The Saxophone Player: “His Spirit Cries Out”

I would like to share a song of the Lord, for the Lord—inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is The Saxophone Player, Doug Gregan.

I hope you are blessed! ❤

I Think This Is How We Fix 2020

An Important Message for My Christian Friends

When President Trump presented his Deal of the Century, his peace plan for the Middle East, I consulted with the two Bible prophecy teachers I follow. The Israeli said the plan was great, and did not divide Israel. The Arab said it did.

As this was January 28th, my focus was already on the “Wuhan flu,” as it was then called. I decided the Israeli teacher had to know better—he lives there, after all—and just continued to prepare for what this virus might bring our way—it seemed more urgent.

Well, in recent weeks I have been talking to God about what I see happening in our country. I don’t understand why things were going so badly; why evil seems to be winning. Our nation is being destroyed right before eyes! It doesn’t make sense. “Our nation is not blessed! What is going on, Lord? You said You will bless the nation that blesses Israel. Our President has been called Israel’s greatest friend! We were enjoying your blessings before, so what changed? Where is Your favor on our President? This doesn’t make sense.”

“Our nation is not blessed! What is going on, Lord?”

I know these are the End Times, and I know there are going to be troubles, but it felt like something more was happening. Not only was I seeing our nation destroying itself from within, more divided than I could ever imagine, I was also not seeing God’s favor on this administration. Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, his support for Israel has been incredibly significant. God says He will bless the nation that blesses Israel, and we have reaped the reward of President Trump blessing Israel. In fact, there is nothing more President Trump can do for Israel. He has done everything that needed doing. Yet, that favor seems to be gone, and as hard as it is to believe, our nation is on the verge of embracing Marxism. Violent riots are taking place in every state in our nation. Small businesses that were thriving six months ago are gone. An economy that was breaking records almost every week is now struggling to survive. What the virus started, the riots finished. Speaking of the virus, just as we were reopening our country, we are seeing more cases than ever.

I began to pray for wisdom. I wanted to understand what was going on, so that I could pray more effectively for our nation—I would know what the need really was, and how to intercede.

Well, as I began seeking God, The Holy Spirit almost immediately reminded me of the peace plan I had ignored in January—and the question of Israel being divided. “Doug, I think the peace plan may divide Israel,” I told him. “I need to do some research.”

The first thing I did was go back and listen to J.D. Farag’s message from February 2, concerning the Deal of the Century. He is the Arab, and he expressed his concern and conclusion, after studying the plan. He was only one voice, though.

So, I did more research. I found Israeli newspaper articles about Israeli politicians who were decrying the plan for the same reason. Other biblical prophecy websites added their opposition. There were, in fact, many voices saying the same thing: Trump’s Peace Plan Divides Israel.

One of most significant things I learned, though, is that though there have been many peace plans over the years, President Trump’s plan is the first to have a map!

During our nightly Praise and Prayer services last night, I was praying about this concern. There were two specific things I prayed:

  • First, I prayed that the part of the plan that divides Israel would be revoked. Is that even possible? I don’t know! I do know, though, that nothing is impossible for God, and ye have not, because ye ask not. So, I asked! I told the Lord that I didn’t want our nation to be responsible for dividing His land.
  • The second thing I asked God to do was to send someone of influence, someone who has the President’s ear, to counsel him against this part of the plan. I know they are a godly men and women with whom he consults, so I prayed that one of them recognize the error in this plan and have the courage to tell the President it must be stopped. I prayed that the President would humble himself and receive this counsel.

GOD ALWAYS CONFIRMS HIS WORD!

After our service ended, I watched Jan Markell’s weekly Bible prophecy broadcast. She was interviewing Michelle Bachmann, whom you may recall served in Congress for eight years from the state of Minnesota. As Jan is based in the Twin Cities, I looked forward to hearing an update on how things are going since the murder of George Floyd. However, at the very end of their conversation they began to discuss Trump’s Middle East Deal of the Century. I couldn’t believe my ears! “Doug! She’s talking about it! She’s talking about it! Did you hear what she said?!” I replayed those last few minutes several times.

