Music Matters

I was a teen when MTV was introduced. I love music it brings joy to my day. For this reason, I love to share songs most weeks on my blog that have impacted my life. In our current generation with YouTube, Spotify, Sirius radio, and even the standard FM radio, the access points are endless. I was blessed to see We the Kingdom in concert and they were amazing.

We The Kingdom concert by MM

Music can soothe, can pump ya up as you get ready to play a sport, bring you down with lyrics that express despair, or just get your feet tapping. Music can bring flash photographs of the first times you heard a song or a season of your life. Parenting and music go hand in hand. I love to share my love of music with my kids and remind them the best music was in the 80s :). I use instrumental or classical music for homework or stressful times.

Lyrics to songs add intensity and address the human condition. Somehow the singer expresses your inner emotions better than you could. Sometimes their despair is catching especially when you are a teen in angst. Sometimes their joy can fill your heart and mind with peace.

Did you know there are men and women in the Bible that love music? In fact, we are called to sing songs and dance with joy. When we choose this action, we feel calmer, more energetic, more peaceful. Our bodies were made for the beat.

There are many scriptures that reference music and instruments. 1 Chronicle 13 shares a time David and all Israel celebrated before God in songs and with musical instruments.

1 Chronicle 13:8 David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He was known for his love of music. The Book of Psalms has many of David’s songs written on many human emotions, he is able to express times of hopelessness, depression, sadness, fear, and joy. Psalms is a great place in the Bible to feel a connection to God regardless of the days’ events. You will feel understood and like David you will see how he processed despair and came to the knowledge of the Lord and their amazing loving relationship as the answer.

Psalm 42:8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

Psalm 66:4 Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.

Psalm 98 beautifully expresses singing to a new level. It describes victory and love for God’s people and even describes the earth singing and making music. I was in awe as I read this psalm. Take a moment to ponder its words written by David.

Psalm 98

1 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

Have you ever wondered why you love music? It started at Creation. It is a God-given gift. Just imagine the sea, the earth, and every living thing praises their Creator.

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Visualize the river clapping in glee. Beautiful creation resonates with their own sounds. I see that smile forming on your face. Find joy, dance if you wish, and Praise Him.

Let me know if you found these amazing scriptures as fascinating as I.

Colorado: Beauty for ashes

If there is one thing I have learned about my home state, Colorado it is resilience. The climate is desert like in the foothills especially this past year. The prairie grasses were crispy dry, yellow and trees were increasingly parched. We needed water, rain, snow and precipitation.

Last week, the rest of the country saw what can happen when our hurricane winds mix with a spark of fire. The remnants of burned out or destroyed to the ground homes / businesses along with thick smoke and ash hung in the air. We may not be California but we have forest fires and prairie fires.

I know friends who lost everything. Please continue to pray for the victims of the Colorado fires, pray for the towns of Superior and Louisville, there are many families in need.

Grateful to live in a community that is resilient, compassionate and will love their neighbor by serving those in crisis.

The power of nature is amazing, destructive and will bring new life. In the meantime, I leave you with a snapshot from my area. The beautiful morning on a Colorado farm, peace in the vision of a palomino horse. Purple,pink skies and purple mountains majesty are the reward for those who reside in our state. We are a place of beauty from the ashes.

Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

We will rebuild. We will be renewed. We are Colorado strong, our state motto is “Nothing without Providence”. May there truly be beauty for ashes. Appreciate your lifting up prayer.

Butterfly reflections

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This is not a blog on keeping New Year’s resolutions. I have always broken them within the first week. I wouldn’t stress you out about the need for perfection. It is an unreachable goal for me, so I kick that thought to the curb.

However, I do believe that a new year brings us to a place of reflection. Reflection is good for everyone it can bring new hope, life, and renewal.

Synonyms of reflection: consideration, contemplation, rumination, musing, meditation, brooding

There are a myriad of synonyms for reflection some seem more optimistic and some seem dark and depressing like brooding or rumination. When we brood like a chicken or ruminate in a cyclical way during reflection it seems to tie us in knots or upset the chicken coop.

I have seen the pecking order of our Clucky ladies, the chickens. They get along well for the most part but when one of them is brooding, refusing to get off the egg she lays then she gets cranky and unreasonable. The other chickens leave her be for a while. When days later she still is squawking and refuses to move they act. They see her losing weight and becoming weak their actions start encouraging her by not eating all the grain and making other high-pitched noises at her. That’s what a good chicken sister does.

