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!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sold Out! for God, Family & Country music samples now available!

Hey, I have some samples uploaded on my electronic press kit for my new album, "Sold Out! for God, Family & Country." This album, as you will see, has some bluegrass/country styles, as well as beautiful songs, sweet songs, powerful songs - you name it! You will be inspired and ministered to with this album. My style is to put depth of lyrics with beautiful music - a "symphony of sound" as one review put it (thank you Don Johnson at Tate Music Group for the orchestrations!). I hope you enjoy it!

Sold Out! for God, Family & Country music samples Click on "Music" for the samples. There are 3 samples, but the album has 16 songs on it total. Click on "Media" for the music video.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yay! It's finally here! Choosing Music Wisely is now available at Tate Publishing. https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php…
How does the God-fearing Christian approach music choices, not just in church, but for entertainment? This book outlines musical concepts and balance so that people can find music they enjoy but that is pleasing to God. It's a life-changing journey, and appeals also to performers and writers to create godly music choices. This topic is a hot one, one that addresses the root of the problem with music choices: Christian liberty vs. holiness. This is a powerful book that will give you tangible guidelines and principles to choose music wisely and enjoy this wonderful gift from God!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

There's Nothing Like Going to Church

The church - so amazing how everyone comes with various backgrounds, and yet we are all unified because of Jesus Christ! A friend reminded me that Simon the Zealot hated Rome, and yet Matthew was a tax collector for Rome. And yet they could come together as believers in Christ and be unified because of their love for and faith in Jesus. One thing that is important about the church: God loves the church so much He calls it His Bride. I wrote a poem/song about the church to hopefully get people to be attracted to this bride, because if we want to show Jesus we love Him, we will love what He loves. So many people sadly think they can do things their own way, and disregard the church, because of all kinds of excuses like hypocrisy, money hungry preachers, etc., but bottom line: if you are going to be right with God, you are going to love what He loves, and be involved in His church. If there's something wrong with it, hop on board and make it better, but first and foremost, come in unity because it's all about Jesus. Love Him, and disregard the failings of everyone else that is distracting you from His beauty and holiness.

There’s Nothing Like Going to Church
By Dawn Foss
There is nothing like going to church,
Where you feel a sense of community.
Worshipping together by singing God’s praise,
And giving in the offering.
Hearing the preaching and praying to God,
The Holy Spirits moving, touching hearts in the crowd,
There’s nothin’ like making decisions for Christ,
There’s nothing like going to church!
Mother’s Day banquets and Father’s Day roasts,
And Fourth of July picnics are fun;
We love missions conferences, revivals, retreats,
Excitement stirs up everyone!
Bus ministry, Sunday School, Jr. Church,
Master Clubs, Awanas, and more,
Teaching all the children to love God and His Word,
From teens to babies crawling on the floor!

Visitation Saturday mornings are great,
Knocking doors, inviting them to
Come out Sunday morning and learn about God,
Something many intended to do!
Christmas caroling in the nursing homes,
Bringing cheer and spreading God’s Light;
Decorated bulletin boards, music choirs,
Make holidays so festive and bright!

Easter Sunday mornings, sunrise services, too,
Bring celebration here to a peak,
Candlelight services are so beautiful,
All day services are really a treat!
Christian fellowship is totally grand,
But we love something greater by far,
The time to worship Jesus, and grow in His grace,
Use our gifts, relying on the Lord’s power!

One amazing thing that never grows old,
Is the unity of everyone;
So many backgrounds and differences,
Yet united through Jesus God’s Son! 

Communion, ordinations, baby dedications,
Baptisms, weddings, funerals, too,
Bring us all together to honor our friends,
Our families, our Lord, and His Word.
Youth groups, Christian schools, Bible camps are so cool,
Singing for the Lord is the best!
All these wondrous things and so much more
Will leave you feeling so mighty blessed!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Best Grapes

I was eating lunch in my car today, and had one of my favorite radio programs playing: Discover the Word.  It plays on our Christian radio station, 104.9 FM at about 12:33 pm or so.  The special guest on the program was a breast cancer survivor, and she was giving testimony about how the Lord helped her through that difficult time.  God often used others to uphold her and support her, making meals for her and her family, being an active listener, a caring heart, and someone to pray with.  Through it she drew closer to the Lord, and appreciated "community" more than ever before.  

