“Serious” Listening Skills Needed

What I'm Listening To Now....

What I’m Listening To Now….

Lots of blogs talk about what the blogger is listening too “right now.”  I went through a phase a few years ago where I only listen to Shane and Shane, particularly their “Upstairs” CD which had me totally captured.  Since then it’s been kinda nominal as far as obsessively listening to certain music or musicians.

That’s actually a bit out of my character since I have been known to obsess about things in spurts.  I might be stuck in a “thing” for a while and then get bored and look for the next obsession to brood over.

Then a while back I watched a movie.  Nothing unusual about that since I watch lots of movies. It’s a great film and I would recomend it do anybody who enjoys history, pirates, and the commraderie of men.  The film was Master and Commander and the film score features Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach.

Now I’ve had Yo-Yo’s cello playing Bach Suites in my CD Player before the movie came out but something about the two of them together triggered a note in me and I’ve craved the music obsessively ever since; especially the prelude in G major.

I listened this morning again and found myself in such awe and amazement at the simplicity and complexity of the piece.  Bach was truly inspired.  There’s this dual sided kind of expression in the piece, with large intervals that speak to me of the contrast between what I want and what God wants for me.  A kind of struggle of the heart that I identify with.  Like Paul in Romans, willing but weak to perform good and deny the flesh.   And so, I am brought to tears as I listen and the more I listen the more I hear in the piece.  It’s only 2:22 minutes long and leaves me wanting more each time.  So, I put it on repeat in my iTunes and hide in the piece as the Lord speaks to me in every note ultimately, like the music, finding joy in the end.

Thank YOU LORD for the talent and gifts you bestowed on Johann Sebastian Bach.  I’m so glad that he acknowledged his life and music were a gift from you.

SDG – Soli Deo Gloria
J S Bach appended these initials at the end of each of his Cantatas scores.
  Soli Deo Gloria, to the Glory of God alone,
they signified his deep devotion and desire to serve God through his music. (ref)


Just A Glance

Photo: Bob Ybarra, Crested Pool, Yellowstone

Photo: Bob Ybarra, Crested Pool, Yellowstone

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;

Give ear, O God of Jacob!  Selah

O God, behold our shield,

And look upon the face of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts

is better than a thousand.

I would rather be a doorkeeper

in the house of my God

Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

The LORD will give grace and glory;

No good thing will He withhold

From those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 84:8-11

In a time of heartache King David longed to be in God’s presence crying out to God with a plea of desperation,

“O hear me, turn your ear, look, please, just look upon me.”

This was a most humble prayer.  He didn’t ask for much.  It was a simple prayer just to be acknowledged with the glance of God, even if for only a moment, for even a glance from God is enough. It is sufficient to satisfy the deepest longings of man.  God rewarded David by prospering his kingdom, honoring him in the written word and by granting him the desire of his heart… to be in His presence forever.  David’s prayer was rewarded with abundant grace!

O Lord, look upon us for your glance is enough

to satisfy our souls for eternity.  Amen

Good Reading


I’m not a reader.  That is to say,  you wont find me by the fire devouring the latest releases.  I enjoy reading the Word of God and material that leads me into a deeper relationship with Him although I’m choosy within that topic.  

I believe that the Word of God is my best teacher on the subject of worship but I do love to glean, now and then, from those who have something especially meaty to say on the subject.

I have read several books on worship that I recomend highly:

  • Face Down/ Matt Redman
  • Living a Life of True Worship/ Kay Arthur
  • Planted by the Water/ Chris Falson
  • Worship and Music Ministry/ Rick Ryan, Dave Newton/Chuck Smith (out of print)
  • The Ultimate Priority/ John MacArthur, Jr.
  • Worship Rediscovering the Missing Jewel / Allen and Borror
  • Real Worship/ Wiersbe

I’d have to say that none and all of these are my favorite books on worship.  None, because I couldn’t just pick one and say that it’s the best.  All, because I believe that each one contributes something eternal and imparts a tremendous gift to the reader.

So,… what are some of the worship books in your library?

Giving Thanks



Luke 17:14-16

So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,  and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 


Ten lepers went to the priests.  Ten lepers were healed on the way.  Only one leper returned to give thanks.  

Here is a contrast of two types of people.  Those who recognize they are in desperate need of God’s grace and mercy and those who take the gifts of God for granted.  

