BUT GOD….

I’m so tired of hearing people place the blame of losing someone to a terrible disease, or the premature death of a child, on God. They say God has a plan and we must trust him as he kills, steals and destroys our families. (Did I just quote scripture?)

Listen to me! That’s the God I grew up with. That’s the mean, unfair God the church taught me about, the God that’s mad at me every time I make a mistake.

This may shock you but I TOTALLY REJECT that God! My God is good! He has nothing but GOOD to give me. “O come and see that the Lord He is good!

And don’t tell me I haven’t experienced tragedy in my life. I buried a 34 year old daughter in 2013. I know that pain. I know the questions and weird thoughts that go through the mind when those things occur.

I hear the phrase “but God” all the time. So I’ll give you a “but God!” BUT GOD DID NOT TAKE MY DAUGHTER! His plan for her was long abundant life. That plan was not carried out because we have an enemy that’s on a mission to kill, steal and destroy and many times he succeeds. “But God” had nothing to do with it.

Thankfully the enemy can kill the body but not the Spirit.

Renew your mind to the goodness of God. He’s not a baby killer, a cancer dispenser, or an originator of any tragedy. He doesn’t use any of those things to teach you, discipline you or punish. No he uses his Word for teaching and admonishment. It’s up to us to get his Word in us.

Check your “believer” today. Make sure you’re serving the true God. The one that’s good.

Peace,

Cogitate on this…

THE BLAME GAME

I guess it’s just human nature. Christians look for someone to blame for their troubles and tribulations. Sickness, disease, poverty, and most other problems usually end up being blamed on God.

Well meaning God loving people are going through life sick, depressed and poverty stricken and they mistakenly believe God is sending these things and asking them to endure faithfully in order to learn important life lessons. Quite frankly, most “believers” are not believers at all. Most are doubters.

The predominant logic in the Church today is that since these bad things are happening to good people it must be Gods will. So He gets the blame. But wait! Do we have any responsibility in this? I believe we do.

Our responsibility is to believe Gods word. Gods word says we are healed so I believe that. If I believe that then I say that. I say that when I dont feel healed. I am saying what God says so I’m not lying because God doesn’t lie.

There is nothing bad in God so he can’t give us anything bad. The only thing in him is good. God is a good God. So when we say that God is using sickness, disease and poverty to teach us, we are charging God falsely. Its the blame game…we dont understand so we start saying stupid things like, “God has a plan” or “his ways are not our ways”…we blame God.

We pray and try to get God to change his mind. But God doesnt change. We must change. We must change the way we believe, the way we pray and the way we talk. We must begin to talk like God talks, in other words begin to say the same things that God says. God says I’m healed so I say I’m healed.

Ever notice that most folks who are sick and broke are always talking about how sick and broke they are! However folks who are well and prosperous are constantly talking about how blessed they are and how good God is.

We have spent a lifetime talking about our troubles and our lives have been full of trouble, consequently we have blamed God for those troubles believing that he has asked us to endure them and learn from them.

I heard someone say recently that they asked God to take away their sickness and they dont understand why he hasn’t. But my Bible says if you ask God for a fish he won’t give you a stone. No, if you ask him for healing he will give you what you ask for. As a matter of fact He already has! He paid that price at the whipping post before they hung him on the cross.

It’s often said that prayer is the most powerful thing but its not. Faith or praying in faith is the most powerful thing. We must pray in faith and believe we receive what we pray for. Mark 11:23-24.

Indeed some things in life are hard to understand but we must not blame God for things we cant explain. Most of the time our problems are caused by our unbelief or lack of knowledgs of his word.

The blame game is dangerous. Dont play that game! You will not win. God’s not your problem, you are.

Cogitate on this.

Peace.

 

Garth Brooks, Kansas City and a Fuddy Duddy…

So I decided a while back to see some of the really big stars I’ve never seen in concert. There are several, George Strait, Alan Jackson and more.

So I just saw Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in Kansas City at the Sprint Center. Already people are asking, “was it good?” My answer is not a simple answer.

People go to concerts for different reasons. I go for the music. I’m a musician and I want to hear the band, the songs and the singer. I want the sound fairly loud, the mix perfect, as close to the recording as possible. I’m a musician.

The average music fan has other reasons for going. They want to have fun, party and be rowdy. They want to drink beer and let their hair down. They are fans not musicians.

The previous paragraph describes the crowd of 20,000 rowdy fans in Kansas City. The music was loud but the crowd was much louder. I’m talking about ear piercing loud.

