Sunday Morning Coffee: Music

I set my coffee mug down on the table by my chair, sat down and pulled my computer to my lap. I said, “Alexa, play Abiding Radio.” I have it set on “instrumental” right now. I love beautifully orchestrated  sacred music.

The first song I heard was “As morning gilds the skies, my heart ,awakening, cries, ‘May Jesus Christ be praised!'”  As I listened, I  did an instant time travel back to when I was about eight or nine years old.

The music director at Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis had decided to start a children’s choir. Oh, my heart!  I was so excited!  I loved to sing, and I think I may have been first in line to audition!

Glory!  I was accepted into the choir, and under the director’s able leadership, we tackled some pretty hard music. This hymn was one that I clearly remember.  He went over the words with us, making sure we knew exactly what the song meant.  And by the way,  that’s a really good thing to do when your kids are memorizing scripture.  Helps them “get it” faster when they fully understand what the words mean.

That hymn was a paean of praise, and I have loved it ever since.  Here’s a beautiful version for your enjoyment:

 

Just Thinking About Things

Yesterday, our friends  Pete and Marge drove us up to JFK airport in New York so we could spend a couple of hours with our grandson Kyle, who was on his way home to South Dakota from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.  We hadn’t seen him for nearly two years, and it was just wonderful to have this opportunity.

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After Kyle was on his way, we headed through the departure area to get the elevator to the first floor.

It was chock full of people, from all different nations, standing in lines that seemed miles long as they waited for check-in. Hundreds of people, and just in one terminal of that vast airport.

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Pete was pushing the wheelchair I was using, and we both commented on how incredible it is to think how many people are in the air at any one time, flying all around the globe, crisscrossing each other’s flight paths, and, for the most part, landing safely and going on with their lives.

And then my mind took a different turn. I thought about all those thousands of people traveling around the globe, and what it will be like for them when Jesus calls all believers to Himself, and takes us home to heaven. We call it The Rapture, because the Greek word, harpazo, is translated in the Latin version to rapio, and it means to snatch away. 

I believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture.  I know there are many who disagree, and that’s up to them.  I’m not writing this in order to start an argument.  I’m just picturing how it will be if, for instance, the pilots of some of those planes are believers, and suddenly they are gone!  People seated next to each other in close quarters are going to disappear. Planes will go spiraling out of control jf both the pilot and co-pilot are taken, leaving passengers screaming in terror. It will be a wonderful split-second of time for all who have trusted Jesus for forgiveness and salvation; it will be the beginning of terror and confusion for those who remain, wondering what happened, and dealing with the chaos that will ensue here on earth.

What should we be doing right now?  Easy.  We should be sharing Jesus Christ with all the people we can, every day that we can.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

 

Can We Talk?

I’m in the mood to count my blessings. It’s way too easy to get wrapped up in what’s wrong,  and we need to stop and take a look at what’s right.

I tell my clients this all the time:  When your automatic negative self-talk sets in, you have to STOP IT, kick it out, and replace it with what you know is truth.

What is automatic negative self-talk?  We all do it, to one degree or another. Here’s an example of my own monologue that can run in my head if I don’t do something to stop it:

“I’m a failure as a therapist. There are people who have come once and never returned.  I’m the fattest person in the room.  Everyone thinks I’m just a pig.  People just tolerate me.  Three of my four children have moved so far away that we almost never see them–it must be because they’re running away from me.  I failed as a mother. Other people have all their children close by.”

Do you get the idea?  Horrible, ugly, “stinkin’ thinkin’ that just isn’t true, even if it seems to have a seed of truth in it. And that’s the way Satan works–he wraps that seed of truth in a big fat lie. So let me take my own negative thinking apart for you.

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It’s true that some people have never returned to my therapy office after only one visit, but the vast majority come back many times.  I often receive notes of thanks from people I’ve been able to help through some pretty terrible things.  I’m NOT a failure as a therapist.

I may be the fattest person in the room, but I have no way of knowing what other people are thinking about me. It is wrong for me to assume that I know what they are thinking, and not one person has ever said “You’re a pig” to my face. What they say behind my back is none of my business.

People do seek me out.  It is not true that EVERYONE just tolerates me.

It is true that three of my children live very far away, but we raised them to be strong and independent. After all, Terry and I moved across the country too, and it wasn’t to get away from our parents.  It was to follow what we believed God was leading us to do.  Other people do have all their children and grandchildren nearby, but that has nothing to do with me.

See?  You have to learn to recognize the negative thoughts that can run in a continuous loop in your head. Once you recognize it, you can toss it out and replace it with truth. Often, my truths are scripture verses.  Some of my favorites:  Phil. 4:4-8; Psalm 119:165; Jeremiah 29:11-14.  So many more, too many to count.  The Word of God is the best  pest repellant 🙂

So count your blessings today, and don’t allow your mind to dwell in the dark.  It just isn’t worth it.

July 4th

Saturday morning.  I’m changing all my headers, as I do every month.

I love July.  I’ve always thought it was very cool to have a birthday on the 4th, and this year I’ll be hitting 70!

The Fourth of July is a wonderful day for America. We take the day off for picnics, parties, parades, and fireworks in celebration of the birth of a new nation, independent of any controlling forces except our own elected Congressmen.

