For the Love of Music!

After a few months of hiatus in sharing blog posts, I’m back to writing again. In several previous posts, I wrote of how music has been such an important part of my life. I grew up with a mom who probably played music daily on the record player. She would teach us the jitterbug and other dance steps as we bebopped around the living room. I learned just about every Elvis Presley song during those years, as well as tunes by Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Johnny Cash and so many others. I didn’t embrace my mom’s love of country music as a teen or young adult, but instead enjoyed the sound of what is now referred to as Classic Rock. For years, I didn’t venture far from that particular genre of music.

Beginning in the mid to late 80s, though and in my early years after becoming a Christian, a change occurred. Contemporary Christian music became a favorite of mine and was instrumental in my growth as a new follower of Christ. I was greatly influenced by the music of Keith Green, Carman, Michael W. Smith, Petra, Phil Keaggy and Second Chapter of Acts. Their music ushered me into special times of worship and prayer to the Lord and helped to form my early Christian experiences and worldview.

Music has always played a big role in my and my husband’s lives. In fact, it was through music that we met…a long time ago….in Jr. High school…in band class. He, the ever-so-slightly rebellious baritone player, and me, the goofy immature young clarinet player. The rest is history. But in any case, music always remained important. From the 8-track player in Scott’s International Scout blasting tunes by Boston, Fleetwood Mac and Lynyrd Skynyrd to my vinyl collection to cassette tapes to CDs. My interest in and love for music even led to taking a few guitar lessons as a young mom which never went anywhere in the midst of a busy military lifestyle. Later on, my desire to play guitar was resparked, so I purchased a classical guitar and started practicing again which led to an opportunity to lead a school music program where I teach basic guitar and music appreciation.

Our love and appreciation for music was passed on to our 2 sons. We often sang songs together and played kids’ music tapes during their early childhood. When they were old enough, they were enrolled in piano classes. Our younger son Simon took up the clarinet in the school band and both boys began singing in church and in elementary school choirs which led to performing solos on stage in high school. More instruments were added, actually, many more. Our sons took their love of music and their God-given musical talents to levels beyond what we had ever done ourselves or ever thought might happen with them. They used their musical talents to serve in various church ministries. Their involvement in music led to what they would say as musicians were some of their most enjoyable and memorable times of life, when their old-timey band was formed with friends from church.

Laurel Mountain Jug Band busking in the streets of Pittsburgh PA (Chuck, Simon, Nathan, Nick)
Wagon Wheel cover by Laurel Mountain Jug Band, our sons and their friends (Click on the link to listen!)

While still in high school, our older son Nick was introduced to the music of a little known band by the name of Old Crow Medicine Show. The music of Old Crow is best described as old-timey bluegrass, their most famous song being “Wagon Wheel” which become popular when covered by Darius Rucker. The music of Old Crow become so loved by our sons and their band that they covered many of their songs for the shows which they played at local car cruises and community events, with “Wagon Wheel” considered to be their signature song. Recently, Nick’s interest in Old Crow Medicine Show led him on a journey to learn more of the band’s history. After many months and hours of research and gathering resources and documentation and video editing, Nick arranged and narrated a video containing that information. It’s a very interesting, informational and well done documentary video that would especially be enjoyed by fans of Old Crow Medicine Show.

Music documentary of the history of Old Crow Medicine Show, by my son Nick (Click on the link to listen!)

In a way, I guess you could say that my love of music has come full circle. From country music songs being played in the living room as a kid to enjoying hearing our sons and their friends perform wonderful cover versions of Johnny Cash and Old Crow Medicine Show, our love of music remains. It is a gift of God. A gift that we’ve enjoyed for over 50 years. A gift that we often use to offer praise to Him, the creator of the blessing of music.

HOPE NUGGET: “…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…” [Ephesians 5:19]

An Incredible Act of Love and Forgiveness

An exceptional example of Christian love and forgiveness is being shared across the internet. Many who have shared it also most likely grieve the loss of an innocent man, Botham Jean, shot down while sitting in his own apartment. A terrible and tragic and unnecessary death, one which should never have happened, one which the family and friends of the young man and the shooter now must spend the rest of their lives living with grief, suffering, regret, and guilt.

Brandt Jean hugging the killer of his brother
Video of Brandt Jean offering forgiveness: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NkoE_GQsbNA

Most anyone who has read the story or seen the video of Brandt Jean, the young man who now lives without his beloved brother, is in awe of the words that he spoke to his brother’s killer and of his request to hug her in the courtroom. It’s impossible to watch without becoming emotional and without wondering if you would respond as he did had you been in his shoes. Instead of taking from this the outcome of an incredible act of selflessness, forgiveness and love, there is a minority of those who instead must tweet their “just a word for the white people” or who write their “Dear white people” letter.

