The Gift Of Music

31 10 2007

64c0bf8fe7a45b6a6d8e052d30d157bb1.jpg         As Kymberly is away with her family, at the funeral of her grandfather, First I would like to express my sorrow and condolences for her loss, and pray that the Lord Jesus heal her and her family’s heart. My prayers and all the essence of who I am are with you sweet girl.       

 I did not know what I would write about, she suggested music as I am a musician. She also conveyed that this blog is Christian in nature, but I could write about whatever I wanted. So as I laid down to sleep last night, the Lord impressed upon my heart what I am about to share.       

Several days ago I recorded and sent Kymberly a song. It was not one of my own composition, but a great song none the less. It is a song I sing well, and I imagine she was impressed. Mission accomplished. After a few more days I sent her another song, an instrumental. She was perplexed and asked “No Words”. I replied that she needed to seek deeply into the music to understand what I was saying. I love a great instrumental, sometimes driven to tears. I know how to “seek deeply” what people like Carlos Santana are saying when they play. What does this have to do with Christ one might ask?………………….Everything! Music and the ability to play music is a gift from God. The way a performer interacts with his audience is the way God interacts with us. When filled with the Holy Spirit and “deeply seeking” the Lord we are filled with joy. Much like the feeling one gets when experiencing a song you really like. I can only imagine what God feels like when we are into Him. I know what I feel like when I look out in the crowd and see all those smiling faces and hearts filled with joy. It reminds me of when my mother used to come and see me play years ago before she went to be with the Lord. She had a look of love on her face that was indescribable. I knew she was proud of my ability, this was her son, her flesh,the fruit of her life. I’ll never forget how I felt, so proud, feeling as though I was probably a better musician than I really was. But what really matters, is that now I realize in retrospect that this was all to glorify God and the beautiful gift he had bestowed upon me. So that people could see Him living in me. He IS the music and gave me this gift to bless and give joy to others as well as myself. I only wish I had known this in my youth, I miss used this gift for my own purpose, mostly to attract women and for power. I had something not everyone had ……………….talent. Over the years I have had my chances to make it big, that would not have been good for me. No explanation needed there. One only need look to the past and see all the great artists that satan lied to. I know that my mother worried that I would fall prey to these same temptations, and I did. There was a time that I had quit playing just before her death. She came to me one day and asked me to go out and look for a guitar set up, as I only had an acoustic at that time. She bought me a whole guitar rig which I still own today. She made me promise that I would never stop playing. She knew of the great blessing that the Lord gave me and knew one day I would figure out the responsibility that goes with it. I wish she could be here to see the mighty man of God, prince and warrior I am becoming. So in closing, the next time you hear a tune you really dig, as you stop and ‘seek deeply” what the music or lyrics are trying to say. Take a minute to “deeply seek” the LORD. This is His blessing to us.

In Christ Jesus,

Anthony

Jer 29 13/14 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back

 I Ch 16 10/11 10Glory in his holy name;let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.11Look to the LORD and his strength;seek his face always.

Jn 8 50/51 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

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Unmasking Halloween

30 10 2007

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Soon little children will line up at our front doors dressed up as spider
man, little princesses, cowboys and even babies wearing cute pumpkin
outfits. Yes it’s that time again… time to stock up on every candy known to
man for the free giving away to all who come to our door requesting
“treats.”

The Halloween craze is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to consumer
spending. Halloween spending is expected to reach $3.1 billion this year,
according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), based in Washington, D.C.
It is no joke that people look forward to this nationally recognized holiday
and freely spend the money to enjoy it to the max.

The harsh reality is this: many of us have no idea what we are participating
in. We may know that Halloween has something to do with ghosts, goblins and
witches but perhaps some of us are uncomfortable dressing up our children to
depict such characters. So in order to make ourselves feel better about the
whole “Halloween thing” we dress them up as a superhero instead. Remember
that the word of God says, My people perish (are destroyed) for a lack of
knowledge. So before you decide to partake of the Halloween craze this year,
perhaps you should know what exactly it is you are “celebrating.” It may
surprise you!

