And I met Paul Balouche – Christmas 12/01 – #1323

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What a thrill! And just like an ordinary day for an extraordinary Holy Spirit. 

Here’s my devotion spill of JOY !!!

Paul’s guitar

There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit can line things up… and I was THRILLED to sing next to my singing sister last night, all the Christmas songs, it was good and fitting to kick off my shoes and have our singing blend like old days in my ear. Angels we have Heard on High. The Soul felt its Worth. IT WAS A HOLY NIGHT!

So many of the praise band songs we learned and praised with in our old church were Paul Balouche songs. He shared music this evening from a Christmas CD that blends carols and his songs (all available on the streaming services). He has a new song “Behold” that is so good. When a Facebook pop up advertisement showed a concert 15 minutes from home, for only $20, I clicked for 2 tickets IMMEDIATELY. God IS Good. AND WHEN I WALKED IN AND HE WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME? I KNEW GOD WAS LINING UP THE MOMENT THAT I HAD PRAYED FOR. Thank You Holy Spirit. Paul was looking for a scrap of paper – and I held out my hand and said “that’s why I write on my hand!” He laughed and said I MUST be a mom. I asked for a photo and he had us say Ecclesiastes for “smile” – he said that is a good smiling word. I agree – for in Ecclesiastes the scripture reminds that there is a season for everything. YES, this is a season for PRAISE.

Strengthen your brothers. 

That’s a life verse I take for serious in my day to day life, Strengthen your brothers. I am an “encourager”, even if sometimes my job is simply to smile that I love Jesus. I really feel like Jesus has said that to me DIRECTLY, “Strengthen you brothers” – well He has in His Word. YES, He says it to EACH all of us just like He said it to Peter, both the night before He was betrayed and the day at the sea of Galilee after His Resurrection. He knew Peter would have a hard time there on out and he knew the rest of them would have a hard time in life because their mission was to share the Good News into a lost world. The disciples would face persecution. Many do still today. We, however, even if free to praise still face perception problems and yet the same level of Help comes to us, the unchanging Holy Spirit. The reminder to each of the lost world is that with Jesus, the Soul felt it’s worth.

Not only did Paul Balouche sing but he shared the gospel message, Jesus came to earth to lift us up – take our sins – take us Home. Paul spoke of us being “Jars of Clay” hard pressed by the world but always to be asking for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. As we were singing Paul’s signature song: “Open the Eyes of My Heart – I want to see You”, I knew that I was and am SO blessed to be on God’s team. I know my job – our job – to be Salt and Light to a lost world. 

And just as Paul and his faith and his music strengthened me, a concert where I received much, we as an audience we’re giving back excitement and singing to strengthen them as they are traveling music missionaries to carry the Lord’s message from town to town. These days the performers are their own roadies and they are their own missionaries too. I walked in and spiritually knew the room was filled with my brothers and sisters in Christ. And I knew after 2 years of covid lockdowns and sparse gatherings, just to be IN a live music venue was a gift. (And to be in the 2nd row, close enough to watch faces, interactions and Paul constantly adjusting his guitar capo, LOL, wow, it was so much like ALMOST being up there, bringing me if just a fraction of memory with my band mates,  both bands, whom I miss dearly. This is a different season I am in right now, so I can and I will sing in the car. I will always SING His Praise.)

Why be the LIGHT? Why strengthen the faith side by side? Because as Jesus leads us to gather the flock on our Way back Home to God in Heaven, we are NOT to be frayed lone strings, we are to be part of a WHOLE NET. His Net. Why are we sheep of the Shepherd? So that our wool weaves side by side as we walk where HE LEADS. Our walk with Him is continually to the hard places, but we go together. Even just ourselves we have Jesus with us. Yes, we are looking for the lost fish losing their way. We are to swim together. Keep Swimming.

Keep Swimming, that’s what my singing sister always says!

Let us swim and carry the Net of God’s Love with us. 

Feel God’s fresh filling into our hard-pressed jar of clay and let HIM Flow.

Sing Praise.

Amen 

“I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32

But we have this TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 2nd Corinthians 4:7-9

Jesus says: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

John 21:15-17

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