Thursday, January 29, 2009
...Today I want to talk about something that’s a little more subtle, and that is we have many widely-respected, best-selling authors, pastors, and teachers in the Christian world who are deceiving God’s people. Again, I don’t know their hearts so I can’t say whether they have an intent to deceive…..Some of these teachers and teachings are very, very popular today and particularly popular with young people or with new believers. These are teachings and books that are being promoted in church youth groups, in Christian high schools, and in Christian colleges. They are rampant. They are widespread and they are not as completely erroneous as the teachings we talked about in the last session. These are more truth mixed with error. Some truth and some error, which makes it even more subtle……So I’m not picking on particular books or authors. I just want you to get the concept of how error works itself in….
…Then, ultimately, you can’t depend on me or anyone else to tell you what is truth and error, what is right and wrong. You need to develop a spiritual centeredness on the Word of God, a groundedness in God’s Word, and spiritual antennae that go up so that you know what is truth and error. You can discern yourself…
…First of all, there’s this whole area of what I call shallow, feel-good Christianity. A lot of this involves self-help or self-esteem teaching that is packaged in biblical terminology but in many cases it is really devoid of the gospel. This is a psychological message with a thin covering of theology. It starts with ourselves rather than God. God is a positive God. So you have little or no concept of His holiness, His wrath, His justice, and again virtually no mention of the cross, the blood of Christ, atonement for sin, the resurrection of Christ…..
…These don’t just define who we are, they are who we are. You take these out and you have nothing left. You have no substance. You have no life. You have no hope. But in this kind of teaching, none of that is considered really necessary. They miss the gospel entirely….
Now let me give you one more illustration. This is a book that at the time of when we’re recording right now is very, very hot in the Christian world. I walked into my local Christian bookstore the other day. It was front and center. As of today, I think it’s the number eight bestseller on Amazon.com on their ratings, which is huge, huge, huge. This is a Christian book. This is not a New Age book. This is not a book written by some New Age guru. This is a book that purports to be a Christian book….But the problem is that mixed in with a smattering of helpful insights in this book is a perspective on the nature of God, on the trinity, on salvation, and on other core doctrinal issues that is incompatible with Scripture…..The test of validity of a book or a teaching or a radio program is not: Does it work? Does it help somebody? Does it make somebody feel closer to God? The test is: Does it accord with the Scripture? That’s where I go back to the Scripture. by Nancy Leigh DeMoss - Revive Our Hearts
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Another thing that really bothers me is when I’m in a situation where I can’t walk away and the other person starts telling me something about another person – like gossip. It makes me very uncomfortable and usually when this happens it is a situation where I have to be around the person and I don’t have the option of walking away. And I’m sure that I do this also. Gossip is a very hard thing to “not do”. So, that’s the other thing I need to work on with my conversations – trying not to talk about other people in a way that puts them down.
·Colossians 4:6 NIV
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
·Proverbs 20:19 NIV
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
1. Reflections -- Reflections is one of my few compositions that was written with practically no effort. I was playing around with different sounds on my synthesizer and I just started playing this. I thought it sounded really pretty, so I decided to write it out. It is one of my favorites.
2. Sunset Over the Bay -- In Sunset Over the Bay, I was trying out a method of writing this style of music that I read about on the internet. At the time, a friend was planning her wedding and I had the intention of giving her this music to be played during the wedding prelude. I asked my friend to tell me where one of her favorite places was and she said she loved the pier at Fairhope, Alabama overlooking the Mobile Bay. So, I titled this, Sunset Over the Bay.
3. Twilight Winds -- I love the sound of a saxophone, so again I was playing around with the sounds on my synthesizer and came up with Twilight Winds (because the saxophone is a “wind” instrument) to use the great sax sound.
4. An Evening on the Bodensee -- An Evening on the Bodensee is a result of my trip to Germany in 2005. It represents a boat ride we took one night on this beautiful lake which is a natural border between Germany and Switzerland.
5. Dreams Come True -- Dreams Come True was the first one I wrote in 2005 when I became interested in composing music for relaxation. It actually started out as a simple piece of music to try out a computer program where I could put different instrumental sounds together. It turned out sounding really nice with the flute and violin sounds, so I named it Dreams Come True because I had a dream of creating a CD using different instrumental sounds. And the day I wrote this one just happened to be a holiday from work – the holiday was Martin Luther King’s birthday.
6. Solitude -- Solitude is another one that came to me easily as I sat down at the piano and just started playing.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The pit bulls are gone and have been since shortly after the last time I wrote about this situation. But the poodle is still there -- this is the dog they had tied up in the bushes and someone in the neighborhood noticed and called the humane officers. They came out several times, and after that, the dog was put in the backyard. That was good. However, now, this sweet little poodle spends half of the time outside of the yard and roaming loose, mostly at my house. This doesn't threaten me because it is a nice dog. But it is starved of attention. When I pet him, he just craves more. I feel so sorry for it. As for the people who live there, well, that is another story which I can't go into detail about here. I will say, however, that my daughter and my son are both concerned about their parents living next door to this situation. My daughter is very fearful about it. Please pray for God's protection over us -- I trust that He will protect us.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.....You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. Psalm 91:1, 5
Monday, January 5, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Christmas holidays are coming to a close. I haven't been off work for the full two weeks, but my employer was very generous in giving us two and a half days (paid) off the week of Christmas and two days (paid) off this week of New Years. I am very thankful to have a job with such wonderful benefits as this. The week of Christmas was the best! We had both of our kids home and our son's girlfriend also. We enjoyed our time with them as well as time we spent with our extended families.
While Aaron was at home, he was able to do the finishing touches on my CD that I recorded early in 2008. I had mentioned it in a couple of posts back in April. Here is a part of the first post describing the type music on the CD:
I am having a great time arranging all the music because I'm playing all of it on my synthesizer. It has all kinds of sounds so sometimes I am using nature sounds in the background of the music. This music is all slow, soothing, relaxing music which would be great to play when you are trying to go to sleep. All I need is a title. Here are some of the titles of the songs on the CD -- Dreams Come True; Magical Sleep; Reflections; Lullaby; Solitude. There's more, but what I need is your help in coming up with a title. I would like for the title to give some idea of the purpose of the CD which is relaxation.
I ended up deciding on the title Beside Still Waters. I would love to give a copy to anyone who wants it. Have a happy new year, 2009!