An example of positive reflection is musing, contemplation, and reviewing the past. Our good choices, faults, and decisions can lead to success or more struggle. This type of reflection is a healing, meaningful process. It gives us a chance to reconsider what we will do in the future year. Change is not something to fear but to embrace. Think of a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly.

Having friends to speak the truth, encourage us and be our shoulder to cry on increases the likelihood of our sticking to changing behaviors. We can be that person for others and increase our happier days. We cross paths with many people throughout the day that may need a new friend. Coffee shops can be a place to start a conversation. It is stepping out of our comfort zone.

Gratitude and renewal are 2021 words for me. Blogging was way out of my comfort zone. Sharing insight with people across the world was been my reward. Being in the Christian mommas team to write blows me away, I am humbled. Friends in Portugal, Ireland, England, New Zealand, Africa, Isreal, and more countries beyond the United States brings us together. Meeting like-minded people is a double blessing and being out of my cocoon of comfort brings freedom. Thank you to those along this journey!

So let us celebrate 2022! May it be a year of new beginnings, new healthy self-care, encouragement by our friends and family, and transformation.

Dump the old patterns (sometimes it may mean developing new friendships), and get ready for a new life. Be a butterfly: free to fly, roam and soar to new heights. Plant seeds of peace in your life where you can.

James 3:17-18 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Be ready to harvest new righteousness, let your reflections be in Christ. New year, new opportunities abound. Take a chance to bring in the new year with a new or renewed relationship with Jesus.

Footprints and Music

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Our footprints are a metaphor for a step of faith, life, and grief as we journey. We are born for a purpose. As the new year comes, step into the footprints of a God who is merciful and kind. It will transform your life.

Grief and loss can bring our steps in line with our Creator.

Ephesians 2: 4-10    4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2: 8 – 10 tells us we are God’s workmanship, created to do amazing things.

We are called to share what we learn as we walk on this planet. Jesus believes in our impact as we walk the path He leads.

You may have lost someone this year: a sudden death, a prolonged illness, a trauma, whatever the cause. We have all lost at least one person we loved. We may have had grief as a result of lost dreams for ourselves or family. Grief is tough, every journey is different, but we can’t sit too long.

We have to be “The Commission”, as the band We the Kingdom shares in this song. We must tell others about the hope of eternity found in Jesus. Death, the goodbye is not the end.

May this song, “The Commission” and the coming 2022, be a journey of stepping into faith with Jesus or renewing your walk. You are a Masterpiece.

As you grieve, Jesus grieves with you. Did you know the shortest scripture, John 11:35, in the Bible is, Jesus wept? He grieved for a friend lost too soon. He came to this world to gain knowledge of being human. He knows all our emotions.

Your life story has a purpose and can help others. Go tell someone about Him.

Bright Morning Star

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Where are you fixing your eyes? Is it in anticipation of the Bright Morning Star and the remembrance of Jesus at Christmas? Scripture tells us Jesus is the Bright Morning Star.

My fascination with astronomy, NOT astrology has been increased this year. I have been blessed to hear a few sermons on astronomy from our pastor.  He has opened my mind to the word of God and the many places scripture supports the specific placement of stars in the sky. However, we are not to worship the stars but the One who made them.

Deuteronomy 4:19 

19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon, and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

When I ponder on the true meaning of Christmas, I am amazed to think that God placed the stars in the sky and He named each one of them They worship Him. My small human mind can’t compute this truth. This is another opportunity to dig into the Bible and ask Him to show me and you.

 Genesis 14: 14 – 19   And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

Psalm 147: 4   He (God) determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Psalm 19: 1 – 8

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice[
b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.

The angel spoke to John, the apostle, and showed him things to come. This is a prophecy of Jesus coming to earth.

Revelation 22:16   Jesus said, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

When we consider baby Jesus coming to the world as a baby in a manager, we always remember the Star of Bethlehem that shined. It was a revelation of lighting the way for Jesus coming and drew shepherds, wise men, townspeople, and even Kings to see what was revealed in the darkness.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the Light. He is the Bright Morning Star!

His statutes are trustworthy, right and give joy to the heart. Joy to the World.

