Walking This Broken Road by Faith

credit: www.internetmonk.com
credit: http://www.internetmonk.com

In one of my early blog posts at lindakruschke.wordpress.com, I was lamenting that remembering my past made me a little blue, because I had regrets and things have happened to me that were less than wonderful. But I have been reminded that I am who I am because of my history.

A week later I was listening to the CD  Stay by Jeremy Camp in my car alot. One of the songs on that CD is called Walk by Faith, but all week I really haven’t tuned into that song even though it is the one I really needed to hear. Then one night I was listening to my iPod while I was making dinner, and had it on shuffle of my Christian Music playlist. This is something I hadn’t done for awhile – I had listening to the Oldies playlist or the Sad Heartache Songs playlist instead. I started out that night listening to the Grunge playlist, but it wasn’t helping my mood at all (now that’s a big surprise, not).

It just so happened that the third song to play on the Christian music playlist while I was chopping veggies for homemade chicken noodle soup was Walk by Faith. The chorus goes like this:

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

As I heard those words, I realized that the broken road I have traveled (and don’t we all travel a broken road of some kind?) has made me who I am. It has taught me love, compassion, empathy, and, most importantly, faith. If my life had been perfect and easy, with no pain and heartache, first of all I wouldn’t be human. But secondly, I would be a different, perhaps shallower person. I might not even be happy.

So I have decided not to lament or regret my past, but to see it for what it is: the broken road that has prepared me to be the person God wants me to be to those around me. Because ultimately, those around me have traveled a broken road too. And sometimes it is a very similar broken road so that we can relate to each other’s journey. Maybe, as I walk that road by faith, I can help others to walk by faith, too.

Besides, without the lessons learned on my broken road I would have nothing but fluff to write and my blogging would have no purpose.

Have you been walking a broken road? Have faith that God will use your experiences to make you the person He has planned for you to be so that you can be a blessing to others walking that broken road with you.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (NIV).

^

aasignLinda

“Fool’s Wisdom”–Malcolm & Alwyn, [1973]

Alwyn Wall, Jano Wall and Tom Hooper at Calvary Chapel Melbourne, Florida, playing “Fool’s Wisdom.”

Malcolm and Alwyn were a popular British gospel beat music group in the 1970s. They played Beatles-influenced rock music with lyrics reflecting their conversion to Christianity. The duo was composed of Malcolm Wild and Alwyn Wall, who had been performing together in a band called “The Zodiacs” prior to their conversion.

Malcolm and Alwyn recorded two albums in the early ’70s before they disbanded in 1976, and a live reunion album in 1981 before again parting ways. The live album was recorded on January 24, 1981 at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California.

They recorded “Fool’s Wisdom” in 1973.  It is a simple, spiritual song.  It identifies and expresses the heart of the early “Jesus Movement.”  My personal thinking is that is, the simplicity of lyrics and performance was a blessing.  When I first listened to “Fool’s Wisdom” back in 1976, I was astounded.  Not for its flair, or pyrotechnics, but for its core simplicity.

Fool’s Wisdom Lyrics

Got myself some wisdom from a leather-backed book
Got myself a Saviour when I took a second look
Opened up the pages and what did I find?
A black and white portrait of a King who’s a friend of mine
Funny how when you think you’re right
Everybody else must be wrong
Till someone with Fool’s Wisdom somehow comes along
His voice was strange and the words He said
I didn’t quite understand
Yet I know that he was speaking right
By the leather-backed book in his hand
Hey, hey, what a day!… Fool’s Wisdom
Got myself some wisdom from a leather-backed book
Got myself a Saviour when I took a second look

 

“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.”

1 Corinthians 1:18, NLT

Some of this was edited from Wikipedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_and_Alwyn and

http://robertigno-christianblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2008/10/malcolm-and-alwyn-fools-wisdom-1973.html

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You’re His Special Delight

Delighted In

“He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.” 

Psalm 18:19

God doesn’t deliver us because He feels He has to, or should, but because He wants to.

Lord, thank You for taking delight in us. May we delight in You as well! And here’s a simple poem…

source – marciahinds.com

Always

I delight in you
in the dead of night
during your darkest day
I’m loving you, always.

I delight in you
when everything’s alright
in the midst of praise
I’m loving you, always.

#

Please visit Deb Feller’s blog, “SIMPLE POEMS, SIMPLE FAITH”

http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com/

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The Man Called Cash

Johnny Cash
1932-2003

My favorite musical artist of all time is Johnny Cash. You will find frequent mention of him on my blog, Linda Kruschke’s Blog.

