Alone time with God (The Rob Mercer Story)

Rob Mercer
Life can be a rat race.  Job, family, church and other responsibilities can fill our days, and sometimes, even the most dedicated Christian can skip time with God.  But what are we missing when we miss our time with God?  Gospel artist Rob Mercer understands the value of being alone with God.  It’s during those times that he senses the presence of God the most.
 
“I’ll never forget the time I left Norfolk, VA in route to Washington, DC with a plan to catch up on my favorite sports talk radio shows the entire drive,” recounts Rob. “I made a quick stop by 7-11 to pick up a bottle of water and some snacks and headed toward Highway 64. Somewhere between 7-11 and Highway 64, I began to enjoy the silence and serenity that engulfed the automobile. I began to think about how God has truly enriched my life. I thought about how that day had been full of blessings at the church where I ministered. I thought about the wonderful family that He had chosen for me during this life. Then I thought about the scripture in Joshua 1 where He tells us if we meditate on His word day and night, we’ll have good success. Before I knew it, my alone time with God had lasted over 3 hours and I was pulling up in my driveway still without a clue of what was going on in the sports world.”
There are things that we can only experience with God when we are by ourselves, far away from the hustle and bustle of life.  It’s during those still and quiet times – when God has our undivided attention – that He can speak to us.
Rob says, “I’ve realized that every major move of God has happened when I was alone with Him. Now there have been some powerful and amazing times in fellowship with family, friends and the body of Christ. But it was in the alone time that He called me into ministry. It was in the alone time that He told me to lay hands on myself and I found healing for a pain in my leg that had lasted over a year. It was also in the alone time that He freed me from the indignity and anguish of going through a divorce. Not to mention, the songs and sermons that He has given me over the years that continue to bless people week in and week out.”
Rob’s alone times with God have also helped him to realize that it’s God alone who has total and complete authority over his life – although sometimes that’s not readily apparent.  In this world, it’s easy to believe that man has ultimate power.  Man has thrived on power since the beginning of time.  Countries, politicians, militaries, and even celebrities wield it at a whim and those who have it can’t seem to get enough of it.  But does man really possess power?  With one hurricane, tornado or flood, man’s illusion of power is shattered and he finds himself looking up to the true power source.
 
Mercer understands that God alone is in control.  The up-and-coming singer-songwriter recently released a new song called, “God Alone”.  A soft and pensive tune, “God Alone”, reminds the listener of the autonomy of God.  The song’s lyrics speak of the amazing command He has over the universe: “Completely sovereign, absolute rule, director of all things, none compares to you, unlimited power, ancient of days, exclusive authority, we don’t have a say; You are God alone.”
 
The modern-day psalm is perfect to sing during those intimate times with God.  The song, a track on Rob’s debut release, The Photo Album, is one of the highlights of the new CD.  The single, already soaring up the BDS Gospel Charts, has a complementary concept video showcasing Rob during his alone times with God.
 
For Mercer, it’s in those alone times with the Lord, where he finds direction.  It’s in those times he’s learned how to inspire others.  “I have realized that I’m never alone,” says Mercer.  “I have a God who never leaves me nor forsakes me. He is an omnipresent God who is with us at all times. When you can’t see His hand or understand His ways, you may think He’s deserted you, but what the alone time teaches us is that Isaiah 55:8 is right: ‘His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways'”. 

…It Takes One to Know One!

Yesterday, thinking about baby John leaping in his mother’s womb as Mary approached (newly impregnated with Jesus). Immediately, I (and a few friends) kicked around a few reasons why this occurred. All of us are astute bible readers so we had many stock answers as to why it was. One even shared a preposterous theory (that I won’t share) that someone even said to them!

All in all, we came BACK to the original conclusion that we have heard in church all these years. The forerunner greeted the Anointed One. The Spirit took me deeper in that. How did he know it was Jesus? Well, it was told Zacharias that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb. Being filled with the Spirit in the womb, John knew who Jesus FULLY was even as an embryo (notice-it’s not recorded that Jesus returned the salutation)!

This brings me to this conclusion: If we fast forward a few years, we’ll see that John sounded the alarm that Jesus was coming! John (though receiving great attention and even having his own disciples) turned the world’s attention to the savior (his cousin). The connection (in ministry) was present before the two of them were even born!

John didn’t live to see Jesus’ ministry fully but their encounter culminated in the Jordan River. John rebuffed Jesus’ request for him to baptize Him, later agreeing to. After John baptized Jesus a dove descended and the Lord spoke saying: “This is my son in whom I am well pleased”. At that time, Jesus was made known to all mankind that He was the son of God. John resisted the pleas from the people to rise up and ‘keep’ those who would leave to follow Jesus, instead he retorted: “He must increase, but I must decrease…”

What does that mean to us today?

It shows that John recognized that the savior of all mankind was on His way! John himself was assigned to do a mighty work, and his ‘greeting’ can be seen as so much of an indicator as to how these two would change the world!

Simply put, “It Takes One to Know One”! On the issue of world changers, many of us are surrounded by those who will never grow to do anything beyond normal! John’s ministry cost him his life, Jesus ministry was to give His life! How many of us could look around us and say that we are connected to world changers or people of greatness? Many of us innocently aspire to be great but fall short for a number of reasons! Even more astoundingly, we fail to realize our place in another’s greatness! John was Jesus’ forerunner only! He constantly reminded the people of that when they sought to remove him to a greater destiny!

