Charlene’s Source: youtube
Charlene’s Source: youtube
As I sit here at my computer, I am racing to get a vision down in writing that The LORD gave to me early this morning.
As I was lying in bed this morning talking to GOD to start my day, I suddenly saw a vision of several keyboards lined up on a vast wall. I was seeing them as if I were hovering in the air above them. They ranged starting from the left as a miniature model with few keys and no special accessories to a giant model that was the fanciest keyboard of them all. It had all the stops and whistles,and was without a doubt the fanciest, most capable keyboard that could be bought.
I have to ask myself, “Why is GOD showing me this vision at this point in my life”? I am watching newer, younger musicians come over the horizon, and I am questioning my own music strengths. It does no harm to examine your abilities in Christ–sometimes they need a poke or a prod to step up to the plate.
As I am growing older I am becoming aware of limitations placed upon my ability to minister. To say that these limitations are more in the physical than the spriritual is a given. I am sure that there are others who face this same crisis, and the zeal is even stronger in the Spirit to perform the work. I can think of many ways to try to slow the aging process: lose weight–that’s a good one, watch my diet; and get more stretches and exercises in than I presently do. The benefit would be to prolong my days, if GOD sees fit, in an effort to make any difference great or small in the work of the Kingdom. The Body does have parts, and I would truly enjoy fufilling what I consider to be my “reasonable service”.
As I sit and pray on the vision of the keyboards, I am led to remember instructions that GOD gave me many years ago to write songs and to play instruments. I have always loved music, and my first instrument was a piano. As a child in school I was introduced to a wind flute that looked like a fat cigar. It was called a Tonette, and I graduated from that to an autoharp, and then to an organ. I come from the Bible Belt and the piano and organ were the most prevalent of instruments played in church. Today, keyboards, electronic adaptations of the basic piano and organ predominate. The instruments may change but the methods remain the same.
Over the years, my abilities on the piano and keyboards have waxed and waned simply due to having two pianists in my household. There has been no pressure to play. Christina and Elizabeth both play well, and their understanding of music is a reflection of my own investment into them as children. Time is going to change their proximity to me, however, and it is crucial for me to reinvest in my own musical abilities. GOD is my judge, and I rely on Him to guide me and strengthen my hands to the task.
The LORD gave my family two scriptures recently–Deuteronomy 30:19 and Jeremiah 29:11. The former scripture expresses choice between cursing and blessing in order to live abundant life; the latter literally states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD– Plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future”.
I am to direct and retrain my paths toward music ministry and teaching ministry. Music is the language of GOD, and The Word is also the language of GOD. The spoken word exhorts upon the strength of GOD’s music.
Is music simply notes? Can music be words or expressions? I believe that it can be, so this is what I believe GOD is speaking to me in this vision: “Train your eyes, ears, tongue, larnyx, heart, and spirit to seek the ways of the LORD”. Whether physical music or spiritual music–it is all applicable to the Kingdom of Heaven. I am to minister in word and music. Where to minister is GOD’s choice. I am simply to follow His leading.
New International Version (NIV)
1 When Israel came out of Egypt,
Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2 Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;
4 the mountains leaped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
5 Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
6 Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
you hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
Charlene’s Thoughts: A Belated Look At Valentines Day
Holidays are wonderful. They take the drab out of our existence and give us opportunity to relate to loved ones and friends. For some, however, holidays can be a hurting time. Singles, especially, may find Valentines Day to be a hard holiday to embrace.
I can remember being single. It was a lonely existence with time spent working; visiting family and friends; fishing and bowling–just in an attempt to fill my hours and keep my thoughts off of going home to my empty house. I can remember driving down to the ocean and staring out at the water while bemoaning my single state. I am an extreme extravert–and being alone for me was not a good thing then or now.
I listen to my daughters, both single, and realize that they also struggle with this love holiday. While they are searching and praying for their special person, it is emotionally trying to view everyone else around them in relationships. They struggle with the decision to attend a valentine’s party, or not? What they do not realize is that the state of being single also has it’s own merit.
When you are single you can choose to make your own agenda. You can motor to a quiet spot on a whim; go shopping without extreme guilt, or sleep in (a rare privilege for us married folk). There are none to argue with your politics unless you choose to allow them. You can invest and save for a rainy day and…you can buy a luxury car or a sports car because you are usually the only occupant. In other words you have more freedom. On the down side–you may experience less social interaction.
There are some single people who love being single. They surround themselves with family and/or friends and choose to live a single lifestyle. They are happy in the knowledge that this is their choice, and many are true nurturers. They become the aunties and uncles that shower love on everyone.
I guess this all boils down to realizing that the old axiom, “grass is always greener on the other side” may not always be true. Not all singles want married bliss, although I can safely say that most do, and not all marrieds want to stay married. Marriage is hard work and extreme commitment,and is definitely not for the faint of heart!!
