Saturday, June 30, 2012

Coming Up For Air/Air Book and CD Review

Coming Up for Air: Simple Acts to Redefine Your Life
Courtesy: Amazon

 In 1995, Margaret Becker decided to disconnect from life in the form of a retreat at a Florida beach.  Her only promise that she made was to see the sun come up and go down.  During this process, with crayons, she made life plans on what she planned on doing in 1 year, 10 years, 20 years and 30 years time.  She learned some important life lessons during this retreat.  She learned to only embrace the truly important things in life and to cut out the things that were not truly important.  This was an enjoyable book to read and a must-read for those who feel like they are getting lost in the busy-ness of life and have forgotten who they are. has the book for just 1 cent used plus shipping

Courtesy: Amazon

 Margaret Becker also released a cd called Air which are songs that reflect the ideas that she wrote in her book Coming Up For Air.  I really love this cd!  It is full of great songs full of great lyrics!  There's not a bad song on the cd! My favorite songs are:

All I Need Is Love: We as people, including me, tend to over-complicate what being a Christian is all about.  It is so easy to get caught up in the rituals and rules of it all.  The truth of the matter is being a Christian isn't about following a set of rules or following a set of rituals.  It's about having a relationship with God through Jesus.  It's all about LOVE.  Loving God and Loving people.

Fly:  It's about letting go and trusting God.  Finding out when we do, we fly.

Just Isaac: Inspired by the story of Sarah and Abraham trying to rush the child of promise Isaac by having Abraham sleep with Hagar.  The song is saying we should desire "Just Isaac"---the promise of God and His faithful provision of that promise.  We shoudl wait on God's perfect timing of His promise instead of forcing the promise to come to pass.

Surrender: This ties with "All I Need Is Love" as being my all-time favorite song on the album.  It talks about how we like to fight the battle ourselves, and how we should try something "old and new" like surrender---surrender everything to God no matter where things may fall.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wanna Earn Money---Become An Affliliate

Hey guys!

So far 2 copies of my book Pieces Of Heaven...Pieces Of Earth has sold! Many thanks to the 2 people who have bought my book!

Thank you Zach for placing an advertisement for my book on your blog!!! It means a lot!

Speaking of which, are any of you interested in making extra money by marketing my book? IF so, you should consider becoming an affiliate of Smashwords. One of the advantages of signing up is you make a commission of 11 percent on all purchases. Below is information pasted from the following website: Smashwords Affiliate Signup.  Keep in mind, you must have a free Smashwords account to sign up.  Plus you don't have to publish any books to have an account!!!  Thank you all for your support!---Jerry

Smashwords Affiliate Marketing Program Signup

Earn Commissions Simply By Linking Book Buyers to Smashwords eBooks

Advantages of the Smashwords Affiliate Marketing Program
  • Generous commissions of 11% or more of the net sales price
  • Easy to participate
  • You receive commissions on all purchases within a 48 hour period
  • Your customers have over 4,000 ebooks to choose from

Who's Eligible to Enroll?
Anyone over age 18 is eligible. The program is ideal for:
  • bloggers
  • authors
  • publishers
  • website operators
  • online communities
  • book enthusiasts
  • online specialty bookstores
  • professional affiliate marketers

      How to Enroll
      Enrollment is easy as 1-2-3
      1. Review the important Smashwords Affiliate Marketing Program Terms of Service.
      2. Confirm your agreement to the terms below.
      3. Click "I agree" below and you're in!

        Affiliate Agreement
        By clicking "I agree" below:
        1. You represent you have read and agreed to the Smashwords Affiliate Marketing Program Terms of Service.
        2. You agree to conduct your marketing with the highest degree of ethics and professionalism, per the Terms of Service.
        3. You agree violations of the TOS may result in forfeiture of all accrued commissions.
        4. You warrant you are at least 18 years of age.
        5. You warrant you are authorized to enter into this affiliate marketing agreement with Smashwords on behalf of the Internet properties through which you will promote Smashwords ebooks.

        Wednesday, June 27, 2012

        Poem Book is Out! On Sale!!!!!

        Dear bloggers,

        Just wanted to let you know that my book, Pieces Of Heaven...Pieces Of Earth, was published today as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you know, this explores both the sacred and the secular aspects of life. The purpose of this book is to bring encouragement to your soul during hard times and to encourage you to look at life in a different way. I hope you’ll take time to check it out at Smashwords, where you can sample the first 20% of the book for free.
        I have a sale going on! You can purchase my book of poetry if you are a follower for $4.00. Please e-mail me for the code at . The sale is good until July 27th.  If you are not a follower yet, you can still purchase the book, but it will be for $5.00.  The code for that is: WU24G.    The sale is good until July 25th.
        Here’s the link to my author profile:
        Here is the direct link to my book page, where you can sample or purchase the book:
        Won’t you also take a moment to spread the word about my book to everyone you know?

        Thank you so much for your support!  God bless you!!!!!


        Jerry Seaman Jr.

        Sunday, June 17, 2012

        Betty's Pies

        If you are looking for a great place to eat pie or order pie from, go to Betty's Pies.  My wife and I will stop by this place once every few years when we go up North for vacation!  They have the BEST pies ever!  One of my favorites there are  "The 5 Layer Chocolate Pie".  Their portions are generous as well!   Click below for pictures of the restaurant:

        Happy Father's Day!!!!!


        My Faith: How Jesus saved my dad and my family (blog recommendation)

        I thought I would share this article from the CNN belief blog.  Hope you enjoy! Jerry

        My Faith: How Jesus saved my dad and my family
        Pastor Tony Evans and his father Arthur.

