The Music of Scripture

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I am sitting in LAX waiting for my flight home and I absolutely had to take this opportunity to share with you THE most amazing worship experience I have ever had. I spent the last three day at Biola University attending the SoCal Christian Writers Conference.

I struggle to explain to you exactly what transpired but here we go!

Thursday night we had the opportunity to attend two solid hours of worship. Sandi Padilla, the worship leader, hinted earlier that morning that she would be sharing a part of her story as it relates to her current work.

After some familiar worship, Sandi began to share her story. She told us of the time when she was eight years old and excited to say her memory verse to her Sunday school teacher and receive the coveted gold star. She was also excited to tell her teacher that there was music for the verse. She asked her teacher if she knew what that music was and where could they find it. The way Sandi explains it, I imagine the look on her teacher’s face, one of compassion and love not wanting to disappoint her sweet, young student with her answer. No, she didn’t know of this music.

In that moment God laid a seed in Sandi’s heart that would eventually lead her to extensive research of the ancient Hebrew language and how it relates to worship. Sandi discovered that each letter of the Hebrew language is both alpha and numeric. The numbers of the letters that form the words of the verses in God’s word coincide exactly with musical frequencies when put together create a sound that I have never heard before but resonated so deeply within me.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.

The word eternity in Ecclesiastes 3:11 in the original Hebrew translates to ‘the world’ and it means antiquity, forever, ancient. The Ancient of Days has placed ancientness in our hearts with His words and His music forever.

You can find Sandi at www.sandipadilla.com to learn more!

Shalom!

©2018 TereseJMBelme

 

The Old is Made New Again

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Restoration. The word holds hope and joy and of things yet to come.

When my husband was a teenager his stepdad bought this 1960 356B Porsche Cabriolet. At the time it was in perfect working condition, or so we thought. My husband has always wanted this car and his stepdad told him one day it would be his. A few years ago, after we had comfortably settled my father-in-law into assisted living, we brought the car home. The car had sat garaged for many years and began to fall into disrepair. My husband’s intention was to always restore the 356 to its former beauty.

Here are some things we’ve discovered in the process. It is by the grace of God alone that whenever my father-in-law drove this car he was safe. The ‘mechanic’ that had originally restored the car had done so in such a way that if it weren’t for Providence, driving this car could have resulted in a catastrophe.

The other thing we have learned is restoration takes time. A.LOT.OF.TIME. My husband completely gutted the inside of the car, has taken apart all mechanical and moving parts and has spent countless hours cataloguing all parts, researching and locating original or close to original parts as possible, networking with other Porsche restorers and finally coming to the point of putting it all back together. Please don’t misunderstand me, even though many times this task can be frustrating and seem daunting, it brings my husband joy. He loves working with his hands and God has uniquely gifted him with knowledge, wisdom and passion for this type of work. By trade he is an aircraft system engineer and aircraft mechanic.

Restoration. It can be the same in our own life can’t it? Allowing Holy Spirit to completely empty us of who we thought we were in Christ. Taking apart all the working pieces only to make room for the putting back together with a newness in our minds. It isn’t easy and it most definitely can be messy, it can take countless hours of prayer and crying out to God and may even require godly counsel for spiritual and emotional healing.

But God.

But, God promises that after suffering for a little while HE will RESTORE you. He will make you stronger, firmer AND more steadfast.

Precious One, that is truly good news!

Shalom!

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No Longer A Slave To Fear

 

This morning as I woke up these words from this song kept resonating through my mind “I’m no longer a slave to fear.” And as I sit at our big living room window looking out at the slightly foggy, mostly gray, wet dampness, as night turns into day, I felt led to listen to this song.

Immediately, Holy Spirit began to download a plethora of information. Over the past several weeks He has shown me that while the enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy, the drought IS over. that HE, the one true living God is restoring all the years that the enemy has stolen. That as a believer in Jesus Christ we have the authority to tell the mountains, that stand in our way and take our focus off of God, to move.

In quick succession the following verses came to mind.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 1 Corinthians 3:17.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36.

