The trials,tribulations and observations of Christian life in both real life and virtual reality
Be a new creation! Corinthians 5:13
Friday, September 10, 2010
Saturday, September 19, 2009
To Thine Own Self be True
What young women may not realize is that they hold alot of power. They can rise up and reject being used as sexual objects for men's entertainment or business profits. They can stop being expendible by not giving themselves so easily and freely. They can and should expect fidelity. They should just say NO. It's a simple as that. And, while I'm at it, young women shouldn't live with anyone prior to marriage and commitment. Let men work a little harder for your love and body before you so easily share it. Most of all, let yourself be cherished.
A song by Jonny Diaz, "A More Beautiful You"
Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see That beauty is within your heart And you were made with such care your skin your body and your hairAre perfect just the way they are
There could never be a more beautiful you Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump throughYou were made to fill a purpose that only you could do So there could never be a more beautiful you
Little girl twenty-one the things that you’ve already doneAnything to get ahead And you say you’ve got a man but he’s got another plan Only wants what you will do instead
Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come You starve yourself to play the part But I can promise you there’s a man whose love is trueAnd he’ll treat you like the jewel you are
So turn around you’re not too far To back away be who you are.To change your path go another way It’s not too late you can be saved If you feel depressed with past regrets.The shameful nights hope to forgetCan disappear they can all be washed awayBy the one who’s strong can right your wrongsCan rid your fears dry all your tears
Saturday, August 15, 2009
It's no different with Christians, especially those new to the faith. But, like doctors, our training isn't finished after 3 years. In fact, we should consider ourselves in training and growth every day for a lifetime, not just once a week for an hour or two.
Why go to church?
Isn't God everywhere?
Why go to school?
Aren't books everywhere?
People who aren't ready to commit spiritually always use the argument that they can pray "anywhere" and God is available "everywhere" so why bother with church. They say this to excuse not going to church and even though what they say is truth (ie God IS everywhere), this truth is distorted to suit their needs. What they aren't grasping is that "the church" is a living, thriving community of fellowship, not merely a place of 4 walls and a roof. It isn't the structure that helps you to dive deeper into faith, its the members, the growth groups, and the Pastor. These people are the tools who help us to connect with God's Word.
So, that argument is an incomplete pass.
Can you imagine if your child decided he didn't have to go school anymore because "information" is available everywhere, on the internet, in the library, and on tv." Would you say "ok" and let him educate his mind this way? I bet not.
But why? Isn't it true that information is everywhere? Yes, of course. But, how can we filter, digest and make any sense of it?
That's what the church offers too-- a teacher in the form of a Pastor to help us filter, digest and make sense of things when we can't; to help us stay on track, keep walking our walk and to stay in God's Word. the church also offers us mentors who are experienced Christians to help lead us in growth. And, then there's the members who volunteer their time, help, support and encouragement to one another.
How can you learn, encourage and grow by yourself? Think about it. Yes, God is everywhere. He is God! But God also wants us to have fellowship, pray together and be the church so we can spread the good news as instructed in the Great Commission.
Don't go it alone, thinking you don't need to belong to a church community. Reach out and pray with others every Sunday and other times. God will still hear you, really He will.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Decyfer Down Review
by Brielle Coronet (reprinted from my music review column in ChristineEzine July 2009 issue )
Last night I was totally engrossed in trying to build something in Second Life (not too well) and as I hyper-focused on the task at hand, I began humming absentmindedly to a song playing on the television.
After a few bars, I realized with a start that the song was, “Forever in You” by Decyfer Down! The kicker was that it was playing over a promo for a show on the Soap Network! (don’t ask) It was sort of a déjà vu moment for me. After all, this is almost exactly how I was introduced to The Afters a couple of years back. That time it was the theme song, “Beautiful Love” from the popular teen soap drama, 8th and Ocean.
This got me to wondering how many Christian bands are played on tv without much fanfare. More so, was it by chance or choice of the producers? When you consider how secular Hollywood is, it does raise an eyebrow. But, no matter what the reason, it’s refreshing that Christian music is getting airplay on tv.
Decyfer Down is classified as alternative metal, alternative rock and post-grunge. They’ve toured with the likes of Thousand Foot Krutch and Skillet. This summer in New York City, they will be sharing the stage at Rock the Sound with Red, Pillar and Remedy Drive and yours truly will be there rocking out with the best of them!
