Monday, 12 April 2021

George Harrison: "If Not For You"

What a lovely love song this is. There's no selfishness in true love and neither is there pomposity. Listen to the song here.

If not for Christ, we would have no hope of eternal life. As Paul wisely observed in 1 Corinthians 15:19 (Bible in Basic English), "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most unhappy."

Because our Lord rose from the dead, we know that God has accepted his sacrifice for our sins. As we read in 1 John 2:1 and 2 (BBE), "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may be without sin. And if any man is a sinner, we have a friend and helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, the upright one: He is the offering for our sins; and not for ours only, but for all the world."

Though atheists try to disprove Christ's resurrection, he did rise and many witnesses saw him. As Peter testified in Acts 10:40 and 41 (BBE), "On the third day God gave him back to life, and let him be seen, Not by all the people, but by witnesses marked out before by God, even by us, who took food and drink with him after he came back from the dead."

Jesus is all things to us. He's our Lord for one thing. As he said in Matthew 24:44 (BBE), "Be ready then; for at a time which you have no thought of the Son of man will come."

We also follow his example of humility. As Christ said in John 13:13 and 14 (BBE), "You give me the name of Master and Lord: and you are right; that is what I am. If then I, the Lord and the Master, have made your feet clean, it is right for you to make one another's feet clean."

We await his coming like a bride awaits her groom. As Jesus said in Luke 12:35 and 36 (BBE), "Be ready, dressed as for a journey, with your lights burning. And be like men who are looking for their lord, when he comes back from the bride-feast; so that when he comes to the door, it will be open to him quickly."

If this hasn't happened by Thursday, I hope to feature a reggae song which reflects the world's attitude to life.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Deep Purple: "Smoke on the Water"

This song is based on a true event which happened to the band. A venue they hoped to play at burned down because of "some stupid with a flair gun." Check it out here.

 Listen to the song here:

As is always the case in human affairs, it only takes one or two people to spoil it for the rest. One example the Bible mentions was when David was on the run from King Saul. A man named Doeg told the king that his prey was hiding with the priests of the Lord.

We read what happened because of one evil man in 2 Samuel 22:18 (Bible in Basic English). "Then the king said to Doeg, 'You are to put the priests to death.' And Doeg the Edomite, turning on the priests and attacking them, put to death that day eighty-five men who took up the ephod." Saul also had the townspeople and their livestock killed.

Earlier in Scripture, Achan stole a few things when Jericho was destroyed. But God caused the Israelites to lose a battle with a little city called Ai. Achan was discovered and the objects he stole caused him and his family to be executed.

Joshua 7:25 and 26 (BBE) tells us, "And Joshua said, 'Why have you been a cause of trouble to us? Today the Lord will send trouble on you.' And all Israel took part in stoning him; they had him stoned to death and then burned with fire. And over him they put a great mass of stones, which is there to this day; then the heat of the Lord's wrath was turned away. So that place was named, The Valley of Achor, to this day."

To a lesser extent, Noah caused his son to see his nakedness when he got drunk. Genesis 9:22 and 23 (BBE) tells what happened. "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father unclothed, and gave news of it to his two brothers outside. And Shem and Japheth took a robe, and putting it on their backs went in with their faces turned away, and put it over their father so that they might not see him unclothed."

Even Gideon, my Old Testament hero, blew it. Judges 8:26 and 27 (BBE) tells of how Gideon asked for the gold from the defeated raiders. "The weight of the gold ear-rings which he got from them was one thousand, seven hundred shekels of gold; in addition to the moon-ornaments and jewels and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and the chains on their camels' necks. And Gideon made an ephod from them and put it up in his town Ophrah; and all Israel went after it there and were false to the Lord; and it became a cause of sin to Gideon and his house."

And if Jesus, whom Judas Iscariot betrayed, hasn't returned by Monday, I hope to post about how our beloved Lord is all we need.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Dr. Hook: "I Got Stoned and I Missed it"

The first time I heard this song was on a comedy show called Doctor Demento. It was done by a pianist named Shel Silverstein and it described a druggie who kept missing life's opportunities.

Listen to Dr. Hook performing this song live here.

There are many times in our lives when we miss opportunities. The one I wish nobody would miss is the gospel.