I believe fear is one of the greatest weapons Satan uses to keep us bound and tied down. Fear immobilizes us. We know deep in our soul what God has called us to do, what our gifts are that we hear God, but fear, fear steps in and distracts us from what God’s calling is for us.

Here are some of the lyrics to No Longer Slaves

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
‘Til all my fears are gone

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

As I continued to listen to this song I realized this is what deliverance feels like. It isn’t some big production with glitz and flashing lights. It is a subtle, gentle assurance like the petals of a rose as they drop one by one until there is nothing left.

Precious One, you are no longer a slave to fear. You have been set free.

Shalom!

 

Sheets of Rain

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As I sit at our big living room window enjoying the last of the dark of night before the sun comes up, I am reminded of the song; Everything. Here are a few of the lyrics.

“God in my hoping; There in my dreaming; God in my watching; God in my waiting.”

And, I watch literal sheets of rain fall.

We live in the state that for the last five years we thought would become a desert, yes, that state. Now there may be concern that we might need to build an ark!

And yet, I see God. I see God in the sheets of rain. The visible presence of a supernatural and loving God.

I am overwhelmed, I am awed and I am humbled that my God would choose to reveal Himself in a very real and tangible way. He doesn’t have too; Scripture tells us we walk by faith not by sight. He loves us so much He many times chooses to show us that his presence is always with us and there are countless times we completely miss these beautiful blessings of His nearness to us.

Precious One, the drought is over in more ways than one, but you can only see this by staying connected to The Vine.

#readGod’sword #daily.

Shalom!

 

The Clef Of His Love

 

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Many times the beauty of God’s word is enhanced when we hear Him speak to us from his ancient words. Allow the Ancient of Days to speak to your heart with his words from long ago.

Yet the LORD will command in the daytime his covenant loyalty and in the night his song with my prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8.

Covenant loyalty stirs in my heart and strengthens my faith in his commitment to me, rather than “directs his love.” I no longer view, “his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life,” as two separate thoughts, rather, his song and my prayer meet together to praise Him, the God of my life.

That’s the God we serve, graciously beckoning us to join him in all that he does, even as he sings a song of ancient words over us for all the heavenlies to hear, he calls to us to join him right there with words of prayer.

Precious One, do you hear what I hear?

Shalom!

 

It Started With A Bowl Of Cereal

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One morning, when I was about eight years old, I was sitting at our kitchen table happily pouring a bowl of frosted flakes. This was a sweet treat for me because my mom rarely bought cereal in those days. For some reason, after I poured my bowl of cereal, I decided it was a good idea to also add sugar, a lot of sugar, to my cereal. I ate every bite!

Something happened to me that morning as I was pouring the extra sugar onto my cereal. There was a shift inside of me, a knowingness that I was about to get entangled in a web of deceit. Of course, eight year old me didn’t think of it as deceit, it was simply a feeling. However, as I reflect back I believe the shift was a spiritual one and I had opened the door to the enemy to begin his attack.

Fast forward to my early twenties and years of struggling with weight problems and a diagnosis of low blood sugar more commonly known as hypoglycemia. Someone afflicted with hypoglycemia produces too much insulin whereas someone afflicted with diabetes does not produce enough. The doctor that diagnosed me commented that if sugar were produced in that period of time, one would need a prescription to buy sugar, that is how bad sugar is for us. He immediately put me on a low carb diet. Wow! For the first time in my life I lost all the weight I had gained and had energy I didn’t know what to do with!

Jump with me to ten years ago. New doctor, new tests and a blood sugar reading of, wait for it…..NORMAL!! I knew in this moment God had chosen to heal me. There are some spiritual residuals left over, no pun intended. When I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed I immediately want comfort food – pizza is my favorite. When I am feeling sad, lonely, unheard or misunderstood I want sugar, specifically, candy. I have heard others say we don’t have to ask God what to eat everyday, but I do. There are some days I don’t have one iota of self-control when it comes to eating and if left to my own devices, well, it would be pizza for days!

