You Be You

After a great visit with my 4 daughters there was one resounding theme that kept ringing out and true

“You do you.” 

As we grow and mature we all very quickly realize that we can not control other people. The hard thing is not letting them try to control us. 

Life is hard enough, getting to know ourselves & being comfortable in our own skin, let alone trying to deflect what others try to project onto us so we can reflect our loving Creator.

This devoted thought is from:  day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “Creation Festival – Creation Festival Playlist.” 

As you read this consider letting God’s Holy Spirit guide and direct who you really are…

Artist “V Rose” Song: No Better U background

Ever take drama class in high school? No, I didn’t ask you if your high school feels like a never-ending class full of drama – I mean acting, and theater class. For some of you this may have been a long time ago, and others, that was literally today.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty fun getting to act, be goofy, and play the character of someone else for a short time. But the truth is, if you had to play that character on a daily basis, like… forever, it would probably get pretty tiring.

The sad thing is, that many of us, whether we realize it or not, find ourselves playing a part that isn’t really us. Trying to be someone we’re not. 

Maybe we’re trying to act like we have it all together, when inside we’re breaking. 

Maybe we’re trying to pretend like everything is awesome in your relationship (dating or marriage), and yet things couldn’t be worse. 

It’s exhausting trying to wear a mask of perfection.

Note: being vulnerable and honest is okay.

I love where it says in the Psalms that we are “fearfully, and wonderfully made”. 

Now maybe those words don’t exactly resonate when you hear them, so let me say it like this, 

“you were carefully created, to be you!”.

 In fact, when God made you, He sat back and said to himself, “wow, that’s some good work there!”. 

Did you know God is actually proud of you? Even at your messiest, God still looks at you with joy, because God doesn’t create mistakes, and his work is never flawed.

Wherever you’re at today, and however you may feel about yourself, God created YOU to be YOU.

 He doesn’t want you to be anyone else, but yourself. 

He thinks you’re rad, He thinks you’re beautiful, and He believes that you have PURPOSE. 

Rest in the fact today, that nobody can play the part of YOU better than YOU. 

So, let’s stop trying to be someone else, and start playing the role that we were born to play, ourselves.

Scripture: O Lord , you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! 

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!

 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. 

To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.

 Every day of my life was recorded in your book. 

Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! 

And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Psalms 139:1‭-‬18 NLT

http://bible.com/116/psa.139.1-18.NLT

Go with God.

Song by V Rose, “No Better U”: 

https://youtu.be/oDJ2ogGrclk

Note, this devoted thought is from:  day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “Creation Festival – Creation Festival Playlist.” Check it out here:
http://bible.com/r/Fv

The Greatest Command

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 

And he said to him, 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34‭-‬40 ESV

http://bible.com/59/mat.22.34-40.ESV

If you accomplish nothing else today if you can

 love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind

you will do well.

It’s A Drummer Thing (MUSICAL EXPRESSION)

I am well aware that many people will not enjoy or understand this particular post and the featured video.

That is okay.

Having watched the video I wanted to be sure to add it to my blog personally because it speaks & touches me.

Many musicians and those who truly appreciate music will watch the whole thing and see intricacies and techniques many would other wise miss.

Without any more commentary…

Watch “Meinl Cymbals – Aric Improta – “Blur-Lights in the Videodrome”” on YouTube

Memorable

In the description area of the video they noted that before the festival Aric performed this 40 minute solo at he rehearsed it 100 times in a row. He said he wanted to not only commit it to memory but be as prepared as possible for anything that might go on.

I believe musical expression can come from deep within one’s soul. We may not understand or enjoy the taste of some styles of music but that shouldn’t lead us to judging that person’s character and interest.

Music is so much more than just noise and for the person playing it a means of deepest expression.

Here is one more musical piece, also by Aric that I truly enjoy:

 https://youtu.be/F5EBI7_FW4k

Who Do You Trust?

Thus says the Lord : “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord . He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord , whose trust is the Lord . He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:5‭-‬9 ESV

http://bible.com/59/jer.17.5-9.ESV

As I read Psalm 33 I was reminded where my help truly comes from and it reinforced to me that The Lord is the only one I can truly trust: 

The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 

The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. 

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. 

Our soul waits for the Lord ; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 

Let your steadfast love, O Lord , be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalms 33:16‭-‬22 ESV

http://bible.com/59/psa.33.16-22.ESV

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jhn.14.1.NLT

More Than Noise…LOVE

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  1 Corinthians 13:1 NLT

http://bible.com/116/1co.13.1.NLT

Holy Scripture: 

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. 