Since leaving public office, Michelle Bachmann has been busy about God’s business, serving in some very interesting and unique ways. One thing she has been doing is serving as the President’s Evangelicals Advisory Board. She has been in meetings at the White House these past three years, and was present on January 28, when the peace plan was revealed. In other words, she knows and is known by the President: she has his ear!

In those last few minutes, Michelle Bachmann presented a clear and succinct explanation of the history of this land, God’s promised land to Israel, and a biblical case for it to not be divided. She reminded us of The San Remo Agreement, signed 100 years ago, which restored Israel to the biblical boundaries God first drew. She points out that this agreement is still international law! She acknowledged that the blessing of God on our nation has been lifted, and points to the redrawn maps of Israel that cede parts of Jerusalem to form a Palestinian capital. She is praying for these maps to be withdrawn!

Considering how quickly God has answered and confirmed my prayer request, I believe it is very important for the Body of Christ to quickly respond. We need to pray. We need to beg God’s mercy. We need to pray Trump will listen and receive this godly counsel from Michelle Bachmann. She truly is a modern-day Esther, called for such a time as this. ❤️🕊🙏🏼

P.S. This is the video of Michelle Bachmann on Jan Markell’s show. They begin discussing the peace plan at approximately 43:00.

SPECIAL REQUEST: I think I have only asked people to share one other post, my ovarian cancer awareness post. However, I would like to ask you to share this post, too. I am so convinced that we must pray for the dividing of Israel to be stopped, that I urge you to share this with everyone you know. Please, the Body of Christ must pray for the President to recognize the error of dividing God’s land, and for him to withdraw this plan.

You Play A Part

You may look at some people in your life and wonder what they’re doing there.

[They may not matter much to you.]

Yet, the truth is you have no idea how important they may be to your future.

[Or, how important you might be to theirs.]

God is not random. He has a Big Plan, and it has to do with people.

The people…
…who always seems to show up;
…you can’t seem to lose;
…who rub you the wrong way;
…you see everyday, yet they are strangers to you;
…you wish you could know more.

All those people. 

So, don’t ignore them.
Consider them.
Reconsider your relationship with them.
Give them your respect.
Treat them with gentleness.
Help them, encourage them, and bless them.
Look for the opportunity to love them.
Pray God’s will for their lives, lift them up when they are down.
A little time and compassion matter.

And, always remember that no matter what you might think about their life right now, or the choices they’ve made so far, God has always had a plan and a purpose for their lives.

Maybe,
just maybe,
He’s been waiting for you to play your part.  

14 August 2011

The Believer’s Deadline

For some time now, I have been thinking about the absence of the fear of the Lord amongst Believers.

I think it’s a core issue that has caused many to compromise, embrace false doctrine, and fall away from right standing with God.

I believe we have made God into our own image; someone we can understand. Someone who’s thoughts are like our thoughts, and who’s ways are like our ways. We even think our thoughts are His thoughts, sometimes. Without seeking His Word, we go forward. It seems right to us, so let’s do it.

This kind of “faith” actually requires no faith at all.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Somehow, the church got the idea that God was supposed to be approachable, and that seems to be the crux of the problem. He is not approachable, except through Christ. Only through Christ. We must come to Him clothed in the righteousness of Christ, cleansed by the blood. And, Christ is not something we put on and take off when we get to the church door.

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:14)

“And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Philippians 3:9)

The God of the Old Testament has not changed, and He never will. He required great things of those Saints of old, yet we expect Him to be satisfied with our measly gifts today. We give Him our “extra” time. We yawn and watch the clock. We decide how much we serve according to what we’re already doing, not according to how much there is to be done. We give more time to entertainment, than we do to knowing Him. Sports scores clutter more Facebook statuses than Scripture references. We pollute our minds watching and listening to things that should make us jump up and run out of the room. Why do we want to be a part of glorifying that which nailed our Savior to the Cross?

