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Posted in Hymn, Psalm

Psalms to Hymns to Rock Bands …

While writing today’s blog, which should be posted soon, I stumbled on the website twoagespilgrims.com. The title intrigued me and thinking I would find a great article to reference, I was shocked at the closed mind. I am sharing this because it fits with our current topic and because I would like to hear your feedback about this as well.

I posted my response to the article From Psalms to Hymns to Rock Bands To … there, but I would prefer you put your responses here.

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Posted in Abba, Christ, Faith, God, Hymn, Psalm, Seek Christ

Faithful Rejoicing

Our last post I asked you all to tell me what you would like for us to talk about. I asked to find out what you are hungry for, or as a seeker you don’t know, or as an unbeliever you want to disprove, or you just want to talk about. I was surprised the only answers I got were the Book of Psalm and the topic of Hymns; two things that go very well together since Psalms are poems and hymns of their time. They are also a source of many hymns over the last two thousand plus years, and music is a good gift from God!

Elisha responded, “As the Lord of Hosts lives, I stand before Him. If I did not have respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would not look at you; I wouldn’t take notice of you.  Now, bring me a musician.” While the musician played, the Lord’s hand came on Elisha.  2 Kings 3:14-15

Then David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their relatives as singers and to have them raise their voices with joy accompanied by musical instruments—harps, lyres, and cymbals.   1 Chronicals 15:16

Over the last few days I have been thinking, listening to music, and praying about what is next for us. A recent sermon Agape for Sinners got the wheels turning. Within a couple of days I began an online bible study with an soldier overseas on the topic of Revelation. I’m including the links in case you’re curious and want to experience the same thing.

Back to Agape, the love of God, or more correctly defined as the “is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”. If you are a believer, try to explain your love of God to another, not your faith, but your love! The first time I seperated the two, it was an overwhelming AHA moment about how we were to place Him in our lives. It’s also when I stopped looking at Him as God and Father, things in my life that really had no meaning, and saw Him as ABBA, Daddy. Though I didn’t know what daddy was, when I met Daddy, I got it. If you don’t know Him yet, perhaps the next few days will help that.

Long story, sorry, just want to make sure you don’t get lost on the journey. When you experience agape and you meet Abba, you find out what faith and faithfulness means and you rejoice, as David taught us, in poetry and music, about the God you gave you life, love, promises fulfilled, and eternal life. David put the psalms down, God set the example for us to follow.

May the Lord be praised, for He has wonderfully shown His faithful love to me in a city under siege.  Psalm 31:21 (HCSB)

But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.  Psalm 52:8 (HCSB)

For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.  Psalm 100:5 (HCSB)

He is my faithful love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in Him; He subdues my people under me.  Psalm 144:2 (HCSB)

All of us experience a point in our belief life where we doubt God. We ask Him why. Some, like me, have had long, argumentativee, in your face talks with Him about why was he doing “THIS TO ME”, “WHAT HAD I DONE” and let’s not forget the “WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS”, or the normal teenage response to parent, “I HATE YOU”.  Very few will confess they ever said this last one. I remember be 10, 11 & 12-years old and more than once saying it when issues when my mother came up. Talk about guilt later, but I’m forgiven.

As I grew up, in age and in Christ; and as you will if you’ve not done so already, I learned the following lesson.

You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, …      1 Peter 1:6-8 (HCSB)

Our struggles make us strong, strong in character, faith and in our determination to sing praises, to share hymns, and to pass out psalms. I don’t know how this topic will go on, but faith, hymns and psalms are wonderfully, interlaced, hilly journies. Feel free to share your journies too.

Be blessed!

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Posted in God

Survey – Please Reply

What topics would you like to hear about?

Is there a particular Book of the Bible you might want us to review?

While I lift the blog up to God each day before I start to type, I also feel that we can reach out to others by expanding some. I want your thoughts about where you want to see this go so you can share this with others to bless them?

Blessings to each of you.

Deb

 

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Posted in God, Lord, Seek Christ, Triune God

G-Spot

G-Spot … It’s not what you think! But I’m glad you visited here anyway if you’re here by mistake!

For decades, especially since a lot of studies in the 1950’s and 60’s about what healthy sex was, the g-spot became relegated to the bedroom. Long before that though, and in a much larger presence since, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and religious experts research and teach about the Godspot, a place which has given birth to a science called Neurotheology (new one for me!).

From the National Institute of Health, Neurotheology is “also known as “spiritual neuroscience”1, is an emerging field of study that seeks to understand the relationship between the brain science and religion.2 Scholars in this field, strive up front to explain the neurological ground for spiritual experiences such as “the perception that time, fear or self-consciousness have dissolved; spiritual awe; oneness with the universe.”

Isn’t fascinating that the entire world is seeking a spot where they find what they are looking for?

The music group Anointed released the song Godspot ion their album Anointed in 1999.


