First Breakfast this morning: Great are the works of the Lord, They are pondered by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:2) A great time in the word.
2nd Breakfast: 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 2 toast loaded with peanut butter and strawberry jam.
One will last a few hours of sustenance. The other will last an eternity. One is a short time enjoyment while the other takes it’s time to penetrate and change one’s very being. One is paid for out of labor wages while the other was paid for by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Now I’m gushing a bit but that’s ok. The previous verse which is Psalm 111:1 says “I will extol the Lord”. The word “Extol” means to praise enthusiastically, rapturous, Sing the praises of, gush, eulogize, rhapsodize, rave about and the list goes on
Mom was a beginners piano teacher. She influenced the world. I will use myself as an example as all 7 of us siblings took lessons and I qualify as the least talented in my eyes. While you read, please put on this youtube video of me playing my rendition of moms favorite old hymn. This is a bit of an unconventional way to blog so let me know if it was worth the effort to play and read at the same time.
Now this is important! Please Open another window on your computer, go here https://youtu.be/Ehr5dukFjzw Click and start Video, then come back to read the blog while playing…trust me it will make sense later
VS 1 “Tis so Sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take him at his word” (Musically hesitant)
Well mom thought so all her life. She told me that God had a plan and could be trusted completely. I was 11 years lying in the hospital, both arms in casts after a saw blade came off a machine and cut both my arms to the bone on the inside near the elbow crease where arteries and nerves are housed . My median nerves were completely severed (a specialist tied them together). I couldn’t feel below the elbows on both hands.
“Just to Rest upon His promise, Just to Know thus saith the lord” (Musically slow but getting there)
Mom did not waver in her faith and trust in Jesus even though the hard times were sometimes very hard. She loved us and sometimes would cry when trying to discipline us (for our good, but didn’t seem so at the time). She had God, her huge garden, a piano, a community full of kids needing lessons and seven kids who ate very well off her cooking.
Chorus: “Jesus Jesus how I trust him” (Musically a little more sure and quite simple)
Even when we seemed to be wandering down the road away from God (she was not silent here). My siblings each have their own decision making and Mom stories. We would need many a week of campfires to sit around and tell those tales.
“how I’ve proved him o’er and o’er” (musically a few extra notes added)
I was mad at God. I blamed God for allowing my hands and arms to be useless, have no feeling or cramping phantom feelings. My muscles acted as if there was no one in charge. it would take 3 years to do a push-up and pull-up in gym class. I hated the doctor for telling my mom (which gave her way too much leverage) I would have clothes pins for fingers if I did not learn to play the piano or learn how to type.
“Jesus Jesus precious Jesus, Oh for grace to trust him more” (Musically ending a thoughtful phrase)
Mom was gentel, kind and cruel all at the same time. I sat at the piano for hours it seemed. “God has a plan” she would say. I was good at saying “ya” a hundred different ways. I didn’t see any plans coming down the pike anytime soon. I couldn’t feel the keys. My fingers didn’t really work. It took me 10 hours to play a little tune when others could do it in 20 minutes.
VS 2: “I’m so glad I learned to trust him, precious Jesus, Saviour, Friend” (Musically changes keys and begins an uplifting era of life)
I began to test the waters of life and one day made my choice. As a teenager I Chose to Follow Jesus. I knelt on the floor of our barn and told him I was all in. Like Mom and Dad and a few other people I knew, I was all in.
“and I know that thou art with me, wilt be with me to the end” (Musically sure, ready to run off a cliff with the music)
It was a learning struggle more complicated than cliff diving (which I would later try); it was more like making a run off the cliff in order to clear several boulders below and reach the deep safe water 50 feet below (tried this also). God proved himself in countless ways. Like Mom I was learning how to fly with trust even in the crashes.
Chorus: Jesus Jesus how I trust him, How I’ve proved him o’re and o’re (Musically marching through life)
We all got older. Mom began losing her memory. Quietly memories were stolen as the world marched on. I began to renovate this old hymn to play for mom, hoping she would be proud of her son.
“Jesus Jesus precious Jesus, Oh for grace to trust him more.” (Musically challenging and dynamics added for the massive ups and downs of life)
Mom got a fast acting cancer. Her prayers had been that she would not forget her kids and grandkids before she died. She didn’t. I played this song for her as she was in her wheelchair by the piano. She was all there and more. It was not just a “favorite” hymn. It was a lifes song, unwavering in a dimming body.