“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

Friends, I have not written this to condemn anyone. I am not judging your choices, or prejudiced against your lifestyle. I am only concerned for the Body of Christ. The days are getting short, Brothers and Sisters. Christ is coming soon. That is not an inevitability that we just wait to arrive. “Why think about it? Why preach about it? It’s going to happen anyway.” No. We are missing the point, if that is what we think. Paul described this Christian life as a race to finish (2 Timothy 4:7). What runner ambles around the course, not caring whether or not he reaches the end? The Rapture is a deadline we are supposed to prepare ourselves for, and daily be working towards.

I love you, and I am praying for you. I pray you will allow these words to challenge you to search your heart. ❤

September 13, 2011

Sunday Worship: “Jesus Is My Lord”

This song soothes my spiritual aches and pains. No matter the cares and burdens I may have carried in with me, this song gently leads me into a place of worship. When I am worshiping Jesus, there is nothing else that matters in the world.

“Worshiping at the piano one day, this song started with the first stanza. The other two stanzas were added shortly thereafter. There are times when I sing this that I feel the Lord is so near. It is a very intimate declaration of Christ’s Lordship over my life.”
(Doug Gregan)

(Verse 1)
Lord, I love You
And I magnify Your name.
Lord, I praise You. Holy One, I know you reign.
When fear tries to overcome me
I will call upon Your name
And Your loving Holy Spirit will bring me peace.
’Cause, Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.

(Verse 2)
Great Redeemer,
Thank You for my debt You’ve paid.
Master, Savior, help me serve You all my days.
For I know that I was purchased with
The price that was Your Blood.
Help me take my cross and follow You each day.
’Cause, Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.

(Verse 3)
Hallelujah,
I’ve been finally set free.
Grace to glory, my God’s love is so great for me.
When I think of all the love
That Jesus has poured into my life,
I can only weep with silent, thankful joy.
’Cause, Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.

 

“Jesus Is My Lord”
Words & Music by Doug Gregan
© LAMP Songs
Vocals and Keyboard, Doug Gregan

 

Jesus: Great Redeemer, Savior, and Friend.


*These songs are meant to be sung in congregations. They are registered with CCLI, however, we offer them to the Body of Christ free of charge—for the sake of congregations that cannot afford a CCLI license or SongSelect membership. So, if you hear a song you would like to share with your church, let us know. We will email you the lead sheet, guitar tabs, lyric sheet, and/or overhead master*. No charge. The performance of the song may never be sold (even as part of a fundraiser), but anyone may use them freely to the glory of God. (*If you lack printing capabilities, we will mail them to you.)

Let’s Make This Our Default Setting

 

Life can turn in a moment—one phone call. One word. One slip of your foot. One forgotten deadline. Life can feel very fragile.

That balance of bearable and unbearable circumstances is precarious.

However, we have an opportunity to do something powerful when Trouble shows up. It’s embodied in one simple statement; a declaration of faith:  I’m going to trust God, anyway.


Maybe, you’re going through some trouble right now. Have the scales tipped over to the unbearable side? If that’s the case, I want you to know that now is the time when your confession of faith in God is most important—and, most powerful!

Now, when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel; when the only reports you hear are bad; when hope seems lost forever; when you’ve never felt more alone—this is when your faith is most challenged, and when it matters most that you press in harder than ever.

Yes, you’re going to feel scared, confused, hopeless—that’s OK. Emotions happen. Yet, even while you are feeling all those feels, your confession needs to be one of trust in the Lord.  You don’t have to feel like trusting God. Faith is not an emotion. We trust God out of reverence. It is an act of obedience and obedience always bears good fruit—the spiritual kind that makes life better!

I tell you what, no matter how dark or frightening or desperate your circumstances may seem right now, God is still bigger. God is still able. It’s none of our business how or when He fixes our troubles, but it’s our business to trust Him, anyway. He’ll take care of the rest!