In the “just a word for the white people” tweet, it was said that “If you didn’t share about Botham Jean’s murder and weren’t willing to say #BlackLivesMatter, save us in tweeting out the hug.” In the “Dear white people” letter, it was said “I will judge the way so many of us in the white community are so quick to applaud black people for forgiving white murderers.” In both of these instances, the writers take it upon themselves to assign motives to the folks who have shared the courtroom video and story.

I say this INSTEAD: perhaps, just perhaps, we “white people” applaud ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, A GODLY MAN, for extending amazing grace, love and forgiveness to one who most likely doesn’t deserve it. We applaud him, NOT because of skin color, BUT because of our admiration for him. Admiration given because we doubt we could do likewise in the same situation. I take issue with both of the assumptions made, but if it makes the writer of the letter to white people feel better by making those assertions, fine. Most of the rest of us will go on admiring and respecting Brandt Jean, regardless of the color of his skin.

As amazing as the act of love and forgiveness shown by Mr. Jean was, a much more amazing act of love was shown by Jesus Christ. The sinless Son of God willingly laid down His life for the world. Christ – a completely, sinless and innocent man – willingly dying for sinners, for the unrighteous, for those filled with evil, for the God-haters [read Romans 1]. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us [Romans 5:7-8]. But that’s exactly what He did. But why? For Love. He did it out of Love.

HOPE NUGGET: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life [John 3:16].

In the Beginning, God.

Our family enjoys homemade foods and prepares them as much as possible. We like growing our own organic vegetables and fruits, picking wild berries, and preserving canned and frozen foods for later use. We feel blessed to have our own little garden paradise. A while back, I became interested in making homemade apple cider. We started out by purchasing a small tabletop fruit press. It worked well, but was good for just making small amounts at a time. It became obvious that we needed a bigger press to handle the amount of cider we wanted to process. Fortunately, my husband is somewhat of a “jack of all trades.” He often jokingly adds “and master of none,” but that’s what a man of humility says. Anyway, plans were found online to build a larger fruit press and the wood, tools, and metal parts were purchased. After a lot of hard work and time on Scott’s part, we ended up with a masterpiece! The result was a beautiful homemade fruit press which we now use in the fall to prepare fresh apple cider!

In the biblical account of creation, the Garden of Eden is first mentioned in Genesis 2:8. In the verses prior, we read of the creation of the heavens and earth, light, plants, animals and man. God Himself planted a garden paradise; it was perfect, unlike the lovely, but imperfect garden growing in our yard. In His garden, God caused to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).

God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17). It was there in the Garden of Eden where God created woman out of one of the ribs of Adam. Sadly, in this beautiful garden which God marvelously created, man (and woman) failed. Creation became marred by sin. Through the freewill given to man by God, the choice to sin was made. With that choice came consequences – consequences which would forever affect all of mankind.

HOPE NUGGET: 
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…..For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ [Romans 5: 12, 17].

To Christian Supporters of Tax-Payer Funded Abortions and Abortion Rights…

Every single one of the top 10 Democratic presidential candidates supports the current policy of abortion on demand. Additionally, each of those ten also believes that all tax-paying Americans should fully fund abortions in the U.S. and around the world. One would think that taxpayers, including liberals, conservatives, non-religious, (and especially Christ-followers) would join together in opposing such propositions. Instead, when conservative Christians state our opposition to this type of use of (what I actually believe to be misuse of) tax dollars, we are accused (even by liberal-leaning Christians) of being one-issue voters who are “cherry-pickers” when it comes to being pro-life. We are accused of loving the death penalty, endless wars, putting kids in cages, etc. HUH?????

I won’t take the bait when it comes to equating abortion with immigrant children being detained at the border. Do I though think that the border situation is worthy of discussion? Yes, of course. Do I know that current border practices have occurred under and been accepted by both liberal and conservative administrations? Yes. Even if we agree that changes should be made at the border to improve conditions for the children and adults entering there, and even if we don’t agree on the death penalty or war or government-funded contraception or minimum wage, or other social issues, does that mean that we cannot agree that hard-earned tax dollars should not be used to fund abortions in America and around the world? 

Lila Rose, founder and President of Live Action

When pro-lifers assert that abortion is the killing of innocent human life and that the government should have laws against it and that the practice of abortion should not be funded by tax dollars, questions like these are fired back at us: “Have you adopted any children? If you’re really pro-life, shouldn’t you support all proposed government programs which pay for every need of the children of single mothers? Why is it that you only care about babies before birth, but not after they’re born? Why are you in favor of enforcing U.S. immigration and border laws?