THE ORIGIN OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain
(pronounced sow-in). Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France is the
area where Celts celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked
the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often
associated with human death. On the night before their new year, Celts
believed that the spiritual boundary between the worlds of the living and
the dead became blurred. On New Year’s eve (October 31) they celebrated
Samhain. They believed that on that night ghosts of the dead would return to
earth to haunt the living. Celts thought that the presence of the spirits
made it easier to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely
dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important
source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. In other
words, they wanted to know if they would to survive the harsh winter to
come.

COSTUMES
On October 31, Druids built huge sacred bonfires used for the people to
gather and burn crops, animals and human beings as sacrifices to their gods
and goddesses. During the ritual celebration, the Celts wore costumes,
typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each
other’s fortunes.

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word bonfire is derived from
the word bone-fire, so called because it was a great fire in which bones
were burned in the open air. The next day, divination was done based on the
bones remaining.

All of this was done to frighten the evil spirits away. Further, they
believed evil spirits would attack people on the eve before the November 1
celebration. The only way these people could escape was by assuming
disguises and looking like the evil spirits themselves. As a result they
became “vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened”
(Romans 1:21). As you can see, gross looking costumes have their source in
paganism and because of this we should instead put on “the full armor of
God” (Ephesians 6:11).

Dressing up like witches, ghosts, or goblins is incompatible with a
Christian’s testimony. Furthermore, many of the customs of Halloween are
associated with the worst kinds of pagan beliefs and ceremonies; they are
usually sinister things such as demons, witchcraft and superstition. If we
as Christian parents simply disregard the unchristian aspects of such
practices as mere fantasy or superstition and then encourage our children to
participate in them, we run the risk of communicating the message that the
spiritual battle waged by the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:10) is not to
be taken seriously.

BOBBING FOR APPLES
As the Romans conquered the majority of Celtic territory, the Roman festival
of Pomona was combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.
Pomona is the name of a Roman goddess of fruit and trees. Pomona’s symbol is
the apple. So while our children innocently “Bob for apples” during
Halloween festivities, they are unintentionally practicing a ritual that was
used to honor the goddess of Pomona. One of God’s commandments is to not
have any other God’s besides him. Though our children innocently play this
bobbing game, we now know that it is traditionally something that was used
to honor a false god. Some liberal Christians may say that stopping our
children from participating in a simple game is rediculous. But to those
people I respond with a quote from 1Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all
appearance of evil.”

THE MERGING OF CHRISTIANITY AND PAGAN CELEBRATIONS
As Christianity spread into Celtic lands, Pope Boniface IV designated
November 1 All Saints’ Day, a church-sanctioned holiday to honor saints and
martyrs. This celebration was also called All-hallows. The night before
Samhain began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even
later, the church made November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead.
It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and
dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three
celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were
called Hallowmas.

As immigrants came to America, they brought their customs and traditional
celebrations with them. As their beliefs and customs mixed with the American
Indians, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The
first celebrations included public events held to celebrate the harvest,
where neighbors would share stories of the dead and try to tell each other’s
fortunes. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing
Ireland’s potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of
Halloween nationally.

Though the name has changed, Halloween still carries its pagan significance.
It is still an observance of death and there is no Christian significance
whatsoever. Jesus Christ is conspicuously absent! We can celebrate the birth
of Christ in Christmas and the atoning death of Christ in Easter. But
Halloween is a day dedicated to idolatry, fear, death and the occult. You
cannot celebrate those things to the glory of God. The Bible tells us, “So
then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor
and glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

TRICK OR TREAT
As Americans embraced this pagan tradition, they began to dress up in
costumes, going house to house asking for food or money, a practice that
eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed
that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future
husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

The Irish believed they could mix-in with the spirits roaming the earth
while going unnoticed. If your costume wasn’t convincing enough, there was a
way to exorcise the spirits. People would have to set out a treat of food
and fruit, and provide the wandering spirit with shelter for the night. If
the demon spirit was satisfied with your treat, it was believed that he
would not trick you by casting an evil spell on you.

