Have you ever walked into a place like a movie theater where it was very dimly lite and then stumbled a bit before your eyes adjusted to the darkness? That is similar to what is happening in the world today. The whole world seems to be in a time of darkness and we all seem to be stumbling around. The opposite is true when we come out from someplace that is dark, our eyes (and brain) must adjust to the difference. Light and dark can not exist in the same place at the same time, that is a basic fact. If our lives are in the dark there can be no light in our life.
Sometimes we choose to concentrate on the dark rather than the light that is available. Have we become so accustomed to the dark that it is now comfortable? Just like at the movie theater, there is light just outside the door. Jesus is waiting to open the door to the light if we let Him. He has told us, "I am the light of the world, He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life". This is not a feeble, weak little flashlight kind of light but an all illuminating bright light for all of life.
Music is one of my most important passions in life. God created rhythm and harmony in the core of our being, our hearts beat in rhythm, even our breathing is in rhythm. All nature has a rhythm, seasons come and go, birds and crickets sing in a concert at the right time of year. Often God puts a song in my heart that just bubbles out of my mouth (sometimes even with the right words).
Singing praises to God is the key that opens the door to our emotional and physical well being. If you could ask Paul or Silas about singing praises to God, they would tell you that when chained to a guard in a horrible prison they were singing and praising God at midnight when the prison doors opened to allow them to go free. What about you, what prison is holding you captive: depression, fear, loneliness, or grief? Praising God in song (even if you can't carry a tune because the Psalmist says to "Make a joyful noise to the Lord") can open your prison doors too whatever it is. In 2 Chronicles 20:22 " When they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes … the people who came against Judah… were defeated". God honors our praising Him. In fact, I think He wants us to praise Him more, no matter what our circumstances are.
Psalm 13:6 " I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt. bountifully with me."
It seems that every time I turn on the TV these days someone is talking about the "cancel culture". Not being really up to date (according to my grandchildren, at least). I started to think about what that means. To me canceling is like canceling a hotel reservation and I am sure that is not what the TV people are referring to. So, I went to my trusty dictionary for answers, I like just the facts. I found that to cancel something is to "decide not to conduct something planned, without expectation of performing it later." And culture is defined as, "a way of life of a group of people, their outlook, values, and morals".
Since our American way is built on Judeo/Christian values and it sounds to me like some folks are trying to cancel our Christian morals and values permanently. There may be some things in this world they can cancel but they can not take away the joy and peace my faith in God gives me during this or any other troubled time. They can not cancel something that is eternal.. As David expressed it so many years ago, " Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations." Many years later a writer said it like this, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever".
So my conclusion is that no one can take away my joy and peace just because they say they can, God can not be canceled, but those people and their ideas can be canceled.
God made man (and women) and said "it was very good". Today a word we often hear used is "race". It seems that most everything is about race now. In my reading, I only find where God made one race – the human race. Doctors tell us when they operate on someone all people are basically the same inside, with heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. unless there is a health problem. God also created all people with skin cells called melanin. These are the cells that determine how dark your skin is or what color your eyes or hair will be. God gave some people more melanin than others and some people less than others.
My point is that God created all people to be equal in His sight. Perhaps every day we should all song the children's' chorus I learned as a little child.
"Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loved the little children of the world
(and the big children too).
May God grant us the love for each other that Jesus exhibited on earth, even to people who are different from us.
Scripture tells us when the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan during the exodus God instructed them to construct a monument of stones to commemorate the crossing from oppression to freedom. They were to instruct their children and future generations on the meaning of the monument. Teaching future generations about their history has been passed down from generation to generation for many years
In America, as we celebrate 244 years of freedom on this July 4, have we told our children what this monumental day really means? Do they think this is only a day for cookouts, parades, lake trips, and the sky that is a canvas for beautiful artwork of fireworks? Do they know about all those brave people who fought and often shed their blood so we could celebrate freely on this day.
Currently, our nation is having a time of crisis and multiple problems, however, we have had problems before and have overcome them with God's help. We are still the greatest nation on earth who can overcome these obstacles also. Due to the current situation, many celebrations have been canceled, but we CAN NOT nor SHOULD NOT cancel this important day in our country's history. So whether we are staying at home, or wearing our mask in crowds, or following the other safety precautions let us take time to wave the American flag proudly, sing "The Star-Spangled Banner", and thank God for giving us "one nation under God".