Lost

By David Cook

Yeshua_talit

“The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
—Yeshua the Messiah
Luke 19:10 NASB

While living in sunny Southern California one day we realized our daughter, who was almost three years old; was nowhere to be found.  “She was just here a few minutes ago, where could she be?”; I thought to myself.  We walked around the house and looked in her room, in the closet, under her bed.  “Is she hiding?”  We went into the family room where her brothers were watching Inspector Gadget on Saturday morning cartoons; “Where’s your sister?”, I asked.  They shrugged their shoulders and said, “Don’t know Dad.”  I walked into the living room and the front door was wide open.  I walked outside and quickly looked around the front yard and then scanned up and down the street.  Panic!  “Where’s my daughter!?!”  “Is she lost?”  “Lord, please help us find our daughter!”

Thankfully, about five minutes later (which seemed like five hours) my observant and compassionate neighbor found our daughter and brought her home.  I was exuberant and relieved to see my little lost lamb come home!  My adventurous daughter didn’t know she was lost; she was on an adventure, out exploring the world.

Thanks be to God, His Son Yeshua is our good Shepherd; ever watching over us!

The Prodigal Son

Yeshua told this story; “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

prodigal son

14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”         Luke 15 NASB

Party on! Wine, women and song! This was the mantra of the young prodigal son.  But after he squandered all of his inheritance and lost all of his “friends” and “lovers” he finally wised up and came home.  Are you on an adventure looking for what life is all about?  Perhaps you’re lost but don’t even know it?  Your Father in heaven wants you to come home.

Yeshua said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Mathew 22:37-40 NASB

Loving God is a vertical relationship.  Loving people is about relating on the horizontal level.  We can live each day in the vertizontal, loving God will all your heart, soul and mind and loving people as you love yourself.  The whole Torah (613 Laws given by God to Moses) and the writings of the Hebrew Prophets rests on these two commandments.

Knowing the true and living God, who is love; is the prize!                                                       http://www.knowhimpersonally.com

The Son of the Most High, who is much wiser than all; taught that life is all about loving God with all your heart, soul and mind.  And about loving your neighbor as yourself.  Today is a good day, now is a good time; if you hear the voice of your Father in heaven calling you home then turn to Him in faith and humbly ask for His forgiveness.

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.  1 John 1:5-10 NASB

The Great Adventure

Jackson Hole Wy Barn & grand Tetons Mountain Range

by David Cook

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved,

and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

—Yeshua the Messiah

John 10:9-10 NASB

Steven Curtis Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 56 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association.   Steven has sold more than 10 million albums and has 8 RIAA-certified Gold or Platinum albums!  But not everything in his life has been peaches & cream.  In the great adventure of life, we experience mountaintop highs and valley lows.

Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman

After Steven and his wife Mary Beth had a few children they adopted three girls from China.  Their daughter Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman died from a tragic auto accident in their driveway on May 21, 2008.  The loss of their daughter was a severe test of faith for them and their family.  We read of a man of true faith from long ago who tragically lost all of his children in a single day.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head,

and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked I shall return there.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:20-21 NASB

YMCA Rocky Mountain Cabin

During my youth my father and mother would take our family to Estes Park, Colorado for a summer vacations!  It was breath taking when this Missouri boy first ascended the Rocky Mountains from Loveland, Colorado and viewed the distant snowcapped peaks and valleys among the pines and aspens. Rocky Mountain Scene in Estes Park Colorado We would stay at the YMCA of the Rockies just above Estes Park.  During my college days I went on an adventure in Estes Park, Colorado.  It was the summer of 1975, the first “Student Venture” Summer Project.  Student Venture is the High School ministry of ‘Cru’ www.studentventure.com   I’m on the lower left with Pat Hurley, (youth speaker, stand-up comedian and author) and some other bros from around the USA, including my friend Jim Powers, who is holding a Bible.  Student Venture 1975 Summer Project in Estes Park Colorado

Estes Park Downtown Dusk

It was a fun summer, living in Estes Park all summer and working on a construction crew building a Swiss Chalet on the mountain adjacent to the YMCA of the Rockies.  I’d start the brisk morning off with a t-shirt, work shirt and jean jacket.  By the time lunch time rolled around I had my shirt off, sharing my lunch with chipmunks and watching mountain climbers in the distance.

Colorado Chipmunk

David Cook on the Wind River Trail in RMNP above Estes Park

Years later, each of my three children have each had great adventures on the mountain ranges in the USA.  My son Derek led the way in the summer of 2008 he went on the SROM 40 day backpacking and mountain climbing expedition in the majestic mountains of Wyoming.  SROM is a premier Christian outdoor leadership education and wilderness adventure ministry, www.srom.org .