        My Faith: How Jesus saved my dad and my family

        Editor's Note: This article was adapted from “Kingdom Man” by Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas and president of The Urban Alternative.

        By Tony Evans, Special to CNN

        (CNN)–All I had ever known up until I was 10 years old was chaos in my home.
        I was the oldest of four children and the atmosphere was volatile for all of us. My father and mother were in constant conflict, making divorce seem like the only possible outcome.

        Having married young, they were still trying to figure out how to make life work. They often argued about how to handle finances, especially when there was little money to go around.

        I could have ended up a casualty of a broken family, like so many of the kids around me in inner city Baltimore. But my life was forever changed the year I turned 10.

        That was the year my dad turned to Jesus. He’d been invited to visit a nearby church for a special event. While there, two men asked him if he knew if he’d go to heaven when he died. He said he wasn't sure.
        The men explained Christ’s sacrificial and all-encompassing atonement and, for the first time, my dad understood the path to salvation.

        He didn’t just accept God’s salvation; he immediately became fired up about God and the Bible. He became an instant evangelist. Whenever my dad wasn't working, he’d take me along to pass out biblical tracts on street corners or in visits to the local prison.
        If I went downstairs to get a glass of water late at night, I’d see Dad reading the Bible or praying on his knees. He had to do that when my mom wasn't watching.

        My mom didn’t like my dad as a sinner, and she liked him even less as a saint. She did everything she could to make his life difficult. But my father did everything he could to show her love.
        When my mom would start with him, he would stop what he was doing and start praying for her on the spot.
        One night, my mom came down the stairs with tears in her eyes. My dad was reading his Bible.

        She told him that she could not understand how the more she rejected him, was unkind to him and tried to prove that believing in God was wrong, the kinder he was to her and the more he invested in God’s word.
        “I want what you have,” she said, “because it must be real.”

        They got down on their knees and my dad led my mom to Christ. He led all of us kids to him too and modeled the value of making God the central focus in all that we did.

        He held weekly Bible studies at our kitchen table and instilled a love for church in his kids. On the Wednesday nights that he had to work late, I would walk four miles to get to our church. Dad taught me to view all of life through a spiritual lens.

        If my dad had not exhibited the courage to change, my home would have become another statistic. I would have ended up a casualty, and my own four children might have ended up casualties, too. It is common for children to end up as statistics when men do not accept their God-given responsibilities.

        Forty percent of our children go to sleep at night with no dad at home, and the percentage is even higher among minority groups and in the inner city. Divorce is part of the problem, but many men father children without helping to raise them. They have become like the abominable snowman – their footprints are everywhere but they are nowhere to be found.

        When fathers come home after a tough day at work, they should come home to serve, like my father did, teaching lessons around the dinner table and leading the family in worship and prayer.

        For 35 years, my father had to lift heavy boxes as a longshoreman. But on Sunday mornings, even if he had to work all the night before, he'd wake us up. And I'd say, “But dad, I'm tired.”

        He'd say, “No, son. I'm the one who’s tired. But we are going to church. Because for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
        The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tony Evans.

        Saturday, June 16, 2012

        8 Cures For Lyric Writer's Block

        I thought I would forward this article about cures for "lyric writer's block". This come from the following website: Hostbaby

        8 Cures For Lyric Writer’s Block

        Lyric writing can be a frustrating, nail-biting, paper-crumpling experience.   Getting just the right words to conform to the cadence and rhythm of a musical piece is hard enough, let alone composing a gripping tale to woo the hearts and minds of your listeners.   Here are 8 tips to inspire and help you get through the roughs spots in lyric writing.

        1.  Let The Music Set The Scene
        For most of us the music (or some version of it) comes before the words.  Use this to your advantage.  Music is adept at painting complex emotional landscapes.  In fact, music often tells a compelling story without any words at all.  Even if all you have is three chords on a piano or guitar, record it (every songwriter should have a hand held recorder).  Try to listen objectively.  Listen to it over and over.  What emotions does the music stir in you?  A slow minor progression might conjure feelings of lost love: a romance.  An upbeat and major chord progression might produce feelings of vigor and challenge: a hero’s song.  Let the music reveal to you what kind of tale it has to tell.

        2. Discover Your Story
        Story is at the heart of any great song.  A great story is usually more engaging then fancy prose and rhyme (Bob Dylan often sacrificed the latter in order to tell his stories without compromise).  Fret not.  Stories are neither mysterious nor hard to find.  All you need is a character with desire, and suddenly the whole pantheon of fables, myths, and tales from across the globe are at your disposal.  People desire love, money, fame, safety, and many other things.  Story is created when a character wishes, dreams, risks, acts, or dies in pursuit of one of these things.   When you listen to the music you are working on, do you feel a yearning for something?  Then you’re halfway there!

        3.  Fill a Notebook
        In a TV interview,  the performer Sting said that he usually fills an entire three-ringed notebook full of lyrics before he’s finished a single song .  Don’t be afraid to write and write badly.  Write everything that comes to mind.  Write an essay about your song.  Write a letter to a character in your song.  Write about how you can’t think of anything to write about.  The more material you generate, the clearer the story will be in your mind and the easier it will be to condense the story into lyric form.

        4. Listen to Your Favorite Lyricists.
        Nothing helps me get out of a rut more than listening to my favorite songwriters do what they do best.   Listen with a notebook and pen at your side.  Write down what you think about.  Pay close attention to the words, phrases, and stories they tell.  Sometimes a misheard lyric can turn into a whole new song.  Don’t be afraid to beg, borrow and steal from your favorite songsters (without infringing on copyright law of course).  Songwriting and storytelling is an organic tradition that has been around forever.  Stories and songs are passed around, changed, elaborated upon, reinvented and modernized.  Don’t be afraid to draw upon this rich tradition.