One thing that caught my attention was that she knew some people from California who knew wines really well.  Now, I'm not advocating drinking wine, but it was interesting to hear that there were some things about grapes in the vineyard that made better wine.  The fruit of the vine is actually enhanced under certain conditions.  Grapes made better wine when they sustained a flood or a drought.  In other words, they had better flavor if they were deprived of water or were given too much.  Those trials changed the taste of the grapes into something even better. 

It was also interesting to note that the roots of grape vines can do down very deep, even to the point that they do not require watering at all to make a successful crop because the roots go so deep they can get water from under the ground.

This makes perfect sense when we think about Scripture, and what Jesus said about Himself being the vine and we are the branches.  

John 15:4-5: "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Isn't it wonderful that we as the branches on the vine can bring forth much fruit because we are connected to the vine that brings us living water?
John 4:14: "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
It's a never ending supply of water!  No matter what trials we are going through, we can take comfort in the fact that we are plugged in to God, into the Vine that is our Great Provider.  He quenches our spiritual thirst.  Don't die on the vine; draw from the life giving water that will sustain you through drought, and will protect you from the floods, and will nourish you to bring forth fruit more abundantly than you ever imagined, reaching people you never thought possible, and making a difference for good in this ol' world around you! God bless you!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Do you have your death insurance?

Do you have your death insurance yet? The premium is paid for the lifetime of the policy, but you do have to sign on the dotted line in order to claim it.  It only covers the person who signed it; it doesn't cover your entire family, but it is available for every family member if they sign.  They do have to be old enough to sign; if they are too young or unable to understand yet due to mental disability, they get automatic coverage, but as soon as they are old enough or able to understand, they have to sign to remain covered.  Oh, and the best news is that preexisting conditions don't matter!  Unfortunately, we all have preexisting conditions that would disqualify us from this policy, so this very generous Benefactor has offered this to us despite that fact...and really because of that fact.  He knows we need it!  Signing does associate you with the payer and the company, but it's a reliable company that has wealth untold and will never let you go uncovered once you have signed, so no worries there.  They are an A++ rated company that has integrity, and will always deliver what they promise.  While life insurance covers those you leave behind when you die with some financial means, this death insurance covers YOU when you die with something you really need at that time: eternal life in the world to come.  The catch? You must come with humility and a repentant heart, which can be difficult but not impossible. And the benefits of getting to know this wonderful Benefactor in this life, the one who paid your premium, are endless! Are you ready?  None of us know when our time is up, so now is the time to get your death insurance.  2 Corinthians 6:2: "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"

I had a dream last night that I was at a sort of bed and breakfast, and suddenly a lightning storm hit and caught on fire the tree in the front yard.  It quickly turned into a house fire, and there was no time for the firemen to get everyone out, so I ran upstairs and woke everyone up and got them out safely.  I had to check the attic and every nook and cranny quickly before the fire swallowed me up, but I didn't want to leave anyone behind.  We all made it out safely before the entire structure buckled up and burnt to the ground.

I  woke up with the burden on my heart to post this.  Last night before I went to bed I watched an interview with Donald Trump, and I was disturbed by a lot of the world events going on.  While we don't know the day or the hour of the Lord's return, and most of us do not know the day or the hour that we will die, it's vitally important that we know where we are going when that day does arrive. Matthew 24:36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." 1 Thessalonians 5:2: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."

We are to watch for the signs, and they are upon us.  Please don't hesitate!  This is how to sign your name on the dotted line of the best investment you have ever made: salvation in Jesus Christ.

Are You Sure about Heaven?

Think carefully on this soul-searching question. If you were to die right now, do you know for sure you would go to heaven? If your answer is anything other than, “Yes, I am absolutely certain that my sins are forgiven and that heaven will be my home,” then here is an important message just for you. The Bible teaches that you need to know and believe these things to settle this:

First, you have sinned against God.

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)

As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. (Rom. 3:10)

Then God tells us where sin leads.

Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Rom. 5:12)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)

The wonderful news of the Bible is that Jesus loves you and died in your place to pay the penalty for your sin.

