Singing God’s Praises

I’ll Fly Away was my granddaddy’s favorite song. He learned to read music, but didn’t play any instrument. Granddad sang bass  and Grandmother Hightower sang the melody and played the guitar.

Grandmother and Mom put me in front of the church when I was 5 years old to sing “I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop,” with Grandmother. I started taking piano lessons in third grade and continued through my senior year, with one year in college at ORU. We kids all took lessons. I like to play piano, but singing is my first love.

One of my favorite memories is hearing my mom sing as she went about her housework. “Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Because He first loved me.”

Everything on earth has a musical note, its own sound, associated with it.  Sound waves move through the air, as frequency and even if a person can’t hear it, the frequency can be measured. If God had not put air surrounding the earth, there would no sound or music, because music cannot be produced in a vacuum.

On the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem described in Luke 19:37-40 NIV, “the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

In the Bible, the last mention of music is in heaven.

Revelation 5:13 “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb  be praise and honor and glory and power,  forever and ever!”

At creation, God put music into everything on this earth, as a symbol of the music in heaven.

Eternal Words


Words have always gotten me into trouble. Like the time I told my mom to shut up when I was 15 years old. That was a bad mistake, one I paid dearly for. Till this day, shut up is almost as bad as a cuss word in my home.

On the other hand, words have also gotten me out of many messes. I knelt at an old wooden altar and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my heart. By the grace of God and the blood of Jesus, I obtained my eternal salvation by my words. (Romans 10:10.)

“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a common saying from our childhood, but unfortunately not true. Words do hurt, deeply, and usually are never forgotten. They can be apologized for but they hang in the atmosphere forever, in the memory of the person who said them and the person who heard them. Words can never be taken back.

Jesus frequently quoted scriptures from what we call the Old Testament. When He was tested in the wilderness, He answered the devil with the Word of God. Jesus said in John 14:24, “The word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent me.”

Our words have power, but the ultimate power is in the Word of God. When a person becomes a Christian, the most important thing he can do is study God’s Word, the Bible. My life changed when I gave priority to the Word of God, the Bible. I made a choice to believe that the Bible was the Word of God, then I chose to live by what the Bible said. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been rewarding.

One time, some of Jesus’ followers grew upset with something He said and left. He turned to the disciples and said, “Will you go too?”

Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” John 6:68.

God never said anything that He will have to take back. His eternal Word will stand forever.

Friends By Choice

The phone rang and a voice said, “Are you Lavon Hightower?” This was the beginning of a renewed friendship.

Not long after that, our 40-year high school reunion took place and some of us reestablished our friendships. Before that, those of us who lived here in Vinita were friends, in passing. We were always cordial when we bumped into each other, but we didn’t make time to get together.

My classmates and I shared common experiences.  We all had the same teachers, the same assignments, the same ball teams. We lived through the turbulent 1960s, with assassination of President Kennedy, the Space Program, the Vietnam conflict. At graduation our lives took different turns.

My friendships now with some of my former classmates go beyond common experiences of growing up in the same town and attending the same school. It is more than mutual life experiences of growing up in the 1960s.

Now we make time to get together for lunch and get caught up on what is happening in our lives. We make an effort to meet when sometimes it isn’t convenient.

Then we were friends because of circumstances, but now we are friends by choice.

Abraham is called “friend of God” three times in the Bible. Abraham built an altar to God in Hebron. That name came from the Hebrew root word, ‘chabar’ pronounced khaw-bar meaning couple together, have fellowship with, join together, league and usually interpreted as “friend.”

Abraham and God had nothing in common. God had everything. Abraham had nothing, except what God had given him. They only had a covenant, a league, a pact, a deal.

God offered Abraham a deal, “Leave your country and your family and follow me, and I will make you a great nation.” Abraham took God at His word and left home, not knowing where he was going. Abraham’s descendants became a great nation, Israel.

.James 2: 23 KJV, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

God chose Abraham, and then Abraham chose God. Friends by choice.

Building an Altar

The dearest place on earth to my heart for many years was the old wooden altar where I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was 7 years old. And I frequently knelt there in that same tear-stained spot at my end of the altar to meet my Lord in prayer.

Years later, at a different altar, I rededicated my life to Jesus and then put my 3-year-old son on the altar to dedicate him to the Lord. That same altar was where I was married the second time and where I dedicated my daughter when she was two weeks old. I found my place there at the end of that altar too, where I shed many tears in prayer over the years.

Abraham built an altar at Bethel, which means “House of God,” in Genesis 12. Then he built an altar in Hebron, which means “Friend of God.”

Abraham’s last altar was on Mount Moriah, where Abraham made the ultimate sacrifice, his only son Isaac, but God stopped the sacrifice and provided a ram caught in the thicket to take Isaac’s place. This was symbolic of God providing His own sacrifice, His only Son Jesus.

Abraham named that altar Jehovahjireh, “God, my provider.”

From Bethel the “House of God,” to Hebron “Friend of God,” to Jehovah Jireh “God my Provider,” the names he gave the altars suggest he was getting closer to God as he traveled on  his journey.

Can you point back to the altar where you gave your heart to Jesus? In your journey through life, have you moved from worshiping at the House of God, to being a friend of God, to knowing that God is your Provider?

Hebrews 10:19, 22 NKJV, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, ….let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”

God always hears our prayers, no matter the position of our bodies, as long as our hearts are knelt in prayer before Him.

Abundance of Things

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to simplify.

Lately I have been trying really hard to get rid of stuff. It is an ongoing battle, a struggle to keep what is necessary and let go of things that I don’t need, I don’t love, don’t fit, that don’t make me smile when I look at them.

I have a closet full of clothes, drawers full of stuff, cabinets full, pantry full, linen closet full. I have books and magazines everywhere, in bookshelves, in the bathroom, on the coffee table. I have 5 sets of dishes, 3 sets still packed away from our move 6 years ago.

I decluttered my clothes closet last year. When I unpacked my winter things this fall, most don’t fit, some never did. Most are outdated and a few in need of repair. The struggle right now in the dead of winter is to mix and match the clothes I can wear so I can make it through this season without spending money on clothes.

 One thing I have had to buy this winter is shoes. A woman must have shoes. I have lots of shoes, some of which don’t fit and never have but “aren’t these so cute?” Some of them need to be discarded but “I might wear them in the garden next spring.”

 In Luke 12:15 NKJV, Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” My possessions do not determine who I am. My life is more than what name brand of clothing I wear and the designer purse I carry.

Have you ever thought that hoarding stuff is a form of greed or covetousness? Yes, that was a staggering thought to me too. I guess it is time to start giving more of it away.

No wonder Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

I am a member of an organizational group, at     Check it out.