Tag: transformation

Musicians and Music

20130629-224623.jpgIt’s been said that musicians are a strange breed of cat. I’ve been inclined to agree. But I’m not sure anymore. I believe everyone has a bit of peculiarity about them. God would call it uniqueness.

However, there is something powerful about music. Maybe it’s the melody, words, rhythm, and harmony all working together that makes it so powerful. Ask any person 50 years or older about a certain bell, a certain tune, they’d hear during the summer and chances are they’d begin telling you about the ice cream truck, or bicycle. And, oh, the power of that little tune was enough to get every kid running to their parents, all yelling the same thing, “Can we, Puh-Leeze?!?”

Musicians and music. In my opinion, you can’t separate the two. They are connected by the heart of the musician. A musician can create a piece of music, write it down so others can play it, all the while never realizing the spirit that embodies the song.

I know, it sounds pretty weird. Let me say it a different way. Whatever is in a person’s heart, or spirit, in abundance, is what will come out; regardless of what they’re doing or what their gift is. For instance: do you know people who complain all the time? Guess what’s in their heart. Actually, you don’t need to guess. They give it away! Know anyone who is kind and encouraging? Out of the abundance of the heart…

There are examples of this phenomenon in the scriptures. David, before he was king, was a singing, worshipping, shepherd boy. He loved God, worshipped God, and stood up for God’s Name regardless of the circumstance. His heart was full of love for God. So, when King Saul had emotional and spiritual problems, and probably felt like he was losing his mind, someone suggested to him that he get David to come and play music for him. David came and brought the Presence of God with him, soothing Saul’s soul.

Another time, King Jehoshaphat was preparing to join forces with King Ahab, but hesitated until he could hear from Elisha, the prophet. Elisha said, “Bring me a minstrel (or musician).” As the musician began to play, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha. The musician helped usher in the Presence of God,and mighty things were accomplished.

Lucifer himself used to be the chief musician in Heaven (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). Music and a holy anointing flowed out of him; until the day iniquity was found in him. Until the day he was consumed with himself; his importance, his gifts, his power. But even though a holy anointing ceased to flow out of him, still, music and an unholy anointing flows from his heart. Out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks, sings, worships (himself), plans, etc. Same way with God and mankind, who were created in His image.

Everything flows from the heart!

Ministering, serving others, flows from the heart. Giving to the widows and orphans flows from the heart. The power to resist temptation flows from the heart.

Everything flows from the heart!

There’s coming a day when the children of God will learn this truth. They will come to know that, regardless of the situation they may be in, they can bring Godly influence and His Heavenly Presence into their midst. It’s not a matter of praying long prayers, fasting 200 days, or even saying so many “amens”, “oh me’s”, or “hail Mary’s”. It’s allowing the heart to do what it longs to do most – love and worship God! It was created to yield to God, to allow God access to all He’s placed inside each of us. The creation yielding to its Creator – now that’s beautiful music!

Whatever is good, lovely, pure, kind, fruit of the spirit (the human spirit); let those things be in you in abundance and they will flow from you. “Out of your inner most being will flow rivers of Living Water.” Because the River is in you, it can flow out of you.

Everything flows out of the heart!

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ’Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38 ESV)

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 ESV)

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 ESV)

Musicians – do you want to make a positive difference in your world? It’s not about building a platform, putting a band together, recording and distributing your songs, or making a name for yourself. Do you remember the name of the minstrel who played for Elisha? No? That’s because his name wasn’t recorded. Only One Name is important. And amazing things happen because of that Name.

The main thing is being the person God can anoint and flow through to touch others. After all, something is going to flow out of your heart. Let it be something God can partner with.

Everything flows from the heart!

“Drop Kick Me Jesus…”

“Drop kick me Jesus…” A cute little song by Bobby Bare.

God NEVER intended for His people to barely make it through this life and into the next, without a testimony of His power and victory evident in their life. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”(Romans 8:29-30 NKJV)

The word “predestined” can toss you around if you’re not careful. It does not mean God has already decided who will and who won’t be saved. God’s not willing any perish or go to an eternal hell. Rather He IS willing, and made it possible, for ALL men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. So ANYONE and EVERYONE can become a new creation in Christ and spend now and forever abiding in His Presence.