This is where the Fuddy Duddy part kicks in. I didn’t pay $85 for a ticket and drive 175 miles to listen to 20,000 people sing every lyric as loud as they could. I was there to hear Garth sing and hear the band play, not stand on my feet for an hour and a half sing-along.

i stayed until I heard Trisha Yearwood sing three songs. By the way, she’s still one of the best female vocalists ever.

On a positive note, Garth may be the best pure entertainer I’ve seen. The way he works a crowd is amazing.

But now this ole Fuddy Duddy is anxious to get back what little hearing I have. Thanks a lot Kansas City.

 

Love Like Fido

img_3206Received the sad news recently that close friends of ours lost their dog. The dog had been sick for months and they sadly watched him slowly deteriorate until he passed on.

Pets, especially dogs, become loved members of the family. It’s easy to understand why if you think about it.

Dogs are after all created by God. God is love so it’s obvious he created them with love. Dogs may not be created in Gods image but they definitely have some of His characteristics.

A dogs love is unconditional…so is Gods. Dogs don’t judge us…neither does God. Our judgement was all placed on Jesus. Dogs are loyal…so is God. Dogs aren’t racist…God isn’t either. Dogs love spending time with us…so does God. Dogs protect us and our property…God does too. Dogs are mans best friend…so is God. Dogs don’t see our faults…neither does God, our sins are covered by the blood.

As you can see there are many lessons we can learn from dogs. They are a blessing. They are indeed a lot like God. Love your dog, he loves you.

We should learn to love like Fido.

Condolences to Gene and Debra Dove.

RIP River “Dog” Dove, Dec 1, 2016

Cogitate on this.

LIVIN’ THE DREAM…

wrlebanon2016

November 4, 2016 White River played another reunion concert in Lebanon, Missouri for KTTK’s 30th birthday party. LtoR: Gene, Bob, Bruce, Benny. Not seen: J R on drums.

 

A few days have gone by and I’ve had time to reflect on our latest reunion concert. It’s always fun to get together again to play and sing but this event was just unusually special.

Those of you  who are White River fans know that since 2012 we have done reunions about once a year including four years in a row on cruise ships. We have made great memories on those reunions as well as renewing old friendships spending quality time with old friends and family. 

The 2012 reunion tour was the entire band of original members while 2013 thru January 2016 reunions were without the complete band. A couple of those years we did it with just Benny, Bruce and myself and sang with sound tracks. 

This time in Lebanon the whole band of original guys was there and it was very special. Our friend Danny Rhoades did sound, the venue was Lifepoint Church (formerly 1st Assembly of God) where we played many times back in the day. We celebrated radio station KTTK’s 30th birthday and what a party it was!

We were admittedly a little apprehensive because we only had one rehearsal but for the most part we remembered everything pretty well and were able to hit the high notes without singing ourselves hoarse.

While in the middle of one of the songs it struck me…this is still my dream! It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life. It’s still my passion to play in a country band singing original songs with strong Christian lyrics with men I love like brothers. Bruce Haynes, Benny Ray Wood, Bob Ashley and J R Bradford are the best!

What’s really cool is that 30 years after our professional career as a band ended we can still come together on occasion and our fans and friends still love the music and are still on their feet responding and applauding. What a blessing! We’re all still alive and able to do it after all we’ve been through in our lives. We all still love Jesus and each other and the fire still burns.

I’ve been proclaiming it all year….God is so good! He is so good to keep letting me live the dream! Isn’t that something? It seems I’m in the stage of life when I’m looking back more than I’m looking ahead and as I cherish the memories of days past, every once in a while I get to stand on stage with my White River brothers and keep the dream alive.

Thank you Father for letting me live my dream! You are so good!  

 

GOD IS ONLY GOOD!

I read a blog today about how to have success as a blogger. It listed 10 tips to writing a good blog. One of tips was to write something everyday. So here I go.

This year as I have played my music in several churches and venues my theme has been the goodness of God. I have been greatly impacted this year by listening to Bro Keith Moore’s series on The Goodness  Of God. It is available for download at: flcbranson.org and I recommend you listen to it.

God is good because the only thing in him is Good. Good is all he has to give us. He has no sickness, poverty, death or tragedy to give us. Those things are never part of his plan. His plan for us is good and only good. 