So, say it out loud. Turn it into a song. Write it on paper, and tape it to your wall. Make it your Facebook status!

Come on. Say it with me: I’m going to trust God, anyway.

“Praise the Lord! For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression. Yes, happy is the man who delights in doing His commands. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him.Psalm 112:1&7 (TLB)

Praise the Lord! ❤

Biblical Prophecy Update: 1/12/20

Almost every week after listening to one of J.D.s prophecy updates, I think to myself: “Oh, this was the best update, yet!” I actually think they just keep getting better because we just keep getting closer to our Lord’s appearing. However, I do think this is one of those weeks you don’t want to miss.

So, I want to encourage you to make time to listen to this week’s Biblical Prophecy Update from Pastor J.D Farag (Calvary Chapel Kaneohe). J.D.’s stays focused, is concise, avoids political opinions, shares relevant news events our media may not report, and then applies the Word of God to it all. He isn’t trying to sell anything, and never asks for contributions.

NOTE: At about 14:00, he presents his “Prophecy Puzzle.” Be sure to watch this section. It’s very good, and ends at about 26:00.

God bless you all today!

Every Tool in the Box

“Oh, no.”

I could hear from the tone of the Saxophone Player’s voice that something really bad had just happened. 

Doug was installing a new shower head we’d received for Christmas,  when the water pipe that pokes out from the shower wall broke off right into his hand. It didn’t unscrew off, mind you. It was sheared right at the point where the threading starts and it screws into another pipe.

This was not good.

Doug texted our son-in-law, and asked if he could check it out the next day. Tim’s a handy fellow, and conveniently lives in the upstairs apartment. So, the next afternoon Tim came down with a pair of pliers in hand. I was surprised he only had a pair of pliers. I imagined the tub wall would have to be opened to get to the rest of pipe, and said so to Tim.

Cheerfully, (he’s a pretty upbeat guy) he said, “Well, maybe not. If I can remove the rest of the pipe, we shouldn’t have to open up the wall.” He explained that he’d checked on the situation earlier, before leaving for work, but the pliers he had used didn’t do the trick. “Hopefully, this pair will work.”

I went back to what I was doing (making applesauce), while he did his thing. About a minute later, he calls out: “I got it!”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, thanks to my grandfather’s pliers.” He laid them down to show me. “I couldn’t find them this morning, but I had a feeling they would do the trick.”

There are lots of pliers in the world, and they all work just fine, but that particular pair was just what Tim needed for that particular job.

I don’t use pliers often, but I use other tools. We all do. Some tools we reach for everyday, and some maybe only once a year. However, even that tool you only use once a year, like the hacksaw that Doug uses to make a fresh cut on our Christmas tree, is irreplaceable. Nothing else can do what it does. 

As I thought about tools, and how thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted they are for their particular purpose, I started to think about us—you and me. We’re actually tools, too. We were thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted, too. And, the Master Craftsman who designed us created us for a very particular purpose. 

Stop and think about that.

Now, no analogy is perfect, but I think there’s a measure of truth here. The Word of God tells us that we are gifted by God with certain talents: something we can do. These aren’t always talents like we normally think of talents—performance talents. It might be a talent for bringing order to chaos. Or, maybe you can turn a carrot and an egg it into a tasty and beautiful birthday cake. Maybe, you aren’t a singer, but you can make the singer’s voice heard above the drums in a room filled with 1,000 people.

As many tools are in any toolbox or kitchen drawer, it’s still just a drop in the bucket of how many different talents God has gifted His creation—you and me. Whether we have several, or have trouble thinking of even one, I can promise you that God has given you a talent, and He means for you to use it for the very purpose He intended.

