Life is not always a bed of roses. The world we live in today is a very precarious place. We send our children to school to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with a few other subjects. But they learn more about drugs, sex, and disrespect, than any other subject. Now you say, ‘that’s really a jaded view of the world’, but I am using my early years in school, as a measuring stick, to compare to today’s school behavior. No we were not perfect angels, in fact many of us were ornery, but the principles were allowed to give swats, which acted as a deterrent for those who would step over the line. We also had a dress code, of no slacks or shorts, and when you knelt on the floor your skirt had to touch the ground. It is my understanding that some private and public schools still have a dress code, which makes peer pressure less of a factor in their day.

One thing that adds to the peer pressure is the constant use of social media. It use to be when you left the school, you pretty much left all that behind you. But in today’s society, it follows you not only home, but everywhere else. If anything goes on everybody whips out their phones and begins to videotape. Often times not understanding the scenes that are unfolding before them can lead to putting people in harm’s way, setting one set of people against another, without knowing the facts.

Our own Congress men and women are more interested in getting in front of the camera, and accusing one another, than they are representing the people who voted them into the office. It all makes us a little weary of the whole drama that we hear every day.

The Governor of Virginia, right now has unleashed a great controversy in his state, over the right to bear arms. Disregarding the constitution, he is intent on making his own rules, fueling civil unrest.

We are all a little leery of who and what to believe. Not sure anybody on Capitol Hill has the common man’s best interest at heart. It seems they each have their own agenda, and the little man be damned.

The reason I mentioned you don’t know who to believe anymore, is when my brother passed away he left me a tiny little house. He had just bought it so he left me the mortgage also. I spruced it up and rented it out, using the typical one-year lease with no pets. The first renter snuck in a pet, and then broke the lease, by moving out when a bigger house became available. Trying to be the bigger person in this scenario I gave back his security deposit, even though I didn’t have to because he broke the lease. The second renter was a real whiz-bang! His first month and security deposit check bounced, he said he had been hacked at the bank. After the longest three months of my life, he moved out having never paid the electric bill, the water bill, or one penny of rent. I heard every excuse in the book from him, why he didn’t have the rent, but would any day. He had a Pitbull, of which, he said he was taking to his sister’s on the very first day, but of course that also was a lie. He seemed to be a very nice upstanding young man, but you could not believe a single word that came out of his mouth.

Needless to say this unfortunate set of circumstances, set me behind financially. I could kick and scream, curse and stomp my feet, but all that would do is bring me down to his level. So what do I choose to do about it all? The very first thing is to learn a lesson, and never make the same mistake again. Those details I will not bore you with, but trust me, I have a whole list of things I will change in doing business in the future. So how did I keep from falling into a deep depression when the world around me is so screwed up? It’s very simple really, I Sing!

Listen, 119 times in the Bible we are commanded to sing. That doesn’t include the words singing, praising, or rejoicing, that would bring the count way up. Regardless of what we are going through, whether good times or bad, we are supposed to sing. When Paul and Silas were in prison, they sang. When Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the Egyptians did not escape the water, they all sang! It was a typical ballad that are often written to remember a point in history. Why?  The Bible gives us the promise that God will  never leave us, or forsake us, and He will always take care of His children. We are told not to worry about tomorrow, for God is already there. Because of my age and upbringing, I struggle getting used to the new contemporary songs, (that they are singing in most churches now). But the Bible is very plain when it says in, Psalms 98:4-6, Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

 As part of the worship team, I stand up front at church, look out over the congregation, and wonder why they are there. They don’t smile or sing. The Bible never says only sing if you have a good voice, can stay in tune, or are happy. You don’t have to be the loudest one in the church, just open your mouth and praise the Lord. After all, He commanded us to sing!

As parents we need to teach our children manners, deportment, and respect. I have often been asked how I get my grandchildren to behave in church. I tell them it is a learned behavior, and on the ride to church they are told how they are expected to behave. Children must be taught, they are not born with an encyclopedia in their heads. The mantra I use is: when it’s time to stand, they answer ‘we stand’, when it’s time to sit-‘we sit’, when it’s time to pray-‘we pray’, and when it’s time to sing- ‘we sing’!

We as writers, can use the words to songs to make a point. Songs paint a picture, and often its use is clearer, than any other medium we can use to get the point across. Many great works of poetry, including some of them in the Bible, have been put to music with great success. Let’s keep it going!


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