We have been hearing about “Cancel Culture” for awhile now. I have to admit, when I first heard of people saying they were canceling “this” person or “that” institution or cultural mores, I thought, how ridiculous, you can’t cancel things that we know to be true. My brain couldn’t get beyond the literal definition, as I was trying to make meaning of it. In fact, as I began to understand the abstractness of the concept, I started to realize how very real it was, and how concretely, a small society of people had found a way to make their voices loud enough to truly want to erase the things that we hold true as conservatives in our culture. It’s quite unbelievable, but yet, very real to our times.
It was very real to Jesus’ times, as well. As an example, we can see the grand scheme of Cancel Culture unfold in Mark 11 & 12 when Jesus is in Jerusalem walking around the Temple Mount and the chief priests, teachers of the law and elders (representatives of the three groups which represented the Sanhedrin) all come to him asking, “By what authority are you doing these things?” (Mark 11:28). Of course, this was a direct reference back to Mark 11:17 to them having witnessed his driving out of the buyers, sellers and money changers, proclaiming at the Temple, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations,” not the “den of thieves” that had taken it over.
Jesus said he would answer them, if they answered first his one question of “by whose authority” was John’s baptism from. It was basically a trick question back to the Sanhedrin for their trick question to him. So they lied, instead, and said they didn’t know. But Jesus knew they were lying to him so he told them the parable of the tenants, instead, in Mark 12. Basically, that parable laid out the history of God sending his prophets to His people with messages of repentance and the One whom they should serve, time and time again, but those prophets were silenced, beaten or killed for the message they brought. And the final messenger, the beloved son and heir of the Father, our Savior Jesus, being “the stone” that the religious leaders of Israel rejected, had now become the “capstone” (cornerstone) and Jesus tells them it was “marvelous in our eyes” (Mark 12:10-11, a direct reference back to Psalm 118:22), “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
The Sanhedrin would have recognized this because this was a teaching of theirs from Scripture. Old Testament scripture proves New Testament scripture or what we say “scripture proves scripture.” The Sanhedrin had the truth right there, speaking his words from days of old, standing before them, and they hated him. How dare Jesus remind them of history and Scripture. Afterall, they were the lawgivers! It was at this moment that they knew their gig was up. So what did they do? “Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.” (Mark 12:12) and we know at that point their plan was to get rid of him, once and for all, by crucifying him. Cancel Culture. Get rid of the truth so we can still go about our business of robbing God’s people, even in the heart of the Temple.
Well, those of us who are Christians, we know where that temple resides, for those of us who have been grafted into the vine. With the new covenant, our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and Cancel Culture is alive and well today to destroy any bit of truth that longs to make its way out of our hearts, to the ears that need to hear the truth around us. Jesus, indeed, is the capstone of the church. And our time has come to let our hearts be cleared out of the “den of thieves” which have taken their root in such subtle ways within us. Where have you allowed truth to be canceled in your heart? What lies have you allowed to be bought and sold in your mind and heart? Let Jesus overturn them. Let him drive it all out, so that prayer and the Word of God, dwells in you richly, instead. Be holy and set apart!
Those who promote Cancel Culture are indeed afraid of the Church today. They are looking to cancel us as Christians, remove us from fellowship with one another in our local churches, our private home gatherings, to cancel the encouragement of truth that is taught to us in the Scripture…to sing songs, psalms and hymns to our Savior as one body. Right is wrong and wrong is right, now. We are the problem now, because of our message of Jesus Christ which stands in direct opposition to the lies that have fully infiltrated our American society. They will seek to destroy us as well, in any way that they can. Again, do not be deceived, this is not a battle between us as men and women, this is a spiritual battle that is being waged around us. As Christians we need to love and pray for our enemies, those who seek to do us harm. It is for those who stand against us, that Christ came. We, too, were once like that, darkened in our understanding. None of us is righteous, except through Christ. Pray and keep speaking the truth. For even if we are silenced, the stones will cry out. “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6) “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a rested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” (Isaiah 28:16)
Jesus told Simon Peter after he recognized him as the Son of the living God, “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:17-18) Indeed, Simon Peter recognized that Jesus was the Son of God. and that Jesus is that rock that the church’s foundation is upon. “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah” (Psalm 61)
Be encouraged my dear friends… the stone that the builders rejected will be the one to cause those who try to cancel truth to stumble. But not those of us who trust in Him. This place is not our home. Long for your eternal dwelling place, instead… in the sanctuary of our God.
