Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Victim or Victor?

Are you a victim or a victor? It's your choice.

Don't believe me? Check out this short video featuring Alvin Law, a person who was born armless, but not optionless. (A big thank you to Goalcast for making this available.)

Truth is...this is not the first time you've seen Alvin here. He's part of the "Yes I Can!" music video featured in a previous post that you can see if you CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How To Be Creatively Inspired

It takes more than waiting around for inspiration to do inspiring work.

Case in point: George Gershwin, as described in Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.

"To me George was a little sad all the time because he had this compulsion to work," Ira Gershwin said of his brother. "He never relaxed." Indeed, Gershwin typically worked for twelve hours or more a day, beginning in the late morning and going until past midnight. He started the day with a breakfast of eggs, toast, coffee, and orange juice, then immediately began composing, sitting at the piano in his pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers. He would take breaks for a mid-afternoon lunch, a late-afternoon walk, and supper at about 8:00. If Gershwin had a party to attend in the evening, it was not unusual for him to return home after midnight and plunge back into work until dawn. He was dismissive of inspiration, saying that if he waited for the muse he would compose at most three songs a year. It was better to work every day. "Like the pugilist," Gershwin said, "the songwriter must always keep in training."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

The apostle Paul would probably agree with Gershwin. "Do you remember how, on a racing-track, every competitor runs, but only one wins the prize? Well, you ought to run with your minds fixed on winning the prize! Every competitor in athletic events goes into serious training. Athletes will take tremendous pains—for a fading crown of leaves. But our contest is for an eternal crown that will never fade. I run the race then with determination. I am no shadow-boxer, I really fight! I am my body’s sternest master, for fear that when I have preached to others I should myself be disqualified." (I Corinthians 9:24-27 Phillips)

Truth is...Do you want to be close to God? To hear His voice? To feel led by the Spirit? To do inspiring things for the Kingdom? Then get up out of your seat and show us your faith by your works. (James 2:18)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hymn to the Last Generation

Go big or go home, right? Well, Larry Norman did both when he ended the album In Another Land (and his present-past-future album trilogy) with the grand-sounding-though-less-than-two-minutes-long "Hymn to the Last Generation".

The title and the first half of the lyric definitely put this in the same end-times/apocalyptic vein as some other songs on the album: Might as well face it, the world as we know it is coming to an end.

And then we get the evangelistic plea and the promise of a better life to come: There's no need to fear; Jesus Christ is here.

Come to reason
Face the day
Now's the season
Old things pass away

Stand beside us
Take His hand
He will guide us
In another land
©1976 Beechwood Music Group
J. C. Love Publishing Co.

Truth is...Whether Jesus comes back tomorrow or a million years from now, our only hope for making our lives in this world (and the next) what they were meant to be is to walk hand-in-hand with Jesus.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ragamuffin Rocker On "Contemporary" Worship

For faithful readers of Truth is..., it is no secret that I have a high regard for most of what came out of the mouth of singer/songwriter Rich Mullins. (Just click the "Other Posts" link that bears his name and you'll see what I mean.)

The surprise today (one day before the 21st anniversary of his death) is...I've found a series of Mullins quotes that I've never heard before. They are all about worship and they are within an article by Esther O'Reilly that I strongly encourage you to read by clicking HERE.

Maybe this single quote will encourage you to invest five minutes to read something that may enrich the rest of your life:

"I have a feeling that maybe sound doctrine is more important than goosebumps."

Truth is...watching the "It Is Well" clip found at the end of the article may be the best thing you've done for your spirit all week. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Seventeen Years Ago Today

I've been reading through my old journals to see if there were any nuggets of truth worth sharing here. While I'm not sure about the concept of worth, the following entries are certainly timely, considering today's date.

[A word of explanation: At the time these were written, I was working through the night, sleeping during the day, and waking up at about the time my children came home from school in the afternoon.]

September 12, 2001, Wednesday

     Yesterday afternoon, I was getting up just as Curtis came home from school. He came in and asked if I knew about all the stuff. "I just got up. What do you mean?"
     Then he said that the World Trade Center towers in NYC weren't there anymore; that some planes got hijacked and flown into them, etc.
     I kept saying, "No way...C'mon get real...what's the punch line?" until we went downstairs and turned on the TV.

September 14, 2001, Friday

     So, Lord, what do YOU think? Is this going to end up being a war? Or a prolonged crime investigation? Is this finally the beginning of the end?
     Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

September 15, 2001, Saturday

     Yahweh, silence the foolish talkers; those who would seek attention for themselves by spouting off sensational myths in response to Tuesday's attacks. Keep them from furthering the stereotype of Christians as narrow-minded, reactionary, and judgmental. Take the goose-down out of their blanket statements. I pray specifically against their sweeping generalities.
     Thank You for the opportunity that Franklin Graham took to preach the Gospel in his brief interview with Tom Brokaw Friday night!
     And may the nation's prayers turn from "strengthen and protect us" to "forgive, save, and change us."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *
Truth is...It's seventeen years later, and that change in our national prayers is still needed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Song for a Small Circle of Friends

We've made it to the penultimate song on Larry Norman's album, In Another Land, and we get a musical love letter that not only declares Norman's love for a short list of special friends, but also Jesus' love for everyone's friends.

Well my life is filled with songs
But I just could not get along without my friends
And I'm happy now, but when this good life ends
I know a better life begins

And love to you, Sir Stonehill
Armed with your axe full gallop on your amp
Ah, you're so crazy but you know it
And I love you as we both crawl toward the Lamp

With Clapton on guitar, and Charlie on the drums
McCartney on the Hofner bass with blisters on his thumbs

Dear Bobby, watch your fears all hide
And disappear while love inside starts growing
You're older but less colder
Than the jokes and folks you spent your childhood snowing

And Someone died for all your friends
But even better yet, He lives again
And if this song does not make sense to you
I hope His Spirit slips on through
He loves you

He loves you
He loves you
And if these words do not appeal to
I hope His Spirit slips on through
He loves you

He loves you
He loves you
And if this song does not make sense to you
I hope His Spirit slips on through
You know He loves you
©1973 Glenwood Music Corp.
Strawbed Music

Truth is...I couldn't have a better hope for this blog. Maybe these words that get published every week don't make a lot of sense to you, but even so, I hope the Spirit of God slips through and makes His love for you real in your life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Who's Gonna Clean This Up?!!?

Without a doubt, there are some pretty gross things written about within the pages of the Bible. And some of those get conveniently left out of the children's book versions of the stories.

For instance, you probably don't remember this particular detail in the story about Moses and the ten plagues of Egypt:

Exodus 8:12-14
After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards, and in the fields. They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them.

Journal, March 25, 2002
Ooh...gross. The frogs didn't "go away;" they just died. So people had to clean them up  -  and their rotting made a Turrible Stench.

Truth is...There is no evidence that should lead us to believe we can escape consequences...even unpleasant ones.