WE SING

The same year I finished the last part of my M.Ed. degree, I also taught at Alabama Christian Academy while our elder son and daughter attended Alabama Christian College, later called Faulkner University. Our two youngest children attended elementary school at ACA. Our elder son met his future wife at Faulkner that year, and the three sang in the Alabama Christian College chorus together.

Keith Lancaster’s A’ Capella group was a regular feature at the school, often appearing on special programs. Someone mentioned that the lead bass singer, Rodney Britt, made the flatware vibrate on the tables even when he spoke.

Dayspring (Job 38:12Luke 1:78), was another singing group at Faulkner featuring four young men who raised funds for Alabama Christian College by travelling to sing for interested audiences. Our elder son, his two roommates and another young man often sang by appointment. We enjoyed hearing them live when they were back at home, and we enjoyed listening to their cassette tapes.

As you can see, music filled our lives day after day. We sang because we were happy (James 5:13), and those times were often. We sang while riding in the car together, and after our daily Bible readings. Sometimes we invited friends over just to sing together. Today, we still sing often, but we also take a more serious approach to Christian music, as we sing and make melody in our heats to the LORD (Col. 3:16-17 KJV). Colossians 3:17 directs Christians this way: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name (by the authority) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

If we do not have book, chapter and verse for everything we teach, then we must reconsider what we are doing. We determined to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. How could we not understand that our singing also must be to this end? Our first determination was to sing as the LORD directs. We later realized that some songs actually were loaded with false doctrines, which needed to be abandoned or corrected to be sure we were not teaching each other the wrong things (Eph. 5:19). Singing is serious because it is actually teaching each other.

As I was considering some of the newer religious songs that have come out, I came across a pitiful little boy’s stage appearance on America’s Got Talent. No doubt, the deeper meaning in this prayer song is something the child probably did not understand at age four. What about age ten? Without a doubt, there are more than enough doctrinal issues with the way “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord” is done on stage with instrumental music. My reason for including it here is to cause us to think of the, spiritual implications of the words. What a pitiful child! His mother’s drug addiction caused so much suffering. Spiritual sight could be so much more valuable to this young boy than physical sight. At least his uncle found where he was and adopted him before he had his second birthday. May the LORD bless us all to open the eyes of our hearts to see His purpose and promises for our lives.

Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

Living by Faith

When honest people repeat a man’s words, they generally do their best not to interpret–or say more than he said. That’s fair. Let a man speak for himself.

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“LIVING BY FAITH”

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6)

INTRO.: A song which talks about the importance of faith in our lives to please God is “Living by Faith” (#286 in Songs of the Church). The text of stanzas 1-3 was written by James S. Wells (1872-1947). I have not been able to locate any further information on this author. The text of stanza 4 was written by Robert Emmett Winsett (1876-1952). The tune was composed by J. L. Heath. I have also not been able to locate any further information on this composer. The song first appeared in His Voice in Song edited by R. E. Winsett for the Winsett Music Co. of Chattanooga, TN, in 1918. What I have…

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RETURNING EVIL FOR GOOD

How does God view those who return evil for good? 

Returning evil for evil is a natural response for most men. God requires a higher standard of his children, commanding us not even to return evil for evil (1 Thess. 5:15).

In fact, we are commanded to return good for evil even to our enemies (Matt. 5:44-45), and in so doing, overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).

On the other hand there are those whose hearts are ready to return evil for good. The Lord warns those who return evil for good that “evil shall not depart from his house” (Pro. 17:13).

Another kind of heart feels fully justified in speaking evil of what they do not understand (2 Pet. 2:12). The Jews in Ephesus believed they were fully justified in teaching the Law, but they did not understand either what they said or what they affirmed (1 Tim. 1:7).

Still others speak evil of God’s favored and anointed. David was plagued with this kind of people. “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul” (Psa. 35:11).

David, on the other hand genuinely loved the souls and testified that “…when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” David further testified:

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. 15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: 16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth (Psa. 35:14-16).

Though we may think that David had an easy and prosperous life in killing Goliath and winning all the battles, nevertheless, he testified that many spoke against him.

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin (Psa. 109:2-7).

David comforted himself by his faith in God. First he describes those who love evil and then declares God’s judgment on those same souls.

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp rasor, working deceitfully. 3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah” (Psa. 52:2-5).

The prophet Isaiah warned those who perverted judgment. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isa. 5:20-21).

Is it possible to know the real hearts of these people? Jesus declared:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matt. 7:16-18).

God promises to judge us by our words.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37).

He encourages us to turn away from evil to do good and promises: “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it” (1 Pet. 3:10-11).

He warns us that those who hate cover their hatred with good words.

24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. (Proverbs 26:24-26)

Again our Heavenly Father warns us about gossips. Those who flatter us are likely to be the same ones who are speaking perverse things behind our backs.

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips (Proverbs 20:19).

What should we be doing?

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: 16 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” (1 Pet. 3:15-16).

If we are truly pleasing to God, we will have a tongue that is choice silver. “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom” (Pro. 10:20-21).

We should never be like the person whose tongue is like the piercings of a sword.  “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Pro. 12:18-19).

Do we want to have a wholesome tongue?  “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Pro. 15:4).  “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. 24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath” (Pro. 21:23-24). “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1 Pet. 3:10).

–Beth Johnson

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

What the FDA isn’t telling you about your antibiotic.

It is good to know that research and follow-up are being done now, but pity the poor people who have been adversely affected before anyone knew these things.

Mountains and Mustard Seeds

Dr. Charles Bennett submitted a petition to the FDA in 2014 , asking that Mitochondrial Toxicity be added to the FDA warning label for Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Cipro and Levaquin. He is a Hematological Oncologist and the director of SONAR (Southern Network on Adverse Reactions.) Sadly, before the FDA review; the scientist working on this research with Dr. Bennett at the University of South Carolina, was brutally murdered in his lab. The University of South Carolina, documented this tragic news in their newspaper. https://issuu.com/muscpr/docs/cat4-03finalwads This news proved both tragic for the university, the scientist, and all of those who have been injured by Fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Now the scientist who’d worked so hard on this research, could no longer be present to push the scientific research through the review process.

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Unfortunately as a result, in May of 2016 the FDA responded by denying his petition to add this vital information to…

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Psalms 1

Compare scriptures about seeking to edify with the statements by Job’s friends. Was their intent to edify? At first, was their mission to encourage or discourage?

for the invisible

Psalms 1

Here are some simple morning thoughts from reading through the Psalms.

Psalms 1:1-6

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

  • After so many years of little girl dreams about “one day” when I would be married, it’s amazing and exciting to finally be here – a wife, a helper, actually responsible for all those cares I used to imagine how I would manage. It’s such a sudden, new kind of life, that I feel almost like a child again – needing to stop and learn how to manage a simple day, needing to be taught the very basics. It’s been tempting to search online for advice and inspiration, but I need to shun worldly sources of counsel. Sometimes it sounds good, but it’s not the kind of counsel that will…

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