But God commendeth [demonstrated] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Now here is what God wants you to do:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom. 10:9)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom. 10:13)

God wants you to believe His Word and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

If you will, then right now pray a simple prayer, asking the Lord to save you. (Remember, the words of this prayer do not save you, but it is what you believe in your heart with repentance of your sin that saves you.)

Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you came to earth and died on the cross for my sins and that you rose again from the grave, and now you live in heaven! Please forgive me for my sins and come into my heart and save me right now. Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Congratulations! If you prayed that prayer in faith, believing it with all your heart, then you are saved! You will go to heaven when you die, and, starting now, God will help you throughout your entire life. Eternal life starts now! 

If you need information about how to find a good church near you, please contact me. I’d also love to hear from you if you got saved or if you have any questions! God bless you!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sold Out! for God, Family & Country now available!

Great news!  My third album, Sold Out! for God, Family & Country is now available for purchase through Tate Music Group!  I am so excited about this album, and I will tell you why.  This is a 2-disc set with 16 songs total, and there is a great variety of songs on this album.  The styles range from worshipful songs to bluegrass to patriotic to a style all my own.  Some of the songs are taken directly from Scripture, one honors community helpers, and one is a special favorite: "I Love My Mother."  "A Good Daddy" is a collection of definitions from my 4th-6th grade Sunday School class on what they believe makes a good daddy.  

The third song on the album called, "Something We All Have in Common" was one of the songs I had the privilege of singing in front of our state capitol of Connecticut at the Bushnell Park on September 12, 2015 at the Gospel Festival, with mics loud enough to be heard on the area streets.  We all look for unity - well, something we all have in common is presented in this song. 

One song called, "Praise Be To God" I wrote when we were in financial strains.  I wanted a song that would be good to sing when going through hard times, to remember to honor and glorify God when things are going well...and when things aren't.  Praise be to God just the same.

"You Be The One" has somewhat of a sports theme, cheering you on to not wait for someone else to do great things that need to be done, but for you to go ahead and just do it! Honor God with your life, no matter what others are doing. Just be the one that God can count on.  He wants to use us, so let's be there, be available for His service - the best team you could ever be on! Go, go go!

There is also a song based on an outline by George Zeller from Middletown Bible Church that shows how absurd it is to doubt God's Word, especially as it relates to eternal security.  There is a lot of doctrine packed into that little song!  

The song, "My Lord and My God" has a beautiful penny flute that was recorded in Nashville - gives it a Celtic feel. It's one of my favorites, especially because it gets down to the heart of everything - our belief in the existence of God.

There are some fun sounding banjos in some of the songs, too. I wrote a song based on a funny expression by friend Stephanie used to say when we were teens, and while it's a kind of joke, there is some good truth in it about not taking ourselves too seriously.  God's not done working on us yet! Keep trying to do right, but don't get discouraged when people are mean hearted toward you.  

There is a song about the prodigal son that focuses on forgiveness.  There is also a song called, "Super Hero Syndrome" that empathizes with those who dedicate their lives for service to others.  The first verse reflects my own experience of when I worked evenings as a nurse in the ICU.

The last song on the album is called, "This is Why I Love Him", and is an absolutely beautiful song worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us before we ever loved Him.  I remember being on the plane coming home from Oklahoma, where I recorded this album, and looking at the beautiful sky and white, puffy clouds, and listening to the accompaniment to this song. So beautiful.

My patriotic song is a favorite of mine: "A Country Without a Man."  You've heard of a man without a country, right?  Well, this song talks about how awful it would be for America to stand alone without men and women, boys and girls who are brave enough to stand for what is right, to "do America proud", to be patriotic and true to the red, white and blue and all she stands for.  This song is the one I chose for my music video, which was done in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol.  Click here to see my music video: A Country Without a Man music video

The release date for my album is December 1, 2015!  Then it will be available through national distribution, and some international markets.

This is the link to my electronic press kit, where you can learn more about the album, and purchase a copy if you wish. There will be sample songs, a few photos, and the video linked on this as well; should be complete next week. I just couldn't wait to get started sharing the good news about my album!  This is my favorite one so far, and brings in a lot of truths through song.Sold Out! for God, Family & Country electronic press kit

This is a direct link to Tate Music Group's online store. Tate Music Group online store for buying Sold Out! for God, Family & Country

You can also order through my website:  http://dawnfoss.tateauthor.com/

This is the cover of my album.  I wanted to combine God, family, and country in a single picture, so having a teen boy reading his Bible unashamedly on the front step of his house with an American flag waving proudly in his front yard encapsulated all of these treasures in one.