It also takes strong discipline to realize that your greatness is only laying the groundwork for another’s! Had John been lax in foretelling Jesus’ coming and work, the world may have turned before Jesus even had a chance to assume His natural course on earth!Never underestimate your ‘great’ place in another’s greatness! Destiny is for all people. We are not all destined to the same end but we can’t forfeit our place out of envy for another’s!

Be thankful for those that see who you are and line up according to it! It may be friends at school, a coworker on the job, maybe even your spouse/family. These people are secure enough to not only celebrate you but prepare the world for you!

Isn’t it amazing that there are people placed in the world to get the world ready for you? Amazingly, these people aren’t too shabby either! People of note, whose influence only opens the door wider for people to find out about the great things God has placed in you! Are you a world changer? A community changer? A workplace changer? A school changer? Or are you the one paving the way for them? Whichever you are, do it with all the strength you have! There’s no room for arrogance, just a will and purpose carefully honed in on what your place in the world is!

How monumental it is that the two encountered each other before even stepping foot on the earth (womb to womb). Clearly, in regards to greatness…It Takes One to Know One!!!!

 

 

 

Holding Pattern

As of today, I find myself in a holding pattern. As a musician and sound engineer, jobs are scarce. More scarce than powerball lottery winnings these days! I keep applying for jobs with little to no success at all. It used to be that people couldn’t find work because they weren’t looking for it! Now it seems that work just isn’t anywhere to be found for most people. As a matter of fact, the unemployment rate in America stands at 16%.
The worse part of all this is that my family needs my help. It seems that no help is in sight because it’s just not time for ‘help’ to arrive! Sounds strange but as a believer, I have placed all my trust and faith in God. I believe that God has ordered my steps(as the word says) and that he has truly written my life story out completely. However, I wonder how much longer the Heavens will be shut up and there be no rain!
Is this ‘holding pattern’ self-imposed? Strange to think that, but it could be a severe possibility. Whatever the case may be, whatever the destined outcome is I’m tired of waiting and it’s time for a REAL CHANGE!!!

SATISFACTION!!!!!!!

This week on American Idol Stefano Langone sang “I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful. He’d made it to Hollywood and the top 24 so he’d well earned a true measure of notoriety before this week. One of his song choices included the gospel hit and to me, it meant more than anything EVER!!!

My first ever article on examiner.com was an article highlighting changes to the AI format. Included in the changes was the change in song selection. As many previous contestants have failed to openly show their faith in God through song, I’d hoped that this year would be the year that gospel music made it onto the ‘Idol’ stage!!!

It turns out that this is the year! For a number of reasons only God is in control of gospel music has made its way onto national television! This feat is no small thing to me because I was discouraged after I wrote it because examiner.com told me that my article was not centered around my ‘local’ writing assignment even though I included past local contestants on the show.

Maybe vindication is the word…my Grammy predictions article was also flagged because it wasn’t ‘local’ enough. I was about 70% accurate with my predictions! I’m just glad that I know my subject locally and globally! I’m finding out that people are reading my column(even though they don’t comment,tsk tsk!)so I’m gonna keep on writing and let God continue to give me the topics that I need to write about because as long as it comes from Him, I’ll always be satisfied!!!!

You Just Never Do Sometimes…

So today I played a funeral, it was good, but kinda surreal! As a musician(who never turns down work) I find myself in all kinds of company, today was proof of it. Picture this(insert Sophia from Golden Girls quote here),Slick (from WWF) doing the eulogy and the family of the deceased as musically rich as Fort Worth can get! As the family processed in, I saw a few familiar faces and immediately put the ‘tighten up’ on-you don’t want to get scooted off the organ seat! lol Anyway, the decedent’s brothers are musicians and singers I used to play with a few years ago. Better than that, her brother taught Kirk Franklin(his nephew) to play the piano…say whatever you want, that’s interesting! Anyway, her cousin was a recording artist and was on the Malaco record label for a few years. All in all, there were a few other people that I knew but I just want to mention these few. As you know, church is HILARIOUS and I just gotta mention this-At the end, I was playing I’ll Fly Away and then out of nowhere I hear this voice…(yes I thought it was coming from the casket :() but somebody in the church was singing a totally different song! They were so loud that I changed songs(By and By) for a chorus,pulled out a few more drawbars and proceeded with I’ll Fly Away. If you gon’ just burst out into song, please let it at least be the RIGHT song!!!!!

As the funeral concluded, another musician approached me and made a few comments…”I enjoyed your playing, etc.” Then blew away by saying “you’re a musician’s musician. I didn’t really know how to reply other than the usual “to God be ALL the glory” but it did put a minor spring in my step! lol So, we all know people we can bestow this compliment on so let’s take some time and share what we really feel about our fellow musicians! Quit hating, and quit holding back good words-they both equal the same thing!

I reached my tag limit, but I wanna shout out to all my facebook friends, true musicians-keep up the good work!

June 3,2009

I’m Taking God’s Rainbow Back!

Ok though I am never for police brutality, I was angered at the name of the bar the TABC/FW Police raided(2009). The Rainbow Lounge…seriously? Now you may say, “well the rainbow is the symbol for the gay/lesbian community. But, really? When did we concede that? Last time I checked a rainbow was a sign from God that He wouldn’t flood the earth again.

So once again I’m asking my like minded peeps(hopefully I know who you are), when did we give the rainbow away? Was it when homosexuality, as taboo as it is got in our space, in our families, in our schools? Its as if we said ” take the rainbow, just stay away from us!” Well, I’m going on record that I’M TAKING GOD’S RAINBOW BACK!!!! Will you take your portion of the rainbow as well…?