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Where is that Beautiful Music Coming From? A Story of Hope and Peace

 by Lila Morgan,

When I was a nine-year-old Kansas girl in 1935, our city’s health officer placed a sign in the window of our red-brick house-SCARLET FEVER. It warned those approaching not to enter. All the joyful music in our happy household stopped.

My seven-year-old sister, Mary Ann, contracted the illness after exposure to a sick child in the neighborhood. Needless to say, this diagnosis brought fear to our home. Mother cared for our sister night and day. Then, the unthinkable happened. She, too, was stricken! A scarlet rash covered her body, and her temperature soared. As she struggled with this often-fatal sickness, happy children’s songs froze on our lips.

Our father, a welder in a refinery, hired nurses to work around the clock, and a housekeeper to care for us. Friends brought food to the door, but they never stayed more than a few moments. Only our father and the nurses could enter or exit. We were an island of sickness and sorrow.

There were no sulfa drugs or medicines in those days to fight infections. Mother’s fever rose higher and higher until it reached 108 degrees, and she became blind.

The sign: SCARLET FEVER was placed in the window It warned those approaching not to enter. All the joyful music in our happy household stopped.

Shortly before her death, mother asked her nurse, “Where is that beautiful music coming from?”

Daddy snuggled my two sisters and me around him in his large, overstuffed chair. “Your mother is going to heaven,” he said, as his voice broke with emotion.

Before she died, Daddy allowed us to enter her bedroom. “I love you, Mother,” I said. I could tell she recognized my voice.

Leaving her room, I curled into a fetal position on the divan, retreating undisturbed into my own silent world. My grief was too much to bear, because I couldn’t hear the heavenly music which comforted by mother.

The day of her funeral was set apart like no other in my experience. Because she died of a contagious disease, only a graveside service could be held. Dorothy, my older sister, and I had to stay in the car so people couldn’t touch us as they walked by to offer their condolences. Mary Ann remained at home.

While Mary Ann was recovering, I helped entertain her. We had a metal tray and some small marbles which fit into a groove around the edge. After putting several of them in the groove, we tipped it so the marbles would race around the outside rim. There was an art to tipping it only so high so they wouldn’t roll off. We both became experts at this improvised game.

When Mary Ann was well, we all tried to pick up the pieces of our lives and go on, but Mother’s absence made it terribly difficult. Every day, when Father came home from work, we drove to the cemetery north of town. We took fresh flowers from our garden, and often cut the grass around the small marble tombstone which said MOTHER. Even near her grave, I couldn’t hear the music she loved. How we sorrowed for her.

A cemetery has a social atmosphere which only those who grieve experience. We met others who had lost loved ones, and we shared our losses with each other. It helped our grief as the days came and went.

Dorothy’s handicap made her unable to help care for a household, although she was fifteen. Because of this, Daddy hired a live-in housekeeper. He converted a long porch on the back of our house to another bedroom, and hired a cook, housekeeper, and sitter all rolled into one–for the handsome sum of three dollars a week.

During the course of three years, we had thirty-some women care for us. We would no more get acquainted with one than she would quit, or dad would fire her. One woman lasted two days. On her second day on the job, she spanked little Mary Ann for not coming in the house when she called. When Daddy came home and saw tears in his darling’s eyes, he immediately asked the housekeeper to pack her things. He took her home pronto, and we girls thought, Good riddance!

Another woman brought some little “friends” with her when she moved into our house– scabies! We all caught them within days. Bathing and a foul-smelling ointment prescribed by our doctor took care of the problem. After we rid our house of her “friends,” she stayed for several years. In her sixties, she loved to smoke, but Daddy let her only do it in the bathroom. She was in there a lot!

The years dragged by until I became a teenager, and I attended a Baptist church with my best friend. I discovered a wonderful group of friendly people who loved and cared for my sisters and me. Before long, we girls went every Sunday, but Daddy only came with us on special occasions like Easter or Christmas. However, the church people reached out to us, and because of that, I would eventually learn why mother heard such beautiful music on her deathbed.

