Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Death

Death . . . is always looming.  I thank God it was one of the earliest things I faced and dealt with as a young man.  I considered it constantly for a time, realizing that no matter what the objectives of life were, in the end . . . death.  So one had better come to terms with it.  Hence my intense and early search for the meaning and purpose of life.  Every other lifely concern paled to utter insignificance in the face of this mortal finality. . . .

My mother may be dying.  Of course, we all are in a very real sense, but she thinks it may be soon and is talking about it regularly.  Something does indeed seem to be wrong with her--she has been losing weight for months and nothing she does is stopping the loss.  She appears to be steadily wasting away.  And she is frightened now and increasingly terrified of imminent death.  I have told her many times before that she needs Jesus.  She thinks she believes but I'm not so sure.  And then I think of all these high profile celebrity deaths that have occurred this year. Where are they now? 

This life is short.  The hereafter is long.  Where we go has always been to me THE most important question to be answered in this life.  I have always been amazed that so few ever really seriously confront that issue.  Even those who are cavalier about it when living usually become terrified at their end as the inevitable approaches in earnest.

Do not wait.  Settle it sooner rather than later.  Seek God.  Seek the Truth.  Go to the One Who has control over life and death and conquered it all . . . and Who has the power to convey life eternal in His presence--He Who is love.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth"


I was invited as "Major Tom" to perform at a premier local music club called Velour Live Music Gallery for their 2016 "Christmas All-Stars Special".  I was teamed up with another local musician Karl Strange (a fellow who has become a new friend and with whom I have a lot in common--both old guys, lawyers, father/family men, who walked away from music for about 25 years then recently jumped back in).....

There were 25 performers and wow, it was an incredibly talented bunch--all of them.  My son Jackson and his wife Megan also performed as his new band "LaFrantz".  A local singer Jenn Blosil who nearly won American Idol was another singer there along with Belle Jewell who is (or was?) on The Voice--the other big talent tv show.... And lots of other diverse artists.  It was a chance for me to sing about and for the Savior, which was awesome....with Karl and I doing the now classic Christmas version of "Little Drummer" where David Bowie appeared on the Bing Crosby Christmas special on tv back in 1977 (which I recall seeing at the time it aired). . . . .

Here's that funky ol' Bowie/Bing version... Heh, I went to the thrift store and got a jacket and shirt that were near exact matches to what Bowie wore though you can't tell with the reddish club lighting....Anyway, just thought I'd share this as it was a very nice event and to varying degrees actually quite honoring toward the real meaning of Christmas....


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Two Ways Exposed



This is a eye-opening video if you've got the time to go through it.  Sooo typical, so illustrative of THE difference between having a self/man-centered view of God/reality/Truth/scripture versus having a pov that STARTS with God.

Really, there are only TWO religions.  There are only TWO ways to interpret this life, this world and the afterlife.  In one way, everything starts with the person viewing--all interpreting, opinion, viewpoint, meaning, purpose, truth etc., begins with the person's own biases, hopes, fears, desires, passions, intents etc.  Then, whatever doesn't fit into THAT is put away and only what is collected is what comports with the person's level of understanding and self-centered  purposes.

THE OTHER WAY . . . is to begin with God. What does HE say?  What did He have Written?  What is HIS purpose?  Whether THAT comports with one's own biases or not is irrelevant.  YOU, the person, conform to HIS version of reality (as in truth, THAT is the only reality there is).

Anyway, this is a classic representation of the TWO WAYS.  God's way or man's way. . . .

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Let It Be . . . Work!

God talks to you . . . here and there. . . . He says things like "you gotta trust me no matter what it looks like". . . .  He shows you everything flowing away . . . "let it go" . . . . The wave goes out . . . like preceding a tsunami . . . everything exposed (now what?) . . . and you think "hmmm, okay. . . .(He gives you the strength to let it go, against your normal proclivities of worry) . . . . "I will trust. . . ."  you say in mind.   Then  months later and He picks it back up and says, "You are going to have trust me, . . . no matter what . . . it looks like. . . ." [This is from a Word my wife got]....

Sometimes His communications come in fits and starts. . . .

