Walking in the Light

Monday, June 06, 2011

One of my favorite things about the internet is being able to be connected to other saints. These are saints who I would have no connection to if it was not for the internet.

Reading books is wonderful, but the encouragement that comes from reading articles, blogs, short comments, and the like simply overwhelms me with the goodness of God's grace!

Here is a fitting word that John Piper posted the other day:"Walking in the light does not mean sinlessness. It means seeing our sin, confessing, and fighting it as forgiven. (1 John 1:7-9)"

In the Word

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Lately I have been looking into the process of mortifying sin.

Yes, I am a sinner. Yes, I will continue to sin until I reach the presence of God in heaven. In the meantime, I know Christ and my life is in Him. I have been called to walk worthy of that work that God has done and is doing in my life. This requires putting off the old, sinful self that I was on my own and putting on the new, holy self that I am in Christ.

While I have studied this before to some degree, I am starting over. Here are some of the things I have looked at so far. First of all, an article by John Piper that I set aside to read a few days ago. I read it this morning before going over to the Bible to look up a particular passage about the "put off"/"put on" process.

To make it simple, I'll make a list:

"Battling the Unbelief of Misplaced Shame" - John Piper

Romans 13

Ephesians 4

Colossians 3

God is faithful....Bits and pieces of each of these chapters have been coming to mind over and over again. When I typed in "put off" and these three chapters showed up I was not a bit surprised!

Something to Share

Friday, June 03, 2011

For the most part, I have a few blogs that I follow using Google Reader.

Perhaps you follow some of the same blogs I do!

Just in case you don't, I wanted to take a minute to post three links for you to check out.


"The Soul's Thirst" - Tim Challies

"People Do Not Drift Toward Holiness" - Desiring God (quotes from D.A. Carson)

The Main Sessions from NEXT2011 - Sovereign Grace Ministires

Word is that this year's NEXT was considerably different than in years past...I've listened to the first message and look forward to tracing the theological depth that people are talking about!

It's June...Summer will be upon us for real before we know it. I'm looking forward to getting together with friends, backyard BBQ's, days at the river, and being able to soak up some sun while reading and studying outside this summer.

May this summer be a time of refreshment for you and for me. A time when we return to the Lord with great vigor.

May God do a work in the hearts of His people this summer. May He refresh and revive the souls of His people wherever they are!

Once Again

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I could probably write several posts everyday about the way the music I listen to blesses me. I know I have written numerous posts in the past about specific songs. In light of my last series of posts, I wanted to share some lyrics from a song that I know I have shared in the past. These lyrics communicate a truth I seriously think about each and everyday.

In our home it is quite common to hear a reminder that, "but for the grace of God, so would you/we be." This is a Gospel truth. As God's people, we are who we are by His grace because of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The lyrics I want to share with you today come from a song that FLAME did along with Lecrae and John Reilly called, "Joyful Noise".

Lecrae opens the song with them,

"Your boy has been a Christian for quite a few years. Victory in faith, but I've failed in my fears. I've heard a lot of words that have tickled many ears. That's why I praise God for the Word that we adhere..."

I live in this fallen world. I have heard the words that Lecrae is talking about. I have fears. By God's grace, I have faith. This is life.

I am a Christian and I have God alone to thank for that.

May God's people go through the lives that He has given them encouraged by His mercy and goodness and grace. Life may not be what we thought it would, but it is always God's best and happening to make us more like Jesus Christ.

This is our goal, to be like Jesus. God is good enough to labor with us and for us to make it our reality!

A Testimony pt. 4

Monday, May 30, 2011

What does all of that have to do with my present condition? A LOT

This morning as I was journaling, a particular song came to my mind. It is a song by Lecrae called "Breathing to Death". It basically summed up exactly how I've been feeling lately. As I listened to it, I began to thank God for the men involved with Reach Records once again. They live lives and make music that are consistently Biblical. Even with growing popularity, they continue to press on toward maturity in Christ. They continue to be unashamed of the Gospel and clearly speak it and sing it and live it wherever God sends them because they know that it is the power of God for salvation.

