Adonai, Master of the earth and sky…

Inspiration comes in so many ways.  But for me, music inspires me just as much as anything else in and around my life.  Most of my teenage years were heavily influenced by music.  So much so, it’s influence culminated while at a KISS concert in 1983, I gave my life to Jesus while at that concert.  Not because of anything the band did or said.  It’s the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the life on an individual in the midst of what I all experienced that night and the days that filled the first 18 years of my life.

Today, music and the lyric that goes with it still influences and inspires my life.  Over the past several months I have written a lot that has been influenced by The Choir, Stryper, U2, The Lost Dogs, Lifehouse, Jesus Culture, and Martin Smith.  I’ve not posted any of those writings as I either never completed them or they felt too awkward to post.

While at a dance performance by the girls that make of Steps of Faith, I looked intently at my life.  I thought of dreams I have had for my life, failures I’ve experienced, and the present-day blessings that fill my time and space.  This was the first performance for me to attend where my oldest daughter wasn’t performing.  (However, my 15 year old was performing).  My oldest was on stage as a new instructor for the dance studio… I’m so proud! The performance was a beautiful display of artistic interpretation to the songs that spoke of the Names of God.

One song that was performed was Adonai.  I didn’t know the song, but it got me thinking about another song I was very familiar with by the band Petra, 1985.  Adonai means Master.  If God is Adonai in your life, He is your Boss, the One you surrender everything to.  Adonai is the One you give complete allegiance to – God – the Creator of the universe in which we live.

I recall being in Jerusalem back in 1990.  What I am recalling is a Fall evening.  We were at the Wailing Wall, also known as the Western Wall, in the Western Wall Plaza.  It’s a place of prayer and one of the most Holy places for the Jewish people.  That evening there was a gentleman walking backward away from the Wall – all the way across the Plaza.  At the top of his lungs he shouted in Hebrew the different names of God.  It was a beautiful moment.  It was one of the top highlights of the trip for me.  Hearing his praise to God without any reservation in front of all of us there… it was very moving!  I recall being emotionally moved in the moment as he spoke the name, Adonai.

As I write, I praise Adonai, “You alone are worthy! Adonai, let creation testify. Let your majesty be magnified in me.  Adonai you are an endless mystery.” (Petra, Beat The System).  It’s refreshing to look back and listen to these lyrics… a praise to God.  It reminds me of so much I have given in commitments to God, Adonai, my Master.  I want to live my life unashamed, surrendered, without reserve!  Each day I want to dwell in His righteousness… my Master and Lord – Adonai.

Advertisements

Revelation

Stryper’s newest release, “No More Hell To Pay” was released November 5!  It quickly went to #1 on the iTunes rock list.  Today it is at #9!!  From what I’ve heard, this is one of the best albums Stryper has produced.  For those who have followed the band for any length of time I know you will not be disappointed.  If you are new to the band, and like good rock and roll music with a great Message, I am confident you are going to love this album.  This is a lyric video released by their label, FrontiersRecords.

No More Hell To Pay

I’ve been a huge Stryper fan since 1985.  I walked into a bookstore in Macon, GA and saw a display with their Yellow and Black Attack album.  I picked up the cassette and headed back to Cochran, GA (Middle Georgia College).  The entire drive back to the dorm I was in heaven as I listened to their sound for the first time!  Later that week a friend in the dorm (who was not a Christian) came to me to ask if I had ever heard of a band called Stryper as he handed me a copy of Spin Magazine with a feature article on the band.

That was the first time I shared the Gospel with someone because of Stryper’s music.  In the years to come, I would share Jesus with others my age and younger through the band.  I recall one summer going to Panama City Beach, FL with a few extra cassettes (Soldier’s on Command) on hand to give away as I met other teens.  One of the high points was watching Stryper (In God We Trust) at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA.  Michael Sweet directed everyone’s attention to the stars in the ceiling of the building and began to talk about God’s creation.  There was a couple next to me that both began to break down and cry as Michael talked about God.  I began praying for them.  At the end of the concert I spoke with them and prayed with them before we left.

Fast-forward…. I saw Stryper a few years ago in Atlanta with several friends.  As we hit I-75 I asked, “Who would have ever thought we would be going to see Stryper in our 40’s riding in a mini van?”  Ha!  The next tour through Atlanta I will have my 11 year old son with me too! 🙂

Well, Stryper is releasing another studio album!  It is expected to release on November 5.  Their first video from the album has already been released, “No More Hell to Pay”.

