Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at https://www.lovinggodministry.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Easy Going Guy", written by Irving B. Howe

This was something my daughter Rebecca and I recorded for fun before we left Oklahoma City, where Tate Music Group recorded my first album, "Beauty in Pain". We kept thinking about a song my Grandpa Howe (Irving B. Howe) wrote called, "Easy Going Guy." He wrote many wonderful songs and poems in his lifetime (died late 1980's), but this one was my favorite. I sang it at his funeral (not with the theatrics, of course!), as it described him so well. While he never was able to publish his works, he did have several shows, some at places like the Lions Club, such as The Big Little Show of 1957. He had posters of some of his shows in his music room, a room upstairs that had records on the walls for decoration.  It was very cool!

The men we worked with at Tate Music Group were so fun to work with and easy going, too, so that's why we kept thinking of this song throughout our trip. I know my Grandpa would be proud of me for recording and publishing an album, so I dedicate this to him, thankful that he inspired me in my love for music.

An important lesson learned while recording my first album...

While at Tate Music Group, I learned a very valuable lesson that I want to share with you because I think many people, young or old, go through similar situations. I felt very self conscious about my weight, my age, my looks, my voice, etc., as we recorded and I started to wonder who would listen to my music.  I love it, but will anyone else?  Will I relate to anyone? I would sometimes second guess myself with making this album, which was silly because I know the Lord directed me to do it, He was answering every single prayer of mine and everything ended up being optimal, truly as best as it could be. However, then I would wonder if my best is good enough, even though Tate Music Group felt it was or else they wouldn't be publishing my music.

Many of you know those negative voices in your head that you tell yourself, that cause you to feel inferior, inadequate and even ashamed. I am so thankful for a Christian publisher and Christian music producers, who helped me get things into perspective. They told me that you have to be yourself, don't try to sing like someone else or wish you looked like someone else, just be the best YOU that you can be. Some singers like Johnny Cash didn't have the best voice, but many loved him and his music. Others have a lot of talent, but that doesn't mean that everyone is going to love their style of music. Everyone has their niche market, people whom they can reach. People have different styles and needs and wants, and if you start getting bogged down with what others think of you, then you won't be of much use.

There will always be critics and people who are mean and don't like you, and then others who are supportive and kind and love you. Do what the Lord is directing you to do, don't look back, and don't defeat yourself with negativity. There is a beauty in someone who is confident in who they are. If there are areas to change and improve that are correctable, then work on that, but be encouraged, not discouraged with the process. If you can't change something, then accept it. There are many different voices out there, some with more strength, others with more fullness, others sweet, others bold, etc. These aren't right or wrong, just different. Embrace who you are, and do it to your very best, and allow the Lord to use it as He sees fit. Remember that the glory belongs to Him. Don't slide down the pit of trying to please everyone, as that brings glory to yourself. People are fickle, so praise and glamour and attention is only temporary and fleeting anyway. It's not secure. Serving the Lord in obedience to Him will bring eternal rewards that are secure.

With singing, it's really cool when someone recognizes a voice. "Oh, I know who that is. That is __________." I think my voice would fit in that category, as it is unique. However, I want my voice, whatever it is, to be a blessing to others, and proclaim life, and hope, and encouragement.  That is in my power to accomplish, through God's grace and mercy. You can accomplish that also!

I was also glad that I stayed true to myself as far as style, what I wore, how I conducted myself in the video and photo shoot, etc. I feel really good that I did not in the end try to be someone else that I am not. It is a great feeling at the end of the day! I was also glad that the folks at Tate Music Group did not try to get me to be someone I am not. They totally respected who I am. Try to keep that in mind when venturing out through various avenues, companies, businesses, creative arts, etc.. Don't let anyone pressure you to be something that is not good, or true to who you are in Christ. They are not worth it if they try to get you to compromise good standards, or even at times certain preferences. Just make sure what you do is pleasing to the Lord, and follow His guidelines in Scripture, and you can't go wrong!

If you have ever felt down about what the Lord has given you, as far as appearance, ability, talent, brain power, background, ethnicity, material possessions - whatever it may be, be encouraged, and see what He wants you to do with what you have been given. Then do it! Do it wholeheartedly with joy in your heart and a smile on your face, and you will emit beauty and love that comes from the Lord, ministering grace and even healing to your hearers.

Beauty in Pain CD recorded!

I spent the week of April 14, 2014 in Oklahoma City recording my first album, "Beauty in Pain." They also did a photo shoot, and a music video for the song, "Feelings." It was the time of my life! The guys at Tate Music Group are extremely talented, and fun to work with. It was such a blessing to be there! I even got to get a tour of Tate Publishing, who has published my first two books ("I Will Stand" and "Christmas Love"), and is currently working on book #3: "Fully Persuaded."  It was so great to meet everyone in person!

If all goes as planned, the CD should be done by September 2014, and released for distribution by the end of the year, in time for Christmas!  This album will encourage and comfort those who are struggling, and bring truth and hope through beautiful music that will soothe the soul. If you are not struggling, then you will still be able to enjoy the message, and perhaps encourage someone you know who is struggling.

