The Spiritual Power of Music

The Spiritual Power of Music

What happens in our Spiritual walk when we praise and worship Him!
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In Acts 16, we find a story involving Paul and Silas. They are in a town that is foreign to them, they are going along their merry way, doing the work of the Lord and BAM! A little fortune teller girl comes along and ruins everything! There was a spirit dwelling in the little girl and it recognized the power that was inside of Paul and Silas and while they were on their way to prayer, she followed them and taunted them to the point that Paul became “greatly annoyed” (v. 18, ESV) and commanded the spirit to come out of the her and it did!

Perhaps you are sitting there wondering, ‘How does this ruin everything?’

Well…

The little girl’s owners had been making a lot of money off of her divination and now that the spirit was gone, her “gift” was gone. They lost their income. So, they took Paul and Silas before the town leaders, accused them, beat them and threw them into prison. They put them in the inner part of the prison – to make sure they did not escape – and bound their feet to stocks.

Perhaps you are sitting there wondering, ‘What does this have to do with music?’

Well…

Paul and Silas had been accused of things that were not true, beaten, bound and thrown into jail. Everything looked hopeless but… When midnight rolled around, the pair was “praying” and “singing hymns to God” (v. 25, ESV). STOP RIGHT THERE!!! How often do we have a cold or break a nail or have a flat tire and totally give up on the Lord?! Paul and Silas had been through all of those horrible things but were worshipping, at midnight no less! The prisoners were listening to them (v. 25, ESV) and the jailers were probably listening to them but, you know who else was listening?! God the Father. The one with all power in His hand. He sent an earthquake so strong that all the doors in the prison open and all the bonds were broken. Paul and Silas walked right out of that jail and continued preaching the Gospel of Christ, even though they had been through some of the worst things we could ever imagine - all for the Glory of the Gospel!

Music. It’s a powerful thing. When you are going through the worst times of your life and you are not sure what to do. Pray. And sing to the Lord, your God. He is listening and waiting to send a earthquake for you!

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Phillips Thomas

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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I May Not Be Religious, But I Do Believe In Something

As Weezer says,"I'm spiritual, not religious."

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My struggle with religion is something I've had all my life, and one I don't take light-heartedly.

As I am writing this, it's been two weeks ago since I lost one of my grandfathers, Papa Joe, to a tragic fall on a Sunday morning. Earlier in the year, March 6th, 2018, I lost another grandfather to cancer. Each with completely different situations, but I feel as if I never got to fully say goodbye to either of them. One was so sudden, the last chance I had to see him was in the emergency room to pray after he passed; the other I knew would happen over the span of months, but never wanted to fully accept losing him from my life.

I've never had to deal with the death of a close family member until this year, and it's brought up many of my suppressed doubts about faith and religion. Even as a child, when I went to church every Sunday with my family, I could never stop questioning this belief in God.

I remember being six or seven and making myself repeat over and over "I believe" when I felt so ashamed and guilty that I couldn't. I forced myself to read the Bible every night because I believed that's what a good Christian girl would do. My whole family believed, and my whole church believed, so why couldn't I? I could never wrap my head around it all, but then again, maybe you're not supposed to. Then my church began to fall apart when my parents got a divorce, and that was that. Each parent tried to find a new church to belong to, but we never stayed anywhere long. I haven't been to church much since, except for special occasions.

To be honest, I envy my religious friends because they find comfort and peace within their faith when I never could. I still pray because I'd like to think someone is listening. I'm not atheist, I definitely believe there's something bigger than us out there, but I'm not certain what it is. This is why I choose to label myself as agnostic.

More recently, I've found myself becoming more spiritual, especially since certain occurrences started happening around my Pop Pop's death in March that I can't explain.

My Pop Pop was diagnosed in November 2017, and we were hopeful for a while. But his condition rapidly began to decline. Around February 2018, I started to have a migraine that lasted at least a month and put me in the emergency room twice. The second time it got so bad was after I had a phone call with my three-year-old cousin, who told me our Pop Pop was going to become a star that very night. She knew. I was in so much pain, but I believe it was so I would be home. I was there so my dad could tell me in person at three in the morning that he had passed away.

The following weekend was the funeral, and it wouldn't be family occasion without something going wrong.... That being said, our car got locked in the parking garage at night. So we decided to walk to CVS down the road which happened to be under a row of street lights. As we walked down the sidewalk, one by one the lights right above us flickered off and then turned back on when we left from underneath them. We were all shocked, but knew he was following us.

Later that year, my grandmother and his wife received a lovely present on the doorstep; a family of baby foxes. They decided to live near her front porch and visit from time to time. We thought of these creatures and the constant deer to be signs from my Pop Pop because he loved nature so much. My grandmother has had more animals around her house this year than before!

Isabelle Bartolomeo

You may not believe me or think these are just simple coincidences, but everyone believes something different. I haven't seen any signs from my Papa Joe, but I'm watching.

You both are dearly missed and loved so much. Rest in Peace.

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