My Musings

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Language Of Music

Music is a language. English is a language. Spanish is a language. Chinese is a language. I could say to you in English, "Clap your hands," and you would know to put your hands together. If I spoke the languages, I could say the same in Spanish or Chinese. I can say the same in music. For Example, when you hear the song "Give Me That Old Time Religion" in a lively fashion, it is as if you are subconsciously being instructed to clap your hands. Music speaks to the emotions in such a way as to influence our behavior. Music can instruct us and tell us what to do just as in any other language.

Evidently music is important to God, because he tells us to speak to ourselves, or influence ourselves, with songs and hymns and spiritual songs.

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"
~ Ephesians 5:19

First, music is a universal language. There are some rock stars and musicians that can sing in English but are able to travel to foreign lands and, by singing in English, sing in a language that the people do not understand.

Second, music speaks to our heart and our spirit which affects our behavior. Rather than just struggling through each day, trying my best to serve God, I want to have a zeal and an excitement about life. By allowing good music to influence me, my level of joy can be directly influenced to increase. For example, consider the example of Saul in the Old Testament.

"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him."
~ I Samuel 16:23

You may say, "Music doesn't affect me." The Bible says that it does!

Third, music affects us whether we want it to or not. Because music is a language, it speaks to us and gives us instruction. When we hear instruction, we can choose whether to follow that instruction or not to follow it. Music either tells us to calm down, get going, get excited, be immoral, and many other things. The marketing industries have understood this principle for years. For example, if you go to a ball game there is music designed to get you excited. If you go to a restaurant, there will be music there. If you go to a shopping mall, there is music there. Why? Because they understand that music influences us whether we want it to or not.

Music influences or controls our emotions which eventually affect our behavior. In this regard, music can be used for good or for bad. This is why it is so important to determine the difference between music that will help us spiritually or music that will hurt us spiritually.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

China Imprisons Man For Distributing Bibles

Most people are not aware of the severe Christian prosecution that takes place throughout the world. I have been reading recently on Google News about Christians around the world who are being arrested and persecuted simply for their faith.

You will not find these articles on the main Google News web page, but if you search for some Keywords like "Christian in China" or "Christian Persecuted," it is outrageous what kind of news you will find. Why doesn't more of this make it to the major headlines.

People ought to be outraged at the human rights violations that are taking place to Christians around the world. Here is an excerpt from one news article.

"Pastor Wang Zaiqing, a well known house church pastor from Anhui province, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined 100,000 yuan (£6,700) for producing Bibles and Christian materials. In a now familiar tactic, Pastor Wang was charged with conducting ‘illegal business practices’ even though he gave the literature away and made no profit." ~ Christian Today

The article goes on to say that there have been several incidents just like this one that have taken place over the course of the past year. People need to make their voices heard. There is no reason that a government or any other institution should be able to physically enforce what people believe about God! Something has to be done!

"It is sadly ironic that at the time Chinese officials are seeking to show progress in religious matters they are simultaneously sentencing a pastor for producing Christian literature." ~ Tina Lambert

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Ironic Reaction To Pope's Statement About Muslim Violence

I was just thinking about all the news about the Pope's comments last month. I found an article that discusses it briefly and reminded me of it.

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached" ~ Pope Bendict XVI

These were the words of the pope last month. The following notation is a quote that I found that makes me and any other open-minded, thinking American sick! Scratch don't have to live in America to be sickened by these comments. In fact, I bet there are many Christians who live in Muslim countries today, who have to hide "underground" for fear of Muslim retaliation against them just for being a Christian, who can vouch for the idiocy and audacity of this bold faced lie!

'The Pope's expression of regret is welcome, even if there is some doubt as to whether it goes far enough to soothe Muslim sensibilities. Several burnt-out churches and a dead nun have, we must hope, taught him a painful but necessary lesson. Any utterance which can be interpreted as implying that Islam is an intrinsically violent religion is as unwise and unhelpful as it is incorrect.'

