Michael W Smith Missing Person

Hi, friends. I don’t really have too many pithy phrases to offer today except I really, really miss sharing my old tunes with you. πŸ™‚

Dozens of Smitty songs have moved me from teen years on, but this one hit my heart hard from the first listen and has never left.

And it just felt right for where I have been this last little while. For it reminds me of the importance of deep, honest reflection before the Father’s throne. Only then can we find what we are searching for. Even ourselves.

I don’t know where you are in your walk with Christ or even if you have one at this point (If you have questions on this, feel free to reach out via my about page.), but I pray this touches your soul in whatever way God intends.

Have a listen and be blessed ❀

Dangerous Deconstruction

Hello, friends. Something on my brain I can’t leave alone.

Didn’t plan a post today but, hey, I don’t really plan them anymore, anyway. 😏

No. Instead, I find it best I wait on God to tug at my shirt sleeve a few (Ok. Sometimes several, depending on how stubborn I feel.πŸ™‚) times.

Ok. So…I have been reading an awful lot in recent times about an awful lot of well-known people who once claimed or still make attempts at a claim to Christ using the word “deconstruction” in regards to their faith, the latest being Kevin Max, formerly of my beloved mainstay, DC Talk.

Not that this sort of thing is new. I must recognize this has been the sort of statement he has been edging forward in more and more over the years, especially following the DC Talk years.

But, this most recent was perhaps the most discouraging yet. To say I am sad is an understatement.

Now, this sort of thing isn’t exactly new in any faction of society-just read Paul’s epistles if you think it is-but the recent rash of it seems to be becoming more and more inflamed.

Perhaps the 24 hour social media barrage does it.

Perhaps it’s the innate hunger of humanity to be heard on every last thought, or should I say to renounce every last thought that does not fit the cancel culture du jour…πŸ™„

At any rate, it can dismay the soul to the point of weariness when each news cycle seems to spring up with another in the body of Christ extracting themselves from the fold either blatantly or through the subtle lies of “progression”.

Especially when several of these folks are dear to me, either through music I was uplifted by, sermons once preached, or wisdom once imparted in the written word.

To hear that all that has gone before is now being shrugged off in the name of deconstruction?

It’s extremely deflating.

Now, I am no stranger to deconstruction-literal or spiritual.

As to literal, in his business, I have seen my husband take sledgehammers to walls, saw an ancient tub in two to unwedge it from a miniscule bathroom, gut entire kitchens, bring down (carefully) whole ceilings.

All in the name of making something new.

But, what he never does in remodeling is rip out the solid foundation.

Similarly, when it comes to faith, I have had to participate in my share of knocking out faulty walls and yanking out poor plumbing, for sure.

Growing up in the false doctrine of the charismatic church, there was a lot of stuff built up that had no business there!

And once I found those faults, took them to the Master Contractor, and questioned them, really questioned them, there was no turning back from total gutting of the mess made.

Deconstruction. No. Rather, reconstruction.

Complete rebuild of faith. It happens. It should happen-when it needs to happen.

But, the one thing He never said must be done away with is the solid foundation of Christ and Him crucified.

The core of faith, the Word and the truth there must remain for Him to rebuild upon. No compromises.

Because, you know what a compromise in construction is? Something that endangers the stability and durability of the whole structure!

And I think in there lies the difference between what the Lord did for me and what is happening with so many public figures in Christianity.

I will never ever regret taking those doubts to the Lord and letting Him have His way. I shudder to think what I might still be in the grips of  otherwise.

So…we all have doubts. I will never knock someone for admitting to them.

But-it’s what we then do with them that counts!

For, what is happening to so many of these folks, as well as many not in the media, is a removal from the  foundation the Lord intended for us.

It brings to mind 1 Cor. 3:11: “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Sometimes, it is an abrupt shift away following a period of relative obscurity, at least in our eyes, as we stumble on yet another article we thought we’d never read.

Other times, it is a very willful, in-your-face statement. Those often include not only the word “deconstruction”, but the word that I cringe at every time-“progressive”.