        5. Read Lots
        Sometimes the best cure for writing is reading.  Read poetry.  Read mythology.  Read fiction and non-fiction and prose.  Many a great song has been written based on a poem or a fictional character in a book.  When what your reading moves you–take note.  This is what you want your songs to do.  Was it a character, a description, or an event that struck a chord? See if you can harness this element and use it in your song. If not, keep on reading and noting the moments when the art moves you.  I often find my favorite song ideas in the works of authors I love.

        6.Remember The “I” is Not You
        It’s easy to get stuck when you’re writing about yourself in the first person.  Ego has a habit of derailing good art.  It’s important to remember that the “I” in your song is a imagined version of yourself, a character.  Bruce Springsteen’s “I” is  a blue-collar worker down on his luck.  Ziggy Stardust’s (David Bowie) “I” is a benevolent space alien.  Johny Cash’s “I” is a lonesome gun-slinging cowboy.  While these characters exist within the artist, they are not the whole artist.

        If you can step back from yourself and remember that your listeners may have no idea who you are, the emphasis is put back on the story, and you are forced to paint a picture of your characters.  Remember, it’s your listeners who will be identifying with the “I” in your song.

        7.  Take A Break
        Don’t spend too much time staring at blank page or a glaring computer screen.  Take a walk or go see a movie.  When your brain is engaged in the creative process, it helps to give your attention a rest. Let your subconscious mind work out the kinks for a while. I can’t tell you how many times stepping away from a song for an hour, or even a day was just what my brain needed to fill in the blanks.  Don’t expect a song to just pop out in a single sitting.  Let your songs ruminate. Leonard Cohen spent years composing some of his most famous songs.  Don’t feel bad if the process is slow.  You’re not alone.

        8.  Don’t Let Your Internal Editor Beat You Up
        Enjoy the process and know that you’re honing your skills.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  A rough lyric draft is supposed to look like a whole lot of nonsensical high-school poetry.  If it doesn’t look like that, you’re not doing it right.  And remember: lyrics are meant to be experienced with music.  Sometimes they look a little dry on the page without the spiriting rhythm and melody of song to lift them up.

        My Brief Music History/Saving Money on Music

        I am a HUGE music fan!  I have had a passion for music since I was 11 years old (1988) when I bought my first cassette tape of Debbie Gibson's album Out of The Blue.  Since then, technology has changed quite a bit in the deliverance of music.  When I first started out in 1988, I amassed a nice collection of cassette tapes with a few vinyl records.  Once cds (compact discs) were introduced, I switched the majority of my cassette tapes to cds, and amassed a big cd collection.  Now, in 2012, not only do we as a society have cds, we also have mp3s and digital music that you can download on your computer, Ipod, Ipad, etc..etc..etc.. Even though my wife has both cds and digital music on her itunes account and on her ipod, I am still strictly "old school"---I only have music on cds. There's nothing like holding a physical cd with its booklet in hand---being able to preview the lyrics before listening.

        However you listen to your music, it can get expensive being able to listen to music and to  amass a collection of music.  So how does one save as much money as possible?

        First, the cheapest way to listen to music is to go to your local library. Most county and city libraries offers the opportunity to check out cds.  I often go to my library's website and place on hold cds of different genres.  It's a great way for me to sample new artists and to listen to artists I already love!  The only downside to this is there tends to be a long wait on new and popular releases!  Despite this, it is a GREAT way to save money!  You may listen to a cd at the library and decide you don't like it.  That saves you atleast $14 if you had bought that at a retail store.

        Second, another cheap way to listen to and build up your music collection is to shop at a local pawn shop, or a thrift store.  I went to my local pawn shop several weeks ago, and ended up purchasing four cds for 99 cents each!  And they played perfectly!  I have also bought used cds from some local thrift stores where they range in price from $1.29  to $1.99. Whether you go to a pawn shop or a thrift store, the important thing you need to do is to look at the cd itself and see what kind of condition it is in.  If the cd has scratches on it,  you do NOT want to buy it no matter how cheap the cd is!

        Third,  similar to what I mentioned above,  a cheap way you can purchase music is to purchase it online.  One of the best places to purchase music online is through  Amazon has a wide variety of music/artists.  They also offer music in different formats such as cds and mp3s.  Occasionally, they also offer it in vinyl.  They also offer new and used copies of cds.

        The first question to ask w hen you are online is : What format am I looking for?  If it is a cd, then when you are on, you may want to consider buying the cd used. There are sellers on that offered used high quality cds for very cheap prices.  Most used cds will range from 1 cent to $9.99.  You have to pay for shipping when you buy used, but it is still way cheaper than buying in a traditional retail setting. If you don't want to buy used, only New, then you can still get good deals from retailers on amazon.  For example, Amy Grant's cd Legacy...Hymns&Faith sells new at the price of $6.40 from seller Movie Mars on Amazon.  You have to pay a shipping fee of $2.98, but still cheaper than going to the store. Also, if you are buying new, you can purchase the new cd straight from Amazon itself and if you purchase $25 or more in new cds then basic shipping is FREE.  However, even though it is free, you may have to in many cases pay a little more for the cd itself. However, with some smart searching, you can even still get some good deals from amazon itself.  For example, Crystal Lewis has a cd in new condition from for $5.00 and if you purchase $20 more, you get free shipping!

