Author Archives: Eddie Pierce

The Duality of Christ’s Cup

The Duality of Christ’s Cup

The Duality of Christ’s Cup

IMG_72711

In the song Joy and Pain, Frankie Beverly & Maze testify that love, a singular emotion, is actually a condition of dual forces functioning as one.

The lyrics are as follows:

“Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain

Love can be bitter love can be sweet

Sometimes devotion, sometimes deceit

The ones you care for give you so much pain

THEY ARE BOTH ONE IN THE SAME”

Coincidentally and most likely unintentionally, the song also gives a glimpse into the dichotomy of the Christian faith.  But before Maze, there was the New Testament. In the account of Jesus’ last hours leading up to His death on the Cross, a rather inconspicuous item became a symbolic representation of the conflicting forces at work in the believers’ daily walk with Christ. Forces, emotions and circumstances that albeit are at opposing ends of the spiritual spectrum, work as a singular entity moving the believer towards a God given purpose and assignment.

At Passover, when Jesus gathered with His disciples one last time before His death, He used a cup both literally and symbolically to illustrate the benefits as well as the costs of a life surrendered to Him and yielded to His way. One cup with a dual purpose:

· one of restoration, renewed hope and cleansing (Matthew 26:27-28)

· and another of suffering and misery (Matthew 26:38-39, 41-42).

At the Last Supper with the Disciples, Christ presents “His” cup as one filled with the rewards of recommitment and the benefits of consecrating ourselves to Christ. Yet when the account moves to the Garden of Gethsemane, the time of glorious fellowship and comradery turns into a moment of fear and apprehension as the cup filled with all that comes with renewed purpose, cleansing and affirmation becomes one of pain, death and betrayal. The same cup which is the source of destinies fulfilled and new beginnings eventually drives our Lord and Savior to cry out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) and to even ask his Father in Matthew 26:39 “…if it is possible, take this cup away from me”

One cup exists as a single call over our lives. This call, this cup, is comprised of a distinct ‘duality” of forces operating at opposite ends of our faith as it moves us into deeper relationship with the Father.

Joy in the midst of Pain

Trust in the midst of Betrayal

Belief in midst of circumstances that justify Doubt

Strength in a time of Weakness

Peace in the midst of Mental Torment

Connection and Community in the midst of Abandonment and Loneliness

Sunshine and Rain, they are both one in the same.

Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of them who love Him and are called according to His purpose. So as we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior this Easter season, in order to appreciate Christ’s cup of communion and all the benefits that come with it we must understand what it cost. 2 Timothy 2:11-12 reminds us that if we die with Him we also live with him and if we endure hardship as Christ endured we will reign with Him. Embracing the duality of Christ’s cup and recognizing that the benefits we individually and collectively gain greatly outweigh our share of the burden of its cost enables us to do as Christ commands in Matthew 26:27…..

Then He took a cup and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying “Drink from it, all of you”.

 

-Canida

First times with God – Part 1

First times with God – Part 1

12714071_149895438728332_617920027_n

We all try to remember the first times and the beginnings of things that are important to us in life, from our first time realizing there is a higher being, a God, to the beginning of our spiritual journey.  When I think back to my first time and my beginnings I quicken with thankfulness and joy as my life has been a true living testimony of the greatness of God.

The first time I really, truly realized there was a God was when I watched my life unfold before my eyes, a broken marriage and my brother and I were just along for the ride. Without my knowing, God was there keeping me wrapped in His greatness, mercy, and love, as He knew I had no control over the environment around me.  As a child I witnessed some things I wish I could forget; however in all those times I felt a deep peace and protection within my being.

The first time I said, “God please, God please help us,” I knew He was the only one who could deliver a winning result in the midst of turmoil.

The first time I felt the Spirit of God rushing through me, I stepped firmly and boldly into my truth being the woman I am today.

As I reflect on these first times I become so happy and humbled that God kept me even though I was not fully emerged in His word. God loved me enough to place a protective hedge around my mind and my spirit, knowing He would use me again in the future.

As a body of believers we must remember that regardless of the first time we name Him or call on Him as the Savior and the God that He is; He has already kept you and loved you. God is the one who created you perfectly imperfect.  He birthed into you love and in return He expects love.

Psalms 56:4 “In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” This scripture speaks volumes as it is a direct connection with the presence of God in my life.  I know that because I am His child I am indeed covered by His blood and loved beyond measure.

We must realize as long as we seek Him and believe in His word, love, and mercy our first time, or first memory doesn’t matter because He has been there all along.

Blessings unto the Lord

~Jade Lenore

20160215_193937-2

The Balm in Beethoven

The Balm in Beethoven

9449ca11fae0e0de9b62106b7bb11f47b05504f3

God is using a dead composer’s classical music to deepen our relationship, heal emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain, and awaken creative potential He has given me.

So about six months ago, my life changed because of music. One night, as I was falling asleep, I started listening and watching Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on YouTube. It was performed as part of BBC Proms, a classic musical festival held each year in London, England. The actual symphony Beethoven wrote is one of the most famous, noticeable, and lauded works in all of classical music. Most people have heard, and likely sang, some rendition of “Ode to Joy”, which comes in the fourth and last part of the piece.

This one-time event turned into a bedtime ritual. Night after night, I would start watching from the beginning—listening in utter delight as the powerful opening unfolded. The horns, then strings, oboe, flute, and eventually the fullness of the orchestra reaches a fever pitch within the first minutes of the roughly hour-long rendition.

I became so fascinated with Beethoven’s No. 9 that I started searching for the sheet music to various parts. I had no idea that a Wikipedia-style website exists that is solely devoted to classical music. I printed out the flute part-which I play on my recorder-and the clarinet sheet music.

Day after day, I started closing myself off in a room, connecting my computer to speakers, and playing along with the orchestra. At this point, I have printed and played Beethoven Symphony Nos. 1 thru 9. and have started expanding to other classical composers.

I mention all of this because I firmly believe God is using music to communicate and meet with me. I experience God’s presence in the sounding of notes played, and imagine them float in and out of each other like leaves dancing in trees. These notes create harmonies and discords that link together and render a complete picture.

Music is a form of love. It speaks to anger and sadness, joy and enthusiasm, in ways words cannot. When I don’t know what to say, I can always find a “hum” on the inside of my soul that comes forth readily. It speaks for me. It soothes me. It is my balm.

God has opened me up to a whole new world that existed before I did and that has been present within me all along. It was up to me to access the spiritual reservoir. Memory and experience allowed me to remember how much I loved playing my alto saxophone in band, which then caused a yearning to play some kind of instrument again. Interestingly, I am now quite good at the first instrument I ever played—a recorder—and an instrument I always wanted to play—the clarinet.

God can use anything to connect with you, if you desire to connect with Him. Music is one of the many ways I commune with God and find peace, comfort, and joy in our relationship. I encourage others to seek out not-so-traditional ways of honoring God and spending time with Him. You might luck up on a new hobby that could lead to greater purpose. Most all of, whatever way you connect with God, just make sure to practice it regularly, and keep building and strengthening the bond.

~Ty A. Allison

January 29, 2016

Ty Allison

To hear a sample of this classical piece click below:

Beethoven Symphony No 9