So, what’s your talent? Does something come to mind? If you’re like I used to be, you might feel too insecure to say what you think your talent is, and that’s OK. I would probably still have a hard time admitting out loud that I have a talent for doing anything more than making gravy, and when I was younger—and so much more insecure—that’s the only talent I thought I had to offer the Lord. I baked cookies for the homeless, I cooked for church suppers, and I took meals to the sick. I took the only talent I thought I had, and used it every chance I could. As I kept serving the Lord with the talent I had, and doing anything else for the Lord—including things I was definitely not talented at doing—I discovered and acquired other talents.

Now, a reasonable question right now might be, “How do I find out what my talents are, and what God’s purpose is for my talent?”

Well, this is my simple answer: first, start doing whatsoever your hand finds to do for the Lord.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)

That’s one reason we need to be in church. In church, there are so many opportunities to serve God. Some opportunities might not sound very appealing. Or, we might be tempted to say, “I don’t think I have a talent for that.” Yet, as we start doing whatsoever our hand finds to do, we start to discover there are some things we’re actually really good at, and really enjoy doing. That’s a good sign. Our leaders are going to recognize our talents, too. We might not think we’ve a talent for something, because we compare ourselves to others, but our leaders can be more objective.

Now, your next reasonable question might be: “How will I know God’s purpose for my talent?” That answer is even simpler that the last answer. The ultimate purpose for any talent is that it glorify God.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

Now, if we happen to attend a church that doesn’t have many opportunities, we can ask our pastor to help us find a local ministry that needs help. However, I suspect most pastors will have something for a willing person to do. We might start serving in just a small way, or in a way we really don’t think is using our talent (or that we are talented at doing), but that’s how God leads us to those works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Start doing something, and see what God does next. 

 

 

On A Road That Faith Built

I sent a press release to the Portland Press Herald, when my mother decided to make a trip to Africa in 2000. I thought it might make an interesting story, and they agreed. They sent a photographer and reporter, and this is the resulting article, written by C. Kalimah Redd and published on November 11, 2000. For the record, the writer got a few facts wrong. We’ll ignore those for now.

Following the article are a few photos from her trip. On the day before her flight, Stella was hurrying downstairs to give Doug some information he needed to arrange the transportation of the three keyboards she was taking with her for the churches there. As she came downstairs, she missed a step and seriously injured her leg. We really thought she should cancel her trip, but she refused to do so. She even extended her trip, despite the pain and challenges she encountered once she was there. 

My mother was always a role model for me in life, but even in death she continues to remind me how to live.


ON A ROAD THAT FAITH BUILT
Author: C. Kalimah Redd

The Rev. Stella L. Mosqueda lives in pain.

A leg problem forces this 69-year-old Kittery resident to walk with a cane (though she walks an hour every day), and the severe arthritis in her joints has long slowed her down. But these things will not prevent her from stepping on a plane Wednesday for a two-day journey to Webuye, Kenya. There, she will work as a missionary and preach for a month.

“If an opportunity comes up for me to do something , even though other people think I can’t do it, well — I’m Irish, and I can,” she said. “I’m stubborn and independent. I have no interest in doing the same thing every day.”

Mosqueda (pronounced Mos-ke-da), who technically retired from the ministry in the mid-1980s after her husband died, has lived a life reminiscent of a Hollywood script: A farmer’s daughter moves to Cuba as a missionary without knowing a word of Spanish, meets and marries a Cuban evangelical preacher, escapes the county during the 1959 revolution, then travels throughout South America and the United States championing missionary causes while raising three girls.

Steven Spielberg, eat your heart out.

But Mosqueda’s life is no fable, and her journey next week to the east African country represents a lifetime commitment to helping others. Her faith, she says, tells her that she will blend in and love the people there, that everything will be all right.

“God really has been good to me,” she said. “It’s easy for me to love people, so I expect to have the same result in the Kenya.”

Years ago, it was Mosqueda’s faith that led her to the decision that would change her life forever.

Then Stella Cooper, she left her house in Columbus, Ohio, for Miami, against her parents’ wishes and with less than $10 in her pocket. She had a one-way ticket to Cuba.