In spite of all of the pro-choice arguments I’ve heard, my personal experience and ministry involvement over the years have shown me that conservative Christians have, more often than not, been the most generous and most consistent pro-life individuals of any. They donate their time and resources to support local food banks, youth shelters, juvenile detention centers, prisoners, families of prisoners, pregnancy support centers, children’s hospitals, needy families, and a host of other local needs in the community. Not only do they care for the needs of women and children and families locally, but they do so throughout the state, across the country, and abroad. The argument that pro-lifers stop caring for children after they’re born is complete and utter nonsense and a lie which can be easily debunked. I have been witness to the exact opposite on more occasions than I can remember.

The pro-choice movement, on the contrary, devalues life and dehumanizes the individual, thereby making it very dangerous. It is not a movement rooted in the best interests of women, and certainly not of children. When pro-choice activists oppose laws which require a pregnant woman to have the option of viewing a sonogram before her abortion or when they’ve opposed having adoption resources available at abortion clinics, it is obvious that the pro-choice movement is wicked.  It is a movement of death. It is impossible for Christians to consistently follow Christian teachings while supporting abortion rights. To claim to do so is making a very serious moral and scriptural error.

Live Action is a pro-life advocacy movement whose mission is to end abortion by leading the culture to embrace the rights and dignity of every person. Recently, Live Action produced an extremely informative and interesting video series in which Pro-Life Replies are given to Pro-Choice Arguments. Please watch this very worthwhile series….

Live Action video series: Pro-Life replies given to Pro-Choice arguments

HOPE NUGGET: Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself [Isaiah 44:24].

Camouflaged (2)

Camouflage is an adaptation that is used as a survival technique in the animal kingdom. It is a way for animals and even for humans to blend in with their environment. When my husband served in the Army during Desert Shield / Desert Storm, he was provided with desert camouflage uniforms known as the Six-Color Desert Pattern or sometimes referred to as Chocolate Chip Camouflage. The purpose of wearing the pattern of light tan, pale green and two-tone brown with black and white spots was to blend in with the desert sands of Saudi Arabia. The black and white spots were designed to mimic the appearance of pebbles and their shadows. Wearing a uniform of those desert colors was a way of being undetected by the enemy which helped to provide safety for the service members.

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (June 1991)

Through some research, I found that animal camouflage is also referred to as cryptic coloration. Small animals such as lizards, snakes, insects and frogs blend in with their environment by using this unique adaptation to avoid becoming prey. These animals are often the same color as the leaves or twigs around them and some of the insects are even able to look like the twigs or leaves. They use camouflage to mask their location, identity and movement. One of the most beautiful and interesting animals to use camouflage is the Eastern Screech Owl. This little owl has the ability to hide in plain sight in tree holes with its feathers camouflaged to match tree bark. The camouflage is used as a means to protect its home and to capture unsuspecting prey which venture close.

Eastern Screech Owl

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the command of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to Christians to let their lights shine before the world. I wrote about the green bean patch in our garden and about how the green beans were so well hidden in the bushes. I wrote about how sin causes us to blend in with the world rather than standing out and being separate as representatives of Christ. Since that last blog post, I returned to our garden to gather more beans from our little patch. This time while picking, a few beans fell from the plants to the ground below, becoming lost beneath the thick bushes. It made me think of the dangers of blending in, of having the idea that no harm will come by having partnership with the world. It’s a frightening thought…lostness. Yet, by looking at the lifestyles of many who proclaim Christ, it appears that the possibility of lostness does not occur to some. It seems that they believe they can look and act just like the world without detrimental consequences. It is really a very dangerous place to be. Christians are certainly in the world, but by no means are meant to be of the world. Instead of adding more and more layers of camouflage, why not be obedient to God and clothe ourselves in the righteousness of Christ? It is in Him where safety is found.

HOPE NUGGETS:

*I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness [Isaiah 61:10a]

*Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  [1 John 2:15-17]

Taming The Tongue

A few years ago, a Christian leader who I was associated with, posted a facebook comment about Bruce Jenner which was meant to be humorous, but which I saw as childish, unnecessary and unbecoming of any Christian, let alone by one serving in an influential leadership position. I wanted to voice my opposition, but stayed quiet and responded by simply using the dislike button. Later, I noticed a meme, which I assumed to be a further attempt at humor, shared as a reply to that initial post by a Christian friend of that leader. The meme was insulting and derogatory with images of Bruce Jenner as an Olympian and Bruce as Caitlyn on Wheaties cereal boxes. This time, I hoped that because the meme was a bit outrageous, that my associate would delete his post or at least the meme. It didn’t happen. I waited. Nothing. Days later, still there for the world to see. I finally disliked the meme and wrote something like “Christians don’t help matters by posting comments like these.” 😥 The meme was eventually deleted, but the initial post made by the Christian leader who I was associated with, remained.