In closing, if you have some time today, meditate and worship on the beautiful words of truth of this scripture of Psalm 61, by the music of David & Paul Baloche: Lead Me To The Rock
Be strong, because He is strong and your strength is in Him!
Has anyone had the experience of waking up this last week? I am so thankful that God is in the business of exposing lies and the deeds of darkness; that He gives us a moral compass to know right from wrong in the Word of God. Yet it is even inscribed within our hearts so we have no excuse. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20
Our President of the United States has been given serious intelligence of foreign intereference in our country’s election according to EO 13848, therefore, according to the EO and U.S.Codes in place he must come up with a plan with his advisors that is in line with the Constitution to protect the Republic. The President has taken an Oath “to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and to the best of his abilities preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” His actions need to be according to this.
Many in “the know” who are part of this scheme to undermine the Republic, are running scared and have already drafted an Article of Impeachment against him to get him out of office before January 20th to put their plans in place. They have plans to put the impeachment forward by Monday. And the next 11 days will reveal President Trump’s allegiance to that Oath of Office. If you haven’t figured out by now that we are at war in our country, I challenge you to research deeper. It’s an unconventional war. This is a grave and serious time for our country. The Republic is it stake. Rest assured the President is well protected by our military. He will find a way to communicate to us through other ways like the Emergency Broadcast System and other media sources like Newsmax, Epoch Times, OANN, etc. The war will continue beyond January 20.
Evil deceives us, but God is real. God is greater and still in control. So we can choose this day whom we will serve…Jesus stands at the door and knocks. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:19-20 Our Salvation in Jesus is the only thing that we can be sure of.
Regardless of who is at the helm in America after the 20th, even if it’s Biden, all dominion and authority is still God’s and subjected to Him. The Bible tells us that one day EVERY knee and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Lord. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11
Such a great and solid hope is ours that cannot ever be taken away, if we so choose.
This is what it is truly coming down to: A battle between light and dark. Not for God, because that battle has already been won at the cross. No, the battle is for us. For you and me. For our hearts and minds. Evil has already been conquered. Wake up, Sleepers!!!
“But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:13-20 ESV https://www.bible.com/59/eph.5.13-20.esv
It’s been a very long year in the mental health field of practice as both therapist and behavioral coach. I have listened to and encouraged many fearful, anxiety-ridden, depressed and broken hearts. I feel so honored that so many let me enter into the most private of their Sanctum Sanctorums. I have been blessed to speak the truth of God’s word in it’s purest and most practical life-giving form into these precious hearts and prayed with many of them. Its refreshing to see how many people are actually turning back to ask questions about their faith, that was once planted in them long ago, as they face these times of fear and uncertainty.
It’s also been a long year of being brave, living alone, selling and buying a new home in a new community, saying goodbyes and hellos, and yet reassuring to always know that I have been carried along on this journey by my Savior. 2020 has definitely been a year of vision (see what I did there?), of ministering, of being sifted and refined. I have never been popular. I was always the last one to be picked on a team in gym class or on church co-ed teams. It’s been a struggle to live, since the day I was born at 6 1/2 months gestation. I have even battled my own demons against physical and emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, and a failed marriage. I am a fighter, a surviver. And even when I longed to be accepted by others, I’ve been reminded that in the circle of others is not really where my focus ever needs to be. I am going to be just fine! I am fine because of whose I am. I’ve been rejected by family and friends through the years. I’ve made mistakes and sinned. I have been forgiven and reconciled. I have always sought to be reconciled to others and to seek peace. And I always long to have God know me and search my heart, to try me and know my anxious thoughts to find the wayward ways within me and lead in me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24). I am willing to allow Him to humble me in all humility, no matter how uncomfortable and painful it is. I try to keep myself in check to that every day. I love life and people and have a genuine and kind heart. I forgive others of a lot. But I am also wary and more discerning than I have ever been and I am a bit of an introvert in my nature, so that can be my tendency for withdrawing at times.
