Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two Years Ago Today...

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we to all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."        ~ Ephesians 1:1-10

Two years ago today, the Lord Jesus Christ, opened my blind eyes to His truth, saved my lost soul, forgave me of my sins, gave me a new heart, and became my Saviour.
It was two years ago that I attended the Rebelution Conference with Brett and Alex Harris where I was given the gospel and asked to examine my heart and my life.
The Lord was so gracious and showered His mercy upon my life and saved my soul from an eternity separated from Him in hell, wasting my life on my selfish ambitions, blinded to my self-righteousness, calling myself a Christian when living only for self and the pleasures of this world.

"For the grace of God has appeared, brining salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."      ~Titus 2:11-14

To know that I am His child...that I am called, beloved, and kept by my Saviour for eternity.
That He would love me....a sinful wretch like me.
That He chose me before the foundation of the world.
That He predestined me to adoption as His daughter.
That He would grant me forgiveness of sins.
That He would grant me salvation.
That we would obtain an inheritance through Him.
That He would enlighten the eyes of our hearts to know Him.
That one day we will live with Him for all eternity in heaven.
How can I ever grasp such love? How can I love Him more?

How can I thank you, O Lord
For taking my place on the cross?
And how can I thank you, O Lord
For all of your mercy and kindness?
For drawing me to you
For letting me hear you
For opening my heart
to the gospel...

As long as I have breath, I will praise You
As long as my heart beats I will sing
As long as life flows through my veins
I will bless Your name!

by Mark Alrogge

I thank you, Lord, for all of your mercy and kindness! You are my God, and I thank you for your gift of salvation! You are worthy of all my praise and adoration, and I will serve You forever!

The Character of Genuine Saving Faith

I.  Evidences That Neither Prove Nor Disprove One's Faith

A. Visible Morality:                       Matthew 19:16-21; 23:27
B. Intellectual Knowledge:            Romans 1:21; 2:17ff.
C. Religious Involvement:             Matthew 25:1-10
D. Active Ministry:                        Matthew 7:21-24
E. Conviction of Sin:                     Acts 24:25
F. Assurance:                                 Matthew 23
G. Time of Decision                      Luke 8:13,14

II. The Fruit/Proofs Of Authentic/True Christianity:

A. Love for God:                    Ps.42:1ff; Matt. 22:37; Rom.8:7
B. Repentance from Sin:    Ps.32:5; Rom. 7:14ff; 2 Cor.7:10     
C. Genuine Humility:             Ps.51:17;James 4:6,9ff
D. Devotion to God's Glory:   Ps.105:3; 115:1; 1 Corin. 10:31
E. Continual Prayer:               Luke 18:1; Eph.6:18ff;
F. Selfless Love:                      1 John 2:9ff; 3:14; 4:7ff
G. Separation from the World:    1 Cor.2:12; James 4:4ff
H. Spiritual Growth:       Luke 8:15; Eph. 4:12-16; John 15:1-6
I. Obedient Living:            Matt.7:21; Rom.16:26; 1 John 2:3-5

If List 1 is true of a person and List II is false, there is cause to question the validity of one's profession of faith. Yet, if List II is true, then the top list will be also.

III. The Conduct of the Gospel:

A. Proclaim it:                         Matthew 4:23
B. Defend it:                            Jude 3

C. Demonstrate it:                   Philippians 1:27
D. Share it:                              Philippians 1:5
E. Suffer for it:                        2 Timothy 1:8
F. Don't hinder it:                   1 Corinthians 9:16
G. Be not ashamed:                 Romans 1:16
H. Preach it:                           1 Corinthians 9:16
I. Be empowered:                   1 Thessalonians 1:5
J. Guard it:                              Galations 1:6-8

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Living the Cross Centered Life

Amazing how time has flown by!
I haven't written on here for about two months now and oh, how I've missed it and how much I've learned in that time!

My older sister has organized for a group of young women, mainly college and career age, to read through C.J. Mahaney's book "Living the Cross Centered Life". Last night was our first gathering, and it was so encouraging that I can't wait to see everything we're going to learn through this book and God's Word! My sister wrote out a short summary of his introduction and first chapter that I'd like to share with you, along with a list of Bible verses that focus on the gospel.

At the Core: Life's Most Important Truth Can Be the Easiest to Forget

"The Cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough for its sparks to fall on us." - John Stott

  • What is your life centered on? What are you most passionate about? What defines you?
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." This is the one transcendent truth that should define our lives. It should "motivate all our work and affect every part of who we are."
  • Nothing greater or more important than the fact that "God sent His Son to the Cross to bear His wrath for sinners like you and me."
  • "The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history. Yet we allow thousands of professing Christians to live their entire lives without clearly understanding it and experiencing the joy of living by it."  - Jerry Bridges
  • The Cross must remain our MAIN focus.
  • Things that cloud out our focus on the Cross:
1. Subjectivism - basing our view of God on our changing feelings and emotions.
2. Legalism - basing our relationship with  God on our own performance.
3. Condemnation - being more focused on our sin than on God's grace.
  • If the Gospel is not the main thing in my life, am I willing to repent to God and reorder my life with His help?
  • We never get over the Cross!
  • Grace is more amazing when we look intently at the Cross!

