Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 5:16
During the month of February, while we recognize a dream, a groundhog, and a valentine, let us do so while shining a light of love in our world.
Let it be a light that brings about a notion of peace, a moment of happiness, and a vision of hope.
You can do that! God’s provision is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9), he has provided you with all that you need to make a difference in someone’s day, or better yet, in their life. So there it is, shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it Shine!
Call me, text me, tweet me, message me, email me, write me… we were brought together by God for a reason.
There is nothing that replaces family. We have an inherent need for kindredship. Our earthly tribe offers us comfort, understanding, and security. It’s the one place that we prayerfully are excepted just the way we are. But lost in our limited worldly existence, is the truth that we actually share in a much larger spiritual brother and sisterhood. The Author of all we know calls us sons and daughters. The Creator of the universe knows each of us by name and we are his children.
The inspiration for this song was from a meditation on 2 Corinthians 6:18 where we hear God saying, ‘… I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.’ This is actually a quote from 2 Samuel 7:14, and Isaiah 43:6.
My mother never knew her earthly father, but very early on she was blessed to embraced her heavenly one. Over the years that relationship grew to be unbelievably strong. She found in her earthly brokenness, a healing bond, a heavenly Father that she would never be separated from. She really was going home as her life here came to an end. She was going home to be with her ever loving Father in heaven.
It’s that kind of love that we’re all invited into. It’s that kind of endless love that our Father pours out on us each day. It’s that kind of unimaginable love that we’re capable of as his children, made in his image, created as family here and for eternity.
I wanted the soundscape to be a driving force. To negotiate through this life requires a deep spiritual strength. The darkness that surround us can be daunting if not downright demanding. So I stepped into a different sonic space to create what I felt was a strong supporting platform for this timeless message.
It’s certainly a return to some of my early roots, and it was actually quite a bit of fun to crank up the volume again. The early response has been very favorable and I’m looking forward to the moment when we can bring it to life in a live setting.
Until that time please feel free to share your thoughts on the song and on the entire album which is dropping February 19, 2021.
We probably don’t listen as well as we’re designed. If we did, then scripture, and the lessons within, would produce much more love and compassion in the world. It exists, but it probably pales in compassion to our creator’s hopes. So when I wrote this, I was doing a deep dive into what nature offers us each day in the way of invitation and inspiration. The Kingdom is in constant conversation with us everyday. It never truly sleeps, it is fluid in that it is alive and changing continually. Loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) requires us to hear that conversation and to be a part if it. It’s only in that neighborhood that we can genuinely listen and love.
On September 25, I’ll be releasing my seventeenth album ‘Pray On.’ It’s my prayer that these songs will enable you to find some encouragement and optimism as you journey forward.
Lyrics: There’s a bird in a tree, and it’s chirping at me Listen and love There’s some moss hanging free, and it’s swaying at me Listen and love
There’s a breeze from the sea, and it’s hailing me Listen and love There’s some shade that’s sincere, and it’s inviting me near Listen and love
Listen, Oh listen Listen and love All across the universe Listen and love Oh won’t you, listen and love
There’s a mist in the air, and it’s raining somewhere Listen and love There’s a cloud hovering by, and it’s whispering why We should… listen and love
There’s a leaf floating free, and it’s winking at me Listen and love There’s a stillness about, and it’s calling me out Listen & love
There’s a full moon tonight, and it’s making things right Listen and love There’s a flower in bloom, and she’s making me swoon There’s a rain pouring down , and it’s flipping’ my frown Listen and love There’s a rainbow above, and it’s promising love Listen and love
There’s some wind in the trees, and it’s buckling my knees There’s a tide rolling in, and it’s late again Oh we should, listen and love Oh won’t you, listen and love Why don’t we, listen and love
I woke Thursday morning to witness a wonderfully loving picture of togetherness. There they were, just four friends hangin’ out in the early light of day. What a simple but beautiful picture of what we as God’s children seem to have so much trouble doing.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 ESV)
Lexi arrived early Tuesday morning …weeping. She left to go swimming around noontime …weeping. She returned home for a nap late that afternoon, only to leave after dinner …weeping.
Oh yeah, in between the tears she found it in her heart to allow me a momentary picture, as she pensively thought about …weeping.