This is not a backdrop - this is the real deal - Oklahoma State Capitol.  I LOVE Oklahoma!!!  I think it's because I adore Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group so much, and they are located in Mustang, OK. They are making my dreams come true as I have this unique opportunity to share God's truths with others through my writings of books and music.

I will have you know that I had to touch the tree while avoiding ants from walking on my fingers!  It was also in the 90's and very humid out - we didn't get many shots that day because I quickly got very hot and sweaty!  But we did get a few good ones.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The holiness of God - #6 of 6

This is the last part of the series by Dr. R.C. Sproul on the holiness of God.  This is specifically about the holiness of Jesus Christ.  He brings some great things to light about our human response to someone who is holy.  I recommend watching the link, but I also typed up a summary. God bless you as you learn more about the holiness of God, and may it draw you into a closer relationship with Him.


#6 – The Holiness of Christ

On a college campus a gentleman was speaking about Christ, and someone heckled him and hollered out, “Who cares?” He noted that the audience was hostile.  There has been a growing hostility in our nation toward the Christian faith and a growing sense of militancy from pro Christian and anti-Christian forces. The unbelievers are deeply afraid that militant Christians are going to try to force religious adherence through law on unbelievers and they are justifiably afraid of that.  Remember: the 1st amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects the non-Christian as much as the Christian. We have to be careful about that.  Anguish and hostility is directed against Christians, theologians, ministers, tele-evangelists, etc.  However, it is rare that people will publicly criticize the integrity of Jesus.  

George Bernard Shaw, who was not a Christian, once commented that “there were times when Jesus did not behave as a Christian”! There is some irony in that!  When Shaw wanted to criticize Jesus he could think of no higher moral standard by which to criticize Him than the standard of Christ Himself.  When there is hostility against us, there is a kind of restraint about Jesus.  Of all the human beings who have ever lived, there has never been someone who has engendered more universal respect for his integrity than Jesus of Nazareth.  The world is so complimentary about him, but if he was so wonderful, kind and compassionate, why was He killed?  Not only was He executed, but the masses were clamoring for His blood.  What was it about Jesus of Nazareth that inflamed people’s passions either for Him or against Him?

Let's read a passage in the New Testament. Mark 4:35-41: “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

There would be terrible wind tunnels that came upon the Sea of Galilee without any warning, and still do to this day.  There was a bad storm, and Jesus was sleeping during this storm.  The disciples were afraid.  

Dr. R.C. Sproul taught a course called, "Academic Atheism."  Students had to read the primary sources/writings of the most articulate atheists of western history.  They did these readings and found the atheists of the 19th and 20th century asked this question: we know there is no God, but why is it that mankind seems to be incurably devoted to the pursuit of religion? Madelyn Murray said they are given to superstition, and not thinking critically, and we need to educate further.  They agreed on this: religion emerges historically out of the psychological needs of people, out of man’s human fraility.  We all share our mortality. Frued and Marx said that every human has a built-in fear of natural forces that threaten our very lives.  Historically people began to invent religion to impose the idea of a living soul inside these forces, a god in the storm, in the earthquake, in the pestilence.  Personalization of nature was a first step in the evolutionary process.  

All kinds of things threaten our existence: cancer, fire, flood, war, other people.  We have learned to survive the hostility of other people.  We have learned how to deal with that.  If we are around someone who is angry, we may beg for mercy, compliment him, bribe him, find ways to short circuit personal attacks against us. Freud asked, how does one negotiate with a hurricane or flood? You can’t plead with a storm, bribe an earthquake, flatter cancer and make it go away. These are non personal forces, but we project onto nature personal characteristics so we can talk to the storm, then sacrilege it into deity. Or we invent monotheism and talk to one God about all of these problems.  It's thought that if you worship God and honor God and tithe, send in your check, then God who is more powerful than the storm will protect you from all of these problems. 