        But let's say you don't buy cds.  Say you only purchase mp3s online.  Can you still save money?   Yes!  The majority of the time, the mp3 version of a whole album is CHEAPER than a brand new version of a cd.  For example, on amazon,  Crystal Lewis's newest album Plain and Simple sells for $13.71 for the cd; however, as MP3 it sells for $8.99..that's a saviings of $4.72!  Plus, there's no shipping cost!

        The advantage of buying an mp3 version of music is that you don't have to purchase the whole album!  If you want you can pick and choose which songs  you want to download.  If you are only interested in one song on an album, such as, "You" from Kim Boyce's  cd As I Am you can simply download that song from amazon for 99 cents.  You can also do the same thing on Itunes.

        The disadvantage of buying mp3s of music and album is it's not as personal.  You don't get an actual hard copy of a cd, plus you don't get an actual cd booklet you can hold in your hand.

        So whether you are a cd person or mp3, you CAN save money on music!  IN what ways have you saved money on music???

        Wednesday, June 13, 2012

        Poetry Book Update June 13th

         Hey poetry peeps!

        I have great news! I received a certified letter yesterday from Publish America stating that they were releasing me from the contract!   I praise Jesus for taking this weight off of my shoulders! :) 

        I do still plan on publishing my book of poetry. God willing, I will be doing it as an e-book on .  With them, there are no contracts to sign.  Plus, I get a much bigger percentage of the sale price as profit. I have decided to change the title of the book to Pieces of Heaven...Pieces of Earth since it captures the idea of the book better. I have hired a friend of my wife's to design the book cover.  Once that is done, I can go ahead and publish my book.

        Thanks to you all for the prayers! Hope you all are having a great week so far!

        May God bless you all! 


        Sunday, June 10, 2012

        All in The Serve By Michael W Smith

        Another great video by MWS!!!

        Poetry Book Update

        Hello Poetry Peeps!

        I hope y'all are having a good Sunday! As you all know, I have plans to publish a book of poetry called Popcorn: Poems You Can Munch On through Publish America. When I originally looked at their site, they seemed to be a wholesome company.  However, after I signed with them, my wife told me that my father-in-law had e-mailed me some information on their bad business practices that I didn't know about.  For example,  Publish America will ask for an address list of your family members o they can aggressively market your book to them.  They also aggressively send mail outs to the author to pressure him or her to buy his own book to sell himself.  I have also found out thru websites that they don't do anything to get your book into stores to sell. I knew from the contract that I would have the option to buy my book at a discount but I did not know that  they would pressure me to buy my own book.  I also didn't know they would want the address of my family members.  Even though I knew that I would have to do my own marketing LOCALLY, I didn't know t hat they wouldn't do much to market my book period.  I also found thru these websites that Barnes and Noble refuses to carry books from Publish America. I also found out that they don't do much editing of the book.

          I really want my book to get into as many people's hands as possible for ministry purposes. I have e-mailed Publish America that I want my contract voided because of this.  I even included the information and the links to the information I found.   I have also asked for advice about this with my pastors. So please keep me in prayer, because I would like to get out of t his contract and pursue another avenue to get this book publish.  I don't want to publish a book and no one is able to get it.   So please pray that God will allow me to get out of this contract.  If not, please pray that God will allow me to do the honorable thinga nd get it published thru them.  Despite having to get this published thru them, that God will still open doors for people to get this book.

        Thank you for your prayers!

        In Christ,


        3 Qualities You Need In The Lions Den

        Here is an article from a blog I am following: A J Extreme Life that I thought was great! Enjoy!:

        Recently in Extreme Youth I shared a message called UFC: Inside the Lion’s Den that I’ve preached back in 2007 as part of the Vintage Series ths month. I shared a video of UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock from his 700 Club interview a few years back (watch here for reference: that is about his life story from coming to know God at an early age in his childhood, to family problems, into foster care, entering into the UFC/MMA world, to gaining the world but costing him his personal life due to bad choices. He later has a comeback story where he re-marries and returns to his faith roots in God while continues to train new fighters in his facility ‘THE LIONS DEN.’

        When thinking about the lion’s den it brings me to this story from the book of Daniel where he was physically tossed into the lion’s den all because of a new law that was made by people who wanted to destroy him because he was a man of faith. Daniel was in good standings with King Darius and was highly favored & successful. He had a daily relationship with God & was in good standings with God. So how does a man of God get into this situation? How does he combat against this?

        1. The 1st Quality if FAITH!
        Webster’s definition of Faith: allegiance to duty or a person: Loyalty. Belief & trust in & loyalty to God: Complete trust.

        Daniel was described to be faithful, always responsible, & completely trust worthy. He was favored by the King. He was in good standings with God. He commited himself to God by praying to him 3 times a day. With the situation of getting caught in the act of praying to God because of this new law Daniel now faced the Lion’s Den. Daniel had to activate his faith that God would somehow someway get him out or even through this situation. Would the lions eat him up?

        Hebrews 11:1 ‘What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see.”

        We may not be able to see what will happen in our situations but God see’s the end result & we must rely on him to lead us through it.

        2. The 2nd Quality is PRAYER!
        Daniel was a man of prayer. He prayed 3 times a day to God. Prayer has power, Prayer produces wonderful results. Daniel was in right standings with God.

        James Ch 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other & pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power & produces wonderful results.

        To see prayer operate in our lives we’ve got to be made right in God’s eyes. We’ve got to be in good standings. Confessing your sins is the way to be made right. Then you can see great power & wonderful results happen in your life.

