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Tag Archives: Bette Midler

God is Watching Over You

If anyone had a reason to doubt and question God, it was Job, a character in one of the oldest books of the Bible.  After his children died in a storm similar to a tornado, Job contracted boils all over his body.  Old Testament rationale associated the bad things that happened to individuals as a sign of punishment from God.  Thus, as bystanders stood by watching the trials that besieged Job, even three of Job’s best friends began to doubt his innocence.

“Behold, God is exalted in His power; Who is a ruler or a teacher like Him?” – Job 36:22

Feeling abandoned, one thought came to Job’s mind, God is watching over you.  While Job’s wife wanted him to curse God and die, his years of spending time with God enabled common sense to prevail.  Just as Jacob physically wrestled with God, Job struggled to comprehend what was happening to him.  This spiritual tussle inspired Job to record these events within an Old Testament book.  The worse things get in life, God has a way of humbling people to the point desperately trusting the Lord with your heart, soul and mind.

He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel.  Will neither slumber [briefly] nor sleep [soundly].  The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand, Psalm 121:3-5.

The Psalmist describes how God specifically watches over human beings.  Shepherds gave thanks for not twisting their ankle despite walking along rocky terrain.  Meanwhile, others sang about God’s never ending protection, watching over us like the old Bette Midler song From a Distance.  Finally, God is like a keeper, a shepherd guiding sheep around danger, a shade of protection in times of trouble.  Therefore, the next time you find yourself in the midst of adversity, remember the invisible guardian in the heavens above who is watching over you and me.

by Jay Mankus

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Theories about Falling Apart

I grew up in the soft rock era as nearly every album contained a minimum of one ballet per side.  During the 1980’s, radio stations played the same 12-15 songs in a loop.  Except for all request lunch hours or evenings with Delilah, individuals waited in their cars, on their deck or listening to a stereo as depicted in Tom Hanks’ film That Thing You Do.  Groups like Air Supply sang about being lost without their significant other in All Out of Love.  However, when it comes to theories about falling apart, no one compares to the band Chicago.  While I loved their music, their songs are filled with break up lyrics, trying to recover from one broken relationship after another.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me, John 15:4.

Canadian Rock band Thousand Foot Krutch continues to expand upon theories about falling apart.  In their video of the song Falls Apart, TFK uses ropes like strings on a puppet.  The lyrics suggest that everything falls apart when they walk away from their girl.  However, beyond the obvious is a spiritual message.  Whenever a person of faith walks away from God, their life begins to slowly fall apart.  Like Bette Midler’s famous song, the Lord is the Wind Beneath Our Wings.  Thus, any type of absence, departure or period of prodigal journey will weaken the human soul.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” John 15:5.

In a private meeting with his disciples, Jesus gives one final theory about falling apart.  The Lord compares himself to a vine, the source of life.  God plays the role of a gardener, pruning those areas of life that are unproductive.  By staying connected through Bible Study, prayer and worship, spiritual nourishment is provided.  However, the moment you become disconnected, removing God from the equation, emptiness replaces the Giver of Life.  Therefore, if you feel like you’re on the verge of falling apart, tap into a higher power to rejuvenate a thirsty soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

From A Distance

Julie Gold wrote the song From A Distance after receiving the piano she played as a kid for a 30th Birthday gift.  When the movers informed her not to play it for 24 hours due to the cold conditions during the shipping process, this anticipation inspired the lyrics to the 1990 hit sung by Bette Midler.  From a Distance holds a certain sentimental value in my heart as it was the “theme song” to the first week long mission trip I ever attended.  During a hot summer week on St. John’s Island, South Carolina, I served on the worship team as the male vocalist, singing the chorus of From A Distance to close out each evening.  Although Julie Gold intended to construct a song about the way things seem and the way things actually are, she touches on an important biblical teaching.

Known as the Matthew 18 principle, Jesus introduces readers to how to properly handle any sort of grievance you may have against another person within Matthew 18:15-18.  When an agreement is made between 2 parties, God is watching, serving as a witness from a distance according to Matthew 18:19-20.  In other words, if a handshake is made to settle a previous conflict, God serves as an invisible notary to bind 2 individuals to resolve their matter once and for all.  Unfortunately, modern worship leaders are changing the context of this passage, adding worship into this equation, twisting scripture to make it say what they belief.  When you reflect upon Julie Gold’s lyrics in From A Distance, one is steered back in the right direction, freed from heresy that exists in modern day churches.

The words of the final stanza are posted below.

From a distance
You look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance
I just cannot comprehend
What all this fightings for
From a distance
There is harmony
And it echoes through the land
And its the hope of hopes
Its the love of loves
Its the heart of every man

Beneath the surface, friendships are tested daily by envy, selfishness and regretful words spoken in the heat of the moment.  As long there is a willingness to comply with the regulations and standards mentioned with Matthew 18, peace is attainable.  However, the minute someone holds a grudge, refuses to let go of the pain deep inside their soul and give the devil a foot hold by going to sleep angry, hope disappears.  In view of this, remember that God is watching, from a distance, urging the world to forgive others as Christ Jesus forgave you, Colossians 3:12-15.

by Jay Mankus

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