Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

something to help you laugh and think about life with Christ

is God a bass or a tenor? — June 29, 2022

is God a bass or a tenor?

We were not expecting to be expecting, but God had other ideas.  I was still working on my husband skills having been married only 7 months.  But we were still very excited about being parents.

I could not wait to meet my little girl.  During the pregnancy, I would put my head close to my wife’s tummy and softly sing to my baby so that she could hear and even feel the vibrations.  I sang to her – I sang for her – I sang over her – because I loved her.

Ironically, long before she could talk, she would stand up in her crib in the morning and return the song – singing her baby syllables with all her heart.


I have learned that God is just as excited about His children.  He too sings over them.  (I know! Isn’t that a crazy thought?) 

The evidence is in Zephaniah 3:17. Now since you have probably never read the book of Zephaniah, let me give you a thumbnail sketch. 

God used Zephaniah as a messenger to the nation of Judah.  He prophesied that the nation would be judged because of their idolatry, immorality, and spiritual apathy.  

But, in the third and final chapter of the book, Zephaniah predicted that God would send His Messiah in the last days and all Israel would turn their hearts toward Him.  The distance between God and His people will be bridged. 

This is where we find Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” – KJV

On that day God will joyfully celebrate by singing love songs over His children.

It is not a misprint.  Most other translations of the Bible render it this way as well.

God joyfully sings over His people much as I sang over my little girl. 

I have so many questions?  Is God a tenor or a bass?   Would a female hear Him as an alto or a soprano?   Does this mean He has perfect pitch?  Do the angels snicker when He sings? Isn’t He embarrassed?

No way!  He is not ashamed to sing of His love for His children.  He is a Father who is hopelessly devoted to His little ones. 

I have a friend who feels the need to return the song.   When Steve Bradley sings during a church service, he is louder than my grandpa’s Sunday tie.

He out-sings us all including the crew on the platform with the microphones.  He belts out the hymns with gusto and the contemporary worship songs with just as much energy.  He loves to sing to his Redeemer, and the rest of us are inspired to hear him.   

It seems that a heart full of love just spills out in song. 

So, may I put us on the spot?  If our love for the Lord were gauged by the way we sing on Sunday morning, would we move the needle at all? 

Hey if we ain’t feelin’ it, I don’t think we ought to fake it.  But maybe we should be alarmed that we ain’t feelin’ it!

This next Sunday morning, grab a cup of coffee and your Bible, and mull over Romans 8:28-39 where Paul provides a thrilling description of God’s love for you.   

Then, with your heart warmed, head for church and stun the worship leader by enthusiastically singing of your love for the Lord.

A PRAYER: Lord singing is easy for me – but please help those who don’t find it as easy?

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Nothing More — May 23, 2020
the day God came to be — March 6, 2019

the day God came to be

I remember the day that God was born – in my experience that is.  He had always been more of a dusty theoretical concept to me until He opened my eyes to His hidden, spiritual, eternal reality.

I remember being stunned to find that God was truly alive and that He interacted with me, on my turf, on a minute-to-minute basis.  He answered my super specific prayers and spoke to me by directing me to a perfectly appropriate passage of Scripture.  I was mystified by the way He loved me by providing just the right car at just the right price.

I found significance in the details of life because the God I came to know was all powerful and all knowing – everywhere all at the same time.  I wondered at the way He ordered every aspect of life according to His gracious and sovereign plan and I was grateful to be a part of it.

I will admit, though, I sometimes took it too far.  I remember closing my eyes and running my finger over the pages of my Bible.  When I stopped roving and opened my eyes, I expected God to give me a personalized message.  Today I wonder what would have happened if my finger had landed on Job 19:17, “My breath is repulsive to my wife” -NET Bible®

When I dressed for the day, I would sometimes ask God to help me pick out a shirt.  Now I just ask my wife (although God was nicer about it.)

Yes, sometimes my wide-eyed wonder was a little excessive.  The dog was exhibit A. I shared a home back then with 2 others who were also new to and awed by God.   A dog had been given to us.  He was a big mangy dirty-white cur, but we knew that God was in the details and that He must have wanted us to have the beast.

The dog was nameless so one of us suggested that we ask God to show us the name He had in mind for the dog.  We circled up and prayed a prayer that ended in this way, “and Lord we thank you for the dog – Amen.”    We opened our eyes and dropped our jaws because we knew that God had just answered our prayer.  “Amen.”  The dog’s name was to be Amen! 

Contrary to his name, he turned out to be the dog from hell.    The word Amen is used in the Bible as an affirmation of what had just been said.  It means “So be it.”  At our house it meant, “So eat it.”   The dog was a bottomless pit.  And when he had finished his dog chow, he would chow down on our shoes.   

Eventually we had to go our separate ways and none of us could take the dog with us (at least that’s what we said.)  So, we gave him to a priest who seemed to be thankful to have a dog with a sanctified name (although I hope he sprinkled him with some holy water too!)  

He later told us that the dog had escaped from the rectory.  The priest canvased the neighborhood looking for him crying, “Amen!  Amen!”  He nearly started a revival.  An African American woman opened her front door and shouted, “Praise the Lord.”  (Hey, I am not making this up!)

Well, I am a lot older now and unfortunately that sense of awe I had for God has become as dulled as my other five senses.   I wonder what happened? 

What I initially believed about God has not been undermined or contradicted by anything that I have experienced with God since.  He has been the same yesterday, today and forever – the same, ever, awesome God. 

So, what can I do to recapture that wonder?  When I take time to marinate my mind with a passage of Scripture, I do hear His voice – and it stirs me.  When I review my prayer journal and I see the multitude of specific answers to my prayers, I am moved.  God shows up in new and fresh ways whenever I step out in faith and do a mission trip – and that is awesome.  Or maybe I need to write about Him – like in a blog.  Yep even as I think about and type these God thoughts, my heart is moved to worship.

Go and do likewise and may the Lord be with you, Amen.  (not the dog)


I recently watched this clip and the Lord stirred me.  One of my most favorites songs of worship: Knowing You.  Watch it without tearing up.  Can’t be done!

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