Websites for Astronomy and Biblical wisdom: Click the links below. The Home button will get you to Bethlehemstar.com and the second link is to The Gospel in the Stars message by Pastor Matthew. Be amazed at our amazing Creator!

bethlehemstar.com

Thursday Thanks (Music) – Weary? Be inspired!

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Weary, by definition, means feeling tired or worn out. The state of our world, COVID, the economy, parenting in a culture that seeks to destroy, encourage weariness. Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, being creative. Being stuck is not a destination.

Trusting in the One who created you to be faithful is not easy. You do not have to travel alone. Hold on, and reach out to God. He stands waiting for your extended hand. When you are tired, carry on.

We were born to be a Light to others but first, we need to be connected to the source of Light, Our Savior, Jesus.

I made this statement to dear friends this week, “Do you ever feel like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego from the Bible story?” Life brings challenges, heaped with more coal to stoke the fiery furnace of daily living. The three young men did the unthinkable. They would not bow to the ruler of that day. They sought after the Lord.

They were strong in their faith, they stepped into the furnace with their faith, even though the furnace was stoked with extra coals they were not burned. Instead, a fourth person was seen standing with them. He was Jesus.

Daniel 3
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.


28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Being steadfast in handing your will, your plans over to the Lord’s plan is the key. You don’t need to be a weary traveler. Ask Jesus to be your Compass as you walk this life.

We are like the trio of young men. Except in our case, we are the “ME, Myself and I” that is in the furnace. Stand firm in your faith in the Lord!

Thank you for this song, ” Weary Traveler” by Jordan St. Cyr. I love when a song reminds you to stand firm in the Lord.

Being human and a parent at these Covid times make you weary. Fix your eyes on Jesus as you have times in the fiery furnace. Even in our day, Jesus does show up to provide wisdom and His shining Light.

It may feel whatever we are facing is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. 

Find hope not in yourself, but in Your God.

Steps to the Heart

Understanding that we can not do life alone is not a weakness. When we reach out to the Creator God, He will strengthen our mind, body, and soul. He awaits our voice. The Shephard knows His Sheep. We need His help. Our hearts need repair.

My pastor shared the ABCD Steps of Faith, they really helped me to visualize my individual steps. I needed to consider where I need to make changes.

ABCD Steps of Faith:

As it is written in the Bible, we are called to seek Him in His Word,

Believe He is who He says He is, even if we have doubt we still must stand firm.

Call out our sin and ask Jesus forgiveness, also, Call His scriptures as truth until we can fully walk in faith. (Faith is not something we may visualize as evident, it is deep in the soul commitment.)

The next step is to Do what He calls you to do. Take the steps He calls you to, if it is His plan, He will see you to it.

1, There are many people standing firm in their faith in Jesus that are being persecuted across the world. We must pray for their deliverance to the shelter of the Almighty God.

2. We must pray for others, praise the Lord even if times can be dark. He is the Light in the darkness.

3. When we see a need, we must intercede. Help each other as Jesus is our helper.

4. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straigh
t.

5. Faith over fear is the answer. Be strong with Jesus Christ. He will give you courage.

Deuteronomy 31:6  So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Praising the Lord deepens our heartstrings to His. He created us. He wants us to draw into a relationship with Him (The Triune: God, the Father, Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit)

Heartstrings by MM

It is a free will choice, not a demand. He started with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They broke the human relationship when they ate the apple of the Tree of Wisdom. It is the orginal sin. The snake (the devil) tempted the couple to choose more wisdom than God. The same is true today, we are all tempted by something.

Jesus is the answer the bridge for our relationship with God. He took on all of our sin. He loves His children. He was a living sacrifice.

We must make an individual choice for Jesus. He wants to hold your hand and be on your journey. Let His Peace, His Wisdom, His plan unfold in your life as you seek Him. Consider reading Hebrews 10. It may answer some of your questions.

Zach Williams, a Christian music artist has many awesome songs with messages of transformation, forgiveness, turning to Jesus, learning from your past mistakes. Heaven Help Me really spoke to my soul this week. In humility, Jesus is the only One who can truly help and guide any of His people.

We do not have to be perfect before we take the steps to Jesus. He is the only one who is perfect. Let the lyrics flow over you and seek Jesus. Let Him give you the words as you submit to His authority. He will help you. You are not alone.

If any of the songs I have posted have been a help to you, please let me know. May the praise of the Lord bring hope and encouragement.