I have been following Reach Records since they first began. When I made the switch from my "old music" to "Jesus music", it was hard. The Christian music industry was certainly big, but it was terrible. I couldn't find anything that sounded even remotely like what I listened to. The music wasn't good and the lyrics really weren't much better. So many songs had me wondering whether the artists were singing about God or their latest lover. Enter, the Christian Hip Hop movement. Prior to Christ, I listened to it all country, rock, pop, R & B, etc with the exception of raunchy rap. So, when I came across all these Christians who were rapping the Gospel I was pretty excited. The beats were really good, the styles varied, and there was a lot of talent. The music AND the lyrics were quality, I found GOLD! One problem, this wasn't my kind of music. I was a thirteen year old white girl from hicktown.

I quickly realized it was either this or the latest "Christian" boy band, Brittney Spears wannabe, whiner.....Don't get me wrong, there are some others in the Christian music industry that I enjoy every now and then. For the most part though, I have found the Christian music industry to be in a pitiful state.

So, I bought some cds. I grew to love the Christian Hip Hop movement. Somehow, this white girl from hicktown had no trouble understanding the lyrics that were being rapped extremely fast. The movement has grown. There have been some counterfeits. So far, Reach Records (and the artists involved) have remained faithful to Christ. New projects are coming out all of the time and each one seems better than the last.

Many times throughout the day lyrics will pop into my head. I'll read a Bible verse and think, "Oh, this is where so and so got the idea for their song ______." OR I'll hear a Bible verse in a song and pretty soon it's in my head to stay. OR I'll be struggling with something and relate to a song that serves as a prayer to God and find myself built up by a brother in Christ who faced it to and found God to be faithful.

In short, my journey toward being obedient to my God and my mom in the area of music was not easy. I still have to explain to people why I don't listen to certain music and why a now 20 year old white girl who still lives in hicktown listens to rap. I sort of kind of enjoy the shocked faces now.

Today I was tempted to despair. Thanks to the victory found in obeying God with music that honors Him, I am built up in Him by it. Through these last months the music I listen to has not proved to be a single hinderance to me. Rather, it has exhorted me and encouraged me toward righteousness. Even if I threw my Bible in the closet, the Words and truths found in it would be impossible to get away from. Over the last eleven years they have been written on my heart and mind through my time spent in God's Word and also through the music that has filled my speakers and headphones.

God is good, isn't He? Who knew that one little decision all those years ago would be so encouraging to me today? He did!

A Testimony pt. 3

Sunday, May 29, 2011

So, that was the introduction. This post is really about living set apart by the grace of God and more specifically in the area of music.

After my parents got saved and began to grow towards maturity in Christ, my mom made the rule that we were no longer "allowed" to listen to any music that was not explicitly Christian. She set a good example. On car rides we no longer scanned through the channels listening for a song that we knew. I should note, in our home, we love music. There has always been some sort of tape/cd/radio player in the kitchen where we spend a lot of our time. There is always singing, humming, whistling,and even some dancing going on in our home. Making the switch from the music we knew and loved was not easy for me and I'm sure it was not easy for her either. But, we did it. That is one area where we stood by our conviction and have continued to do so.

This conviction is based on numerous Biblical principles:

One of the most obvious is that in 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." In 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 and 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 we are reminded that all things are lawful, but not all things edify and that we ought not be slaves of anything or seek our own good, but rather the good of our neighbor. In short, music is one of those "whatever we do's". It can certainly enslave us and it can certainly be used for the good or evil of our neighbor. If it doesn't glorify God, we have no business with it. If it doesn't glorify God is is not going to be for the good of our neighbor.