We have received something wonderful and undeserved from the Lord, a precious gift, the sweetness of justification that has cleansed us, making us presentable before the God of the universe.  We can be like the nine who went on their way, about their business.  Or, we can choose to be like the one who recognized the work of Christ and returned to Him, glorifying God with praise and thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, we have the privilege of taking the time to stop and turn our faces to God, glorifying Him and giving praise and thanksgiving for all His wonderful work in our lives….  for the precious and wonderful gift of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Worship Leaders Speak: Brushing-up on Devotion

There are several pictures I get in my mind when I think of someone who has a devotional life.  Someone who rises early (before the sun and the kids) to pray and read from a little book that has each day prepared with a scripture reading and a commentary on the reading. (A devotional)

Someone who reads through his or her Bible every year.  Someone with stacks of Devotionals on their nightstand.  Someone who always has an open bible on his or her coffee or dining table.

The question I ask myself is, “do these descriptions define what it means to have a devotional life?”  And,  “Can we have a wrong perception of what it means to have a devotional life?”

Devotion defined: de·vo·tion   noun

  1.  deep love and commitment
  2.  great dedication and loyalty
  3.  strong enthusiasm and admiration for somebody or something
  4.  fervent religious or spiritual feeling (formal)
  5.  the act of devoting something or being devoted to a particular purpose
  6.  prayers or other religious observances, especially somebody’s private prayers or observances


I would like to answer a few questions in the next few paragraphs.  Questions like: What does it mean to have a devotional life?  Do all Christians have a devotional life?  Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?  How can you/I have a successful devotional life?

1.)  What does it mean to have a devotional life?  

 Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus recounts the greatest commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, 

  • All your emotions given to God
  • All your affections given to God

with all your soul, 

  • All your being
  • All your life; breath; physical being.

and with all your mind

  • All your way of thinking
  • All your understanding
  • All your intellect
  • All your imagination

2.) Do all Christians have a devotional life?

2Co 11:3*  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

It is possible to believe that doing acts of devotion are in and of themselves the devotional life.  Many have gotten caught up in thinking that reading their bibles or devotionals and praying at a certain time in the day makes devoted Christians.  On the contrary, it is because we are devoted to Christ that we read our Bibles and pray.

3.) Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?

2Ki 20:3*  “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth   (mind)  and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight (soul or being).” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

1Ch 29:3  King David   “Moreover, because I have set my affection  (heart)  on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: (being)

If we examine the lives of persons in scripture we will find either those who followed the Greatest Commandment or didn’t follow it.

Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and the patriarchs, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Joseph and his brothers, Jonah and The prophets, Job, Samson, The disciples, Judas Iscariot, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Paul and the Apostles, Titus and Timothy, James the brother of Jesus, And the list goes on and on……

In each case these were either successful in their walk with God or not.  Those that were devoted experienced a close walk with God and the peace that comes with it.  Those that struggled in their devotion were markedly either failures or just squeezed by.

4.) How can you / I have a successful devotional life?

1Ch 28:9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

1Ti 4:13* Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Here’s a few things that will help strengthen devotion to God.

  • Devote yourself to Know God
  • Know God’s character and attributes
  • Know God’s voice
  • By prayer and reading 
  • Devote yourself to Serve God
  • Give yourself to God
  • Keep God’s Words
  • Devote yourself to Seek God
  • Study God’s Words

El Roi


Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. …….Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, Have I also here seen Him who sees me? see Gen16:7-14

The Hebrew word for found refers to finding someone or something that is lost or misplaced. Certainly Hagar must have felt both lost or misplaced. Alone in a barren desert wilderness, pregnant with a child because of another person’s willful desire…but she was not alone and the Angel of the Lord found her. This is where He often finds many of us – alone and in the wilderness. But rest assured He will find you. And He knows all about our past as well as our future. Even though He asked Hagar where she had come from and where she was going, He already knew the answers and yet He still cared to comfort her in her affliction.

Shur means wall so in a sense Hagar had her back against the wall as we commonly say when we find ourselves in difficult, stressful circumstances.

There is no wilderness we can flee to and be out of the sight of God. For the sinner this truth brings terror. For the saint walking in the light this truth brings great peace from knowing He is there and that he has seen the wrong others have committed against us and that He will avenge the wrong. Our call is to forgive those who have wronged us. We don’t know from the text if Hagar forgave Sarai, but we do know that this is God’s will for the righteous.

Hagar ran away from Sarai but ran into God. How many of us running away from some oppressive situation, some bad memory, some unfair treatment, etc, have run into God? The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and He knows those who take refuge in Him. Nahum1:7

Do you need to run to Him and take refuge in the Strong Tower of His name El Roi right now? Then run for you won’t be disappointed. The adversity you are experiencing may not necessarily be assuaged (even as Hagar had to return to the setting of prior harsh treatment) but in your adversity you can take confidence that El Roi sees and He will send comfort in the affliction.


