VIDEO Dolly Parton says she started making Christian music after God called her to share faith

 

Country music icon Dolly Parton spoke at length about her decision to focus on making Christian music, revealing that she sees her music not as a job but as a “ministry.”

The 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony is set for Jan. 26, 2020, and Parton has two nominations for collaborations she has worked on in the past two years, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Parton’s first nomination is in the Gospel/ Contemporary Christian Music category for her collaboration on the single, “God Only Knows,” with the band King & Country.

The second is for her song “Girl in the Movies,” which she and Linda Perry penned for the 2018 Netflix move, “Dumplin’.”

In light of her recent nominations, Parton spoke with People, opening up about why she started focusing more on making Christian music.

“I’ve done so many things,” Parton, 73, told People. “And I see that I am in a position to help. People look at me like someone they’ve always known, like a mother or sister. If I say something good, people might listen.”

As for her decision to make Christian music, Parton revealed she felt that God was calling her to do so.

“I’ve just felt like God was calling me into that,” Parton said. “I’ve always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job. I just feel that this day and time, we need more people that are in a position to help to try to do something, if they can, to brighten the world a little bit. That’s what I’m hoping to do now.”

In addition to her collaboration with King & Country, Parton participated in two other faith-based song collaborations recently, including “There Was Jesus,” with Christian artist Zach Williams and “Faith” with DJ duo Galantis.

Parton revealed that the timing of making the three songs seemed orchestrated by God.

“I felt really blessed because I had decided just in the last few months that I was going to try to do more faith-based things or at least more uplifting music,” Parton said.

“Then right out of the blue came King and Country and their ‘God Only Knows.’ And then the Zach Williams song, ‘There Was Jesus.’ All three of those just came and I went, ‘Well, that must be an answer.’ I’ve got three faith-based songs out now, which I feel very good about.

“Whether you believe in God or not, we need to believe in something bigger and better than what’s going on because we’re not doing too hot. We need to try to do a little better.”

Parton continued by saying while she does not want to force her beliefs on anybody, she hopes that people will see her life as pointing to God and not to anybody else.

“I’m not trying to tell anybody how to be,” Parton said. “I just say who I am and how I am.”

“If there’s something you see in me that’s got a light, then I like to think that’s God’s light — not my light,” she continued.

“In my faith, it bothers me sometimes when I see people worshiping the stars and all that. I’m like, ‘Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go there.’ That’s why I want to ship that on up to God. I don’t need nobody worshiping me. If I do shine and radiate, I’d like to think that is God’s light and I’d like to pass that on. I want to direct people to Him, not me.”

By Kim Davis, The Western Journal  November 26, 2019

Original here

Is There Hope?

If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31

 

Edward Payson (1783–1827) led an extremely difficult life. The death of his younger brother shook him to the core. He struggled with bipolar disorder, and he was affected by extreme migraine headaches for days. If this wasn’t enough, a fall from a horse led to paralysis of his arm, and he almost died from tuberculosis! Surprisingly, his response wasn’t one of despair and hopelessness. His friends said that before Edward passed away, his joy was intense. How could that be?

In his letter to the believers in Rome, the apostle Paul expressed his complete confidence in the reality of God’s love regardless of circumstances. He asked with boldness, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). If God gave His very own Son, Jesus, to save us, then He will provide everything we need to finish this life well. Paul listed seven seemingly unbearable situations that he himself faced: trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and the sword (v. 35). He didn’t imply that Christ’s love would stop bad things from happening. But Paul said that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (v. 37).

Through the uncertainty of this world, God can be trusted completely, knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 39).

By: Estera Pirosca Escobar

Reflect & Pray

When you face seemingly hopeless situations, how do you typically respond? What promise of God can you cling to, knowing He is faithful?

Faithful Father, thank You for Your Son’s sacrifice so that I can have eternal life. Thank You that, no matter how gray life may seem, I can trust in Your promises.

To learn more about living with the difficulties, visit bit.ly/2wXd3Jj.

Our Place Called Heaven

John 14:1-3

If you asked a dozen people what they know about heaven, you’d probably get all sorts of answers. Even Christians have various ideas about what it is, where it’s located, and what it will be like. Some people imagine heaven to be an ethereal, dream-like place where the inhabitants are vaporous spirits—but this is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Put simply, heaven is the home of God. Separate from and beyond creation, it’s an entirely different realm of existence. But it is a literal place with form and substance, and it contains the holy city. The apostle John had a vision of this place, and what he saw is recorded for us in chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation. A wall with foundation stones and gates surrounds the city, which has a street, a river, God’s throne, and the tree of life. All of these are material objects, although they far exceed anything of earthly substance.