There are only a handful of his songs that I don’t like. Of course, I love all the gospel music he recorded. But I also love everything from Cry, Cry, Cry to Cocaine to T for Texas to Hung My Head to his rendition of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt and Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus. His music covers the whole spectrum of real human existence. Many of his songs bring tears to my eyes every time I hear them.

But as great as his music is, the reason I love Johnny Cash has just as much to do with his life and his witness to the grace and redemptive power of Christ. I have read two of his biographies and several essays about him in a book of collected essays. I also have a graphic novel about his life that I recently purchased (though I haven’t read it yet), and have read the introduction to his novel The Man in White. He lived a fascinating and tumultuous life.

For anyone interested in the life of a legend who is nonetheless an incredibly “real” person with struggles and trials just like the rest of us, I recommend The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love, and Faith of an American Legend by Steve Turner. This book is a meticulously researched and well-written account from which even those who knew Johnny well would likely learn something about him that they didn’t know before. Starting almost at the end, with the death of June Carter, and then winding his way through the early years, the middle years, and everything in between, Turner reveals a man who knew God as only a sinner can.

This book includes two awesome sections of black and white photos from Johnny’s life, as well as the unedited text of an interview Turner conducted with Johnny in 1988, a chronology of June and Johnny’s lives, a complete discography, and an index. But these are all just icing on the cake of a story that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your heart.

One of my favorite stories of redemption is about the time Johnny crawled into Nickajack Cave, thirty miles from Chattanooga, with the plan to never come out.

He believed that if he crawled in far enough, he’d be unable to find his way out. When he starved to death it would look like a tragic accident.”

In 1995 he [Johnny] told the writer Nick Tosches:

“It just felt like I was at the end of the line. I was down there by myself and I got to feelin’ that I’d taken so many pills that I’d done it, that I was gonna blow up or something. I hadn’t eaten in days, I hadn’t slept in days, and my mind wasn’t workin’ too good anyway. I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I wanted to get away from me. And if that meant dyin’, then okay, I’m ready. I just had to get away from myself. I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I didn’t think there was any other way. I took a flashlight with me, and I said, I’m goin’ to walk and crawl and climb into this cave until the light goes out, and then I’m gonna lie down. So I crawled in there with that flashlight until it burned out and I lay down to die. I was a mile in that cave. At least a mile. But I felt this great comfortin’ presence sayin’, “No, you’re not dyin’.” I got things for you to do. So I got up, found my way out. Cliffs, ledges, drop-offs. I don’t know how I got out, ‘cept God got me out.

Turner, pg. 119.

And God did have things for Johnny to do. He had to show the world how even someone as strung out on drugs as he was could be redeemed by the grace of God. He had to show that despite our faults and weaknesses – or maybe because of them – God loves each and every one of us. He may have been a music legend, but he was never afraid to use his talent to glorify God and to share the gospel. His was a life of redemption and grace well worth reading about. If you think your life isn’t worth living or that God can’t possibly love you or redeem you, read about the life of one who was chief among sinners but who was saved by grace.

As a bonus to go along with this book review of his biography I want to share this video of the song “Singer of Songs” by Johnny Cash. It is a great synopsis of the purpose God had for his life and how he fulfilled it. He truly was a singer of songs about life, love, death, birth, God, and more. I suspect he’s still singing today at the throne of the King.

Love you, Linda K.

Music Soothes the Soul

By Linda K.

Anyone who has read much of my blog, Linda Kruschke’s Blog, knows that I love music. I’ve devoted my Monday posts to music topics and many other days end up including a music component, too. Music can lift my spirits, give me encouragement, and get me moving when I’m down. But over the years I’ve learned that not all music has this positive impact.

Many years ago I listened to a lot of grunge music. It was my favorite genre in the late 80s and into the 90s. This was a time in my life when I was struggling with major depression, and I liked grunge because it expressed how I felt.

I remember when my dad died in 1993, I kept listening to the song “Indifference” by Pearl Jam. I won’t post the video because it’s not a song I want to encourage anyone to listen to. But the first four lines sum up the gist of the song:

i will light the match this mornin’, so i won’t be alone
watch as she lies silent, for soon light will be gone
i will stand arms outstretched, pretend i’m free to roam
           i will make my way, through, one more day in hell…

Listening to this song never made me feel better, but I just kept listening to it, missing my dad, feeling alone and like I was living in hell.