Chapter One
The Climax and the Key: Why the Cross Should Define Our Lives

"The Gospel cannot be preached and heard enough, for it cannot be grasped well enough...Moreover, our greatest task is to keep you faithful to this article and to bequeath this treasure to you when we die." - Martin Luther

  • Am I held captive by the Gospel?
  • In order to live a cross centered life, I must have a life that is saved and transformed by the Cross.
  • Do I minimize the seriousness of sin?
  • Do I understand that God is fiercely opposed to sin and that He must punish it?
  • Aware of God's wrath so amazed at God's grace!
  • The Gospel is the key to joy, growth, and passion!

Psalm 5:3-6, "For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells in You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all those who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit."

Nahum 1:3, "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished."

Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 5:6,8, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly...But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Psalm 103:8, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness."

Acts 4:12, "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been give among men by which we must be saved."

Acts 3:19, "Repent and turn, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."

Romans 10:9-10, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

Mark 8:34-38, Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and he gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Isaiah 53:10 "But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief."

Philippians 2:8-11 "Being found in appearance as a man, Christ humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Some others are:
Ephesians 1:13-14
Titus 3:3-8a
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Ezekiel 18:31-32
Acts 17:30-31

"Grace is more amazing when we look intently at the Cross!"
May we always be found kneeling at the feet of Jesus, honouring Him with our lives, obeying Him whole-heartedly, and spreading the good news of the Gospel!

May we be found pleasing in His sight!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's (not that) Complicated

'How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way'
by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

Any girl reading this title is probably immediately interested. Mainly because it's something we think about, struggle with, and wonder about often. And I am one of them! My sister recently bought this book written by the Botkin sisters, "It's (not that) Complicated", and we've both been greatly encouraged and convicted by what it has to say.
Relating to guys in a Biblical way is a struggle for every Christian young woman as our world is saturated in the perverse and sensual culture of today. It's hard for us to walk in the malls and not be bombarded with pornographic posters of men and woman. We struggle with purity of dress, purity of mind, and purity of heart in almost any setting, and in this generation, even church.
I want to share with you a couple of quotes from the Botkin sisters' book. They had talked with numerous young men while writing this book, and what these men say is very heart-stirring and confronting.

James says...
"God has created men to strive to live up to the expectations that are set for us, and we have an innate desire to impress girls. Most girls have no idea of the amount of influence (for good or evil) that they exert on the guys around them. I've seen it time and time again - the flirtatious girl who encourages the guys around her to foolishness and rewards their folly - and the guys, in this case, sink to the expectations set for them. But while this is true, the reverse is even more so. A girl, by her godly behaviour, can encourage a foolish boy to cease his foolish ways, and inspire a good man to strive for greatness. When a guy truly loves his sister in Christ, he will want to protect her, (physically, morally, emotionally, and spiritually), and he will strive to be the best man that he can."

Robert says...
"I know several guys that a pseudo-pious girl might label "spiritual hunks." They're the knights in shining armour every Christian girl would love to wrangle into a tux for a storybook wedding. The irony is, none of these guys are looking for a storybook wedding. They don't even think of marriage as entailing the big romantic wedding and the to-do of a romantic life. They're so grounded and mission focused that their picture of marriage is one of a blessed co-labour in doing really important things. Working hard! Men, good men, love working hard, and will admire women who love a life of hard work as well.
A man who longs for a life of spiritual significance will not be charmed by a girl who longs for a life of romantic bliss. The two worldviews are inherently incompatible. If you dream of a life that nourishes the soul with purity, truth, and purpose, you will find a life that nourishes only the emotions, sentimentalism, and silly fantasy to be quite distasteful."

Paul says...
"Some girls are afraid that if they pursue purity and modesty in their relationships with young men as far as they should, they will become invisible to us, or at least less noticeable than the flashy, gregarious, shallow girls who circle around us with their endless stream of compliments and teasing remarks. They could not be more wrong. The girl we notice are the girls who are more interested in doing right than being noticed. Men who love God admire girls who are pursuing Him rather than girls who are pursuing us. We really value girls who have a deep desire to know God better and dig into His Word. When we see a girl really pursuing holiness, it inspires us to want to be pure and righteous ourselves and worthy of leading a woman like that."

Joseph says...
"When I'm choosing friends (guys or girls), one of the first things I look at is their relationship with their parents. You can learn so much about a girl's general attitude and character from how she talks about her parents to her friends: Is she respectful of their rules, or dismissive? Does she make belittling comments about how "old fashioned" they are, or does she talk about them with reverence? As a young man who is trying to become more respectful of my own parents, I have to take seriously the warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that "Bad company corrupts good morals," and stay away from girls how have a contagious mocking spirit. One red flag I try to watch for when I'm in a coversation with a girl and one of her parents walks by - does she suddenly stiffen up, and become less comfortable? Does she try to quickly change the subject of conversation? If her relationship with her parents is not loving or close, that a good sign for me to run."

This next one really stood out for me:

James says...
"It is sad to have to say, but I know dozens of otherwise godly, upstanding girls who the guys won't have anything to do with because the girls have developed a reputation of being needy, clingy, and emotionally unstable. Guys avoid these kinds of girls with the same revulsion that girls avoid the lecherous man who stares lustfully at every girl he encounters. The root problem is the same in both of these examples - neither has learned to master their emotions or their thoughts - to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ"."

Chas says...
"Sarcasm in a woman is particularly unattractive, even to sarcastic men. The idea of spending the rest of my life in a house with a sarcastic woman is enough to drive me to take vows of lifelong celibacy. Proverbs talks about that, actually."