O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off
Ps 139:1- 2

special thanks to Kay Arthur and precept minstries

Four Jehovah Names of God Devotions

This May CCPV had our annual Women’s Retreat and it was awesome! Our text this year was Isaiah 55 and I had the privilege of teaching verses ten and eleven, as well as writing the personal devotions we did before and after bedtime. Preparing these devotions was especially encouraging to me as I searched the scriptures on the four topics; Jehovah Rohi, Jehovah Kabodhi, Jehovah ‘Immeku, and Jehovah Mephalti.

If you would like to have a look at the devotions please feel free to download the PDFs. Enjoy! and may the Lord bless your day.


Get this great Names of God pamphlet.

Names of God pamphlet

Seeking to be remarkable or Seeking The Remarkable.

cosima ybarra.jpg

A while back a discussion on Billy’s blog introduced the words of Seth Godin into the worship leader scenario. The topic was on being remarkable.

I’ve considered the conversation on more than one occasion and decided to post my comment on the subject (edited for this post) for all my friends out there who have ever pondered similar thoughts. To read what started it all visit Billychia.com

Remarkable… That’s a worthy aspiration, isn’t it? Godin’s got great advice for the business world, but should we worship leaders take his secular views and apply them to how we should lead a ministry? Here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth …

Obviously, leading a worship ministry is different from leading a business. Worship is not a human experience in and of itself. It’s spiritual, an exchange between man and creator. That’s what makes it so remarkable!

Our part is to do our best as worship leaders to prepare acceptable offerings(Gen.4:3-7 and Lev. 10:1), without blemish(Eph.5:27), and to choose the better thing(Luke 10:41-42). The remarkable enters in when God meets his people in the process and they “see Him” and are touched, changed, moved by His very presence to respond and to fulfill their calling to worship Him and offer themselves a living sacrifice(Is.6:1-9; Romans 12:1).

So, should we seek to be remarkable?.. yes and no.
No: Because, if we if look to do things in a way that they are worth remarking on by seeking to be remarkable, then we are in danger of just being entertainers.

Yes: Because, if we look to do things in a way that they are worth remarking on by seeking to please God in our offerings of worship then, “remarkable” is inevitable because God shows up. So in reality, our goal is not “the remarkable,” our goal is meeting with God.

After all is said and done I would rather that people are compelled to talk about how God met with them during the course of a service than hear them talk about how exceptional the worship teams “execution” was that morning. He must increase while I must decrease(John 3:30).

The Jehovah Names (Titles) of God

Your view of God either is going to strengthen your faith or cause you uncertainty.

As a worship leader it has become more and more evident to me that you cannot worship The Lord if you do not know Him. Knowing Him is and should be the life long pursuit of every believer and the best way to get to know Him is to read and study what He has said about Himself.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled over the years of “Jehovah Names.” As you read and meditate on each one stop and allow His Spirit to show you how He has revealed each one to you personally.

  • Jehovah – The Lord
    Exodus 6:2,3
  • Adonai Jehovah – The Lord God
    Genesis 15:2
  • Jehovah Adon Kal Ha’arets – The Lord, the Lord of All the Earth
    Joshua 3:11
  • Jehovah Bara – The Lord Creator
    Isaiah 40:28
  • Jehovah Chezeq – The Lord My Strength
    Psalm 18:1
  • Jehovah Chereb – The Lord . . the Sword
    Deut. 33:29
  • Jehovah Eli – The Lord My God
    Psalm 18:2
  • Jehovah Elyon – The Lord Most High
    Genesis 14:18
  • Jehovah ‘Ez-Lami – The Lord My Strength
    Psalm 28:7
  • Jehovah Gador Milchamah – The Lord Mighty in Battle
    Psalm 24:8
  • Jehovah Ganan – The Lord Our Defense
    Psalm 89:18
  • Jehovah Go’el – The Lord Thy Redeemer
    Isaiah 49:26; 60:16
  • Jehovah Hashopet – The Lord the Judge
    Judges 11:27
  • Jehovah Hoshe’ah – The Lord Save
    Psalm 20:9
  • Jehovah ‘Immeku – The Lord Is with you
    Judges 6:12
  • Jehovah ‘Izoz Hakaboth – The Lord Strong and Mighty
    Psalm 24:8
  • Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will Provide
    Genesis 22:14
  • Jehovah Kabodhi – The Lord My Glory
    Psalm 3:3
  • Jehovah Kanna – The Lord Whose Name is Jealous
    Exodus 34:14
  • Jehovah Keren-Yish’i – The Lord the Horn of My Salvation
    Psalm 18:2
  • Jehovah Machsi – The Lord My Refuge
    Psalm 91:9
  • Jehovah Magen – The Lord, the Shield
    Deut. 33:29
  • Jehovah Ma’oz – The Lord . . . My Fortress
    Jeremiah 16:19
  • JehovahHamelech – The Lord the King
    Psalm 98:6
  • Jehovah Melech ‘Olam – The Lord King Forever
    Psalm 10:16
  • Jehovah Mephalti – The Lord My Deliverer
    Psalm 18:2
  • Jehovah M’gaddishcem – The Lord Our Sanctifier
    Exodus 31:13
  • Jehovah Metsodhathi – The Lord. . . . My Fortress
    Psalm 18:2
  • Jehovah Misqabbi – The Lord My High Tower
    Psalm 18:2
  • Jehovah Naheh – The Lord that Smiteth
    Ezekiel 7:9
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord Our Banner
    Exodus 17:15
  • Jehovah ‘Ori – The Lord My Light
    Psalm 27:1
  • Jehovah Rapha – The Lord that Healeth
    Exodus 15:26
  • Jehovah Rohi – The Lord My Shepherd
    Psalm 23:1
  • Jehovah Saboath – The Lord of Hosts
    I Samuel 1:3
  • Jehovah Sel’i – The Lord My Rock
    Psalm 18:2
  • Jehovah Shalom – The Lord Our Peace
    Judges 6:24
  • Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is There
    Ezekiel 48:35
  • Jehovah Tiskenu – The Lord Our Righteousness
    Jeremiah 23:6
  • Jehovah Tsori – O Lord My Strength
    Psalm 19:14
  • Jehovah ‘Uzam – The Lord Their Strength
    Psalm 37:39
  • Jehovah Yasha – The Lord Thy Saviour
    Isaiah 49:26; 60:16

