Prince’s death and other questions about life

With North Korea playing around with missiles, a probable Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton fight for the Presidential election, and a Canadian man being beheaded by Abu Sayyaf gunmen, there’s a lot going on lately. 

As Christian believers, we know that today’s news headlines are prophecy being fulfilled before Jesus’ second coming. Time is very short.

Why then do I tend to obsess about the 80’s music legend Prince’s sudden death at the age of 57 this week?

Prince
Prince

I’ve always had a morbid fascination with celebrities, movie stars, musicians, and other wealthy/famous people living drama-filled, unhappy lives or dying young or suddenly.

I’ve never understood why, despite their millions of money and fame, many seem so unhappy, have broken relationships, become alcoholics and addicted to drugs, or come to a tragic end through suicide or dying young or suddenly. 

Like many people, some of the lives and deaths of famous people I’ve obsessed about were:

  • Elvis
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Michael Jackson
  • Whitney Houston
  • Princess Diana
  • Amy Winehouse
  • and many more. 

Controversy surrounds these celebrities’ deaths. Rumors abound of suicide, drug overdoses, murder, and the Illuminati.

I’m an extremely analytic person, and unanswered questions like the cause of Prince’s death and if he was truly a Christian believer or now in hell really bother me, to the point where I read online news and watch YouTube videos for days or weeks afterward, talking to my family and friends about it until they wish I’d just shut up!

I’m just trying to understand why they wind up so unhappy, committing suicide or dying so tragically when they were pursuing their big dreams and seemed to have the “good life” that so many Americans dream of. Could it be that good life is merely an illusion, a mirage?

Personally, I don’t believe many people can handle great wealth and fame. The very thing they desire winds up destroying them in the end. They don’t have the integrity and the character to sustain it.

Prince performing
Prince performing

Prince also was found dead in an elevator. He hated elevators and called them the devil. Is this just a coincidence? Or was he murdered as rumors have it, or possibly overprescribed drugs? Suicide and trauma have been ruled out as a cause of death. It’s certainly eerie and I think a little suspicious he died in an elevator–or perhaps he was sensing something prophetically. Odd that he called them “the devil.”

He was not known for abusing alcohol, although there are questions that his death may have been caused from use of the potent painkiller Percocet (he had severe hip pain from jumping on stage in high heels). Hopefully the news will release the toxicology report soon.

What happened to Prince? What were his spiritual beliefs?

I’m so very tired of celebrities dying so young and suddenly. I wish they’d find out what happened to him.

I read articles about his “spiritual transformation” with interest. After a two year friendship/discussions with fellow musician Larry Graham, Prince changed. From news online, I’ve learned that Prince grew up Seventh Day Adventist and later converted to a Jehovah’s Witness

Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

Don’t die without knowing the Cross

He also sang the song, The Cross, about Jesus. 

The lyrics are: 

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don’t cry, he is coming
Don’t die without knowing the cross…

As writer Denny Burk wrote about Prince’s death being like a punch in the gut, his music was a window, but it was a murky one and had a lot of dark stuff. But this is a good word: “Don’t die without knowing the cross.”

Prince compared joining the Jehovah’s Witness to “Morpheus and Neo in ‘The Matrix,’” even going door to door to witness and reports saying that he wished he could’ve talked to Michael Jackson more about his beliefs before he died.  He apparently shared his beliefs with many.
Morpheus and Neo, The Matrix
Morpheus and Neo, The Matrix

I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness and believe it is a cult. So I don’t know if Prince was saved or not, but it’s not my place to judge. I’ll leave that up to God, and others should, too. I pray he made it to heaven. I don’t want anyone going to hell. It’s a horrible place. I am encouraged he sang about the Cross, about Jesus. 

Prince
Prince

Prince’s Gift is from God

What I do know about him is that he was a musical genius, playing 27 instruments, with a wide vocal range. 27 instruments, wow!

As I’ve watched his videos on YouTube since his passing, I’ve been amazed at his range, going from the deepest baritone to the highest . No matter what his songs lyrics were or how sensually he performed them, he truly had a gift from God. 

Prince wrote and produced many of his songs, selling over 100 million records worldwide, winning 7  Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the film Purple Rain. He’s listed at number 27 on the list of the top 100 greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone. He also penned other songs that made other singers famous. (Resource: Wikipedia)

This is what struck me about him: Prince credited his musical gift and inspiration to God in his interview with Larry King. There’s no denying it, Prince was extremely musically gifted and had a powerful singing voice.

I believe even his name was prophetic of his life. When you look at pictures of him, you sense a princely air about him.

