Bible every day.
Don’t be anxious
It Philippians 4:6-7 we are told,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ESV
The peace that is mentioned here is one way I believe prayers are answered. You will not get an audible yes or no from God but He will give you a peace about a decision you are struggling with or praying about. I have trouble with the not being anxious part from time to time but when the peace comes it is obvious.
I have received all three answers to different prayers in my journey through life so far. What you might see too is sometimes when you are praying and hoping for a yes from God He will give you a not now and you keep praying and the not now will become a no. At that moment it is often hard to understand but when we get past this experience and look back on it we can see how God has directed us to the best path for us – not just a good path – and it might not look anything like our original plan.
Sometimes our prayers change
You might also see that request you were asking for change to a different request as you pray and listen (read His word). This happened for me when my mother was battling cancer, which she did valiantly for 17 years. My prayers went from removing the cancer and healing her, which He did for a time, to removing the pain and cancer permanently by taking her home to be with Him, which He did as well.
Don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself.
Don’t take my word for whether this is true or not. My words will not always be accurate, not because I am intentionally trying to say anything not true, but just because I am human.
His Word, on the other hand, IS The Gospel Truth. Take His Word for it.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1 ESV
Until next time…
Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 03/25/2013
While reading Dr. Kevin Connors post this morning called “The Lord is My SHEPHERD“this morning I was reminded of a truth from the Bible that is a little bit humorous to me as well as being a good reminder of who we are and who God is. His post is very thought provoking or convicting depending on how your perspective and I recommend you take a look if you have a few minutes.
Sheep are dumb animals. They don’t do much thinking of their own and tend to follow the crowd even if the rest of the crowd is walking off the edge of a cliff. My point is they are not very intelligent creatures. You might be wondering what this has to do with you or me. Well, here’s the thing. We, God’s people, are compared to and called sheep many times in the Bible.
The pause and extra space there was intentional. Did you get the intended meaning? Sheep are dumb. We are called sheep, so, consequently we are dumb creatures too. This is a little bit humorous to me as I try to not take myself too seriously so I don’t mind being called a sheep.
It is also a very real reminder of just how much we really are like sheep and that we need a shepherd. Jesus is the shepherd.