SROM 40 2008

Derek on the 2008 SROM 40

Mountain & Lake Buffalow Yeah Moose

 

Grand Teton National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring places in all of God’s creation.  The National Park is in the Jackson Hole Valley, with massive mountains, pristine lakes, cold mountain rivers, and abundant wildlife; elk, moose, black and grizzly bears, bison, deer, and more!

Derek on SROM 40

Derek, Eric, Nathan, Kevin on the SROM 40.

Gannett Peak

Rainbow over YMCA Chapel in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

At the end of the summer Derek got to climb Gannett Peak with expert climber Austin Haller and Elisa from SROM and one additional climber the “Fantastic Four” ascended the 13,809 feet (4,209 m) peak.  Gannett Peak is the highest peak in the state of Wyoming and straddles the boundary between Fremont and Sublette Counties along the Continental Divide.

My daughter Courtney spent the summer of 2009 in Estes Park working at the lodge at the YMCA of the Rockies!  Later that summer, her brothers and I came out for a visit and mini vacation backpacking and camping along the Wind River Trail in the Rocky Mountain National Park above the YMCA www.ymcarockies.org

CNC on the trail in RMNP

Derek on the trail in Colorado

It was a blessing for Christopher, Derek and I to visit Courtney that summer in Estes Park and go backpacking and camping up above the YMCA of the Rockies and see the bright starry nights!

Starry Night at the YMCA of the Rockies

Derek & Chris having breakfast above the YMCA

DC camping above YMCA of the Rockies summer 2009

 My son Christopher was blessed to go with the 2011, 40/40 “Amazing Team” with www.SROM.org on a backpacking and mountain climbing adventure on the Wind River Range & Vedavoo in Wyoming which reflects the amazing beauty of God’s creation.

SROM Roping Down Mountain

CRC Mountain Climbing

CRC SCROM UofT Sign

CRC laying down SROM

CRC Camping on the Snowy Mountain

SCROM Mountain Sunset

The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Psalms 24:1-5 NASB

Knowing the true and living God and living in relationship with Him in this life and in the one to come is the greatest adventure of all!  www.knowhimpersonally.com

Mountains & Valleys

Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war

Isaiah 2:2-4 NASB

[1] Give thanks in all things, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him, Romans 8:28-29.

For by Grace

Know Jesus Know Love

By David Cook

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
  Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

So many good things in this life come from human effort, hard work and the payoff from that effort and work.  It could be physical effort, intellectual work, creative effort or networking work and various related rewards.  But what about grace, divine grace that comes out of the blue?  When perhaps you don’t get what’s due; instead you are embraced by an avalanche of grace.  Perhaps you’ve never experienced it. Or perhaps you have, over and over again; like waves rolling in from the deep blue sea of God’s love.

523px-Celsius Library-DK

The Celsius library ruins in the ancient city of Ephesus.

The apostle Paul wrote to believers in Yeshua the Messiah who lived in the ancient city of Ephesus.  The city of Ephesus is near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.    Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV

Paul wanted believers in Messiah Yeshua to understand their past spiritual condition, dead in our trespasses and sins and the amazing grace of God.  Because of the immeasurable riches of God’s grace, when a person puts his (or her) faith in Yeshua the Messiah; a spiritual new birth transpires and eternal life begins!  After a person has been born again transformation begins to take place in our thoughts and actions!!  We begin to understand our new identity in Messiah!  God has raised us up with Yeshua and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah! So that in the coming ages God might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua.

For By Grace You have been Saved through Faith

Watch Hillsong United and other gifted musicians at,

http://www.VertiZontalMedia.com

Ventura Highway

Route 101 Ventura California

By David Cook

“Ventura Highway” by the folk-rock band America is a musical blast from the past and a reminder for me, of California dreamin’ and West Coast adventures.  The band America had a chilled out vibe, they were huge when I was in high school and one of my fav bands for sure.  I remember the first time this Midwest boy from KC, Missouri traveled across Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and on into California through the barren and arid Mojave Desert.

The classic folk-rock band America and their self-titled debut album America 
 with the hit song; “A Horse with No Name”.  Their first album was released in 1971.

America LP by America

I was traveling with friends from a high school youth group on our way to a Student Venture Conference, where we were meeting up with other students from around the USA to learn more about how to have a personal relationship with the Maker of heaven and earth. [1]  We traversed down U.S. Interstate-15 from Barstow down into the San Bernardino Valley, glowing in the night.

SanBernardio Valley

And then waking up to the oasis of Southern Cal palm trees and lush gardens at the spectacular Arrowhead Springs Hotel, Spa and Resort.  On the grounds were ten private bungalows previously owned by the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Lucille Ball, the Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart and other Hollywood celebrities and prominent people. [2]

Arrowhead Springs Hotel Entrance

Esther Williams Pool Arrowhead Springs

Arrowhead Springs Hotel Wide

The Esther Williams swimming pool at Arrowhead Springs Cabaña Pool was a fun place to hang out and play shuffle board, just below the San Bernardino Mountain Range.  Arrowhead Springs Spa and Resort with saunas, steam caves and natural hot mineral spring mud baths was an old Hollywood hangout in the 1940’s.