This year it became front and center for me, the importance of Hebrews 10:24-25 “not forsaking the assembling of the Believers to encourage one another, and even more as we see the Day approaching.” I realized this even more so, because of the increasingly harsh lockdowns in my state; purportedly in the beginning due to the corona virus, but now I wonder for what other purposes. I have never once denied that the virus is real. Yet, others have criticized me for things that they do not know or understand about me. They think that just because I speak out on some of the restrictions, therefore I am not taking it seriously. Quite the opposite. But it is these restrictions that I choose to address for me and speak out about for others who may not have a voice for whatever reason. I know many of you are fearful. I know some of you are really afraid to lose your jobs if they knew what you really thought about this. I know many of you in government positions are not allowed to speak out about your political affiliations. I am speaking for some of you. I understand that not everyone will agree with me. So let me speak to those who have similar concerns as me. Especially as the night comes to an end and we close the book on 2020 in America.
I’ve tried to pretend like the limiting of basic rights, such as not being able to to go to church and being told I couldn’t sing in church, wasn’t happening. It was only supposed to be temporary. Certainly it was for a good reasons in the beginning as we were still trying to understand this pandemic. I’ve watched in disbelief, as the restrictions and mandates continued to become more and more unreasonable across our country and definitely out here in my state of WA on down the west coast line (and even more so it continues). I was also sad and alarmed at the deaths. But there has to be a better way. You do not restrict the healthy, you quarantine the sick. I considered being the compliant Christian in the beginning to keep the peace (and I do still honor this), but I also have read my U.S. Constitution and understand how inline it is with the truth of the Bible and how it teaches me otherwise. As much as Jesus is the Prince of Peace, when He spoke, He spoke words and took actions that offended many. And the “powers that be” wanted to silence Him and kill Him as a result. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefor the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know Him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” (John 15: 18-20a) And that’s where we are today my friends…here in America. We are on that tipping point.
I will still speak the truth, regardless. We must all still speak the truth. By knowing THE truth who is Jesus, we will be able to search for and discern truth everywhere else. You and I can still assemble with others and encourage one another. Do not be afraid to go to church or conduct work out of your small business. Be with your loved ones. Yes, exercise caution, of course. Listen to the recommendations. Be sensible. But you get to be the one to choose to exercise your best judgment there. Government was put in place by the people. Not to restrict the people. Government derives its just powers from the consent governed…not the other way around. We The People! You are a free if you are a citizen of the United States of America. Even more so you are free if you are in Christ. Please do not isolate. I’ve seen what it does to people’s mental health. Many people are seeing through this now and the outcomes to our well-being emotionally and physically. There is a balance. But once you give your freedom away, more than likely, you will never get it back. God did not give you a spirit of fear. Do not be afraid. “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118: 5-6). And “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7). “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
Our Declaration of Independence, and Constitution protects these freedoms. Ratified in 1789 by Congress in the Bill of Rights, Article 3: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” So just what are those unalienable rights that have been given to us that are front and center in the Supreme Law of the Land? You don’t need to answer that for me, but answer it for yourself. And while you are at it read the 2nd and 4th Amendments. I’ve included copies of our Founding Fathers original documents for you to access here. In Congress July 4, 1776 (Declaration of Independence) “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” And that was the beginning of America. We broke away from England. We got rid of tyranny once. We can do it again, if need be. It’s okay to be a Christian and an American. The Republic was born, and the Constitution framed, to be in line and underneath God’s authority. I finally realized I couldn’t deny it anymore. And I couldn’t be silent anymore. This is truly happening on “my watch” as a citizen of this great and amazing experiment of a country. I love my country and I will support and defend the Republic. Our election was stolen. There is a great evil at work for our country right now. There is no other country on the earth like America, because of this Constitution that we have. WAKE UP!