Visit more posts on this subject.

How about some books on the subject of His Names?

A very nice devotional on the Wonderful Names of our Lord.

Get this great Name of God Pamphlet.. or  Book

Names of God pamphlet

Or how about a power point presentation?…

Jehovah Qanna – The Lord Jealous

I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images….. for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God…,


Isa 42:8 & Ex 34:14

Have you ever been jealous? Wanting something or someone only to yourself? I know I have. Jealousy is not a sin, in and of itself, for even the LORD’s name is Jealous. And we all know that the LORD cannot sin. (2Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; Ps 145:17)
What then, is the LORD jealous of? or jealous for? He is jealous of glory given to idols and jealous for you and I. He wants us only to Himself and He wants our worship only to Himself.

As worshipers and worship leaders we should have a good understanding of what worship is and who it is for. We speak and write about giving glory only to Him. Do we have the principle of worship clear in our understanding? Surely that is the case….. or do we?

Moses, in Exodus 34 has gone up Mt. Sinai to receive, for the second time, the two tablets of stone upon which are written the 10 commandments. There he has an encounter with the LORD. An encounter that causes him to fall to his knees and plead with the LORD for mercy….

Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.” Ex. 34:5-9

Frankly, I was surprised the first time I read verse 9. To think that the LORD would honor that kind of boldness! To ask for a pardon and admit the blatant sin goes beyond man’s reasoning. The children of Israel had only days before worshiped the Golden Calf while Moses was receiving the first set of Tablets. The LORD judged most harshly when Moses found them in revelry.

Now the LORD was talking of mercy and forgiveness and Moses was asking a pardon. Wow! Can you see the mercy of the LORD? His jealousy drove Him to judgment all the while His mercy drove Him to deliver!

Today, we are not very unlike the children of Israel. We send our representatives to meet with the LORD while we go about our carnal lives. We revel in the pleasures of this world and then expect our pastors and leaders to bring us a Word from the LORD at our worship services, and expect that the LORD will receive our songs and prayers.

The LORD thy God is jealous for you! He is jealous for me! He wants to cleanse us and purify us from the sin of idol worship and give us the joy of mercy and grace …..

And He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images ‘(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),…. Ex. 34:10-14

Can you see that it is a work of the LORD that makes us able? He has made a covenant with us, to drive out from before us the very things that draw us away from Him. But He also gives us a warning. We must take heed to ourselves not to engage in those very things that He has called a snare to us.

In Romans 8:2 Paul teaches us that it is the new covenant of grace in Christ Jesus that has made us free from the law of sin and death. Jesus, Himself, has cut down and destroyed the bondage of sin for us. And Romans 5:8; But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For the LORD our God is a jealous God and before Him there is to be no other!

Jehovah M’gaddischem – The LORD Who Sanctifies You


Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, `You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.’” Exodus 31:1-13

As a worship leader it is highly important for me to remain holy and pure in my thoughts and actions. To come before the congregation on a Sunday morning in any other manner hinders true worship in my heart and can affect my ability to represent a true worshipper.