My family had spent time vacationing in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and in Estes Park, Colorado in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  But the West Coast of California was a whole new world for me at age 15, in the summer of 1969.  Seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time was an unforgettable experience.

I remember siting out under the stars at the Arrowhead amphitheater with friends from back home and Gary Brown our youth group leader who became a lifelong mentor and good friend.  We listened to great music, funny MC’s, and interesting talks by Josh McDowell, on “Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus” [3] and a talk by Bill Bright, the founder of ‘Cru’ who spoke on the “Uniqueness of Jesus”. [4]

The “Jesus Movement”, was a wave of the Holy Spirit that went rolling across the USA; that engulfed me and many of my friends and classmates.  Little did I know, that the Spirit of the Lord was stirring in the mind and heart of Dan Peek across the Ocean in the UK. [5]

Flowers on California CoastCalifornia Surfers at Sunset

California Coast

“Ventura Highway” by the band America, is a popular song from their Homecoming album.  “Ventura Highway” reached #8 on the Billboard singles chart and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1972. [6]   “Ventura Highway” was written by Dewey Bunnell, who is the song’s lead vocalist.  “That’s Gerry and Dan doing a harmony on two guitars on the intro. I remember us sitting in a hotel room, and I was playing the chords, and Gerry got that guitar line, and he and Dan worked out that harmony part. That’s really the hook of the song”.  — Dewey Bunnell [7]

California Surfers Peir Sunset

Ventura Pier Sunset

Dan Made a Bargain with God
But when we formed the band America, we were living in London.
I went into my own little room and I got on my knees and I said,
‘Lord, if you’ll make this group a success,
I will use it as a platform to tell other people about you.’
I never told another soul.
–Dan Peek

“Ventura Highway” by America

Route 101

Ventura Highway, U.S. Route 101 is a freeway in southern California running from Ventura to Pasadena. It is the primary east-west route through Ventura County and into the southern San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  From Ventura to the intersection with the Hollywood Freeway the signs read U.S. Route 101.  East of the Hollywood Freeway intersection, the signage changes to read, State Route 134.

Orange Orchards

oranges & blossuems

The Ventura Freeway begins at the Santa Barbara county line and travels east through citrus orchards and strawberry fields of the Oxnard Plain before ascending a steep pass into the Conejo Valley.  The highway continues up to the seashore community of Mussel Shoals.

Continuing eastward through the northern Santa Monica Mountains, it crosses the Ventura/Los Angeles county line before entering the San Fernando Valley. The freeway continues eastward along the valley’s southern rim, crossing the 405 and 5 freeways and the Los Angeles River. After passing through Downtown Glendale south of the Verdugo Mountains, the highway continues along the southern slope of the San Rafael Hills between Glendale and Eagle Rock before entering Pasadena near the Arroyo Seco and ending at the Foothill Freeway. [8]

Santa Monica Mountains in the clouds

America Home ComingAmerica is a folk-rock band that began with Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek as the founding band members.  The trio formed the band in 1969.  Gerry, Dewey and Dan were in their early twenties when they became a musical sensation in 1972, with No. 1 hits and a Grammy for best new musical artist. Their recording success continued throughout the 1970s; with hit songs like “A Horse with No Name”, “Sister Golden Hair”, “Ventura Highway”, “Tin Man”, “Daisy Jane”, and “Lonely People”. [9]

America -- Hearts Album

So what were three American lads doing in London?

London Bridge

Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek are sons of American fathers and British mothers.  Their fathers were military personnel stationed at the United States Air Force base at RAF West Ruislip, London.  All three lads attended London Central High School at Bushey Hall, which is 16 miles northwest of London.  In the mid-1960s, they met each other while playing in two different bands.  Gerry and Dan were born in the States and had spent some time growing up there before moving to Britain, while Dewey was born in Britain. [10]

America – Lonely People

A man can set out on life’s adventure only to find he is on a dead end, lonely and empty.  Sometimes that empty realization comes after you have acquired everything you every wanted; or thought you wanted.