Jack says...
"Guys appreciate a girl who is emotionally stable and exhibits self control. We can have actual friendship with girl who don't jump to conclusions and misconstrue small acts of kindness as signs of love and devotion. Presumptuous girls can create situations that are painful for us, but we are also concerned about their feelings. As frustrating as can be to receive unwanted attention, it's far worse to be the cause of disastrous heartbreak, even if it's through no fault of your own.
It can feel like we're walking on eggshells when trying to be brothers in Christ to unpredictably hot-headed girls, never knowing if the slightest word or gesture might start an emotional roller coaster ending in misery for our sisters in Christ. Our gratitude f the more self-possessed girls who refuse to indulge in every dreamy whim cannot be overstated."

This next one really struck me and I've never thought about it in this way before!

Roberts says...
"Wolves go for the sheep farthest from the shepherd.
One simple way to filter out men is being around your father. Wolves will avoid the shepherd as much as they possibly can, and go for easier sheep, while the good, honourable young men will be trying to spend time with the older men and fathers in their community to get their wisdom, insight, and guidance. Young men who would rather hang with the girls than with the men are predators, even though they may seem far from predatory (and often may not be so consciously). but a dog that just "really likes his sheep buddies! He can't help when he gets hungry and eats one of them...." is a wolf."

This is so true of young women today. Worldy, ungodly men go straight for the young women who are trying to live life independent of their God-given leadership, their fathers and elders. The ones furthest from the Shepherd. The way you live displays what's in your heart and also how much time you spend with the Good Shepherd.
Recently, I have committed to staying close-by my father and brother when around young men, whether out in public or in church. I have found that the young men who respect me are the ones who are interested in interacting with the men in my church, not the girls. These are the young men who desire to live a godly life which is pleasing in the sight of our Lord. I desire the same. Do you?
 Let me finish with a few questions Anna Sofia and Elizabeth wrote:
Will God's will or our will be done?
Will we think just in terms of who we should be around young men, or who we are before God?
Will these (single years) be fruitful years, or the years in which we ruined our lives?
Will we point men to their duties, or distract them away?
Will we view boys as people, or as objects?
Will we embrace God's reality, or prefer the men and worlds of our own making?
Will we see situations and people with the Lord's eyes, or with the eyes of the flesh?
Will we build the men of our generation up, or tear them down/
Will we be wounding friends, or kissing enemies?
Will we treat the young men as brothers with all purity, or as sports fish to bait and kill?
Will we be bad girls gone good, or bad girls found out?
Will we walk in the spirit, or walk in the flesh?
Will we hang on to the "old man" in us, or repent and "walk in newness of life"?
Will we follow our hearts, or take control of them?
Will we embrace our parents' involvement, or fight it?
Will we outdo one another in showing honour, or in showing selfishness?
Will we start fires with our words, or put them out?
Will we save romance for marriage, or impatiently look for it outside?
Will the love of Christ rule us, or will we be controlled by the love of the flesh?
Will we stand our ground in the face of temptation, or compromise?
Will we do our husbands good, or evil, all the days of our life?
Will we make the most of our single years, or will we waste them?
Will we put our hope in God, or in men?

The way we answer these questions will reveal who is truly ruler of our hearts. (1John 3:10)"

Be encouraged, edified, convicted, humbled, and willing to change in all these areas so that we can be pleasing in the Lord's sight!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Little Things...

So undeserving, and yet so blessed.
The Lord has given me a love for so many things, big and small, in this world, and I count them all as blessings.
I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of the little things that I love, from books to food to weather to flowers to anything I can think of!

Some things I love !! :

  • good action-packed multi-plotted books
  • mint oreo ice cream - oohhh yum!!
  • sunflowers (absolutely my favourite!)
  • photography - looking at others and taking my own :)
  • children - oh my, can I even describe my love for these little blessings?!
  • books that help me in my spiritual walk with the Lord, especially the ones that prick so deep within my heart, it's encouraging to be reminded I'm not the only one who struggles...
  • the colour green - ohh yes, that rich forest green!
  • Autumn - absolute favourite season! the leaves changing colours, the geese flying south for the winter, the cold winds that blow in, the mountain peaks blanketed with fresh snow....
  • homemade perogies - oh yes, with cheddar cheese inside, only made by Mommy!
  • Christmas - what a holiday! the music, the decorations, the lights, hiding presents, walking through snow (or sometimes through puddles of rain) to find the perfect tree, celebrating Christ's birth!
  • scarves - every colour imaginable to wear each day through fall and winter
  • orchards - can I even say how much I love them?! there is just something so beautiful, magical, and peaceful about them. it gives you a sense of awe.... and you feel safe...
  • the name Elsa - don't ask me why - it's just so beautiful, feminine, and unique. and by the way, it means 'consecrated to God' and 'joyful'. love it!
  • wrapping up in a warm blanket, sitting by a real fire, with a tea and my Bible
  • singing - Oh what joy to know that we will sing praises to our God for eternity!
  • Resolved Conference! - oh I would highly recommend going! three-and-a-half days of worship, 11 sermons, and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ - being taught by John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Rick Holland, Steve Lawson, and C.J. Mahaney! oh what encouragement!
  • my family -!!!!!! My Daddy is my hero, my Mom is my inspiration, my sister is my best friend, and my brother is my constant encourager and protector (yes, I have no worries about young men getting too close or saying too much when my bro's around. and everyone knows he'll always be right there to protect me :). )
  • horses - favourite animal! riding bareback makes you feel like you could fly!
  • farm life - horses, cows, and chickens - lots of land (rolling hills with mountains and rivers in the distance, forests all around, an old-falling-apart barn with hay bales inside, and open space all around (no neighbours close by) :)
  • egg nog - there is no better drink! (Starbucks mocha and strawberry fraps are up there)
  • laughing - what a gift! oh i just love smiling and laughing, and making others laugh!
  • making homemade cards - I love making cards from scratch to encourage others, it's so much fun!
  • little house on the prairie days! I love the prairie days - the dresses, the simplicity, the homemade everything, and the one-room schools!
  • journaling - that is, with inky pens :)....i just love writing down my thoughts, my questions, my new discoveries, my favourite Scripture passages, etc.
  • doodling - you should see my old school books! the front and back covers are covered in doodlings of anything and everything!
  • drawing - I really enjoy drawing, I just don't do it enough......one day :)
  • learning - it is so much fun to learn something new every day. and to sit down to read, study, learn, comprehend, and retain it! then teach it to others!
  • the book of Ephesians - oh such beautiful words! Ephesians 3:17-21 have been key in my walk with the Lord.