Am I the only one that sees the irony in the whole situation? The pope makes a statement claiming that Islam is a violent nation and they lash out killing nuns and burning churches saying that they are not violent! Come On! Somebody out there wake up to the maddening of the global community.

I did not hear one word about the ironic display of the Islamic hatred toward the pope, but every media outlet from here to the moon was quick to point the finger at the Pope. But then...he is considered a Christian isn't he...And I guess it would be politically incorrect to publicly say something positive about a Christian!

So in that regard, if you weighed right and wrong based on the amount of positive and negative media coverage an event reveives, the Pope's words were much worse than the Muslim's murders!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rep. Steve Chapot Attacked For Supporting Christians!

Click Here

Here is a link to a site that is viciously attacking this representative for siding with "the religious right!" They specifically attack him for opposing stem cell research and for supporting government intervention into the life of Terri Schaivo. This is the quote that they ask you to email to your friends and family.
"I am outraged that Rep. Chabot is joining President Bush and the religious right in opposing life-saving stem cell research. I'm going to pass along this information to my friends and family."

It is a crying shame that men are attacked for taking a stand for things that used to be common ethics. Supporting a woman's life over the decision of her dead-beat, two-timing, ex-husband who wanted here dead and off the scene...they should be blasting that ex-husband, not the man who tried to save the girl's life! Or for opposing the government funding of research on the remains of innocent murdered babies! I'm sure that I'm not being completely politically correct now.

"Because the religous right is wrong!"



Monday, October 23, 2006

Raising The Dead

Well bloggers it's time for me to follow up on my last post and let you know how my meeting went with my preacher last night.

When I first got to his office, he asked me what I believed God wanted me to do specifically. I told him that I specifically wanted to find a church to pastor. He then went on to ask me where I would like to pastor a church. I told him that, being a yankee, I would like to pastor a church in the north somewhere and even more preferably in the city. He told me that he would find some oppurtunities and that he would let me know a week from Wednesday.

I have heard it said that it is easier to give birth than it is to raise the dead. This refers to a pastor going to an area an "giving birth" or starting a new church, rather than a pastor going to a dead church and "raising the dead" or revitalizing that spirit. Of course, I take that into consideration, but the truth is, I have never heard the call of God to start a church. In fact, quiet the opposite has occurred in my heart. I have always been burdened by the stories of churches that are falling apart at the seems because they have no pastor. I would love to be a part of helping a struggling church to get back on its feet.

More than that even, this concept is a rather personal one to me. In the late 1980's, the First Baptist Church in Amboy, IL was struggling to survive as their pastor had been forced to leave. A man named Rocky Fritz, against better judgment, went to Amboy and began to work in that church. He stayed with it for over fifteen years and is still their today bringing a vibrant spiritual life to that church and to that community.

Why is this story personal to me? Simply put, I was saved at that church, baptized at that church, and have experienced most of my spiritual growth as a Christian at that church. I have had these blessings in a large part because a man was willing to go to that failing church and inject life back into it.

Soon I hope to do the same.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Going To See The Preacher

Hello Bloggers and welcome back. If you read the "About Me" section on the sidebar of this blog you will find that I have recently graduated from college and am searching for a church to go pastor. I am going to meet with my pastor tonight, Pastor Jeff Fugate.

Pastor Jeff Fugate pastors the Clays Mill Road Baptist Church where I am a member. The attendance here is somewhere around one thousand to fifteen hundred people per week. Because he pastors a church that large, he has many other churches contact him for advice and pastoral candidates. Hopefully, he will know of some churches in need of a pastor.

I hear all the time that men are leaving the ministry. I hear that pastors are falling aside and so on. I only hope that I can find a church that has a need, and fil that need. I'm looking forward to our meeting this evening and am hoping to be off to a church somewhere soon.

I'll keep you posted.