There are times when I have found myself striving for holiness in my own strength, looking to my own abilities to walk a pure and holy life, but find myself failing miserably and hindering the work of the Spirit. Those are the times that I must take the opportunity to hear the Lords word to me… “I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”

Just as the Lord spoke to Moses, He desires to speak to us and declare His works in our lives. Just as He spoke to Moses and declared that ‘He makes holy,’ He desires to declare those words to our own ears and heart.

The LORD makes us holy!! He alone has the ability to make one holy because His is the only one that is holy. He alone has the ability to sanctify and set apart one for holy service. He is holy and can change our very nature and make us a new creation. Why do we think that we need to ‘do’ something before we are accounted holy? There is nothing we can offer that even comes near to holiness apart from Him. If we read beginning in Exodus 31:1 we find that God tells Moses something about His ability to make us as He choses purely on His ability…

Then the LORD said to Moses, “See I have chosen ……, and I have filled…. with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge ….. Moreover, I have appointed ….. ”

Ok, so what about scriptures that tell us to *‘be holy because God is holy’? Just how should we interpret that? Lets try to look at it from this perspective. When you become conscious of the fact that God has set you apart for holiness and that He has proclaimed you holy, giving you a new nature, then you can begin to walk in a manner that is consistent with that understanding and the knowledge of that proclamation.

How about a little exercise? If you were told today that you were the descendant of Queen Elizabeth and that you have been selected to sit at court tomorrow morning how would that change your behavior and conversation? How about if someone told you that you were the descendant of Alexander the Great?….would you feel alittle stonger somehow? or more powerful? Ok, how about if I told you you were decended from a monkey….? How would you expect that to affect the way you behaved? Even though these are untrue statements they can have an affect on your thoughts about how you would behave if you believed they were true.

The truth is….the LORD has proclaimed you holy today! Give Him praise and be holy for truely He is Holy. Worship Jehovah M’gaddischem the LORD who makes you Holy! Eph 1:4* For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

*Le 19:2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: `Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

*Le 20:26* You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.

Jehovah Magen – The Lord, the Shield

Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved
by the LORD, The shield of your help And the sword of
your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you
shall tread down their high places.”
Deuteronomy 33:29

Quite a few years ago I attended a church where the drama and the worship ministry combined their gifts and produced a wonderful adaptation of the Wizard of Oz. “The Narrow Brick Road” told the story of a young woman in search of the truth. Along the way Dorothy met many characters among which was the Wizard of Laws, persecuting and pointing a religious finger of condemnnation at those who ‘broke’ the law of God and the wicked witch who sought to destroy Dorothy and her friends by leading them off the Narrow Brick Road. Psalm 3:3 “But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” became the song and prayer that Dorothy sang when trouble was all around her.

Like Dorothy, our world is filled with trouble. Our enemy seeks to destroy the truth of the Word by laying down laws, pointing a religous finger in order to produce guilt, and by drawing us down roads that lead to destruction, away from the narrow path that leads to life.

Jesus, our Lord, is our shield from deception and trouble. When our guilt is pointed out, He is our glory, giving those who would seek to destroy us a glimps of His great grace. He alone can lift our heads because He alone has overcome sin, eliminating our guilt and shame. For He Himself bore our guilt and shame on the cross and stands at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us! Romans 8:34

Oh, how we have reason to be happy and rejoice! Praise be to the Lord of Life, our shield and glory, the One who lifts our head. Amen!


Jehovah Shalom – The LORD Is Peace

Judges 6:20-24 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face. “Then the LORD said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD -Is – Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The word peace is found 369 times in the King James Version of Scripture, 282 times in the Old Testament alone! Wow! that’s a lot of peace. If you are a studier of the word of God you know that repeated words have significant meaning. If God speaks of peace 369 times in Scripture I believe He wants us to understand an important part of our relationship with Him.

In the verses above The Angel of The Lord in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament pronounce a blessing of peace. The Angel of the Lord in fact is a pre- incarnate appearance of Jesus. Only He can pronounce a blessing of true peace upon our lives. The world’s idea of peace completely falls short. When the One True God pronounces peace we are assured there will be peace.

Gideon honored his encounter with The God of Peace by building an altar and worshiping, for he had seen God and lived. Jesus promised peace to His disciples before His crucifixion in John 14:27. They would face many difficult trials and needed to know that The God of Peace was with them.

The God of Peace is the same yesterday, today and forever.(Heb 13:8) He is our Peace. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Like Gideon, worship and know Jehovah Shalom – The Lord Is Peace!