I have always believed that Christian music is one of the greatest evidences to the skeptics for the truth of Christianity. No other religion has produced the quality and beauty of the music that God has inspired!
I thought of this because our United Methodist Church had a “hymn sing” today. The song leader quoted John Wesley, our church founder, “Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.”
Part of the reason that I am Christian is that this disco queen heard my husband singing the songs of faith “lustily and with courage” in Gainesville Florida in 1978. Still today one of my favorite things to do is hear his voice singing out in the church beside me.
Today at the hymn sing, I also thought of the majesty of the Almighty who created this wonderful art called music; it can transport and guide us us through the broad range of human emotions and bring us inspiration and strength, joy and peace, hope and love, wisdom and truth, beauty and wonder!
I am thankful for the privilege of knowing this God and the hope of making melodies with Him for eternity!!
By Sis. Cindy
In our United Methodist church a lay member is always designated to read the scripture and other liturgy. Today it was a distinguished looking man in his 80’s whom I did not know. He had poise and grace and a “voice soft as thunder.” I thought, this man is “somebody” and must have come from a really good family like my husband.
Before he read the story of David and Goliath which was the Scripture selection, the attractive gentlemen told a story that shocked me!!
He said that at age 5 he went to live with his aunt because his mother had no money to feed him! He said that his aunt who raised him for the next four years was “extremely religious!” She had told him the story of David and Goliath and assured him that he could overcome any obstacles!
Later I approached the gentleman and inquired more about the “extremely religious” Aunt. He assured me that she was good to him but very firm. He said that he was always in trouble and had to “get saved” almost every week while attending the small Methodist church with altar calls!!
I told him that we would have three of our grandchildren for two weeks this summer and that we fall into the “extremely religious” category. We will teach them at least one Bible story a day!!
After reading about President Trump’s “extremely religious” aunts, I told my husband that these two weeks with THE THREE, ages 2,3 and 4 may be the most powerful of our life ministry!
Campus or Street? Because my husband and I preach in the open air, sometimes we are wrongly called street preachers. Street preachers usually have it harder than us. Here are the differences
1. On the street, there is no place for a crowd to gather or sit
2. On the street, people are often under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
3. Because of the above, there is little opportunity for storytelling, Biblical explanations and Q&A on the streets; but these are a big part of campus preaching.
4. The hardest thing about campus preaching is developing a repertoire of mini-sermons and stories to hold the attention of unbelievers.
5. Both campus and street preachers are masters of the one-liner. Both get questions!
6. Both campus and street preachers see great fruit from sideline conversations
7. Both street and campus preaching are vital.
Have you done either or both? Which do you prefer and why?
I have seen the Apostle Paul movie twice and highly recommend it. The timeline is the end of Paul’s life so it involves a lot of conjecture because the Bible does not give us the circumstances of Saint Paul’s demise.
With that said, the movie presents a believable narrative including many Biblical quotes and truths and an accurate historical context.
1) Jesus Christ will change a man’s life
2) We are called to suffer for Christ’s sake
3) It can be difficult to love in the midst of senseless intentional evil
4) Love will overcome evil!
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is a central fact of the movie and declared at least three times!
Unlike the beloved Book of Acts, the movie is slow moving and reflective. Expect to spend a lot of time in a Roman jail cell…in the end, it’s worth it!