        The thing about prayer a lot of times we may not see results right away. God hears our prayers but God will respond in his timing. We can get impatient & then try to do things our way. It’s not about your time table. It’s about what God thinks is best for that moment. Doing things in our own time table is throwing God’s plans off the table. We’ve got to make time for God in our personal lives. Daniel committed to 3 times a day. What about you? Do you set a certain place & time for you & God to meet daily?

        3. Lastly we need RELATIONSHIPS!
        Relationships are important to every believer. Daniel had a good relationship with the King who was his boss/employer. Are you in good standings with your boss/employer at your job? What about friends & family? What about God?

        Proverbs 18:24 “There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

        Daniels friends or coworkers may have been buddies with him but when they begin to see the success he was having it wasn’t long their true colors showed. We may have people in our lives that may be pals with us but they could be just using you or eventually turn on you. Regardless God has called us to love people despite whether or not people will tear you down.

        I encourage you to surround yourself with good company. Don’t walk or hang with people who are just going to tear you down. If you do end up spending some time with people who will try to bring you down, rise above & be the influence in their lives. Relationships are important to have just don’t spend most of your time with people who will just destroy you.

        In conclusion of this Daniel was spared by the Angel of the Lord protecting him while spending the night inside the lion’s den proving that Daniel has done nothing wrong in the Kings eyes or in God’s eyes. The King was overjoyed and threw those who were after Daniel into the den to be destroyed.

        The 3 Qualities that I shared will help you through the battles that you will face in life. We all face battles. Whether we don't follow Christ or we do follow Christ we all face battles. These 2 stories are different but in the end what matters is God making a way through the battles when we lean upon him & trust him to help us fight through. Take these qualities & apply them to your daily life! You can comeback from battles that may have you down & defeated! The choice is on you whether to rise up & continue or laydown for the 10 count. You can sit down for the ending or you can stand up for a new beginning.

        Saturday, June 9, 2012

        Michael W Smith Love Me Good

        Michael W Smith is one of my favorite singers! Enjoy this music video!

        Life and Death

        So here is another poem from my upcoming book:  Popcorn: Poems You Can Munch On

        Enjoy!!!!  Jerry

        Life and Death
        written by: Jerry S.
        (c)2012  Jerry S.

        From the moment we’re born
        We start to die
        I bet that’s the real reason
        That at that moment we start to cry

        So we begin to mourn
        Our final breath
        Knowing every beginning has to end
        So it is with life and death

        We board the train
        For a life full of fun
        But soon realize that a dark cloud
        Is blocking out the sun

        We begin to run
        So we can hide
        But no matter what we do
        In death’s face we collide

        So we let our fear become a thief
        By allowing it to steal
        The very life that God created us to live
        As gracious, loving and real

        God does not want us to fear what’s up ahead
        Nor anything that might cause our bodies to become dead
        For there is hope beyond our final breath
        So it is with life and death

        Friday, June 8, 2012

        Pearls Before Swine

        Matthew 7:6 (NKJV):  Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine , lest they trample them under their feet , and turn and tear you in pieces.

        Wow!  What a Bible verse!  When I first originally read this verse, I didn't quite understand what it meant.  But as the years go by and now that I have experience under my belt, God has taught me what this really means. 

        When we first become Christians, we are babies.  As we grow, we grow in knowledge of God's word.  We also grow in life experience.  We can look back at our different life experiences (hard times, good times, everything) and interpret those life experience through the lens of faith.  For those of us who have gone through hard times, when we see someone who has gone thru a similar experience, we naturally want to minister to that person and share from our own experience with that situation to help them.  Should we be so eager to share our life experience?  Or should we practice discernment in the situation?  Same with a lost person.  Should we be quick and eager to witness to them?  Should we debate every non-believer who wants to debate us? Should we allow just any non-believer to be part of our Bible studies?

        This verse I believe warns us to not rush into things.  It teaches us to be careful who we share the gospel with, who we share our experiences with,who we debate with, and which non-believers we should allow in our Bible studies.

        For example, some of the time, if you try to share the gospel with that person, that person may want to debate you.  I for one have been drawn into this.  I will go into a chat room and try to debate people.  But in the end, I end up being frustrated and upset. Why?  Because that person really didn't want to know about the gospel nor wanted to learn about God.   There are some people who are just interested in debating just because....They really don't want to know about God.  So what ends up happening, during the debate, you will share Bible verses, your experiences (possibly) and other information you feel would be helpful in winning them over.  That person you are debating will use that info you gave them to really nail into you!  They will call you names, call your God names, say what you believe is wrong, etc..etc..etc..So what they end up doing is they take your pearls that you have cast to them, trample those pearls under their feet, and then tear you to pieces.

        Also, in our eagerness for people to be saved and to share the gospel, we will allow non-believers to be part of a Bible study.  This is a good thing of course.  But it is not a good thing if that non-believer bullies people in the Bible Study, and it is actually tolerated.  It is not a good thing if that person is tearing down God and arguing with the people.  These things should NOT be tolerated in any lengths of the imagination.  So how do we remedy this?

        At the beginning of the Bible Study, you set down some strict rules.  The rules should be:

        1.  If you are a non-believer, you are welcome to this Bible Study.  You are more than welcome to respectfully ask questions about God, The Bible and you can even respectfully voice your doubts. But you can only do this if you truly want to know about God.

        2.  If you do not h ave any desire to know God, then you are not welcomed here.  You are not allowed to debate nor do and say things that will cause division within the group.

        3.  If you are caught mistreating or bullying anybody for any reason even if it is your first offense, then you are kicked out of the questions asked.

