Tag Archives: inspiraiton

A New Member of My Family

Photo: 1975 Fritz Otto Kaiser viola purchased today... needs some work, but the more I learn about her the more I'm determined she's a beauty!

I’d like to introduce you to Gretchen, a German made viola purchased from a Pawn Shop in Lewis County, West Virginia yesterday. Her name means “Pearl” and although I have yet to get her valued, I’m hoping she’s a Pearl of great price. This morning as I looked upon her in the case and ran a cloth across her wood I realized she has much in common with the common Christian, who also are pearls of a great price!

The beauty of a pearl is in its luster. Any marring of the surface of the pearl will diminish the luster, thereby reducing the beauty of the pearl. Because pearls are relatively soft gemstones, their surface is susceptible to damage from hard objects,as well as over-exposure to arid environments (i.e., air conditioning, desert climates) and ultra-violet rays. Also true in the care of a violin (or viola in the case of Miss Gretchen). Her wood is dry and worn, likely from the climate it was stored, the surface is marred a little, she’s lost a little of her luster. She was so far out of tune, one string almost detached from no one having played her. The bow was without rosin and squeaked across her out of tune strings making me cringe when I picked her up out of the case at the Pawn shop. She had been cast away un-cared for until the day I found her.

Her resemblance to many of the Christians that I meet on a daily basis had the same effect on my heart… broken. Because I knew there had been an earlier day that she was in fine tune; her song was one of beauty and brought joy to the hearts of music appreciators. But over time she had spent less and less time with the Master and now she lay dry, on a storage shelf and there was little life in her. But I also knew that with a little TLC (tender love and care) I could possibly restore her to her earlier glory and once again she’d be back in service.

So, child of God… does my new found friend Gretchen bear a resemblance to you? Have you pulled away from the Master in service, thinking your song would be better sung in a version the world would accept. After all the gospel song is not appreciated in every venue. And while that’s true, its the only venue that the anointing oil of God is upon, and the location with the greatest blessing.

Matthew 13:45-46 speaks of that pearl of a great price – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. And while I’m uncertain of the value of Miss Gretchen in the world, I know of the value of her to me already. I didn’t have to sell all that I had to purchase her, she was just $75.00. But the price paid for you and I by the Lord Jesus was indeed priceless. He gave His life so that we could have a relationship with Him and enjoy that precious oil of favor. Away from Him we are dry and brittle and apt to fall apart.

It’s the Lord’s day! you’ve been given another chance for restoration. I hope today finds you a.m. or p.m. in the house of the Lord singing His song.

Does religion cloud your relationships?

There was once a man named Ralph who had gotten saved one day before his death. Upon arrival in Heaven one of the angels was assigned to give him the grand tour, and Ralph was in awe at the sights, they were indeed beyond words. As they entered the City the mansions were so very unique, obviously made exclusively to the tastes of the one who dwelled there. But there seemed to be a similarity to groups of mansions so Ralph questioned the angel about it. To which the angel explained, “That group of mansions over there belongs to the Pentecostals, they’re loud and we had to put a little distance between them and the others. Now, this group over here is the Catholics, they insisted on all the gold trim, and when Jesus shows up it just about puts your eyes out. Now the group in the middle are Methodists, they wanted their lawns to butt up against everyone else’s; that way they could cross over to their side if they thought they weren’t right about something. Ralph noticed a group of mansions a great, great distance apart from the others, “Who are they,” he ask? The angel shushed him and said they’d talk about it later, but for now they had to be very quiet when they passed by, and they by no means could stop and visit on the way to Ralph’s place. They tiptoed past the mansions and made it to a large gate, once inside the angel told Ralph he was free to speak. “Why did we have to be so quiet,” asked Ralph? The angel rolled his eyes and said, “Because those were the Baptists, and they still believe they’re the only one’s here.”