(Read: moral ambiguity, approval of all manners of sin, sexual and otherwise. Iffy on scripture. Path to salvation. Whether we should even talk about one way to heaven or the reality of hell.)

Oh, friends, this should not be! Progressing in that manner is not progressing at all!

In fact, whatever is built on such a foundation is doomed to fall!

So…what do we do? What is our part?

Well, firstly, a firm renouncing of such a “Christian” walk. That is a given, even if you thought this person was cool or taught you something valuable at one time.

Let people know that that “progressive” version of “following” Christ is not the Biblical version.

That following that “cool” person in the media down that path will only lead to a deconstruction that will devastate them in the end.

But, as you navigate that, you better make sure you don’t do it from a high horse or neglect recognizing your own failings or desperate need for a savior.

We must, even as we disavow certain things, do it humbly and prayerfully.

And keep these who have shifted from the foundation fast in our hearts, in hopes that they will find their way back.

Because I have to pray that Kevin, in all his introspection, will remember the words he once sang: “there ain’t no disguisin’ the truth”.

May we all remember this truth-of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the only path to salvation, the only covering for our sins, and the only way to live FREE of those sins.

With this our foundation and God our Master Contractor, what is built in us will stand the test of time. No deconstruction necessary. πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Blessings and prayers!

“To Know You” on youtube

Something that is likely quite easy to guess about me is my love for honest, introspective work. I mean, I don’t try to hide it much, do I? πŸ™‚

So..safe to say, when it comes to music, when I can feel someone’s heart in their voice and their words, I am most generally sold.

Such as it was when I first heard Nichole Nordeman on my WOW CD back in the day….

Loved the rawness. Loved the honest observations.

But, I feel I must freely admit some things:

At the time I discovered her, I had also discovered another female singer/songwriter that was on the rise at the same time that compelled me just a touch more. Maybe it was because she was from my home state. I don’t know. 😏

Anyway…that meant I didn’t rank Nichole as my absolute favorite then, but rather, as just someone I dug her style and a few of her tunes enough to listen to and relate.

One of those tunes was once found worthy to hunt the split-track cassette of (Oy. Showing my age again! 😏) in order to do it for special music one Sunday back when I was less petrified to do such.

But, when that lifetime got pushed aside by divorce, some of those cassettes and CDS also got put away.

Or trashed.

A couple of them smashed, to be honest.

Oh, I had my tried and trues I’d always cling to, yes. My comfort songs. My nights tuned in to the radio so I could get a shred of sleep.

But, others? Well, they were more or less just painful reminders of the hopes and dreams that had vanished, so away they went with old photos and my first wedding dress.

Even that other home state girl? My slightly more beloved singer/songwriter?

Well, she proved to pick up her guitar and vanish from the scene herself, only to come back years later professing a sinful lifestyle in the name of Jesus. I won’t say her name, but the story lays heavy on my heart and my prayer is she will recognize her folly before it’s too late.

But, back to Nichole and why I chose to share this song today.

In my year of introspection, I have begun to revisit many things. Many times, many places, each flavored with its own sound.

This one, this which I once sang with every ounce of emotion I had, came back to me recently.

And I realized more deeply than ever the beauty of it.

That it remained the cry of my heart.

To lay it out so bare as Nichole’s lovely lyrics and voice do. To admit, yes, I struggle. I doubt.

But, above all, I really want to know You, God.

May this be the cry of all our hearts, dear friends. Have a listen and be blessed. Much love and many prayers. ❀

“The Message – 4Him

Firstly, let me thank you, dear friends, for the prayers and support after I shared my struggles here last time we met.

There are things yet to sort through and only time will tell how my situation will progress, but I am seeing breakthroughs and finding avenues to express my concerns while keeping in mind the desire to minister.

Ok. So…onto what my title refers to. Here comes yet another group that anchored me in my teens and twenties…

Safe to say, if you haven’t figured it out already, I have always listened to a LOT of music-each with its own flavor. πŸ™‚

4Him captured my attention from the first time a cassette tape of “The Basics of Life” was played for me by a high school acquaintance. I just had to have my own copy, along with everything they produced thereafter.