That said, Valentines Day can be painful for singles and marrieds alike. So the next time you bemoan your fate as a single on Valentines Day, please remember that there are widow(ers), divorced persons, and people in abuse situations out there. Valentines Day is a struggle for them also.
credit: Charlene @charlenesattic.com
This entry was posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012 at 10:12 am and is filed under My Look at the World.
Remember that the love of Christ outweighs any love on earth. Happy Valentines Day. Charlene
Charlene’s Source: youtube
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and[a] are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger[b] and High Priest. 2 For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire[c]house.
7That is why the Holy Spirit says,
“Today when you hear his voice,
8 don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled,
when they tested me in the wilderness.
9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
10 So I was angry with them, and I said,
‘Their hearts always turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.’
11 So in my anger I took an oath:
‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”[e]
“Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled.”[g]
HEBREWS 3: 1-5
Question: “Who wrote the Book of Hebrews? Who was the author of Hebrews?”
The title, “To the Hebrews,” which appears in the earliest known copy of the epistle is not a part of the original manuscript. There is no salutation, the letter simply begins with the assertion that Jesus, the Son of God, has appeared, atoned for our sins, and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven (Hebrews 1:1-4).
The letter closes with the words “Grace be with you all” (Hebrews 13:25), which is the same closing found in each of Paul’s known letters (see Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:24; Philippians 4:23; Colossians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15; and Philemon 25). However, it should be noted that Peter (1 Peter 5:14; 2 Peter 3:18) used similar—though not identical—closings. Possibly that it was simply customary to close letters like this with the words “Grace be with you all” during this time period.
Church tradition teaches that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, and until the 1800s, that issue was closed. However, though a vast majority of Christians—both and scholars and the laity—still believe Paul wrote the book, there are some tempting reasons to think otherwise.
First and foremost is the lack of a salutation. Some sort of personal salutation from Paul appears in all of his letters. So it would seem that writing anonymously is not his usual method; therefore, the reasoning goes, Hebrews cannot be one of his letters. Second, the overall composition and style is of a person who is a very sophisticated writer. Even though he was certainly a sophisticated communicator, Paul stated that he purposely did not speak with a commanding vocabulary (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1; 2 Corinthians 11:6).
The book of Hebrews quotes extensively from the Old Testament. Paul, as a Pharisee, would have been familiar with the Scripture in its original Hebrew language. In other letters, Paul either quotes the Masoretic Text (the original Hebrew) or paraphrases it. However, all of the quotes in this epistle are taken out of the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament), which is inconsistent with Paul’s usage. Finally, Paul was an apostle who claimed to receive his revelations directly from the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23; Galatians 1:12). The writer of Hebrews specifically says that he was taught by an apostle (Hebrews 2:3).
If Paul didn’t write the letter, who did? The most plausible suggestion is that this was actually a sermon Paul gave and it was transcribed later by Luke, a person who would have had the command of the Greek language which the writer shows. Barnabas is another likely prospect, since he was a Levite and would have been speaking on a subject that he knew much about. Martin Luther suggested Apollos, since he would have had the education the writer of this letter must have had. Priscilla and Clemet of Rome have been suggested by other scholars.
However, there is still much evidence that Paul wrote the letter. The most compelling comes from Scripture itself. Remember that Peter wrote to the Hebrews (that is, the Jews; see Galatians 2:7, 9 and 1 Peter 1:1). Peter wrote: “…just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him [emphasis added]” (2 Peter 3:15). In that last verse, Peter is confirming that Paul had also written a letter to the Hebrews!
The theology presented in Hebrews is consistent with Paul’s. Paul was a proponent of salvation by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9), and that message is strongly communicated in this epistle (Hebrews 4:2, 6:12, 10:19-22, 10:37-39, and 11:1-40). Either Paul wrote the epistle, or the writer was trained by Paul. Although it is a small detail, this epistle makes mention of Timothy (Hebrews 13:23), and Paul is the only apostle known to have ever done that in any letter.
So, who actually wrote Hebrews? The letter fills a needed space in Scripture and both outlines our faith and defines faith itself in the same way that Romans defines the tenets of Christian living. It closes the chapters of faith alone and serves as a prelude to the chapters on good works built on a foundation of faith in God. In short, this book belongs in the Bible. Therefore, its human author is unimportant. What is important is to treat the book as inspired Scripture as defined in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Holy Spirit was the divine author of Hebrews, and of all Scripture, even though we don’t know who put the physical pen to the physical paper and traced the words.
We are all guilty of uttering things from our mouths that do not honor ourselves or others. Meditate on this Chapter for it tells us truths to follow.
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.