Hebrews 10: 19 - 25 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Horse bits and Sparks

Relationship by MM

Is it me or do you feel as if there’s more grumbling and complaining lately than people speaking life and joy to each other? Scripture tells us the grumbling and complaining are not from the Lord and the more we grumble the more discontented and unhappy that we feel.

It could be in our community, it could be in the schools, in politics, and within the church, the attempt of dividing people who are created in the image of God is increasing. Can you relate? It is our own selfish nature that wants to be heard, or have the last word. We can speak without thinking and cause a forest fire.

James 3:2   Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

Yes, another blog post on self-control, do we speak life or do we speak death? The tongue is to be used to speak life. In the Book of James, we are reminded the tongue has the potential to speak wonderful blessings or even curses.

James 3:7 - 10   People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. 

The tongue is defined, in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as, “a fleshy movable muscular process of the floor of the mouths..the human speech organ”, or “manner or quality of utterance with respect to tone or sound, the sense of what is expressed, or the intention of the speaker”. What is our intention when we speak?

In the Bible, James chapter 3 is full of wisdom regarding the tongue and learning self-control. It describes the rudder of a ship and the bit within a horse’s mouth. We have horses, most want to please their owner, however, they also have a stubborn streak and are powerful, majestic animals. The horse can be ridden in a halter when there is a great relationship between horse and rider. When the rider needs to ensure more control of the horse, be it a mountain trail, a cattle drive, or a new rider without a relationship, a bit provides pressure inside the horse’s mouth. Some bits are harsh and cruel while other bits are gentle in pressure.

Horse bits are connected to the reins, the reins provide guidance to the horse for the rider. As our kids were learning to ride, I likened the reins and bit to holding the hand of the horse through its mouth. Our horses wanted to please the rider, my daughter could ride bareback in a halter at times in the fields and at 4 H events because of their healthy relationship.

James 3:3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
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The tongue is one of the smallest muscles in the whole entire body but it can pack a punch or a flame. Why is the tongue a powerful body part? It can hurt or I can heal. It can set your life up for good or create a forest fire, as James shared.

What is your tongue doing today is it providing hope, encouragement, love, teaching, or providing hurt, shame, and guilt? I am checking my own attitude. I want to douse the ashes of conflict and instead pour blessings and life into those I meet. How about you?

A wise elder, your parent or grandparents’ wisdom may have taught deep breathes and counting to ten as a calming technique. It is not just to see if you are smart in math! The pause allows you to reconsider future actions and words you might speak.

James 3: 13 - 18    If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.


17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.


Being a peacemaker is possible if we stop the pride and selfish attitude (sin) and instead seek wisdom from God. It does not mean we let people step on us. We all need a little grace. I open my mouth and insert my foot often.

Wise tips: Listen well. Try to reframe the persons statements back to them. Clarify that you understand what they’re trying to say. Validate their feelings. And then answer softly and slowly. Be mindful of your words, this way you can douse the potential of a flame.

We the Messengers is an awesome Christian music artist because his lyrics give wisdom, he speaks disciplined in love, and this song is awesome!! It just reminds us to keep our eyes focused in the right space. “Come What May” is his most recent song. I saw him in concert, the artist is as humble and gifted as he sounds.

Enjoy your day and join me to stamp out a few fires by watching your words. 🙂

Guard

Fall sunset by Mary Mesikapp

Have you started your day stretching in bed and saying,” this is the day the Lord has made, I will make it a great day.” You flip on your favorite music, do you dance as you get dressed? Next, you grab your favorite beverage, jump in the car, and witness a beautiful sunrise or sunset? I used to work a lot of night shifts. Sunsets and sunrises would send me to work and bring me home with a smile.

However, my mood may change when I turn on the radio and am singing along with a song about broken relationships, depression, anxiety, and other topics that bring me down. Or have you walked into a room with a friend or coworker arguing? The next thing you know, you are feeling less joy. It’s like osmosis, the negative mindset is drawing away your joy.

Guard your heart! There are many voices and visions vying for your attention. It is a constant poke and prod from the enemy to distract. It can be culture, the newest app on your phone, a new entertainment app such as a tv or cable series, and even a new song.

Songs can have a steady, catchy beat, a melody, or percussion that lulls you into a cadence. Before you know it, you are memorizing lyrics and in the groove. Every time the song plays on your favorite radio or music venue you sing along.