The authenticity and passion combined with these four beautiful voices inspired my hunger for more of Christ. Every tune seemed to point the way and I eagerly followed.

I can well recall being up to wee hours devouring one book of my Bible after another while their music played in the background.

Sometimes, I could even be caught singing along. 😏

I still remember a time my dad was home from the road one night and embarrassed me to no end knocking on my door to tell me how neat it was to hear me singing along with those guys. Maybe it was also a kind hint I might dial down on volume, but, at any rate, I think it was the compliment that threw me. πŸ™‚

Oh, it’s a nice memory, to be sure.

I think it just felt like a very private session between me and God exposed for a minute there. My relationship with my folks was beginning to mend by then, but was still often uncertain, almost awkward.

Anyway…we did wind up having a brief but good chat about where my faith was heading. And I turned back to my music further bolstered ( and turned down the volume a touch.πŸ˜‰).

And so, I continued on. Grew up. Sort of….

And, over the years, through the numerous hills I climbed and valleys I found myself in, there were my many 4Him cassettes and CDs to hold onto, usually put in and cranked over the uglier noises in my world to stir my heart on (Maybe that accounted for my fixation with the volume…😏).

Now…when it comes to choice of song to best represent my love of 4Him to you, I am once again in such a quandary.

So many of their songs speak so much to me.

In the end, I went with what convicts my heart most at present.

For, in the end, whatever I am dealing with now and whatever comes down the pike later on, my heart is to live a message.

One of faith.

One of truth.

To make my life stand as this group’s name testifies to…

For Him.

Listen, be stirred, be inspired to live such a message.

Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❀

Watch “MercyMe – Greater (Official Music Video)” on YouTube

Hello, there, dear friends!

I just realized I kind of unintentionally halted my song sharing here.

And me with so many more on my list that this sort of thing could go on for many years to come! 😏

Anyway, looking to knock another one off my list starting now…

The one I chose this time around is another favorite of our little youth group. We have recently been able to get back to gathering in person (Yay!). This was definitely high on the request list.

Oh, my, what an extra sweet joy it was to listen to those kiddos raise their instruments and their voices in praise this past week! It was like a warm blanket wrapping around us all, securing us to Him in an insecure time.

I think we all need that right now, that reminder there is One who is greater.

To remember He is there to equip us broken with more than we can dream…

Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Blessings and prayers! ❀

Watch “Harvest – “Because I Am”” on YouTube

Hey, friends. It’s been a bit again since I shared a song. This one is pulled from early childhood memories. My dad, the quiet, unassuming metalhead, had discovered Christian music shortly after I was born. This song was a distinct departure from his usual, but one he fell in love with and therefore couldn’t stop playing.

Its tune captured my young self over time and then, life happened and memory of it shifted to the background until a couple of years ago.

We had had an awesome day of Goodwill finds, including a fairly nice turntable. I was excited to begin recollecting vinyl and chatted with my folks about it. Next thing I knew, my mom and dad were combing through their collection to pass some on to me.

Harvest was among the ones Dad shared, which I politely took without quite remembering it yet. I took it home and, honestly, put it away for a time, more entranced by the classic rock mom had chosen to give me 😏 ( Hey, CCR is another huge part of my childhood soundtrack. It was hard to resist the unique sound of their “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” on that turntable.).

And that was that for a time.

But, something in me one morning was drawn to straightening my collection…maybe because they were overflowing my makeshift shelves. 😁And, I picked up the Harvest album among the others and perused the titles, trying again to recall much about them.

And, then, all at once, the melody came back to me. I simply had to put it on then and there. And I was instantly drawn in again, reminded of the sheer beauty and truth in the story woven, sung and played in such a gloriously heartfelt manner.

For He is the resurrection and the life indeed! The joy and the hope of knowing that is beyond measure! It buoys the spirit on the bleakest of days!

Something sorely needed in this dark and troubled world.

And, so, I pray you enjoy, my friends.

That your hope of everlasting life through Jesus is lifted and your faith is affirmed by this incredible truth.