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 

Note: what better place to go, what better place to visit, check out and remain than The Word of God? There is no better source to find out what “real love” is than God’s Word. Hete is what God says love is and what love is not…

  • Love never gives up. 
  • Love cares more for others than for self. 
  • Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. 
  • Love doesn’t strut, 
  • Doesn’t have a swelled head, 
  • Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” 
  • Doesn’t fly off the handle, 
  • Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 
  • Doesn’t revel when others grovel, 
  • Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
  • Puts up with anything, 
  • Trusts God always, 
  • Always looks for the best, 
  • Never looks back, But 
  • keeps going to the end. 
  • Love never dies. 

Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. 

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. 

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! 

We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: 

  1. Trust steadily in God, 
  2. hope unswervingly, 
  3. love extravagantly. 

And the best of the three is love.

1 Corinthians 13:1‭-‬13 MSG

http://bible.com/97/1co.13.1-13.MSG

Reference: day 3 of the @YouVersion Plan The Middle Seat Devo. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/n4

For more from Pedo go to: http://pedrolatorre.com/

Faith Check

He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
John 6:6 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jhn.6.6.NLT 

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 

Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”  He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. 

So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. 

Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”  So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves. 

When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”  When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

John 6:1‭-‬15 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jhn.6.1-15.NLT

As i walk with The Lord i am constantly finding that He sends situations my way to test my faith in Him. Every situation & circumstance is an opportunity for me to either trust in my own doing or depend on Him more and let Him handle things.

As i walk with Him may i prove faithful and fully rely on Him.

Quiet Time

Quiet down before God , be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.
Psalm 37:7 MSG

http://bible.com/97/psa.37.7.MSG

But even there, if you seek God , your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God , your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God , your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.

Deuteronomy 4:29‭-‬31 MSG

http://bible.com/97/deu.4.29-31.MSG

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

Matthew 6:6 MSG

http://bible.com/97/mat.6.6.MSG

Taking time to be still & ponder God will, without a doubt, strengthen our foundation and help us mature in our relationship with Him.

For each person this devoted time may look different but there is no doubt of its value.

There are plenty of books and reading plans available but I personally find that reading His Word directly & writing blog post helps me the most.

As I read & writing I have to put all other distractions away.

May we all make time for God and go to His Word as we continue to encourage one another.

Temporary Things

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
John 6:27 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jhn.6.27.NLT

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: 

 

 

 

 

 

Believe in the one he has sent.”

They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.  The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 

“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me.  However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.  For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.  And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.  For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” 

Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”  

They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 

But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said.  For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.  

As it is written in the Scriptures, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ 

Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.  (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.) 

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.  

Yes, I am the bread of life!  Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died.  Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.  

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” 

Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked. 

So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.  But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day.  

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.  

I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 

 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them,

 “Does this offend you?  

Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 

 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. 

And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  

But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 

Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God. ”

John 6:28‭-‬69 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jhn.6.28-69.NLT 

Song by The D&K Band “Temporary Things”:


Beginning of A Year, End of a Rope

Notes from:Jesus Is Enough  (day 7 of the @YouVersion Plan The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late And You’re Never Too Far.) 

https://youtu.be/sGJBsmZdgnc

We read many stories about people successfully overcoming obstacles as part of their comeback process. A person goes from hurting to healed, from sorrow to joy, from loss to gain. 

These stories are powerful and encouraging. But…

 what do we do when an earthly comeback is not possible? 

What do we do when a loved one has died, or a business is gone, or a divorce is final? 

What do we do when the reality is that our situation will not resolve in this life?

For an answer we can turn to God’s Word, the story of Elijah and the widow in 1 Kings 17:8–24.

 When the story begins, Elijah had been camping out east of the Jordan River, along the Kerith Ravine, where each day God provided for him. 

In time, however, God told Elijah to travel to Zarephath, where a widow would take care of him. 

This widow wasn’t rich—we can see that right away from the text. She had one son, and their food was also running dangerously low.

The prophet found the widow and asked for a little water in a jar and a bit of bread.

 “Well why not,” she said, or words to that effect. “All I’ve got left is a handful of flour at home and a little cooking oil in a jar. I’m going to use these little scrubby sticks I’m collecting to build a fire when I get home. I’m going to use these last scrapings of my oil and flour to bake one last tiny meal for me and my son. We’re going to eat that, and then we’re going to die. 

You want the last of my food? Why not? If I give it to you, then all that does is hasten the end of our misery.”

Have you ever been there?

 At the end of your rope? 

How crazy does it sound that when we are at our absolute lowest, God asks for something from us? 

He invites us to give him our last meal. Do you know what that meal represents? It’s our full trust. 

Dependenceville

When we are at our absolute lowest and weakest, Jesus invites us to hand him everything we have left. 