Jesus told a parable about four kinds of soils. Only one grew a good crop. Matthew 13:23 (Bible in Basic English) tells us, "And the seed which was put in good earth, this is he who gives ear to the word, and gets the sense of it; who gives fruit, some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times as much."

Furthermore, Paul tells us why some accept the gospel while others don't in Romans 8:13 and 14 (BBE). "For if you go in the way of the flesh, death will come on you; but if by the Spirit you put to death the works of the body, you will have life. And all those who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God."

Now some folks might be angry with me for including Acts 13:48 (BBE) to show that God planned for only some to be born again. "And the Gentiles, hearing this, were glad and gave glory to the word of God: and those marked out by God for eternal life had faith."

Of course predestination doesn't let us off the hook. As Romans 10:14 (BBE) says, "But how will they give worship to him in whom they have no faith? and how will they have faith in him of whom they have not had news? and how will they have news without a preacher?"

So if the Lord doesn't return by Saturday, I hope to post about how one stupid act can effect so many people.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Kim Mitchel: "Go For a Soda"

This eighties song is one of my favourites. Its message is clear as well. Nobody hurts and nobody dies when you're drinking soft drinks.

Listen to Kim's song here.

The Bible has much to say about drinking to excess. Proverbs 20:1 (Bible in Basic English) reminds us that, "Wine makes men foolish, and strong drink makes men come to blows; and whoever comes into error through these is not wise."

My family life was ruined by my father who was an alcoholic. Isaiah 5:11 (BBE) is a rebuke to all those drunkards. "Cursed are those who get up early in the morning to give themselves up to strong drink; who keep on drinking far into the night till they are heated with wine!"

Even religious drinkers can be snared by booze. Isaiah 28:7 (BBE) warns, "And further, these are uncertain through wine, and have gone out of the right way through strong drink: the priest and the prophet are uncertain through strong drink, they are overcome by wine, they have gone out of the way through strong drink; their vision is false, they go wrong in their decisions."

Now the scriptures do say we should drink in moderation. Paul understood the medicinal use of alcohol well, as he wrote in 1 Timothy 5:23 (BBE). "Do not take only water as your drink, but take a little wine for the good of your stomach, and because you are frequently ill."

And though the verses in 1 Peter 2:18 and 19 (BBE) refer to false spiritual leaders, they do show how losing our senses through over indulgence in drink can entrap us. "For with high-sounding false words, making use of the attraction of unclean desires of the flesh, they get into their power those newly made free from those who are living in error; Saying that they will be free, while they themselves are the servants of destruction; because whatever gets the better of a man makes a servant of him."

Moderate imbibing of liquor is no sin but we dare not mislead weak siblings with our liberty. That's why Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:23 and 24 (BBE) that, "We are free to do all things, but there are things which it is not wise to do. We are free to do all things, but not all things are for the common good. Let a man give attention not only to what is good for himself, but equally to his neighbour's good."

If our Master hasn't come back by Thursday, I hope to post about the perils of intoxication.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

The Electric Prunes: "Holy Are You"

I wonder what my anti-rock-music church leaders would have thought of praising God with electric guitars. I know I'd have loved this song if somebody had played it to me when I was a teenager.

Check out the song here:

We often take the Father's holiness for granted. Like fish, we're so used to water being around us and in us. Only when we're out of water do we miss it.

Moses was one person who wanted to see God's holy glory. The father knew no mortal could withstand his full brilliance so he said to Moses in Exodus 33:21-23 (Bible in Basic English), "And the Lord said, 'See, there is a place near me, and you may take your place on the rock: And when my glory goes by, I will put you in a hole in the rock, covering you with my hand till I have gone past: Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back: but my face is not to be seen.'"

And like our heavenly Father, we too must be holy. Leviticus 20:7 (BBE) is his instruction to the descendents of Israel. "So make and keep yourselves holy, for I am the Lord your God."

It's a blessing that God is our heavenly Father, even when we stray from the truth. Malachi 3:6 (BBE) reminded the Israelites of God's mercy in judgement. "For I am the Lord, I am unchanged; and so you, O sons of Jacob, have not been cut off."

Our Master also is eternal and unchanging, as Hebrews 13:8 (BBE) reminds us. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever."