One young woman in the church considered herself a matchmaker. It wasn’t too long before a red-haired young man, Harold, and I became her project. We were both shy, so she proceeded to help us become acquainted by insisting I sit next to him on the way home from a church get-together at the park.

It worked. We were married before he served in the Army Air Force on Guam during WWII. When Harold came home after three long years, we started a new life together. He had a number of jobs: a farm hand, aircraft work, and finally a great job with the refinery where my father worked. Life seemed good, and we welcomed the first of our four children of two boys and two girls.

The church where we’d met and married was a vital part of our everyday lives. One day, Harold bounded in the door after work announcing, “Honey, Guess what. The Lord is calling me to preach!”
I thought, No way!

That role for either of us was out of the question for me. Yet, he seemed so happy and thrilled with the prospect of preaching the rest of his life. Although I was a member of the church, I did not hear the “song” he sang. Although I had been baptized by immersion, completely submerged, nothing had been washed away from the inside out.

“Harold, you mean to leave a good job? Move to who knows where?”
My lack of enthusiasm caused agony for my husband. One day, he went into a pasture, sat down and poured out his heart to the Lord, “I feel called to preach, Lord, but I don’t know how it can happen. Lila is not in agreement with me, and school seems out of the question.”

Soon, he felt the Lord’s hand on his shoulder with these words, “It’s going to be okay.”

 

B;ue background with text overlay: Where is that beautiful music coming from

I found excuses for not going to church with Harold. Finally, a series of events brought me to the point where I could risk everything to follow my husband’s calling. First, the Lord grabbed my attention through a radio program while Harold was at church one evening.

Next, near our town was a rural schoolhouse where our church started a Sunday school for those in the area. Before long, Harold was preaching there. Still, I struggled to hear the beautiful music he heard.

One week, a guest preacher came to speak at our rural church. He knew the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and quoted many parts of it by heart.

One Scripture touched my soul, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). That verse led to a sleepless night. I tossed and turned, in great turmoil–caught in a terrible battle–as Satan pulled me to continue to go astray, but the Lord pulled harder and won my heart.

I finally said, “Yes Jesus, direct my life as Lord and Savior.”

The eternal music came into my life and peace enveloped me. I understood why my mother heard the angels sing on her deathbed. I shared in Harold’s calling to the ministry.

He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, utilizing the GI Bill, and we spent thirty-five years serving the Lord together, in harmony.

Now, at eighty years of age, that question-“Where is that beautiful music coming from?”-may be addressed before long to those who stand around my deathbed. I pray my children will be comforted as they realize I have joined my mother and family, and we will be there waiting for them, where the saints and angels sing glorious words of praise to Almighty God for all eternity.

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This story is written by my mother, Lila Lee Morgan.  She died November, 2015, three years after my father.  She wrote this article for the book,  His Forever: Stories of Real People finding Jesus. It wasn’t published because they needed men’s stories at the time. However, my father’s and my son Kurt’s stories are published in this compilation book.

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M12C Jerusalem Transformed

JERUSALEM TRANSFORMED

Ezekiel and transformed Jerusalem

Ezekiel, from Chapters 40 through 48, describes the vision God gave him of the end-time Jerusalem and temple. Since 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, there has been no temple. Ezekiel was shown exactly how the new, transformed temple area would look with exact dimensions, and how the whole city would look, including how the land would be divided among the twelve tribes of Israel when they would be one nation.

This Jerusalem Ezekiel saw is the kingdom of Israel during and after the seven-year tribulation period. This Jerusalem is restored with the third temple built in which offerings are sacrificed by the Jewish people—referred to as the “millennial temple.” It will also be desecrated by the Antichrist during the tribulation (see Matt. 24:15).

Ezekiel witnessed the climax of all the ages: he saw the glory of the God of Israel enter the temple from the east, and he heard His voice like the roar of rushing waters and saw the whole land fill with His radiant glory. He heard a voice speaking to him, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile my holy name . . . .” (Eze. 43:7). Jesus own feet will descend upon Earth causing a great earthquake.