Two of my three children have taken an oath (I took it too, many years ago), as has my children’s father, to defend our Constitution and I will post it here, so you understand where I am coming from: “I, [STATE YOUR NAME], having been appointed a [RANK] in the United States [BRANCH OF SERVICE], do solemnly swear [OR AFFIRM] that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
See that again please: to SUPPORT and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States against ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN and DOMESTIC. This is our country, America! Our military, past and present, has sworn this oath. Likewise, the President of the United States is sworn to do the same. This is the litmus test of POTUS, Congress & SCOTUS. Where will they stand with the constitution when they are faced with a takeover of our country? Or are some of them part of the takeover? The law is clear. There are traitors amongst us and those from other countries who hate us. Why? Because of our freedom. Because of the God whom we serve. The freedom we have been given from God that is the foundation and fabric of our Constitutional Republic. Even those of you who chose to not accept or obey God. Where will we stand? Where will you stand? The U.S. Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. Did you ever think you would live to see the day where private businesses censor the President of the United States of America so that he can’t communicate to the people of the country that he has sworn an oath to support and defend? Incredible times that we are living in. Did you ever think that you would see the day that we were in the middle of a coup? Yes, I said that.
Scripture will be taken out of context to say whatever our itching ears want to hear, but make no mistake that our country was founded under Biblical principles of Truth. And now we all are at a tipping point, because we have become far removed from truth in this country. We can now ask, “What is truth?” It’s all relative now. Right is wrong and wrong is right. FB and Twitter control everything you see in your own little echo chamber there, based on computer programming and algorithms of the platforms that now censor us. Anything you say can be truth today. My truth, your truth. Did not Roman Governor Pontius Pilate say the same words with Jesus right in front of him? “Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world-to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18: 37-38). And we know at that point that Pontius Pilate went back to the crowd and said he found no guilt in him. But because of the custom the Jews had at the Passover to have Pilate release one man at the Passover, they asked to have Barabbas released to them over Jesus. And they said for Pilate to crucify him. But make no mistake. Jesus laid down His own life for you and for me. “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18) What is truth? Jesus is THE truth, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Take everything you see and hear right now, and compare it back to the Word of God, then pray for God to reveal what is true and what is false. Go back to original sources as much as you can.
So, I will not be silenced. I will not stop going to church and I will not stop sharing the Good News about my Savior Jesus Christ and meeting with other Christians to share that hope and encouragement. I will not apologize for speaking the truth. I will do my very best to only put out truthful information that I find that supports what is really going on in our country. If you don’t like what I have to say, you are more than welcome to pass me on by. I already realize that many of you do not see what I post on social media anymore due to the FB/Instagram and Twitter algorithms. But I feel it is important to still speak the truth while I can. I have posted a lot of research on all of my social media sites (less on Instagram), so if you want to scroll back on postings to before this last election, you will find some very important news items that I have researched which have been kept out of main stream media. I have pasted them on my social media in the hopes that you will be able to discern the times. I have already moved over to MeWe, Parler and Rumble, so please feel free to follow me over there if you want.
I do plan on writing more songs and have a lot of ideas that I have already put down. I know they are going to be very good once I finish them. It’s just been a very busy season of meeting everyone else’s needs with my profession as a therapist, while healing and moving forward from a broken marriage, and starting life over again after a move to a new community. But I want you to know that I am stronger, more hopeful and faithful than I have ever been. I’d like to be a little better organized. I’m getting there. I’m pretty happy (content), although very concerned about the state of our country. I am mindful of my daily need, moment by moment to be dependent on my Savior, the rest of the days of my life and I am fervent to want to share the hope of Christ in whatever I do. I am content, come what may. I know I am truly never alone nor forsaken even though it’s lonely at times. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
We have some tough days still ahead as we enter 2021 with our presidential election still being contested. But I challenge you to be bold as Believers. “This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain lives.” (Luke 21: 13-19) Don’t forget that you are empowered and emboldened by the Holy Spirit who comes to live in you at the time of your salvation. “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13b-14)
“Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1: 2-4
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:1-4
We are in this together! Happy New Year!!! We are in Christ!!! His victory is ours and we are OVERCOMERS!
Finding yourself weak and weary? Disheartened, fearful, or forgotten? Condemned, falsely accused, or persecuted?
I want to encourage you with a new song released today called Rest, based on Matthew 11:28-30.
Rest is a worshipful, contemporary hymn straight out of the Scripture with a creative twist reminiscent of the 70’s. It is a collaboration between myself, and veteran Nashville songwriters, Joe Beck & Chaz Bosarge, inviting you to come and find the rest you need.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
We are sons and daughters of the King, holy vessels that are set apart. And even though the darkness deepens and casts it shadows…trust in Him. Come. Take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. He is gentle and lowly in heart. His yoke is easy and His burden light.