Began a new life
Found a love of your own
Got someone by your side
Now you don’t have to be alone
But you find yourself in need
Of more than what they can give
And it’s taking all your strength within
To get them to understand

Well there’s a place within the soul
There’s a place where nobody knows
It’s a place, some they come and go
But no one can fulfill the Godspot
A place (yeah) that’s in demand
Need a lot of love someone to understand
It’s a place where only He can
Cause no one can fulfill the Godspot
(oh, no, no)
Always surrounded
By so many many friends
They were like family, (yeah)
Promised to be there ’till the end
But then you realized you gave
Too much of your heart away
You put all your trust in them
You thought
When everyone has let you down
Remember God, He’ll always be around
And when life seems impossible
Trust in Him, and you will find He’s able
Yes, He’s able, yeah
Yes He is.
I’m trying to say that things and people
Will never satisfy
Cause there is nothing or anyone
Who can take the place of God
No one can fulfill it,
It’s a Godspot, yes it is
No one can take the place of God

(Repeat to fade)

Songwriters: Christopher Dwight Harris / Denise Yvonne Walls

Godspot lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Fun Attic Music, LLC

When we were in the garden, we did not know loneliness; we did not seek God. He though, spoke the words “it is not good for man to live alone” (Gen 2:18). After we are exiled from the garden though, we find out what it means to miss Him, to discover we need Him.  There is no place in the world where man does not seek a higher power; it is only in the home of the Triune God that we find the peace of knowing the hole can be and is filled.

I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
    My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.      Psalm 16:8-11 (NLT)

You have shown me the way of life,
    and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.    Acts 2:28 (NLT)
The G-Spot is not some momentary sexual thing for a person to seek over and over again. Once it’s found, it’s lost until next time and between is loneliness. The Godspot though is permanent. Once accepted into your heart, you no longer have to search because you have been found. Rejoice!
Be Blessed.
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Posted in Faith, God, Prayer, Thankfulness

Prayer

This morning my conversation is with the Holy Spirit (yes I believe there is a two way conversation that happens and no, there’s not necessarily a voice so I don’t need therapy (see Joy Behar)). The reality is, we’ve wandered away from one of the key topics of this blog, prayer. After all, the title does state our two desires, seek and pray. We do a lot of seeking, let’s spend a few days talking about prayer.

First, let’s talk about what prayer is. The Greek word we get it from is παράκληση (prosefchi) meaning request, solicitation, prayer, entreaty, invocation, or rogation. Thank you Google Translate for this information.

It is my view that we can see an evolution of prayer in the Old Testament until we get to Jesus’ teachings. In the beginning, Adam and Eve had a one-on-one face-to-face relationship with their Creator. They had no need to ask for anything, He had already provided. They just walked and talked. Enjoyed the amazing beauty of His work. How cool would that be!!!! Then we manage, as humans do, to screw it up, and bite the wrong thing and run away and hide. We stop talking, stop telling the truth. Until it comes out, either on it’s own or because it’s uncovered some other way; and with discovery comes consequence. We know longer get to talk to God, our friend, Creator, Abba as we had. How now?

Using BibleGateway.com, I discovered the word prayer does not appear in any version of the Bible until Genesis 20:7. While I found this interesting, the behavior of prayer throughout the Old Testament (OT) was the people would take their concerns, requests, and praises to a prophet or priest and with a sacrifice to God he would present it. Conversation was not two way always. Life was legalistic. People were told do this and you will make God happy and He will keep you. Blessedly, David, even before becoming a King, showed us a better way (he’s not the only one, but a prominent one). He sang! He played instruments! He danced! He rejoiced! He wrote poems! He talked with God, seeking answers, expecting to hear Him, faithfully (usually) waiting. The Book of Psalms shares all this with as.

Wait a minute! Sing? Dance? Play music? Rejoice? Isn’t all of the just shameful? Even David’s wife Mical challenges this (2 Samuel 6:20)! David basically tells her to get over herself. The love of God and the thanksgiving of His gifts are something to be celebrated, not hidden. We should be loud about our love of God, not silenced.

I’ll finish today with my two favorite thoughts on prayer. First, there are some awesome music groups out there with great music about prayer. Some of my favorites are Renew Me and The Creed by Avalon, Listen to the Sound by Building 429, and Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood. Those are but a few that come to mind quickly. Eden’s Bridge, for KING AND COUNTRY, Mandisa, Mercy Me, and Out of Eden are other groups that have fantastic music for praying!

Psalm 16:1 says, “Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You”. what a declaration! If we can make this statement, then we need to also be able to follow 2 Chronicles 7:14 :

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)

Heavenly Father, hear our cry, we reach out to you now. Let us, as we walk together, learn to talk with you consistently, learn to listen to you, learn to humbly but boldly follow you. Be with us and our loved ones, protecting us from the evils of this world, comforting us in the knowledge that you are carrying us through whatever our journey is. Thank you Father. Amen.

