Thursday, March 30, 2006

Guy In The Sky

How do you envision God and His Son, my Savior Christ? Do you see them as real and visible to the naked eye? Some would interpret all they see around them as the handiwork of God and thus see Him. That is true to the extent that it is correct, but it goes much further than this simple interpretation. For those of us of the Christian ilk I would submit that we see God's presence in all things seen and unseen. To be very specific we have to be able to look at ourselves and others around us and "see" the goodness that God has provided for each of our lives as they relate to all creation. Still, that is not very specific! Therefore, perhaps we can't "pinpoint" anything as tangible proof of God's existence in our lives other than what we can see through the eyes of faith. Now that for me is painting a more vivid picture. Through the eyes of faith is where we must begin if we are to see God. For some this is impossible, for others, impractical! My Native American brothers and sisters believe! That is their starting point! For many in our western world this is the great stumbling block. That which you cannot see with your eyes, feel with your hands, taste in your mouth, smell in your nostrils or hear with your ears is just as real as the senses we have been gifted with as part and parcel of our humaness. It is in the transcendence of the physical that we meet God in the fullness of a reality that is greater than ourselves. If you have not "found" God in your experience of life it very well could be that you are making it harder than it actually is. I often ponder on the statement, "We need God far more than God needs us." Would you like to "see" the guy in the sky come alive in your life? All one needs do is ask in all sincerity and He will become a reality. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Laughing At Ourselves

It's been a long day in my "personal" studio. Recording stuff doesn't take a lot of time. Getting it "right" takes forever! At last count I believe my grand daughter and I came up a total of about 20 hours on the newest song. It has left me partially brain dead, and I'm praying that rest and relaxation will bring me back to the way I was(whatever that might have been)before the necessity of creating what I call "Christian Rock Opera" and my wife tells me that is not a choice for categories. Most important, though(at least for me), was having the project complete. Back to a little light reading and I found the following: "Most of us have been born in what might be called 'Christian environment,' such as Christian homes, Christian churches and Christian schools. Unfortunately, however, not all of us are 'Christians.' It is truly shocking to recognize that the Christian environment has produced some atheists and anti-christ-activists. The misguided mind negatively reacts to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian environment(even though it is good)does not and cannot make you Christian. We humbly admit and confess to the world that we have failed. The enormous problem seems to the church's failure to proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ." This was published by a servant of our Lord who has spent as many years in ministry as I have in living. His name is Mr. (Chaplain) Tsukamoto. We come from two very different worlds and yet I heard his spirit as I read his words. My first thought was how firmly on the head he had struck this particular nail. For some this would mean taking a defensive stance in support of the effort being made in America to reach the "unsaved." I can't do that for the simple reason that I don't see it happening. Even the folks who profess to have become "new creatures in Christ," (II Corinthians 5:17)are not following the Savior's most fervent desire for God's children. Is it little wonder that church membership is on a downward spiral that has most leaders in ecumenical circles tearing their corporate hair out? My thought is matter how we see ourselves in the light of Christ's influence in our lives, if we are not working for the Great Commission to reach completion then we are working against it! I don't want to offend anyone, but I can't say this without it hitting "home" where many feel they are doing everything in their power. None of us is putting out 100% for Jesus, for sure! The tasks of the kingdom that we have left "undone" far outweigh the number of tasks we have completed. Until we come to a fullness of understanding of what has been happening the past 50 years in the US we are not going to move forward. Statistics can prove anything. Numbers can be manipulated(ENRON)to show whatever is "pleasing" to the eye. The gut level reality is that America the Beautiful is becoming to a greater and greater degree something less! You can choose your label, but you cannot change the circumstances unless you are ready to stand in faith. An old preacher used to say, "If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything." In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Playing The Keys