        Yes, we should witness to nonbelievers and even allow them in our Bible Studies.  But not if it means that they cause division in the group.  Not if it means that they are allowed to bully and mistreat other people.  If that person truly wants to know about God, they will follow the rules of the Bible study and treat people with respect and kindness.  If they can't do that, and even if it's their first offense, they should be kicked out of the group.  Period.

        Moral of this...As Christians, we shoudl practice discernment in sharing the gospel and sharing our experiences so our pearls don't get trampled on and we get torn to pieces.

        Margaret Becker Deep Calling Deep

        a great music video by Margaret Becker!  enjoy!

        Wednesday, June 6, 2012

        Avalon: "Faith: A Hymns Collection"

        Courtesy: Avalon

        This first hymns collection by Avalon was released in 2006. The four member group decided to approach this album differently than their other albums.  They decided to record the hymns as duets. And the result?  It's awesome! 

        Here are the highlights:

        1.  The Solid Rock- Avalon starts out strong on this opener!  It's a reminder that all other ground besides the solid rock of Christ is sinking sand!   I love this verse and chorus: "
        When darkness seems to hide His lovely face, /I rest on His unchanging grace./In every high and stormy gale,/
        My anchor holds within the veil./On Christ the solid Rock I stand,/All other ground is sinking sand;/All other ground is sinking sand" (Maxi Lyrics)

        2.  I'll Fly Away - This is by far my all time favorite hymn!  And Avalon does a fantastic job in delivering the hymn!  If you close your eyes, you can see yourself at one of those Tent Meetings and dinner on the grounds!  Here are the lyrics (courtesy of: Maxi Lyrics):

        "Some glad morning when this life is over,
        I'll fly away.
        To a home on God's celestial shore,
        I'll fly away.

        I'll fly away, O Glory, I'll fly away.
        When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
        I'll fly away.

        Just a few more weary days and then,
        I'll fly away.
        To a land where joy shall never end,
        I'll fly away.

        I'll fly away, O Glory,
        I'll fly away.
        When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
        I'll fly away.

        I'll fly away, O Glory,
        I'll fly away.
        When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
        I'll fly away"

        You can buy this for a very cheap price at Avalon

        Tuesday, June 5, 2012

        Amy Grant Better Than A Hallelujah

        Here is Amy Grant's Better Than A Hallelujah!  Enjoy!

        Jason Gray Remind Me Who I Am

        Here is Jason Gray's Remind Me Who I Am video.  Enjoy!

        Crystal Lewis "Holy Holy Holy"

        Courtesy: Amazon

        Crystal's 2nd hymn collection Holy Holy Holy was released in 2002---7 years after her first hymns cd.  Listening to this album is a very enjoyable experience!  Crystal gives a more passionate vocal deliverance on this cd.  There is a mix of traditional and non-traditional renderings of these timeless hymns!

        The highlights are:1.  Holy Holy Holy- She sings this song with such awe and respect of God.  I can simply envision her singing before Jesus on His throne!

        2. His Eye Is On The Sparrow- A beautiful rendering of this song!  My favorite lines are: "

        Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,/When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,/I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;/His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." (Maxi Lyrics)
        3. O Happy Day- This hymn is proclaiming what a happy day it was when Jesus took our sins away!  What an amazing gift Jesus gave to us!  We are no longer guilty, and we get to spend eternity with Jesus!  If that doesn't get you happy, nothing will! :)

        4.  O' How I Love Jesus- She sings this traditionally!  She does a great job with it!  I love Jesus so much!  I enjoy singing along with Crystal on this one.  Just read these lyrics (courtesy of Maxi Lyrics):

        There is a Name I love to hear,
        I love to sing its worth;
        It sounds like music in my ears,
        The sweetest Name on earth.

        O how I love Jesus,
        O how I love Jesus,
        O how I love Jesus,
        Because He first loved me

        It tells me of a Savior's love,
        Who died to set me free;
        It tells me of a Savior's blood,
        The sinners' perfect plea.

        It tells me what my Father hath
        In store for every day,
        And though I tread a darksome path,
        Yields sunshine all the way.
        It tells of one whose loving heart
        Can feel my deepest woe;
        Who in each sorrow bears
        A part that none can bear below.

        Jesus love me for the bible tells me so
        little ones to him belong
        they are weak but he is strong
        there is a name I love to hear
        I love to sing it's worth
        sounds like music in my ear
        the sweetest name on earth


        You can buy this cd for a reasonable price at: Amazon

        Monday, June 4, 2012

        Happy Monday!/Grad Sunday

        Happy Monday!

        "WHAT?!", all you people in blog world gasp!  "What are you talking about?! Monday is not happy for me!".

        Yeah, I feel all of y'all's pain!  I really do! :)  But Monday is a happy day for me, because Monday starts my 3 day weekend!    Everytime I get off work and get home, I am always in a giddy mood!  It irritates my wife! LOL!  Because she has to go to work on Monday after having the weekend off! :)


        How as y'all's Sunday? Church was really good!  It was Graduation Sunday at church!  I sat in the balcony as always!  It was so much fun seeing all the graduates in different colored gowns (red, black, etc...) receiving water bottles with "Run" imprinted on them.

        "Run" was the theme of the sermon today preached by Pastor Andrew J.  It was a really good sermon!  He preached running the race for Christ with endurance.  I like to go over some points from the sermon! 

        So how does one run with preseverance?

        First,  you have throw off weight!  You have to throw off anything that henders! The people that we hang out with can be a hinderance to our race!  Also, we may be holding on to some sin that we think we are okay in carrying. You might be able to hold on to that sin for a little while and still run the race okay, but you won't be able to run the race as well as if you would just let go of that sin! Sin can entangle us in our race for God! 