Zechariah Jerusalem transformed

The prophet Zechariah, who appears on the scene after the Jew’s return from Babylonian exile, fills in some blanks. Chapter 14 of his book describes the day the glory of the Lord fills the temple. Jesus Christ will have just ended the battle of Armageddon to keep mankind from destroying themselves. “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south” (Zech. 14:4).

On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.—Zechariah 14:6-9 (emphasis mine)

That unique day will be the first day of the next one-thousand years when Jesus will reign as King in Jerusalem. It will be inhabited and will never again be destroyed. All peoples of the Earth will go up to Jerusalem to worship the King of kings and Lord of lords, and any nation who rebels against the Lord will see no rain in their land. If they do not go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, they will experience plagues. The great earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives when Jesus’ feet hit Earth will cause the whole city to be raised up, and water will flow out from Jerusalem to the eastern and western seas.

Jerusalem transformed like heaven on earth

transformed Jerusalem with temple
This is an artist’s impression of the future (third)
Jewish temple. Notice that in this position it is in perfect alignment with the eastern gate. www.endtimepilgrim.org/temple

Jerusalem will be like heaven on Earth, but it will not be heaven . . . yet. Jesus will be THERE, yes, but that is not all. You and I will be there in our glorified bodies. Jesus did not come back to Earth alone. Look at Zechariah 14:5 that says when He comes He will bring all His holy ones with Him. That is you and me, made holy by His blood.

We truly are His feet! For us and the whole house of Israel, the LORD says, “I will glorify the place of my feet. The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 60: 13-14).

Moving from Zechariah 14 to Revelation, Chapter 19 describes the wedding supper of the Lamb after His bride had made herself ready. John saw with his own eyes the rider on the white horse, Jesus Christ, His eyes like blazing fire and a crown on His head and his robe dipped in blood—His name the Word of God. He witnessed the armies of heaven following him, also riding on white horses, dressed in white linen. The army bride and Jesus Christ will fight against the armies gathered together at the battle of Armageddon. We—the army bride—will be there. We will witness with our own eyes the capture of the beast (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet as they are thrown into the lake of burning sulfur.

[John] saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.—Revelation 20:1-3

Transformed Jerusalem and Jehovah Shammah

Jerusalem transformed during millennial kingdom by the presence of the LORD

No longer will the devil be able to deceive the nations or individuals or make war against those who hold fast to the testimony of Jesus—for one thousand years, anyway. Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins capture this thousand-year millennial kingdom in their fictional story, based on their interpretation of Scripture, in the last of sixteen books of the Left Behind series, Kingdom Come. It takes them 350 pages to show what this period of time will look like. Their view is that those Christians who were raptured, or martyred during the tribulation, will be living on Earth and in Jerusalem in glorified bodies. Believers who managed to make it through the tribulation will still have human bodies while continuing to marry and have babies.

During the millennial kingdom, Jerusalem is transformed by the presence of the LORD, which is a picture of His mighty love, patience, and how He transforms our lives—little by little. Unbelievers left behind after the Rapture, who are faced with the tribulation period because they did not trust Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, will still be given the chance to follow Him. The whole reason for all the plagues and terrible calamities that will happen are so “man” will turn from his wicked ways, repent, and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is his creator and Lord of all (see Rev. 9:20-21). Again, and again, man will be given a second, third, fourth chance, but somewhere down the road, it will be too late.

Only believers will live in the millennial kingdom – the transformed Jerusalem

Babies who are then born and grow up will be given the choice and opportunity to follow Jesus. The opportunity to sin will still exist on Earth during the thousand years because it is still the old Earth and the old heaven. Before Jerusalem can become the “New” Jerusalem, remaining throughout eternity, all the effects of humanity’s sins must be destroyed from Earth. Peter tells us how it will happen:

The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.   —2 Peter 3:10-13 (emphasis mine)

The heavens and the earth have to be made ready for the entrance of the Holy City, purged and cleansed by fire, to make way for the Throne of our Holy Father God which will replace the temple where He and His Son will take up residence. We will all be “there,” home . . . at last.

This will be New Jerusalem, also known as heaven.