We all know the old saying “misery loved company.” I think that is the draw of music like grunge or the blues, to know that someone else understands your misery seems comforting. But when the music doesn’t end with hope or any words of encouragement, it’s the wrong company to be in when a person is struggling or feeling down.

We all have times of struggling, of loved ones lost or physical or mental illness we can’t find a cure to, of lost jobs or spiritual or emotional pain that just won’t end. When those times come, there is a lot of great music out there to lift your spirits and give you hope. That’s the kind of music I choose to listen to these days and the kind I like to share on Monday.

I do still love to listen to the blues, but preferably when things are going well in my life. At these times it is a reminder of the struggles of this life that we all endure so that I remember to be compassionate towards those I encounter who may be struggling and to be thankful for God seeing me through my own struggles.

One of my blogging friends called me her “music mentor” in a recent comment. I like that title. I am thankful that the Lord has led me to good music that does provide hope and encouragement, and that Pr. Bryan has provided me with this forum to share it with the many broken believers who read this blog. If you need a good song to lift you up, just let me know. I’d be blessed to be able to point you in the right direction. For starters, here’s one of my favorites. It’s by MercyMe and is called “Beautiful.” Let it be a reminder that to God you are beautiful, no matter how the world may see you or how you may see yourself.

CCM Classic Spotlight on 2nd Chapter of Acts

Live at an outdoor concert, “Mansion Builder

 The 2nd Chapter of Acts was a Jesus Music and early Contemporary Christian Music group composed of sisters Annie Herring and Nelly Greisen and brother Matthew Ward. They began performing in 1973 and enjoyed their period of greatest success during the 1970s. The group disbanded in 1988. (From, Wikipedia)

 

About 2nd Chapter Of Acts

Source: http://www.2ndchapterofacts.com/AboutUs.html

The 2nd Chapter of Acts began as a result of the trio singing at home together as Annie played the piano. Following the death of their parents in 1970, Nelly (14 yrs) and Matthew (12 yrs), still minors, moved in with their older sister, Annie, and her husband, recording engineer Buck Herring. Annie was a self taught singer and songwriter, who wrote and played her songs around the family piano. Her brother and sister would often join in as she played, and eventually, they developed extremely tight and intricate harmonies.

They started singing for local coffee houses and small gatherings, and gained the notice of Pat Boone, who arranged a contract to record and release two singles with MGM, “Jesus Is” (1972) and “I’m So Happy” (1973), which both charted secular in California radio. The fledgling trio also came to the attention of 1960s folk singer Barry McGuire (New Christy Minstrels), who had recently become a Christian and was preparing to record his first Christian music album, produced by Buck Herring. The siblings provided background vocals for Seeds and McGuire’s 1974 follow-up Lighten Up.

The trio released their debut album With Footnotes in 1974. This album featured “Easter Song”, which would become a signature piece for the group and has been recorded by many other artists since. This was followed with In the Volume of the Book in 1975, the year that also saw the release of a double live album with Barry McGuire, To the Bride, which included “a band called David”, who supported 2nd Chapter of Acts on tour.

2nd Chapter of Acts’ first three releases were issued by Myrrh Records, and the group toured with McGuire intermittently for three years.

Official Home Page: http://www.2ndchapterofacts.com/

Matthew Ward Interview: http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/music/Matthew_Ward_2nd_Chapter_Of_Acts_and_Pioneering_CCM/25951/p1/ 

 

Brokenbelievers Classic CCM Index:  https://brokenbelievers.com/classic-christian-music-index/

Early CCM–Spotlight on the Imperials

This is the CCM group “The Imperials.”  The song (which was a hard choice) is “Water Grave.”  They recorded a lot of music in the 70s and 80s.  They were regarded as “golden,”  with a substantial presence in the CCM scene.

From Wikipedia–    “The Imperials are an American Christian music group that has been around for over 45 years. Originating as a southern gospel quartet, the innovative group would become pioneers of contemporary Christian music in the 1960s. There have been many changes for the band in membership and musical styles over the years. They would go on to win four Grammys, and be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imperials

They are unquestionably one of the leaders in early CCM. I guess if I was to choose a second song it would be “Sail On” which musically and lyrically is a tremendous song. You’ll have to look for it on YouTube yourself, but it will be worth it, I guarantee it.

Brokenbeliever’s Index of Selected Christian Music can be accessed at:

https://brokenbelievers.com/classic-christian-music-index/