“…He also predestined…” in the above passage could be paraphrased in this manner: “God knows who will come to Him through His Son, Jesus. And all who come to Him are destined to be changed into His likeness, His image. It’s an established plan. God won’t settle for any less.”

God desired to have a family, created in His image, after His likeness. Adam started out well, but ended falling way short. But Jesus, the Second Adam, brought mankind back to the place where fellowship with God is possible. Possible, through faith in Jesus. And our “destiny”, in Jesus, is to be changed into His exact likeness, His image; acting like Him in all ways, thought, word, and deed. As the Son is, so shall we be (see John 17 and Hebrews 1:1-3). “Pre” means “before” so think of it this way: God planned our destiny in Jesus before it was possible. He “prepaid” for our eternal hope and future.

I believe it’s time for us to see ourselves the way God sees us in Christ. Time for us to understand “this life” on earth is only separated from our “next life” by our earthly body. What God has, or hasn’t, accomplished in us while on earth will continue. “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” 

So, enjoy the cute song. Especially if you like country music. But look into God’s Word and discover what He has already accomplished for you in Christ. And don’t be satisfied with barely making it through life. 

You are not a football. 

The Younger Son A Story – chapter two

A Story

As I have said before, everyone has a story, and every story should be told. Here’s one Jesus told about a father and his two boys.

“To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet and kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” (Luke 15:11-24 NLT)

Here’s the story of a father and two sons. Notice, two sons. This chapter will discuss the younger prodigal only. I’ll reserve comments pertaining to the older son for the next chapter.

Note that Jesus told this story to further illustrate a point He made earlier, which was “there is great joy in Heaven when something lost is found.” And if there’s great joy in Heaven, there should be great joy here on earth as well.

If you lose something as common as a paper clip, not much effort is exerted in finding it. Why? Because it is easily replaced and has so little value. But if you lose something, say, your wedding ring, you will not stop looking until it is found. Then, when found, you rejoice with joy unspeakable! The value of the thing lost determines the degree of gratitude.

Remember this: most of the time the thing lost doesn’t realize it’s lost until it’s found. I didn’t understand how lost I was or how much He loved and valued me until He “reached down” through His Son Jesus, and made me a new person.

“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father…” Say what you will, but I really doubt the younger son intended, or planned, on living a wild life separated from his home. He did not plan on getting “lost” anymore than you or I do when we start on a trip with or without directions. Part of growing up is developing independence, which would include trying to make it on his own. Whatever the motive, the father granted his request and divided his wealth between his two sons. Shortly afterward, the younger one hit the road and traveled to a distant land.

Distant land. Ever visit one? So exotic, so appealing, and so much fun! Meet new people, try new food, take gobs of pictures, and experience a side of life many, if not all, of your friends and family have never known.

But this young man didn’t buy a round trip ticket to the distant land. His trip was not a vacation, but a permanent move. He was going to make something of his life. He soon began to walk, talk, think, dream, spend money, and party like the locals. And for a while, all seemed fine.

It’s amazing how well and how quickly the young man could adapt to such a different way of living. Though new to the area, he learned the customs and culture of the land that was far from Father’s Farm.

Popularity. My, how popular this young man became. All the city leaders, merchants, and entertainers welcomed him. His winsome smile, bulging pockets, and small town ways made him an easy target for their schemes designed to separate the man from the money.

Women! He’d never even dreamed of a world like he was experiencing! Why hadn’t his father told him about this side of life? Did his father even know such a place existed? What about his older brother, the “never-spend-a-dime-of-my-own-money” guy? What was he doing with HIS inheritance? Probably the same thing he’d always done with his money. Nothing!

Well, he wasn’t going to act like his older brother! No, sir! He was going to get the most out of life, even if it killed him!

So…

With every pretty girl hitting on him, merchants and peddlers selling him everything but what he really needed, it didn’t take too long to waste his money, lose his companions, and find himself alone. Alone. Something he hadn’t experienced since leaving home. Alone.