As of this date, Decyfer Down is the 20th most requested artist of 2009 according to ChristianRock.net. Their last cd, “End of Grey” had no less than four singles reach the coveted #1 slot on the Christian rock charts. I predict “Crash” will have equal or more success. The song, “Fading” moved up the charts quickly and has already reached the top.
Don’t let this band’s genre labels scare you off. If you appreciate good vocals, strong driving rock (sans the metal core screaming), you’ll enjoy DD. “Crash” offers a nice balance of hard rock music and slower ballads. And, most importantly, all of us will identify with their soul searching:
I am made new,
I want to live like every breath matters.
I wanna love what you love,
I want to see what you see,
I want a heart that burns like a fire in me.
I want a light in my life,
I want my heart renewed,
Here I am…
Forever with you.
I can’t wait to see them August 1 at Rock the Sound! **
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
To Be or Not to "Be": Is there really any question?
Apparently police were called to a domestic dispute. Once on the scene they found a young mother seated on a couch nursing a 6 week old baby. The problem? She was drunk. She was drunk enough to be arrested and charged with neglect.
The amazing thing is that caller after caller defended this woman's behavior and choices! One caller said it was a free country and she could do whatever she wanted to do, including being a drunk nursing mom. Another took the pity route and said maybe she could only afford beer and not formula! Ok, now let's stop at that one. Let's pick that argument apart: if she were really strapped for cash, would alcohol really be the drink of choice to consume and feed her baby through nursing? Why not Kool-Aid? Doesn't that cost under a dollar or less for a packet of that high caloric junk drink? Think how far it would go for the baby, never mind the sugar high as an added bonus. Plus, there are all those pretty colored flavors to choose from. Beer is just pee gold. Well, maybe not on St. Patrick's Day but for the most part, it is. Even milk, that good ole fashioned stuff that comes from the cow has got to be cheaper than a six pack.
Then a lawyer called into the show. She said neglect isn't defined by one incident and that maybe the mother didn't have the resources to make better choices for herself blah blah....it was all about the woman being the victim, not the baby. It was all about her needs, her issues, her needing understanding. The baby was a nonentity, not even a blip on the moral radar screen.
And, so it seems to be in this society. It seems we are a culture that has devalued life, especially the young and defenseless. Trust me, if this had been a story about a drunken woman who was feeding beer to a puppy, people would have wanted this woman tarred and feathered and locked up in a jail cell. Seems to me that people value the defenseless and dependent only if they are covered in fur.
Yes, a fetus. There is a huge chunk of society that regards budding life as nothing more than a clump of cells--but not human being cells, just cells. What they think these cells will become is beyond me but maybe they can't (or won't) consider that these cells are human because to do so would define it as a person; a unique being with its own DNA. To accept that idea would mean changing what they believe are their "rights" with choice; in other words whether or not these cells live or die.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
This Way, That Way with God's GPS
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Newboys "In the Hands of God" cd review
But, I digress, back to the cds. So, while driving along one of the busiest interstate roads in my state, I blindly plucked one of the new cds from top of the pile. Head bobbing, foot stomping, good ole solid rock worthy music immediately streamed out-- not too heavy, not too pop. I was getting into it—and then the singing started. I stopped mid-head bob from shock.
I quickly ejected the cd. Instead of it being the band I thought it would be, it was the other band’s new cd; a band better known for fun pop/rock songs like, “Go (I Wanna Send You),” “Wherever We Go” or slower worship music like “Presence (My Heart’s Desire),” “He Reigns” or “Devotion” but sure enough, the cd label said Newsboys. After I heard the distinctive vocals of Peter Furler, I knew this cd would earn membership in my personal favorites hall of fame. The cd’s first cut, “The Way We Roll” starts off with a bang and instructs us to:
Put on your backpack,
Throw out your roadmap,
God’ll use anything, check it and see.
He’s using us more than we could ever ask for,
That’s the new way we roll cause we’ve been set free!
Another fun song that gets your heart pumping and singing in the car is Dance. The song urges us to shed our self-consciousness.