Dan Peek B&W Smoking

Dan Peek band member of “America”

Dan Peek contributed lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica to their recordings during his tenure in the band. As a member of America, Peek wrote or co-wrote four Top 100 singles: “Don’t Cross The River” (#35), “Lonely People” (#5), “Woman Tonight” (#44), and “Today’s the Day” (#23), all of which he also sang lead on. “Lonely People” and “Today’s the Day” also hit number 1 on the Billboard AC charts. [11]

Dan abused drugs and alcohol during this period of the 70′s.  In 2004 Peek released an autobiography about this era entitled, An American Band: The America Story which was very difficult for him to write because of some of the painful memories it brought back. [12]

There is a way that appears to be right,

but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 14:12 NIV

Dan Peek reminiscing with Scott Ross

God Shaped Vacuum
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man
which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God,
the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
–Blaise Pascal
French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and philosopher

Dan became a proverbial ‘prodigal son’ and left the highway that leads to life and wasted his inheritance on drugs, sex and rock-n-roll.  But by the grace of God, Dan gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ,

he is a new creature; the old things passed away;

behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 5:17  NASB

Why did Dan Peek leave America and start a music career in CCM?

Here is the answer straight from Dan Peek in an interview; “Well, when I was twelve years old, I ‘got saved’. My mother, who had just gotten saved herself, basically came and told the entire family the Gospel.  I had never heard it.  I had been to a lot of churches and I heard ‘be good, be a good boy, be nice’.  But, when I heard the Gospel, it absolutely resonated with me and I got on my knees and prayed.  I knew I was a sinner at twelve already and asked Christ into my heart and life and to be my Savior.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  John 3:16-18 NIVUK

“But the years drifted on (and) I got into my late teens, went away to college and just drifted away from any semblance of acting like a Christian. But when we formed the band America, we were living in London. I went into my own little room and I got on my knees and I said, ‘Lord, if you’ll make this group a success, I will use it as a platform to tell other people about you.’  I never told another soul.

America Band White

“Well, within a year of praying that prayer, we had a number one album and a number one single around the world. It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. Bam! “God answered your prayer! Now you need to live up to your end of the bargain!’  I kind of – not half-heartedly – I tried to share the Gospel with Dewey and Gerry. They weren’t interested. I tried to share it with some other people – they didn’t want to know. So, I just kind of withdrew into my shell as a heathen and then just became a practicing hedonist. So, for the next seven years, I’m living “La Vida Loca” to the max.

America B&W

Sunrise Over Malibu Beach

“Sunrise Over Malibu” by Barbara Miller

Vanity, Vanity all is Vanity, “The turning point came for me – I’m living in a million dollar house in Malibu, overlooking the sea. I’ve got the fancy schmancy cars in the driveway, a beautiful wife, the hot tub, the whole nine yards.  The walls covered with gold and platinum albums and a Grammy on my piano. And, yet, inside, I was so, so lost and in deep, deep despair because it was like, ‘Wait a minute! All this stuff is supposed to make me feel good! It’s not doin’ it. I’m lost!’  I knew there was darkness inside.

“I remember my mother, when I did get saved – this just kinda came back to me – she said, ‘Son, if ever at any time, you wander away from Jesus, he will always take you back.  He will always take you back!’

“So, I got on my knees in my beautiful home by the sea and cried out a prayer of repentance and I said, ‘Lord, I have sinned grievously against you. I don’t need all this stuff. This stuff’s not doing it. I want you now to be my Lord as well as my Savior and I want to live my life to glorify you.’

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Epeshians 2:1-10 NIVUK

“Within about three months, our house burned in a fire and I’m out of the band.  It was like going through a divorce – everything was tied up.  It was probably the lowest ebb of my life on a material level which, six months earlier, I was at the absolute apogee, crescendo of life as a material person but was at the lowest ebb spiritually.   And, then, suddenly, the coin flipped over and I’m just on fire, wanting to preach the gospel and I had this incredible idea.  “I thought, ‘You know, I’m going to make an album of songs about the Lord!’; modern kind of music, not the old, standard, piano thumping music. I thought I had invented contemporary Christian music!  Little did I know that there was this huge industry already out there but they were so separate that I would go to places where there were people in CCM  and I would be introduced, ‘This is Dan Peek and he’s from the group, America’ and one guy would go, ‘Is that the juggling act that performs in Vegas?’

Dan Peek Solo

“They didn’t know who I was; I didn’t know who they were but all I knew was that I wanted to fulfill my promise to the Lord. It was like when I did pray that prayer of re-dedication – some people will say that’s when I was really converted, I don’t want to split hairs – all I know is that I knew then that I wanted God as the central focus on my life, not the material stuff. It was like God said, ‘Okay, now you can live up to your promise.’

“So, I embarked on a series of things. God put the right people in place to be able to make (the album) All Things Are Possible. So, suddenly, there I was. I was able to share the glory of God and explain the Gospel and explain what God had done for me and my life and save a hopeless wretch like me.  It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me because I was suffering from tremendous guilt from living this double life.  Deep down inside, I’m a Christian but on the outside I am just like Keith Richards (of the Rolling Stones), only a little bit younger!”