We all have those days when nothing seems to go right, when everything we say is wrong, when the world just seems to be against us. We would do well on those days to remember the One who walks with us, watches over us, and saves us.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 ESV)
Over the past few years I’ve grown quite fond of putting on my grand-pop hat every once in a while. It’s a good fit, comfortable, and almost childlike …and best of all I can take it off whenever I need to.
This past week Lexi, as she’s prone to do, came to visit. As is the case on most visits, after lunch we took a little time to be quiet. On this particular day she napped under the watchful eye of this Sunflower. Who’s watching over you?
“I will instruct you and teacher you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8 ESV)
As I wake this morning I’m disappointed by the thought of missing my appointed walk. The current high temperatures and humidity have curbed my outdoor activity for the past few days, and I’m noticing the lack of exercise along with the meditative solitude that comes with it.
What I’m sensing is an absence of balance. I’m sensing that something is missing, something’s wrong, and that something needs to be corrected.
My physical, mental and spiritual self need to be in balance for me to walk as designed. All of God’s creation was designed to be in balance. It was perfect, it was in harmony, and it was good.
And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31a ESV)
And then came the fall, and just like in the Garden we’re falling again. If we aren’t taking the steps to be humbly and gratefully disciplined and aware of ourselves and our environment, then yes, we’re falling short of our Maker’s plan for us. We were formed in balance with everything. In doing so we need to live physically, mentally and spiritually balanced lives to fulfill our purpose.
The Lord had made everything for it’s purpose, (Proverbs16:4a ESV)
Being aware of our brokenness is a great first step, but it’s only the first step. I’ve heard Andy Stanley say that there are three laws of physical balance –
Having a reference point
Making constant corrections
Having a clear objective
I’d like to suggest that one, our reference point be God’s design for us. That two, by being aware of our personal brokeness we make constant corrections to our faltering life style. And that three, we have a clear objective in living to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
As for me, I’m going to finish my coffee and listen to myself, or in this case the Spirit that’s leading me on this journey.
Are there times when we aren’t aware that there’s a blockage between us and God? It certainly isn’t on His end, but can we amidst our busyness have a spiritual ailment and not know it?
This past week a blockage in our home plumbing was made apparent almost immediately. Grandchildren are quite good at creating such blockages, and then indeed in our case, reporting them. It was an immediate problem that needed immediate attention. It wasn’t the most pleasant of jobs, but one that was quickly remedied once it was made known.
My father just recently discovered a blockage, or two, or three, in his heart. This required a little more intricate work than I was capable of, but was once again an immediate problem that needed immediate attention.
Recently a neighbor of ours lost his life to a blockage of sorts. As he was dinning out, a piece of food lodged in his throat, and the blockage of air cost him his life before it could be removed. Witness another immediate problem that needed to be attended to immediately.
As I ruminate on Luke 8:43-48 and the healing of a woman of faith. I can’t help but wonder about our sense of touch and how we might often fall short of reaching out to God in faith to receive his healing, comforting, clarifying, and powerful love. On this occasion Jesus speaks, without seeing, of the power that has been released from him by a faithful touching hand.
Can a lack of knowledge, lack of trust, lack of faith, or lack of relationship with God cause a blockage of that power? Could it be that we’re unaware of an immediate blockage that needs our immediate attention?
Sure the plumbing was just messy, but my father’s blockage was life threatening, and my neighbor’s life ending. Our five recognized senses are used to relate to each other, and more importantly to our Father in heaven. I’m thinking He created and designed us with those senses to help us to be in relationship with Him. That being the case, we would be well reminded to check all those connections out and to make sure that we’re spiritually healthy.
This is an unreleased song from the upcoming ‘Chapel Songs’ album. It was inspired by Psalm 139 quite a few years ago. Since that time it’s been a staple of my worship repertoire and often is a requested song. Unlike most of my songs this one has pretty much stayed the same over the years, but now it gets a new treatment. I’m not sure if it’s because of the current season we’re experiencing, but the time just felt right for a remake. Hopefully it continues to strengthen and reassure those who are hurting, doubting, and living in a fearful world.
Album: Chapel Songs – Unreleased
Album: The Twelve
The morning mist provided a soft if not mysterious view of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. Fortunately, I was in the passenger seat and was able to capture the passing moment.
For those who don’t reside in my neck of the woods, Bryn Athyn was formerly a borough, and its official name remains “Borough of Bryn Athyn”. The population was 1,375 at the 2010 census. It was formed for religious reasons from Moreland Township on February 8, 1916.