“Reed” This
 

Paul Reed, Associate Pastor and Minister of Music, shares weekly thoughts and inspiration.

 
 
 

Gussie

“REED” This

 

Gussie

 

You may remember my quick trip to my mother’s old house that I told you about last week. While still there, I was able to go through a few things and actually stop to read some of them before they were packed away in a box. One of those things were some old senior adult newsletters from my former church in Florida that I had sent to my mother and she had kept. I told her I didn’t know she had kept them. She told me she didn’t know she had either. Be that as it may, there were several of them filed together and I read one that struck me. I decided to go back into my “‘REED’ This” files and find it so I could share it with you. As you’ll see, it was written over twenty years ago, but it is still very relevant. Here it is:

 

Before I was old enough to go to school, I remember waking up, usually after everyone else had gone, and going into the den to watch Kaptin Kangaroo. There would be my baby-sitter, Gussie, waiting with my breakfast and my purple cow. For those of you who don’t know what a purple cow is, it’s milk and grape juice mixed together. I still don’t know why I liked it. It sounds terrible to me now. Anyway, Gussie was an elderly lady who was a great baby-sitter. I remember her letting me watch whatever TV program I wanted to and when I was ready to go outside, she was ready to go outside and play with me. I remember going over to her house and playing with all of her cats. She had at least 50, and she was always kind to let me take one home with me. Sometimes we would take a walk down to her pasture and to the little bridge for the train. After I was old enough for school, she would still sit with me on occasions. And going to school each morning we would pass by her big house up on the hill. Even when I was in high school I would look over and say to myself, “I need to go visit with Gussie.” But, I never got around to it.

 

I was talking on the phone with my mother the other day and she informed me that Gussie had died. The news saddened me as I had lost a friend. We talked a bit and my mother said it was sad reading her obituary. She was not a member of a church and she had no family of her own. My mother told me she never knew if Gussie was a Christian. That upset us more than anything. All these years had passed and we had never talked to her about her salvation. Those times I needed to stop and sit with her when I was in high school could have been times of sharing my faith. Now, it was too late. I won’t know about Gussie until I go to heaven. I hope to see her there.

 

I ask you, “Do you have a Gussie in your life?” With what special person do you need to share your faith? Do it now, before your chance is gone.

 

Paul C. Reed

April 16, 1997

 

 

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24 NLT

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

 



Count Your Blessings

“REED” This

 

Count Your Blessings

 

Last week I made a whirlwind trip to collect some things from my mother’s house in northern Arkansas. I then delivered some to my brother’s house and mother’s assisted living apartment, both in the Dallas, Texas area before bringing the things I kept for myself back home. I drove a total of 2,441 miles in 41 hours, being on the road Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with packing/loading/unloading on Tuesday and Thursday. Like I said, it was a whirlwind trip. Since my siblings all elected me as “Family Historian”, I came home with all the old pictures and documents to go through. Sunday night I came across a letter my father had written that my siblings and I had never seen. I would like to share it with you. As you read it, you’ll understand why I am so blessed to have had the earthly father I was given. From the wording, he wrote this in late 1985 or early 1986.

 

“Late last summer, I began a journey, a journey that brought me very near the valley of death. After months of mysterious abdominal symptoms that progressively grew worse, I was hospitalized in Texarkana for comprehensive tests. A CAT scan of my abdomen revealed massive tumors, the source of my ever-increasing pain. Surgery was scheduled and my wife and I hoped for the best, not knowing the extent of the tumors or the type involved. There was hope that they might not be malignant and much of the mass could be removed, even though the scan indicated a possible metastasis to the liver.

You can imagine my disappointment and anger when I awoke in the surgical intensive care unit to find that it definitely was a malignance and none of it could be removed. It had completely blocked my left kidney and was expanding to place great pressure on my right kidney, bladder, abdominal aorta and vena cava (large blood vessels of the abdomen). The metastasis to the liver was about an inch in diameter. Other metastases were to be found, in the ensuing days, in the lymph nodes between my lungs, in my neck and under my scalp. Other than a small section for a biopsy, no tumor tissue was removed due to the probability of massive bleeding. At that moment, dying on the surgeon’s table from excessive hemorrhage was a very attractive alternative to the slow deterioration and subsequent death of the usual cancer patient. I knew there would be no cessation of the pain, which required heavy narcotics to relieve.