Find comfort and rest.
Rest is available on iTunes and CD Baby, and will soon be out on all other digital distribution sites.
I released my new single, The Monster Just Outside in support of Mental Health Awareness during the month of May 2016. This is not your every day song, but rather a song to promote reaching out, finding hope and healing, from sexual abuse and other “hidden shames”.
As a Licensed Mental Health Professional, it is my desire to see this song reach everywhere it can, so it can touch the one soul that really needs it. I have offered it FREE here (the whole song), as an audio file, so that you can share it, forward it, tweet it, post it…
The song was written for someone dear to me who has struggled with sexual abuse, so it is even more important of a message that I want to see reach, anyone who may be desperate and seeking help. The song was co-written with Eric Copeland along with additional support by friend Steve Siler, Music for the Soul.
Here are some of the most recent statistics I could find, website and hotlines if you or someone you know needs help:
In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.
Fear, shame and anxiety are main reasons why sexual abuse is not reported, but for men, there are additional reasons as they struggle with the shame of being male, and the loss of power and control over their body. Men do not usually report until at least 5 years later, if at all.
There is hope to help you on your journey of healing from sexual abuse. You are NOT alone. Tell someone. Speak out!
Call 911 if you are in immediate danger!
1-800-656-Hope (National Sexual Assault Hotline)
1-888-373-7888 (National Human Trafficking Resource Center)
1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Hotline) rainn.org Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
The song is currently available on cdbaby, iTunes, Amazon, and other digital distribution sites.
We are also working on a music video for the song. If you would be willing to support the video project, we would greatly appreciate your financial support through my Patreon site.
Friends, we are in desperate times as a church right now to be authentic, genuine followers of Christ. As a believer in America where we have so much free access to the Bible and so many opportunities to share Christ, we can easily grow complacent, while other members of the Body around the world have been driven underground and risk their lives to live out the Gospel.
I recently attended the screening of The Insanity of God, a new documentary coming out, to call us to consider the cost of following Jesus. It was humbling to say the least. Whether we are persecuted or not, we are all one Church, the Body of Christ.
The Gospel has always been free and sometimes we can think we should be silenced, because we don’t want to offend others, or we could risk losing friendships, family, or jobs. The Enemy of God rejoices in our silence and political correctness in regards to privatizing our faith. Complacency leads to apathy, which is not good for us as believers. It is time for us to wake-up and jump off our fence. It’s time to count the cost.
We are a privileged country and whether our rights remain or are taken away from us, the Gospel of Jesus is still free. The Church is thriving in China, North Korea, Russia and other Muslim countries. Persecution, as horrendous as it is, still will never separate us from Christ. In fact, it will make us stronger believers, refining us, making us bold witnesses for Jesus.
One Life is a song idea I had when I felt like I was growing complacent in my own life. I had let disappointment in the politics of church, sideline me at times. But somehow, I think none of that would matter if my focus truly remained in the right place: on Jesus.
I want to live every moment like it counts. I want to spread His love, because I know it is the only kind of love that breaks down all barriers. I want to sacrifice all that I have, because of the example that was shown to me: giving is what life is all about. Christ gave His life for me, so that I might live. What am I willing to give for Him?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:15a
This song I am sharing with you is a co-write with my buddy, Scott Liebenow, from Chicago. We believe in this song so much that we wanted to make a demo of it and get it out there by way of a lyric video, so that the Church could be encouraged everywhere…right now. And we give it freely to you. We are honored to have another songwriting friend and demo vocalist here in Nashville, Amanda Kinner, sing on this…and her voice is just so heavenly.
Please help us out, by spreading this song to the farthest corners of the earth. We only have one life to live, one life to give and we need to offer it up to Him, so that the world will know how wonderful He is!
May God bless you wherever you are right now, and awaken your Spirit for His glory!