He invites us to give him our little, whatever our little is. When we give away our little, we place our full confidence in him.

In the widow’s case, when she did as Elijah had told her, there was food every day for Elijah and for her and her son. 

The jar of flour was not used up, and the jug of oil did not run dry. She gave away all she had, and she ended up with much more. 

When Jesus is enough in our lives, 

  • we focus on what we have, not on what we don’t have
  • We bless God and don’t curse him.
  •  We gaze intently on God and run to him, not away from him.
  • We believe God and don’t doubt him, even though we don’t understand our circumstances. 
  • We ask him to take the half of us that’s left and make that everything he wants us to be. 

When we have no comeback, the comeback is that Jesus is enough.

Respond

What can we learn from the widow’s example in this story about trusting God with our resources, giving all we have to him, and stepping out in faith?

When it comes to the problems you face, how can offering Jesus all that you have be part of God’s solution?

How has Jesus revealed to you that he is a firm foundation in the midst of the storm? How has he revealed to you that he is enough?

God’s Word: The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.

1 Corinthians 12:9‭-‬10 NLT

http://bible.com/116/1co.12.9-10.NLT

For the full @YouVersion Plan “The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late And You’re Never Too Far.”  Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/VK





Rock Music Claiming The Real Rock

I watched all three parts of a series called “The Decilne of Western Civilization” where they documented how Punk, heavy metal and other forms of Rock music have effected young people in society.

For me I saw & heard the message main stream rock music was putting out from the start; however, I also discovered believers in Christ who expressed Jesus’ views for life. These people had the same talent, if not better than, the most popular bands that were getting radio play or listened to underground.

The documentary, “The Decline of Western Civilization” did not interview any of the Christian artist or bands and just focused and the negative artist who spouted out and encouraged unrighteous rebellion rather than righteous anger and the good new of Jesus Christ.

 I’d like to share here Daniel Band. The following song is a perfect example of expression through rock music: 

https://youtu.be/wMwreNDNeP0

Here is the scripture behind the song:

After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. ” So he named him Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty ; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him. Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
Genesis 35:9‭-‬15 NIV

http://bible.com/111/gen.35.9-15.NIV

Christian artist took a lot of flack and even persecution back in the early days of Christian Rock (when it all started and rock music in general was a new form of musical style). Most of the persecution was actually from religious people who judged the outward look of the artist and music without considering the deeper internal message, meaning and worth.

I’m not going to start listing all the pioneers and first Rock artist who let the Word of God be the source for their songs but the band Petra was among them. They not only shared The Gospel of Jesus Christ, they truly lived it out and encouraged their listeners to do the same. 

In this song they express how it is not the container that matters but the creator. 

Some thought, and some still do think, that the music itself was/is evil. I’m not sure if the philosophy came from observing certain “Rock Stars” who encouraged a selfish life style in contrast and contending what Jesus practiced & preached or if it was just a general hate for a certain style of music that was new at the time and not enjoyed or accepted by all.

Petra rendered this song, “God gave Rock ‘n Roll To You” as a reminder that God is the creator of music and it can be enjoyed but to never forget the source…

Here is the lyrics to, “God Gave Rock And Roll To You” by Petra

LYRICS

God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you 
Put it in the soul of everyone. 
God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you 
Put it in the soul of everyone.

You can learn to dance 
Or you can be a square 
You can let the music take you anywhere 
But where will you be when the music’s gone?

You can learn to sing 
You can play guitar 
You can learn to rock 
You can be a star 
But where will you be when the music’s gone?

If you love the sound 
Then don’t forget the source 
You can turn around, 
You can change your course, 
‘Cause it’s never too late to change your mind.

You can love the rock 
And let Him free your soul 
Or you can let the old man take his toll 
It’s never too late to change your mind.

Songwriters: Russ Ballard

God Gave Rock And Roll To You lyrics © Marquis Songs Usa

In 2018 now we can enjoy all kinds of styles of music and we see and hear more and more artist who are not affraid to take The Gospel of Jesus Christ and share it in song. What ever genre you like you can find an artist that shares their faith in and through that style of music.

 It seems so logical and clear to me that the style of music isn’t good or bad, righteous or unrighteous, it all comes down to the person sharing what is meaningful to them. If drugs, sex and money are their god they are going to share that in song. If God is the love of their life they are going to share His love & message in the song style they enjoy.

I still can’t believe how certain styles of music are deemed inappropriate. I still don’t fully understand why most music with a message about Christ isn’t acceptable in mainstream music while a diary of a mad man or songs about running with the devil & being on the highway to hell are popular but then again, that is the way of the world…which I will live in but don’t have to  be part of.