Ralph smiled, he’d met several of them before getting saved. He understood. Now Ralph looked really confused. “What’s wrong,” the angel asked? Ralph said, “I just got saved yesterday, I hadn’t had a chance to join any church. Where am I going to live?!”

Don’t panic, nobody’s homeless in Heaven; and your mansion… well, because you haven’t had religion to cloud your relationships, you’ll be living right next door to Jesus.

Yes, I’m a Baptist, and praise God I’m a Baptist with a sense of humor. I don’t think we’ll be the only ones in Heaven. I do stand solid on the doctrine of my church, else I’d have no foundation or assurance that I’ll be in Heaven. I’m grateful for that. But because other denominations don’t believe like I do, doesn’t stop me from fellowshipping with them. I believe that was a lesson Peter learned in Acts 10:44-48 ~

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

There’s a few key points we all have to agree on

1.      Salvation in Jesus only – we are redeemed, bought back, by the blood of Jesus.

2.      Virgin Birth – Not up for debate, else He would not have been fully God.

3.      We serve a crucified, risen on the third day Lord, Who has victory over life and death.

4.      The Holy Spirit dwells “in” the believer. If you’re saved He’s in there, and there should be evidence.

5.      Baptism is key, not to salvation, but to Spiritual growth. There are no secret service Christians, if you’ve been saved you have the desire within you to outwardly prove that. You may squelch it, but it’s in there. I know because I fought that battle and won.

You may want to add more to the list, and that’s okay. I just awoke this morning with it heavy on my heart that we are so busy being Baptist’s or Methodists or whatever denomination you claim, that we forget we’re supposed to be telling people about Jesus. Don’t let religion cloud your relationships.

That was my first attempt at joke writing, or actually rewriting an original thought. So, how’d I do?

The Boundary Setter

2 Timothy 1:9-11 ~ Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

I love scripture that affirms eternity past and future, purpose and position in life. It makes sense of my nonsensical world. Timothy was a young believer and Pastor privileged to be mentored by none other than the great apostle Paul. Paul’s burden for Timothy was apparent in his letters to him, and their mutual respect for another’s genuine faith. He was touched by Timothy’s tender heart, verse 4 says ~ Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;” and as Paul’s time grew short on earth he was grateful to have a comrade on the battlefield in whom he could depend. Paul and Timothy’s faith allowed them to apply the past to the purpose of the present so that their future could be anticipated with promise.

The planning in the past

Before the world began God’s plan was in action and I was in it! I know, it shocks even me that with all of God’s planning and time I wouldn’t have turned out better. But it’s not about me or my abilities (my works) it’s about His own purpose. That’s where it gets foggy for me. I try to impose my disabilities on God’s abilities. God says show up as you are and He will use us where we are, but so often I think there has to be advanced planning. There was….in eternity past God provided the grace we’d need for today. It’s already there before our feet hit the floor in the morning.

The purpose of the present

is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Manifest – meaning it’s now made known. I know, I know, if you’re like me you don’t see it often times either. But it’s there in the evidence of Christ at work in your life. I’m amazed at the awesome people that God puts in my life at specific times; those who have just appeared at the right time. Every pivotal experience in my life generally has a new person involved that made it possible. God working through them. But even more amazing than that is when “I’m that person.” I fear that I’m missing the boat of opportunity because I don’t often step up or out when God nudges me for fear of stepping over the bounds. However, who’s bounds am I in fear of stepping over, God’s or mans.

Acts 17:24-27 says “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitiation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

I love that! The boundaries that God has set were determined from the beginning of time and so long as I continue to search for Him, He’ll continue to direct my paths and place people in my path. I need to stop focusing on the boundaries and spend more time focusing on the boundary setter.

The promise of the future

…who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Christ came to provide eternal life through the light of the Gospel, and He chooses to use vessels like you and I to spread that hope.  If we’ve been saved, we’ve received the appointment; it’s on our schedules whether we want it or not. Someone, somewhere needs to see Christ in you today, their future may depend on it.