Worship

The Cure

The Cure

Encouragment, Worship
A common character in the old west is the snake oil salesman. Those purveyors of medicinal elixirs guaranteed to cure whatever ailed you. “Step right up ladies and gentlemen and let me tell you about Dr. Throttlebottom’s Patented formula. Just one spoonful in the morning and another at bedtime is sure to cure rheumatism, cancer, diabetes, baldness, bad breath, and curvature of the spine.” Of course the “elixir” was mostly alcohol and the only thing that it cured was the drought in Dr. Throttlebottom’s wallet. The amazing thing is that according to a study in Scientific American the original snake oil was brought over from China and did have medicinal value. Derived from Chinese water snakes it contained high levels of Omega-3s. “These acids not only reduce inflammation, such as arthriti
The Babylon Blues

The Babylon Blues

Encouragment, Worship
Imagine this. Your country has been overrun and conquered by a foreign power. Those not killed during the siege are chained together and marched far from home as slaves. You are expected to merge into their culture, their ideals, their way of life, and to worship their gods. Everything that once brought joy has been turned to dust. Where’s B.B. King and Lucille to sing the blues when you need them? While those Jewish folks enslaved to a foreign conqueror did not know the rhythms and soulful sound of modern day blues they did sing about their despair and their hope. Consider Psalm 42. As the deer pants for the water brooks So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;  When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night,
Rejoice in This!

Rejoice in This!

Encouragment, Worship
Luke records an event in Jesus ministry when He sent 70 of his disciples into the world to proclaim the good news of the kingdom. In a sense they were a kind of advance men, going into villages and towns that Jesus was going to visit. But this was also a training opportunity. Jesus’ instructions were strict and designed to create a reliance on God. Those instructions are in Luke 10:1-9. Some time later the disciples returned with joy and reported, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”” (Luke 10:17, NASB95)  Jesus confirmed their report, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” (Luke 10:18, NASB95)  Not only were their efforts effective in an earthly sense they were also effective in the spiritual realm. Jesus goes on add, “Behold, I have given you author
Get Praising!

Get Praising!

Encouragment, Worship
There is something about music, particularly praise songs, that seeps deep into our souls. A few months back my grandfather passed away. During the funeral my grandmother sang along with every hymn without looking at the words. Not unusual until you understand that she has dementia. She barely understood why she was in church that day. She easily gets stuck in loops of thought, like asking umpteen times how old my newest granddaughter is. Repeatedly reading the Sunday funnies. Calling just about every male in our family “dad” and always desiring to “go home” even though she was at home. But she did not get stuck during the hymns and sang all of the verses to “It is Well” without glancing at the hymnal. It reminded me of Psalm 33:1-5.   Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For