If you are tight with Him . . . you know what is what.  You don't trick your own mind with other self talk.  You wait . . . and listen . . . and then HE SPEAKS . . . and you hear it . . . .  . . He continues the conversation. . . .
I love the give and take.....He's real!   I love "working out your salvation with fear and trembling" . . . and I'm Reformed. . . . Get it? You work, strive for righteousness AND He is complete control!  I love the cosmic tension of that!  It can't be any other way.  There's no crossing the gulf--and that is the beauty and the glorious mystery. . . .  

Praise God. . . . .

All Is Well! (In the Ultimate sense)

I can't see how this is not the case.  In relative terms and from a (extremely) limited perspective, there are problems . . . wrongs to be righted . . . exhortations and calls to be made . . . BUT, from the Ultimate point of view . . . everything is perfect.  I believe God is sovereign and in control of all.  He tells us He is.  Not just over some things, but over EVERYTHING.  There is nothing--not one step, not a single breath, not a single hair--out of place.

In Ultimate terms, evil is not out of control.  Things aren't out of order.  Mistakes and missteps have not been made. EVERYTHING is going perfectly according to plan.

How can it be otherwise if God is Sovereign? And not only that, but EVERYTHING is designed to exemplify and reveal the supreme, perfect, good, holy glory of God.  It's not just that events and history are GENERALLY-"big picture"-"in-the-end" meant to show the glory of God (with all kinds of mess in the middle having been finally corrected for a final-shot reveal) . . . NO, in fact, every little turn, every seemingly insignificant happening--from the lone flight of some mosquito in a distant valley to somebody dropping a plate right now--is deliberately, lovingly, creatively and perfectly woven into the fabric of ALL THAT IS . . . with the primary purpose of exemplifying God's glory!

Nothing is insignificant.  If we had the eyes to see it, we would be cheering and heralding the astonishing glory and profundity of God's character in all instances, from the tiniest, most microscopic . . . all the way through to the cosmic and universal.

And I don't see how one single thing could ever be deleted or set aside as being inconsequential or unnecessary.  There is NOTHING superfluous.  There is surely no ONE superfluous.

I believe . . . if we love God above all . . . then we love EVERYTHING He has done, does or will do, even though it may be temporarily confusing or even painful.  We trust Him . . . that all He does is perfect, good and holy . . . and is a revelation of His glory.   With this in mind, nothing is wrong, nothing is going awry, nothing needs to be corrected (by us). . . . All is well.  God is to be praised, loved and served in all things.  We trust His purpose.  (This would of course include those instances when we feel compelled to address temporal grievances--to "change the world", "save" this or that cause--I'm not extolling passivity, for He declares and effects the MEANS as well as the ends of things.)

I find it good and helpful to remember this . . . when it seems that things are not going well or in times of extreme challenge and struggle.  The temptation is to resent and blame if we are only viewing life from our personal, self-centered perspective.  From that view, many things are wrong and not going well.  There is no end to them. . . .

But putting God's glory first, then all is ultimately good and meant to be.

How can it be otherwise if God is God and God is sovereign, ruling over all?

I suggest any lessor view of God is not a view of God at all but of something else, something subject to God. . . . Praise God.




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"The Last". . . .

I love that the last shall be first. . . . Such poetic, spiritual, characteristic form for The Lord!

I think of all the believers . . . living their quiet lives, secretly, steadily supporting the faithful, committing unseen acts of service and kindness that few see or know (though God sees all). . . .

So many of these saints have come and gone, barely noticed by the world, but heralded and cherished by angels and the holy hosts of Heaven. . . .

God bless and protect and sustain and comfort and continue to guide these special souls, "the meek", who submit to God's providence always with grace and thankfulness, who consider themselves but servants--even slaves to the Truth.  I think of them often, toiling away, carrying on in their discreet lives, often the brunt of injustices, shunted aside by the lofty and loud and self promoting.  This is the salt of the earth, the savor that gives context and color and taste to the rest. . . .

Blessed are the poor in spirit--those who need the Lord and know it and revel in it. . . .
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. . . .

Brother Thomas ©2015

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