I love worship music, the kind where the singer is not just performing, but his song is his prayer, from the soul. For those who live overseas and still want their worship music, download WiTopia and you’ll be able to get the worship music you´re used to from the States
During worship in church last Sunday, the thought came to me about “freedom,” and how grateful I am that I was born in America, the freest country in the history of the world, and one that has defended other nations’ freedoms as well. But for some reason I enjoy living outside the U.S. No explanation for that, other than a pastor once singled me out, publicly, at a large Bible conference and gave me a “word” that I had a “wandering spirit.” At the time I had just lost my first wife to cancer and was single-parenting two small children, and I think it was his way of telling me that I wasn’t focused enough on the church.
Having traveled and lived in other countries for much of my life, I have found that compared to other cultures and people, Americans possess an optimism and independence that most others don’t have the privilege of knowing. The origin of these freedoms can be directly traced to the fact that America was established by committed Christian colonists, who put God into its founding documents. No other nation other than for Israel has had such a godly foundation. And it is no coincidence that even today it is these two great democracies that are at the forefront in fighting an evil that is threatening, through terror, to rob nations of their freedoms and bring them under its 7th century, repressive control and submission.
The other reason I feel grateful for my freedom is that I am a Christian. Many religions can make promises of having peace with their god or gods and offer its adherents some sort of hope of a glorious afterlife, but no other faith can actually deliver on those promises. In studying the gods of other religions, most are distant, at best, and constantly require appeasement of some sort to mollify their anger. And though I respect others whose faith is different from my own, I respectfully disagree with anything that contradicts God’s Word.
I ask you, what god would allow himself to be completely humiliated, spat upon, have his beard plucked out, and then die a slow, torturous death? And for what? To redeem sinful, weak, outcasts like us. Who does that? And this Man, Jesus, claimed to be God. And to put an exclamation point on it, after He was cruelly executed, over five-hundred witnesses attested to the fact that He rose from the dead, which kind of gives credibility to His claims. As someone once said, “You can debate your opinions, but you can’t dispute the facts.”
Another writer once said, “The search for happiness is largely an attempt to find a way to move from one state, the state of fear, to the other, love, and to stay there.” 1John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.” But this is the part of that scripture that really speaks to me: “For fear has to do with punishment.” Probably because of my background in legalistic religion, I’ve had to battle against feelings of being punished when things go south in my life.
It’s been a rough week. Stroke recovery we’re told is not a straight line where you gradually get better on a predictable timetable. It’s more like a squiggly line, that zags forward and zips back, just when you thought you were moving forward. Knowing this helps with the sudden drops in energy and mobility. But today was still a banner day; we got to the Caribbean waters, physically, feet in it, for the first time. We found a beach that was wheelchair accessible, the one where the ferry docks for the trips to the isle of Cozumel, which we will take soon. After all, that was our original destination.
Thank you all for your prayers and love.