well, there are many other things, but this is just a glimpse into my world for now. :)

Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Glorious days! Fall is my ultimate favourite time of year!
Golden, orange, and red leaves hang on the trees, some softly falling to the ground, swept by the crisp autumn air that blows through my curtains and sends a cold, yet warming feeling to my bones. Living in a farming community, it is always such a pleasure to see the corn grow high in the summer, and then harvested in the fall. My brother and I have had the privilege of helping friends of ours with their harvesting this year and it is actually lots of fun to go down row after row on a bumpy tractor, listening to praise and worship songs along the way.
Our God is so wonderful and I'm just so amazed at how faithful He is to His children. Each year He provides enough rain for the crops to grow and flourish. He provides the sun and warm breezes to keep the ground soft for seeding. And each year an abundant crop is brought forth and His greatness is displayed for everyone to see.
I just love watching Him at work through other's lives and my own. For a while, I had been feeling discouraged about where I was in my walk and had been dwelling on my failures and sins rather than on His forgiveness.
I now see that He brings along those harder times so that I can have a greater appreciation and love for His times of blessings.
My family and I had the privilege of leading worship at an old-age home in our city. The Lord had just given me a calmness of heart ahead of time, that I could stay completely focused on Christ and not on the people watching. It was so encouraging to hear the elderly people sing their favourite hymns. Although their voices were shaky and a bit off-pitch, to me, it sounded beautiful and uplifting! They were worshiping God from their hearts, not caring what others thought about them. They were setting an example for me to live by and I cherish that.

To worship God from the heart with a joyful song!

"O come, let us sing for joy to the

Let us shout joyfully to the rock of
our salvation.
Let us come before His presence
with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with
For the Lord is a great God

And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the
The peaks of the mountains are His
The sea is His, for it was He who

made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.

Come let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His
pasture and the sheep of His

Psalm 95:1-7a

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"before the foundation of the world"

My life before I was saved.

I was broken.

I was lost.

I was dead.

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
and which you formerly walked according to the
course of this world, according to the prince
of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now
working in the sons of disobedience.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts
of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and
of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath,
even as the rest."
Eph. 2:1-3

I was living my life for myself.

I had no desire to change.

I wasn't living God's way.

Before the Lord saved me, my life had no eternal purpose.
My goals were selfish, my heart was proud, my focus was on my wants and desires, and I thought I was going to heaven at the end of it all.
At thirteen years old, I professed faith and was baptized. I thought it was "that simple". I had been taught the gospel all my life. I knew what I was supposed to say and do.
I was a pastor's daughter. How could I not be a Christian? I couldn't be living for the world when my Dad's life was committed to teaching others to flee from the world's lusts and passions.
I could recite Bible verses, share the gospel with friends, and all I wanted was to be known as that "sweet Christian girl".
But never was my heart in it. I didn't truly believe myself what I was saying.
Oh I knew how to act, what to say, and how to put on the right act that would have people believing I had all my ducks in a row. And that's just what it was - acting.
It was when I started believing my own deception that led to much heartache. The longer I acted out "Christianity", the more convinced I was that I was truly saved. That is, until my fleshly longings became more important to me than my so-called "faith".

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
this he will also reap.
For the one who sows to his own flesh
will from the flesh reap corruption, but the
one who sows to the Spirit will from the
Spirit reap eternal life."
Gal. 6:7-8

