Turn It Up!

Turn It Up!

It happened so quickly. Doris and I had one of those conversations the other day that we both swore would never happen. We were sitting in the family room, watching the 9 o’clock news so that we could be in bed by 9:30. I stood to go into the kitchen and I said, “While I’m up, can I get you anything?” To which she responded, “I didn’t hear the phone ring.” I said, “I’m going to get a drink!” She replied, “You think WHAT?” “JUST FORGET IT,” I said. She said, “Yes, I’m ready for bed too.” So, we went.

After 43 years we might be finishing each other’s sentences but it’s only because we can’t make sense of what the other one is saying.

There are just those times where somebody says something and we hear something completely different. Or, we don’t hear them at all. Or, the most maddening of all, we hear very well what they said, only to find out they didn’t say anything at all. It wasn’t long ago I was putting a new roof on our house. Josh and Jacob were helping me. We had an old fashioned boombox on the roof with us playing beautiful, sacred music, from that gospel group Lynyrd Skynyrd. I looked over at the boys and they were dying laughing. Every time the CD would cycle around to “Sweet Home Alabama,” and I would hear that famous opening utterance, “TURN IT UP,” I would think it was one of my sons saying that so I would dutifully get up, go over to the player and…turn it up.

My devotional reading this week has been in part in the 62nd Psalm. It is a great psalm of trust and safety. David begins by saying, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation come from Him.” But what caught my attention was one of those miscommunication moments at the end of the psalm. In verse 11, David says, “ONE thing God has spoken, TWO things have I heard.” He sounds like he’s been listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd too loud. And then, to confuse things even more, HE SAYS THREE THINGS! God has said one thing. I heard two. Here are the three things you need to know. Man, I thought I was deaf.

Here are the things in verse 12, “Power belongs to You, God. With You, Lord is unfailing love. And, You reward everyone according to what they have done.” Let me say them in my own words. God is large and in charge. His love never stops. So, keep doing what you’re doing. Another shot at it. He’s strong. He’s good. I matter.

That came to me at a good time. The news is crazy. FaceBook has not settled down one bit. We have a new strand of the Corona Virus in our state. The weather has been horrible the last few days. My car wouldn’t start yesterday. The list goes on and on of all that is weird, wacky, and wrong with the world. And although we swore in a new president, it seems the fear and the hatred is as rampant as it was 4 years ago. Frankly, these days, I want to just go back in my little man-cave, put on my headphones and listen to Lynyrd, or the Allman Brothers, or CCR, or the Gaither Vocal Band. (I just threw that one in incase my pastor is reading this.)

But then David hits me with this message, and maybe it is just one thing at the heart of these three statements. He says the one thing in verse 6, “Truly He is my Rock and my Salvation, He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.” What do I do when the world seems to be “going to hell in a handbasket?” How should I respond when everything seems to be coming unraveled? Do I stick my head in the sand or hide in my cave? Do I turn the volume up and blast the rhetoric so loud I just drown out the other guy? Or do I get back to trusting this ONE thing? “God is great. God is good. I’ll keep acting as I should” (Huh, I just made that up😊)

It seems to me that David is saying, “When life is scary, and you are listening to all the wrong messages, maybe you are not hearing well. Maybe you need to focus on the still, small voice that says one thing. Well, maybe two. Alright, three. I am in control. I love you with an everlasting love. Just keep doing the things you know you should do.” Things like staying in His Word, making sure I am praying for my friends and my “unfriends,” looking for ways to help somebody in need, telling people about Jesus. I have found when I do that, my vision gets clearer, my hearing gets better, and all the stuff that troubles me so begins to become background noise. “He is my ROCK and my Salvation.”

That’s good. That helps me. I find refuge in that. I think I’ll go and tell that to Doris. She probably won’t understand…

2021: Where To Begin?

Here are 7 reflective questions to help you prepare for goal setting/resolution-making for the new year. What do I want to leave behind? What do I want to take with me? What do I want to start? What do I want to finish? What do I want to see? Who do I want to help?… Continue Reading

43rd

43rd

Do you mind if I just unload for a minute? One of my real gripes is that people ask all of the time how I ever managed to get (and keep) a wife like Doris. The implication in that question is that she is perfect and I am, well, less than perfect, and so it… Continue Reading

Running Out of Green Ink

Running Out of Green Ink

I started an annual tradition several years ago. I read through the Bible with one of my children or grandchildren in mind. Each morning, as I do my Bible reading for the day, I ask God to show me things, verses, thoughts, messages, for that particular kid. I finished Josh’s Bible in 2015, Jacob’s in… Continue Reading

The Most Important Decision Ever

The Most Important Decision Ever

About this time of the year, EVERY YEAR, Doris and I get into a heated argument. This is the time she buys the new fall cushions to go on the couch. They replace the new summer cushions that we bought in June to replace the new spring cushions that we got in April…you get the… Continue Reading

Truth?

Truth?

From time to time I get questions about life events. My guess is that these people have some misplaced interest in my “wisdom.”  Today I received a note from a good friend, a really bright young lady who is a graduate student at Oxford (not Mississippi). She was dismayed at the recent surfacing of allegations… Continue Reading

Temporary

Temporary

Yesterday, about midday, a wonderful, Godly man that I knew years ago, passed away after a long, and valiant battle with cancer. He was a good guy with a quick and gentle smile. Soft-spoken, loved by his family and community, and devoted to God. Early this morning, just before dawn, my wife’s close cousin stood… Continue Reading