Whoosh! I've got only one direction I want to go with my thoughts this evening, and they all are tied up in keys. The last 4 weeks have been entwined in the black and white realities of my instruments. Music, music, and more music, shared with a lot of folks, my wife, and several really fine players. It seems like this is the part of living that makes the most sense in regard to what God would have me doing with my life. Faith is a big part of that reality, that and the desire to share the Gospel message every way possible, including in song. I like to see people smiling for real. You know the kind of smiles I mean! When their eyes are sparkling and they are laughing out loud even when I can't hear them. Sometimes we just bubble on the inside and no one really hears the laughter in our hearts from the sheer enjoyment of the moment.
It's really easy to get caught up in the music of life to such a degree that we miss the magic as it happens right in front of us. I'm not referring to the "busy" stuff we do. There are a lot of things we "have" to take care of, and they do require a bit of our time, but there is more! This is strictly personal, now. I get the most pleasure out of life when I realize without a doubt that I'm doing what God would have me do. The smiles and enjoyment in people(not to mention all the other emotions that accompany our lives)is so good that I would love to have everyone experience that joy found in living every day. Lately I've been reading a lot of other folks thoughts, and talking with them even more than usual. What I have rediscovered is the key to happiness that works for me. Maybe what I've done is over simplify, but I don't think so. Probably the nicest thing I could ever imagine anyone saying about me is that the world was a better place for my having been here. I'm not saying that I've got the key for everyone, 'cause I can be as big a patoot as anyone. The thing is, I can see with absolute clarity the truth of what we have been given in Christ for living in wholeness. For me it's very black and white(pun intended)!! Whatever the reason you think you're here on this earth, think again. God's purpose for you may be ever changing. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to music. Everyone has thoughts about their mortality. Everyone has an opportunity to impact the lives of individuals every day, for better or worse. It's pretty black and white, good versus evil in our world, and if we aren't busy about intentionally making our world a better place we need to be held accountable. We will be one day, for sure! It may not be tomorrow, but it is coming, that time when we'll have to face up to how we lived the gift we were given. It's good to know that when we make mistakes musically we can go back to the woodshed and practice. It's better to know that our mistakes in life can be forgiven. It's best to know that even at our very worst we are still helping somebody out there to have a good laugh.
In music finding the right key for a song is truly important. In life finding the right keys for living begins with faith in God. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Walking By Sight!

We dig in, immediately going deep enough to hide most of ourselves from the enemy, and then after peering over the top of our bulwarks we choose to go deeper. Finally after a full day of making ourselves invisible from every angle we choose to stick our head up again to see what is out there. The answer every time, looking in a mirror of ourselves in combat, is the enemy. We even knew they were there, and yet we, because of some sort of self-destructive nature, stick our heads up. So it goes with our faith at times. We try without success to stay out of harm's way, but when push comes to shove, we still have to stick our silly heads up. Maybe the rationale for this is the thought that knowing where we are is better than not knowing. But that doesn't hold water when considering that we knew where we were when we dug the foxhole, so why bother sticking our heads up only to get them shot off? I guess it's because we're checking on everyone else that is out here fighting the battle with us. We want to know where they are so that we don't shoot them by mistake or(God forbid)toss a grenade in their direction because we didn't know they were there. Servants check, recheck, and double-check themselves often. They "need" to know that where they are is where they are supposed to be and that they are not alone. The truth is, that we are all alone, except for our Savior who is right beside us all the way! If you happen to be one of those folks out there in the trenches and foxholes of this battle, please know that there are others not too far away who would really appreciate your checking on them from time to time. When the attack begins it really makes good sense to know where the "good guys" are, so that we don't inadvertently cause them harm. I believe in knowing the difference between that which is inherently good and that which is decidedly evil. How do I know? I filter it through God's Word and make choices based on what I have learned from previous engagements. The Bible teaches us that "good" trees will yield "good" fruit and that those who don't need a lot of tending or uprooting. What do we do with the trees that look "good" but their fruit makes everyone sick. Get that head back down under cover and pray that you don't get a piece of it thrown your way when you're hungering! In the heat of the battle we have two choices. Resist the onslaught or wither on the vine. Choose the battle and we may die, but we have gone gloriously. That is how the 1st century christians may have felt. After all, they knew for certain they were all going to die some time, but they also had the assurance of living again in Christ. I don't know how everyone else sorts this out. As for me and mine, we choose to serve the Lord! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Peaceful Places

