Monday, March 19, 2007

On Frittering Away Time...

"Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble." —Psalms 78:33

The Israelites were complaining – again... So God had to deal with them as with a naughty child. Complaining, murmuring, flattering, serving other gods... Yes, the Israelites had trouble. Because God is infinitely merciful, He brought punishment upon them to correct them, and draw them back to His way. It says over and over that they would ask something of God, and he would give it to them—yet they never trusted Him to care for them. There was always something that God wasn't giving them which they were used to in Egypt. It says in verse 18 that they tempted God, in asking for meat, saying: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" They asked this even though God had already rained down Manna from Heaven, sustaining their lives for the last umpteen years of travel. So Psalms says here that after he had sent the meat, their hearts had not changed at all; they were still unbelieving and unhappy. What was God to do? It says that he "slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel." "For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wonderful work."
It goes on to say that God "consumed their days in trouble, and their years in vanity." As I read that the other day, I seriously pondered it. God used "timewasting" as a punishment. The Israelites would not listen, and so he made their lives' important minutes, hours, days, and years count for nothing. What *did* they accomplish while they roamed aimlessly over the expansive wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. Exactly that! Nothing! They spent their days in trouble, and their years in vanity. Have you ever felt like you aren't doing anything for anyone? Your walk with God isn't super, you don't feel like helping others, you don't even feel like maintaining your personal walk with the Lord? Check out your internal status.... Are you murmuring against the place that God has you in currently? Are you being obedient to your authority? Are you putting others first?
Lets look at some other examples of people who had nothing to do, yet redeemed the time:

Jesus -- He was in his parent's home for 30 years, after which he started His ministry. If you recall, though, it was at the age of twelve that he said to His parents "wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?" Yet he humbly submitted to his earthly parents, and made good use of his time for the remaining eighteen years.

Paul -- I wonder how long Paul and Silas would have laid in that stinking prison if they had resorted to murmuring and complaining about how rank and damp it was down there. I'm sure it stunk worse than a cow-barn, and there were doubtless rats, mice, lice, and cockroaches scuttling around their feet. Yet they decided that prayer, singing, and praise to God was a better use of time; just look at what happened!

Stephen -- So often we think of our lives as so important here on this earth. The whole American culture is tuned toward extending human life... Really, though, is that our purpose here? I believe that Stephen could have extended his life, had he 'recanted,' and renounced his Lord. But yet he counted not his life dear unto himself, and left us an example of how to die a martyr's death; cheerful, loving, and forgiving the very ones that were slaying him. Yes, he could have probably lived longer, but what would renouncing the Lord profit him in eternity?
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:35-37

John -- Exiled for his faith, he was spending quality time with the Lord... Not moping! Revelation 1:9 says that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day when he heard a great voice behind him. I can almost assure you that if John would have been indulging in self-pity, thinking that if only he could be "doing the Lord's work" somewhere else, how happy he'd be, God wouldn't have visited him is such a real way! No, I believe John had worked up to this point. God saw that he was faithful in suffering, faithful in loneliness, desolation, and pain, and He knew that John could be trusted to bring this mighty revelation without adding to it, subtracting from it, or getting a puffed head. He had passed the murmuring test!

There are countless others, some of which I touched on in my blog post from a long time ago: Why, God, Why?
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:” Hebrews 11:32

I had to wonder how many people that are out there today, wondering what God has for their life, only to find out that because of discontent, murmuring, and covetousness, God has resorted to making their time vain... We have but a moment on this earth, friends!
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14

Let's make it count for eternity!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Well, I've decided to start on a new venture... Administrating an online 'radio' station - also called a streaming server. Basically, it is a single stream of music that goes out from my computer, and then gets broadcast to piles of people (hopefully) :) by my webhost's server. This is more or less a test to see if the idea will fly or not.... Before I spend piles of money and time on something that won't even support itself. Currently, I have six albums on board from 2 different distributors who graciously gave me permission to use their music. As I wrote on the stream's website, though, if you know of any music that would fit the tenor of this stream, go ahead and contact me... You may be entitled to 6 months of free high-quality stream service once this thing goes live for real. :-D
Also, please notice that this is still a beta-release... v0.8 to be exact. What this means in layman's terms is: there are still bugs to be worked out, and things to do, but it is getting closer to the point that I can call it a reliable service. You may experience "blackouts," skips, or other odd behavior... If you have time, and are willing, shoot me a quick note from the contact form, and tell me what you are having trouble with. I'd love to help you out. Also, there is a forum that will be available to get assistance on. You can find it here.
Also notice that most of this will be moving to whenever I get that set up.

Thanks, and enjoy!!!

P.S. If you like it, pass the word around... Also, if you want little blog sidebar ads, just contact me. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Godly Music...

I thought that I would ask a question that is fairly controversial.... :^) But honestly, and from the heart, I'd like to know what your personal qualifications for Godly music are.