How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic. I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:
Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?
And Music also heals Socially…
Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.
How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?
I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.
If God really existed, why is the world so wrecked? And if *He is so “good,” how could He let those things happen to me…? (note: I use He/His as pronouns for God but fully recognize God with male and female ‘identity,’ for lack of a better word, as evidenced throughout the Bible and the human race. 2-pt post here if you like).
Just one look at the suffering and oppression in this world –not just against people, but all creation– and it’s hard not to stumble on belief in a good God. But blaming (or denying) Heaven for all the woe ignores our God-Given freedom to destroy everything just fine on our own.
Hands can hurt flesh, and mouths can speak death, yet we rarely see God grab someone mid sentence, or mid swing. And if He did intervene every time we exercised our freedom, would we really be free?
Our lives have been marked by boundaries: the boundary of the womb, the boundary of the crib, the boundary of the skies… and we push these walls, kicking against the dark in the uterus, climbing out of cribs, dreaming of flight and touching the heavens.
It seems like all boundaries–from the glass ceilings to the Berlin Walls, were meant to be destroyed…
But some of the greatest walls rest in our Hearts.
In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.
But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:
I believe God can be found anywhere, from the breeze on your skin, to the wisdom of your kids. Sometimes He* makes surprise appearances in a theater or a Justin Bieber track (post coming!) and my latest encounter was during the Speed Racer film.
The more I watched Racer X, the more I thought of Jesus, and the more I watched Speed, the more I thought of myself. Racing is a great metaphor for life–tension, time, passion, power— and every ‘Speed Racer’ can use a ‘Racer X’ in his corner…
You know the story of the guest pastor who visited a church in shabby attire, unshaven and maybe even unshowered? Churchgoers sidestepped him and certainly didn’t seat him at the front, so imagine their surprise/shame when he got up to give the sermon.
It’s a good example of the authenticity of our Love, and while Love shouldn’t be swayed by sight, any flesh and blood wrapped in labels like “Refugee” -“Homeless” -“Foreigner” -“Moocher” -“Homosexual” -“Annoying Friend,” will test our hearts.
You’re probably not expecting any love letters from Democrats, but this will come darn close. Sir, you didn’t have my vote but you do have my heart, and I kindly ask to share 3 things with you.
Firstly, you’re a Winner–not because of any item you own or title you possess, but because you Exist. That’s a 10 to the 2,685,000th power odd, and for reference the number of atoms in the visible universe is just ~10 to the 80th power.
Secondly, I’ve seen you say and do things that shame and hurt others, and from my heart I wonder: Who hurt you? What bullies did you face, or who dared lay hands on you? Only you know your story of survival and truly none of us is a stranger to pain, rejection, or simply being misunderstood. But resilience is in our DNA and we find ways to cope–anything from food or drugs, to money or sex, shopping, TV-watching, any thing. And every thing, from our own self-doubts to our possessions or fixes, seeks to enslave us.
This post is part of the #GodsOneLines series–breaking hate and/or shame caused by people wielding bible verses. Instead I want to use single bible verses or events to encourage and reveal God’s Heart if possible.
This story starts with Tears– mine as I write, and Heaven’s one fateful day.
It starts with the return of Jews from Babylonian exile. Their repeated offenses, including refusing to set servants free, caught up with them despite divine warnings. Sure, they listened for a time, but soon after changed their minds, re-taking men, women and children into captivity (sounds like the Moses story with Pharaoh, right?)
Imagine with me. You have all the power in the world and want to showcase it. What would you do first? I asked this to a group of kids and their answers ranged from world peace and feeding everyone, to jumping out of a plane with no parachute, or bringing a loved one back from the dead.
How about you? Would you rescue someone? Is there a moment in time you would change?
Jesus, the reported “son of God” faced the same question. He also faced the hatred of God-fearing/revering religious leaders (Pharisees) who considered the “son of God” stuff blasphemy. After all, if you’re the son of God, you yourself must be “God” and thus all powerful (amongst other things). (And now we can all call ourselves sons and daughters of God..).
Language is living. Social environment, technology, time and the freedom and individuality of every human being modifies our communication. But there are some words that should just stick and if they don’t we may need to replace them. Here are four that, in my opinion, have totally lost their meaning–they need to be spelled out before their weight or truth comes across.
Today my son was cranky. Going out for breakfast with four children– three of them 4 years and under– isn’t easy or fast and my eldest was annoyed. “It’s too druk!” he protested (Dutch for busy/hectic), and I tried to soothe and encourage him. I shared about family from the perspective of The Incredibles (many God-lessons come from kids movies, like Frozen), noting that when they fought side-by-side they were the strongest. But my son didn’t want to hear, much less see me.
I suggested he walk ahead so it was like I wasn’t there, but he started to cry: ‘You are always there!”
The world got quiet and slow and in an instant I had a heaven-flash…
Is this what I said to you, God? Is this why we can’t “see” You? Did I not want anything to do with You and, didn’t trust You had my best interest at heart, and, from eternity, was totally fed up with “Your Presence”?? Ouch.
One of the saddest glimpses into God’s Heart comes from this paragraph from Paul of Tsarsus:
A picture with caption “true friendship” and heart dog emojis came on my twitter feed. Many replies read “awwww,” but my heart broke when I saw it…
Did people chose to overlook the life status of this pair? Maybe it wasn’t popular to burst the love bubble with, “But they’re homeless!” Whatever it was, only one of the many replies said: ‘I wish I knew where he was so I could help.’
Why did Jesus heal blindness two different ways? One man was healed with a word, the other with spit and dirt. It was a mess, it didn’t make sense, but after a rinse a man born blind could see. The religious elite didn’t like it. They held an inquiry, interrogating and frightening the parents. They asked the man: “what did he do to you?” but weren’t satisfied with the answer. They insulted him to the core and then excommunicated him.
But like all freaks, weirdos, outcasts and misfits, Jesus seeks us out…
It’s possible to get so wrapped up in God, the Bible, your ‘quiet time,’ that you miss His Heart and religion creeps in. God becomes a mere idol and the effects can be devastating, especially if you’re in a family.
I have heard too many stories of people who got, or are currently planning divorce because their partner is getting in the way of their “ministry” (aka service to/for God). #SayWhat?! If you or someone you know ever thought, “I could do so much more for God, go further, faster.. if they didn’t hold me back…” , or if you were willing to serve God at any and all costs, look out, this post is for you.