Sensing my bitter reaction to my situation, my wife left me to call my pastor for his help in calming my spirit. Left to myself, I began examining my life. I was 46 years old, the father of five beautiful children and two grandchildren. I had suffered very little illness and my wife and children had all been very healthy. I had known Jesus as my Savior since I was nine years old, and had been active in Baptist churches all my life. All my children were Christians. I was a well-respected Chiropractor in my community. I had really enjoyed life and had many more reasons to be thankful. If this was to be the end of my life, I certainly had no reason to complain! I began to praise God for each of the blessings He brought to mind. My spirit calmed and all bitterness, anger and disappointment subsided. The pastor and a friend arrived to find that God had changed my attitude and gently led me to praise Him!”

[Dr. Jack Allen Reed]

 

The hymn “Count Your Blessings” quickly came to my mind as I read the last part of this letter. This change of attitude and calming of his spirit gave my father the strength and fortitude to endure the chemotherapy he would take for the final months of his life. Because of his faith in Jesus, he knew his pain would not last forever. Early on the morning of February 28, 1987 he was pain free and saw Jesus face to face and began experiencing the greatest blessing ever – eternal life in heaven with his Savior.

 

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NLT

“Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.” Psalm 107:31 NLT

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.” Psalm 103:2

 

May we each heed the hymnist’s: “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

 



April 20

“REED” This

 

This.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

 

(Be back next week.)



You Know?

“REED” This

 

You Know?

 

I need to admit something to all of you. I know this may come as a shock to some, but it is probably known by many of you, and even understood by all of you. Are you ready? Here it is. I don’t know everything. There, I’ve said it and whole heartedly admit – I don’t know everything. I have been asked many questions where people expect that I should know the answer, but I don’t know the answer. They think I should know, but I don’t know. To them, I should know, but to me it’s perfectly fine that I don’t know. I know most of you know that I don’t know everything. That’s not new to many of you, I know, but to some who didn’t know that I know that you know that I don’t know everything it is something that wasn’t known. There are many people who like to act like they know everything, but I am not one of those people. I do know quite a lot, but I may not know what you think I should know even though you think I should know it. And I don’t want to act like I know something that I don’t really know just to try and impress someone else into thinking I know something when I don’t know it at all. I know some people like to act like they know what you are talking about when they don’t really know so that you may think that they know it, but I want you to know that I’m not someone that thinks they know everything. I know a good bit about the Bible, but I certainly don’t know everything. I know some things about ministry, but I don’t know everything. I know a lot about music, but I don’t know everything. I know how to play several instruments, but I don’t know how to play them all. We all know what we know comes from our experiences in life and what we come to know from them as well as reading and studying to know different things, whether in school or just wanting to know things on our own. Some things we know because we’ve seen them and we know what our eyes saw therefore we know what we’ve seen. But even when we know we’ve seen things doesn’t always mean we know what we’ve seen, you know?

 

There are a lot of things I want to know but don’t always know how to know them. The knowledge of how to know is not known to me so that I can know what I am wanting to know. And I know that you are wanting to know why I’m writing in this annoying way, and I want you to know why I am doing this so that you will know what I’m trying to get across. I know this may seem strange, but I had this thought a few days ago, you know, to dwell on the word ‘know’. I know we all know this word and how good it is to know it, but do you really know why it is important to know ‘know’? The most important thing about ‘know’ is not what you know but who you know. We’ve heard that about a lot of things in life: “It’s not what you know, but who you know to get … the right job, the big promotion, the break you need, to get ahead, etc., etc.” It seems to work that way for a lot of things. But the most important thing I want you to know, the greatest thing I want you to know, is that you can know that you know that you know that you know that you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord. I know most of you know that and know Him, but I want you to be sure you know Him and know that that is the most important person you can know. And if you know Jesus, that’s all you really need to know, you know? Jesus said in John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Not only is it great to know Jesus, but it is so much more comforting to know that He knows me, and all those who have called upon Him for salvation. I know that brings comfort and reassurance to you. To know Jesus is to know life and joy and peace. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

 

If you were able to read all the way through, you have successfully read the word ‘know’, or a form of ‘know’, 111 times in 38 sentences, oh, and in the title. And please know I am grateful you bore with me through it all, you know?

