Tag: redeemed

I could have been a rock star

The other night I began watching a documentary about the rock group “The Eagles”. How and why they formed the group, who were the principal musicians, etc.

It was interesting learning how two ordinary guys, who weren’t tremendously talented, made it all the way to stardom.

It suddenly hit me.

I could have been a rock star.

I’m not pumping up my own heels, honest. So please, don’t quit reading.

Sure, Don Henley and Glen Frey were talented guys as far as your average Joe is concerned (no, that wasn’t a reference to Joe Walsh). But they were not the best musicians to ever find their way to a recording studio.

Somewhat like myself. Not the best, but possibly better than your ordinary run-of-the-mill musician.

I could have been a rock star.

I’m not looking at this “revelation” as something I wish I would have followed through on; even though, as a teen, I wanted nothing more than to be in a band, make tons of music, live a wild party kind of life, and become filthy rich.

Of course it never happened.

I got married at 18, and while I was developing my skills as a musician, and the desire to be a star was still inside me somewhere, I followed the path back to Iowa, then West Virginia, and eventually into the Kingdom of God.

Oh, I could have hung out in California like Don and Glen did. We were living in Orange County around the same time Don and Glen were introduced to people like Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and others who were instrumental in discovering and forming the group of guys who’d later become known as The Eagles.

I could have become a rock star.

But I didn’t.

And I’m glad.

God had other plans. And, like I said, I’m glad.

Just a few short years after getting married, the biggest thing that could ever have happened, happened to me.

I became a new creation in Christ. A child of God. An heir of God. A joint-heir with Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

I don’t mean to infer those who are rock stars don’t know true purpose and peace. Not all of them, anyway. But watching the documentary helped me realize all the things God saved me FROM. I already had enough that God to change in my life without jumping into the pit of unimaginable wealth and immorality.

Yes, I still enjoy music. Actually, I really enjoy music. Playing, performing, or whatever you’d like to call it. It’s a part of who I am; who God made me.

I enjoy singing and playing in honor of the living God Who changed my focus those many years ago. Worshipping Jesus simply because He is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise.

As for the guy who wanted to be a rock star… well, I’m just glad he didn’t meet the “right people”.

I could have been a rock star, but thank God, I never made it.

Has God ever kept you from something you thought you wanted, even needed? You may want to praise Him for that.

“[God]… who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:4 – 103:5 ESV)

He redeemed me by keeping me from it, even before I ever started thinking about Him.

Wow!

Bubba the Bulldog

20130418-111658.jpgBubba the Bulldog. Bubba came to live with us at the time our son, Jeremy, was quite young; I believe about 3 years old. Jeremy and I had a lot of fun with ol’ Bubba; telling stories of Bubba’s daring days of do, and watching how Bubba interacted with the rest of Jeremy’s stuffed animals.

One of our favorite stories to howl about was one which originated from Bubba’s own fat jowls. We accidentally overheard Bubba telling this story to his friend, Froggo, the bear. The story about how his face came to look like it does.

I’ll try and relate the story to you, as best as I can.

Bubba loved bones! He came from a long line of registered, bone-loving bulldogs. One of his favorite things to do was prance around the neighborhood with a big, old bone hanging out his mouth. You could hear him coming down the sidewalk with the bone bouncing one end off the ground. Clip, clip, bump, clip, clip, bump, as his nails and bone tapped the cement. Clip, clip, bump, clip, clip, bump…

He also had another love, a hobby, actually, an addiction. He loved to chase trucks. Not just any truck, mind you, but garbage trucks! Especially the ones so full they’d leave a trail of garbage everywhere.

One day, however, according to Bubba (whose face “didn’t always look this bad”), he faced a temptation he was not prepared to handle. He was minding his own business, clipping down the sidewalk, clip, clip, bump, clip, clip, bump, when a garbage truck zoomed past him at about 103 miles per hour (per our reliable source). The moment Bubba spotted the garbage bouncing out of the back he took off after it! There was just one, little problem.

He didn’t drop the bone.

To hear Bubba tell the story, it was a sight to behold; a flash of green, with a gray and white blob of color in hot pursuit! Then, just before Bubba was about to claim his prize, the unthinkable happened.

The garbage truck stopped. Abruptly. Without warning (Bubba’s words, not mine).

Without reviewing all of the general laws of physics, let me simply say Bubba’s speed, and his weight, were too much for his legs. He could not get his nails dug into the ground quick enough. Sheer momentum had taken over. Until…

Until the momentum was stopped by the back of the truck.

Funny how that works.

Well, Bubba had no time to react. No, he slammed head first into the back of the truck; bone and all.

It was 4 weeks before you could hear Bubba prancing down the sidewalk, bone in mouth. It took that long to pry the bone out of those fat jowls.

He said he learned his lesson, and further added the Lord had given him a ministry of helping others with garbage truck addictions.

Anyway, time goes on, things change, and little boys grow up.

About 8 or 9 years after Bubba came to live with us, our family decided we’d have a garage sale. The three of us (mom, dad, and Jeremy) all had things we wanted to get rid of.

The day of the sale arrived, and as I looked at Jeremy’s stuff for sale I noticed games, GI Joes, a few other things, and…

BUBBA!

What? Not Bubba!

Bubba was for sale! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Bubba was sitting, with that scowling, fat face, on the bench with a sticker on his foot.

Well, I thought, maybe Jeremy is selling Bubba so he’ll have money for college. Made sense to me until I saw the asking price.

75 cents.

I tried to talk Jeremy out of selling part of our family, but I couldn’t stop him. So I did what any upstanding person in my situation would do.

I bought him.

I mean, how could I allow him to fall into the wrong hands? How could I stand to watch an unknown stranger come and walk away with all the memories we had built? How could I bear looking into those beady, little, tear-filled eyes, as he stared at me from his place on the bench.

I just HAD to redeem him.

So I gave Jeremy 75 cents, and Bubba became mine! Then I released him to be a permanent member of our family. No longer did he need to worry about his place in our hearts. He was family. Regardless of good times or bad times, he was part of us.

Redeemed. Bought, purchased, released from bondage.

Released from the bench.

That’s what God did for mankind, through His Son Jesus. We were all up for grabs by the enemy of our soul. Yet God couldn’t bear to see us eternally separated from His family.

There’s nothing we did, or could do, that forced God to do what He did; nothing at all. We were powerless, all alone on the bench.

Jesus took our place as our Redeemer.

“But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1 ESV)

Amen.

bubba 2

“The Times They Are A-Changin”

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The Times They Are A-Changin’
Lyrics by Bob Dylan

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin

Words and music by Bob Dylan

The times they are a-changing. That’s a word The Lord keeps speaking to my heart. Changing times. Dividing times. Light getting brighter and darkness becoming darker. Gray areas turning lighter or darker, but not staying the same. The middle ground is diminishing. In or out. Up or down. Right or wrong. Heaven or Hell.

The times they are a-changing. Changing, becoming, turning to the final chapter of the Redemption Story. The Story of love and fellowship between God and man. The Story of how fellowship was broken, but love never was. The Story of love giving itself to redeem and restore the broken fellowship. God’s eternal purposes finally completed.

The times aren’t changing just because God wants to do something new. After all, it’s not new to Him. No, He’s just bringing things to a close, so He can then open all of Heaven and Eternity for His Redeemed and Restored Family.

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