The first month after I was baptized, I read my Bible with more a desire, rather than looking at it as a chore. I was excited and thought the Lord would start blessing me. However, after a couple weeks, my passion drained to nothing and I had no assurance of salvation. Every time I rebelled against my parents, spoke harshly to a sibling, or out rightly sinned with no shame, I would doubt my "salvation." I had sinful patterns in my life that I dealt with before I was saved, and they continued to be a pattern in my life after I claimed Christianity. I knew that when you decided to follow Christ, it meant giving up everything and having a true hatred for sin. This was not the case for me. I continued to sin, repent when I needed, but then slip back to the same issue the next day. Romans 8:8 says, "and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." I knew that I wasn't pleasing God with my life. So how could I say I was a follower of Him when I was doing the very thing He hates and not having a sorrow for my actions?
Was I saved? Wasn't I saved? I didn't know. Sometimes I had just wished I wasn't. I would have myself believing that if I wasn't saved, my friendship with this non-Christian guy I liked could maybe go further one day; if I wasn't saved, I could live life with less expectations from people, and people wouldn't look at my every move to see if I'd stumble.
I was sure life as a non-Christian was easier, more laid-back, and way more fun that just that "religious stuff".
My heart was proud and I wanted to be in control. I wanted to rebel. But I was a cooperative rebel. I would do what people wanted, say what people wanted to hear ---- but in my heart, I was angry. I didn't truly believe what I was saying and I wasn't living it out in my own life. The "Jesus-dying-on-the-cross story" was so familiar to me that it didn't impact me anymore. I wasn't in awe of His great love, I hadn't grasped just what He had done for me on that cross. I was tired of living like this, but I had believed my own deceitfulness towards others so much that I was eventually self-deceived. I bought into satan's lies. And I saw no way out.

"If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless." James 1:26

In May of 2010, my family and I attended the Rebelution Conference (http://www.therebelution.com/), along with a number of people from our church. I had been praying that some of my unregenerate friends would be saved at this conference and that they would "commit their lives to Christ".
However, it was that day at that conference that the Lord opened my eyes to His truth and replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." Eph. 1:18-19a

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
Eph. 2:4-6

A powerful message was brought forth to the youth at that conference, the same message that Jesus Christ has proclaimed to us through His Word. Alex and Brett asked some very heart-stirring questions that had a huge impact on my life.
These are some of the questions they asked:
1. Do you talk with God like He's your best friend?
2. How often do you read your Bible because you believe it is the Word of God, not because you've been asked?
3. How often do you obey God just because you believe in Him?
4. Do you see enough evidence of God's grace in your life to be confident that you have been born again?

The last one pulled at my heart so strongly because I couldn't bring myself to answer yes. In fact, I couldn't bring myself to answer yes to any of them. I would never pick up my Bible because I wanted to read it. I only did it because it was another "Christian chore" for the day in order to stay right with God. And this is so wrong.
When Brett asked the audience, "Do you want to be born again?", I couldn't stop the tears from coming. My heart was pounding because it finally struck me that I had been living this ungodly life with the label "Christian" attached to it. Brett said to be brutally honest and I knew in my heart of hearts that I could not answer the fourth question with a yes because I had no fruit in my life. So I answered his last question, "Do you want to be born again?", with my first yes.
I can't describe in words what I was feeling. There was this awful feeling inside realizing that I had been deceiving myself (and others) these past few years, and yet at the same, there was this beautiful calmness of heart. I felt the love of God take out my heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. I wanted to tell everyone I knew at that moment, even someone I didn't know, what I was feeling - what God was doing at that moment. And what He was doing was a miracle.
I can't thank my Lord enough for His unending love for me, His mercy and grace poured on a wretched sinner like me, and His wonderful gift of salvation.

One statement that Brett made was, "Are we martyrs or murderers? Are we as lambs or as wolves? Do we die to self or kill for self?" If we live lives that are only to please ourselves or others, then we are not martyrs. We aren't laying our lives down for anyone because we do everything for self. I was a wolf in sheep's clothing before I was saved. I could put on the "Christian act", but inside I was a totally different person. I was deliberately disobeying God, living for pleasure, committing so much time to entertainment instead of time with God, and telling myself I was saved when I was not.

Now, I want to be a martyr. I am going to lay down my sinful, fleshly desires and I am going to sacrifice my life to serving God. I want to be radical - a rebelutionary. I want to honour Him with my life in all that I do, and not with a false label of Christianity, but rather, be in a daily relationship with my heavenly Father. I want to stop living for self, but rather, live for God. Brett said that when we become new creatures in Christ, we have a new "wanter". We no longer want to live for self, but we want to live for God. We no longer want to spend every spare moment of our time watching television, but spending time getting to know our God better. We are no longer a wanter of sin but a wanter of righteousness. The Lord has helped me to be that wanter - a seeker of righteousness.

Since the moment the Lord saved me, He has given me new desires and has taken away my passion for worldly things. And no, I am not perfect. I have failed Him in many areas and have stepped off the path in sin. But the Lord has always brought me back and my gaze is set on Him.
As one martyr said, "My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ."

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Eph. 2:8-9

"so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you,
being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and
length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which
surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."
Eph. 3:17-21

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The One Who Has Shone in Our Hearts

Lord Jesus Christ - You are      Oh so Beautiful!
"For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
we are afflicted in every way,
but not crushed;
but not despairing;
but not forsaken;
struck down,
but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

2 Corinthians 4:6-10

 "And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain - for He says,

Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION" -

giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited,
but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God,
in much endurance,
in afflictions,
in hardships,
in distresses,
in beatings,
in imprisonments,
in tumults,
in labours,
in sleeplessness,
in hunger,
in purity,
in knowledge,
in patience,
in kindness,
in the Holy Spirit,
in genuine love,
in the word of truth,
in the power of God;
by weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left,
by glory and dishonour,
by evil report and good report;
regarded as deceivers and yet true;
as unknown yet well-known,
as dying yet behold, we live;
as punished yet not put to death,
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing,
as poor yet making many rich,
as having nothing yet possessing all things."

