Week Thirty-Four, 2019
By Florida Senator John Grant, Retired
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 8:21).
I have a confession. I like country music. I like the style combining the folk music of the Southeast and cowboy music of the West. I like the vocalized, simple in form and harmony music typified by romantic or melancholy ballads accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, banjo and violin. It is always playing in my truck.
Recently I was listening to the words and was struck by the themes of one losing their truck, their dog and their girlfriend, often in a bar. Suddenly it hit me. I didn’t need to be filling my brain by those types of messages. Perhaps there is the same style of music with a better message. So, I went searching and found similar music with a Christian message.
The next day there was a little brown truck in my driveway delivering my new CD’s. I loaded them in my truck and have been enjoying them ever since. But here is the payoff. As I enjoyed the music, I found that my attitude changed for the good.
Recent studies suggest we get a very strong impression about someone when we ask them what music they like. Our music can become a badge of identity. All believers need to be careful about what they listen to. While our focus may not be paying attention, our brain hears and absorbs the lyrics.
Words are powerful and can influence us to pursue good things, give hope and spark inspiration. Or they can also cause us to pursue what is wrong, break our hopes, and cause us to lose our motivation to reach great heights. We can become what we listen to most.
If we aren’t very careful, we could end up being swayed and influenced by the words of the music around us. Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Listening to the wrong things can be very dangerous to us. What we listen to affects what we meditate on. What we listen to or regularly hear tends to stick in our minds. Listening to the wrong words – whether sung or spoken – makes it harder for us to do what Philippians 4:8 tells us:
“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.”
What we listen to influences us and fills our hearts and minds, and then eventually influences our choices. When a Godly person keeps hearing nothing but ungodly and wicked things, sooner or later that person becomes influenced. His faith can be negatively affected in many different ways: convictions get challenged, ideas become contaminated, purity is compromised, and decisions are influenced. What we listen to either help us grow in our faith or destroy it.
If we soak ourselves in condemning words and keep listening to lies and divisive arguments, we will end up having a shipwrecked faith.
What are you listening to?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
You’ve probably never heard of Ryan Hrelgac from Kemptville, Ontario, Canada. But he’s an incredible young man.
When Ryan was only 6 years old, he learned in school of children in African villages who didn’t have access to clean drinking water. So, he began raising money to help by doing household chores. In a period of 4 months, he raised $70.
Encouraged by his attitude and actions, others began to join Ryan and during the next 12 months, he raised $2,000. Within two years Ryan had raised $61,000.
Today, Ryan is 28, and is responsible for the foundation, Ryan’s Well, which has raised millions of dollars and completed over 1500 water projects in 17 countries, bringing safe water and sanitation to over 1 million people.
— o —
Fifty years ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin separated the lunar landing craft from the Apollo command module. As they moved toward the moon, astronaut Michael Collins stayed behind. He was 250,000 miles from earth.
While Armstrong and Aldrin received much of the attention for their magnificent feat, their journey to the moon and back would have been impossible without Collins. He piloted the command module through maneuvers that detached it from the third stage of the rocket carrying them into space. He then pivoted the module and steered it as it docked with the lunar landing vehicle.
When the lunar module returned from the moon, Collins directed the command module to reacquire it, enabling Armstrong and Aldrin to reenter the craft they would ride for the journey home. Without Michael Collins there would be no lunar mission to celebrate.
Meanwhile, look at the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It turns out, the firefighters who saved the cathedral did so at great risk to themselves. According to the Paris mayor, “It was clear that some firefighters were going to go into the cathedral without knowing if they would come back out.” The iconic landmark is now being rebuilt and will be a lasting tribute to their sacrificial courage. Though most of us do not know the names of the firefighters who risked their lives to save Notre Dame, we stand in their debt.
The great conductor Leonard Bernstein said: “I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm. And yet, if no one plays second fiddle, we have no harmony.” – Leonard Bernstein
Remember it is the back-up people who make those up front achieve.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Scars are the evidence that wounds can heal and don’t last forever and that healing is possible. —Lecrae Moore
The solution to each problem that confronts us begins with an individual who steps forward and who says, “I can help.” —George H. W. Bush
The growth of the Kingdom has blessed the world. Those trusting in Jesus and following His Word can be found in every corner of the world. Emerson once said that the impact of Jesus upon mankind was “…not so much written as plowed into history.”
If our relationship with God is based primarily on the relationship with our favorite pastor, speaker, or teacher, then it’s eventually going to lead to trouble. —Ryan Denison
Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. —Francis Chan, Crazy Love
Discipleship demands my heart. My life. My all. —Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
To surrender is our heart admitting our weakness. To accept is our ego demanding the illusion of still being in charge.
Ability to resist temptation is directly proportionate to your submission to God.
The New Testament church was birthed in a cultural and political cesspool. There were no family values. Sexual perversion was normative, human life cheap, and justice nonexistent for anyone except the rich and powerful…. Yet none of the New Testament letters say anything about what we could call culture warfare. And the passages that deal with spiritual warfare are always framed in the context of personal spirituality and righteousness. —Larry Osborne