All Things Are Possible, Dan Peek’s debut solo album, All Things Are Possible was released in 1979. Chris Christian co-wrote, produced, and contributed acoustic guitar and backing vocals on the album. The title track reached the Billboard charts, making the Top 10 in the A/C Billboard chart and number 1 in the Christian charts, becoming one of the early contemporary Christian music crossover hit.  Another great song on the album, “Love Was Just Another Word”, was recorded in LA and written by Chris Christian and Steve Kipner. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell sang the background vocals. This was the last time all three original members of America recorded together. [13]

Chris Christian

Music Producer, Chris Christian

“So, that was the turning point. I left the band. I did the album. It was nominated for a Grammy. “All Things Are Possible” – the song – got huge, monstrous airplay. It was actually in the top five of the Adult Contemporary charts for two years in a row. So, it was, on some level, a ground breaking album.  B.J. (Thomas) had made his – Coming Home or Going Home, whatever it was (Home Where I Belong) – but All Things Are Possible really was a breakout record and then it was time to follow up. [14]

In his hit song “Lonely People”, Dan revised the lyrics to invite people to begin a relationship with the living God through His Son Jesus.  Even if you’re lonely, and think that life has passed you by, don’t give up.  Drink from the “silver cup” of living water and give your heart and life to Jesus Christ.  Jesus will never take you down; Jesus will never give you up. He’ll never leave you, He’ll never forsake you.

“Lonely People” written by Dan and Catherine Peek

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— 
we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.   2 Corinthiasn 5:6-8 NASB

On July 24, 2011 Dan Peek took a ride on that highway in the sky, he passed from this life into the next.  And now, Dan is home with the Lord.

Venture in Clouds 2

A highway will be there, a roadway,

And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.

The unclean will not travel on it,

But it will be for him who walks that way,

And fools will not wander on it.

Isaiah 35:8 NASB

www.DanPeek.com

[1] Student Venture the high ministry of ‘Cru’, www.studentventure.com

[2] Arrowhead Springs Hotel & Resort, a getaway of Hollywood Celebrities and Prominent People. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrowhead_Springs,_San_Bernardino,_California

[3] “Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus” by Josh McDowell, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33buor5NfcU

[4] “The Uniqueness of Jesus” by Bill Bright, http://www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/10-basic-steps/intro-the-uniqueness-of-jesus/

[5] The Jesus movement was a movement in Christianity that begin on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spread through North America and Europe. It was a major Christian element within the hippie counterculture and among youth in their teens and twenties within some churches and ministries.  People involved in the movement who attended Bible studies, Christian concerts, conferences and shared their faith with others were sometimes called ‘Jesus people’, or ‘Jesus freaks’ by their peers.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_movement

[6] Cleary, David. Homecoming > Review at Allmusic. Retrieved August 15, 2011.

[7] Bunnell, Dewey (2000). “Ventura Highway”. Highway (Rhino Records).

[8] Ventura Freeway, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventura_Freeway

[9] John Berger (August 7, 2009). “America rides in on ‘horse with no name’”. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved July 16, 2011.

[10] American fathers and British mothers, attending high school 16 miles NW of London; Dewey Bunnell @ www.imdb.com Retrieved 8-3-2012.

[11] Margalit Fox (July 26, 2011). “Dan Peek, of the Rock Band America, Dies at 60″. New York Times. “Dan Peek, an original member of the rock band America who later forsook the group for a life in Christian music, died on Sunday at his home in Farmington, Mo. He was 60…”

[12]  Lewis, Randy (27 July 2011). “Dan Peek dies at 60; founding member of the band America”. LA Times. Retrieved 27 July 2011.

[13] All Things Are Possible, Chris Christian co-wrote, produced, and contributed acoustic guitar and backing vocals on the album. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Peek

[14] Interview with Dan Peek, http://www.boomerocity.com/danpeekpart2.html

The Prodigal

Mirage in the Desert

by David Cook

Have you ever felt like you’re on the run, chasing an illusive dream?  Running after a mirage in the desert, only to be left with your face down drinking the sand?

Or perhaps running from something in your past.  Have you ever compromised your soul for pleasures, that in the end only robbed you?  The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can be alluring.

For everything in the world–

the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–

comes not from the Father but from the world.  

1 John 2:16 NIV

Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden the Serpent has continued to lie and deceive Adam’s children down to this very day.  The Serpent offers us the kingdom of this world and all that goes with it, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes and the pride of life. Yet like the prodigal, when we chase these pleasures of the world that are not from our Father in heaven; we end up empty.

Yeshua taught a most amazing story to reveal the heart of our Father who is in heaven.

“There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.  Luke 15:11-31 ESV

No doubt, our sinful choices hurt us and those around us who love us.  Perhaps a friend or family member has been praying for you.  Praying, perhaps even shedding tears that you would come back home to your Father in heaven who loves you.

