We are made for beauty, and must look into our reflection in God's Word to truly know ourselves and mankind. Thoughts on how the Bible contains the heart of God and mankind in it. Tonight's podcast is available on the player below, or at my podcast page at:
http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ The Roosevelt Cabin mentioned in the podcast is viewable at:
"I Choose to Praise You"
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Just who is He to you? There are so many titles for Jesus in the Bible. Perhaps the most poignant for me is the ancient inscription found in the catacombs, whatever their original purpose. Persecution or funeral site, it seems they wanted Jesus present there beneath the ground.
But, the Fisher of Men had already overcome the grave. As Master of Life and Death, He was more than qualified to see them beyond the grave, from this life to the next. Yes, they remembered Him as the fisher of men, as evidenced by the symbol of the fish. As I've drawn it above, the fish stands for Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. The Greek letters for the acronym spell the Greek word icthus, which is fish in Greek. Quite a coincidence maybe, but the first century believers saw Jesus in the sky, in the sea, in life, in persecution, and even in death. More importantly, they saw themselves as pursued and captured by the Omnipotent Lord of the Heavens. How do you see Him?
You know, God's been thinking about you, and He's got a plan. The Bible says so in Jeremiah 29:11. I was reminded of that when I heard my Pastor preach a sermon about Rahab, a Prostitute in the Old Testament, who received redemption with God's people. I won't tell you any more than that about the sermon, other than the fact that I was anxious to see it show up on the podcast to share. I am linking to it below so you can listen for yourself. If you like what you hear, just head on over to his podcast page, and "there's more where this came from" as they say.
Pastor Scott talks about God’s improbable plan for mishaps. He shows from the Bible how God had a plan and a destiny for prostitutes, serial divorcees, and uneducated fisherman. He reminds us that God wants believers to have a passion to reach the lost.
Texts: Joshua 2:21 Psalms 37:23
Vocals: Cindy Benefield
Music: by the Tallapoosa Assembly of God Praise Team, under the direction of Scott's wife Cindy.
The Online Ministries of Scott Benefield, of Ranburne, Alabama. He and his wife Cindy pastor the Tallapoosa Assembly of God, in Tallapoosa, Georgia. He preaches Pentecostal Messages on Faith, Saving Grace, and the Love of God.
I met some new doctors today at the Orthopedic Center when I went to have my finger reset and more hand xrays. I try not to be prejudiced, but I can’t help not liking doctors very much at all. You can’t live without them and they just might kill you themselves if you don’t watch them closely. J This does not apply to nurses, who often spend most of their time trying to make sure the doctors actually don’t mess anything up. I have this love-hate relationship with most of my doctors now. There is only one of my doctors that I even like at all as a human being. Everything that he did failed, but he was so sorry that it failed. And, he tried to fix the problems other doctors made. He couldn’t help the fact that it was unfixable by human beings. I wouldn’t go to a dog fight with the others, without watching their every move. I don’t trust them very much, suffice it to say.
There is that one doctor who is human. But, one of the others, the newest of the batch of specialists, allowed me to overhear him complaining to the nurses that he didn’t want to testify against a doctor at the hospital. He said it in a whiny voice when she told him the lawyer for a baby injured by a doctor had called him for a deposition after he had treated the baby for severe neurological damage. In other words, he didn’t care about the baby at all. He didn’t want to testify against another doctor. This is sickening to me in all honesty. That’s how I see it. In my human heart, I resented that he cared more about a colleague than a baby.
But, today in Carrollton, the doctors at the Orthopedic Center were caring and professional, and definitely competent. They shook my hand. When one started explaining what was wrong with my finger, that the flexor ligament was torn, I found myself thinking that he was saying it was going to hang like that permanently, that it couldn’t be fixed. I had grown accustomed to hearing that “no cure line” when a doctor looked me in the eye so seriously. But, he was only explaining that he was going to have to bend my finger backwards and splint it that way until it healed in about 2 weeks, and that the crunching was going to be really painful. This was indeed painful, and I had been lulled into a sense of comfort while waiting on my xrays, and watching several casts being put on and cut off of the arms and legs of little kids and grown men. They talked and laughed with the doctor, and I thought it looked simple enough, until he took care of me.
