Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Hey Ya’ll –

No sneak preview of music today … just a reminder … “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.

From YahooNews/Reuturs:

GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian security forces took up positions across northern Gaza on Friday with orders to curb militant attacks against Israel as part of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to halt violence and revive peace talks.

OK, I must confess that I’m not nearly as educated as I should be on the Israel/Palestine issue. I know the bloodshed and fighting goes way back to the Old Testament. At the same time, I know that God wants Jerusalem to live up to it’s name … to be a city of peace.

I was praying and studying the Word of God this morning – there have been some financial issues occurring with us that I’m not happy with and since I believe that God’s will for us is to be prospered and blessed, I figured it was time to hunker down and try and get to the bottom of what might be causing some of this financial frustration. I began to review some of God’s promises to me about prosperity. [ok, no name it and claim it flames, please – I’m not freaking out, but I’m just believing God’s Word and promises to me!]

One of the first things that I read was this reminder from Psalm 122:6. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you”. It seems nearly every translation uses the word “prosper” (which certainly is not limited to finance, but includes it). NIV uses the word “secure”.

Shall I pray for the peace of Jerusalem for no other reason than my desire to “prosper” and to check that off my “to-do” list to make sure I qualify? Certainly not. Do I fear that in spite of this, that may be more closely related to my true motive? Yes. Still, I choose to PRAY for the PEACE of Jerusalem today. And I pray that God would allow me to discern and learn his heart for the situation so that my prayers would be selfless and that my heart would truly be with His people in Israel.

I noticed yesterday that Vice President Cheney commented that Iran was at the top of the list of “trouble spots”. One thing he said was that he was concerned that Israel “might well decide to act first to eliminate any nuclear threat from Tehran.”. Israel has defended herself with preemptive strikes in this manner before. Still, imagine the conflict. God’s command to us is for sure – we need to pray for Israel. Pray for Jerusalem. May she be protected and may she be guided with wisdom and integrity. And may this apply to the physical, geographic Israel, but also to all of spiritual Israel, the chosen people of God, His children. Amen.

For the Kingdom,

The Coronation

Hey Ya’ll –

Well, I’m finally “back in the saddle”. Today feels like the first day of the New Year to me, as I’ve been all out of my “routine” since before the holidays. Last week was awesome – had an incredible time of prayer, fasting, and seeking the Lord at my annual retreat. God spoke (as usual) and it was a great time of renewal.

I was home for a few brief hours on Thursday morning and then headed out to Dublin, GA for rehearsals and preparation for our annual “Keyboard Praise” concert at Dublin First United Methodist. I was listed to do a piano solo and I decided it was about time to step out in faith and perform one of the pieces I’ve been preparing for the new album. I chose one of the most difficult ones – a majestic, regal-sounding theme that is in Db – a piece that I’ve struggled to find a good “title” for.

I had decided to call this song “Majesty” or “Majestic” – neither of those titles ever excited me, though. One of the anthems that we performed in the concert was subtitled “Diadem/Coronation”. Coronation – now that’s a word that I like. It described the “feel” of the theme I’d composed and after discussing it with Joy, we decided it was the perfect name!

One of my visions in performing this music is that the Holy Spirit will minister to people and reveal Himself to them as I play and worship. I anticipate this in both religious and secular venues. Sunday was the first public performance and my dream came true. An older gentleman – actually, one of the pastors on staff – came up to me at the reception following the concert and said something like this:

Fred, when you played that song, “The Coronation”, I had visions. The Spirit moved within me and I saw myself standing in that great, majestic hall before the King of Kings. I was overwhelmed and did not know whether I should shout “Hallelujah” or if I should just fall down”.

This really excited me – it’s exactly what I’d hoped for. The song was well received and I’m more encouraged to finish composing the other themes and get the album finished by late spring or early summer.

Well, back to work …

For the Kingdom,