Precious One, taking care of your body, spiritually, mentally and physically IS a sweet sacrifice to the King of the world. You have been set apart to do so. When you do it is a fragrant aroma lifted up to Him in true worship.

Shalom!

God Speaks

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Not long ago I read something to the effect of God speaking only through his written word and implying that God does not talk to people on behalf of others or for the masses but that when He speaks to someone it is for that person only. This left me feeling very unsettled and because I am an internal processor it has taken me awhile to reconcile why I was feeling this way.

I believe, without any doubt, God speaks to us mainly through his word. That is why reading and studying his word is so vital to our spiritual health. But, I also believe God speaks to us in different ways; through dreams, visions, pictures and prayer. I also believe God gives us messages of encouragement and prophetic messages to be given away to others. He has done this through me many times and I always suggest to the one who is receiving a word from God through me that they take this spoken word to God and ask God what part of it is from him and what part of it can be tossed out, because many times my human-ness and my impressions can be mixed in with the message from God.

It is the hearer’s responsibility to be alone with God and pray about what was given. Oughtn’t we be doing this on a regular basis to begin with? Most of us attend church on Sunday or Bible study during the week, simply because one has been anointed by God to preach or teach does not mean we will ever get it right one hundred percent of the time, again, it is the hearer’s responsibility to go God and ask God for his discernment on what was preached or taught.

Paul gave these words of wisdom about worship in 1 Corinthians 14:26b.

When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:26b.

When we always imply that what God speaks to one person should be only for that person we negate the truth of God’s word. All of these things including prophecy, further in the passage Paul addresses prophecy, are meant to strengthen the Bride of Christ! Have they and are they currently misused? Yes, BUT it is each believers responsibility to go to God and ask for his wisdom, his discernment on what was spoken or taught. Let’s give each other the freedom in Christ and encouragement to seek the spiritual gifts Holy Spirit wants to lavish on us; gifts that are meant for the greater good of the entire Church.

Precious One, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.

Shalom!

 

Memories of Junior High Camp

 

 

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ScanYears ago, I was an adult leader with our Jr. High Youth group. Every year we would go to summer camp, and, every year there was one night we played hide and go seek. The adult leaders would take their Jr. Higher’s and hide and it was the job of the Pastors to find each group. We would all wear the darkest clothing we had. I still have my hoodie that I bought at camp just for this night and it is still one of my favorite sweatshirts! Now, I use to be very competitive, okay, I still am, but just a tiny bit especially when it comes to board games. I was determined this night that my girls and I would not be found.

Scan 5We hid down by a stream that had a huge fallen tree across it that one could walk over instead of the path we took. We positioned ourselves in a straight line in the shadow of the tree. It was completely dark except for the light of the moon. It was also very quiet except for the shouts and calls of the Youth Pastors attempting to draw everyone out. We sat and whispered to one another and giggled as one by one we could hear the other groups suffering the defeat of being discovered. There were a few close calls as we heard Pastors coming our way and turning around after finding ‘nothing’. Finally, after what seemed like a million years, the game was over and we were never found! We won! We won! We won! Did I mention I use to be competitive? My heart is racing recalling this memory! The funny thing is we were actually hiding in plain sight. Had anyone come from the other direction they would have been facing toward us and even though we were all wearing dark clothing the Pastors all had one advantage, they had flashlights!

Scan 3In Acts 17 we find Paul walking around Athens and he is greatly distressed to find the city full of idols. He even found an altar that had an inscription to an unknown God. This gave Paul the perfect opportunity to share the gospel message and Christ Jesus as the unknown God.

God had revealed Himself to the Athenians, who had been worshipping Him without knowing, well before Paul arrived. God the Father was there the entire time in plain sight! Oh, how the Father loves his creation, so much so, he will stop at no means to show his desire to be in a redeemed relationship with all his creation through his beloved Son, Jesus!

Scan 1Precious One, God is not a hidden God, He is right in front of you. He is in plain sight.

Shalom!

check out www.icr.org/article/genesis-chinese-pictographs/                                   for another amazing story of God in plain sight!