Blessings and prayers to you! ❀

Newsboys – Joy

Hi, friends! I have been sitting here waiting on deeper inspiration again.

So…in the meantime, an update, a song, and perhaps a bit of a ramble. πŸ™‚

Things are progressing pretty nicely on most all fronts in our world.

School has thus far remained a safe and happy go-to for my younger ones as the pursuit of music, performance, and friends tops their list. And for one, a big shocker is added-cross country! (Seriously, folks…athleticism is not in the genes. At all. So, the fact my 16 year old boy has determination to push through majorly sore ankles to try this is awesome.😊 )

And my college boy? Well, he is stepping forward in self-management and relationships, each step precious proof autism has become his fuel (As well as increasing evidence I’m getting older! Acck! πŸ˜³πŸ™‚).

Let’s see…what else?

Business is busy. Right now, my husband is on the remodel that never ends, but hey, that is job security right there! 😏

Oh, and Community Youth Group has begun again as of last Wednesday! I was thrilled to make cookies and spend some time in worship and study with our dear kiddos! ❀😊

And, beyond the usual allergy invasion and the nose-blowing fest that naturally follows, I am actually finding some fairly decent days physically speaking- between the creaky joints, of course. πŸ™‚

Life is still with its various shades of differences and challenges, no doubt, but there is a joy that rises…and not just because things are well at present.

Don’t get me wrong-it’s great things are well at present!

I’m so grateful.

But, joy is not found in whether all’s well or not-so-well.

No…rather, it is found in waking up and abiding with Jesus.

Every day I get to roll out of bed and know my sweet Lord is right beside me, ready to help me face whatever comes.

And that bubbles up in me a song that has been one of my go-to’s-from another band that has long been a go-to in of themselves…

Newsboys-in particular, their earlier years.

Hmmm…maybe it’s the 90’s-early 2000’s kid in me. πŸ˜‰

Don’t get me wrong. I still love what the newer incarnation of the group does now, but, oh, my…the exultant bounce to this one!

The effervescent, intricate lyrics!

It really takes me back.

I can’t help but rejoice with this one….

Have a listen and see if you don’t rejoice with me. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❀

Watch “”Cheap Birds” ~Apologetix” on YouTube

Ok. Bring on another song!

If the last needed a few words, this one could use…well, a few paragraphs. 😏

First things first:

I discovered Apologetix in what feels like another lifetime.

I was riding home on the long country road that connected my first husband’s college to our little apartment.

We had the radio tuned in to WayFM. They played the more “rock and roll” side to Christian Contemporary, something very appealing to my ears in those days (And still can be depending on my mood. πŸ˜‰).

All of a sudden, there was what sounded like Simon and Garfunkel.

Now, I love me some folk music, but “The Sounds of Silence”, beautiful song that it is, was not the standard fare of this station.

I puzzled for a moment at this turn of events, then, began to listen a little closer:

And I realized-they were singing about the ministry of Paul and Silas!

Not the sounds of silence.

Huh?

For it was done with all the same purity and solemness of tone, with all the same pretty guitar work backing them up.

But, but the lyrics were all turned to sharing a Biblical story!

Cool! Like Weird Al with a Christian message! 😁

Who were these people?!

I simply had to know. I listened eagerly to the end and heard the DJ refer to “Apologetix” with an “X”.

I did my research thing, which, in those days, still involved a brick and mortar store.

I found a couple of CDS and snapped them up, quickly discovering these guys were not one song ponies.

Anything from classic rock to Eminem they could do quite handily.

The lead singer, J. Jackson, seemed to have an elastic voice that could stretch itself to any genre you could think of.

The band members could recreate whatever intricate guitar, keyboard work, and what have you.

But, best and most important, was the mission to share Christ, to pull out the incredible stories found in the Word of God through these highly unusual means.

Over the years, they have continued to produce one awesome album after the next, full of Biblical truth, humor, and tunes that opened all sorts of chances to witness.

And all with such humbleness and honor to the Christ that redeemed them.