Be on the lookout for my CD!  I'll keep you all posted as updates become available. God truly blessed throughout this entire week, between the recordings, the weather, my sinuses, my hair style cooperating, keeping me safe, etc. We stayed at an Isola Bella corporate apartment, which was beautiful, and we got to rent a beautiful red Toyota Corolla! My daughter Rebecca and I had a blast! We finished early on everything, as it all went very well. I just praise the Lord for allowing me to be a part of His team, using me for His honor and glory.  It is so much fun to serve the Lord, and watch Him bless and orchestrate wonderful answers to prayers!

Dawn with Don Johnson (Executive Music Producer of Tate Music Group) and Mike Turner (Music Producer). These guys are the best!

This was the recording booth. It took a little getting used to, but then it was smooth sailing! 

These are some pictures of Isola Bella.

We did the photo shoot in some beautiful nature spots (in between huge gusts of wind!), and the next day did an outdoor nature video shot for the song, "Feelings." 

Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group made us feel very welcome!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Noah movie - amazingly wrong!

I had heard the new movie "Noah" was not accurate with the Bible. I didn't read a lot of reviews, but I did hear that it showed God destroyed the world because man didn't care for the environment, rather than because of man's sin. I heard that entertainment doesn't have to be exactly in line with the Bible, but just be aware of that when watching it, and enjoy the artistry of the movie. I heard it was done really well as far as effects, so I decided to watch it. Big mistake. I was wiggling in my seat, hoping it was going to redeem itself, which it never did. I was amazed at HOW inaccurate it was, how evil it made Noah appear, and how vague and cruel it made God appear.

I would think that most people would know it is extremely inaccurate, but dare to say that many will not know the true account of Noah's ark in the Bible because of lack of church attendance and Bible reading in our culture today. Beyond that, there isn't a ton of information found in Scripture as to the details, but this movie got the major points wrong from what is clear in Scripture. I feel like I have to clarify some things for anyone who does not know the true account of Noah in the Bible.

There were multiple major issues, and I'm sure I won't be able to recall all of them in this post. Yes, creating a movie allows you to take creative license, but something like this should at least have the basic truth in it. First of all, it shows fallen angels who were punished by God for trying to help man in the garden of Eden. They disobeyed God, so he caused them to fall into molten lava and turn to stone. Now they appear like transformers made of rock. They hate man, except for one, who likes Noah and his family because he sees they have been chosen by God.  Later they all decide to help build the ark. Cain's descendants have destroyed the earth, and Seth's descendants are just about annihilated. Methuselah has special magical powers. 

Noah has disturbing visions, but no clear instructions from God. The burden is on Noah to decide if anyone lives, or if everyone dies.  He realizes that all mankind is evil, so no one should live, not even him and his family. No human is allowed on the ark except Noah and his family. Just the animals should survive because they are unharmed from the consequences of sin. He tries to find his sons each a wife at first, but then decides there are none good enough. Ham is rebellious against his dad, and goes out and finds himself a good woman, who dies and gets trampled as the evil men run toward the ark after it starts raining. Noah has an opportunity to prevent her death, but does not save her, making Ham even more unloyal to his dad. It starts raining before Noah's family is in the ark. Noah closes the door, making sure his family is in the ark, but he remains outside the door (but still on the ark) after the violent water starts. He allows no one to come in, and  made sure they had no opportunity before the rain started. There are many who are wanting to kill Noah, and are angry at him. He makes it in, but so does an evil "king" who wants to kill Noah. Ham brings him food, but later thinks it might be a mistake as he starts to eat the animals on the ark (of which there are no "extras").

Noah's wife asked Methuselah to grant Shem's girlfriend fertility, and he did. They don't appear to have actually gotten married before they had sex. Assuming they did get married at some point, she gets pregnant while on the ark. Because Noah still has not gotten clear direction from God, and the assumption is that God wants everyone destroyed, Noah decides they will all die, and so will the baby if it is a girl. If a boy, he will replace Japheth (the youngest) as the last man alive. If a girl, she will die. Well, you guessed it, she had a girl...and another girl - twins!  He is about to stab the babies to death when he realizes he must disobey God, because he cannot do this heinous crime God wants him to do. He feels rejected by both his family and God, so separates from his wife after they land on the mountain. This, of course, is after he almost got killed by the evil stowaway on the ark. Shem's wife convinces him that he was good enough because he had love and mercy in his heart. He reunites with his wife, and blesses the two baby girls, instructing them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth (two girls???). Ham and Japheth have no wives, and Ham has to leave because he saw the nakedness of his father, so was banned...alone, forever, with apparently no heirs.

Now for the Bible's account. Lamech had a son named Noah, for he said in Gen. 5:29: "This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed." In the movie the ground was desolate, but the curse the Bible is speaking of is the thorns and weeds.  Lamech in the movie was brutally murdered. The Bible says he lived 777 years, and he died in vs. 31 (before the canopy over the earth came down in the great flood, people lived several hundred years).  No mention of murder, so this is speculation.

Genesis 6:5-8 says, "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." 