Dance like no one is looking
Sing like no one can hear
Love like you’ve never been hurt before,
Live like there’s nothing to fear
Ok, I know Chris Tomlin said basically the same thing in one of his hit songs but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate this message to the masses.
One of my favorite songs on the cd , “Lead Me to the Cross” is one I sing in church. They didn’t fiddle with the original Hillsong arrangement too much either so it comes off pure and sincere, just the way it should.
With busy lives, we tend to forget we are mortal with a “finite number of heartbeats.” The song, “This is your life” doesn’t sugar coat its message. I may put these words in my profile:
This is not a warm up round…
This is your life
Treat yourself right,
Treat others right.
Live like you know you should…
Fight the good fight,
Fight for what’s right.
Do what you know you should.
Every living soul completes a finite number of heartbeats…
The devil knows you get just one shot…
Did you forget that heaven’s calling for your best shot?
That’s a good question to ponder. The Newsboys cd, “In the Hands of God” is a great addition to your collection.
Update: On March 9, 2009 the band announced that Michael Tait (formerly of dc Talk) will replace Peter Furler as the Newsboys lead singer.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
No Right on Red
There was a time not so very long ago when I thought of life as one big chess game. In my mind's eye I'd plot out strategic moves, then make counter strikes for the desired outcome. I always felt that if I weren't careful or mindful enough, I was in danger of being checked at any given time.
What an exhausting mindset! If Dr. Phil had been in my head, he would have asked his infamous, "so how's that been working for ya?" question. Not having Dr. Phil to nudge me, my learning curve proved a bit long and steep.
However, I did eventually learn to live differently and I now know better. My heart now accepts and understands that despite what we may think, we are usually right where we're supposed to be. I say "usually" because many times even seasoned believers get impatient. Even though we know we are not in control of things, our wants and desires urge us to go for it anyway because in that flashpoint moment, we think we know what's best. We say to God, "I'll take it from here" with the hope that he not only understands but agrees with us too! Are we delusional?
Yes, I know waiting and staying in a holding pattern can be tough. Been there; done that, designed the tshirt. It's alot like sitting in a plane waiting on the runway for takeoff clearance --or even worse, circling high in the sky above your destination point when you are anxious to land and get to where you are supposed to be.
Can you imagine how much easier it would be for you if you took control over the cockpit? Things would then happen according to your needs, wants and timeline. Sounds good, right? Wrong! When you take control you are essentially taking control over God's cockpit and flight plan. But wait, what if you were being delayed for a reason? What if God wanted you right where you were at that very moment? Maybe it was for your safety, maybe you were supposed to talk to someone or maybe he was moving things on the other end for your benefit. This is a time for trusting in faith, not cursing your misfortune or inconvenience. When delays or detours happen and you don't underestand why, pray on it.
"...he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:6
Or, maybe God is setting something up and positioning people and events like a heavenly chess game-- not for you but for someone else. Maybe, you are someone else's divine appointment. You never know what God has planned but make no mistake, there is a purpose and nothing is random.
Not too long ago a single mom somewhere in Tennessee stood by her car off a busy hightway in the pouring rain looking at a flat tire with a sinking heart. With little money and no one to call, she didn't know what else to do but pray. She asked the Lord to help her out because she was alone and scared. On the other side of the highway, a man from out of state was driving on his way to a job assignment. He normally wouldn't have been traveling on that road at that time but had decided to get to his hotel earlier in order to be rested for the next day. He looked over to the other side of the highway in time to see the woman standing by the side of the road. Something about her looked familiar to him so he made the first u-turn to get to her side of the road. And indeed, they knew one another! He recognized her as a waitress from the restaurant he frequented when working at the out of state assignment. He wasn't supposed to have been on that road at that time yet God had put him there in answer to her prayer. God put him there so she wouldn't be in danger from strangers.*
Some may think this was simply a case of good luck or merely coincidence. Those of us with faith see it as divine intervention. So, the next time you want to take matters into your own hands, wait. Wonderful things may come your way, things you never imagined nor dreamed of. Or it just may be as simple as an answer to a prayer for help to change a flat tire. Whatever God's reason, let him be at the steering wheel and be patient. It's not your trip, it's his.
"Wait for the Lord," Psalm 37:34
*true story told to me recently by one of the people involved in that incident