“All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren't.”
Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Josh Turner "I am second"

I came across a blog that had a posting of Josh Turner on it. I was so encouraged after reading it I thought it was a grand idea to write one myself. I have always liked his music , but now I can enjoy it even more. Praising God for yet another man who is out there that is not afraid to love God. For a man who stands up for what he believes. (More of this interview can be read on www.JoshTurnerIamsecond.com )

I had a vision of this long, black shiny train…..

Singing country music, that’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing as a young boy. Growing up in South Carolina, it was out the ordinary to dream such a dream.

I haven’t always been the guy that walks into a room and automatically the attention is on me. I’m normally the guy that stands off in the corner. Singing allowed me to express myself in ways that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. I don’t feel like God called me to be a gospel singer. He didn’t call me to be a Christian singer, he called me to be a country singer, and I just happen to be a Christian.

The one thing that I had to overcome was negativity. The idea that dreams can’t really come true, I never wanted to believe in that.

I grew up in a little place called Hannah, South Carolina, a little farming community a long way from any kind of big city. The first real album I owned was Randy Travis’ Storms of Life, and that was the album that really made me start dreaming of the possibility of doing this for a living. I moved to Nashville in 1998 to get a record deal and try to get my foot in the door, and I didn’t really know what I was doing.

God inspired me to write “Long Black Train.” I wrote this song, by myself, in my apartment, and it came to me in a vision. It’s a vision of this long, black, beautiful, shiny train, and people are standing out to the sides of the track, watching this train go by, just craving to get on it. At the same time, they know that this train leads to destruction, it leads to emptiness, it leads to nowhere, but yet they still want to get on it. This train was a physical metaphor for temptation.

I wrote three verses and a chorus that night in my apartment, woke up the next morning, I wrote the fourth verse. And at that moment in time when I laid the pen down, I said nobody’s ever gonna want to hear this. It’s too old-fashioned, it’s too old-timey, it’s a gospel song. So this is probably not going to end up on one of my records in the future.

And a friend of mine walked in and she said, can I hear it? And I was like well, sure. I played it for her, and she said you need to play this for such and such, and so it just snowballed from there. I ended up playing it for recitals, and all kinds of stuff, did demos of it. A girl in my class heard it on that demo, played it for MCA, they heard it. This was the song I played first time on the Grand Ole Opry, and got two standing ovations and an encore– I was completely unknown to the audience that night. It became the title track of my first record, it became my first hit, it helped me sell a million copies of the first record. So there were a lot of people hearing this song, a lot of people being touched by this song.

That was the moment that I realized it’s not about the money, or the fame, or the glory. It’s about changing people, it’s about touching people and influencing people in a positive way, and so from that point on, that’s what I’ve tried to do.

(There’s a long, black train coming down the line, feeding off the souls that are lost and crying. Rails of sin, only evil remains, watch out brother for that long, black train. )

There’s no song that I can write, there’s no record that I can make that’s going to save me. I do need a savior.

(Look to the heavens, you can look to the skies, you can find redemption staring back into your eyes. There is protection, and there’s peace the same, burning your ticket for that long, black train.)

I’m thankful to have Jesus as my savior. My relationship with God has always been one to where I’m talking to him all day, every day, about anything and everything. It’s just a continuous ongoing conversation that I have with the Lord, and I feel like that’s brought me closer to Him. It helps me think through things clearly, I feel like it’s given me wisdom about other people, about myself, about the life that I live. Ultimately, I get my joy from Him, and always put Him first.

My name is Josh Turner, and I am second.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Listen for the stones to drop

So you know those times when you read the Bible and say nothing afterward?
Then you read the same thing 3 months later,and say "Wow that is a good message."
But you never put it to use in your life. It forever remains only a good message.
Then you hear someone talking about the same verse and what they way makes you say, "This is so true.. Wow I never though of that.. I will remember that one!!" (But come on I give you one full week, two at tops and it is GONE.)
Then one night we read the same verses, and we start crying ,and thinking of all these things that we never thought of before. I call that the 2 by 4. Sometimes it is more painful then other times. But both are caused by us missing or choosing not to see what God was showing us the first time. All the pain we cause ourselves. (Silly sinners)
Well I will tell you my story of the 2 by 4 that just hit me aside my head. I did all the things that I listed above in that order even. The verses were John 8:1-11
It has always been one of my favorite stories in the Bible. But I never really took the time to study and pray about it. When God was opening the door for me to learn about it I was slamming it back in his face. But tonight God showed me it and for once I listened to him.