Good luck was promised to all who donated but threats were made against
those who would not give. There is absolutely nothing in Trick or Treat that
honors our Lord Jesus Christ! In fact, it is a form of idol worship. When
you give out Halloween candy, you are, in essence providing a sacrifice to
the false gods. You are participating in idolatry. God has made it clear
that he will not tolerate idol worshipping of any sort. God declared this
thousands of years ago: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall
not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on
the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or
worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the
children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of
those who hate me” (Exodus 20:3-5).

Consider carefully the words of the Apostle Paul starting in 2 Corinthians
6:14 : “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated
alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent
with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing
with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship
with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the
devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement
[can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of
the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them
and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they
shall be My people. So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate
(sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean
thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor, And I will
be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord
Almighty.”

JACK O LANTERN
As a child I remember trick or treating throughout my neighborhood. I
remember wearing a plastic outfit of Casper the friendly ghost and holding
on to a hard plastic pumpkin as the container to hold my treats. This candy
container, also known as the Jack O Lantern, is still very popular even
today.

There is an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the
story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his
name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the
Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks.
Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his
pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back
into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition
that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he
would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into
climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree,
Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could
not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more
years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an
unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played
on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into
hell either. So the devil sent Jack off into the dark night with only a
burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip
and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer
to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack
O’Lantern.”

Superstitious people hollowed out turnips or pumpkins placing candles inside
to scare evil spirits away from their houses. Others claim that the
candlelit pumpkin or skull…served as a signal to mark those homes that
were sympathetic to the evil spirits and thus deserving of mercy when the
terror of the night (Halloween) began. I certainly am not sympathetic to
evil spirits, are you? Then why display a Jack-O-Lantern at your window?

SCRIPTURES TO HELP US UNDERSTAND
In Leviticus 19:26, God instructs us not to be partakers of such evil
observances. As for those who still make an attempt to tell the future, look
at what Isaiah 47:13-14 says, “…Let now the astrologers, the stargazers,
the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save thee from these things that
shall come upon thee. Behold they shall burn them, they shall not deliver
themselves from the power of the flame.”

The Bible also clearly warns us in Leviticus 19:31 to stay away from anyone
who practices witchcraft. Now that we know that Halloween is truly an evil
celebration, we should stop celebrating it, according to Isaiah 1:16, “Wash
yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from
before My eyes! Cease to do evil.”

Perhaps you’ve celebrated Halloween all of your life and it’s difficult to
just stop doing it all of a sudden. What will your friends and family say?
We cannot be pressured by what others think. We have to live according to
God’s instructions. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world
(this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial
customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind
[by its new ideals and its new attitude]” Furthermore, Ephesians 5:6-11
tells us, “Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and
groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of
God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience. So do not associate
or be sharers with them. For once you were darkness, but now you are light
in the Lord; walk as children of Light [lead the lives of those native-born
to the Light]. For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or
[c]the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of
heart, and trueness of life. And try to learn [in your experience] what is
pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most
acceptable to Him]. Take no part in and have no fellowship with the
fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be
so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them.”

Now ask yourself after reading these scriptures, is Jesus Christ pleased
with this national holiday? Can we mix evil and good, and then laugh at it?
Halloween stems from evil, darkness, witchcraft and Satan himself. How can
we, being followers of Christ, put our stamp of approval on such an evil
holiday?





My Desert Experience

29 10 2007

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Every had someone perform what I call a heart test on you ?

 There have been times in my own life that all roads lead me into the dessert in order for me to find out what is in my heart. These times can be very difficult and humbling….They can test mettle like no other time .Desert times often for me used to mean I am living without those things I am normally accustomed to as in water, food, limited supplies and with a few comforts.In modern terms , it may mean a different environment….I feel that it is in those times my God is performing a very important work in my life. He wants to know if I can be obedient to him in these times also .Or will I only be obedient when times are good.