I always loved Christmas, and we enjoyed each one every year when I was growing up by going to my grandparents and having a wonderful dinner cooked by my grandma (MeMe), listening to my grandfather (PaPa) recite poetry, stories and bad jokes…Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha,
“On the shores of Gitche Gumi, of the shining big sea water…”
football on the t.v. in the den, listening to the Christmas music in the background,
“Come, they told me, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum…a newborn King to see…pa-rum-pum-pum-pum”
and opening presents under the tree with dessert and coffee afterwards. My grandparent’s home was the typical “Leave it to Beaver” home, and my MeMe was June Cleaver. Things were always consistent, predictable and orderly. I thrived in this setting.
I loved listening to the banter at the dining room table, staring and listening to my PaPa who was larger than life. The hutch behind him that held my MeMe’s beautiful china, wrapping paper, and the decks of cards that would get pulled out later by us grandkids. MeMe would always get after PaPa when he would start picking at the food in the main dishes and eating just a little more, instead of adding it to his plate first.
I also loved walking around in the den, looking at the magical nativity scene in the darkness with the Christmas lights highlighting it. It sat above the t.v. I loved the story of Baby Jesus.
What if there was a drummer boy? I mean…maybe there was a poor shepherd boy that used to get bored out in the field as he helped his daddy, and for fun he would tap out rhythms and sing to God while watching the sheep? What boy doesn’t like tapping out beats? The Shepherds didn’t have a gift for the newborn Jesus…would make sense that the drummer boy didn’t have one either. But they brought their hearts. They adored and worshiped the newborn King. Their future Savior.
I have always loved the the little drummer boy and that song. I identified with him. I felt bankrupt emotionally in my heart as a little girl. My parents divorced when I was almost 4.
My sweet, sensitive spirit just ached so much and longed for an intact family. That’s why I always adored being at my grandparents and experiencing those memories. The abuse I later grew up with made those memories even bigger and more cherished.
But that drummer boy…it was just him before Jesus. He was alone. He felt like he had nothing to give, but what was in his heart (through his drum). That’s how I felt. I had nothing to give Jesus. But I was present, before him. I could offer him my heart and that was all. Yet, that was all that He wanted. It was more than enough. And his grace was sufficient to carry the rest of the brokenness.
2 years ago, this January I lost my PaPa on this side of heaven. And 2 weeks ago, my MeMe went to join him. I rejoice that there is now no more pain for my MeMe. Even though we lived so far apart in our latter years, I always made a point to go spend time with her (and my grandpa) and help be respite care with my older aunt as my youngest aunt and her husband would go on vacation. As my grandmother went into a care facility this last year, my last 2 visits were the hardest ever, as I watched her decline quickly. I have some very sad memories of those visits. But I also have happy moments in them, too.
I couldn’t understand why God would let her suffer and remain, when she was so depressed and wanted to be with my PaPa. I believe it was because of one more thing she had to do. It was to write a Christmas greeting to a veteran somewhere in the world who needed a message of hope. On December 12, my grandmother breathed her last breath with loved ones around her and then took her first breath and opened her eyes in Heaven with Jesus and her loving husband, my PaPa. She is free of her pain and suffering. She is free of her Alzheimer’s. She can see and think clearly and rejoice! She is humming in heaven and I can hear her now.
We are eternal beings. We have a choice. God sent Himself in the form of man, a lowly babe…Jesus, Emmanuel (God with us), so that we might have life…and have it abundantly. Will you come before him, this Christmas, with nothing but yourself? You and Jesus, alone…and give Him your heart? Sing a song, rejoice. Your suffering and pain here on this earth is only temporary in light of the eternal joy and happiness you will experience in eternity as a result of this Gift of Life.
I will miss my grandparents here on earth this Christmas as a chapter of the greatest generation has come to a close in our family. But I will rejoice in knowing I will get to see them again one day soon. The same dining room table and hutch now sits in my Great Room. The same nativity scene is now sitting above the hutch each Christmas. And now we have just added the last of MeMe’s Christmas ornaments (which us grandchildren selected one by one the day of the funeral), to our Christmas tree. Life is but a vapor on earth: a mist. But where it goes…is someplace incredible and yet to behold. I can’t wait…
Maybe Christmas is a hard time for you? I know this is a hard Christmas for me and my family as we all wrestle with our loss here on earth. Yet I also know, that if I can keep an eternal perspective of what is yet to come, I will rejoice in God’s goodness all my life, regardless of my circumstances.
