By Pastor Gary Jennings Jr
Music is such a wonderful thing. When I get home from work, the first thing I often do is turn on my Apple TV and listen to the Cinemix channel (a channel that plays movie soundtracks). Its gotten to the point where I turn it on just to have it on, not because I want to sit down and pay attention to it, but just to have it on while I do other stuff. There are even times when I have my headphones on listening to something else while Cinemix is playing in the background. That actually sounds pretty weird now that I have written it down, but I think Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has a good explanation as to why I do this. He has this great quote where he says “Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music”. . . . Love that quote . . . I think the reason why I feel the need to have Cinemix on, is because I like the ‘liquid architecture’ of the whole thing. Music has a way of transforming the environment we are in.
In 1 Samuel 16, we read about King Saul being tormented and having episodes of terror. The Spirit of God was once with him, but because of Saul’s selfish choices, Gods Spirit left him, along with Gods protection. Its interesting what Saul decided to do, he decided to turn on some music. Unfortunately Saul didn’t have an Apple TV, so he told his officials to find a musician. They came back with David, he played some music, and Saul felt a lot better. Interesting.
The arts are important. You dont have to look too hard in the Bible to see the importance of music. You don’t have to look to hard to see the importance of architecture and craftsmanship (example: the temple). I don think its too much of a stretch to say that God cares about the arts in general. The arts are a way to express the deep things of the soul that become too flat and thin when articulated in factual and practical language.
I don’t know what Saul heard when he asked David to play, but it had a profound effect on him. Lets take the arts seriously and use them to articulate the deep and important things of our soul, and lets use them to articulate the deepest and most profound message of all, the good news of God’s Kingdom.
By Pastor Vern Kratz
Last week I was driving to a meeting very early one morning while it was still dark. I was crossing Victoria Avenue and forgot about the construction that had been going on. There was a very large bump in the road from where they had done some recent paving, but hadn’t finished. I was trying to make the light and never thought to slow down and I hit the bump full speed. The loud bang that ensued gave me quite a shock.
When I arrived to my meeting I was still mumbling and complaining to myself about the construction in the city when I felt God look directly at my heart and check my attitude. At that moment I realized I had an opportunity to complain about the construction, or I could be thankful that the roads were actually being worked on and improvements were being made.
I thought about it some more and came to the conclusion that in every situation we encounter we have an opportunity to complain or to be thankful. Take the hot weather that came at the end of September for example: we could complain about the mosquitos or we could be thankful for the warmer weather. We could complain about the length of time we spend in a waiting room to see a doctor, or we could be thankful that there is a doctor to see. We could complain about what we don’t have or we could be thankful for what we do have.
I think we as Christ followers should be known as people who live with an attitude of thanksgiving. It’s too easy to complain. Let’s go against the trend and choose to be thankful first.
By Pastor Gary Jennings
Wow! I am getting ready to add another year to my life. Any day now I will have to begin to make the mental switch and write down a new number when I am asked for my age on paper. I have to ask myself what I have learned over the years that I have been alive. Surely I must have been schooled in something. Surely there must be a shelf in my life where I have been stacking up all the great truths I have learned.
I find myself on my riding lawnmower about 5 hours a week in the summer time. It’s there that I do a lot of deep thinking. As the grass shoots out the side (and the odd mouse), its right there on my moving chair that I ponder and go deep into my mind. Yes, I have learned a few things over the years. Here’s just one of the things I have learned. It’s the swift moving hands of the clock on the wall or on my wrist. Time waits for no one. Time keeps on slipping into the future. I hear phrases like, I don’t have the time, look at how the time has gone by, it’s time to say goodbye, I must be at an appointment. We adults are always talking about the time. We never seem to have enough of it. It’s like we are always trying to catch it. But it’s like cotton candy. As soon as you taste it, its is gone.
I don’t remember time moving this fast when I was a boy playing in the dirt with my little matchbox cars and trucks. I just wanted to hurry up and grow up; my, how that has changed. I do remember my father making a couple of regular statements about time. He would say, I just got up and out of bed and now it’s time to get down and back into bed. When he was living in his retirement years, he would say, I don’t know where I ever found the time to work.
OK, with learning comes application. At this stage of my life, God is asking me to be a good manager and steward of the time I have been graciously given. My time cannot be saved, but only spent well. Ephesians 5:15, 16 tell me to be careful how I live and to be wise. This is tied in with an encouragement for me to redeem my time. This means to cash the moments in now and make the best of those fleeting seconds.
I want to take more walks with my wife. I want to stop and enjoy a good sunset. I want to make use of every opportunity God gives me to tell others about the marvelous saving grace of Jesus Christ. I want to make a big difference in the lives of the wonderful church people that I pastor. I want to discover ways to do good to others. I want to spend my time well so one day I will hear the words, Well done, and well timed!
How about you? Your moments are moving by just as fast as mine. Think about it!