God never ceases to amaze me. I know His timing is perfect, and yet there are times when I’m anxious, waiting for something amazing to happen but frustrated that it hasn’t yet.
Those who have followed me long know that a twelve year dream of mine was fulfilled last summer; fulfilled through such an incredible story that it could only have been orchestrated by God. I knew it at the time… and I know it now.
In August, just before my business partner got sick and spent six weeks in the hospital, I heard the inaudible yet unmistakable voice of God ask me, “will you trust me when it gets really bad?” I said, “yes, Lord,”… and I KNEW I was in for some rough water.
Shortly after that, as my friend struggled in the hospital, I had to surrender the care of my friend completely to Jesus. I had to give up control of thinking I could help his doctors, who were stumped, and give complete authority over him to my Lord. Oh, the hours I prayed, begging the Lord to spare his life and grant him fifteen more years as He did the King Hezzekiah. God was gracious and restored my friend…. and even again when he was sick in December and January…
Our fledgling studio continued to grow and new students and instructors came… and then Covid 19. While we continue to offer lessons on line, we’ve lost about half of our students (hopefully they’ll return when this is over) and have cancelled our group workshops.
I know in my head that God will provide but I can’t help feeling a bit anxious about details, as I review our books with our accountant and use my earthly mind to think about how best to react. I know the desires of my heart… and I’ve poured them out to Jesus countless times… and I believe with all my heart that this studio.. this God-given dream was meant to fulfill something… some purpose of God Almighty… only I don’t know what it it…
My deepest desire is to partner with people who share my passion… that the whole world will be able to know the way in which God took me from emotionally frail wreck of a life and transformed me into steadfast faith, passionate child of God. I want everyone to live with that same conviction and experience the power of Gods miracles.
He is indeed still on the throne! And there is coming a day when we will all stand before Him. I’ve been far from perfect… not even good, in fact… but I stand cleansed by the power of the blood that Jesus gave for my salvation. And I want the world to know.
Yesterday, in my Facebook feed, a memory from 2010 reminded me of my journey.
Throughout the day, people commented on my post and encouraged me that they are praying for our business. Last night, I received a message from someone I don’t really know well, although am connected through mutual friends…. Her words of encouragement were accompanied by a video clip from the producer of The Chosen.
This video was a reminder that my responsibility is to continue to do what God has called me to do. In the absence of any clear direction otherwise, I am to continue using the studio building that He provided and He will take care of the rest. I am, indeed, trusting that… even if my mind is filled with ideas of creative ways to keep the business afloat…
More importantly than my business, though, is indeed the message that God is giving humanity a chance to seek Him… a chance that will not last forever.
Friends, I’d like for you all to know that God is a God of restoration… whatever you have done, whatever you have been… God can transform you… He is waiting for you to learn to surrender ALL of yourself to Him. Through His word and His Holy Spirit, He will continue to refine you for His purpose… being in the center of the will of God is the only place to be… there’s a storm coming, my friends… we’ve only seen a part… be ready. Give yourself to Him and let Him fulfill His purpose in your life.
Precious Lord, You are what I seek… keep my eyes on You… in You I seek refuge from the storm… keep me for Your purpose. Fulfill in me all You’ve called me to be… help me bless others as You’ve blessed me. Clean my heart from its filth and replace it with fire and passion for You. Take what I’ve done and remove the guilt… give me a new purpose for You alone. Restore to me years I’ve Run… and give me years to share Your glory. Give menYour eyes to see others as You see them… you are making me new. Keep making me new for You. In Your name I pray. Amen
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
2020, my year of prayer… almost funny as I reflect the choice to make prayer my focus this year…. as if God we’re preparing me for something …
No amount of social distancing can remove my relationship with God the Father. This time is so precious to me, each morning, as I give Him all praise and honor, knowing that He has things in complete control.
I certainly couldn’t have predicted the virus that has so quickly spread across our globe, gathering such hysteria around it that people are crumbling. There’s something oddly calming, though, when the Peace that passes understanding fills your soul…. a calm in the midst of the storm!
Matthew 14:22-33 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Peter sank because he doubted Jesus could help him walk on the water. I believe that if Peter has kept his focus on Jesus instead of what was happening around him, he would have been able to walk all the way to Jesus in the water.
