To post or not to post…

Hello, friends…I’ve been wrestling with something for quite some time now. I’ve talked about it with my parents, friends, and even a few pastors along the way. The question I sometimes struggle with is this: At what point does it become necessary, even essential, for me to use my platform to speak out against the ails and evils of this world? Do I have a responsibility to weigh in publicly on social and political issues of the day or should I leave that to pastors and professionals? Do I keep my focus on Jesus, the gospel, and encouraging others in the faith? Or is there more?

While working on a related song idea yesterday, Micah 6:8 came to mind. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. So, what does that look like for a Christian singer/songwriter? Except for a blog post during the presidential election, which I kept rather general, I have steered safely clear of all political postings and other controversial subjects. This, because I simply don’t have time to carry on a debate online. Nonetheless, my Mom frequently sends and forwards emails to keep me abreast. Sometimes they are fun and silly, but mostly they are informative and inspirational. She sent this one today and I decided to take a baby step and share it.

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given by Minister Joe Wright in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. Everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but below is what they heard… (It seems prayer still upsets some people. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea). With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called ‘one nation under God.’
HEAVENLY FATHER, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness
and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’
but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children
and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography
and called it freedom of expression. 
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers
and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today;
cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Amen!

Why I want to see ‘Heaven is For Real’…

What a mix of emotions today:  joy and gratitude, pain and sadness.

This morning’s Facebook status explains my joy and gratitude…

“(I) just paid the very last parent payment for my daughter’s college education! Phew! It feels kinda like I’m graduating, too. Thank You, Lord, for seeing us through these past four years. You have been so good to us!!!! We did it! You did it! THANK YOU!!!!!”

The number of likes and comments indicates many of my readers have either been there or are there right now and doing the happy dance right along with me. It’s good to be able to celebrate life’s joys and accomplishments and give God the glory for His good provision. I can’t wait to see her in her cap and gown. Makes a mommy proud.

And now the pain and sadness…

Soon after my elated post above, I learned some hard news. One of my son’s friends from youth group was found dead this morning. Back in the day, they were in a worship band together, my son on keyboards and this young man on drums. I don’t know a lot of the details. I only know that this dear boy is gone much sooner than expected and those who loved him are hurting and left to begin to deal with the loss and sadness death often ushers in.

Honestly, I had a lot to do today. Things piling up that needed tending to. But, I put some of that aside for just awhile to feel. To curl up in bed with my beloved shihtzu and cry and pray and phone a friend. And after a time, I felt ready to write. Sometimes when the weight of things bears heavy, I don’t know what else to do. So, I go to the piano. Maybe it’s an attempt to transfer some of that emotion onto ivory keys and try to make some sense of it all. My baby grand, like an old friend, simply sits with me in whatever I’m feeling and lets me unload some of it, so we can “carry” it together. Somehow it serves to lessen the sting…

We don’t know why
We don’t know when
It always seems to come too soon
And so we cry
And hang our heads
We don’t like death, but we make room

We make promises to never waste another day, another minute

And to hold the ones we love a little closer
We make promises to never hold a grudge against another
To uncover what is wrong and make it right
We make promises

That’s all we’ve got so far. The blogging helps as well. In times like these, we remember the Great Hope. We stop in our whirlwind activity and allow ourselves to rest awhile in the Everlasting Arms. We let Him hold us, the ones He loves, a little closer.

Though not usually wanted or welcome, the passing of a loved one affords us another chance to surrender everything, to confess our smallness, and to pledge our remaining days to the One Who knows their number.

I read ‘A Prayer’ by 18th-century British evangelist, John Wesley, just this week. I shared it from the platform at the Celebrate Life concert this past weekend in Texas. It seems appropriate to share here as well…

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what You will.
Put me to doing. Put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for You,
Or laid aside for You.
Exalted for You,
Or brought low for You.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things,
Let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield
All things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And this covenant now made on earth,
Let it be satisfied in Heaven.
Amen.

As my son said of his friend, he will be playing drums in heaven now. I smile at the thought. You know you’ve hit it big when Heaven becomes your permanent gig. I don’t suppose they have a VIP section though, because it’s implied that every one who goes there already is.

All this has me thinking about seeing the movie ‘Heaven is For Real’ tonight…

Because I’m counting on it,
Cheri

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11