Harp and Story

No Thank You

How can three little words cause so much pain?

Yashua said No Thank You to Food, Presumption, and Power when the devil tempted him at the beginning of His earthly ministry. (Matthew 4:3-11) Are those temptations any less a snare for us today?

When we say No Thank You, we may expect these words of Yashua found in Matthew 5:11, applied to us, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

No one likes to be maligned, scorned, discounted, beat upon, but that, according to the words of Yashua, is what we should expect when we say No Thank You. But do we compromise and justify our actions to avoid having to say No Thank You?

Do we compromise our No Thank You’s by justifying what kind of and the amount of food we eat presuming that just one time won’t hurt and after all, we don’t want to make waves — let’s just go along to get along! Or how about the things we buy or the words we say or our actions as in “I love you,” but behind my back is this knife that I will use if you dare cross me. How much do we compromise to avoid pain?

Hebrews 12:1-3, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Yashua, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

There is a price to pay for saying No Thank You to this world’s temptations. We will be treated poorly and may even die for our No Thank You, but just look at the reward; John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

The response to our No Thank You may cause pain for a moment, but keeping our eyes fixed on the prize, it’s well worth the price!

John 14:1-3, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in Yahweh; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Advertisements

To Go, or to Stay

To Go, or to Stay

We were in Paradise, California this past July where Steve recorded two new harp CDs with our good friend and sound engineer, Gene LeSage. We celebrated Steve’s 65th birthday in their spacious backyard and throughout the time we stayed with them we enjoyed much pleasant and stimulating conversation and good friendship. Now, in less than 24 hours Paradise is in ashes. As I watch the video footage of the carnage from this “hell” fire my heart breaks for our friends we have who lost their homes and all their possessions; and for all the others impacted by the devastating loss of property and lives. This Camp fire is being called the worst fire in California history with over 6,000 homes destroyed and as the forensic recovery teams begin their work more and more bodies are being found buried in the debris.

Paradise, California was a beautiful town situated in the foothills of the Sierra’s nestled among lofty pine and fir trees. The town’s leaders were so proud of this idyllic setting that they forbade the cutting down of these giants without special and costly permits. Steve and I presented Harp and Story at a local church last July and one lady I was talking with made the comment that Paradise is a paradise, but God help us if a fire ever comes through. Was she uttering a prophetic statement without realizing her words would have such an impact only a few short months later?

As I have watched this horrible destruction unfold my thoughts have turned to characters in scripture being told by Yahweh to leave and go to a place “that I will show you.” An obvious example of this is Abraham when Yahweh told him to leave Haran and journey to Canaan. Another is Lot when the angels told him to flee Sodom lest he be caught up in its destruction. The family of Jacob going down to Egypt and then the children of Israel leaving Egypt to return to the land promised to Abraham is another example. Joseph being warned by an angel to flee Bethlehem because Herod was coming to kill the child, Yashua, another example. And what about the apostle Paul wanting to go into Bithynia, but being directed to go to Macedonia instead. And for us, perhaps, this is a warning to not get so tightly attached to our things and/or our surroundings that we cannot get up and go at the command of Yahweh to a place that we know not. Like one man said concerning the Camp fire, “I have lost everything, but I still have my life. I’m going, but I don’t know where yet.”

Remember these folks in your prayers that Yahweh will be wisdom for them as they make critical decisions in the days ahead.