Folks, there’s a lot of noise around us… from politicians to media to … you name it, there is a lot vying for our attention. Keep your attention focused on the One True God. Trust Him to provide for your needs, including peace of mind.
We could get so worked up about what this doctor is saying or that one, or this “fact” that someone wants you to know, or this “lie” that someone wants to expose… it absolutely breaks my heart to see so many people I know become so terribly upset about this virus and all of the other collateral damage it has caused. I don’t know what “normal” will be when this is all over… if this is ever over… but I do I know this. I am a child of the one true King and I know He is in control. I’ve lived a lifetime of lessons learned in preparation to build a strong faith that will now see me through until my Savior returns.
Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
In the Jesus Movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s, Larry Norman rocked the Christian Music world with a song called, “why should the devil get all the good music”.
“I wanted to push aside the traditional gospel quartet music, break down the church doors and let the hippies and the prostitutes and other unwashed rabble into the sanctuary, … I wanted to talk about feeding the poor, going into the world…. I wanted the church to get active and go out and do what Jesus told us to do. I felt that while the hymns had great theology soaked into their lyrics, that most of the modern music was anemic and needed a transfusion”
In 2008, Christian rock historian John J. Thompson wrote, “It is certainly no overstatement to say that Larry Norman is to Christian music what John Lennon is to rock & roll or Bob Dylan is to folk music.”
Norman disapproved of Christian musicians who were unwilling to play in secular venues or to “preach” between songs. He also criticized what he saw as the “commercialization of Christian music in America”, including the role of copyrights and licensing.
If you want to read more about him, here’s a link to his Wiki
As a little girl in the 70’s, my parents were very involved in the youth group of our church. They brought my teenage cousins, who were nearly 10 years older than me, to church and youth group every week. I “hung out” with them and remember singing Jesus camp songs with them on our way to youth retreats and meetings. It was time, in America, where many people were turning toward Jesus because they thought the “end times” were imminent. I remember watching films that depicted life during the end times, when buying and selling were restricted. As a small child, I didn’t really think about the implications… it was all I knew at the time.
One of the songs we used to sing with my cousins on our way to church was a song that’s been covered many times by many bands, but was originally written by Larry Norman. I tried to link to a video I recorded of my daughter and me singing this song, but it wouldn’t upload… at any rate, the song is about the Rapture – an event that some Christians believe Christ will return to remove His people from the Earth before the Tribulation. I don’t want to start a debate among those who love Jesus about their pre-trib, post-trib belief’s – I just believe it’s super important to know where you stand with Jesus. Regardless of eternal timelines, there will be a point in your own life where you will not have the ability to change your mind… If you have never accepted Him as Savior, my prayer is that you take some time today to pray about it.
Jesus is our Savior, Sancitifier, Healer and Coming King. I will forever serve Him, no matter what happens here on earth. My prayer is that you will, too.
Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish wed all been ready
The children died, the days grew cold A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold I wish wed all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind The son has come and you’ve been left behind
A man and wife asleep in bed She hears a noise and turns her head he’s gone I wish wed all been ready
Two men walking up a hill One disappears and ones left standing still I wish we’d all been ready
The father spoke, the demons dined How could you have been so blind?
There’s no time to change your mind The son has come and you’ve been left behind
There’s no time to change your mind The son has come and you’ve been left behind
I hope well all be ready You’ve been left behind
2 Peter 3:9, ESV: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” … He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
Today, I digress slightly from the typical tone of my blog to voice some of my own concerns about the Covid 19 pandemic. In no way am I trying to offend anyone, however, I am certain not everyone will share my views.
I’m sure that the virus is awful, and I don’t wish for anyone to get it, certainly not my 83 year old mother, or friends I have undergoing cancer treatment or other immunocompromised disease. Not even myself or my healthy children. I’m not doubting it’s virility not its ability to take a life.
I believe, however, that there are more frightening things happening around us than the virus itself.
In just a few short weeks, our entire world changed before our eyes. The news media has created a world-wide fear pandemic equally disturbing as the virus. I am watching friends literally coming unglued, with their Facebook posts documenting their downward spiral. Fear has literally gripped the town I live in, my state, my country, and yes, even the world.
In the US, people have literally hoarded toilet paper…. toilet paper, for crying outloud.
I work for a medical device manufacturer and am working from home as much as possible. Many of those who work there are literally building ventilators and patient monitors and have to be there. I honestly feel guilty working at home while my team of manufacturing engineers and the production workers show up for work every day, but I am following the company guidelines.