Purple was Prince's signature color
Purple was Prince’s signature color

Purple was Prince’s signature color and he had a custom-designed purple guitar. Purple is associated with royalty and authority in the Bible. His explanation for purple was associated with his interest in the mid-80’s about the apocalypse:

“When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple.. purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god”guide you through the purple rain”

Purple Rain

In my teens, I confess that I was a fan of Prince’s. By far my favorite is Purple Rain. I still love it.

He performed it in a downpour during the Superbowl Halftime, the rain coming down almost as if on cue. (The song starts at about the 8:12 minute mark.) 

Rain
Rain

I love these lyrics to it:

“I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain.”

The other song that he’s famous for that I liked was 1999. (Disclaimer: it has some inappropriate words and scenes, but Prince was known for being risque.)

To me, the song speaks about being positive about the future and not being afraid, since he recorded it before the 2000 Y2K scare.

I laughed when I read this in the article about one woman’s big concern about Y2K:

“By midafternoon, Juanita Serrano had grabbed one of the last large containers of water left in the store. She said it was an essential part of her Y2K survival kit, along with a 10-pound container of coffee and milk. “I have to have my coffee,” she said. “I cannot go on without my coffee, no matter what is going on around me.”

Starbucks cinammon dolce coffee
Starbucks cinammon dolce coffee

Yes, I relate about the coffee! Anyway, I digress…back to Prince. 

I believe he was a musical legend, and an amazing singer and artist. He accomplished great things while on earth.

Prince died while still young, only age 57. The world is reeling with shock that he’s dead. So young. So unexpected.

hand

Really, we shouldn’t be shocked. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 that we’re all destined to die once and after that is the Judgment from God. Am I ready? Are you?

I don’t know why so many stars, celebrities, musicians, wealthy and famous people seem to have such unhappy, troubled lives. We’re all seeking.

As I shared before, I believe there are very few people who can handle great wealth and fame, due to a lack of character. Ultimately, only God can satisfy that black hole deep inside all of us. It is a God-void.

I don’t know why so many die so young or and/or so suddenly. All of us will face death and God one day, and we need to be prepared because we don’t know when that moment is. Tomorrow is not promised.

The way to find joy, peace, and the abundant life is through Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? Don’t die without the Cross. 

Prince, I pray you are resting in peace.

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Cyber Monday Christian Books 99 Cents Sale!

Image source: http://hdguru.com/just-announced-new-cyber-monday-hdtv-deals/
Image source: http://hdguru.com/just-announced-new-cyber-monday-hdtv-deals/


Don’t you love great bargains? I wanted to pass on a special, Cyber Monday book deal to you.
I, along with several other Christian authors, have marked down the price of a selection of our Kindle books to just 99 cents!

You’ll find titles ranging from Christian personal finance, to devotionals, to Christian fiction and more. I have four eBooks on sale for just 99 cents!

You can find all of the books available here: http://ordinarybeliever.com/cyber-monday-15

Happy Reading!

P.S. Be sure to check these out :http://ordinarybeliever.com/cyber-monday-15 today, because the price on many of the books will increase tomorrow!

I pray you have a blessed week.

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The Power of Your Dreams

Woman and horse. Image resource: https://steppinupx.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/1334562-2-in-my-dreams.jpg
Image: https://steppinupx.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/1334562-2-in-my-dreams.jpg

Yesterday morning I had a dream that encouraged me that God loves and cares for me. Dreams are powerful—both dreams at night and the dreams in your heart. I shared about “The Power of Dreams” in my Periscope yesterday, which you can view at Katch.me/bethmjones.

I believe many times, God is the one who puts dreams and desires inside our hearts. We know that anything that violates God’s Word and His will is not from Him.

For example, if you’re married and you want that hot woman or man at work, you know that isn’t God’s will, because the Bible says God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and one of the 10 commandments is to not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). 

Your dreams and desires need to align with God’s Word, the Bible. God can even change your desires. Our friends Ron and Rhonda Hedrick with Global Community Outreach are missionaries in Guatamala. God began putting it on their hearts to take in orphans on the street to shelter, feed, and love them

Guatamala missionary Ron Hedrick signing papers for his and Rhonda's house
Guatamala missionary Ron Hedrick signing papers for his and Rhonda’s house

Just yesterday, Rhonda posted a picture of Ron signing paper to buy a house in Guatamala, so they will have a safe, loving place for the children they are bringing into their home. Ron and Rhonda have one naturally-born son, Jeremiah, who is on the mission field with them. When they went to Guatamala, this wasn’t their plan—but it was God’s. 

Guatamala missionary Rhonda Hedrick with the mom and the children she & Ron are taking into their home
Guatamala missionary Rhonda Hedrick with the mom and the children she & Ron are taking into their home

Maybe your dream is to be a published author. I believe if you want to write a book or have thought about it, there is a book inside you. There may be many books inside you!