Emphasis on prosperity and health on TV, it's said by some preachers that God always wills these things, "name it and claim it."  To experience prosperity you have to name it and believe in it and God will deliver these things.  We certainly have an ability to project our desires and wishes upon nature as Freud indicated. He said out of fear of nature we invent God, so God becomes a crutch, or opiate at Marx suggested, for people who simply can’t bear to live in a hostile or indifferent universe.  

Going back to the Scripture in Mark, we find the disciples of Jesus terrified because of an encounter with the destructive forces of nature. Their lives are in jeopardy from the tempest arising at sea, so as people will often do when they are afraid, they went to their leader, woke him up, and said, "Master, do something or we perish!" He looked around and apprised the situation and then the Lord God incarnate, the Creator of heaven and earth issued a verbal command not to men but to the impersonal forces of nature. He addressed the sea and the wind and commanded in a loud voice, “Peace be still!” Instantly the response of the cosmos in obedience took place so that the sea became as glass and the wind was still.  

What is the response of the disciples when Jesus removes the clear and present threat of nature? Did they rejoice and say they knew he would do it? No, at that moment they became very much afraid.  Their fears now became intensified instead of relieved.  There is something inside the human heart that fears more than the impersonal forces of nature and that is the power and presence of a person who is holy.  Now the disciples are trembling, and say, “what manner of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” 

Xenophobia, the apartness, the difference of God that threatens and frightens us – the disciples realized we have just now witnessed a display of a kind of humanity with which we are utterly unfamiliar.  When you meet a new person, your brain goes through a catalog of responses, if smiling, frowning, tall people, etc., it tells us different things from our experience, and we learn how to be with other people from our experience.  There was once a therapy to strip of their clothes and reveal their secrets of their heart.  Premium of openness, vulnerability, but that movement was short lived, and people were brutally hurt when they opened up.  Everyone has had a secret betrayed, someone tramples over your soul. We learn to put some armour on after that happens.  We don’t want to be vulnerable and open.  We use this mechanism very carefully to see if a person is safe or not safe.  

They saw Jesus and their mind’s computers went haywire; we don’t have a category for this man. Never encountered someone who is so other and so different, separate and apart from normal humanity that He can command the sea and the sea obeys.  They realized they were in the presence of the holy and their fear was increased. This is the only time that sort of thing happens in the NT.  

However, on another occasion, same people, same sea, they were out all night fishing and came back with empty nets.  Jesus approaches them and says to Peter, how did it go? Lousy night, no fish. Jesus said to put the nets on this side of the boat. Peter was probably thinking, “Hey, Jesus, you are a fantastic theologian, but give me some credit, I’m a professional fisherman, are you going to tell me how to fish?” But he figured, Let’s humor him. Then every fish in the sea of Galilee jumps in the net!  For Peter, fishing was not for fun but for profit.  Peter could have said to Jesus that he wanted to contract with him, split the profits 50/50, and make some real money here!  But no, Peter said to Jesus, “depart from me for I am a sinful man.” In other words, Jesus, please leave. I can’t stand it. 

When one who is holy comes into our midst, immediately we are uncomfortable and dreadfully aware of our unholiness, and want that person to get as far from us as possible.  A golfer played with Billy Graham once and that person felt that religion was shoved down his throat for 18 holes, but Billy Graham never said a word.  People are uncomfortable in our presence not because we are holy but because we represent the One who is.  The Pharisees were Jesus’ worst enemy, devoted to righteousness, but were self righteous. The people who were most comfortable around Jesus were the outcast sinners because they had no illusions about their own righteousness.  Those who took pride in their moral purity were uncomfortable because Jesus exposed their unholy character.  When the light comes, the darkness cannot stand in its presence.  

Jesus didn’t leave Peter.  He told Peter to come unto me, your burden, I will give you peace.  We are invited to come into the presence of a holy God.  The Psalmist said, "Search me and know me."  The secret the Christian carries around with him is that the one place we can be naked without fear is in the presence of Christ.  Even though we have this built in fear toward the holy one and we recognize we are unholy, in Christ we are welcome. The first fruits of a person’s justification is peace with God and access into His presence.  