In the evening, I teach piano lessons, no longer from my studio in neighboring town, but from my home piano, using FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom. I’m grateful for the parents who have embraced the technology in this trying time.
I am personally just as busy as ever (if not busier), and I’ll admit, a little jealous of all the people who are working on home projects right now because they have the time, and a lot annoyed with the people who complain about being bored.
My home houses all three of my children, two finishing college courses and one doing high school on line. For the first few weeks, we had additional roommates as their college roommates needed a temporary place to stay until they could make arrangements to get home It has been an adjustment for us, as it has been for the rest of the nation. We are making it work.
We don’t go out unnecessarily, but have gone out for groceries and food and such. We are observing caution when we do go out, practicing appropriate distance from people, and good hygiene, which, quite frankly, we did anyway!
I see post after post of people complaint about people going out… why aren’t they taking it seriously, blah blah blah. Maybe it’s because I’m busy doing my thing and/or observing the guidelines when I do go out, that I am frankly surprised by the number of people complaining. When I’ve gone out, which admittedly is not often, I have not observed hoards of people crowing one another. I’ve seen parking lots with cars tailgating from appropriate distances, joggers jogging (which is still “allowed”), and the like. In grocery stores, I’ve seen people keep their distance as appropriate, except for the bread isle at Walmart.
One of my Facebook friends quit her job as a nurse for fear of bringing the virus home to her immunocompromised husband. Hard decision. I get it. She was on her soapbox about people staying home for nearly a week… and then… in the midst of the chaos… she posted that she was “risking her life” to venture out to Oakmont bakery to get the Oakmonter cake for her husbands birthday! Really??? Because THAT was essential? I have no problem with her deciding to get the cake… no problem with her going out in public without a face mask (as evidenced by her post picture) to celebrate dear Hubs birthday… what I have a problem with is the hypocrisy.
Yesterday, in our suburban town Facebook page, someone posted that they went to our local trail and observed young boys not practicing social distancing. One person commented that they hoped the police would cite them. Another, with more sense, posted, “I hope not!”
People, can you sit back and watch as the world turns against itself?? We have resorted to social media tattling on our neighbors, shaming people into doing what we think they ought. The funny thing is, many of the people who are doing that are also going out to get groceries… or supplies for their home projects. Really? We’re going to turn one another in???
The implications of living in this type of society are, for me, far greater than the fear of getting sick…. even, I dare say, if I should die.
I understand the concern… and honestly believe most people are trying to live with respect to the concern. However, I am deeply concerned about the societal changes that are in store for us when this virus is over… they are much more far lasting. It’s possible our society is forever changed…and this is the unfolding of what has been foretold in the Bible.
Matthew 10:21-23 (ERV)
21 “Brothers will turn against their own brothers and hand them over to be killed. Fathers will hand over their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and will have them killed.22 Everyone will hate you because you follow me. But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved. 23 When you are treated badly in one city, go to another city. I promise you that you will not finish going to all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes again.
My hope is in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I live my life for Him, and, although I, too, am a sinner, I’ve been saved by His grace. I know that when I leave this earth, whether it be this year or decades from now, I will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. My mother has the same assurance, as do many of my family members.
I believe we are seeing the book of Revelation unfold before our eyes. I am keenly aware that there is far more going on here than meets the eye. I am prepared to spend eternity with my savior in Heaven, and trusting Him to care for me on earth.
I will do my part to coexist in society, being careful not to act carelessly, but I refuse to succumb to the fear that is causing people to turn against people. I will remain faithful to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, come what may. My hope is in Him and my prayer is to share His good news with all who will listen.
Be watchful, my friends. Spend your time observing the bigger things that are happening, and don’t focus so much on the people who aren’t “following the rules”. History is unfolding before our eyes. Put your trust in God!
Be blessed today, my friends.
Note: I intended to publish this yesterday, but didn’t get around to finishing it…
John 16 12“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Within the Bible, Jesus never did finish telling his disciples what he alluded to in this passage… only that the Spirit of Truth would come. The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is our helper and guide… and dwells inside all of those who’ve accepted Jesus in their life.
Do you ever wonder what else Jesus would have told them if they had been ready for it? Are we ready for it? Am I? Are you?