A study shows that 81% of people say they want to write a book. But many never do. Sadly, they die with their book still inside them. Don’t let this be you! Write your book! (Obviously, I don’t agree with Joseph Epstein’s advice in the New York times article to not write it!)

Myles Monroe
Myles Monroe

The late leader, pastor, and author Myles Monroe, founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries, Myles Monroe International, and president of the International Leadership Training Institute, wrote: 

“The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, diamond mines, or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted…In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within you.”

woman opening gift with light

Don’t die with your book or your dreams still inside you. Monroe also said, “The poorest man (or woman) in the world is a man (woman) without a dream.”

I see this around me a lot. There are people I know who have given up hope and have no faith. They are depressed and no matter how much you try to encourage them that God has a good plan for their life (Jeremiah 29:11), they still mope around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.

Life and the enemy satan have battered them so much, that they just lie down and take whatever happens and no longer fight. They’ve stopped fulfilling their purpose and aren’t using their gifts for God. They’ve stopped dreaming. It breaks my heart and I’m sure it grieves God’s. 

dream big

What is your dream? Are you fulfilling it? 

If you want to write a book, write it! There’s still time this year. (Sign up for my writers’ virtual training, There’s Still Time, for just $25 with 4 videos, a downloadable PDF, and a downloadable checklist to help you write or finish your book THIS year! It all comes conveniently to you in your email inbox. You can do it!)

Maybe your dream isn’t writing a book. Maybe it’s to start speaking to share your heart message. I encourage you to use Periscope to speak. You can download the app on your iPhone or Android phone. It’s an amazing, free platform to build a global audience. (You can follow me on Periscope @bethmjones.)

Periscope #tagtribes leader Mark Shaw on video
Periscope #tagtribes leader Mark Shaw on video

Just pray, prepare a short message with 2 or 3 bullet points written out, and push that red broadcast button to have an instant audience. If you’re nervous about scoping, you can practice first with your phone’s video “selfie” feature or do a private scope with your mom, best friend, or as Periscope guru Mark Shaw (@markshaw) says, your goldfish or dog, lol.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s actually the beauty and attraction of Periscope: it’s real, raw and authentic. Nobody relates to or wants perfect. Just start. 

my surprised face when Mark Shaw showed up on my scope!
my surprised face when Mark Shaw showed up on my scope!

Maybe your dream is to be a coach. Start using private scopes on Periscope to coach for pay. Or use Skype or Free Conference Call for free tools to begin your coaching practice. You don’t need a certification to coach. I don’t have one, and I coach beginner speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs. (Find out more about my coaching here.)

Whatever your dream is, there’s a reason that it’s in your heart. If you have had dreams and the devil has stomped all over them like the people I know in my life, and if you have given up, ask God to restore your dream or give you a new one. 

Jesus often rebuked his disciples for their unbelief. Remember the father in Mark 9:24 said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!” God knows exactly where you’re at and understands. There’s no condemnation from Him. He wants to help you to have the greatest, most successful, blessed life possible.

That doesn’t always necessarily mean what we think or hope. It’s not always mansions, wealth, and travel to an exotic island. Sometimes God’s best includes hard times and struggles to produce character in us (Romans 5:4), so that we’ll come forth as gold. (Job 23:10) 

I’ve been going through a difficult time the past several weeks. In times like that, it’s good to do self-examination and ask, “What is God trying to teach me through this? What is He wanting to produce in me?” He is the Potter and we are the clay. (Isaiah 64:8)

The potter and the clay
The potter and the clay

Dreams often come from God. Not only Satan but people will oppose your dreams, even the ones closest to you. Remember Joseph in the Bible. He had dreams of being great. In one of his dreams, his brothers’ bundles in the field circled around his bundle and bowed to it. In another, the sun, the moon, and the stars bowed down to him. These dreams angered his brothers and his father rebuked him. But the dreams were from God. 

Joseph’s brothers secretly sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites after they threw him into a pit. Later Joseph was raised up by Pharoah to be in charge of Egypt, and saved his father and his brothers from starvation in the great famine, bringing them to Egypt to live in abundance.

Dreams are powerful. Dreams matter. Don’t let anyone steal or stomp on your dreams. Keep dreaming big because we serve a big God! Take one action step to fulfill your dream. Paint a picture. Make a piece of jewelry. Write a chapter on your book. Speak on a scope. 

The Cinderella Story: The Power of Dreams eBook cover Copyright 2015 Beth Jones www.BethJones.net
Copyright 2015 Beth Jones, BethJones.net

I am soon working on the second book in The Cinderella Story series, The Cinderella Story: The Power of Dreams. If you’re not already on my personal mailing list, sign up today at the top of the page on the right hand side so you’ll be first to hear about its release on Amazon.

“Today carve out a quiet interlude in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams can give birth to change.”–Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

 

 

 

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