Another obvious principle that applies to music comes from Proverbs 13:20, we are reminded that a companion of fools is quickly destroyed. The book of Proverbs lays down the truth about the wise man and the foolish man. Godly men and women and godless men and women. Through this book of wisdom, we are reminded to pursue wisdom and seek after understanding. Our companions are often people, but they are also the books, movies, music, magazines, blogs, etc that surround us. We like them because of how we think and we continue to grow more like them in our thinking as we spend more time being influenced by them. So, if the music we listen to does not speak words of wisdom, it is folly and will only lead to more foolishness. As God's people we are to seek His truth, what better way to be built up in it than use music as a tool for communicating it and being reminded of that truth which our lives are built upon.

Now, those are the main reasons why I personally have continued to be very selective about the music that I listen to. Yes, there are still songs that need to be weeded out of my life. I have lyrics to countless foolish songs memorized. They still come to my mind at times. I am not perfect, but I think it is safe to say that in this area of my life, the Spirit has the upper hand.

A Testimony pt. 2

Friday, May 27, 2011

Through it all I have been looking at convictions vs. preferences. A conviction is something that we know we ought to do. We joyfully live by our convictions by the grace of God for the glory of His name, living set apart in holiness in a world full of sin. While we should continually being growing toward maturity, convictions shouldn't change too much. Preferences on the other hand are things we do simply because they are "lawful" and we enjoy them. They do change with time and that is okay.

Those who know me, know that my life does look different. I thank God for the ways that He has made me and continues to bring me toward the righteousness that is mine in Jesus. I say it again, I live set apart by His grace alone. Without His grace I would turn back to my old ways in a heartbeat. In order to press on, I have to continue seeking that grace which comes through fellowship with God and being taught by His Word.

I have to admit, most of my struggles lately are a result of neglecting my soul. No matter what is going on around me or in the lives of those people I love most, my soul should be secure in God. My struggles are proof that I am weak. That there is no good in me apart from Christ.

A Testimony pt. 1

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Get ready for a long post.....Actually, I'm going to break it down and schedule some posts for you because it turned out way too long!

The last few months have been very dark for me. I have been up and down, back and forth. Struggling with my sin, my God, and the people around me.

I have been reminded that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

That God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.

That in the presence of God there is fullness of joy.

That my soul ought not be downcast, but rather, should hope in God!
That trials and struggles build up God's people in godliness.

That Jesus Christ labored on my behalf, that He prayed for me, and that He goes on interceding for me. That as a child of God, God labors for me.

Even so, the struggle continues. I am surrounded by truth, the foundation of my life is truth, the basis of my identity is truth. God is faithful. Here I am fighting the good fight of faith, even in the face of what seems like failure after failure.

A Great Reward, pt. 2

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get that, I said I trust God completely in my dying and yet I do not trust Him completely in my living.

I know without a doubt what death means for me. As Ephesians 2:8-9 tells me I have been saved by grace, through faith. I have a home waiting for me in the eternal presence of God. I trust Him for that.

But wait a minute. I trust the most glorious One in the universe whom I have wronged. I have tarnished His name and deserve hell. Yet, I trust Him to look at the blood of Jesus and know me anyways. I can hardly express the seriousness of this.

My offense against God is infinitely worse than stealing a man's car, killing his family, burning down his house, and then going to court only to find out that he is the judge who will be declaring my guilt or innocence. I would be standing before that man broken knowing that I am not going to like my sentence.

Yet, here we have God, who in His mercy, says I know you have wronged Me. I know that, left to yourself, you would have spent your entire life struggling against Me, trying to suppress My Name and My Truth. Yet, in My mercy and grace I sent My Son as a sacrifice for the sins of My people. You are Mine. I know you, I love you. Your soul has been cleansed from all guilt and shame. Welcome home My good and faithful servant.

I trust God in my dying because of the work He has done in my life and the promises He has given me in His Word. I am sure of this, He is my God and I am one of His people.

That's the hard part. That's the part with eternal consequences.

