Tag Archives: bluegrass

Perfectly Picked

chick picked 2

Yesterday was one of those days that I allowed myself to seep into depression. No reason really… it was just a handy place to be. I could have a woe is me pity party with all the feasts and trimming and there was no one to call my hand on it because I didn’t invite anyone else to join me. Oh, Izidora the Chihuahua occasionally tried to cheer me up, but her attention span is about as long as mine…. Is that a squirrel?

One  small advantage of having that “oooo something shiny” attention span is that it doesn’t allow me to hang out in a pity party too long; that would take focus. So this morning was a new day and my focus was a little more to the brighter side of life as I got out my guitar and began strumming  through the pages of a new song book titled “Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook.” If you’re not a bluegrasser you’re likely reading that title with bewilderment, or you think it’s a flea market guide. What it is is a book filled with old time bluegrass and gospel songs that “pickers” pick in parking lots at festivals and such. It’s probably the best collection of tunes I’ve seen compiled to date. Yes, that was an oooo something shiny moment. But it did have purpose. In that book is an old standard hymn “Have Thine Own Way.” As I played and sang it this morning “Methodist Style” (meaning I sang all four verses) Baptist usually only sing first and last, it blessed my soul!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

It’s a standard hymn, but it’s not a standard of living today is it? We want it our own way, and yesterday. But reading through those words, written by obvious divine inspiration, my heart that had been so “me” focused yesterday, softened like butter on a hot biscuit! God has so richly blessed me with time. Time to sing, pray, study, serve… and yes… whine. That story is not new either.

Isaiah 58:12-14 reads ~ And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Israel was a chosen nation that continually tried to have it their own way, when all God wanted was for them to choose Him and His way and He would have given it all…

He hasn’t changed.

  • I am chosen by Christ.
  • I am challenged by His Spirit
  • I am charged by His Word.

I’m not perfect, but I was perfectly picked! Have Thine own way Lord…

Three ways to encourage God to encourage you

Chick Bluegrass

My heart was overflowing this morning. I’ve spent two days in a prayer conference listening to great men of God expound the truth of the glorious gospel. They stirred my soul…convicted me of my mediocre living for Christ and then encouraged me to do more. I followed that with Wednesday night service at my own church; where, going in half prepared because of my week of traveling, God still came down and met with that group of teens. A packed house in our little class room, knee to knee they sat, some listening… some not. That’s okay, I don’t always listen either.

I’m straying away from the “But Now” series for today; kind of a station break of sorts to encourage you with the message that God gave me quickly today. It was the verse of the day on Biblegateway.com and it bated me in, hooked me and then reeled me into the rest of the chapter like an eager fish.

Psalm 33

Three ways to encourage God to encourage you!

PRAISE HIM AND BE HAPPY!

Praising God makes you pretty! Who knew? Well God for one, and I guess the writer of the Psalm had figured it out.

Vs. 1~   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

There’s something about a person who’s in the process of praise. I’m not sure I’d call it a Shechinah glory, but the presence of God is obvious, it’s beautiful and they’re happy. Even if they’re in the throes of the worst battle of their life, if they begin to praise God He brings an unexplainable joy to their soul.

Tell somebody how good God is, and watch your heart get happy.

PRAISE HIM WITH BLUEGRASS (and don’t be a slacker)!!!

Okay that’s not in there, but it’s close:

Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

See… I’m not lying. Those were the tools of bluegrass in the formative years. God said to play a new song and do it well. This is my take on that… When you sing before the congregation of the Lord, or before the kitchen table as I have this evening, sing like it’s the first time you’ve stood before Him and  give Him your  best. I cannot tell you the times I have been ill prepared and well prepared to sing, and Heaven came down, and times that I’ve sang and Heaven didn’t even open a window. It’s a matter of the heart. But God loves a good bluegrass song! And other genres too, that just happens to be my fav. Sing a song to the Lord and He’ll encourage you.

PRAISE HIM JUST BECAUSE

For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

God is good all the time.

A few days ago when ISIS was at it again, I awoke in the middle of the night and began praying for that family. My heart was broken. I didn’t have to know them, I just knew if it was someone I loved I would have wanted someone to pray for me. I didn’t know how to pray. I wanted to pray… God send a bomb down on top of those people and let it not kill them right away. I was that angry. And then I thought, “No, God died for them too, I have to forgive them.” But how? How is it humanly possible to forgive someone that heinous? It’s not. But with God, all things are possible. And God is good. I just have to go on that and praise Him in the good times and bad and let Him have His day of judgment on them. Praise Him for He is worthy, and if ISIS stops our praise, they’ve won another battle.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of blessings in Psalm 33. I encourage you to read the rest yourself.

On a personal note, if I encourage you… please pray for this ministry, God’s will and share the messages so that I might encourage others. I can’t do it without ya. And it sure wouldn’t be as much fun.

Stop Judging Drummers

I love pickin’ and grinnin’ with my bluegrass friends. It makes my heart happy to play “Old Joe Clark” and “Angelina Baker” on the fiddle and to strum my way through “Child of the King” on the guitar. There’s something about music that makes life fun! I feel the same way about serving Christ only multiplied. Whether it’s sharing the gospel in word or song you’ll find me grinnin’ ear to ear with unexplainable joy in my soul. That is why I don’t get sad sack Christians who are spoiling the fun for the rest of us and not giving anyone who’s lost a desire to know the One who put a giggle in my soul.

At a local bluegrass event last night I invited a fella to church and made him very uncomfortable. He said he couldn’t go to church because it always seemed like the preacher was preaching right at him. I told him that that’s how it was for every one there; there was a personal message from God to everyone who attended. I tried to explain to him what fun we had in church… he smiled and nodded politely and quickly changed back to a less convicting subject. And then I thought of a few saints that I know; if they’re happy about their salvation they forgot to tell their face, their mouth and their attitude. Is it any wonder that a lost and dying world doesn’t see the need for Jesus, they can miserable in their own right?

As we played music and laughed in the fellowship of musicians (they’re highly tolerate of my inability to cut the muster with their masterful bluegrass skills) they loved me anyway. Diehard bluegrassers can be a tad clickish. They’ll kick you out of the club for playing drums. It’s true! Traditional bluegrass people play strings, drums don’t have strings so they’re not allowed in the band. Well, I know a few Baptist who feel the same way about Methodist and visa versa. Just sayin’…. And all the while the world around us dies and goes to Hell because the church spends more time worrying about who’s got sticks and who’s got strings. Can I get a witness? Enough already.

Just speak Jesus. And smile for cyrin’ out loud.

Matthew 6:16

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Will the religious Pharisees and Sadducees please get with the program? Church is fun! And the really funny part for me (although it’s not really all that funny) is your reward is your grumpy britches. Me? I get to have a party down here and in Heaven! But the really sad part about it is that our friends and family believe that there’s no joy in Church because there’s no joy in the face of the church they see. It’s Saturday… and my thoughts are already on Sunday, because I anticipate joy in the house of the Lord. If you’re a child of God that should be your heart as well, else you’re living beneath God’s intended design.

And stop judging drummers….