But, the kids that were left stopped laughing and all stared as he twisted my finger, and I had to catch my breath and say something to convince them the nice man wasn’t hurting people. Lol. They looked scared to death that they were next in line to get their fingers snapped. The 9 year old girl had gotten a second cast on her foot, and the first was already on her arm. The 6 year old boy had got his cut off his leg, and a pile of dirt and sand fell out of the cast. I decided to stop at The Border Mexican Restaurant in Carrollton for dinner for comfort food. I called my hubby who was just leaving work and arranged for us to meet him there at the restaurant. If my twisted face hadn’t convinced the kids at the doctor’s office that I was fine, the Mexican Dinner didn’t stand much chance of convincing me either. But, I didn’t know that beforehand.
Then Travis and I stopped to buy him a laptop for school, and I saw the sky for the first time the whole miserable day. Suddenly, feelings of gratitude washed over me. I realized the day was spectacularly beautiful. The trees literally shook and trembled as if in expectation of the imminent rapture of Spring. Or, maybe it was just the wind. And, there was God.
I was still in agony. Every part of me still aches. But, the anguish that goes with a bad day vanished. Amazing how God just takes your hand and turns your eyes upward to remind you that He is right here with you.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see….
There are two sides to every coin. We come to Christ “Just as we are.” But, somewhere beyond redemption, 12 changes are transacted by the ultimate price paid on Calvary. Three bodies were hung up on trees, three bodies were brought down and buried, and one body rose up out of the earth. From one side of the Cross to the other a colossal change took place in the lives of millions of followers in the 20 centuries since.
Yes, twelve changes take place in the lives of those who lift Jesus up today. From the moment we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we experience a turn-around in the elements of our spirit man. All of us have spirits; some just haven’t flipped the coins that were paid and accepted the “change.” One man threw the coins on the ground… at the feet of the judges who condemned Jesus… Judas. Another, Peter, accepted the change that would be transacted in his life and turned over the coins to a new existence. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4, outlined a dozen of these two-sided coins Christians have turned over since redemption.
1. Hidden Things/ Things Manifested (2 Corinthians 4:2)
We exchange craftiness and deceit for truth. We walk in the truth of God’s Word.
2. Blinded Minds/ Enlightened Minds (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The lost are hid in the darkness while the Christian walks in light.
3. Proud Boasting/ Servanthood (2 Corinthians 4:5)
We no longer live our lives for ourselves, but become servants of God,
living for Him.
4. Frail Bodies/ Mighty Power (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Our spirits walk in unity with the spirit of God, though we are just human.
5. Trials/ Triumph (2 Corinthians 4:10)
We go through trials like Jesus, so we can have the victory like He did.
6. Death/ Life (2 Corinthians 4:11)
We carry the cross of Jesus, manifest His death in our lives, and receive
the rewards of eternal life with Him.
7. Past/ Future (2 Corinthians 4:14)
Jesus was raised up in the past; you and I will be raised up in the future with Him.
8. Grace/ Thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 4:15)
His grace operates through our thanksgiving.
9. Outward Man/ Inward Man (2 Corinthians 4:16)
Even if our body is failing us physically, He breathes life into us day by day.
10. Affliction/ Glory (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Our afflictions will lead us to an unimaginable glory to come.
11. Seen/ Unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We know that there is more to this life than meets the eye. There are things unseen.
12. Temporal/ Eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We don’t place our hope in the physical life now, but in the ethereal life in eternity.
Now, it sounds like we came just as we were, and put on the wedding garments. Matthew 22:11-14 All that remains is for us to accept the change. Allowing the spirit of God to work in our lives completes the transaction. This is the reason that we do not need to wait until we “get our lives straightened out” to come to church. We come just as we are, and Jesus will make us just like He is. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work… will perform it!
Tonight I have a special guest interview with Songwriter Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective. Mark talks about the "God Quotient" and how his faith influences his songwriting. He has provided Worship Leader Kits to be given away to listeners tonight. Just let me know and we'll get them to you. You can reply in the blog comment section, or our feedback line phone number is 206-202-4087. You can send media files to my Email: email@example.com
Tonight's Podcast can be heard on the player below, or at my podcast page at http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/
Links for Mark's Resources:
Resources for Worship Leaders: http://www.weekendwarriorworship.com/digital-hymnal/
Amazon.com Keyword Weekend Warrior Worship
Mark Snyder's Featured Song clips are:
-Death Could Not Hold You (1st Corinthians 15)
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5kanfPU_jE&feature=youtu.be
-I Worship You Alone (Revelation 4, 21:1-4)
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhYUJ3-6FWY&feature=youtu.be
-All Glory (1st Chronicles 16:8-36)
-Let His Name (Psalm 148:13, Hebrews 12:2)
-We Shall Overcome
-A Way to You
"I Choose to Praise You"
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Worship comes in many forms. A Swedish proverb says, "Those who wish to sing, always find a song." Just like the old song we used to sing in Sunday School, "...red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight..." today we find all kinds of praise filling the air waves and churches. Within the arms of Christian Music Genres we find: Acoustic/Folk, Alternative, Bluegrass, Contemporary, Dance/Techno, Gospel, Heavy Metal, Pop, Praise & Worship, Christian Punk, Rap Hip Hop, R&B, Christian Rock, and Christian Ska music. But, all in the range originates from the original desire of humanity to worship God and to sing their own song.