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

 

 

 



Beeps in the Night

“REED” This

 

Beeps in the Night

 

We’ve all had those nights when a noise wakes us up. It usually takes a little bit for us to figure out what has caused the sound, either because we didn’t hear it clearly or we just weren’t sure from which direction it came. The other night I was awoken by something beeping. There was about a minute between each beep, so it took several of them before my mind registered that there was actually something beeping and it wasn’t just in my dream. Once awake enough, I knew it was a smoke detector. I had recently replaced every detector in our house but one, and that one was in my bedroom. I finally got out of bed and stood underneath said detector and waited. Sure enough, just a few seconds later and I was assured this was the culprit. I found a step ladder to use and reached up to release the battery. Fortunately, it was a newer model where the battery compartment is simply depressed on one spot and it opens to reveal the battery. I took the old battery out and proceeded to put the step ladder away and dispose of the battery. “Beep.”  “You’ve got to be kidding,” I thought. I set up the step ladder again, went and found a new battery and inserted it into the compartment and closed it up. I got down from the ladder and “Beep.” Back up on the ladder I went and decided to press what I thought was a reset button. Well, that sent the alarm into full Armageddon mode. It may have done some permanent damage to my ears with my head being so close to it, but I quickly hit that button again and thankfully it stopped. I stepped down and once again proceeded to remove the ladder when “Beep.” By this point, I was done with this thing. I got back up and removed the new battery. Then, I removed the entire unit from the ceiling and found that it was connected to some electrical wire. I depressed the wire connector and finally, I was simply holding the unit in my hand with no battery and it not connected to any wires – “BEEP!”  I looked at Debbie and said, “How in the world is this thing beeping!?!” I looked at the detector again to make sure there wasn’t another battery somewhere on it but found nothing. After several minutes, we realized it was finally dead and the event was over and we could go back to bed. But by now, I was good and awake, and I wondered if there was something I needed to do. Did God wake me up for some divine revelation? Did I need to get a pen and paper to write it down? Did He want me to read something from His Word or pray about some specific thing? After asking Him and waiting and thinking about it, nothing came to my mind, so I just went back to sleep.

 

We’ve all had “fun” with smoke detectors. And the stories almost always occur in the middle of the night. For some reason, the batteries don’t go bad during the day. Things like this always seem to come at a time that disturbs our sleep, our rest. A friend of mine once said, “Sleep is overrated.” He claimed he only needed four hours of sleep each night. Any more than that and he was just wasting time. Yes, I thought he was crazy, too. We all need sleep. God has designed our bodies to need sleep and to need rest. And God gives us that needed rest so our muscles and minds can recoup from the day’s activities. (Ps. 23:2; Mt. 11:28; Ps. 4:8; Pr. 3:24) But God never sleeps. Psalm 121:3-4 says, “… the One who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.” God is always watching over us, keeping His protective eye on us. It is so comforting to know that He is watching over me. We may never know what harm we have been shielded from by God’s loving hands, but we can know we are always being held in them.

 

Smoke detectors are good to have. They sort of watch over us while we sleep and can detect a fire before we unknowingly succumb to the smoke. However, the batteries do lose their power and the detectors themselves wear out and have to be replaced. They’re not failproof. But God is. And we can rest in Him with no beeps.

 



Colors of Spring

“REED” This

 

Colors of Spring

 

The last several days have been absolutely beautiful! The sun has been shining brightly in the bright blue sky. A nice breeze has gently been blowing. The flowering bushes and trees are blooming vibrant and beautiful flowers. And the new growth of leaves on the trees gives us beautiful shades of light green to view all around us. It is all breath taking as the season of Spring has fully come. We see these colors because of the way the plants reflect the sunlight. The wavelengths of light that are not absorbed by the flower are reflected back to us giving us the colors we see: yellow, pink, red, fuchsia, purple, lavender, blue, etc. However the science works, God did it. Some years it seems that He really shows off His creation skills and wows us with full blooms and extra vibrant colors. It is overwhelming at times as we stop and truly look at His beautiful creation. Today, however, it is cloudy and rainy and a little dark. The Spring colors are all still around us, but not as vibrant with the sun not being seen. The clouds are blocking the sunrays from making those colors pop. There’s still light getting through, but not the full brightness as when the clouds are not around.