Kind of funny, the things you think about when you’re alone. Memories continue to wash over your mind like waves upon a shore; washing away the hamburger wrappers, used napkins, beer cans and cigarette butts left over from last night’s party. Cleansing your mind, revealing memories of life like it used to be. Life with love. Life with father. If only…

Jesus Breaks Every Chain


Break Every Chain
words/music by Will Reagan
unitedpursuitband

There’s a story in the Bible about a madman, a demon-possessed man, who could not be chained, shackled, suppressed, controlled, or tamed by anyone. My how they tried! They might get the shackles on for a moment, but before long, SNAP! The chains would fly off, and the man would be on the prowl again.

IF, I repeat, IF, you wanted to find him (though I’m not sure why you would want to), he usually hung out at the local cemetery. No chains, no clothes, no hassles. Unless, of course, someone came along to pester him.

While it’s true no one could shackle him, it is just as true he was not a free man. He was bound by a much stronger force than anything man could create or concoct. He was bound by evil spirits whose sole desire was to steal, kill, and destroy.

He was bound, shackled and tortured by demonic chains! Though he lived “free” among the tombs, and though no one could control him or even communicate with him, he was not a free man.

How did all this happen? When did this change “come over” the man? What was he like before he became bound by the devil? Scripture doesn’t give the answer for those specific questions. The best we can do is surmise a guess based on principles revealed in the Word.

For instance, Proverbs reveals, “Pride goes before destruction…” (16:18). We know that was one of the issues the prince of darkness, The Rebellion’s Leader, had problems with. Pride opens the “door” for thoughts, actions, and even manifestations of the evil one.

Isaiah 14 reveals another aspect of Lucifer’s problem. It wasn’t just pride, but a discontented heart. He wasn’t content with the ministry the Most High gave him. No, he wanted elevated to THE Highest place. He felt he could do better than the One Who created him. Discontented and Anointed with Power, Authority, Beauty, and a following of others spelled trouble, division, and ultimately a change in Heavenly leadership. A new worship leader had to be found.

This could be the reason the madman was like he was. It’s possible. He could have been an associate rabbi at a local synagogue. He could have felt his messages were far better than those of the senior rabbi. The more he thought about it, the more others reinforced those ideas with words like, “brother, you really are a great teacher/preacher. You ought to have your own church. We get much more out of your messages than our rabbi,” then the more he was convinced. Things like that can turn many a head. And, turn the head far enough, it just might fall off.

Something else might have happened. Someone could have really upset him. Maybe made him the laughingstock of all their jokes. Maybe they lied about him and ruined his reputation. Maybe…maybe he felt like others were putting him down, ridiculing him and not appreciating him enough.

How do you handle the words of others, aimed as arrows at your heart, words you know are untrue? Do the actions of others draw you into feelings of retaliation, or extreme depression?

What did Jesus do when people attacked Him like that? He did just what James said to do. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7)

There are other things that might have been the reason the man was being controlled by demons. Maybe raised in a home that worshiped everything EXCEPT the One True God. I’m not saying his parents were evil personified, but just “living for the almighty dollar”, or “living and working for the weekend, for recreation, for football, for a party, etc” is a form of worship many in this day and age ascribe to. Worshiping anything or anyone other than God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ will only leave a void in one’s life. That void CAN be filled with habits or spirits that bind a person with unbreakable bonds.

But this blog isn’t just about how chains can be applied, or how a man can lose control of his life. This is about FREEDOM. It’s about Jesus, and His ability, desire, anointing to break EVERY chain!

The Kingdom of God isn’t just about words. It’s about Heaven’s Authority AND Power changing things on earth. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” And He meant it.

The madman was changed by the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well was changed by the same power. The Widow of Nain’s son was raised from the dead by the Word of Heaven!

And, regardless of the reasons for your chains, you can be free as well.

Free! Jesus breaks every chain. There’s IS power in the Name of Jesus!

Mountain of a Man

Grizzly Adams

“He’s a mountain of a man!”

That phrase has been around almost as long as the mountains. Whenever I hear those words, I think of someone like Grizzly Adams. Others may think of Jed Clampett, Daniel Boone, or even Adam Pontipee from the movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, played by Howard Keel.
Howard Keel

But what is really meant when someone is referred to as a mountain man; or, when someone says, “He’s a mountain of a man”?