You feel connected to the song it doesn’t seem to matter what is the message and thus you are a part of the community, you are trendy. Sometimes you pause to consider lyrics but then the beat picks up again and “who cares, no big deal, it’s just a song….”

Here’s the thing, I have a question, “if Jesus was sitting beside you as you traveled down the road, or danced away in your home, would you still sing the song?”

I find myself more diligent at considering lyrics lately after I heard words from current music. I was blown away at the top hits on multiple music genres. I don’t want to sound like an old curmudgeon, “the music of today, is bad.” Parents of generations past would complain about Elvis, the Beatles, and other classic rock bands were seen as evil. Parents wanted and tried to ban music.

However, Each generation has a need to express themselves. I get it! We have to think for ourselves. We have been given a sound mind. We must use it and not just follow the crowd.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

I think it’s important to teach my kids to learn to discern what comes from their lips in words or songs. I am working through the same needed character development. Yes, I say it again, I am a work in progress.

We must be self-controlled by the Holy Spirit with a sound mind.

Are my words bringing hope or hurt? Am I pausing before I speak? Am I considering the words in songs of my favorite music artists? Those lyrics can affect my emotions and my projection to others. They can speak affirmation or grumble. I believe you can tell by some of my posts, I love music and the messages that they can send to the listener.

Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

I don’t want to deny my kids music but, instead, I want to come alongside them, teach discernment so they can consider what they see and hear, and does it bring life or death? Is it supportive of honoring men and women or is it describing destruction, abuse, and addiction potential?

It is too easy to become desensitized by the beat of a song. When we dismiss the importance of what we say or in this case sing, we become less bothered by the content.

Does the song edify or honor humans created in the Image of God or demean and insult? It is a choice to make. We can change the radio station or choose different songs on our music app. In our present day, we have options to make our own playlists.

Bad character corrupts even in a song. If we sing about the abuse of women or the joy in alcohol and hooking up, we demean and dishonor the purpose of our fellow humans. God wants each of His children to be loved and respected.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

Music, movies, and yes, even, the news can suck the life out of you. You can choose what fills your mind, your ears, your eyes. Guard your heart! Let your words and songs be filled with life.

Psalm 141:3 NLT
Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.

Interchangeable

The triune: The Father God, God’s Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three in One. He is the Rock, the God of the Mountains: El Shaddai. He is Omnipresent. ( Jeremiah 23:23-24) No one can hide from Him. Amazing!!

The Names of God are an amazing reflection of His characters . Years ago, I was exposed to this list in a Bible study. My mind has been deeply pondering culture, world news and staying firm in faith with God.

He has shown himself in the joys and trials of life, our God is massive and His Names have specific meaning depending on my circumstances.

I felt called to share this wisdom today. May one of these Names of God bring hope to you and maybe draw you deeper into a relationship with Him.

  1. Adonai – My Great Lord, He is the Majestic Lord, our authority. (Psalm 8:1)
  2. Elohim – The All-Powerful One, He is the Creator of the Heavens and earth. He is everywhere. (Psalm 68)
  3. El Roi – The God who sees me, God knows who we are and what we are going through. (Genesis 16:11-14)
  4. El Shaddai – The God of the Mountains, He is all-powerful and the source of all blessings. (Psalm 139:7-12)
  5. Immanuel – God with us, the Great I Am, Jesus came as a baby, He is in our midst. (Isaiah 8:8-10,Matthew 1:23)
  6. Jehovah – “I AM”, He is the God who never changes. He is faithful, even when we are not. (Psalm 102)
  7. Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord will provide. He will meet all our needs, Jesus, His Son was sacrificed for us. (Psalm 23)
  8. Jehovah-Nissi – The Lord is My Banner, God gives victory, Our battle is against the dark, evil, He is Light.(Ephesians 6:10-18)
  9. Jehovah-Shalom – God of Peace, Jesus is our Prince of Peace, He defeats our enemy when we seek Him. (Hebrews 13:20)
  10. Yahweh – ” I AM”, His promises never fail. He is faithful and never changes. (Malachi 3:6, Psalm 46:1)

We must hold onto the hope found in the unchanging God, who may have many interchangeable names but is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end.

“No one but you”, a song from Hillsong United, brings the breath of life to me as I hear the words of promise. There is No one like our God. May this song encourage you today!!