Recently, a young adult Christian friend and I were having a facebook chat. She pointed out that a number of times she has seen those who proclaim Christ agreeing with or sharing the photos or memes of “Facebook took this photo of Melania down – share our beautiful First Lady” (We’ve all seen them). While that’s not bad in itself, what IS bad is what’s often being implied and by what can be seen in the comments added … “FINALLY, we have a beautiful and classy lady in the White House again!” And “Finally, she is so much more beautiful than Michelle or should I say MICHAEL” and “Yes God bless her. She is so classy, not GROSS like Michelle the Monkey!” 

If you participate in this kind of horrible nonsense, shame on you. It’s wrong. It’s not Christlike! I will tell you that I don’t believe that Bruce Jenner is a woman, but a man who is in need of psychological help. I will tell you that I am more of a conservative than liberal in political ideology and policies. I will also tell you that I don’t believe it’s appropriate or helpful to spread hateful or ugly memes or comments about Jenner or to compare the looks of Melania and Michelle, by insulting one or the other. I will also tell you that I believe they are both beautiful and attractive women. 

The insults and lies come flying from all directions, from all political persuasions, from left and right and are wrong no matter who makes them. Christian friends, we must control our words. We must consider how our words will affect others. We must ask ourselves if our words will be a blessing or a hindrance to others. We must speak words of truth and guard what comes out of our mouths and off of our keyboards and from our pens. We must allow God’s word to be our source of guidance for our words and actions. We must obtain wisdom for our behavior through prayer and through the reading of the scriptures. 

HOPE NUGGETS:




CHRISTIANS, THE WORLD IS WATCHING…AND LISTENING…(So is Jesus)… A few words of warning from the Bible: ~~~“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3). ~~~“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). ~~~“I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak” -Jesus- (Matthew 12:36).

Mentored by Music

Music has always been an important part of my life. In the early years of my Christian walk, during the mid 80s to early 90s, Christian worship music had a significant spiritual impact on me. Through Christian radio, I was introduced to Petra, Keith Green, Rich Mullins, Michael W. Smith, Audio Adrenaline, 2nd Chapter of Acts and DC Talk. I had not grown up in the church, so was familiar with only the more well-known hymns that just about everyone knew. The style of Christian music offered by popular contemporary artists at that time was very appealing to one like me who enjoyed listening to 70s rock.

You could say that I was mentored by the lyrics to “Awesome God,” “The Battle Belongs to the Lord,” “The Easter Song,” and “You are the One.” Through those songs and others like them, sermons were preached and the word of God began to be imbedded into my heart through lyrics which were often taken directly from the Scriptures. Some of the most meaningful worship experiences that I’ve ever had occurred while listening to or singing Christian worship songs.

Special friends and I at a recent Casting Crowns / Zach Williams concert

Since those early Christian years of my life, I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate a wider spectrum of spiritual music, from Gregorian chants to gospel to Christian rap to more contemporary styles of worship music. David Wesley’s beautifully arranged and wonderfully performed “Evolution of Worship Music” video, beginning with “Be Thou My Vision” from 560 and ending with “Do It Again” from 2017 is an 8 minute a cappella medley with samples of worship music from the past 1500 years. It is a great example of the styles of Christian music from the earliest known to the contemporary music of today. “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

Evolution of Worship Music, David Wesley: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=2SaBhN2idbM

Hope nugget: Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! [Psalm 150: 1-6]

Work Heartily as for The Lord

One of the most admirable qualities that I appreciate about my husband is his strong work ethic. In our nearly 35 years of marriage, I’ve been blessed with a man who’s been an exceptionally hard worker. The term “laziness” cannot be used to describe him. Whether it be in his military service, at his company as a communications technician, at our home, volunteering at our church or helping others, he has consistently been committed to hard work. He has always been a wonderful example to me and our sons of one who in “whatever work he finds to do, does it with all of his might” [Ecclesiastes 9:10].

The Bible is straight-forward in teaching that laziness is sin. Dozens of verses referring to laziness, slothfulness, idleness and hard work can be found throughout the scriptures. Christians often focus on the “big ugly sins,” those sins that others commit, those sins that we usually avoid. We neglect to recognize or to turn from our own sin of idleness. “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” [Proverbs 13:4]. God has indeed blessed our family and we have benefitted in countless ways due to my husband’s faithfulness to the Christian principle of hard work.