Jesus told His disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house. He also said He’d return to take them there so they could be with Him forever. Then they watched as His resurrected body ascended from the earth and returned to heaven (Acts 1:9). He is still there today in His physical body, sitting at the right hand of the Father’s throne.

When Christ returns, He will resurrect Christians who have died, transform the bodies of believers who are still alive, and take us all back to the eternal home He has prepared for all His followers. Only then will we finally understand what heaven is.

White as Snow Garment

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” (Daniel 7:9)

In this amazing vision of the everlasting God on His fiery judgment throne, we find one of the six occurrences in the Bible of the fascinating phrase “white as snow.” As the symbol of holiness, pure white finds its clearest natural expression in the beautiful snow when it has freshly covered the ground.

Twice the phrase is used to describe the cleansing of a guilty sinner by the grace of God. David, after confessing his own sin, prayed: “Have mercy upon me, O God. . . . Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. . . . wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:1-2, 7). Then, God promises through His prophet: “Come now, and let us reason together, . . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). The cleansing blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, is the only substance that can turn blood-red scarlet into snowy white.

When Christ ascended the Mount of Transfiguration, “his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow” (Mark 9:3), which confirmed to the three disciples that He was the Son of God, even as the voice from heaven had said (Matthew 17:5). At the empty tomb following His resurrection, “the angel of the Lord” also had “raiment white as snow” (Matthew 28:3). Finally, when John saw Christ in His glorified body, he testified that “his head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow” (Revelation 1:14).

It is marvelous that the raiment of the angel of God, the transfigured Christ, and the Ancient of days, as well as the head of Christ in His glory, are all described with the same phrase as the soul of one whose sins are forgiven! HMM

What About God’s Desire?

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

—Genesis 1:27

I believe there is good sound reasoning back of all this. I believe that He created man out of no external necessity. I believe it was an internal necessity. God, being the God He was and is, and being infinitely perfect and infinitely beautiful and infinitely glorious and infinitely admirable and infinitely loving, out of His own inward necessity had to have some creature that was capable of admiring Him and loving Him and knowing Him. So God made man in His own image; in the image and likeness of God made He him; and He made him as near to being like Himself as it was possible for the creature to be like the Creator. The most godlike thing in the universe is the soul of man.

The reason God made man in His image was that he might appreciate God and admire and adore and worship; so that God might not be a picture, so to speak, hanging in a gallery with nobody looking at Him. He might not be a flower that no one could smell; He might not be a star that no one could see. God made somebody to smell that flower, the lily of the valley. He wanted someone to see that glorious image. He wanted someone to see the star, so He made us and in making us made us to worship Him. WMJ003

Lord, I can’t completely comprehend how or why You created me in Your image, as much like You as a creature could be. But I’ll respond today with admiration for Your creation and with worship for my Creator. Amen.

 

Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed

Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed; with us is the Lord our God, to help us, and to fight our battles.—2 Chronicles 32:7, 8.

 

We fling aside the weight and sin,

Resolved the victory to win,

No shrinking from the desperate fight,

No thought of yielding or of flight,

With the brave heart and steady eye,

We onward march to victory.

Horatius Bonar.

 

If you, your heart, your will, are enlisted on the good side, if you are wishing and trying that the good in you should conquer the bad, then you are on the side of God Himself, and God is on your side; and “if God be for us, who shall be against us?” Take courage, then. If thou dislikest thy sins, so does God. If thou art fighting against thy worst feelings, so is God. On thy side is God who made all, and Christ who died for all, and the Holy Spirit who alone gives wisdom, purity, nobleness. How canst thou fail when He is on thy side? On thy side are all spirits of just men made perfect, all wise and good souls in earth and heaven, all good and wholesome influences, whether of nature or of grace, of matter or of mind. How canst thou fail if they are on thy side?

Charles Kingsley.

 

The True Walking Posture

“He that walketh uprightly walketh surely.” Prov. 10:9

His walk may be slow, but it is sure. He that hasteth to be rich shall not be innocent nor sure; but steady perseverance in integrity, if it do not bring riches, will certainly bring peace. In doing that which is just and right we are like one walking upon a rock, for we have confidence that every step we take is upon solid and safe ground. On the other hand, the utmost success through questionable transactions must always be hollow and treacherous, and the man who has gained it must always be afraid that a day of reckoning will come, and then his gains will condemn him.

Let us stick to truth and righteousness. By God’s grace let us imitate our Lord and Master, in whose mouth no deceit was ever found. Let us not be afraid of being poor, nor of being treated with contempt. Never, on any account whatever, let us do that which our conscience cannot justify. If we lose inward peace, we lose more than a fortune can buy. If we keep in the Lord’s own way, and never sin against our conscience, our way is sure against all comers. Who is he that can harm us if we be followers of that which is good? We may be thought fools by fools if we are firm in our integrity; but in the place where judgment is infallible we shall be approved.