 

We live in a darkened world. The true Son Light is shining brightly, but the clouds of our sinful world have blocked His brilliance. God’s beautiful creation is still around us and is wonderful to see, but it has been tainted by the shadow of sin. We see people all around us, but all of us have been tainted by sin. This fallen world of sin darkens everything (Rom. 8:22). But God didn’t want us to stay in darkness, so He gave us His light. Jesus came and is that Light. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12) The darkness that tries to hide God and keep us from knowing Him and the Light, has been pierced through by Jesus. His coming, His perfect life, His death on the cross for our sins, and His glorious resurrection has pierced through the darkness to show us the way to God and give us life. He provides the way for us to escape the darkness and live forever in His Light. “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

 

There may be clouds in the sky, but the sun is still shining. There may be clouds and darkness around us, but the Light is still shining. Just like when there is a break in the clouds and that beautiful beam of sunlight shines through, Jesus, the Light of the world, pierces through the darkness and gives us hope. We, His followers, His children, are to be reflecting that Light to everyone around us. Just like the beautiful colors of Spring, we need to be seen as beautiful witnesses for our Savior. There is joy in this dark world, and His name is Jesus. Let’s make sure people see Him.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021



Why Did You Ask?

“REED” This

 

Why Did You Ask?

 

I was recently asked to do something for someone and I happily accepted the request and accomplished the task. A few days after submitting my work, I was sent an email thanking me for my “suggestions” and was then asked to change basically half of my work. I have to admit, I did not receive that well. I was not under the impression that what I had submitted would be manipulated to fit into a certain form or meet a particular criteria. That had never been communicated. I did what I was asked to do, and yet the one who asked seemed to have their own agenda and ideas. So, why did they ask me to submit anything? (Just to clarify, this has nothing to do with anyone in the church.) In my mind, I’m wondering why I was asked to use my time to do something that was never going to be used. That’s a big waste of my time. I replied to the email asking what was meant by “suggestions” and “fitting it in” but have not received an answer. This greatly bothers me. However, in order to maintain this relationship, I’m trying to stay patient and work with this individual. I’m not exactly sure how this will play out, so I’ll continue to do what I can.

 

We’ve all experienced things like this. We’re asked to do something, but after doing it, we may be criticized for it or it is rejected completely. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into what has been asked of us and yet our work is changed or reworked into something entirely different. We are left thinking, “Why did you ask me to do this if you just wanted it your way?” “Why did I waste my time?” This leaves us very frustrated. And when we are not told why, that only exacerbates the problem.

 

Sometimes God asks us to do things for Him and we’re not sure why. However, He doesn’t change our work or what we offer, yet, He does use it sometimes in a different way. I may not understand the particulars to what and why He is asking, but with God, I always know He will use it for good. God never asks us to do things that wastes our time. The task can always grow us in some way, if we will allow it. The project He gives us may be quite difficult, but He’ll give us the strength and ability to accomplish it, and the blessings will far outweigh the effort. I may not see the results for a very long time or I may never see any results, and that can be confusing or frustrating. But I know, because of my faith, that God will bring those results in His timing. And that timing will be perfect. That’s where I find my peace – resting in Him because He is God, and He is good, and He is working for my good (Jer. 29:11).

 

Working with people can be aggravating at times. I’m sure people have gotten aggravated with me and my requests. None of us are perfect. But God is perfect. And we can place our full faith in Him in whatever He asks us to do, knowing He will take and use it for good and for His glory. No matter what we are asked to do, we simply need to obey.