If you are saying, Please leave, Jesus, you make me uncomfortable, realize this: 1. There is no possible escape ever from the holiness of God. You are going to have to deal with it now or at some point. Get it settled right now. 2. Understand there is a righteousness that God has provided for you in Christ, it’s foreign, it's not your own, it’s the righteousness of Christ freely offered to you if you submit to the Lordship of Christ.  All He has and all He has done becomes yours. The worst storms of divine wrath is silenced forever and He declared “PEACE.”  Your guilt is taken away. To be a Christian is to be forgiven. Not arrogance but gratitude is the response. No Christian is righteous in and of himself.  Will you come into His presence today and receive His free gift of grace, salvation for your soul?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The holiness of God - #5 of 6

This is a transcript I wrote up of Dr. R.C. Sproul's 5th part of his six part series on the Holiness of God. His entire series is free on his website to listen to, and is a classic series that will never grow old.  I love this part on "The Meaning of Holiness."  I often thought of it as "set apart" or "pure", but the meaning is deeper than that.  He does a phenomenal job at giving us a more thorough understanding of what holiness means, and how we should treat the name of God.  We can apply this meaning to how we conduct our lives in business, family, the music and entertainment we choose, etc. 

#5 – The meaning of holiness

The word "holy" seems to be a synonym for moral purity or for righteousness. There are two major meanings of the term "holy" in Scripture.  The secondary meaning is personal righteousness and purity. But the primary meaning is separate or theological apartite. That which is “holy” is that which is “other” or different from anything else.  

God’s transcendence and magnificence is higher and superior to anything else in the creaturely realm.  That which is holy is that which is different. Holy vessels, holy moments, Holy Spirit, Holy one of Israel, holy ground, etc.  All people have some sense of holy time and holy space. Your room, under a favorite tree, a fort, a place that has a special significance to you is considered holy space.  Holy time would be your birthday, something you celebrate as a moment in time that has special importance to you.  Holidays = a holy day. A day that is different from the ordinary days, special, set apart for remembrance.  Sacred time, space, things.  

What makes something so special? Why are we drawn to the holy? The touch of God can take something common and make it extraordinary and sacred and holy.  When He touches you, you become uncommon.  

Phobias – cats, crowded spaces, death, etc.  #1 fear of American people: standing in front of a group and giving a talk. Xenophobia – the fear of strangers or foreigners.  We have a tendency to be frightened of people whose customs are different from ours.  We have a fear of the living God because He is so different from us, high and exalted.  Fascinating study: a little but important book written in the early 20th century by a German theologian and anthropologist Rudolph Otto entitled: “The Idea of the Holy.”  He examined people from different cultures and tried to find out what they regarded as holy or sacred In their culture. Studied to see what the normal human reaction is to the holy.  Inventing phrases to describe what is the holy? The answer he gave was the holy is the mysterium tremendum.  The experience we have of the holy is an experience of something very strange and impossible to penetrate and fathom.  Mysterious and powerful, and this provokes a sense of fear within us. “the awful mystery.” 

Moments of awareness of the presence of God, not part of our ordinary daily experience.  Our ordinary existence is profane, but every Christian knows about that precious moment of awareness of the presence of God, but it’s fleeting. Not everyone responds in the same way. But he detected that across the board the basic response of humans is a response of ambivalence.  We have conflicting feelings about the holy.  There is something about the holiness of God that attracts us and repels and frightens us. Fascinates and terrifies.  

We like to scare ourselves, tell ghost stories, go on thrill rides, etc. People pay money to be frightened (Disney). Dualistic attitude toward the holy. Marketing geniuses expose them to a TV program or movie about the holy. Tendency to keep ourselves at a safe distance from the character of God. Attracted and repelled by it. Drawn to and terrified of Jesus. This element that we fear is at the core of the character of God. 

To understand it, in the NT it's a priority of learning. The Lord’s Prayer can be divided into 3 parts, from formal address to the petitions to the closing.  What is the first petition of the Lord’s prayer?  Is "hallowed be thy name" part of the formal address or the first petition? If it were part of the formal address, Jesus would have said, "Hollowed is your name", but He said "hollowed be thy name."  The first thing you are to pray for is that the name of God be treated as sacred and holy.  Repeatedly "Holy is His Name" is in the Bible.  