Christian Hit Playlist: 11 tracks-
A compilation of my own, with hits taken from the charts as well as one Fringe hit by Beckah Shae. It is featured as a playlist titled "Christian Chart Hits February 2012" on my YouTube Channel.
To visit the page directly go to
My playlist above does not go out into the fringe, and I chose these songs from the Contemporary genre mostly just to illustrate a few popular pieces for the purpose of looking at the function of music today in Christianity. I have seen a variety in my lifetime. First think of the "old hymns" which are not really old, but that's what they are called because the "older generation" sang them in church growing up. These include songs like Amazing Grace and Just As I Am, as well as I'll Fly Away and Victory in Jesus. Many of them are based on actual passages in the Bible and they have an excellent theology. Some, like Just as I Am, are beautiful and bring many people to conversion to Christ, though they really have no actual Bible basis. This song is taken from the idea that we should come just as we are. Though that idea is not in the Bible, it's beautiful and is a good starting place, because how else can you begin but where you are. But, the real "Old Hymns" were written in the 1800's and were mostly written with Scripture allusions. They can be found online at http://nethymnal.org and are a lesson in appreciation of our music foundations. The "old hymns" we sang as children were seen as scandalous to the previous generation, who listened to hymns on pipe organs.
From there and not in any time order, remember the country/Gospel tunes that are so popular in some small towns in the South. I personally have a hard time with many of these, simply because they are not my style. But, many people find much comfort in them. From there we can move all over the fringe ethnic groups, punk, rap, etc. The styles differ simply because the cultures differ that follow Christ. We don't look down our nose at a generation or ethnic group for the way they praise the Lord. So, that is not my line of thought here.
I look at songs from the perspective of the message that they carry. Some songs are what I see as worship songs. These are the ones that would be suitably sang by the congregation in church, and speak of worship and adoration directed from me to God. The focus of songs in this group is a God focus. Other songs are what I consider "message songs." They speak directly about a situation in our lives, such as Someone is Praying for You, by the Katinas, or Casting Crowns' We Are the Body, or Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood, or Jesus to the World by New Song, or My Own Little World by Matthew West. These songs we may hear as specials in church. They usually speak directly to our hearts about change and the focus is on the message and our hearts. Either type can be based on a Scripture passage, and both are wonderful expressions of faith. I particularly think My Own Little World has an excellent theology of message. And that is what it is all about, a theology of worship.
There are many songs that don't fit into either of these two categories. Some are just "feel good" songs that say things that are popular. Others have a popular rhythm or beat. Some repeat phrases over and over. For whatever reason they are popular, the focus is not really on God or the Church or the message. I see nothing bad about the songs in this group. I just see them as not about praising God, and not about effecting a heart change, and not really ready for prime time or the worship service.
Naturally, I am not labeling songs in this blog as outside the first two categories. That is not my purpose. I just want to open a dialog on what it is that we look for in music in the church today. I also think we should avoid looking at genres and stick to the message and tune that we are hearing. After all, the purpose of worship in church is not that each song would please everyone sitting on a pew or chair. It is not about entertainment. But, the purpose is to move hearts toward God, and to usher in the Spirit of God with worship. I believe that a good background in music is essential for the soul. I particularly remember my music appreciation class in college where we had classical music forced on us, till I could almost puke because the sound was so different than anything I had ever heard. But, afterwards, besides learning what music I hated, I discovered that I loved Chopin, Debussy, and even some of Tchaikovsky's work. So, the class exposed me to music that I would have never discovered on my own. Likewise with Christian music, if we open our hearts to the music others choose to worship with, we may just discover a whole new relationship with God, through someone else's ears.
I would like to give you a few questions:
1. What do you look for in the Christian music you listen to at home? In the car? While working out?
2. What do you like to sing in worship services?
3. What songs do you like to hear sung as "Specials" at church?
4. What songs do you not like to hear?
Please leave comments below or call them into my feedback line at 206-202-4087 and I will post audio comments in a future blog. But, keep in mind, I am not looking for genre, merely the focus of the song that you like, and/or individual song titles. If you choose to play the game, thanks in advance. Your response is very much appreciated :) God Bless you!