If I know that the Holy God of all that exists, has pardoned my sin and has made a place for me at His table....How can I even begin to fear His plan for today or tomorrow?

I am sure of His plan for my life. It is for my good and His glory. It is to make me more like Jesus who perfectly carried out God's mission of making His Name known throughout the earth (Romans 8:28-29). Ephesians 2:10 tells me that He has my life planned.

Yet, in my foolishness, I can honestly say that when it comes down to it, I am not trusting God for what I know to be true about my living.

I believe my fear of these things is merely a symptom of some other sin. I know it's absolutely ridiculous to trust God in my dying and not in my living. I thank God that I have seen this and I trust that He will continue revealing the hidden sins I have kept from myself.

A Great Reward

Getting consistent with your time spent communing with God in His Word always offers immediate reward. There is bound to be some truth you see in a new way.

That happened to me in Psalm 112 verse 7. I write in my Bible. If you flip through the pages you will see marks from pens, pencils, and highlighters. There are underlines, squiggles, stars, brackets, parentheses, circled words, notes, and of course, DATES. The dates are my very favorite part. It is through keeping track of where I've been and when I was there that I am able to remember the seasons of life that God has brought me through.

Psalm 112:7 is clearly a verse that has spoken to me over and over again.

Today, one of my secret or hidden sins came out. I did not go looking for it. God revealed it to me.

Psalm 112:7 says this,

He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Today I saw that I trust God completely in my dying, but that I can honestly say that I do not trust Him completely in my living.

How do I know? Because I do fear bad news when it comes to today and tomorrow. At the same time I am absolutely fearless when it comes to death....

Question and Answer

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I've got a couple of posts coming up.

Before we go there, I want you to take some time to ask your soul a question.

When you are finished, go to the Bible and look up the verse at the end of this post.

The question: Soul, trusting God in my dying is great, but am I trusting Him in my living?

Let the Word work: Psalm 112, especially verse 7.

Uh Oh

Monday, February 21, 2011

I guess blogging less often means longer posts.

Sorry about that! When I started this blog I wanted it to be short and sweet.

I'll try to do away with longer posts!

Walking in Truth

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rather than mimicking those saints that inspire me, I want to be like Jesus.

To do this, I need to seek God in His Word, through prayer, and worship. Not exactly how others have or do these things, but the way He leads me. It's a daily thing, a moment by moment thing. My journal will look different than theirs. My surroundings will be different than theirs. What is the same is the God at work and the truth being instilled.

Together, all of us form a body known as the Church. We, with all of our uniqueness, are the same in that we all are being changed into the likeness of Christ. As we are changed we are testifying to the Gospel of the grace of God. We are doing that ministry that we have received from the Lord Jesus.

Join me in serving God as the Church and as individuals. We have much to learn from each other and that is well and good. But rather than looking around trying to be like each other, let's look to Jesus.

After all, His is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12). We may inspire each other, but we ought mainly to inspire each other to seek Him, to be like Him, and to please God with all that we are.

In these last two posts, I hope you heard one thing: KNOW God, today. As you abide in Him, your life will testify to that Gospel at work in you. You will be in the Word and in prayer. You will be a worshiper of our great God who captivates you.

We will live as though we exist to know Him, be known by Him, and make Him known to those around us.

It will be good. In fact, it is very good!

On My Mind

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Okay, this is going to make me look rather foolish. The truth is, I am a total fool. Thankfully though, by the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, I have been given new life! Rather than living like the fool I am, I have been given the joy of living like Jesus Christ!

You know how you read about great saints who spent their lives passionately serving God? Or you are blessed by teaching from someone who is spending their life passionately serving God? And then you just want to read as much as they've written as you can, listen to as much of their teaching as you can, and better yet, be around them as much as you can...You want to be a fly on the wall in their house, in their prayer closet, know how they meet with God, how they worship Him...In short, you just want to learn as much as you can from them so that you're life might bless others the way their life has blessed you. Surely I'm not the only one who has thought these things!