Lost Dogs in Dallas, GA

Tonight the Lost Dogs were playing at Area 251/Real Life Church in Dallas, GA.  This was the 14th show on their tour.  What an amazingly talented group of guys!!  If you have the opportunity to go and see one of their shows I highly encourage it.  IMG_2001

The Lost Dogs are made up of Mike Roe, Terry Taylor, Derri Daugherty, and Steve Hindalong.  I have followed these guys since the 80’s.  Roe with the 77’s, Taylor with Daniel Amos, and Daugherty/Hindalong with The Choir.  I first heard of the 77’s and Daniel Amos on what used to be “96 Rock” in Atlanta.  They would play “Christian” music early on Sunday mornings.  As a new Christian, I would get up with my cassette player and record the hour long show “Higher Frequency”.

Tonight was a great reminder for me…  To look back at some of my roots in following Jesus.  Music is a powerful thing and when connected with the Holy Spirit it can be totally life changing!!  I’m thankful tonight God has set my feet upon the rock and made my foot steps firm.

If you are unfamiliar with this band check out their website.  There you can discover more about them and check out the latest music.

A final plug for Area 251/Real Life Church… a great hometown church located in Dallas, GA.  If you live in the area by all means check them out if you are looking for a place to connect with God.  Mark Blackburn of Jacob’s Trouble is the Pastor who is a gifted teacher and worship leader.

Forever Young

I had an experience last night that has not let go. The experience is as fresh now as it was then. It’s a very personal experience but something that impacted me deeply. It’s my desire that this will impact you the way it has me.

Each Tuesday night I have the opportunity to spend time with my children. I went to their house to pick them up for dinner. Jacqueline is sick and stayed at home. Valerie with much enthusiasm was ready to go. She had her ball glove and softball ready to head to Dad’s house to play pitch as she gears up for a new season. Walker was also very playful as he was trying to hide from me in the yard as I awaited his arrival into the Jeep. I finally got him out of the bushes and into the back seat.

I had no idea that the events of the night would lead me to this. Lead me to be so very contemplative and introspective from the inside out.

We had a great time playing outside before dinner. Alexa my stepdaughter joined us as we played pitch outside as Lori prepared our dinner. (Lucas is sick too and was indoors).

After dinner I loaded Valerie and Walker back up and headed for their house to drop them off. We were in the driveway giving out hugs and kisses to each other. Walker held onto me so tight and didn’t want to let go. It made me tear up. I knelt down to return the embrace and I said, “You know buddy – you really make me smile!” He pushed back and looked at me and just gave me a big smile back. And all the way into the house he kept looking back with that same smile as Valerie hugged me with her cold hands and talked about getting stronger for softball.

I recognized as I was driving home that God wanted to use this tender moment. This moment so wrapped up in love. It was through this that I also began to experience God in a real and personal way.

As I drove home, I was listening to Rod Stewart’s, “Forever Young.” As I listened to it I thought about my children. I thought about all the times I have knelt down hugged, encouraged, cheered, had devotions at night, and loved on my children. I began to think about the time now spent apart due to the divorce. I thought about that separation from my children and how miserable it is. I thought about the love I have for them and how I desire to show it and give it to them physically everyday!

I began to think about God. As I thought about my relationship with God, God began to speak to me. I began to think about the times that I separated myself from Him. I thought about how He feels when I have done things and I have separated myself from Him. I began to think about how many people are now living separated from God. Those who have never decided to trust in Him. They are His creation living separated from God. Living apart from the love He so strongly desires to give.

I meet with a great group of guys each Wednesday morning. This morning Joel read a passage from Romans 8:31-39. I’ve listed part of those verses below. Once we give our lives to God in Jesus there is nothing that can separate us from His love. It is only us who push back from God. But even that can not separate us from God’s loving arms as they are always – always around us.

“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (The Message).

I always want to be with God the way my children were with me last night. I want to be returning the embrace back to my Heavenly Father. I always want to return back to God the love He gives me. I always want to look to God as Walker looked to me last night with a returned smile. I smile of love… I smile of thanksgiving… a smile of worship.

Here is the video to the song I mentioned earlier. Think of your relationship with your children. Think about other relationships you have. Think about God. Who is it that you are trusting to drive your family and those other relationships?