Everywhere I minister now I testify to the goodness of God to me and my family. By far the most difficult thing my wife and I have  experienced in recent years was the death three years ago  of our daughter Brooke. In spite of the pain and sorrow that event brought, we have and are witnessing the goodness of God. He has been so good to give us peace that Brooke is with him. When I most needed assurance of that he sent a message from heaven in the form of a dream. He is so good! Hear about the dream here: https://youtu.be/hhDn9PbVo4k

There is much confusion in the Body of Christ about God and his goodness. Many teach bad things that happen to believers are somehow part of God’s plan. Some teach we are unable to understand God’s plan and somehow we must use our faith to accept whatever comes our way. 

However I believe his plans for us are good. Evil forces from the dark side are constantly trying to kill our children, bring disease, poverty….these things happen to people both good and bad. God is not working with Satan to use these things to teach us life lessons. He delivers us from these things because…….he is Good!

I encourage you to meditate only on the goodness of God for the rest of this year. It will change your life and you will begin to see more of his goodness. 

God is bigger than you think he is and he’s better than you think he is! God is good….only good!

Cogitate on this!

BRIDGING THE GAP…

432+ALBUM+COVER+hi-res+Natures+Symphony+%281%29I’m getting to be an old guy but I’m still pretty  cool. I ride a motorcycle, I’m a Pitmaster and can smoke the best ribs you’ve ever had, I have great kids, cool grandkids, a hot looking wife and many friends. My musical tastes are pretty diverse however there is one thing I’m still “old school” about. Praise and worship music is hard for me to enjoy. It’s just never tripped my trigger. Can I get a witness?

I realize most of the contemporary music sung in churches today is loved by the masses of believers but it’s just never touched me. I like music that grabs my heart until my emotions erupt and God’s hand lays heavy on me. When that happens I can worship. There are a few exceptions. Songs like Bruce Haynes’ song I Need You More touch me but for the most part the songs that have two or three lyrics that are repeated over and over just don’t do it for me.

BUT FINALLY! THE WAIT IS OVER! I have just heard a project that perfectly bridges the gap for me between old school and praise and worship.

Jeff Easter posted on Facebook recently how he was impacted by The Isaacs newest project NATURE’S SYMPHONY IN 432. I downloaded it immediately because I’ve always been a fan of The Isaacs. I just finished listening to it with my early morning coffee and devotion. Wow!

For me it’s the perfect mix of musical styles I like and can relate to but yet it is completely Praise and Worship. There is a special anointing on this record and I want to personally thank Ben, Sonya, Becky and Lily for this great project. It is Grammy quality and I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t win one.

And let me say to my Bluegrass friends…I know when you think of The Isaacs you think of Bluegrass. Their roots are deep in Bluegrass and I hope they never lose sight of that. However don’t write them off because they are moving into more diverse styles. They have the talent to do it and are certainly reaching many more people because of it. So keep an open mind and give this record a listen. If you can see beyond your Bluegrass nose then you will appreciate this project and be touched by it.

I thank God for this record. It’s bridging a gap for me.

Cogitate on this…

Gene Reasoner

 

 

 

 

Gold Wing Rider’s Prayer

Heavenly Father,

You are such a good father full of Mercy and unending Grace. Your name is above every name and all Glory is to you. Thank you for what your son Jesus did at Calvary. Thank you for the price fully paid for my sin. Thank you for redemption and healing for my body. Thank you that this last great sacrifice of your only son was once for all time. Thank you for the Blood that continues to pay the price for the sin of the whole world past, present and future.

Thank you for material blessings we often take for granted. Today I thank you for a wonderful motorcycle to ride and enjoy. Thank you for our Gold Wing friends we ride with and yes thank you for our Harley friends as well. As everyone knows, all motorcycles are from God!

Thank you father for the blessing of living in the beautiful Ozark Mountains and for the awesome twisty rural roads throughout Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas. Your creation is inspiring and especially so on a motorcycle.

As we ride I pray that the love of God will flow through us to everyone we come in contact with. Thank you that our rides are ordered of the Lord and we can use these bikes to spread your love to our fellow man.

Thank you so much for safety on the highway. Thank you for other motorists who watch for motorcyclists and give us respect on the road.

Father I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the blessing of these gifts you’ve given us to enjoy. Thank you for keeping us safe on every ride we take and we give you all the glory for these awesome blessings.

Let’s ride!

Amen.

genewing

Bro Derrel Friend

This blog today is for my children and grandchildren. As I get older and into my senior years I’m thinking more and more of certain people in my life who’ve had great influence on my life. I’m also watching them pass away before my eyes. I also realize though my children and grandchildren didn’t know most of these people I want them to understand how some of these individuals had a guiding and directing affect on my life and how things could have been completely different for  our entire family had I never known them.