I’ve always thought that the Declaration of Independence was poetic in its language:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— 

Of course there is much, much more.  It is a wonderful document, unique in its inception, and created by a consensus of some of the most brilliant minds in our history.

As I read over the entire document before posting this, I was impressed again at the moral courage and dedication it took for the signers to go public in their desire to throw off the control of the British government, and  the taxes and regulations that came with it. Some of the signers lost their health, their wealth; some spent time in prison; some suffered beatings and attacks on their families; some died for the “treasonous” act of putting their names to this document.

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When I finished reading, I prayed as I often do: “Heavenly Father, let us never forget how this nation was conceived, founded, and built to provide a place for freedom for all; freedom to worship as we choose, without imposing our faith on others against their will; freedom to speak our minds without fear; freedom to work and to thrive by our own efforts. Help us to be thankful for the freedom we still have in this country, even as it is being eroded by our own comfort and laziness, to educate ourselves and be cognizant of those who would destroy us for their own gain. Protect us from those who would change our beloved country into something governed by religious zealots, bigotry, and hatred that aims to control us in every detail of our lives. Give us a spiritual revival, Lord,  before we become too weak to stand in our own defense.”

As you enjoy this holiday weekend, take a few moments to remember our history, and to thank God for the privilege of living in America.

Stats

Every blogger has access to  all kinds of interesting information about who is reading our blogs.  The stats page never gives personal names, of course, but it does tell us what countries and even what cities our readers are from. It shows demographics such as age groups, and how many people are repeat visitors  and how many are there for the first time.  I have no idea how they gather all this information, and I really don’t care. Usually, all I look at is the daily numbers.

This week, though,  something rather unusual happened. On Wednesday, I had about twice the normal numbers of visits; then on Thursday, there were 194 hits, all from Qatar, along with the rest of the people who visited  my blog that day. They hadn’t all visited the same post.  There are hundreds of posts now, after four years of almost-daily writing.

But–Qatar?  Really?

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It’s a little peninsula connected to Saudi Arabia and surrounded by the Arabian Gulf.  I’ve read quite a bit about Qatar, and found that it is mostly comprised of Sunni Muslims, and Islam is the official religion, and Islam is the basis of jurisprudence in Qatar. When I asked my computer about the Christian population of Qatar, this is what I learned:

The Christian community in Qatar is a diverse mix of European, North and South American, Asian, Middle Eastern and African expatriates. They form around 13.8% of the total population (2010). … missionary groups operate openly in the country. There are no local Christians in Qatar; all Christians are foreign expatriates.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever know why I had all that traffic from Qatar,  but I do find it curious. Did a Christian  from a Christian community stumble across my blog and share it with his friends?  Or did a Muslim stumble across it and find it interesting enough to share it with others?

I mean, if you were in my place, wouldn’t YOU like to know?

A Personal Note

The next section of Isaiah 14 should really be studied with no interruption, so I’m going to put this blog on hold until sometime next week, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Terry and I will be flying out to California to help my son and his bride-to-be to celebrate their wedding on Sunday.  I think I’m going to leave my electronics at home, except for my phone. I’ll need that for taking some photos.

Writing my two blogs nearly every day has become such a habit. I’m surprised at how much of a struggle it is for me to step away for several days.  Maybe that’s a clear sign that it’s time to take a little break.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend as we enjoy this lovely spring weather, and I’ll see you next week.

Singing the Blahs

You know how sometimes you have a day in which you just don’t care?  Don’t want to do a thing but indulge yourself in books, tea, and maybe something sweet?  So you let everything else  go begging–cleaning, laundry, shopping–all the mundane things of your normal  life. They’ll be there when you come back from your selfie-day.  Your ME time, which is a term I find utterly ridiculous. Women need to realize that they’ll have plenty of “me time”  at a later point in life.  You have to work for it, earn it. The cool thing about taking a day off now, at this point in my life, is that it really doesn’t hurt anyone else. I don’t have children who need to be cared for, and Terry has never been a high-maintenance guy.  He’d rather be the caregiver than the care-receiver, which is a blessing for me when my back plays havoc with my life.

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So I indulged myself yesterday, took my day off. Read, watched some funny retro TV. Took enough time to get supper under way, but took the easy way and stuck it in my slow cooker. Nice. If I had to account for every minute of my day, I’d be in trouble.

So am I all energized, full of plans, rushing forward into a day of productive activity?

Nope.  The biggest trouble with indulging myself is that I just want to do it all over again the next day.  That would be today.  And Terry is  gone for several hours today, so there’s no one being all industrious and making me feel guilty.

Actually, I do feel guilty.  I’ve got the lazy woman blues.  And there’s a Matlock mystery marathon on ALL DAY today.  Yikes.  It started seven minutes ago, and this first episode is one I haven’t seen before. So I’m watching it. After that, maybe I’ll redeem myself by finding something important to do.

I’ve got the lazy woman blu-hues!

Can’t think of nothin’ good to dooo-hooo!

Don’t want to move my lazy bo-hones!

I’m here at ho-ome all alo-hone,

Not even talkin’ on the  pho-hone!

Oh yeah, I’ve got the lazy, crazy doin’  nothin’ blues  🙂