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Lord, I am in awe of You! Your faithfulness to Your children is incomprehensible!

 Oh Lord, how can I thank You?

Oh Lord, how can I not be in constant awe of You?

Oh Lord, I love You! How Great You Are and Holy is Your Name!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"His Eyes are a Flame of Fire"

"And I saw heaven opened, and
behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it
is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness
He judges and wages war.
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on HIs
head are many diadems; and He has a
name written on Him which no one knows
except Himself.
He is clothed with a robe dipped in
blood, and His name is called The Word of God."

Revelation 19:11-13

My eyes rest on these words. I read them over and over again. I lift my head and gaze up into the sky.
Is this Magnificent One really the One who made me?

Is this High and Holy God truly the One who saved my soul?

I am in awe that this holy, righteous One would love me and care enough about me that He would send His only Son to die for me on the cross that I deserved.

Finding words to express how I feel is difficult - but I'll try.

God is revealing to me His indescriblable glory through the pages of Scripture and trying to grasp His greatness is just.......well.....impossible with our human minds.

I started reading Revelation this week, and I must say, it has impacted me in more ways than I could ever have imagined.
I soon realized, as I began reading, that I wouldn't be able to stop until I reached the end. Each verse leads to the next with more excitement and anticipation as I near the verses I wrote above.
I found myself excited........and at the same time.......a reverent fear of the God who reigns in my heart.
The book of Revelation is like a treasured jewel. It tells of the future - what is coming and will come. As I read these kinds of verses, I felt as though I were reading something in the past, as though it were a history lesson. But then, the further I read, and faster my heart began to pound as the realization of what I was reading became clear to me.
This is a revelation.
This is what is to come.
This is truly going to happen.
The Lord is coming again! I want to be ready.....
Oh how I want to be pleasing and acceptable in His sight!
Oh how I long for the day when He will say, "Good and faithful servant!" 
Oh Lord, I want to be a good and faithful servant. I truly do. Not just in words, but truly with my heart and in all that I do. 

May I give you glory unto death and honour forever more. 
You are worthy of my life......my all. 

"In 1980 a young man from Rwanda was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made- I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed
vision, worldly talking, cheap giving & dwarfed goals.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.

I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me & when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.”  

May You, O Lord, receive all the glory, honour, praise!!!

May I never cease to worship You!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

God, My Heart, and Music - Bob Kauflin

Recently, I've been reading through a book entitled "Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World". It has been so good so far! Very encouraging, assuring, and convicting.
I wanted to share on the topic of music. It has been heavy on my heart for the last couple weeks and I want to share what I've been reading, learning, and studying about it.
I'm just going to quote straight from the chapter "God, My Heart, and Music" written by Bob Kauflin. I'm going to take bits and pieces from each paragraph of the main points that have struck home for me.

"In twenty-first-century America, we love our music. Satellite radio, CDs, streaming Internet, and iPods enable us to live our lives to a constant soundtrack. Walk through any public venue and you'll see dozens of people oblivious to their surroundings, tuned in to whatever's pouring through their ear buds. For many of us, life without music would be unthinkable, undesirable, and unbearable.

Do you ever think about the effect all this music might be having on us? On you? Is it all innocent entertainment? Can we listen to too much music? Could there be consequences we're completely unaware of?

As a professional musician for the past thirty years, and someone who has over forty days of music on my iTunes, I've asked myself these questions more than once. It only makes sense to find out if so much music is a good thing or a bad thing. And if you're a Christian who listens to or makes music in today's culture, you should be asking yourself these questions as well.

What motivates us to like the music we do? Is music entirely neutral? Why does music affect us so deeply? Does the music I listen to affect my thoughts or behaviour in any way? Does it say anything about my relationship with God? Most important, are my music choices consistent with the gospel that has saved me?

If these questions don't seem important, think again. Music can be more dangerous than most of us realize. It has the potential to harden our hearts and weaken our faith. If fact, a wise Christian understands that listening to music without discernment and godly intent reveals a heart willing to flirt with the world.

Without discernment we won't be alert to the effects music might be having on us. Without godly intent we'll be listening to it for the wrong reasons. We'll be failing to fulfill the purpose for which Christ redeemed us. Paul tells us, "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We were ransomed from hell so we could glorify God.
Music is one more way God intends for us to do that.

It's Just Music - or Is It?
Music can be simply defined as an organized combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm. For non-musicians, melody is the part you can whistle, harmony describes the music that supports the melody, and rhythm is the beat.

Those three elements in themselves carry no moral value. There are no "evil" melodies or "false" rhythms. Music alone is incapable of lying to us or commanding us to do wrong. Music by itself is also unable to communicate "truth statements" to us. A melody can't unpack them meaning of Christ's substitutionary atonement, a chord progression can't clearly articulate that God created the world, and no beat can express the meaning of the incarnation.

But music affects our emotions in profound ways.

No, music can't save us. But it can deeply affect us.

The passions music draws out range from noble to base, from simple to complex, from God-glorifying to sensual. That's why people who write advertising jingles, pop songs, and film scores can make a decent living. They know music speaks powerfully to our emotions. Most of us are touched by the music we hear, even when we're unaware of it. In fact, sometimes we realize how music is affecting us only when we notice it's not playing anymore.

