by Linda Harper

Because we do not live in a society where wooden or stone images are set up in prominent public places and openly worshipped, it is sometimes difficult for us to understand what “Praise and Worship” are all about.  In Old Testament accounts, the Israelites knew how to worship. They worshipped both the True God and, in times of sinful rebellion, turned their devotion and energies to worshipping false gods of wood, stone, gold, the heavenly bodies, etc. They may have often worshipped gods that “were no gods” but they had no problem knowing how to worship!

The “man after God’s own heart”, the psalmist and minstrel, King David, knew how to worship in the way that pleased God.  He gave us some guidelines in Psalm 100.

Psalm 100, A Psalm of Praise. 1. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. 3. Know...

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2020 REFLECTIONS by Linda Harper


by Linda Harper, NEW YEAR's DAY 2021


Christmas 2020 is past.

I hope you survived,

The crazy Covid chaos,

and the loss of "Family Time"


Friends kept at a distance,

Masks that hide our smiles,

Our hearts feel sadly empty,

empty arms ache for a hug


Traditions have been trampled.

Not many could endure,

the crush of Covid pressure

That tossed many to the floor


It is what it is, the facts are what they are.

Christmas 2020 was absolutely bizarre!


But the heart of Christmas is "The Christ",

the Child of Promise born.

Nothing can steal the meaning,

or remove the depths of Joy!


Though Traditions may have suffered,

Our Suffering Savior was born.

Nothing can erase the meaning

of what happened that glorious day!


Christmas is kept in our hearts.

The Love of our Father was given,

to ransom our souls from the dark,

with the Light of Truth come down from Heaven


Today let's continue to celebrate

It's the day the Lord has made....

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 A close Musician friend of mine recently asked:

Do you think I think my identity lies in what I do?

 My Response:

I don't know about you. I just know that performance-based identity is something I have struggled with for nearly a half a century. I figure if it has been such an issue with me, perhaps other musicians may find it a challenge to be set free in this area also.

 Our perception of self-worth can easily get tangled up with what we think others think about us. We measure ourselves by ourselves and wind up comparing apples to oranges and put ourselves in the wrong barrel. If I am an apple, then I should be perfectly content to look like one, smell like one and taste like one. If I am comparing myself to the oranges or bananas in the adjacent crates then I may think I am not tangy enough, not brightly colored enough ( I love the color yellow) and pretty dull by comparison.

 Having our identity in what we do sets us up for periodic hard-drive crashes....

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A Devotional on “Identity” and "Purpose" by Linda Harper

Seed thoughts for a curriculum based on the Cartoon Character WOODY in Disney’s TOY STORY. I'm sure some of you, who are Teachers, will be inspired with even more creative lesson ideas! I'd love to hear what you come up with! For now, just enjoy and apply these thoughts personally for your own benefit and encouragement. You are loved, you are special and you are valued!

Blessings, Linda

 The Disney movie series “Toy Story” features a Heroic and loveable Cowboy Sheriff named “WOODY”. With a yellow plaid shirt, ten gallon hat and an authority-packing Tin Star on his chest, he was the best in the toy chest for me!

 What I love best about WOODY is the value he ascribed to the signature on the bottom of his boot. His identity was in “WHO” he belonged to. He would look at the scrawled signature and be assured that he was loved, wanted and valued....

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         A Devotional Lesson Taught by Linda Harper in Children’s Church

From Luke 10:38-42 The main points for this Sunday: Don’t be too busy to get to know your neighbor…and don’t miss God in our busyness – Jason Daggett, IVC Children’s Pastor

Thursday afternoon I read Luke 10:38-42. It’s the story of “Busy Bee Martha” and her sister Mary. When Jesus came to their house for a visit, Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen closely to every word He was saying.

All the while, Busy Bee Martha was buzzing around, here and there, trying to serve something to eat and something to drink to every guest in the house that had come to see Jesus. She was way too busy to quiet herself down, sit down, and tune in to what Jesus was saying!

 Jesus loved Martha, Jesus loved Mary, and their soon-to-be-famous brother, named Lazarus (you know, the one Jesus raised from the dead!) Anytime Jesus was...

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