 

“But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a desert road.) So he got up and went.”  Acts 8:26-27a NASB

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Look What I Found

Look What I Found

 

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to work outside. It was a beautiful, warm day with the sun shining and a nice breeze. It was the perfect day to work out in the yard. Several of us were helping my son, Cameron, with some tree trimming and cleaning out some garden spots. I would have called them flower gardens but there aren’t any flowers in them, just plants. Anyway, they needed cleaned out and spruced up to make the house look better to sell. There was quite a bit of stubborn grass in the garden I worked in. It was really wearing me out. At one point, I was on my knees and pulling on a tuft of grass right along the edge of the garden. As I pulled it up, a little snake slithered out from under it. The red, black, and yellow stripes made me immediately say, “Red on black, friend to Jack. Red on yellow, unlucky fellow.” Thankfully, it was red on black, so it was not a coral snake, it was just a harmless scarlet king snake. It couldn’t have been more than ten inches long, but it was beautifully marked. I reached down and caught it so we all could look at it. We tried to show it to Jordan as she looked out the window, but I don’t think she ever saw it as she was enjoying just looking out at the trees. We put it in a container so we wouldn’t harm it as we kept working. A little while later, Connor saw another one just a few feet from where we caught the first one. It was basically the same size. He caught it and put it in the container with the first one. Throughout the day, we would check on them and a younger helper took a real liking to them and held them a good bit in the afternoon. When we were all done, I released them into a jasmine bush to be free and help keep the bug population down.

 

Isn’t it fun and exciting when you find something? I know, most of you would not be too excited about finding a snake or two, but you know what I mean. You may find a coin on the ground and pick it up to see what it is and maybe the date on it. You may be walking along the beach and see a shell that catches your eye or even a shark tooth. As you reach down and pick it up, you say, “Look what I found!” Or maybe it’s when you’ve been shopping and find a particular blouse or shirt that you are happy to have found. There is a sense of excitement in finding it and you want to show someone. No matter how old we get, we never lose wanting to share that joy with someone else.

 

The thought that comes to my mind is: do I still have that excitement and longing to share what I’ve found in Jesus? In Mark 5, we find where Jesus healed a man possessed by demons. When Jesus was leaving, this man wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus did not let him. Instead, He told the man, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” (Mk. 5:19) The man did just that and everyone was amazed. They knew what he was like before. He shared what Jesus had done for him and everyone could see the change in his life. We have a story to tell that is just as powerful as this man’s. We have been saved from our sins. We have been given eternal life. We have been set free from the worries of this world because we have a Savior that always takes care of us. We have hope, peace, joy, and love, and it has all been found in Jesus.

 

May the Holy Spirit remind us all what we’ve been given and restore the excitement in our hearts that we felt for the first time when we were saved. And let’s go out into our own people and say, “Look what I found!”

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

 



Where do you want to eat?

Some of you may remember that I enjoy walking to lunch when I can. These last two days have just been gorgeous, and I have taken advantage of the opportunity. As I was walking today, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to eat. I felt led to ask God to direct me and prayed, “Lord, where do You want me to eat?” I was thinking maybe some sushi at Fancy Q’s or a sub at Larry’s, but Southern Soul came strongly into my mind. I had thought about eating there yesterday, but the line was very long so I chose elsewhere. Today, there was only one couple waiting outside the door, so I was glad to see that. As I approached the door, I saw there was a seat at the bar and could go ahead and sit there and order without waiting in line. I went in and I saw the reason I was supposed to eat there. Sitting next to the only open stool was a man the Lord brought to my mind just the day before. I had prayed for this man and his children then because I had not seen them in several years and had lost contact with him. I was concerned for them as his wife had passed after battling cancer. He and his family were members of another church and it was difficult to keep in touch. When I came up from behind him and called his name, he turned and immediately there was that big smile of his. It truly was a time of pure happiness and joy in seeing him. I was so glad to hear how well his children are doing. He had some difficulties from a fall he had since I had last seen him, but he was doing much better now. We visited for a good five minutes or more before he needed to go and I needed to order my lunch.