Stop and think with me a moment. Are all mountains the same? No? If all mountains are not the same, what are some major differences? And if there are some major differences in mountains, what about the man?

People use the “mountain man” phrase primarily to describe a man who’s big physically and/or has a lot of social or financial influence in a town, region, or some designated area. While physical size, high social standing, and financial well being are things to behold, do they really make someone big enough to be compared with a mountain? If so, which mountain?

I think we agree that all mountains were not created equal. There are HUGE mountains, medium sized mountains, and even bluffs (mountain wannabes). There are mountains that are full of timber, while others have no vegetation whatsoever. Some mountains stand alone. Most are part of a range.

Mountains have not only been used to describe people, but also kingdoms, protection and refuge. Mount Zion can refer to the Church or the City of David. Mountains describe future glory, but also help travelers maintain a constant direction.

Within many mountains one can find precious metals and minerals. Some mountains are alive, as deep within them pressure constantly rises until it finally blows its top off.

Okay. Now a big question for all of the mountain men and women. (If you can take a moment to reply in the comment section, I’d love to hear your thoughts.)

The question is: “What kind of mountain are you?”

How about “THE BLUFF” – not as big as they like to think or let on. They are approachable, fairly easy to access, but they allow them self to be walked on more than they like. They don’t blow up, but they also haven’t had the pressure within to force them to grow. So, they’re just existing. Bigger than some but not as big as they could have been.Bluff
Peak

Next we have “THE PEAK” – so grand and picturesque, every side is their “good side”. They allow people to climb up and down them, day in and day out. They’re not afraid of anything (except lightning and matches). They are popular, known throughout the world, and people travel far and wide just to have their picture taken with them. They’re not exactly accessible, as people have to go through some degree of difficulty just to see things from THE PEAK’S perspective. But if people cooperate with them on their terrain, they will finally begin to see the world as THE PEAK sees it.

VolcanoHow about “THE VOLCANO”? Pretty easy to spot this one. They’re known to blow their lid with little notice. They usually are rumbling all the time about something, so you can’t be sure exactly when or if they will explode on you. Typically with Volcanos, they have few close friends. People just feel safer keeping their distance.
Most High
There are few in this world who have the dubious distinction of being called “THE MOST HIGH”, and even fewer can measure up to such prominence. Now, you may wonder if I’m referring to God or His “specially chosen ones”. No, I’m referring to those who consider themselves to be so far above all others. In fact, normal people can’t even breathe the same air THE MOST HIGH breathe. To approach them you must have special gear, plenty of time to wait out any sudden storms, climb at just the right season, and risk your life trying to get to the first camp. They are beautiful to photograph, but impossible to know. They stand gloriously alone; unequaled, yet alone.

Uplifter

Finally, I’ll mention my favorite. This is the kind of mountain I want to be. I call it “THE ENCOURAGER”. Tall enough to give you a good view, yet easy to access with little effort. No special gear needed, you can breathe the same air as the “ENCOURAGER”, and you can explore to your hearts content. This is the mountain that offers year round beauty, fellowship, and fresh perspective each time you address it.

Five kinds of mountains:

THE BLUFF, THE PEAK, THE VOLCANO, THE MOST HIGH, or THE ENCOURAGER.

“He’s a mountain of a man!” But what kind of mountain?

WHAT KIND ARE YOU?

There is a Love

Hearts

There is a love
That’s beyond comprehension
There is a love
That removes apprehension
There is a love
The Divine invitation
There is a love
There is Jesus.

There is a love
That ignites transformation
There is a love
That restores reputation
There is a love
The Holy declaration
There is a love
There is Jesus.

Darkness can’t penetrate
Hate cannot devastate
Time won’t obliterate
this Love

Nothing can imitate
Control or violate
Hope must investigate
this Love
this Love
Jesus

I Love YouThere is a love
That inspires adoration
There is a love
That removes all transgressions
There is a love
It is Heaven’s revelation
There is a love
There is Jesus.

copyright 2012 Jan Grace

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