Thursday, March 28, 2013

OPEN MIKE THURSDAY: PARADISE


So today is open mike Thursday and this just means that I wanted to share with you some really great music from YOU TUBE.  What was life like before you tube? I think I heard somewhere that when you tube first came on the scene, MTV knew its video streaming days were over. Now I may have made that up, but there is an element of truth there.  Now just about anyone with a computer and a video camera or phone can make a movie.  

So I subscribe to the Alex Boye’ and The Piano Guys You Tube Network. If you are familiar, then you have probably heard of Alex who sings in the MOTAB Choir and the Piano Guys, who are two friends who previously worked in a piano store. They ditched that job and decided to make their own music.

Last year The Piano Guys covered a really great song by Cold Play called Paradise, and they invited Alex to come and sing with them. The beauty of the song Paradise is that anyone can ad lib words to the melody and Alex wrote words to the song in SWAHILI. I have to say  that if you have not had an opportunity to see Alex Boye in concert or in person, you are missing a treat. My husband and I saw him perform with the MOTAB choir 2 years ago, and then last year he came to DC for a "Why I believe Fireside". It was very entertaining and deeply spiritual. 

I am really impressed with this live performance of Paradise and I was inspired to further understand the concept of Paradise. In the book of Mormon paradise is described as a “state of happiness”.     
Alma 40:12   And then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those righteous are received into a state of happiness , which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care and sorrow.  
 And in the book of Isaiah, it is a place reserved for the “redeemed” of the Lord, who were righteous in their lives.
Isaiah 51:11  Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. 
When Jesus was on the cross, hanging between two “malefactors”, one of them decided to “kick Jesus” when he was down. His rhetoric was similar to Satan’s taunts when Jesus had spent a number of days in the wilderness. He has started to challenge Jesus as the Savior. Now the scriptures do not record if Jesus said anything to this man, but there is an interesting side argument with the second man on a cross. This man rebukes the other and defends Jesus. I wonder if this man was a follower of sorts of Jesus: 
LUKE 23:33; 39-43
33: And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and other on the left.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged, railed on him saying: “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying: “Do you not fear God; see {that} thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou come into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shall thou be with me in Paradise.
 What prompted the second man to defend Jesus and then afterwards ask such a marvelous request?  At the very moment the thief on the cross confessed in so many words that Jesus was the Christ, was it revelation?  

Jesus had asked an important question to his disciples earlier, he asked: “Who do ye say that I am?” Now his disciples answered: “Master some say you are John the Baptist raised from the dead”. Others say you are Elias. So Jesus asked again; but who do you say that I am? And in that moment, Peter proclaimed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of God." How did he know that, had Jesus revealed who he was up onto that point? In so many words yes and no, because the disciples did not have the “ears to hear”. What are those ears to hear? It is the ability to “hear” in our hearts and minds the voice of the Spirit confirming what is true.
1 Corinthians 12:3 wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
 D&C 9:8  But behold, I say unto you , that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. 
Luke 24:32 and they said one to another; “Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
 What a powerful moment that must have been. One man dying to save the world from sin and death, and one man, begging a seemingly simple request, "Save me too Lord". This man had to have known about Jesus, but because of his obvious lifestyle, he did not have an opportunity to change, or even repent. But at that moment he did what we have all done, we sacrificed a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and believed with all of our broken hearts that Jesus is the Christ and our Savior. We all have a ticket to paradise if we continue down the path of righteousness.    

 Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

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