Because music can't be handled, smelled, or seen, it tends to get its meaning from the things that surround it. Sometimes those associations are positive, like a song from your wedding or carols on Christmas Eve. But sometimes we associate music with negative, even sinful, things. And if we don't realize what music is "carrying", worldly attitudes and desires can influence and affect our unsuspecting hearts.
I've found music can be a carries of at least three elements: content, context, and culture.

Philippians 4:8 should guide our media choices. That same verse provides God's standards for content in the songs we listen to. It tells us what music should lead us to think about.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil. 4:8)

These biblical standards instantly bring into question much of the music that's currently popular and available to us. When I don't even consider ungodly lyrical content in the songs I listen to, I'm allowing music to seduce me.

It's not uncommon for Christians on Sunday mornings to worship Jesus for His substitutionary death on the cross, then sing songs during the week that exalt the sins He died for. We sing, "My chains are gone, I've been set free," then remain enslaved to lyrics that promote fornication, profanity, anger, godless pleasure, sensuality, and materialism. "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so" (James 3:10). James is right . These things ought not to be so. But when someone expresses the concern about song lyrics, we usually have a ready reply: "I don't even listen to the words. I don't know what they're saying."
My response is, "Why not?" Christians, of all people, should be asking what songs actually mean. We're to "do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). And if we "never" listen to the words attached to music, we're training ourselves to tune out the content of songs and simply allow the music to affect us. That makes it all the more difficult to focus on the truths we sing on Sundays. we tend to be more influenced by the sound, beat, and tempo than the word of Christ we're proclaiming.

Don't misunderstand me. Listening to a song with sexually suggestive lyrics won't cause you to run to the Internet and start downloading pornography. Hearing a song with profanity doesn't mean you'll be peppering your conversations tomorrow with four-letter words. But over time the lyrics to songs can weaken our defenses, blur our discernment, and redirect our affections toward the world. Listening to music is never neutral, because our sinful hearts are involved.

Music with ungodly lyrics can persuade us to love things we wouldn't ordinarily love - specifically the "desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions" (1 John 2:16).
We're foolish to repeatedly subject ourselves to songs whose lyrics could dull our conscience and make us glory in sinful desires rather than the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:14).

Sometimes we pride ourselves in what we can handle, as if exposing ourselves to temptation were a virtue.

If we're concerned about the seductive effect worldly lyrics can have on our souls, we won't be racing close to the edge of sin, seeing how much we can take in before it finally starts affecting us. We won't be tempting ourselves with music that contains profanity, sensuality, rebellion, or other worldly attitudes. We'll want to stay as far from the edge as we can.

Culture isn't the same as worldliness. Our society's cultural makeup has both positive and negative characteristics. We can seek to relate to our culture without it being worldly. But worldliness - self-exalting opposition to God - is present in every culture and can be found in anything associated with the music we listen to: packaging, advertisements, pictures, and web sites, as well as a musical artist's clothing, attitudes, and interviews.

Many of the songs at the top of the charts are filled with ungodly aspects of our culture, stemming from the lives of those who make and market the music. see if you can recognize any of them in your favourite music:
  • independence and rebellion ("I am my own authority");
  • emotionalism ("To feel is to know");
  • temporal narcissism ("Five years ago is ancient history");
  • love of pleasure ("It's all about me");
  • sexual immorality ("Marriage and purity are so yesterday");
  • transience ("Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die").
You might not intentionally and enthusiastically embrace any of these values. But all of them can find their way into our hearts through the music we enjoy.

It's important to note that music and its associations don't create sin in our hearts - they simply reveal what's already there. If I value what I feel over what I know to be true, I'll tend to listen to music that feels good rather than music that's good for me.

At this point, maybe you'd like me to suggest a list of artists or music styles that every Christian should either pursue or avoid. Sorry, but that list doesn't exist. And if it did, I'm not convinced it would be helpful. What appropriate for one person to listen to might be sin for someone else because of the differing associations we make. We rarely hear music in a vacuum. Depending on the state of our hearts, any song we hear is a potential carrier of worldly values and perspectives.
Rather than a list, I offer you two questions.

First, does the music you listen to lead you to love the Saviour more or cause you affections for Christ to diminish?
Second, does your music lead you to value an eternal perspective or influence you to adopt the mindset of this "present evil age"?
Answering these questions honestly is an important step toward making wise decisions about the music you listen to and living a life worthy of the gospel.

If we don't take the time to soberly evaluate our music listening habits, we can become oblivious to the worldly propaganda music carries. We can be led into compromise. Here are some of the signs that you're already there.

You seldom or never use Scripture to evaluate your decisions about music.
Hopefully, you've seen by now that while Scripture may not address specific styles of music, it does address the hearts that are listening. We may assume God gave us music just to make us happy, not holy; He actually gave us music to make us happy and holy.

Music is far too significant a part of our lives for us to assume it won't affect us. Proverbs 14:15 reminds us, "The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps." Discernment in music is simply one part of  the overall discernment we're called to exercise as disciples of Jesus Christ. Unexamined listening habits leave us at the mercy of our own sinful desires and the influence of a godless culture.
Another area Scripture addresses is how our music listening affects those around us. Jesus strongly warned those who caused little ones to sin (Luke 17:1-2). Does your music provide a temptation for new Christians, younger siblings, children, and non-discerning peers? How are you demonstrating love to others through the music you're exposing them to?

