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Free Bird

  • In a very little while, He who comes will come, and will not wait. But the righteous will live by faith. If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the saving of the soul. Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. Hebrews 10:37 WEB

    I have played bass guitar now for over thirty years. There were some years where I played music for a living and performed around eight shows a week. Then for the next fifteen years, I played in clubs, county fairs, contests, weddings, and parties as a side job. Sometimes I shuffled three bands at a time.

    I started out playing guitar, but when a few of us got together to play, there were five guitar players, and a drummer. It seemed that everyone wanted to play a guitar, so I switched to playing bass and never needed a group again. To me the bass became the driving force behind a band, the heart beat. Groups began to seek me out. I would often get calls from people that got my number and ask 'Hey can you fill in for us on Saturday? Our bass player can't do it.' I found that a good bass player rarely needs work once the word gets out. So I spent many years standing behind the others, out of the spotlight, but making steady money.

    After getting serious with God, I began praying about quitting the bands and bars but I felt 'No.' It was a difficult time in my life, especially Saturdays. I would work a 12 hour shift at work, from 7AM to 7PM, then play music from 10PM till 2AM sometimes an hour away, tear a trailer full of equipment down, then drive home. Sometimes when I would get home, the sun would be coming up. Then I needed to be at the church praise and worship practice at 8AM. Some Sunday mornings, I would just get a shower and go onto church red eyed and weary.

    Each time that I prayed about quitting, He would say 'No.' My mind kept telling me that this could not be God's will for me to continue playing in bars, and maybe I was just hearing Him wrong. So I came up with a way to ask my pastor, who heard from God better than I did, but without tainting the answer. If you ask any pastor 'Should I play music in bars?' most are going to immediately tell you no, but I didn't want his opinion, I wanted a confirmation from the Lord. So I prayed first and told the Lord, if he tells me yes then I am leaving the band, if he tells me no, then I am going to stay.

    Then I asked my pastor, 'Pastor, I have a question and need to make a decision, Yes or No?' He liked these kind of questions because it did not complicate things. He prayed a moment and said 'No, not at this time.' I had my confirmation, so I continued playing the bars, though I did not understand any of it. I always felt funny when I was on stage in a bar playing music and someone from the church would walk in. The look on their face was priceless when they saw me. I don't know if it was the shock of them seeing me, or knowing that I saw them.

    There was a guitar player in our band, one of the best that I have ever played with. He played with such feeling and would close his eyes, then go into a lead that would give you shivers. He was in his forties and had never been into church or been saved. His parents were Christians, and his wife, but he had no interest in their religion whatsoever. He was completely closed off to their witnessing, and their words had no effect. As far as I know, he had never been to church as an adult.

    I was going to Bible College at the time, working everyday, and playing music at night. Occasionally I might mention something that the Lord had done for me, but I was not preachy. I was just a fellow musician and one of them.

    One night while we were on stage in a bar playing music, I felt the Holy Spirit descend on me like a warm blanket. I think that we were in the middle of free bird, and it was the last thing that I had expected to happen. I recognized His presence and asked 'Lord, what are You doing here?' Then scriptures started coming to me and that guitar player seemed to illuminate and caught my attention. It is a bit hard to explain, but I knew that these scriptures were for him.

    I thought this over a moment and told the Lord: 'Break time is coming up and the band will go to the bar for a drink. I will go out, sit in my car and read my Bible. If you want me to give him these scriptures, then send him out to my car.' Now it is a time honored tradition for the band to huddle at the bar during a break, so this was completely against the normal.

    When break time came, the band went to the bar, and I went out to sit in my car. I opened my Bible to the scripture that the Holy Spirit gave me and read over it. In a few moments there was a tap on the window. It was the guitar player. I got out and he began to ask me some questions about God, and I already had the Bible opened to answer. So in the early morning, I stood out in the parking lot of a bar and shared an inspired word with him. As I read the scriptures, he began trembling under conviction, and it continued on until I saw him again that Wednesday night at practice.

    When I showed up for practice, he was there waiting on me. I had never seen anyone under that much conviction before. He was trembling all over with tears in his eyes. He told me that he had been that way since Saturday night, he couldn't sleep, he couldn't eat, and he couldn't stop shaking. He walked up to me and said 'Dion, I want what you have. Pray for my soul.' We knelt down together in the practice shed and I led him through a prayer. He came up with a smile beaming from ear to ear. His heavy burden was gone. He was now as free as a bird. Then the Lord released me from the band. That was the key.

    Do not let your religion come between you and the Lord, and don't get out in front of Him. 'What would Jesus do' is often much different than what our natural mind would think. Every person is so important to God and He is so concerned with reaching the lost that He will put you anywhere they are. We do not have to understand why. We just need to trust that He knows best and follow Him one day at a time, even when we do not understand where He is leading us.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want more of You in my life. I want to live the real thing and not just talk. Fill me with You presence to overflowing. Deliver me from the things that hold me back. Set me free from the burdens that I carry and use me to reach others, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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36 comments
  • 2
Stacie Chambers-Franklin
Stacie Chambers-Franklin

Beautiful!!!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Thank you Dion, as usual, your word is so on time! I guess you are kind of tired of that statment, but it seems that God is always on time some how!

April 13, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Jim, we are never tired of that :)!

April 14, 2017
  • 2
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Amen Lord Jesus amen. 

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen Paster,I seek Jesus with all my heart and soul.Please come into my life and fill me with your Holy Spirit.

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Michelle  Muff
Michelle Muff

Praise God for your faithfulness and openness to the Holy Spirit! 