Is there anything too difficult for God?  Is there a person so messed up and sinful that God cannot save them?  Or is God all-powerful?  Is the Almighty God really omnipotent?

Do you know a prodigal son or daughter?  Pray for them and extend to them the mercy and love God has given to you.  Perhaps you are a prodigal son or daughter? Come to Yeshua the Messiah, He is Mighty to Save!

God seeks us out, His lost children.  He sent His Son Yeshua to earth to bring us back to Himself.  To bring us home to heaven.  Yeshua explained;

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”  John 3:15-21 ESV

Yeshua is the Son of God and the Son of Man.  What does this mean?  The Son of God lived with His Father in heaven before His incarnation; before He was born in Bethlehem.

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

Micah 5:2 NASB

Long ago, from days of eternity Yeshua existed with His Father, the King of the Universe.of eternity.  Yeshua was there in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning; and created the heavens and the earth with God His Father and the Spirit of the Lord.  Moses wrote about this in Genesis chapter one.  We also read in the Torah where Moses lifted up a bronze serpent and all who looked to it were healed of the deadly venom of a snake bite.

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.  Numbers 21:9 NIV

Why did Yeshua compare His death on the cross to Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness?

Because when Yeshua was lifted up on the cross to pay for all our sin, He took all our sin upon Himself.  Messiah Yeshua is the propitiation for our sins.  God’s just wrath was poured out on His Son so that we might be justified before God.

He is the propitiation for our sins,

and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.  

1 John 2:2 ESV

When we in faith look to Messiah who died on the cross for our sins, then we are healed from the deadly bite of the serpent.  The same crafty Serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden–the Devil. [1]

Our Father who is in heaven seeks to have a relationship with you, now and forevermore. If you hear His voice calling you today, then call on the Lord in faith.  Have a heart to heart conversation with your Father in Heaven through prayer.  Wherever you are, He is there; He is omnipresent.  If you call on Him in faith, He can hear you.

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old.

Micah 7;18-20 NASB

Watch Randy Stonehill, Lara Landon, Leeland, Hillsong United and other gifted music artists on * VMN * VertiZotal Media Network at www.VertiZontalMedia.com

[1] The fall of man, Genesis 3:1-22.

One Day my Prince will Come, with Power and Great Glory!

newlywed toast

By David Cook

אני האהוב שלי ואהוב שלי הוא שלי

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”

kiss-the-bride-and-groom

“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!

For your love is better than wine.

Song of Solomon 1:2 NASB

The lovesick heart cry of a beautiful newlywed bride, married to the prince who inherited his father’s throne and kingdom; Solomon, the third King of Israel.  The bride was intoxicated with her husband’s love, longing for his kisses.  Not long before, this beautiful humble bride was in the fields tending goats, now because of the love of her beloved she is part of the royal family married to the King; living large in their elegant home with cedar beams and cypress rafters. [1]

Neuschwanstein Castle

Some Moms and Dads read bedtime stories to their children of fairytale castles in the sky from days gone by.  Perhaps the tale begins long, long ago with an ancient King and his beloved son the Prince and their vast kingdom.  The loving King arranged a marriage for his son to marry a fair maiden, but dastardly villains who were cohorts of the deceitful dragon had enslaved her and locked her away in a dungeon.  The Prince is on a quest, he will valiantly ride on a white steed to rescue his damsel in distress and slay the dragon and all those who serve him.

Knight Riding Horse

Many young girls grow up with the hope of being swept off her feet by a young prince who is strong and courageous of heart.  Later, in junior high and high school during the teen years this hope is reinforced by numerous songs from the music industry and movies from the motion picture industry.

the princess bride

Westley and the Princess Bride.

Sometimes these hopes and dreams can produce unrealistic expectations and relationship reality never quite measures up to the dream.  Yet, as I read the Bible and piece together the puzzle of the epic Biblical narrative of what the Hebrew prophets foretold, and Yeshua the Messiah explained; it is even more spectacular than a childhood fairytale.

In the Bible we read of the King of the Universe and His beloved Son the Prince, who created the heavens and the earth; both everything visible and invisible. [2]  We read of life in the garden of Eden, with the first man and the first woman Adam and Eve; who lived in innocence and fellowship with the King and His Son who created them.

eve apple

Adam and Eve chose sin and rebellion against the King and fell, not down a hill like Jack and Jill; but they fell from innocence to a dark place, knowing both good and evil.  As a result, they lived with shame, alienation and quickly learned how to blame shift their sin on the one they love.  Death entered their world; free communication and communion with God was severely severed.  Spiritual and physical death was a new reality to their self-centered world.