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Posted in Call, Christ, Disciple, Faith, God, Passion, Prayer, Seek Christ, Serve, Triune God, worship

Where is Church?

Why this question?

In looking around the blog world the other day, I stumbled on a blog by Michelle Lesley. It is well written and thought out but definitely not in line with how I interpret  the teachings within Timothy’s. No problem, 1 John 4:1 tells us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”.  I’m not saying Michelle is a false prophet. I am saying that I (we) are to test what we read and hear against God’s word. Not to challenge it or argue against it, but to ensure we are believing, following, sharing, teaching and preaching the right message.

Christ himself gave us an example of how we are to have this conversation in Acts 19:8 when he entered the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus: “Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things of the kingdom of God.”

In a nutshell she was discussing the role of women in the church, which is not what we’ll talk about today. In a brief exchange between us, I asked “If you believe 100% what you have written here, then you believe 100% what you have taught, proselytized, preached (different people will apply different words to what we bloggers do) here. How does your work here not go against what you have said the Bible does? ” Her response took me back, “The instruction is that women are not to preach to, teach Scripture to, or exercise authority over men in the church. A blog is not the church.”

What is Church?

I have written about this before (Where We Gather and Here & Now – Worship) as this question as well as what is worship are ones far too many of us do not understand or experience.

A quick survey of a variety of versions of the Bible show that the word church shows up a little over 100 times in the New Testament. When God talks about the church with us, He is not talking about the man made denominations we’ve created, He’s talking about His people. In the Old Testament, church did equal the Temple and people were expected to gather there for sacrifices and teachings (the men anyway). But in the New Testament, Christ changes this format. The Bible does give references to congregations, but those are congregations of cities or communities, not a physical institution. So, what is church?

For the purist among you, the word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia meaning ‘assembly’ or ‘called out ones’.

First of all, we need to understand that the church is Christ:

“He is also the head of the body, the church;”.   Col 1:24 (HCSB)

Then we need to understand that church is a place of gathering, but it is a place where two or more gather.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Matt 18:20 (HCSB)

Some would argue that the Holy Spirit being present can be counted as one since He is a participant in prayer; I don’t think this supported biblically but can understand the argument when Christ gives us examples like the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matt 26:36 (HCSB) also Mk 14:32

And when we’re instructed to privately talk with Abba, one-on-one; two are present.

But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret.  Matt 6:5-6 (HCSB)

Christ first mentions the work of building a church in Matthew, but He is not talking about the confining walls of a building, but The Church (of Jesus Christ) full of people.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.  Matt 16:18 (HCSB)

To truly understand what the church is, we must go to the Book of Acts and recognize some major shifts in societal and physical behaviors. One of the largest is the clarity of the message that no one is excluded.

The Disciples were baptized by The Holy Spirit and received His power (Acts 1:8).
Women were included in acts and in gifts. (Acts 1:14, 2:17,18)
Pentecost brought the time of speaking in tongues so the Word of God would be heard by so many more. (Acts 2:4)
One expectation was laid out for followers, REPENT.  (Acts 2-38-40)
A picture of church is presented, people who devote themselves to learning, gathering, breaking of bread (eating) with a joyful and humble attitude, and praising. (Acts 2:42,46)

With all of this, we can now go to the question, are we on this blog, a church? Are we discussing, teaching, preaching, sharing, learning and supporting each other in the name of Christ? Are we asking questions to ensure what we learn is true? Does this technology allow us to find God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? I believe so and I believe I am responsible for each person who reads or shares this.

What I do not believe is that this makes me the head of a church or places me over any man who may be reading this. Just as women were including in the act of praying in the upper room, teaching in homes throughout Acts and receiving calls directly to guide others, they were not the head of their churches; they were answering God’s call to teach, proselytize, praise, whatever their gift was.

After Michelle and I chatted, I searched out many more blogs and websites hosted by women Christians and I was astonished at how many did not accept responsibility, most saying (in various ways), ‘I can not control who reads what I write’ and ‘if a man chooses to read my writings that is on him’. Really? How is ones accountability for what one shares with one gender any different than the other?

I stand in my conclusion that, I am a Disciple and it is my humble prayer that God uses me, through the Holy Spirit, to reach out to anyone who knows or does not know Him who saves us all, and provides either encouragement or hunger for their own walk with the Triune God. I know I am challenged when I sit down and do this blog for fear of false teachings [2 Peter 2:1]. I humbly pray if any of you ever feel I am guilty, you hold a conversation here with me so we all may grow.


FYI: Those of you that have followed me for a while know I use a multitude of versions of the Bible. I do this for two reasons; one, some versions have wording that is easier to understand and two, to help show that although the words may be in a different order, the meaning is the same. Currently I’m using The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)).