        Read 1 Timothy 6:11 (NLT) and Hebrews 12:4 (NIV) for reference.

        Second, you can presevere through difficulty.  Difficulties (trials) can produce perseverance in the person's walk with Christ.   That is the ultimate goal for trials is that you produce fruit that eventually produces preseverance.

        Take a lesson from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  If you win a race, you must do strict training.  How does a runner train?  He trains everyday.  Sometimes he even runs with a back pack with 10lbs worth of weight in it. After the training, when the race begins, the racer takes off the weights (that would hinder him) and runs the race.

        Third, to run the race with perseverance, you have to fix your eyes on Jesus,  Jesus is the captain of the race. Jesus ran the race better than anyone else, since He ran the race without sin.

        One final point.  If you have joy in your heart, it will be easier to win the race.  You can't win the race without joy.  There is a difference between joy and happiness.  Happiness is a temporary feeling.  It can change on a dime.  There are some situations in life that will make you sad, really sad.  But during those times, you have to depend on joy---the joy that God provides.  Joy comes from deep within your soul.  You can have joy during hard times because you know that you are saved by Jesus and one day you will get to Heaven.   

        Crystal Lewis: Hymns My Life

        Courtesy: Amazon

        Crystal Lewis' first hymns album (Hymns) My Life was put out in 1995.  This is a really great solid effort for Crystal's first try!  She has a unique voice that you'll enjoy listening to from the get go!  Just close your eyes and listen to the words that she is singing!

        The highlights of the cd include:

        1.  It is Well- When life gets out of control and you need a little peace, then you need to listen to this hymn!  My favorite lines from the hymn are:
        Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come/Let this blessed assurance control,/That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,/
        And hath shed his own blood for my soul." (Maxi Lyrics)

        2. Blessed Assurance - Crystal sure knows how to belt it out!  In my old church (Independent Church of God) in Alabama, we would sing this song by piano!  It is such a great song to sing!  Here's the first verse and chorus:
        "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!/O what a foretaste of glory divine!/Heir of salvation, purchase of God,/Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood./This is my story, this is my song,/Praising my Savior, all the day long;/This is my story, this is my song,/
        Praising my Savior, all the day long." (Maxi Lyrics)

        3. I'd Rather Have Jesus-  Another really good hymn!  This is my heart's cry!  The reason I exist!  I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world can give to me! This is another hymn I have to share the lyrics to the whole hymn.  So here it is courtesy of Maxi Lyrics:

        I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
        I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
        I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
        I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

        Than to be the king of a vast domain
        And be held in sin's dread sway.
        I'd rather have Jesus than anything
        This world affords today.

        I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause,
        I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
        I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame,
        I'd rather be true to His holy name.

        Than to be the king of a vast domain
        And be held in sin's dread sway.
        I'd rather have Jesus than anything
        This world affords today.

        He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom,
        He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;
        He's all that my hungering spirit needs,
        I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

        Than to be the king of a vast domain
        And be held in sin's dread sway.
        I'd rather have Jesus than anything
        This world affords today

        You can buy this cd very cheaply at: Amazon

        Sunday, June 3, 2012

        Amy Grant "Rock of Ages: Hymns & Faith"

        Courtesy: Amazon

        Three years after releasing Legacy: Hymns &Faith , Amy releases another collection of hymns entitled Rock of Ages: Hymns & Faith.  This album has a more "rootsy country feel" to it.  She picks some really good hymns on here; there are some hymns that I didn't even know existed!  The faith songs are good, but not as good as the ones she came up with for "Legacy".  Despite all that, it is still an album worth picking up!  And it is still puts me in a worshipful mood!

        So here are some highlights from the cd:

        1. Anywhere With Jesus -I had never heard of this hymn before buying this cd!  But it is one of my favorite hymns Amy performs!  My favorite lines of the hymn are: "
        Anywhere with Jesus, I am not alone/Other friends may fail me, He is still my own/Tho' His hand may lead me over dearest ways/Anywhere with Jesus is a house of praise" (Maxi Lyrics).
        2. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - I love the message of this hymn! "Turn your eyes upon Jesus/
        Look full in his wonderful face/And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim/In the light of his glory and grace/O soul are you weary and troubled?/No light in the darkness you see?/There's a light for a look at the Savior/And life more abundant and free" (Maxi Lyrics).

        3. I Surrender All - This is my 2nd favorite hymn of the album!  This is so much fun to sing along to!  I normally wouldn't post the whole lyric, but I can't pick just one verse to be my favorite!  Enjoy! :
        I Surrender All
        All to Jesus I surrender
        All to Him I freely give
        I will ever love and trust him
        In his presence daily live

        I surrender all, I surrender all
        All to Thee my blessed Savior
        I surrender all

        All to Jesus I surrender
        At thy feet I humble bow
        Worldly pleasures all forsaken
        Take me, Jesus, Take me now

        Repeat chorus

        All to Jesus I surrender
        Lord, I give myself to thee
        Fill me with thy love and power
        Let thy blessing fall on me

        Repeat chorus

        You can buy this cd cheaply at: Amazon

        Sold Out For Christ

        I got this from another blog: Our Walk With Jesus .

        What would it take for you to completely sell out for God? Him proving that He loves you beyond measure? Him giving His One and Only Son Jesus Christ to die in our place and save us from an eternity in Hell?

        We get so wrapped up in this world and all the distractions it has to offer that we often times forget why we were created and why God has chosen to leave us here.