Today was anything but a day of peace, that is, until I did an abrupt change in my personal state of "head!" I awoke from an argument I was completely absorbed in with one of my daughters concerning musical presentation. The sound of my wife conversing with her sister in Nebraska was what brought me to full wakefulness. I sat up and looked out the windows at the snowcovered ground and rapidly became more attitudinally maladjusted as a result of the weekend storm out here on our little piece of the Great American Desert. Grumbling loudly I made my way to the kitchen via the bathroom and was confronted with a coffee pot cold from the night before and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I guess my realization of how "bear" like I was didn't really hit me until about an hour later when I had my second cup in front of me. I really do dislike days that don't begin peacefully! I don't mind the days of hurry, hurry, rush, rush and out the door, because even the worst of those require me to keep my wits about me and act somewhat civilized. Today was supposed to be a slow, calm, warm fuzzy day of relaxation in the morning and shared prayers with my wife. We're through the day, now, and it worked out very well considering how it got it's start. Maybe that is all it takes for anyone to have a "bad" day, just waking not the way they would choose to wake. One thing is certain, at least I don't have to go around thinking I've got it all together, I don't! The peaceful time we spend with our God can make all the difference in the world for every day. The first jangling of the alarm clock or the first beckoning call of life other than ourselves doesn't have to turn our attitudes into anything other than gratitude. Today was a good reminder that even the worst beginnings can have a very happy ending. Thank you, Lord, for brothers and sisters, and for giving me another opportunity to learn from my mistakes. In Christ's Love, Preacher. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bear With Us

One of the ladies sent this out this evening to her husband and I. It's alright, ya know, the feelings of wanting to be a bear in another life. Her "born again" heart allowed her to do this in fun. She knows she isn't coming back as a bear! We don't know for certain what we shall be other than will shall be like our Savior, Christ.
I can understand the humor, and the irony. We might all like to be something other than what we are. The truth is, though, that God created me to be exactly who I am, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. It almost sounds like I'm married to myself, doesn't it? In a way we are! When the three distinctly separate parts of us(body, mind, & spirit)come together as one whole being we are truly one as God has created us to be. I wish I understood all the details that must accompany our transition from parts to whole, but I can share this much. For some of us it is essential that we bond with another whole person to become one as God created us to be. When we do find that individual, life becomes a great place to live! My wife and I watched the news together this evening. That rarely happens, but it was the story of Christopher Reeves and his bride and their love that caught our corporate attention. It was good to share thoughts after the news, and it's good to share life. I pray you have that coming together in wholeness, personally, and with your significant other. In Christ's Love, Preacher. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

Celebrating Time!

The title does not really tell you much, does it? Today has been the first in a long time where I have been given the opportunity to do maintenance. A closet rod my wife has been needing, a couple of 'puters that had to be cleaned up, a lot of sweaters to be put away(maybe)until the next snowfall(I may be staying up late to see what the weather brings, as if that is going to change it), and a meal prepared that goes by nobody's book but mine. In otherwords, I'm very relaxed being this busy. Six weeks of praise music picked for the services, and a new arrangement sitting in the studio even as I tap this out. I pray there are more days like this. The picture up there ^ is of the earrings I'd like to get my wife for our anniversary this summer. They fit her to a T! Have you ever wondered about that fitting to a 'T' thing people say? For me it comes from my image of the cross that is carried inside. Faith in my Savior fits me to a T! God only knows why I think this way, but I do, and that's okay. We all think about faith differently, I suppose. Not everyone has to be out in the streets or the aisles of the local Super Store to carry out their mission in life. Here's another one for you, "If I had my Druthers!" What on earth is a druther? Maybe a cross(no pun intended)between rather and something else? I don't know, and that's okay, too! I pray life is going well for you. I'm doing better, and as the weather warms and we get closer to being back on two wheels full time all of life will have come back around to being the way I'd like it to be. God willing, and the crick don't rise! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Wonder...If I ...

Just a quick check in to see how I'm doing. God bless, Preacher.An what on earth did this do?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Just happened on your blog. Interesting to say the least. A bit hard for me to read(if I could adjust backgrounds or colors it might help)maybe that's just age, too! I'm bookmarking this one. I pray you never hunger or thirst again. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Happy Birthday Kyra!