I have been inspired by many such saints. I have wanted to be like many of them. In the last few weeks I've come to realize something extremely important. As usual, it's rather simple.

I am not those saints. I am not called to be those saints.

I am called to know God. I am called to be changed by God. I am saved by Jesus and made new. I am known by God! I am His child, destined to spend eternity with Him! That is enough.

Thankfully, that same God who has worked and is working in the lives of those great saints that have inspired me, is working in my life! By His grace, I will indeed inspire others to glorify Him as I simply obey Him in my everyday life.

By His grace, my life will not be wasted. By His grace I will have strength to face each day, whatever it holds, with a spirit of peace and boldness and hope.

By His grace Acts 20:24 will be more than a prayer or a hope or a dream. By His grace it will be a description of what my great God has done with my life.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself,
if only I may finish my course and athe ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Intermission: The New Season

Sunday, January 16, 2011

So, that's that. January 2011 marks the beginning of a new season.

Perhaps August 21 - December 21, 2010 were given to me to ease out of the old and into the new. I do not know.

So far, all I know about right now is that I am finishing up my studies and teaching my siblings. On the side I'm keeping a house, cooking meals, and washing clothes. As I have time I get to fellowship with a dear friend. That alone keeps my time very occupied.

May the Lord continue to establish me in Himself. May I continue to find my greatest joy in knowing Him. May this season and any that follow continue to flow out of that relationship I have with Him. May my life shout that it is not my own.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 ESV)

After all, this is my journey for Him. It is THROUGH * FOR* BY Him. For my determined purpose is that I may know God. That I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving, recognizing, and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly. That I may be continually transformed into His likeness...

Intermission: The Old Season pt. 3

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Written On 01/12/11


Right before I left in August of 2010, we had spent the last two months together. I was indeed at her house every week day. I think she knew the season was going to change for us and she wasn't ready to say goodbye to it any more than I was. We had come to the place where it seemed as though we'd never not known each other and to be honest I don't think either of us could imagine our lives without the other.

So, I went away. We wrote letters, sent cards, and talked on the phone.

On December 23, 2010, the day finally came. I was home and she had invited my family to come over and hear her tell the Christmas Story from the Bible on the day before Christmas Eve. Just as we have done since Christmas 2008. There were seven of us there that night, but it felt like only two. We all walked in and I hung back while she greeted everyone. Then, it was my turn. We hugged and cried. We didn't want to let go. We just stood there speechless. We did not need words, we could not find words, to express our love. It was good.

Before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye. We did. We came home. We each celebrated Christmas and then New Years with our families. Then, life in my small town began. The hours of my days began to fill. I would be starting back up my college classes, schooling my siblings, and running the house while my mom filled in at my dad's office. I got a call to fill in at the old coffee shop for a few days. Everyday I thought of Alice but couldn't get over all the things that I needed to do. I was overwhelmed.

As I said, yesterday I met with God and realized "I can, simply because I know I AM and this is the work He has for me right now." A peace washed over me. A peace that makes me an effective minister of the Gospel that is continually working to prepare me for heaven. Last night I went to bed telling myself that I needed to see her soon. I woke up thinking about arranging to go over after dinner. Well, she must have thought the same thing. I had been home and we'd only seen each other once. So, she called and we arranged to get together.

I just returned from several hours visiting with Alice. Sweet hours. Reflecting on life, our times together, laughing, nearly crying, just enjoying the company we have, the fellowship we share with our God. We have come to recognize the new season God has for us. Rather than getting together in afternoons to work as we have before, our times together will look different. We have decided to plan an evening each week to get together. Eventually the Lord may have something else in store for us, but for now, that is what He has given us and we are going to enjoy it!

I thank God for that season. I praise Him for all that He has taught me. I'm ready now to face each new day of this new season.