Chorus again: Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more! (Musically recapping moms life. I end with the final resolve chord then a little run up the piano as she leaves us to be with her Jesus, savior, Friend.)
I am not an accomplished piano player. My fingers can play some music and I have partial feeling in my hands and arms. This blog is not just about mom or about me playing the piano. I would like it to be a challenge to you the reader and listener in this way: that you would consider living your life all in. the only way I know how is to walk, listen and talk with Jesus, Savior, Friend daily. The proof is in the consistent upgrades that God’s Spirit brings about in our thoughts, speech and character of our being from within. This is The Simplicity of Legacy.
I hope this in a small way can be a part of Gods Legacy in you. get to the deep and safe waters my friend! Eternity awaits us all, choose and follow Jesus. No hesitation, no excuses. No wallowing in the “this happened to me stuff”. Tis so Sweet to trust in Jesus (till you close your eyes the last time sweet).
Disclaimer: I do not have video capabilities with WordPress which made this a little harder for you the reader, sorry. It was an experiment, let me know if it kind-a sort-a worked. I tried it on myself but I know the song too well.
I watched the moon set before the sun would light the morning. I pondered and identified with the Psalmist.
“You, God are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water. ” Psalm 63: 1
I thought of the all the sailors who have been adrift in life boats after losing their vessel in storm or war; often muttering “water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”
I think often of the happiest people I have ever seen in a third world country and they have nothing.
I think of the change of one’s whole being when they finally understand how much Jesus loves them; enough to die for them. It’s like coming home from vacation and all your plants look dead and they spring to life with water. Only we get “Living Water.”
I ponder how this passion for God in our dry and thirsty land affects my speech, word choices and topics of conversation today and through the week. Will I use alternate swear words? slang? Will I confront or come alongside when differences arise? will I wash the dishes when my wife looks tired even though I have had an 11 hour work day? Will I say a kind word to a harried cashier? Will I live intentionally? Generously?
It’s now daylight. Will I live as a child of light? A delightful sunday morning. I read on. “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you“ Psalm 63: 4-5 (even if I don’t know the song?)
To many this would be sacrilege. but to those who have realised they just escaped hell, sacred.
I came a stranger, a visitor and casual observer. I left immersed in wonder.
The place was packed. The air as electric with excitement as a tied championship game in final seconds. Yelling, clapping and (very) loud cheering sounds from young and old alike. God winning. Testimony and story from several teens, twenties and some elderly as they declared hardships and victories before being dunked in an icy water filled cattle tank. Tears and much shaking of heads as memories of who they were “before Christ”. Gods power was evident, powerful, overflowing and permeating. All were participants in this sacred gathering.
Thirtysome quick stories and baptisms before moving on to thirtysome child dedications. The electricity was still there. Clapping, yelling and various carrying on continued as parents gave their kids to God and pleaded with the people to help them raise their kids to Love God. Not a dry eye in the place as a mom gave her child to God. “Before Christ”, Strung out on drugs at life’s bottom she had given away her young child for adoption. Now in her new life in Christ, she was now giving her child to God. A child she may never see again on earth. She desperately wanted to at least see her child in heaven someday.
[Side notes: extremely organized, the youth band was great but their drummer is an alien with six arms I think. How could over 70 events happen with people talking and take only 2 hours? Wow, they didn’t come for the cake afterwards! I still feel compelled to pray once in awhile for the barren mom with purple and pink hair. So this is where my grandkids are being raised…]
There was nothing ordinary about this afternoon church service. God wasn’t just “talked about”, God permeated the room and the people with his presence. A sacred excitement. We were there with His Spirit. I could picture Jesus in the eyes of the little kids standing on chairs clapping with glee. The year was 2018. I shall not forget this sacred moment.
Ask God for a sacred moment in your life and church (and by faith carry ear plugs)
PS: a bit of irony on the backstory. This meeting was held in a nice church building given to this ministry. Seems the church grew old and disbanded from lack of people and funds. This ministry grew out of that church a few years back but was attracting people that made the church people uncomfortable. Now that ministry is a church and the old church building is just big enough for the youth ministry. God wins.
Luke 19:37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Habakkuk 2:11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.