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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Eagles

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Eagles are majestic, powerful, grace-filled examples of the Creator God. I have always been fascinated by these birds. I live in the Rocky Mountain region and am occasionally blessed to see eagles soar.

There are scriptures that describe their attributes as protector, safety under her wings, and as an example of renewed youth and energy.

Deuteronomy 32:11
Like an eagle that rouses’ her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.

Exodus 19: 1- 6 19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, andp the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Psalm 103: 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles.

Interesting facts from all about birds.org the Cornell lab:

Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.

Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”

Lamentations 4:19 describes the enemies as swift and wise to find the Lord’s people or to cover over God’s people in a negative way.

Habakkuk 1:8 described the enemies of God as eagles that swoop down to devour their prey. Powerful !

Even though Ben Franklin describes the Eagle as a bird of bad moral character since it can be an opportunist when it comes to food, a eagle is powerful. It soars to amazing heights; 10,000 feet, and dives at a speed of 100 miles per hour. They are loyal; they mate for life, are providers for their eaglets, and tenacious. I’m relieved our nations symbol was not a wild Turkey, aren’t you?

According to Kristin Stanton of UniGuide.com, an Eagle symbolizes Loyalty, devotion, freedom, independence, truth, honor,the Divine, and Hope.

The Eagle reminds me that with God I can soar to amazing heights, I can live in the Power of truth and I can live in freedom with my Savior.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

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!!

Fall has come

There is something about the fall season. The change of weather from super hot, sticky days, as a fan does not provide relief from the dripping perspiration, heat comes even into the night.

The need for cool, brisk evenings comes to its zenith when the calendar lands on October. Ah, the winds begin to blow more urgently.

It is fall. The days may start off warm, however as the sun begins to drop into its place of rest, the evening temperatures cool bringing comfortable sleep.

The windows are now open for breezy times, the trees rustle as the sound of leaves begin their change of color. Summertime green leaves transform into burgundy, red, orange, yellow and an amazing dark purple. As you crest a hill driving down a country road from the top of the mountain to the valley, the multiple colors can be seen from a distance. It is a breathtaking color palette of leaves from an artists’ brush, the Creator God.

I love fall. Nature cycles from energized green trees, productions of flowers, vegetables and even sunflowers and grain harvests. Farmers combine multiple crops such as wheat, barley, crushing corn stalks for livestock silage and a final crop sugar beets. As temperatures drop, they prepare the land for next years crops.

Apples have been a bumper crop in our area. The sweet, satisfying apples release a juicy taste quenching your thirst and reminding you to add caramel. Yummy! It is fall!

When the winds pick up, blowing in gusts, I see a tumble weed blow across the fields, it picking up another torn dry portion and expand ever larger as it hops along.

Yes, the seasons ( or times) they are a changing, like Bob Dylan sang. It is a time of introspection. A time of considering change in our own life, or maybe holding onto the amazing good things. I am learning not to take anything for granted.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 
1    There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
 a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain   from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
 a time for war and a time for peace.

As the leaves shrivel further they begin to drop from the trees. Piles form and swirl as the gusty winds begin again, it is a restless example of things never staying still for long. Time brings change.

Life is as constant and moving as the leaves. The four seasons remind me to be grateful for transitions: winter, spring, summer and fall. Each season has a purpose just like life.

Leaves remind me as they fall to the ground, drop the old ways. Shriveling leaves, can represent limiting life because choices have caused me to step away from the source of life. There is still time to be made new and alive again.

There is another season to navigate. Get ready because winter can be a time of rest.

Daniel 2: 20 - 25   
Daniel said: 
20 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
     He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him

Fall into the arms of the Creator God. He is wise.

Salmon Endurance

Do you ever feel like a salmon swimming against the river current? You are in the living water, it provides a vehicle to allow your movement to a different place. Yet the boulders and tree branches that are scattered in the river provide the potential for detours, fits and stops.

You are using all your energy to stay in motion. Your body burns the calories, especially if your favorite stress reliever chocolate. Yum!! Yet the sugar in chocolate is still not enough to keep you moving.

If you remember your Biology class, once your simple sugars ( carbohydrates) are drained, your blood sugar drops and your body seeks another source of energy, such as fats and proteins. If you are endowed with an extra muffin top in your midsection, it may be a good thing to feel that fat waste away. If you are not endowed with extra insulating fat, your muscles can loose the protein energy and as a result, you tire and muscle can waste away. No Bueno!!!

Its the building blocks of proteins such as meats, nuts and such that provide the best energy source. You see, those food products can be used and last longer than carbs.

We need energy to endure in life. We must seek approval of God over man to endure. We must swim with endurance the river journey of faith.

Galatians 1:10 NLT
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

❤️

The time we spend getting to know Jesus and filling up on His Word is like the protein stores. There are more energy bursts to grab from as you work through your day.

If you add additional stress, trials, illness, or trauma, you are drained like a salmon swimming upstream. One obstacle after another works against you.

You must dig deep into the words from scripture that can pop into your mind. This will only happen if you have been mediating on God’s wisdom. It can come to the surface of your mind energizing you and providing a place to turn to God over the river currents.

Philippians 1:6 NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Road less traveled

Jeep travels by Mary Mesikapp
Psalm 25: 4 - 10   

4 Show me the right path, 
O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  

5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Occasionally, our family travels into the mountains on 4 x 4 Jeep trails. This time in nature reminds me to consider the road less travelled. My husband drives as I navigate with suggestions over the huge boulders, rolling rocks, and tree stumps. Water passages can be tricky especially when you never know how deep they may be. Our youngest hangs on for dear life as the jeep lurches, slides, and is temporarily at an odd angle to the mountain. Our brains are scrambled somewhat by the bumps on the trails yet our brain clears with joy when we reach our destination.