I was ever in awe and wishing I could meet these guys, but never getting around to writing them or anything like that.

I was just a little shy about it, as is my way. 😏

And, then, over time, I discovered J. has an autistic child close to my oldest boy’s age.

And, so, being such a fan and finding that really interesting connection, I finally got the gumption and wrote an email.

That became the first of many as we swapped parenting stories and encouragement in the faith, the hardships of trusting God for provision when things get tight and the way He keeps taking care of us all the while.

And, then, about three years ago, he invited us for the opportunity of a lifetime-a chance to be guests at Apologetix’ s 25th Anniversary concert.

My kids, especially my oldest boy, are even bigger fans than me-if that is possible! πŸ˜‰

Needless to say, we were thrilled to accept and over the moon to finally meet J., the band, and their families and shake hands, express our gratitude for all their music ministry has meant to us.

And they are still busy at it-coming up with songs, ministering to folks all over the world. I will leave the website link at the bottom of the page for any interested.

What they do may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I understand, but it sure has opened doors to drawing others to Christ! πŸ™‚

So…onto the song…finally.

If I couldn’t decide last week about what Rich Mullins song to share, Apologetix is even more the challenge to pinpoint one definitive tune.

So many amazing ones and they are producing more all the time! I can’t explain how they do it except to say “but God”…

However, this one, Cheap Birds, based on “Freebird” by Lynard Skynard, has meant so very much to me as one struggling for a sense of worth, as the message pertains to how much we mean to the Lord.

I chose a video that posts the lyrics so you can see just how profound they are.

I suggest watching as well as listening since it sounds so spot on with the original you might miss the message listening only. I hope it blesses you as it does me.

Thanks for reading and sharing ! Much love and many prayers, dear friends!❀

And the Apologetix website for your perusal:

http://apologetix.com/

Watch “Calling Out Your Name – Rich Mullins” on YouTube

Ok. I decided. These are fun. I love music. Can’t play a lick and only sing a little, but, oh, I know what I like. πŸ™‚

And, in addition, I discover that I really like to share.

So…I will try to do these maybe weekly…ish. I have no schedule on here and do better without one, frankly, despite my need for an ordered world elsewhere, but we shall see. 😁

I have a lot of songs I am eager to share!

And this particular one begs a few paragraphs to introduce…

I first discovered Rich Mullins in high school.

Immediately, I was captivated. His honest, heartfelt voice, combined with his incredible gift for painting word imagery and ability to play a variety of instruments as effortlessly as many of us breathe had me in awe.

And oh, the songs! Each one cutting me to the quick, challenging my faith, causing me to pause in my day to soak in the truth of God.

Then, of course, as I always do with those I am drawn to, I had to know more of the man.

In reading his philosophy for life, how I longed to be able to similarly shed the trappings and give my all to others as he did throughout his career.

His mission through The Kids of St. Frank, his willingness to kick off his shoes and humble himself, his determination to live the antithesis of a successful musician…just…wow.

My grief in his passing from this earth was profound, needless to say.

Yet, his demeanor showed readiness at any time. He knew where he was going. He wasn’t worried. So, I owed it to him to rejoice in my sorrow.

For what a legacy!

I wanted that. Want it still.

Life may’ve given me a different mission and different things to care for, but I pray the essence of selflessness and assurance in my Savior can be the same.

In sitting down to determine which of his plethora of amazing works to share, I was honestly very, very torn.

I love them all. How do I ever choose?

Ah, me!

But, I knew it should be one to feature his beautiful hammer dulcimer that so captured my attention early on and one whose poetry was most inspiring.

So, I came to this one, Calling Out Your Name, which may be a bit prejudiced by the fact he mentions my home state of Kansas, where I am proud to say he spent some time studying and I once helped babysit his dog a little while through quite a chain of events. πŸ™‚

Not to mention it just seems to suit the current weather patterns around here. 😏

At any rate, may it encourage you that God is still God. The creator of all the universe and everything in it is yet on His throne, yet speaking, yet reaching out to us in everything around us. Give it a listen and be blessed, friends. Much love and many prayers. ❀