One of my friends and I were talking about her abuse(Sexual abuse) and how she was afraid that people would judge her if they knew. Although I wanted to tell her the nice comforting lie of

"No one will judge you." I couldn't do it.
Like I said it would be a lie. As we talked I listened to her share with me some lies she believed about the abuse. I watched her try her hardest to avoid there being anything to talk about.
There was the desire to cover it up like it was nothing.
There was the shame that she felt.
There was the desire in her heart to hide it from me and anyone else.
There was the desire to just tell someone and get it over with.
As I tried to comfort her and tell her the truth to those lies. I felt that her and me shared something. But it was more then that.
Oh could it be!!!?? that the verses that I had been pushing away had yet another lady that shared something else with us?

The Woman that was caught in adultery.
The picture of that story was the picture of ME. It was the picture of my friend too.
This woman was caught in the act of adultery. That is a little more then just her flirting. To me it means that is is not wearing anything ,or she is barely wearing anything.
Jesus is teaching in the temple. When all of a sudden the scribes and the Pharisees burst in.
(I'm trying to paint a picture for you.) So with them I imagine is a group of people.. They tell him everything that this women did. Then they remind Jesus that Mosses wrote that she should be stoned. "What do you say?'' they asked him. Nothing more was said. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground. Meanwhile what is everyone else doing? What is the woman doing? I never thought about this before. But this really happened , and they were still there so what were they doing? I think the people that were gathered around the women were looking at her with judgement and disgust. I think they shook their heads in anger. I think with one hand they held the woman making sure she knew that she was about to be punished. And with their other hand I think it was tightly gripping the stone in which they intended to punish her with. The stone in which they would kill her with.
The woman, what do I think she was doing? I think she was scared. I think that was felt her sin. I think that felt her sin, and knew what it looked like. I think while all the people stood around her and casted their stares at her she could see very clearly what she looked liked ,and what she was.

Then Jesus spoke, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone at her."
Then once more He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Silence filled the temple. Then the sound of the rocks hitting the ground. Then the woman felt the painful tight grips of the men that held her no more. Nothing but the foot steps of the people leaving could be herd. The woman watched as those who accused her left.
Did she feel freedom?
No, I think she was still scared. She had heard about Jesus. Wasn't he the son of God? Wasn't he the great teacher? Surly he would look up at her and see her and judge her? Kill her? Didn't she deserve it? Didn't she sin?
Jesus stood up and looked at her." Woman," the same name he called his own mother. Woman... Not whore, not unclean.
"Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?"
She whispered out "No man, Lord"
"Neither do I condemn thee: Go ,and sin no more."

Even though I was not caught in the act of sin neither my friend. We all three have been right where the woman was. I was her.. I was there only I begged please stone me...

But just as Jesus did with the Woman he did with me. He waited until everyone that accused me were gone. He and me were the only ones standing. Well I was on my face before him.
Then he said where is everyone? I looked around and I was free no one was there to judge me. I was clean. How did I get this clean! Then he said it is me that make you clean. Your judgement is gone because I stepped in front of you. The Father looks at me and sees me instead of you. I paid your price. Go and sin no more.

I think that it is beautiful how he waited until everyone else left. It was just him and her there. Because no matter what it is people judge us. But their judgement doesn't matter, Jesus's does. Jesus paid our price on the cross. So where ever you are today listen to the stones dropping around you ,watch as everyone walks away. And look up at Jesus and thank him. Don't be the one that is judging yourself either. Go and sin no more. Make the choice today to change. Jesus was enough for your sin once he forgives you , you are free to let the sin and the same go too.