Traveling on Jeep 4 x4 trails takes trust, wisdom and a drive for adventure, much like life’s journey. Trust in the driver and the jeeps solid maintenance is necessity. On jeep trails and in life, there can be opportunities to avoid obstacles.

I can be an avoider, how about you? Yet the more time spent in the Bible teaches me to believe the obstacles may be used by God to deepen my faith.

The Lord is good. He does want to show us the path to follow. We have to let Him provide us with wisdom, which means we must drop our need to control and our pride.

We must be open to redirection, like navigating boulders. We have to take time to read His Word, it is an action step for our benefit.

We must discern who our tribe will be. Who is the leader? Who is the follower? We have to seek accountability from the right people who want us to be examples of integrity and character. There will always be people bent on our destruction. We must choose wisely who we believe.

The Lord is faithful and He is love. He is the Ultimate Best Friend and Wisdom Giver. Let Him be your navigator. He is the Compass directing you to the best things.

Thirsty

Let the Living water of God fill the empty places and bring refreshment. Are you parched in the weary state of the world or in your private life?

Let the Lord quench your thirst. I love this song by Shane and Shane. Living Water flow through Jesus and fill your life.

https://youtu.be/DlnAREAjTfU

Psalm 107:9 NLT
[9] For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

God bless you today.

Mountains

Smoke and sunset MM

Some days we just need to see an example of the faithfulness of God. I shared this photograph with my father this week. My father and I love photography and see something extra special in an image. I purposely left the busy country highway in the frame for context. We can hustle and bustle our way through the day and forget to appreciate creation.

My father’s interpretation was spot on, his text to me stated: “The mountain looks red like a hot iron like the sun penetrating through the mountain”.

I responded, “Yes, I felt the same, its illumination, like Psalm 121, the Son is our helper watching and shining through the mountain metaphorically.” He agreed with my reflection 🙂 as I shared the scripture with him.

No matter what you are going through. He is there. I have a friend whose son is a Marine in Afghanistan. These past few weeks have been prayer and praise, encouragement and lifting the Body of Christ in prayer.

We need to turn to the Creator of the mountains, the heavens and the earth. He does not slumber even if we don’t understand the events in our lives.

Our battles may be across the world or in our own home or backyard. I am not sure who needs to remember this promise, however, Psalm 121 is a great scripture reminding us our help is from the Lord.


Psalm 121
1 I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!

3 He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.

5 The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.

7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

If you are blessed to see the mountains on your horizon, look to them as a visual reminder of God’s faithfulness.

If you don’t have mountains in your community, look at a photograph like this one. Let the Son of God illuminate the dark, scary places in your heart, mind and soul. There is life and hope to be found!!

Sisterhood (Brothers too.)

Lessons from the Clucky Ladies are many. This photo taken by my youngest is such a beautiful picture of the Sisterhood ( Brotherhood :)) of Christ. Let me paint a clearer image for you nonchicken people stacked chickens in a laying box is not the norm :).

Chickens need their separate space in the chicken coop to lay eggs. Generally speaking, each chicken needs time to release their egg in the laying boxes. There are 5 separate spots for our ladies. As they prepare to lay their eggs, they have a pensive face, quiet and determined. As they are laying, they usually sing a song. Or at least that is what it sounds like. I would guess it is a feeling of accomplishment.

One of the chickens is brooding for the past few weeks, this potential mom to be sits on her egg and her sisters eggs all day hopeful for a chick to be her reward. She is steadfast in this behavior and day by day we are needing to provide extra tender loving care by providing water, and snacks to keep her alive. We have no rooster, therefore, this want for a baby chick will never be filled.

The brooding chicken clucks in a loud noise as we remove eggs gently from underneath. She has been loved by our daughter and myself, held as a little chick and thus is not mean. She runs off to eat after we remove her egg.

We have watched her red comb, the object on her head and below her chin, shrivel. I have learned that the comb is very vascular, meaning it carries blood supply to the body, it provides cooling for body temperature. A healthy comb is vibrant red and thick in size, as you can see in the photo of the other chickens.

This beautiful snapshot our “Cluckly Ladies” reflects our need to surround friends and family with support. It can be just a word of encouragement, a phone call just because you feel prompted ( maybe by God), or dropping a text or funny meme. It can be lifting up a prayer right away. There is nothing better than hearing someone pray for your needs. Its love in action. You will be amazed when you step out of the box and bless another.

Matthew 23:37 tells us the Lord wants to gather his children as a hen protects her chicks. What love is this, He is protector and wants us to love others. We have to be open to spreading love to others. It can be scary but so amazing.

The Sisters (Brothers) in your life, biological or otherwise need to hear from you. It may just be what the Great Physician ordered.

Two roads

The Cascade Mountains near Mount Baker were breathtaking; interesting effect of a panorama photo done wrong and yet a beautiful metaphor for two roads to take. Each road may bring adventure or trial, the important thing is taking along a guide. The Bible is a map of wisdom, the Lord is the Compass that can guide us straight when we pause to seek the directions.

James 3:17   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.

Foolish people think they can direct their path without a guide. They skirt the wisdom of those who traveled before them, they have two ears yet one ear appears to be blocked with the droning voices of the world. Or is it two ears blocked? Yes, it happens to me on occasion. 🙂

Proverbs 16:9   We can make our plans,
 but the Lord determines our steps.

I think I can get in the way of Gods’ best for myself and those I love. My need to be in control or take the wheel is a mistake. Today, I am choosing to seek wisdom from above. How about you?