One of those people just recently left this earth for the next life. His name is Rev Derrel Friend, from Dawson, Missouri. As I sat on my porch this morning and received the news of his passing the Lord helped me understand the importance of Bro Derrel’s impact on my life and the lives of my family.

In 1964 as a young teen  I was struggling with understanding where I fit in the Kingdom of God. The denomination I was raised in was very legalistic and I wanted a better understanding of God and his ways however I didn’t have a clue which way to turn  for answers.

My father Raymond Reasoner was also struggling with the same issues even while he was a pastor in this same denomination. Back in the 1940’s Dad had stepped out of the religious world of a nominal church he was raised in and eventually led his entire family into the Holiness movement and to a deeper understanding of God’s word concerning sanctification and the Holy Spirit.

In 1964 Dad had been visiting different churches looking for answers and he heard about a revival just starting in the local Assembly of God church in Ava, Missouri. He attended a couple of nights and then began to encourage me to go with him to the revival. I told him I had no interest in a Pentecostal church. I had been indoctrinated in our church that speaking in other tongues was of the devil and I wanted nothing to do with “tongue talkers”! But Dad knew what I did like. I loved great music. I was already playing lots of gospel music then and he began to tell me how good the music was at this Assembly of God church. I still wasn’t interested until he started telling me about one of the evangelists who played the guitar just like Chet Atkins. I had a record album at that time by Chet Atkins called Down Home with Chet Atkins. I was wearing out that record! Dad had heard me playing that record at home and he knew that if I would just come to the revival and hear Dwayne Friend play I would love it. So……I made a deal with my dad. I told him I would go but if anyone started talking in tongues I would walk out and sit in the car! I went to the meeting that night and when Bro Dwayne began to play the guitar and flash that awesome grin of his I was hooked. I never heard anyone play like that with such charisma! Long story short…my world forever changed that night! I was never the same.

Bro Derrel Friend was the older brother and also a good musician. He would preach one night and Dwayne would preach the next. That went on for three weeks. Not only was the music wonderful but the preaching was like none I had never heard. Both of these men were uneducated country boys but extremely gifted preachers of the Gospel. Bro Derrel was a Bible scholar with a gifting to teach and preach while Bro Dwayne was (and still is) an incredible evangelist with a powerful anointing to throw out the salvation net and pull people to a saving altar.

That was the beginning of my entry kicking and screaming into the Pentecostal world. It took years to get all the old stuff out of me and finally come to a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and eventually to the infilling of the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

Because of this change in my life I married who I did and have the children I have. I have no doubt that if my path hadn’t crossed with Bro Derrel and Bro Dwayne my life would have been totally different.

So as I remember Bro Derrel Friend today I think about how God used him to change my life for the better.

To my children, Travis Reasoner, Jason Reasoner, Heather Summers, Brooke Reasoner, Zach Reasoner and all my grandchildren, our family is who we are and have what we have not only because of other important family members but also because of great people such as the Rev Derrel Friend of Dawson, Missouri. That’s important and I wanted you to know that.

Cogitate on this,

Dad

 

 

Restore The Joy

It’s amazing how God orchestrates the crossing of our path with just the right people. As the Bible says I believe our paths are ordered of the Lord.

I met a man today I had only met once before. He came to my workplace and found me to pay for some CD’s he had ordered. We began to visit and get acquainted and as we learned more about each other he revealed that he also had lost an adult daughter just a couple years back.

We each shared the experience of our grief journey and compared notes. It’s always somehow comforting to do that, to realize we’re not alone on this  journey. We can learn from each other how to cope with heartache and how to encourage the other. The most impacting thing he shared with me was that he had lost his joy and has been unable to get it back. That got me thinking.

“The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Without joy we have no strength. So how do we get it back? In the middle of grief it seems joy will never return. Nights are long and days are dreary. It seems joy will never return. The darkest hour is just before dawn but it seems there will be no dawn.

Advice comes from every corner, somebody always has a word, preachers preach, counselors counsel, friends and family promise to pray for us but there’s no relief. You try to pray but faith is gone and it seems useless. What is the answer?

I certainly don’t have all the answers but I believe we must get the focus off our pain and lack of joy. We must focus on Jesus and his word. We must quit speaking of our pain and grief and begin speaking God’s word. It must be a decision to do it because in the beginning we won’t feel like doing anything other than giving voice to our grief.

King David prayed a desperate prayer in the Bible that we should pray. Cry out, “Lord restore to me the joy of my salvation!” Then start to confess, ” the joy of the Lord is my strength!” I truly believe that prayer and that powerful confession over and over will bring our joy back.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5