Your passion for Christ has waned; your passion for music hasn't.
There can be many explanations for our diminished zeal for God. Sometimes the most obvious reason is that we're feasting regularly at the world's table of delights.
When the music we regularly listen to glories in what should shame us and directs our minds to earthly things, we're being more than unwise. We're exposing ourselves to a message associated with the enemies of the cross - the cross that purchased our forgiveness and freed us from the bondage of our sinful desires.

Music is meant to be a means of bringing glory to God, one more way in which we can "proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9). I want to suggest specific steps to help us use music in a way that benefits our souls and honours the Saviour.

Evaluate your current intake of music.
Areas to consider include how much music you listen to, what types, in what situations and times of day, and for how long. Ask your friends, parents, or a pastor to get their perspective on whether your music listening is characterized by biblical discernment and a desire to please God. Make sure they give you an honest answer. It could be the means God uses to deliver you from the world's grasp.

Delete or throw away music you'll listen to only if you backslide.
When we become Christians, God transforms our hearts. We're no longer those who live "in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind' (Eph. 2:3). Pursuits we once found appealing no longer interest us and at time even repulse us.

Listen to music with others.
Part of the joy music communicates comes from sharing it!

Make music rather than listen to it.
Producing music ourselves frees us from thinking that the joy music provides depends on technology.

Keep track of how much music you buy.
Broaden your musical tastes.
Listen to old music. (hymns)
Intentionally thank God every time you enjoy music.

Music is a gift from God. But God never intends His gifts to replace him as the object of our desire and delight. Music may be able to calm our hurried spirits, encourage our troubled hearts, and strengthen our weary souls, but not like our Saviour can. He has redeemed us by his death, sympathizes with us in our weaknesses, and is able to give us mercy and grace in our time of need (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 4:15-16).
Music, like all of God's gifts, is meant to draw our hearts and attention to His glory, His power, and His love.  

Music is a precious gift, but it makes a terrible god.
By God's grace, may we always know the difference."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Time for Everything

Sitting at the kitchen table, a cup of tea and a piece of toast (with nutella on it of course!), and my Bible open........Lord, teach me, mold me, and forgive me for when I have been hypocritical. Oh, I get so distracted with the things of the world that I put off my personal devotion time with the Lord until later in the day. I think that other things will satisfy me. And sometimes, for the moment, they do. But not eternal satisfaction. I lose interest and then desire more because it wasn't good enough in the beginning.
Spending time with my heavenly Father - talking to Him, asking Him questions, listening to what He has to say - that truly satisfies my soul, and my desire to want more is a good desire, because it's eternal.
When I read the Word of God, I can't help but be amazed each time at the beauty of the words on each page. I can't read a paragraph without finding numerous things in it that encourage me or convict me. It makes me think of Hebrews 4:12 which says, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
Scripture is amazing - every word is God-breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16)
It pierces my soul and reveals my sin. There are hundreds of thousands of phrases that are like a line of music in my heart - there is nothing more beautiful, more precious, than the words of our Lord!
"Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path."
Psalm 119:105

"In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was
God." vs.1
"And the Word became flesh, and
dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the
Father, full of grace and truth." vs.14
John 1:1;14

Lord, you are more precious than silver.
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds.
And nothing I desire compares with you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Blessings of the Family of God

Church family.
What a blessing they are!
God has been so kind in blessing me with this family!
Last night, we had a new family at our church over for dinner. They have the most adorable baby boy and two very sweet little girls. They have only been to our church service twice, but I feel like I've known them forever. We connected immediately and they already feel like family. What a blessing!
I am so encouraged when I meet another family who is serving the Lord with their whole lives and it just spills out of them when you first speak with them. And to feel like family after only a few hours together - I realize it is because we are family in Christ, and what an encouraging thing that is!
This family has been a huge blessing to my parents mainly because of their passion for God, His Word, and their eagerness to start serving in the church. Now this family is unique. They didn't just "find us one Sunday morning" as they drove past. They've been planning on coming for many months. However, they had to sell everything to move here and had to wait for the government to give permission for them to leave the country. This family was led by God to move from South Africa to Canada - from Canada to British Columbia - from British Columbia to the small town of Chilliwack - for the purpose of making Valley Heights Community Church of Chilliwack their new home church! Now that is just amazing to me! Out of all the little places in the world, the Lord directed them here!
This family had to sell everything from their home in South Africa in order to move to a new country, with a new language and a whole different way of living! God is so gracious and has finally brought this family to our church after many months of waiting and praying, and already, they have been a huge blessing in my life!
My "real" family members - aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents - all live in Ontario, so we rarely get to visit them as they live on the other end of the country. I miss them very much, but still, there is something so precious, so close-knit about the family of God. Fellowshiping with people who are in awe of their Creator and who have sacrificed much to serve Him - this is my family. This is our family. You and I are family in Christ and to know that I have thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ around the world - that is incredible. Oh for that day when we will all live in heaven in the presence of God for eternity together!
Psalm 95
Sing to the LORD a new song,
   for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
   have worked salvation for him.
2 The LORD has made his salvation known
   and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
   and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
   the salvation of our God.

 4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
   burst into jubilant
song with music;
5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
   with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
   shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
   the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
   let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the LORD,
   for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
   and the peoples with equity."

Our God is an Awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
with wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an Awesome God!