I am humbled he humbles me…. causing me to hunger then feeding me with attention…to teach me .For me these desert times may mean experiencing new ways of providing for me…it may also mean new lessons , ones I have never seen or experienced before.Much like clothing that never wears out , it may mean seeing your normal capabilities expanding..like walking hundreds of miles without pain in the desert experience he has provided..in that he has new lessons and new experiences that only in these times can he teach me.

Whatever it is, when he decided to bring new discipline into my life by leading me into a desert moment I do not fear the heat that is sure to come …I know he is with me inside of me …closer than my very breath….and it is all about my heart..God only wants to draw me in closer . 

“Today I just made another awesome journey through the dessert now it is back to the jungle for some fun.”

kymberlyrenee





Never Without You

28 10 2007

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They had been married over 50 years so it seemed. I recall my grandmothers laugh the most. She would keep me up late into the night telling me jokes, she was my favorite. She would say you have a call on your life girl and one day you are going to do great things for God. I had a praying grandmother and her prayers saved my life many times. I will never forgot her words and that laugh.

 I also recall how sad my grandfather was when she left him. I had never seen anyone so broken, my heart hurt so badly for him.

Yesterday my grandfather went to be with her. I am not sad because I know he will be happy.

So I will drive home to be with my family with a smile on my face.

This fits them perfectly

If you live to be a hundred, 
I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, 
So that I never have to live without you.”
That’s real marriage. That’s real love. It’s stuff that most 
will only read about in romance novels. Few live it, few feel 
it, fewer still would die for it.
Few people realize that to truly achieve a love like that,
you do have to die. You have to die to self.
The grandfather couldn’t make it one without his 
love. Or maybe, she had already said to him:
“If you live to be a hundred,
I want to live to be a hundred minus one week,
So that I never have to live a week without you.

kymberlyrenee





Her Master

27 10 2007

Her Master
Sometimes I run across a rare quote, that just blows me away…..last night was one of those times….I was just hanging out and I like reading blogs and profiles seeing what folks have to say ….as you know I am pretty head strong when it comes to what I feel works for me and It would be pretty hard to get me to change something I felt from deep within , though I can be flexible with many things …Anyhow I thought to borrow this short quote and repost it in my blog just because it is so cool and so poetic and you know just well said and it stopped me in my tracks made me think , made me question it and grabbed my attention …

“She is the doorway to the house called’ “Her Master”

It reminded me of a old story of this man I once new back in the day…who was just a outstanding Man and he so burned with such a love for people you could just stand in his very presence and feet the joy that covered him as it rubbed off all over you…..Anyway back in the day before he had his life in order him and his wife had a ruff road and he struggles with a lot of addictions and other issues …his wife was always faithful regardless she was so very submissive to him and obedient and when he would stumble she would take a stand in silence and wait…wait on the Lord and pray , I do not ever recall her undressing him in public or making him feel less than the best…she was an amazing woman , probably one of the strongest women I ever met who helped me understand a lot of things….He told me one night he kicked her out the house and went to bed…he said the next morning he found her curled up in a ball on the front porch…he open the door amazed and she stood and said good morning honey and she came in ….he could never figure out why she did not mouth off on him and she never nagged him or complained …she just stood by his side through so many storms in his life…today he will tell you how much that meant to him and how awesome she really is ……He does not behave that way now and he is a different man but he knows that because of God working in there life and her faith in him he was changed …Today she is his slave and he is her Master and I believe

                  “She is the doorway to the house called ” Her Master”

kymberlyrenee





Bless The Broken Road

24 10 2007

Broken Road           

The moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:28Today I had the chance to think back with a friend of mine on what our lives might be like if we had not met Jesus in a personal way.  We speculated and talked but in the end we are both grateful that our life path was blessed by God through Jesus His Son.  Although the lyrics below were written to another human being they describe how my friend and I feel about our lives BC (before Christ).

 I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you
Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

Rascal Flatts