Suppose in today’s age in the USA we started all over and decided to throw out all lawyers, laws and our constitution and start fresh, but your job is to write the new constitution and bill of rights.  All laws will be based on 10 laws you draw up. What ten would you write? How many would waste one against coveting? How many would put in the Top 10 that children are to respect and obey parents? Most would prohibit murder and theft. Would you make it the Law of the land that no one ever takes the name of God in vain?  God wrote a constitution for a national government, and that made His top 10.  Isn’t that incredible? 

Movies use all kinds of bad language, using the name of God as a common curse word – well, Jesus said to pray that His Father’s name will be regarded as holy.  Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  My reign, my sovereignty, my authority as king will be honored and recognized in this world and the people will do my will on this planet as the angels in heaven obey my will.  Logical progression here. The kingdom of God will never come on this earth or the will of God be done on this earth unless the name of God is revered by His people.  How is it possible to honor a king and at the same time desecrate his name? No magic associated with the utterance of a word, but they understood as God understands that if we have a cavalier, casual attitude about the name of God, that reveals more deeply than anything else we say about our deepest attitude toward the God of the name. If you use the name of God as a common curse word you are at root a profane person, and have no respect for the holiness of God. Think before you let that word pass over your lips again in a frivolous manner. God will not tolerate the desecration of his name. He made it in the top 10. 

Jesus says that you should pray that the name of God would be holy, treated as different, special, extraordinary, exalted because He is different and special and extraordinary. When we are called to be holy we are called to be different, in the style of God, righteous, be different from the normal standards of this world. Show what righteousness is in this life. Mirror and reflect the character of God to a dying world.

Joni Earickson Tada and Burt Kettinger - a wonderful evening!!!

Try not to be jealous, but I had the honor to be at the WIHS (our local Christian radio station) Annual Banquet, which had about 500 people in attendance!  The guest speaker was none other than Joni Earickson Tada!  Oh, was she wonderful!  I also was deeply blessed by her inspiring message and by the comforting music of Burt Kettinger. Wow! His voice is so warm and soothing, and his songs just drew me closer to the Lord.  Sometimes the whole congregation was singing along (even with Joni!), and it sounded heavenly.  No modern Christian rock concert can bring this kind of joy and inspiration I felt last night.  Joni gave away some books, too - I am looking forward to reading her book entitled, "How To Be a Christian in a Brave New World." For those who aren't familiar with Joni, she has a radio program called, "Joni and Friends", which airs nationally on Christian Radio Stations, and as she is a quadriplegic, she has a burden for disabled people.  She has started a ministry called, "Wheels for the World", and goes into poor countries delivering wheelchairs and crutches to disabled people who would otherwise be confined to a bed. She also brings the gospel to them.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

This is the website for Burt Kettinger: http://www.burtkettinger.com/
This is the website for Joni Earickson Tada: Joni and Friends Radio Program

That table that was next to me were Joni's books that she was giving away.

This was Burt Kettinger's table (right across from mine) of CD's he was selling.

This was my table, which contained info about our church and Christian school, as well as books and CD's I've written.

My pastor's wife Nancy Atkinson and I, with our usual goofy selfies!

One of our favorite families, the Bennetts, were also in attendance, with some of their CD's, and also info for Hope Pregnancy Center.

A look down the hall at some of the ministry tables.

My best friend Nancy Atkinson!  We had a fun evening together!

She was talking with her hands, not getting ready to choke this lovely lady! LOL!
Notice the chimes - these were really cool for people to try them.  It represented our school's (and church's) chimes choirs.

The Bennett's table.

It was a great crowd! We had a wonderful dinner, and was fun getting to know some new people, and run into some old friends as well!

Burt Kettinger sang some beautiful songs that comforted my soul and drew me closer to the Lord.

Joni Earickson Tada - she made me laugh, made me cry, and warmed my heart.

In two weeks it is her birthday, so many people brought her a birthday card. I also put in there with my card my Beauty in Pain album; I hope it will be a blessing to her.

She was gracious enough to pose for many pictures. That's her husband Ken next to her.  He was so good with her, as she has some physical needs at times when she's speaking, such as help getting into a position so she can cough/clear her throat adequately.  She said such a wonderful thing: "Humiliation is the quickest path to humility.  God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble!" (James 4:6) Aren't you glad?