Jubal's Gift

Jubal started it all.  I am so thankful that he did.  Genesis, chapter four, describes Jubal as "the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes." 

With the exception of two piano songs and a few guitar chords, I don't play music.  However, I greatly enjoy listening to music.  It moves me. 


I love to hear my wife play piano, my daughter play piano and violin, my oldest son play guitar and violin, and my youngest son play piano and cello.  (I'm the oddball in the bunch.)

Imagining a world without music is not a pleasant task.  My Ordinary Life is filled with music.  Most of the music that I enjoy falls into three main categories.
1. Music that celebrates my love for God.
2. Music that celebrates my love for my wife.
3. Instrumental music that moves my heart and soul.

As I reflect on the first category, I recall with joy the sunrise my wife and I shared while on a pier by the Sea of Galilee worshiping God through "Be Enthroned" by Bethel Music.

The second category of music draws my mind to the honest and heartfelt words of Andrew Peterson in "Dancing in the Minefields."  Vonda Kay, let's keep dancing!

Now to the third category.  Here's where I invite you to listen in with me.  Let me suggest three songs to which you should expose your ears.  As you listen, close your eyes (unless you're driving) as you enjoy the images that your mind creates.

- "Gabriel's Oboe" by Solis
- "I Give Up" by Elijah Bossenbroek
- "The Red Aspens" by Jennifer Thomas



For What Reason?

A couple of weeks ago, while in Cambodia, I met a man named Tom.  For nearly two decades, Tom has served the people of Cambodia through practicing medicine as a physician and through sharing the love and gospel of Jesus as a Christian.  For various reasons, people leave home to live in another - a heart for people and a willingness to serve as God leads provide Tom with his reasons. 

Reasons lead to choices.  They motivate us to act, to respond, to change.  Reasons vary . . .
- Due to the reason of love, one chooses to protect another.
- Due to the reason of fear, one chooses to hide.
- Due to the reason of gratitude, one says "thank you."
- Due to the reason of anger, one holds a grudge.

Checking one's reasons proves to be an important part of living one's everyday, ordinary life for Christ.  Sure, assessing actions is beneficial; yet, focusing on actions alone fails to complete the task.  

- We need not only to love; we need to know why we love.  
- We need to hold our tongues.  We do even better by discovering why the words willing their way toward our lips are forming - for what reasons are we angry?

Ponder, won't you, the reasons you love your spouse. 
Now tell him / her.

Consider, won't you, the reasons you lack patience or compassion. 
It's time to confess them.

Let's live intentionally.  Get to know your reasons.


Meet Moses

On May 1, 1884, Moses Walker stepped up to the plate for the Toledo Blue Stockings - making him the first African-American baseball player to play professional baseball.  Sixty-three years later, Jackie Robinson swung the bat for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Jackie, rather than Moses, is most-often credited with the distinction of the first African-American man to play professional baseball. 

Wishing no ill toward Robinson's well-deserved fame, I nevertheless wonder why no one, save baseball aficionados, has ever heard the name Moses Walker.  Most likely, it's because the Stockings were a minor league team while the Dodgers were a major league team.

Accounts of history often suffer from limited recaps - limited by their lack of focus on the less-than-sensational personalities and events.  For the sake of holding attention and committing to tell the "whole" story by telling part of it, historians must summarize. 

Even the Bible skips some details (obviously, unneeded ones - I won't argue with the Author).  However, there are exceptions.  For example, the Book of Judges covers some obscure events.  In the chapter of Hebrews, often deemed the "Faith Chapter," the writer hits the highlights - Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses' parents, etc.  He also, however, gives a shout-out to lesser known people of faith - unnamed, yes; but mentioned at least.

35 . . . There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
Hebrews 11:35b-38 (NIV)

Who were these women and men?  What were their names?  I will never know the answers to those questions.  I will, however, remember that they, like the "famous" faithful ones, take their rightful place in the great cloud of witnesses.  (See Hebrews 12:1.) 

In eternity, if I am able to meet those unnamed ones, I will thank the flogged ones for their examples of bravery, the sawed-in-two ones for their incredible faith, the destitute ones for their willingness to suffer for Christ, and the other witnesses for their obedience.  Yet - why wait until eternity?  Call them what you will -

- Unsung heroes
- Silent saints
- Behind-the-scenes servants
just call them.  Or maybe you prefer email, text, or face-to-face.  Join me in saying "thank you" to those who serve, love, care, and well-represent the cloud of witnesses - even with no promise that history will include mention of their names.