God also can speak of his unchanging nature through unholy people regarding this truth. In Numbers 23:19 (BBE), Balaam said, "God is not a man, to say what is false; or the son of man, that his purpose may be changed: what he has said, will he not do? and will he not give effect to the words of his mouth?"Though we can come boldly into his presence, our heavenly Father must be respected as he is ultimate holiness.

And if his resurrected son doesn't return by Monday, I hope to post about going for a soda and how much safer it is.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Larry Gross: "Junk Food Junkie"

This comical song is about a health food devotee who sneaks out at night for his junk food fix. Have a listen to it here.

Hypocrisy is such an easy sin to be trapped in. Even the best Christian leaders can convince themselves that their dalliances aren't really sins against God Almighty and that nobody will discover them.

Moses figured his fellow Israelites would understand when he killed an Egyptian taskmaster for beating one of his fellows. Exodus 2:12 (Bible in Basic English) shows that he had a guilty mind. "And turning this way and that, and seeing no one, he put the Egyptian to death, covering his body with sand." Of course we know that he fled the country when somebody mentioned his murder.

King David figured he could get away with murder by proxy. But God sent Nathan who told David about a poor man robbed by a rich man of his pet lamb. We read David's reaction and the condemnation on him in 2 Samuel 12:5-7 (BBE). "And David was full of wrath against that man; and he said to Nathan, 'By the living Lord, death is the right punishment for the man who has done this:" And he will have to give back four times the value of the lamb, because he has done this and because he had no pity.' And Nathan said to David, 'You are that man. The Lord God of Israel says, "I made you king over Israel, putting holy oil on you, and I kept you safe from the hands of Saul;"'"

And all through Christ's earthly ministry, the Pharisees kept trying to stone him. We read in Matthew 23:13-15 (BBE) how he condemned those fakers. "But a curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! because you are shutting the kingdom of heaven against men: for you do not go in yourselves, and those who are going in, you keep back.  A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

If our Lord hasn't returned by Saturday, I hope to post about God's holiness and what it means to us.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Kraftwerk: "Computer World"

Even though desktop computers are waning in popularity, they still are useful devices. I personally like their size and having a full 101-key keyboard in front of me when I write.

In 1981, the German electronic music band Kraftwerk recorded a full album on the theme of computers and their growing role in the world. Listen to the title track of the album here:

When the Bible was being penned, the common materials used were parchment and ink.  Psalm 45:1 (Bible in Basic English) is one verse which mentions writing. "(To the chief music-maker; put to Shoshannim. Of the sons of Korah. Maschil. A Song of loves.) My heart is flowing over with good things; my words are of that which I have made for a king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."

Writing solidified the laws of the land and particularly of God. That's why the Lord said in Joshua 1:8 (BBE), "Let this book of the law be ever on your lips and in your thoughts day and night, so that you may keep with care everything in it; then a blessing will be on all your way, and you will do well."

Before pocket calculators, people wrote down amounts of products and payments required. Christ told a parable about a dishonest steward and how he solved his employment problem. Luke 16:4-6 (BBE) says, "'I have come to a decision what to do, so that when I am put out of my position they will take me into their houses.' And sending for every one who was in debt to his lord he said to the first, 'What is the amount of your debt to my lord?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said, 'Take your account straight away and put down fifty.'" Please don't try this with your fuel bill.

Through letters in the scriptures, we get a feeling for how the various apostles lived. For example, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:19-21 (BBE), "Give my love to Prisca and Aquila and those of the house of Onesiphorus. Erastus was stopping at Corinth; but Trophimus, when I last saw him was at Miletus, ill. Do your best to come before the winter. Eubulus sends you his love, and Pudens and Linus and Claudia, and all the brothers."

Thanks to an old program called Quickverse, I can find scriptures easily. Another called Bible Seeker lets me find the verses in basic English. Without them, writing my posts would be much more tedious.

If Christ delays his coming by Thursday, I hope to post about hypocrisy and a junk food junkie.

Bruce Atchison, Kraftwerk, "computer World", desktop computers, parchment, Psalms 45:1, Luke 16:4-6, Bible in Basic English, 2 Timothy 4:19-21, Quickverse, Bible Seeker