Adam’s choice and sinful action resulted in monumental consequences.  Adam’s sin resulted in spiritual death (separation from God) and ultimately physical death came as a result of his sin.  And death spread to all people since all sinned, sin was passed down from generation to generation. [3]  One of the most severe consequences to Adam’s sin was that the Devil (who is called the the serpent in Genesis and the dragon in Revelation) usurped Adam’s authority on earth and gained access to humanity to kill, steal and destroy. [4]

Most motion picture screenwriters know that a powerful plot needs a hero with a strong desire line.  When we look at history and the prophetic future in scriptures we see that the hero of the Bible; past, present and future is the Messiah.  Yeshua is the A&Z, He is the Prince who will inherit the kingdom from His Father; the King of the universe.

In the Song of Solomon, we are given an inside look at the young love of a royal romance between King Solomon and his bride.  The King is captivated by the beauty of His bride, like a beautiful rose in the desert!

“How beautiful you are, my darling,

How beautiful you are!

Your eyes are like doves behind your veil;

Your hair is like a flock of goats

That have descended from Mount Gilead.

Song of Solomon 4:1 NASB

“Desert Rose” by Sting

Solomon let his bride know how beautiful she is to him, admiring features of her face; her eyes, her hair, her teeth, her lips, her mouth, her temples.  Then in subsequent verses he continues to compliment her, going down her beautiful body with his poetic admiration of God’s creation of a helpmate; who is “suitable for him”. [5]

“How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!

How much better is your love than wine,

And the fragrance of your oils

Than all kinds of spices!

11 “Your lips, my bride, drip honey;

Honey and milk are under your tongue,

And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 4:10-11 NASB

Verse 11 makes me think that “French kissing” may not be aptly named.  Perhaps it should be called “Israel kissing”, or more specifically; “Solomon kissing”.

The bride of the King responds;

“His mouth is full of sweetness.

And he is wholly desirable.

This is my beloved and this is my friend,

O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Song of Solomon 5:16 NASB

Friendship is a good base to build a romance on, the King’s bride responds; “this is my beloved and this is my friend”.

The Bride says;

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,

He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Song of Solomon 6:3 NASB

The Union of the Prince & His bride

“I am my beloved’s,

And his desire is for me.

11 “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,

Let us spend the night in the villages.

12 “Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;

Let us see whether the vine has budded

And its blossoms have opened,

And whether the pomegranates have bloomed.

There I will give you my love.

13 “The mandrakes have given forth fragrance;

And over our doors are all choice fruits,

Both new and old,

Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.

Song of Solomon 7:10-13 NASB

A husband & wife is a picture of Christ & His Bride

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.  Ephesians 5:22-33 NASB

The apostle Paul compared the marriage relationship of a husband and his wife to Christ and His Bride, the church.  The love Christ Jesus has for His Bride is a hard act to follow. Yet this is the challenge God gave to husbands; to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. [6]  (Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Moshiach [Messiah] which means “Anointed”.)

When Yeshua came to earth He revealed to us what His Father in heaven is like.  Yeshua the Son of God, “is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Hebrews 1:3 NASB  The character of God is revealed through Yeshua His Son; God’s righteousness, God’s love, God’s power and His mercy.

The desire line of Yeshua the Prince of Peace

Sometimes before a person leaves a loved one, they say things that are deep in their heart that they want their loved one to know.  Messiah and His Bride are a match made in heaven!  The Prince knew He would be leaving earth soon and His bride (God’s elect, the chosen people of God, chosen Jews and Gentiles collectively are the bride of Christ) whom He loved deeply. [7]  In His private conversation with His Father in heaven the Prince poured out His heart and reveals His strong desire line.  His prayerful desire for His Bride, the people chosen by God.

“I desire that they…be with Me where I am”

John 17:24 NASB

As we look at the Bible from beginning to end, the heart of the Father and His Son; is to be with the people who believe in and receive Messiah Yeshua.  The true and living triune God (Elohim) was with Adam and Eve in the beginning in the Garden of Eden. [8]  After the fall, Adam and Eve were dispelled from the Garden.  Their relationship with God was altered and they died spiritually and later physically.  Adam sinned and sin entered the world, and death came as a result of sin; and death spread to all people. [9]  God loved us so much that He sent Yeshua to die an atoning death.  Messiah took our many sins upon Himself.  Yeshua came to earth and gave His life as a ransom for many, He took upon Himself the fall of all mankind. [10]  Yeshua is Emmanuel – God with us!  This is the incarnation, the Son of God born of a virgin; who lived on earth as a human being. [11]   At first the Holy Spirit was moving in the world with God’s creation.  After the ascension of Yeshua to the right hand of His Father in heaven; and for those who are “born again”, the Spirit of Christ indwells you. [12]  When a believer in Yeshua dies he or she is “present with the Lord”. [13]  The apostle Paul wrote that “at the last trumpet” the dead in Christ will be transformed from mortal to immortal. [14]  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  [15]  Then in heaven, will be the long awaited Wedding Banquet of Messiah with His Bride!  [16]  During the millennial reign, God’s people will reign on earth with Messiah for 1000 years. [17]  After that the first heaven and earth will pass away and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  We will live with His Majesty, the Prince from Heaven and His loving Father, the King of the Universe; throughout all eternity.  [18]

The Prince is captivated by the beauty of His bride!  His desire is for her and she wants her Beloved.