Genesis 6:9 says that Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  Noah had a close relationship with the Lord.  He had 3 sons. Vs. 11 says that the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  Noah got clear instruction from God on what he was to do, and it was not Noah's doing, but God's.  vs. 13: "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." He goes on to say exactly how to make the ark with the exact measurements. In the movie, the transformer creatures helped, but in the Bible, he built the ark. His sons probably helped him, but the Bible doesn't clarify any more than to say that "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he" in vs. 22.

In chapter 7 the Lord clearly tells Noah in vs. 1: "Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." Then he states the numbers and types of animals that would be coming on the ark. Some are in 7's, and some in 2's. He states that the rain will start in 7 days, and will continue for forty days and forty nights in v. 4. Everything on the earth will be destroyed that God made, from off the face of the earth. vs. 5 again shows Noah's obedience, in doing all that the Lord commanded him.  His family went in, and his sons all had wives. It took 120 years to build the ark. Once they were in the ark, "the LORD shut him in." God closed the door, not Noah. That door was not opened again until exited the ark.

The waters prevailed on the earth 150 days, and then God sent a wind to pass over the earth and help evaporate the water. No mention of Noah going mad and trying to kill anyone! He was righteous, and found favor in the sight of God. Noah was the one who sent the birds to find dry land, not Japheth, as was shown in the movie. Japheth, the youngest, would have been a grown man, not a young teen as was portrayed in the movie. There were no babies born on the ark, because in Gen. 8:16, God tells them to "go forth from the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee." No mention of grandchildren. All the animals also came off the ark, and were to be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.

Noah built a burnt offering for God, and God smelled a sweet savour; and he decided He would "not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth: neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (8:21-22).   He commanded Noah and his family to have children and replenish the earth. This is also when the fear of man came to the animals, and the fear of animals came to man. God also commanded man not to eat animals, and not to kill one another. He also made a covenant with man and the animals that came out of the ark that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood, and signified this with a rainbow.

They all had children afterwards. Noah made a vineyard, and drank of the wine and got drunk (not sure if that was an accident or not), but ended up being found naked within his tent by Ham. He told his two brothers Shem and Japheth (not Shem and his wife, as the movie showed), and they walked in backwards with a garment to cover him up, never looking at his nakedness. Ham was cursed because he saw his father's nakedness, and would be a servant to his brother Shem.

Matthew 24:37-39 talks about the surprise of the flood. People were marrying, and partying, and having a grand 'ol time until the floods of water came. They were not out to kill Noah; they were living it up!  2 Peter 3:4-6 suggests that people were willingly ignorant of God's warning of the flood.  Nowhere does it say explicitly that people mocked Noah, but in Hebrews 11:7 it says, "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." 2 Peter 2:5 states that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness", so some believe that he preached for 120 years for people to repent so they too could be included on the ark.  There are a lot of details that the Bible leaves out, so we have to be careful when it comes to speculation. Here is a link for more information: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v8/n4/get-answers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

God's Not Dead movie - you've gotta see it!

I just saw the movie "God's Not Dead" starring Kevin Sorbo and Shane Harper. It was
such a great movie!  I highly recommend it. It's very well done and well
thought out, showing a few different stories throughout the film that tie together. It's
in theaters now. This is definitely a movie that I will buy once it's
out on DVD so I can watch it again, and lend it out to people as a must
see movie!  Decide for YOURSELF if God is dead...or alive!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Religious Freedom in Public Schools - what's allowed?

Religious Freedom in Public Schools

This is a great link if you are a student or a parent, or work in a public school, and are wondering what is allowed and what is not allowed when it comes to religious freedom in public schools. You may be surprised at how free the kids really are to share their faith! But they should know what is allowed and what is not allowed. I hope you find this link helpful. God bless you!

Focus on the Family Event for Students-April 10, 2014

Focus on the Family Event for Students

This event is called Day of Dialogue, and it encourages and empowers young people to speak up in school and among their peers, to give truth and hope to a dying world. It gives them the tools they need, and is a great resource! There is also information for parents and pastors. I encourage you to check it out. 

Don't let fear, shame, or rejection hold you back from doing what you really want to do, specifically to engage in conversation by using your voice to stand up for what you believe, especially in the areas of family, marriage, identity, and sexuality. Others are bold enough to tell you what they believe, especially by teachers and leaders who present these things in an educational setting. Raise your hand, ask questions, challenge the view. You may find that others are thinking the same thing, but lacked the courage to ask questions or defend themselves. Your actions will encourage them. 

Remember that to disagree does not mean to disrespect. In everything you say or do, do it with love, and not with a purpose to argue, but to engage in intelligent conversation.  Be informed, educated, working hard to be smart so you can represent Christ well. Below are some verses to encourage you toward courage and dedication to what is every Christian's call: to tell others about Christ and bring them to the truth. Luke 24:47: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." People need hope, they need the Lord, and you know how to get them there. They need to discover they do have meaning and purpose to their lives, and that can be a great first place to start when it comes to talking about identity and sexual issues.

God bless you! I'd love to hear your stories!

Ephesians 4:15: "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."

Colossians 4:6: "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

1 Peter 3:15-16: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."

Matthew 10:16: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."