Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rebecca Justine: A Concert, Some Scripture, and the Thunder of Heav...

Rebecca Justine: A Concert, Some Scripture, and the Thunder of Heav...: Woa. He did it again: One of those amazing God moments, where for one second I get a taste of His goodness. It was loud. Really loud. The dr...

A Concert, Some Scripture, and the Thunder of Heaven

Woa. He did it again: One of those amazing God moments, where for one second I get a taste of His goodness.
It was loud. Really loud. The drums were making my heart beat faster. The bass was thundering in my eardrums. The guitars were playing one note after another, creating a melody. Then one of the artists steps up to the microphone to give us a message. 
There were many different words, analogies, and emotions. They all seemed to translate to the same thing. “Hey God, I need you…a lot”.  It got me thinking about music, and how it affects us spiritually. I wasn’t trying to figure out if certain kinds of music were evil or more spiritual. I simply needed to share my joy and talk to God about this moment.
“Father, what do you think about this? What kinds of tunes do you like the best? Will I hear this song in heaven, because it makes me think of you?”
That’s when Switchfoot started a new song, one I had never heard before. Jon’s words caught my attention:

On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell you that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look you in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong

Wow. I started thinking about heaven. How wonderful it sounded and how amazing God is. Suddenly Bible verses started flooding my mind.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
 praise him with the harp and lyre,
 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
 praise him with the strings and pipe,
 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
   Praise the LORD. (Psalms 150:4-6)
So sometimes praise and worship is loud…
More verses came to mind, about heaven and how things will look.
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. (Revelations 4:2-5)
Beauty. The scary kind that makes you fall on your face. And what was up with these “flashes of lightning, rumblings’ and peals of thunder”?
It was when the Bowling Green drumline came and joined Anberlin on stage that these verses clicked like never before. As I heard the drums and the words, I thought of the throne of God. There was no way that Amazing Grace would be the song playing in the throne room of heaven. You wouldn’t be able to hear it with all the thunder and rumblings. The songs had to go along with the back ground. The thunder, loud clashing symbols, harp, flute….all of it was worshiping God.
The Bible says there is a time for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3) I know God has a place for this music in heart. He was hearing us worship right alongside with heaven. So I had to keep rumbling, singing, and jumping.
Naturally, thinking about heaven made me think about the road to get there. Jesus Christ, end of story. I was completely unworthy, and yet God loved me. Not just a baby Jesus, lamb, father kind of God, but a huge, scary, I-control- the-universe kind of God.
Ouch. I am not a good person. I have to stand before the judgment seat of God.  
What’s that going to look like?
What is that going to sound like?
The Bible describes the spectacle.
 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:12)

Yikes! I imagine of a group of sinners before the throne (ya know, the one with the lightning and thunder). Suddenly we hear, “Please rise for the Judge.” We try, but we fall on our faces in fear and shame. He knows what I did. He knows what he all did. We deserve to die, and frankly we feel like we are going to die, because the glory of God is all around us.

Once again I don’t think I would be singing to the tune of Amazing Grace. My words might be the same, but I won’t be able to keep the rhythm. My heart will pound faster and louder than any rock band has ever played. I won’t sing “Jesus paid it all”, I will scream it bloody murder.

Wow. These musicians were being real and pretty loud about it. Our personal God was listening. Everyone singing along wasn’t hiding the feelings and sins that God already knew about. We are upset about earth, sin, pain, and we really REALLY want to get to heaven. You can say it softly, but sometimes you have to yell it. Sometimes you have to turn the tables over.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Intelligence: How to take back the world


Now that its out of the way, I can begin to tell you all about intelligence.

Intelligence is the sort of word you see on “Would you rather” tests. Would you rather be intelligent or good looking? It’s the kind of word your teacher, parents, and aunt use to describe you. It’s the word people use to describe the path they think is best for you. Yes, intelligence has the world against it.
When you are intelligent jokes aren’t as funny, because you immediately think of a several fallacies in the joke. When you are intelligent things bother you more, because ignorance is not your bliss. Company is dull. Movies are predictable. News is no surprise.
Welcome to fashionably intelligent society.
If you happen to have grown up in a large homeschooling family where debate, puzzles, interrogation, investigation and court hearings happened before breakfast, then surely you understand my plight. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person. I spent a lot of time practicing using quick wit, facts, experiences, and sarcasm to get my point across. I play the flute, write stories, work hard at my job, have a large circle of friends, and know how to file taxes.
 Still all this is trumped by a far more significant sign of intelligence. I have blonde hair.
How could this physical trait over power my so developed mind? Is it the prejudice of other people? Is it my clumsy tendency? Is it the expectation that society imposes? Or is that beauty alters the perception of truth?
As a homeschooler, when I would venture outside the home (don’t be alarmed, it happened more than you might think) I was often mortified by how against intelligence the world seemed to be. I went to public school for a few years, and learned that being smart and literal was the path to “teacher’s pet” and “annoying know it all”. Granted this was only middle school, but this is a universal truth. Intelligence is not fashionable and is almost always awkward. Even in college the same applies. You will be mocked for pointing out the illogical premise and ridiculed for basing your early bedtime on tomorrow’s exam.
Admit it: you don’t want to be a nerd. We would almost always choose to be charming and good looking over being intelligent (Accept when we are trying to “look good” in front of someone we like. In which case we will try not to appear shallow and lie about our desire to be intelligent).
Those of you who are fashionable, normal, and stupid suffer as well. You have all the attention and all the opportunity, but nothing of consequence to say. Your premise may be catchy, but the punch line leaves us drained. Thank you for contributing to society. Now it is popular to believe lies, be confused, rely on others, and hope the government will save you.
Now back to the blonde hair.
I have discovered that in order for this world to be taken back, we must develop into a new breed of people.  We must be manipulative and tactful. This will require the intelligence of chess, but the bluff of poker.
People are distracted by the fact that I am a young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. When I start a conversation with intelligence, no one seems to notice. They want charm, flirtation, and stupidity so that they can feel better about themselves.
This is why everyone thinks blondes are dumb. It takes TWO to have a conversation. If the person I am speaking to cannot get over the hair and charm….then no matter what I say, it will be taken the wrong way. Miscommunication always happens when no one is listening.
Anyways, back to the point: HOW TO TAKE BACK THE WORLD.
I discovered that the best way to introduce intelligence into the world is to be like Marry Poppins.  A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
So my intelligent readers, here is the plan. We must sneak into people’s hearts and minds by giving them what they want. We will be charming, good looking, silly, laugh too much, and over use punch lines. Then when we appear to be a society cookie cut out, and a complete idiot, then we will turn on a light. That is when we will begin to use complete sentences, thoughts, and theories. That is when we will take over the world.
You see just being smart will do nothing, unless everyone else is smart enough to follow your lead. Those who are unintelligent will hardly have the sense to know what to follow, therefore let us win them over with our charm and kindness. Let us use what God has given us to better society.
To those who have been given much, much will be required.
With love,
Rebecca Justine