Archive | February 2013

HOW TO:Make Your Marriage a Success

This is ESPECIALLY for the single people but EVERYONE should listen. If we start out correctly we have a greater chance at having a successful marriage.

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The Birth Of The Hymn “PRECIOUS LORD”

Take My HandBack in 1932, I was a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to go; Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child, but a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis . I kissed Nettie goodbye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back.

I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay.   But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope….
Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words:
YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out.
I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could
hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.'”

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to Maloney’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows.

I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody. Once in my head they just seemed to fall into place: ‘Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.’

The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

– – – –Tommy Dorsey

For those too young to know who he is, Tommy Dorsey was a well-known band leader in the 1930’s and 40’s.

Did you know that Tommy Dorsey wrote this song? I surely didn’t. What a wonderful story of how God CAN heal the brokenhearted!  Beautiful, isn’t it?

Worth the reading, wasn’t it? Think on the message for a while.

 

Our Life is Not Our Own

God has a master plan for each and every one of our lives. Who are we to say what He can and cannot not do? Our lives are not our own but God’s so that the world may see and know Him for all of His wonderful works so that He may get the glory. How can we say He is a healer if we’re never sick? How can we say He’s a provider if we always have money? How can we say He’s a comforter if we’re never sad? and so on… He knows exactly what to do/create just so that we may know every part of Him. So that we may have a true relationship with Him.

Scripture Meditation

Isaiah 45

1Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

2I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

3And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

4For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

5I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

6That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

8Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

9Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

10Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

11Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

12I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.

Scripture Meditation

Scripture Meditation“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

Self-deception is the worst kind of dishonesty because it is so convincing.  Subtly it convenes our mind and emotions to ally around a lie. When great things happen in our life we may give ourselves the praise instead of God when He is really the one who defines success. We allow the Devil to use our thoughts and insecurities to create deceptions and doubts in our minds. Then we wander down a prayerless path, forged in our own strength, only to discover we missed God’s best by a mile.

“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Proverbs 4:11).

Self-deceivers are self-destroyers; so avoid self-delusion by being accountable. Give others permission to ask you uncomfortable, even hard, questions. Better to be embarrassed sooner than humiliated later. Humility invites the inspection of loving friends into our lives. You do much better when others provide loving accountability.

“The pride of your heart has deceived you” (Obadiah 1:3).

We can talk ourselves into anything, especially as it relates to money. I can easily justify a new house, car, kitchen, furniture, floors, or grill. But do I really need to upgrade or just repair what I have? How can the Lord trust me with something newer if I have not been a good steward of what He has already given me? Trustworthy people can be trusted with more, but the untrustworthy lose opportunities. Thus manage well your present possessions.

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be” (Jeremiah 17:9 msg).

 

PRAYER:

Father, I come before You, just as I am, to praise you and to give you thanks, for you truly are the Creator of heaven and earth.

I beg of You in the Name of Jesus, to enlighten my mind, to see those things you would have me see, and to strengthen my will, to do those things you would have me do.

Give to each of us here a deeper vision of your plan; help us to walk in your presence today and to be attentive to your Holy Spirit.  I ask this in the name of your son Jesus Christ, Amen!