The story of a country, a people, or a town can not be told, but by telling the story of certain people within that place. I've heard said that a group has no morals. That is true, and illustrates why certain things happen within group situations, which never would have happened in any other context. The problem is that usually, within a group, each individual is waiting for the decision of the group. A group can not act. It always takes someone to incite a group. Likewise, it only takes one person to change or set the course of action for all those in the group.
"There is no way of making three men right but by making right each one of the three; but a cure in one man who repents and turns, is a beginning of the cure of the whole human race." -George MacDonald Hope of the Gospel
George MacDonald was a remarkable creature. I use the term creature because we are all created by God. George was a writer of fantasy genre, or rather the instigator of the fantasy genre in his time. just like C. S. Lewis, he was a preacher and had extensive theological training. They were brilliant theologians, and creative writers as well. But George lived a lifetime before Lewis, as Lewis was 7 years old when George died. Lewis credits George MacDonald as being his mentor, or "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later," said Lewis, "I knew that I had crossed a great frontier." Of course, MacDonald also inspired Tolkien, and many other writers to follow in the fantasy genre.
Lewis himself was a man of remarkable vision, living among men of great vision. He died the same day as two other prominent visionaries; John Kennedy and Aldous Huxley. Men such as these did not wait for the group to take action. They set the standard for their time, and many followed them; still follow them today. The fact is, some are propelled forward only by the group, while others are self-propelled by an inner navigation system. It should be God who determines our direction in this life, or how can we expect Him to handle the itinerary for the next life? Yes, His is the GPS, God Positioning Satellite System that will help us find our way.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
MacDonald explains in his book Hope of the Gospel the importance of hope. You see, hope is fueled by vision. If you don't have hope, or you have lost hope, then you need to get a fresh vision. Just turn on the navigation system.
A Hallelujah is the shortest distance between you and God. God enjoys worship from His people. An oral reading of the Hallelujah Psalms. Tonight's Podcast is available here or at my Podcast page: http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/
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"I Choose to Praise You"
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Weekend Warrior Worship
Public Domain found on URL:
I have wonderful news to share. God has blessed me very recently by performing the healing process on my stomach. As many of my readers know, I have been on a medically forced vegetarian diet for over a year, resulting from a surgical injury, and repeated surgeries in my abdomen. My doctor had anticipated about a 10 month recovery period before returning to meat. It has been about 14 months, but I have been able to reintroduce meat to my diet over the last two weeks. This is great news, unless you are a vegetarian. In that case just skip down to the third paragraph.
I love steak, and in short, all kinds of meat. I had despaired of never again being able to eat venison, or lamb, or even a hamburger. (I have enjoyed zebra, hartabeast, eland, crocodile, and other exotic meats in the past.) My entire life, and every church dinner, revolved around what I would be able to eat. Imagine watching your friends and family eat David's Fried Chicken from Cross Road's restaurant here in Tallapoosa, while I eat tofu and edamame! That was my own personal tragedy :) If you listened to last night's podcast titled, "Naming the Rain," you know this would be classified as a vanquishing rain.
Now that the vegans and vegetarians are back on board, I am at this moment enjoying my favorite Progresso soup (very healthy) and sipping a cup of hot chai tea. And, I am waiting on God to heal my spine and my bladder. When you pray, please keep these requests in your mind. I believe with all my heart that there is a time limit to this trial, and I believe that I will one day be healed totally. When I am, you will be the first to know. In bike races and marathons they have time trials. This is my "time trial."
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made every thing beautiful in its time: also he has put eternity in men's hearts, so that no man can find out the work that God does from the beginning to the end.
When I fell 4 weeks ago here in the living room, I broke a bone in my finger. My left hand hurts really bad, but I kept waiting on it to stop hurting. My hip and shoulder improved in a few days, but in the last week my hand had only gotten worse. So, I finally went to the ER last night for Xrays. Now, I have to see an orthopedic doctor to have my finger bone broken and reset. I have a brace thing on my hand and wrist to help the wrist and hand bones heal in the meantime. This is a minor nuisance but easier on my hand. I am glad I went to the ER. Pray that I can avoid the falls in the future.
Nothing lasts forever. Why would you assume bad health would last forever? Why are we prone as human beings to believe that bad health is a downhill trend, and it only gets worse from here? When you see me healed and running in the moonlight, you will know that God makes all the difference. You will then have a reason to believe Him.