Thank you God for your gift of life this Christmas to me, to my grandma and all my family and friends. Thank you Jesus for coming.
Receive the gift of life.
God’s peace to you this Christmas 2015!
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
I was listening to an interview between Michael Hyatt and Jen Hatmaker today on the online Influence & Impact Summit (some great things to learn about this week for FREE).
One of the things she said about how her platform of influence has grown (or “Secret Sauce”) is by putting “a much lower priority on self-preservation”. She wasn’t referring to NOT being a self-preservationist, but just making it a lower priority. It reminds me of this scripture:
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3, ESV
Is this not humility? Especially when considering others?
It made me think of things we have to put aside to do that as believers in Christ. If we are concerned with the care of others, it means we have to go beyond ourselves. It means we have to risk transparency, risk failure, risk being rejected. We have legitimate fears that can cause us to keep ourselves closed up from influencing others around us. Or even being willing to share our lives more publicly. But what is going to be our greater priority? In my life it means I have to risk to love and be transparent with my failures, while going after the thing I know God has planted in my heart to be a blessing for others.
Are there places (or a voice you have) that you hold back in your life and heart, that you wish you could let go of, letting God be your strength, to risk and reach out with?
I just want to share with you from today’s sermon at church. It was very inspiring and I was filled with gratitude and joy about my future generations to come. To me, there is no greater joy and as well, no greater heartache, than when it comes to being a mom. And I love being a mom. It’s the highest calling in this life besides our purpose in it.
We ALL have the same purpose in life – The Great Commission – to go and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As a mom, we are called into partnership with God for this purpose. We can choose this partnership or not. Same thing with our spouses. We can choose to be in partnership with them or not. Sometimes that is beyond our control. But it is much harder without.
Then, we have been given a position of influence. When we utilize the position(s) of influence we are in, we are effective in our partnership with God. As a mom, this means accepting the position of motherhood (whether working at home with our kids or working outside the home): loving, teaching, equipping and disciplining our children in the way they should go, so that they will grow to love and know Jesus and then pro-create future generations of little disciples to do the same. Some mothers have chosen to accept their position of motherhood, some have chosen not to.
As a mom in partnership with our spouses and God, if we do these things, we will one day, successfully launch out these young “arrows” into the world and be blessed by the promises we have in God for our roles as godly moms. And I love what the pastor’s wife said about these arrows…they are our weapons we launch out into the world that make the Enemy of God very nervous, because they (our children) will continue to grow God’s kingdom here on earth. I have always believed that my most important job as a mother was to make sure that the children God blessed me with, grew up to know, love and serve Jesus with all their heart, soul and mind. They could be in whatever profession or position God called them to, but if they didn’t accept Christ, then I didn’t do my job well, while they were entrusted to my care.
Even if a child chooses to be wise in their own eyes and become a prodigal to all that they know to be true, if I have done my part in loving and training them well (without exasperating them), then I believe God’s word will not return void in their heart, no matter how long it takes.
Today as a mom I feel so blessed to know that all 3 of my adult children love Jesus, follow Him, and share Him in practical ways with everyone they come in contact with. I am even blessed by the inheritance of two more sons through their marriage to my daughters, and their love of Jesus as well!
I know that it is a very hard job to be a mom. I believe it’s the hardest job in the whole world, because it is a job of sacrifice, of laying down your life and selfish desires, for that short period of time that they are on loan to you from God.
Be encouraged by grace that if you mess up, God can help you, all you need to do is ask. Also be willing to be a partner to your children’s dad. You were not meant to parent alone. But if you are alone, be sure to find support from others. Be a praying mom above all and seek God’s wisdom in how to be the best mom you can. There is room for failure. Be transparent and admit those failures at appropriate times, but never give up. Keep your wits about you and remain calm and in control of yourself as much as possible!
If you didn’t feel loved by the mom God gave you, be sure to be the mom that your children need. You can stop generations of abuse, neglect, or abandonment and the pain that it causes within one generation, with strength from God, perseverance and help from others.
If you always wanted to be a mom, but can’t be, find someone to be a “mom” to. There is someone out there who needs the love that you have to offer. Happy Mother’s Day dear friend and woman of God!
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:26-29 ESV)