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Archive for the ‘God and Bible’ Category

I found the following article to be quite interesting. I believe most people would agree that there is an inherent power in music. It is used in almost every facet of life, from advertising, media, social gatherings to praise and worship. The influence of music is undeniably real. In the Bible, it mentions that when an evil spirit troubled King Saul, it was David, the shepherd boy who played his harp for the King, who was refreshed, and the evil spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:23). Another example is found in 2 Chronicles 20:21-25. The dreaded Ammonites were coming against King Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah with a mighty army. King Jehoshaphat was afraid, but he did the right thing. He proclaimed a fast and then turned to God and prayed and sought God’s help. The next day, instead of fighting in a battle, King Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise the beauty of holiness. And as they began to sing and praise God, The Lord set ambushments, and their enemies ended up destroying each other! The battle was won for Judah without them even lifting a sword. They won by singing God’s praises! I can’t begin to tell you the times in my life where music has lifted my spirits. So is it any surprise that music, especially the kind that praises and worships God, might have healing power? What think ye?

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press WriterSat May 31, 9:17 AM ET

Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church: Both men believe in the healing power of music.

Sacks, the best-selling author of “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.

“It should be an exciting and unusual event,” Sacks said in an interview this week. “I will talk about the therapeutic and beneficent power of music as a physician, and then their wonderful choir will perform. … And the audience will make what they can of it.”

Sacks’ most recent book is “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” which examines the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, autism and Alzheimer’s.

“Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music,” he said.

A Baptist church is an unusual venue for Sacks, a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center who was brought up Jewish but is not a religious believer.

But the central role of music in church makes Abyssinian a good place to discuss the myriad ways that music affects the human brain, said Sacks, who was played by Robin Williams in the movie version of “Awakenings.”

Abyssinian’s pastor, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, said the choir is looking forward to performing with Sacks. He noted that music plays a central role in the healing power of prayer.

“What we have been studying … is that when you pray, there’s actually a physiological change in the body,” he said. “Music is very much a part of this. There are certain notes that generate in the human body a kind of peacefulness.” Click Here to read the rest of this article.

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I recently read a poem that someone had written that talks about the problem of using a spell-checker program on the computer. The first stanza says:

I have a spelling checker

I disk covered four my PC.

It plane lee marks four my revue

Miss steaks aye can knot see.

This is proof that if you are looking to the wrong source for accuracy, then you still won’t be right. It’s also that way when it comes to faith. It is possible to rely on the wrong source of information about spiritual issues. Where can we go to find truth? We need a perfect, fail-safe source. That source is the Bible. God’s Word is the foundation for what is true and right.

Like a compass, the Bible always guides you in the right direction.

Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven. Psalm 119:89

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Baby Mom (Vivian)

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

I had a wonderful weekend shopping with Mom and the family and spending Mother’s Day with my precious Mom. How thankful I am to still have my mother with me. She will turn 70 next year, but she’s still youthful in her spirit and spry in her step. What an influence Mom has had on my life. Here are some of the things Mom has imparted to me:·

  • Not gossiping or talking bad about people.·
  • Minding my manners and my own business· Lying is wrong. Mom refused to call in sick for me on Senior Ditch Day.·
  • Not following the crowd. This one has saved me much heartache.·
  • Comparing prices when I shop. It has saved me much money.·
  • Treating others with kindness·
  • Praying together (She always said that the family that prayed together stayed together.)·
  • Sharing with others. (I had 5 other siblings, and this wasn’t always easy.)·
  • A love of books and reading. I’m a bookworm because of Mom. She always read to us. She still does!
  • · A love of music. Mom always loved singing and would sing to us. She still does now!

There’s so much more I could say, but time does not permit me. You get the idea. God blessed me with a wonderful, kindhearted, caring, self-sacrificing Mom. I ran across this poem, in my “Streams in the Desert” devotional, and it made me think of my Mom. I would like to dedicate this to you, Mom. Thank you for all you’ve done to hold us together during trying times and all you did to make our house a home. I’ve never doubted your love. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you dearly!

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. ” Is this the long way?” she asked. And the guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”  And the Mother said, ‘This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage.’

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.” And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage.  Today I have given them strength.”

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said,  ” This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent, but her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage.  And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.

And the Mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.” And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”

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sacred marriage

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

This is one of the best books I have ever read on the topic of marriage, and I’ve read a few in my almost 29 years of being married. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is married or contemplating marriage. Thank you, Bob Oelke, for recommending this book to us! What a treasure! Here is a little description of what the book is about:

Is happiness the ultimate goal of marriage, or is there a greater purpose? Thomas helps you understand the Lord’s intention for matrimony-for husband and wife to reflect the character of Christ. See how God wants to use your marriage as a spiritual discipline to draw you closer to Him, who is happiness.

This is a book that looks at how we can use the challenges, joys, struggles and celebrations of marriage to draw closer to God and to grow in Christian character.

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crucifixion.jpg

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…Isaiah 53:5

I saw this article in my devotional and thought I would share it with everyone.  When you study the painting of the crucifixion by the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt, your attention is first drawn to the cross and to Jesus. Then, as you look at the crowd around the cross, you are drawn to the faces of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes drift to the edge of the picture and catch sight of another figure—almost hidden in the shadows. This, we are told, was a self-portrait of Rembrandt, for he recognized that by his sins, he helped nail Jesus there!

Someone has aptly said, “It is a simple thing to say that Christ died for the sin of the world. It is quite another thing to say that Christ died for my sin!”

Think again of Rembrandt’s painting. If you look closely, you will see that in the shadows you, too, are standing. Christ bore the penalty for your sin. He was wounded for you. __H.G.B.

Calvary reveals man’s hatred for God and God’s love for man.