“How beautiful you are, my darling,

How beautiful you are!

Your eyes are like doves behind your veil;

Your hair is like a flock of goats

That have descended from Mount Gilead.

Song of Solomon 4:1 NASB

“I Want You” by Lara Landon on her OVERCOME album.

“I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;

I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.

I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;

I have drunk my wine and my milk.

Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”

Song of Solomon 5:1 NASB

A Match Made in Heaven

The Prince from heaven and His bride have an arranged marriage.  The King of the Universe chose a bride (individuals from every tribe, nation, ethnic group and language) for His Son before the foundation of the world.  The desire of the Prince of heaven is to be with His beloved Bride!

Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me,

be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me,

for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 

John 17:24 NASB

To hear music by Lara Landon visit;

http://www.laralandon.com/

  1. Song of Solomon 1:17
  2. Genesis 1:26, Isaiah 48:1-16, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-18
  3. Romans 5
  4. Revelation 12, John 10:10
  5. Helpmate suitable for him, Genesis 2:18
  6. Bride of Christ, Ephesians 5:25
  7. A Match Made in Heaven, John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20
  8. “Let Us make man in Our Image”, Genesis 1:26
  9. Death entered the world through sin, Romans 5:18-19
  10. God gave His Son to die in our place, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:24, John 3:16, Mark 10:45
  11. The Incarnation, a virgin gave birth to Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14, John 1:14
  12. Sealed with the Holy Spirit a pledge of our inheritance, Ephesians 1:11-34, John 3:7
  13. Present with the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:8
  14. At the last trumpet, resurrection, rapture and immortality; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52
  15. Rapture of the living believers in Yeshua the Messiah, 1 Thessalonians 4:17 NASB
  16. Wedding Banquet of His Bride, Revelation 3:12 and 19:8-9, Ephesians 5:22-33
  17. Reign with Messiah for 1000 years, Revelation 20:6, Isaiah 2:1-5
  18. A New Heaven and a New Earth, Revelation 21:1-8

Jesus Is Just Alright

By David Cook

In November of 1972, my senior year in high school; I heard a song blasting on the radio that made me want to get up and dance…and still does today—Jesus Is Just Alright recorded by the Doobie Brothers.

The song relates that Jesus was his friend.  I was experiencing a friendship with Jesus day by day, in 72’.  I was so amazed that it was possible to know the Savior of the world; Jesus–the Son of the true and living God!  I was riding the wave of the Jesus Movement, a wave of the Spirit of Christ moving across the USA in the 70’s.

A friend of mine, Ruth Whitlock Ward; a singer & songwriter sang in her song—In The Morning;

“Some people say this is the Jesus movement,

but my Jesus; He’s been moving, for a long, long time.”

The Jesus Revolution TIME Cover

Jesus was on the cover of Time Magazine on June 21, 1971 with the cover story of “The Jesus Revolution”.  But Jesus has been around for a long time and existed before all things.  Saint Paul wrote;

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.  Colossians 1:13-20 NASB

  1. Jesus is His Father’s beloved Son.
  2. In Jesus we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
  3. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
  4. By Jesus all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities.
  5. All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus.
  6. Jesus is before all things.
  7. In Jesus all things hold together.
  8. Jesus is the head of the body, the church.
  9. Jesus is the beginning.
  10. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
  11.  It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Jesus.
  12.  Through Jesus to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Saint Paul wrote to the church in Philippi;

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   Philippians 2:3-11 NASB

The apostle Paul wrote to believers who lived in Corinth that in the end after Jesus returns He will hand “over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.” [1]

God the Father may be all in all

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.  1 Corinthians 15:20-28 NASB

Yeshua is the name of Jesus in Hebrew.  Yeshua means salvation.  Saint Peter wrote;

“For Christ also died for sins once for all,

the just for the unjust

so that He might bring us to God…”

1 Peter 3:18 NASB

The One who is just died for the unjust ones.  The righteous One gave His life as a ransom for the unrighteous ones, so that He might bring us into a relationship with God.  Jesus is just all right!

“AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.”  Luke 1:50 NASB

Then in 1997, I remember hearing my children jamming to Jesus is Just Alright recorded by DC Talk.  From generation to generation Jesus is just all right, He is just and all together RIGHTeous!

[1] I Corinthians 15:24 NASB