Until then, at 21, Mosqueda had never left her home state and had never even met a Spanish-speaking person. She grew up on a farm with no electricity, the fourth of 11 children. Her family had gone to the small church closest to her home and only once had she spoken from a pulpit, when she was 9 years old and was called upon to read from the Bible.

One day, Mosqueda briefly met with a Cuban missionary who came to visit her church. They kept in contact and he invited her to join his family in the tiny country to work as a missionary.

“I knew nothing about being a missionary but figured there are things that I could do, and those I didn’t know, I would learn,” Mosqueda recalled.

Getting to Cuba was the first challenge. It was 1952, and no one could enter the country with a one-way ticket, she said. The airport clerk receiving Mosqueda saw the discrepancy after first questioning why “a pretty girl like” her wanted to go to Cuba.
Telling the clerk of her goal to be a missionary produced an unlikely outcome: He paid for her two-way ticket in full.

Upon arriving in Cuba, she could not remember what her Cuban visitor looked like and she could not speak Spanish to ask. Luckily (Mosqueda would say miraculously) she ran into another missionary woman from Ohio who led her to the missionary’s home.

Within six months, Mosqueda had control of Spanish and began working throughout the country teaching children and spreading the gospel of the Pentecostal church.

In 1955, she married Ignacio Mosqueda, and the two canvassed the country preaching and establishing churches. Many of these congregations still operate today.

By 1959, the Cuban revolution was in full swing. Ignacio knew Fidel Castro personally, but that connection did not mean he and his wife had less to fear from an unpredictable government. The Mosquedas escaped the country that year by disguising themselves as tourists, donning colorful clothing, sun glasses and a camera while boarding a government plane. “I was shaking like a leaf,” Mosqueda remembered. “I could hardly get on that plane.”

Safely in America, the couple continued their missionary crusade. They lived in or traveled to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii and throughout the United States. They settled in California, where they raised their three daughters and Stella Mosqueda received a bachelor’s degree from Latin American Theology Seminary.

Mosqueda’s husband died in 1986 of a heart attack, and she returned to nursing to support her children. In 1997, she moved to Kittery with her eldest daughter, Caroline. There, she has enjoyed helping to raise her two grandchildren and volunteering in the community.

Less than one year ago, she joined the Dover Church of the Assembly of God in New Hampshire, where she occasionally preaches. Her pastor, Glenn Hurley, 32, said he is in no way surprised by Mosqueda’s desire to travel to Africa, and he is confident her journey will be a success.

“It’s years and years of trusting God and years and years of Him supplying the need,” Glenn said. “Once you learn it, you never go back.”

For her part, Mosqueda hopes to go back to Cuba to visit her family still living there soon. After her return in December from Africa, Mosqueda will likely tutor a Latin American family in English. She is considering avoiding the cold Maine winter by visiting one of her other daughters in Florida.

Mosqueda said she has no plans for any more big trips. Her physical limitations and increasing age turn simple tasks like packing into a major chore. “(But) who knows,” Mosqueda said. “My life is open.”

Copyright (c) 2000 Portland Press Herald


If anyone is interested, I would be happy to scan and share the rest of her photos from Africa. These are just the few that included her.

In Case You Missed Them

These are the two videos I mentioned in yesterday’s post. In case you missed them, or couldn’t find them, I am posting them here. 

Amir’s updates are very informative. He often fills in the blanks that we might have in our understanding. He is a teacher, and it shows in his updates. His updates offer a unique perspective, as he is a Christian Israeli and Bible prophecy teacher.

JD Farag is a pastor, and that is evident in how he communicates his updates. He speaks with a great concern for his congregation in the church, and online. 

 

P.S. I don’t listen to JD Farag’s regular sermons or teaching to his congregation, but I do listen to Amir Tsafarti’s teachings that he presents around the world. I would recommend every single one I’ve ever heard.