What a beautiful young lady! She's learning so rapidly that there are times it's hard to contain her enthusiasm. Why would we want to do that? That's one of the really cool things that go with living out here on the Great American Desert, you've got a little more time to understand life than some places I've lived. Take any major city with a population in excess of the millions and life takes on a sinister perspective. I haven't heard of anyone getting thrown out of school for praying lately, nor have I heard parental complaints concerning our "Pledge of Allegiance" to the flag. A new law just passed making abortion illegal, and the worst drug problem in our high schools is alcohol. What a world! I suppose I've grown more naive with the years, but we don't seem to have the multitude of difficulties rearing children as other parts of the world. We live, more or less, at peace with creation. God wants that for our lives. He loves us so much and wishes only the best for us. Now if we could come to grips with the needs of folks that are lacking in Godly influence in their lives perhaps South Dakota would become a haven for all of the disillusioned people in our world. Nah, our population will probably never exceed a million, and we probably won't ever make the national news as often now that Tom Daschle is no longer in office, but we will maintain a really high level of moral fibre in our citizens. These truly are the "salt of the earth" types that you have heard or read about. Vehicles are quite often seen running with no one behind the wheel at shopping centers. If you look closely walking in to the big places about 1 in every 10 cars have the keys in the ignition and the doors aren't locked. Neither are the homes always locked. My wife insists that we should never leave our home unlocked, and I agree that is a good habit to get into. I guess it urks me sometimes to go around looking under mats to find the spare key. Then there is always the possibility that someone is watching me to see which mat we keep it under. There's that paranoid streak again! I think if I had never lived anywhere else I would be completely oblivious to the dangers of our world that seem to flood every television news program. Tonight I thank God we are where we are in His world. It's still cold, and there may be more snow for the weekend, but for the most part it's pretty much the same as everywhere else, only better! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What A Weekend!

No, I didn't get like this picture might indicate! There is a great deal of understanding that comes with looking into the picture and imagining who came up with the thought. Have you ever felt like one more complaint or problem could just make you explode? I guess There were a few moments yesterday(The checkout girl at the gas station was not doing well)when I came across someone having a worse day than me. "Why didn't you say you didn't get gas?" That was her response to the purchase of a Coke on ice for my honey. When I got back to the house my wife said, "Where were you, we looked all over?" A few minutes later I answered the phone with my usual, "Hey! You got the Preacher." What came next was totally laughable, "Where have you been? I've been trying to reach you all day!" Those precious moments between the severity of our response and the attitude that we engender in others has got to be measurable in milliseconds. For myself it is somewhat likened to a coin toss(it has to do with a perpetually guilty conscience). Do I return fire with fire or try to put out the flames? God, I'm sure, would prefer that we really attempt to curb our own feelings in situations like this. I try to think about it from the other person's point of view, and fail miserably. The one thing that helps to keep me in line is considering the depth and number of apologies that will be necessary if I lose my temper. I suppose I don't always do a very good job, but I have noticed that the frequent need for apologies to others has lessened as I've gotten older. It doesn't mean that the temptation isn't there, but it does save a lot of time over the course of a week to not have to go back and make amends with folks that probably meant no harm themselves. What was it the man said about words being like bullets fired from a weapon? Something about just as hard to take back! God bless, Preacher. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Highly Acclaimed(Self Mostly)Critic

Lately prayer seems to have taken an extraordinary amount of my time. I guess I shouldn't complain, after all, the time really isn't mine, anyway. It's the time with which God has blessed my life! I think about the truth you see in the picture. The whole essence of God having known each of us before we were "knit together in our mother's womb." I wrote about this a short time ago, but a new perspective has arisen. A young man, age 20, recently(last Sunday)baptised, has presented some astounding numbers. Out here on the Great American Desert, South Dakota, 4,000 babies were terminated this past year by abortion. It seems some of the newest adult generation are beginning to understand the influence of faith in a world that appears to have a misunderstanding of what life truly is! They are part of the Campus Crusade crowd that are headed for Florida for spring break, 34 of them at last count.
I'm going to begin including them in my prayers tonight, and will continue until their return(even after that for those that I know personally)because they are going to determine the direction of American thinking for the next 50 years. Here we are just starting(spiritually)to recover from the misnomers of the 50's, and life has come about 180 degrees. I celebrate with our youth their new found faith in our Creator. I think we had this same feeling in mind as we neared the eve of Vietnam. Unfortunately most of the young men like this one were called away to die instead of fighting to save lives. Is it not strange how events and circumstances have an impact on an entire generation of people. But then that should not come as a complete surprise to those who have read the Bible. Was it not Moses that took God's people on a 40 year walk to get to know their God? In Christ's Love, Preacher.