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Gina Blakey
Gina Blakey

God's ways are not man's ways for sure and I'm thankful. Thanks for sharing this. God bless you!  

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Carol Pady
Carol Pady

Amen!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brownedited: April 13, 2017

Thank you for that message. I pray that I will know and do His will for me. Lord, help me not to leave before you are finished using me. Open my eyes and ears. Speak to me and through me. Amen. 

April 13, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Amen, Lynn!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Carol Policastro
Carol Policastro

Happy and Blessed Easter everyone!!

 

April 13, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you so much, Carol, happy Easter to you, too :)!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Joseph Adams, Jr.
Joseph Adams, Jr.

AMEN

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen very well said pastor!

 

April 13, 2017
  • 3
Chris  Mullins
Chris Mullins

Love the message.  This is the 2nd time I know of that the song 'Freebird' has been used by God to speak to us.  My son was in a coma after a 30' fall and I was sitting by his bed praying.  The Dr. had told us to play his mucic and talk to him because no one really knows what people in a coma hear.  Freebird was playing on his tape player and I was sitting by his bed talking to him and praying.  All of a sudden he opened his eyes and looked at me and said 'mama?'  Then he smiled and said 'I am a freebird and it's ok.'  I knew then that God had sent the msg. for me to still my heart.
Thank you for your message.

April 13, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

How wonderful, Chris, thank you so much for sharing that <3! God can work through the most unexpected things!

April 13, 2017
  • 3
Fraser Keys
Fraser Keys

Thank you for your message today Pastor Dion!  The Lord always puts us in the circumstance where he needs us we just have to listen

April 13, 2017
  • 3
Loriann Riley
Loriann Riley

Amen thank you Pastor Todd for sharing your story. 

April 13, 2017
  • 4
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield

What an inspiring story and one I'll never forget! I especially like that line, "Don't let religion come between you and the Lord"--that should be on a bumper sticker! Thanks, Pastor Dion!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Audry Reddy
Audry Reddy

That would be a good bumper sticker!! :)

 

April 13, 2017
  • 3
Gail Sellu
Gail Sellu

Amen

April 13, 2017
  • 3
Audry Reddy
Audry Reddy

That is an awesome testimony!! When God first came into my life, He did speak to me thru secular music! Free Bird is a great song!! Thank you for sharing Pastor Dion!

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Gloria Nebarez
Gloria Nebarez

Do not let your religion come between you and the Lord, and don't get out in front of Him.  I loved the devotional today however, can someone explain this paragraph,  I am not sure how to take this.  Thanks 

April 13, 2017
  • 1
Gloria Nebarez
Gloria Nebarez

Pastor Dion can you explain? 

April 14, 2017
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Gloria, in summary: "Sometimes what God wants us to do conflicts with what the religion in the church has taught us to do." As a "christian" I felt like I should not be playing music in bars, but that is exactly where God wanted me at that time in order for Him to save those around me. See the conflict? Also if I would have gotten in front of Him, by leaving the band before the man was saved, then he may have remained lost. There is no: "What would Jesus do?" We have to ask Him what we should do. We walk and talk with Him daily, lay our lives down for Him, and when we do, then He does things that may surprise us and even correct what we have been taught. What Jesus wants me to do comes before any tradition, no matter how sacred. I hope this helps answer your question.

April 14, 2017
  • 2
Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepler

Free Bird.. Free from darkness that yr friend was in.Timely everything.  The Lord knows where they are and when right time is..Amen

April 13, 2017
  • 2
Diane Symborski✝
Diane Symborski✝

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want more of You in my life. I want to live the real thing and not just talk. Fill me with You presence to overflowing. Deliver me from the things that hold me back. Set me free from the burdens that I carry and use me to reach others, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen. <3

 

Thank you Pastor Dion for your devotion. :-)

April 14, 2017
  • 2
Ida Ruth Rodriguez
Ida Ruth Rodriguez

Amen!♡

April 14, 2017
  • 2
Ticardo Williams
Ticardo Williams

Praise God!  Thanks so much Pastor Todd!  Heavenly Father, I want more of You in my life. I want to live the real thing and not just talk. Fill me with Your presence to overflowing. Deliver me from the things that hold me back. Set me free from the burdens that I carry and use me to reach others, in the Name of Jesus Christ I pray.  Amen.

April 14, 2017
  • 2
Janet Marsh-Lord
Janet Marsh-Lord

Pastor Dion, Thank, you, that was really powerful. I pray: Heavenly Father, I want more of You in my life. I want to live the real thing and not just talk. Fill me with Your presence to overflowing. Deliver me from the things that hold me back. Set me free from the burdens that I carry and use me to reach others in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen. Have a blessed Easter everyone.

April 14, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Amen, Janet, and blessed Easter to you, too <3!

April 14, 2017
  • 1
Debbie Bible
Debbie Bible

This gave me shivers. What an amazing series of events! I'm so glad I happened up on RHM.....or maybe it WASN'T coincidence! Happy Easter and blessings to RHM.

 

April 14, 2017
  • 1
Marie Fletcher
Marie Fletcher

Thank you. I enjoy reading about your life and Joe God is working through you.9

April 15, 2017
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!!!! Pastors prayer, Heavenly Father, I want more of you in my life. I want to live the real thing and not just talk. Show me with your presence to overflowing. Deliver me from the things that hold me back. Set Me Free from the burdens that I carry and use me to reach others, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray Amen!!

April 15, 2017
  • 1
Mandla Nkululeko Nkosi
Mandla Nkululeko Nkosi

thank you

April 17, 2017