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Dr. Jessica Johnson: Gospel song can rejuvenate the soul –



Via Dr. Jessica Johnson – Visitor Column
On the finish of Would possibly, President Joe Biden issued his proclamation on Black Song Month for June. In it, he mentioned that “Black song has fueled a myriad of genres — from rhythm and blues to jazz, gospel, nation, rap and extra,” that it’s “intricately woven into the tapestry of our country” and that it has “conveyed the hopes and struggles of a resilient other people.”
That is an eloquent description of the legacy of Black song in The united states, and when reflecting at the African-American combat as “a resilient other people,” gospel song used to be and nonetheless is without doubt one of the primary types of lyrical expressions of religion within the Athens, Georgia, group the place I grew up.
As a kid, I, in conjunction with a lot of my pals, used to be interested in the anointed and dynamic melodies of the Georgia and Mississippi Mass Choirs and the Thompson Group Choir right through the Eighties. You’ll want to say that I used to be kind of like a church elder right through my early life taking note of songs comparable to “Protected in His Hands” through the Thompson Group Choir. Directed through mythical gospel artist the Rev. Milton Brunson, “Protected in His Hands” used to be launched in 1986, my junior yr of highschool, and it used to be my first time listening to the theme of the twenty third Psalm sung with such hobby. Written for a soprano lead, the verse is as follows:
“Since the Lord is my shepherd/I’ve the whole lot I would like
He shall we me relaxation within the meadow’s grass/And He leads me beside the quiet streams
He restores my failing well being/And He is helping me to do what honors Him essentially the most
That’s why I’m secure/ that’s why I’m secure/that’s why I’m secure
Protected in His palms.”
Being simplest 16, I didn’t absolutely comprehend that Brunson used to be writing concerning the Excellent Shepherd who supplies our wishes and provides us peace and luxury right through our maximum tricky trials, however listening to the choir sing concerning the safety of resting in God’s palms truly moved me. The soloist who led this tune at my place of birth church sang with profound emotion, and I will be able to by no means put out of your mind the older adults who cried and lifted their palms because the lyrics gave them power to bear the attempting eventualities they have been going through. I really perceive their worship now.
My formative years pals and I frequently say that the ’80s used to be the most productive decade of gospel song. I will be able to admit that we’re almost definitely a little bit biased as a result of the affect choir song had on our younger lives within the church.
Nowadays, many younger persons are into Christian teams like Maverick Town, which not too long ago collaborated with gospel icon Kirk Franklin at the album “Kingdom Guide One.” The album can be launched June 17, and probably the most inspirational options within the manufacturing of this undertaking is that Maverick Town ministered to jail inmates in Florida and incorporated them within the background vocals. The primary unmarried, “Kingdom,” used to be recorded with male inmates on the Everglades Correctional Establishment in Miami-Dade County. Gazing the video on YouTube is a riveting revel in.
Maverick singers Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine lead the Everglades choir, which is racially various with Black, white and Hispanic voices. Old and young males are making a song their hearts out and praising God. “Kingdom” revolves across the Lord’s Prayer with the rousing refrain, “Thine is the Kingdom / The facility, the honour / Ceaselessly and ever / He completed my tale / We’re making a song freedom / Our testimony / We’ll be making a song perpetually, amen.”
This tune has an impressive message for our occasions referring to what the Bible teaches concerning the kingdom of heaven. It reiterates that the dominion is already right here on earth throughout the pleasure of salvation in Christ. Because of this Moore and Raine sing within the bridge that heaven “(seems) like me and also you.”
Maverick Town and Franklin kicked off their summer season excursion originally of June and feature 37 dates booked. Enthusiasm is top for his or her arrival during the rustic, and they are going to be taking part in prior to crowds from the West to the East Coast. As they step at the degree prior to packed arenas, I pray that the reality of what they’re making a song about in God’s phrase will bless other people with the similar hope and beauty I felt over 30 years in the past thru choir ministry just like the Rev. Brunson’s.
That’s gospel song at its very best — when it rejuvenates the soul.
Via Dr. Jessica Johnson
Visitor Column
Dr. Jessica A. Johnson is a lecturer within the English division at The Ohio State College-Lima. Succeed in her at [email protected] or on Twitter @JjSmojc. Her opinion does no longer essentially constitute the perspectives of The Lima Information or its proprietor, AIM Media.
Dr. Jessica A. Johnson is a lecturer within the English division at The Ohio State College-Lima. Succeed in her at [email protected] or on Twitter @JjSmojc. Her opinion does no longer essentially constitute the perspectives of The Lima Information or its proprietor, AIM Media.
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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