That was truly a blessing from God and how He allowed me to see my brother in Christ that I had not seen for several years. And on top of that, having him come to my mind just yesterday and feeling led to pray for him. There were so many other places I could have eaten, even within walking distance, but God led me there. When things like this happen, you may have heard someone say, “That’s a God thing.” I would agree to that because there are no coincidences in life. Things don’t just happen. God can and does orchestrate our lives where He can use us and bless us in great ways. When we allow Him to guide us, we receive immeasurable blessings. Instead of just picking a place to eat because it sounds best, we can ask God where He would like us to eat. We may not always run into an old friend, but there may be another reason He wants us there. He may want to use us in some way. He may want us to be there to encourage our waiter or waitress, and even pray for them. He may want us to eat there so the owner of the restaurant will make enough sales that day to pay their staff or bills. He may want us there to meet someone new and even have the opportunity to share Jesus with them. He may want us there just to see if we will listen to Him and obey.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB says, “Pray without ceasing.” Other translations say, “Pray continually;” “Pray constantly;” and “Never stop praying.” The apostle Paul is encouraging us to always be in communication with God. Be mindful of Him and be listening to the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Be expecting the Holy Spirit to prompt you. And be ready for the Holy Spirit to lead you. If we are communing with God and listening, we will hear His still, small voice. Then we will be ready to do those things He has prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:10)

So, next time you’re trying to decide on where to eat, don’t ask yourself or everyone else where they’d like to eat. Stop and ask God where He wants you to eat. Then, be ready to see what He has in store for you.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021



Play the Right Way

For the past almost seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to play second trombone in The Coastal Brass Choir. For the past three years, I’ve been privileged to lead the group as the “interim” director. “Interim” seems to be fading more and more as time goes by, but it is still very enjoyable to lead and play. We have been working on some music for an upcoming outdoor concert that will take place in just a few days. When putting together an order for a concert, careful consideration of placement of each piece in that order must be taken. Many times, a simple chronological order of when each piece was composed can be used. But, there are certain pieces that are more demanding due to the range of notes and putting two of those back to back can be very taxing. Therefore, that chronological approach will not work. Another thing that can influence the placement of selections is the audience’s familiarity with certain songs and those pieces can be spread throughout the concert to make a more enjoyable experience. Once an order is established, it is rehearsed that way to make sure it is logical, feels right, and doesn’t wear out our lips too soon. We had rehearsed the songs in this concert order a few weeks when someone suggested we rehearse them in reverse order. I thought that was an interesting idea, so we did just that at our last rehearsal. As we completed the entire order, we came to our warm-up song. Since we didn’t start at the beginning, we didn’t play it first. And, since we didn’t need to warm up, we decided to actually play this song backward. Yes, we started at the end and played it to the beginning. This was definitely a challenge and after accomplishing the feet, we decided to never do that again.

 

When composing a piece of music, there is logical phrasing that is followed. That is determined by the composer, and however strange it may be due to the style, that phrasing will usually make sense to the ear of the listener and player. There is a basic order that can be followed. There is a beginning that leads to an end. But when played in reverse order, that sense of phrasing is totally lost. It’s like trying to read this sentence backwards. Sdrawkcab ecnetnes siht daer ot gniyrt ekil s’ti. It just doesn’t work. And although we played it correctly (in reverse) with the notes being in the correct key and in the correct timing, the original melody and chord progression could never be heard. Nor could it even be recognized as that piece of music. One of our members, who has read several of my articles, suggested that I write this experience into a “REED” This article. (For the sake of anonymity, let’s just call him Mickey.) So, I decided to try.

 

God has put things in a logical order. He created the world and then He created mankind. He gave mankind all that they needed – food, a place to live, responsibility, and companionship with Him and each other. Yet, man disobeyed the only command he was given and caused death to come into the world. But God still loved man so much, that He sent a Savior, His only Son, to come and die that death for man so that man’s relationship with God could be restored. And when each person in mankind does that, there is a logical order that is followed. But, when a person decides not to accept the gift of life that God has provided, there is disruption to that order. The salvation of that person cannot take place. The blessings God has for that person cannot be received by that person because the relationship has not been restored. Death becomes that person’s end and if that person never accepts the gift of Jesus, that end becomes the beginning of forever being separated from God. That is total chaos and suffering that God doesn’t want anyone to endure. But, He won’t force anyone to do anything His way. He only composes it for man to play it His way, if man so chooses. If man does choose to live God’s way, it will be beautiful, and life will make sense. If man chooses not to live God’s way, life will be meaningless and not be beautiful as God had designed, and it will not end well.

 

There’s only one composition God has given us. It must be followed note by note. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Thankfully, it’s a simple composition.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021