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rose colored glasses

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Yesterday at our Wednesday night bible study, our pastor taught a beautiful lesson that has reminded me once again that God does indeed wear glasses. Glasses? Why would you think that God Almighty would even need glasses? He’s All Powerful, All Knowing,  and All Present. He sees everything, so why would He wear glasses? Pastor stated that when God looks on His children, He does not see us as the sinful beings we really are. But rather, He sees us through His blood. By nature, we are all depraved and sinful. Jeremiah 17:10 states that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. But when Jesus died on the cross, He shed His precious blood for our sins. When we are born again of the water and the Spirit, His blood covers us and cleanses us (I John 1:7). Because of this, when God looks at me, he doesn’t see the old Karen. He is looking at me through His blood. An old Wayne Watson song came to mind last night as I was praying.

Rose Coloured Glasses
By: Wayne Watson

Heavenly Father–Have You got a moment
There’s something I don’t understand
How from Your window–Watchin’ Your children
You hold back the wrath of Your hand
Does Your window pane–Bear a lasting stain
That a sinful rain can’t wash away

Chorus

His gaze always passes thru rose coloured glasses
Everytime He looks on my heart
And thru love’s forgiveness
Thru purity’s fire
I am my God’s desire

Heavenly Father–Just one more question
I don’t mean to take so much time
But tell me–How much did it hurt You
To give from Your garden
The most lovely rose from Your vine
When the petals fell–When the colours ran
Was it then and there You first saw me holy

Chorus

His gaze always passes thru rose coloured glasses
Everytime He looks on my heart
And thru love’s forgiveness
Thru purity’s fire
I am my God’s desire

So you see, I think God does wear glasses, and I’m so thankful that He does!

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Bloom Where you’re Planted

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Spring has sprung in northern California, and for the past few weeks, we have been anticipating and enjoying the re-birth of many of our plants, both in our front and back yards. It never ceases to amaze me how a plant that is shriveled up and left for dead can burst forth a few months later into new life!

The other day as I was walking the pathway to the front door of our home, I noticed that a small stem of a plant was growing out of one of our large ornamental rocks in the front yard. This is another phenomenon that is amazing to me as well. How can anything spring up from a rock, which is dry and apparently lacking in soil and nutrients that are vital to a plant’s growth? Whenever I see something like this, I am reminded that if a plant which God made, can survive under the direst of circumstances, then we too can bloom where we are planted.

Too many times I’ve seen people (myself included) say to themselves that they would be more successful or happier in life if only their circumstances were different. The apostle Paul stated: …”For I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil 4:11) No matter the situation in our lives, we can grow and flourish when we abide in God.

So let’s remember that if God can cause a lily to grow out of a rock, then He can allow you to bloom wherever you are planted.muscari.jpg

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God is quite popular on Sunday.  Millions of people around the world stop what they’re doing to visit a building where the sole purpose is to meet with others to worship, sing, and learn about God.  But then Monday rolls around.  What place does God have in their lives then?  When the emphasis is on a thousand other things, they can easily go all week without considering Him.

Where did we get the idea that God wants our attention only on Sunday?  Certainly not from the apostle Paul, who said we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) –a sure sign that God is listening on Monday through Saturday too.  Paul also wrote, “Rejoice always” (V. 16), which indicates that we shouldn’t stop singing just because the organ stops playing.

Sunday is a special day to give direct attention to God.  But don’t forget Monday!  __J.D.B. (Taken from Our Daily Bread)

Worship God on Sunday, then walk with Him on Monday.

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Quit Pouting!

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

The dictionary definition of the word “pout” is to thrust out the lips, especially in ill humor, to be sullen; sulk. Yes, I definitely was pouting in this photo. Even though it was taken over 40 years ago, I still can remember the emotion I was feeling at that time. I had just arrived home from school (first grade), and I was happy and excited because I had received an excellent grade on an assignment and couldn’t wait to show it to my mommy. As I walked in through the side door of our home, Mom immediately whisked me off to the bedroom to change into some dress clothes. There was a photographer at the house to take our pictures. I had no idea he was coming. In my six-year-old mind, all I wanted was some praise and recognition for my good grades. I did not care about getting my picture taken with my two other siblings. Things were definitely not going my way. How did I deal with this? I refused to smile for the cameraman. I cried, I fussed, and in the end, all they could get out of me was a pout!

As I ran across this picture the other day, I began to think of how I respond as an adult when things don’t go my way. Yes, I am ashamed to say, that sometimes I pout. Oh I may not make the same pouty face as I did back then, but in my spirit I pout. It doesn’t happen as often as it did when I was a child, but nevertheless, I sometimes have my moments.

The Bible says that godliness with contentment is great gain. The apostle Paul said that he had learned in whatsoever state he was in to be content. I resolved right then and there with God’s help to have a better attitude when things don’t go my way.

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bible_heaven.jpg

When wisdom enters your heart, . . . discretion will preserve you. (Proverbs 2:10-11)

Toward the close of World War II, one Allied unit was assigned a crucial mission in Berlin. Each soldier had to memorize a map detailing all of Berlin’s important military sites ─ in a single night! In just a few hours, each soldier had committed the map to memory. The mission was a success.

Several years later, the Army conducted an experiment to see if that original feat could be duplicated. They offered a similar unit an extra week’s furlough ─ an attractive incentive ─ if they could carry out a comparable mission without a hitch. But the second unit could not match the success of the first. What made the difference? The lives of the men were not at stake.

Christians are engaged in a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our road map, our plan of strategy against Satan’s military strongholds, is the Bible. The more of it we memorize, and the more thoroughly we know it, the more effective we will be for God.

─H.W.R.

If your life depended on knowing the Bible, how long would you last?

Taken from Our Daily Bread

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