        While our jobs provide us with food and shelter, they should never be or become our God! Our toys, while they provide us with some measure of relaxation and enjoyment, should never be where all of our time is spent! And Our money, while everyone would love to have a little more than what they got, should never be what our goals are set towards or the race that we are running.

        You see, God in fact paid much to high of a price for us not to give Him what He paid for, US! In fact, He has shown us His unfailing love, in the form of His One and Only Son Jesus Christ dying on the cross and taking our place, just so we would not have to spend an eternity in Hell, full of pain and punishment.

        Let me give you an example. You would not buy the hottest, most expensive car in the world and leave it on the lot, would you? Well, God doesn’t want too either! He wants to get in and drive! He wants to take you on a ride of a lifetime. Still not convinced? How about this one… Suppose a person who loves to restore old cars, goes out and buys the oldest and most beat up car he can find. I mean this thing is a hunk of junk!! Everyone who sees it asks him, why in the world did you by this hunk of junk? He just nods and smiles and goes about his business. A while down the road, these same people are in complete awww. I mean this car is a priceless creation. It has been completely stripped down and completely redone and is absolutely amazing. You see, the restorer didn’t see the hunk of junk… He saw what God sees in us… a PRICELESS CREATION!

        Many of us are just afraid! I get it, I really do!!! We think for some reason that God wants us to be perfect or that we have to have it all together to serve Him or to even come to Him. That is not true at all!!! God, just like the restorer, wants you, for you! That is it, nothing more! And just like the restorer, He wants to make you into that priceless creation He has created you to be. I mean, when is the last time you saw a car restore itself and fix it’s own problems? We are just like the car, we can’t do it either!

        So I ask you again, what will it take for you to sell out for God? He has paid the ultimate price and He has promised to do all the work. He has even told you what to do, come just as we are and leave the changing and restoring up to Him. My friends, if He can change my heart and restore me… He can do it for anyone! Come to Him today. Let’s all sell out for God and see how this world changes!

        In Him,

        Jerry S
        .Restored Priceless Creation

        Challenge: I challenge all of you who read this, to repost this and sell out for God. Simply sign your name (in the place of mine) as a commitment, between you and God and repost on your wall, blog or any other forum to show the world by word you are selling out for God. Then commit to Him in prayer and offer yourself to Him completely. Revival starts one person at a time, one heart at a time… will you be next?

        Saturday, June 2, 2012

        Amy Grant "Legacy..Hymns & Faith"

        Courtesy: Amazon
        After 25 years of making albums, Amy Grant finally releases her first hymns albums!  This album is made mostly of hymns and a few songs of faith; hence the cd title Legacy...Hymns & Faith.
         The album has a nice organic feel to it.  The music is a mix of contemporary and perhaps a little country as well.

        The highlights of this cd:

        1. My Jesus I Love Thee- This is my favorite hymn on this cd! Amy sings this beautifully!  I love this verse from this hymn: "
        I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,/And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree./I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;/If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now."

        2. What You Already Own- My favorite "faith" song on here. I love the verse: "I give you my life/Precious and rare/Knowing wherever I've been, you were there/Sometimes I'm faithful/
        Sometimes I'm strong/Will you protect what you already own?"

        This album was definitely worth the wait!  Go buy!  You'll be glad that you did!  You can buy the cd at a very cheap price (and mp3s too for a little higher) at: Amazon


        Fly To You

        Here is another poem from my forthcoming book: Popcorn: Poems You Can Munch On.  Enjoy and be blessed!!!!!  Jerry

        Fly To You
        written by: Jerry S.
        (c)2012 Jerry S.

        This road is long and hard
        How I worry and how I fret
        The labor doesn’t seem to end
        My body is covered in sweat

        How I long for the day
        When I can finish this race
        But until that day comes
        I’ll just depend on Your grace

        So I’ll dig deeper in Your word
        And by faith believe what it says to be true
        I know when I take my final breath
        I’m gonna fly to You

        Each day brings another chance
        For me to display Your glory
        Each day brings another way
        To get rid of all shame and all worry

        I will trust in You
        To bring me through all this pain
        One day all my loss
        Will be turned to gain

        There will come a day
        When you will break open the sky blue
        And in that moment
        I know I will fly to You

        Friday, June 1, 2012


        Hey!  Wass up?!?!  I want to share with you a story from when I first moved to Minnesota....

        On Sept 5, 2002, I moved to Minnesota to start a relationship with my then-girlfriend now-wife. When I moved up there, I started going to her church; which was an evangelical-free church.  The church was a medium-sized church.  But compared to the small church I came from, it was big!

        I really enjoyed the preaching at this church!  However, the hardest thing I had to adjust to at this church is the way they worshipped!  First, they didn't have a choir like my old church had.  I thought that was quite unusual! Second, they didn't use hymns as a form of worship.  They used modern praise and worship!  That really threw me for a loop!  For the longest time, I could not "get into" the worship there.  I didn't really care for the modern praise and worship music they had there.  Now, about 10 years later, I now enjoy modern praise and worship music and now am used to it!  I can even worship to it now! 

        However, modern praise and worship music will never hold a candle (in my opinion) to hymns!  There is nothing like hymns that can get me into a worshipful mood!  They are the "meat and potatoes" of Christian music! They are the roots of modern praise and worship music.  Without hymns, there would not be any modern praise and worship music! 

        So with God's help, I am starting a series of cd reviews concentrating on Hymns.  If you have never been exposed to hymns, it might be worth your while to check out the cds I recommend! 

        God bless you!