When I see idleness in others, particularly in men, it is very unappealing and unattractive. It seems that God views it that way too. The terms “sloth,” “sluggard,” “idle,” and “lazy” are all referred to in scripture, none positively. “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks” [Ecclesiastes 10:18]. “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” [Proverbs 13:4]. “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger” [Proverbs 19:15]. “The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway” [Proverbs 15:19].

Laziness is sinful. It dishonors God. The world is watching. Our neighbors are watching. Christians should embrace a work ethic that surpasses that of others inside and outside of our place of employment. The quality of our work should be excellent with an attitude to match. We should give more than what is expected or required. We should go above and beyond, and in so doing, work heartily as unto the Lord, not for men. By doing so, we are witnessing of our faith in Christ and bringing honor and glory to His Name.

Hope nugget: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ [Colossians 3: 23-24].

Fear Not

“Fear, he is a liar. He will take your breath, stop you in your steps. Fear, he is a liar, he will rob your rest, steal your happiness.”

The truths written down in lyrics to Zach Williams’ song “Fear Is a Liar” strike a chord with me – he has taken my breath and he has stopped me in my steps. There have been times when fear has kept me awake at night. I have allowed fear to dictate some of my choices, some of my responses to situations, some of my interactions with others, and at times to steal my happiness. I admit that too often I have allowed fear to control me. 

I clearly remember a period of time as a child when entering my room at bedtime – my routine was to flick the lightswitch on the wall to ‘off’ and then take a running leap into my bed before whatever evil was lurking beneath could reach out and grab hold of my leg. I was an expert at diving swiftly into the bed and under the covers. A child’s unfounded fears and irrational thoughts. The fear of situations that never came to pass or which had no possibility of becoming reality.

Now as an adult, the choice is mine: I can live in fear, giving it the ability to rule my life or at least moments of it…or I can choose to cast out my fears by surrendering them to God. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Entirely. Even though our irrational fears as children tend to become more rational as adults, residing in fear is an unfortunate waste of life for far too many. When we spend time living in fear, our mind is shut off to the goodness of God and His many blessings, instead with our focus on those fears which usually never come to pass.

I’ve heard it said that “fear not” is the most repeated command in the Bible. Christians can be sure that God desires much more for us than to live in fear. He understands that the uncertainties and troubles of life can leave us anxious and fearful. His word tells us over and over again that we can trust Him, that we need not be afraid. His word tells us that “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Resting in God’s perfect love will help to dispel our fears.

Hope nugget: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1) *read remainder of chapter

The Hope of Freedom

July 4, 1776: 243 years ago. Delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence 2 days after the Continental Congress voted for independence from England. The American Revolution had begun the year before when tensions grew between residents of the colonies and the British government. It would not be until years later in 1783 when the Revolutionary War would come to an official end. Freedom was realized. America had won its independence from Great Britain. What began in the early 17th century with those 13 colonies eventually led to the formation of the 50 states of the United States of America.

Two thousand plus years ago. Jesus Christ had been sentenced to death by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. The governor had him tortured and executed by Roman soldiers. Prior to the issuing of the death sentence, Jesus had been arrested by The Sanhedrin, the most powerful religious and political body of the Jewish people. The Sanhedrin was angry with Jesus because of the claims that He had been making, claims of being the Messiah, The One sent by God. Jesus would go on to face six different hearings before being executed on a cross at a site called Golgotha, outside the city of Jerusalem.

The history of the United States clearly shows how freedom came to be for American citizens. It came about through the hard-fought determination and perseverance of the early colonists. They were willing to make sacrifices for the greater good and for the future of those who would follow. American citizens are the beneficiaries of their sacrifices and we reap the rewards of the freedoms which came as a result. For that, we should be appreciative and grateful.

But, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? How does that have anything to do with hope or freedom? The story of the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus can be found in what are called The Gospels – the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There you will read of the plan that God had set in motion to redeem (or buy back) mankind from death. That plan was fulfilled through Christ, The Messiah, God’s Son, who because of His sinless perfection was able to be the sacrifice made to save mankind. To save us from the death sentence of eternity separated from God, a death sentence given because of sin. In order to receive that freedom from God through Christ, we must have faith in who He is and in what He did for us, willingly surrender to Him and then go on to follow Him in obedience. It is in Him alone where the hope of eternal freedom can be found.

Hope nugget: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)