Intermission: The Old Season pt. 2

Friday, January 14, 2011

Written On 01/12/2011


Beginning around February of 2008 I began filling in for my dad's receptionist on Fridays. Now, since I had already spent much time there especially on Fridays for years before and I live in a small town I saw many familiar faces. I got right back into the swing of how his office worked and who I would see each week. It was through working there that I met a dear friend. The woman who has made up much of this last season of my life.

Her name is Alice. One Friday she came by and mentioned some leaves she had out back. Spring was coming and she wanted to get her garden cleaned up. Unfortunately, she was getting older and it was going to be quite a chore. She was not asking for help. But, God led me to ask if I could help.

Now, I had known of Alice since I was five years old. Every week I would file her folder and for some reason I just knew she was a special lady. We never really talked but I knew who she was and she knew who I was. Our lives had intersected when I was five because my family rented a house from her son and his wife. They were very kind to us.

Back to that day....She was surprised at my offer. We arranged some afternoon the next week for me to come over and help. I got right to work and the two of us had the leaves all cleaned out in no time. I do not know exactly what happened after that, all I know is that I ended up going to her house about one afternoon a week. At first we worked outside together. Before I knew it, fall was there and we had moved inside. Winter came and we were still inside, cooking, cleaning, organizing, if you can think of it, we've probably done it together! That spring day turned into many more days like it and now I can say we are getting ready to begin the fourth year of our friendship. By the summer of 2009 I was over at her house nearly everyday. Sometimes I'd go to work, sometimes I'd go to visit. We'd always find something to do. We have kept that up.


Intermission: The Old Season pt. 1

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Written 01/12/2011

So, what was the old season?

It lasted just over three years.

Beginning in August of 2007 I began saying a very slow good-bye to the old season. God had made clear the plans He had for my college education and the time I would continue to have to prepare for the rest of my life. After receiving my acceptance letter, I began making arrangements. I gave notice that I would no longer be able to continue working at the coffee shop I had been working at. Around that same time, the opportunity came up for my family to move to a new house that would allow us to have the kind of life my parents desired.

So, I spent the final months of 2007 helping to train several new employees at the coffee shop who would be taking up where I left off and helping to get my family moved out of one house and into another. Those were hard months, but sweet months. Much time was spent cleaning, packing, unpacking, and getting used to a new way of doing things.

January 15, 2008 was the very first day of my journey into correspondence college. That's right. I would be working toward a BA in Christian Education from the comfort of my parents' home. This is not an easy task. It requires planning and discipline. The first few days I spent over 7 hours a day figuring out the formating, how much work I actually needed to do, and so on. Needless to say I was very glad that I had quit my job at the coffee shop because between school, my responsibilities at home, and the work I did at my dad's office and babysitting my days were more than full. Within the next month or so, I had a more balanced schedule. There were still days that I took a lot of time on school but most days took only about 5 hours.

The season was not done changing. I began having to limit the amount of babysitting I was doing. For the six years prior to that I almost never said no to a babysitting job. I looked at babysitting as a form of ministry so unless I was sick or had a previous commitment to my family or another job I always said yes. It was during those first few months of college that I said no simply because I didn't "feel" up to taking the job. Little by little, people realized that I just couldn't be there for them as much as before and that my season was changing. Over the course of 2008 I went from babysitting for many hours each week to putting in a few hours each month. Over the course of the last few years that has turned into a few hours every couple of months.

It took a lot for me to come to grips with that. I wanted to be able to say yes, but really, I simply couldn't anymore. That was part of God's plan.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have been home for three short weeks this very evening. In that time my life has gotten right back to normal. Well, a new normal. In my small community I can always expect to be extremely busy.

With every season of my life I begin by being overwhelmed. I look at all the new opportunities the Lord gives with excitement but I refuse to let go of the old opportunities I had been enjoying in the previous season. In those instances I am overwhelmed because I take my life into my own hands.

Eventually I seek God long enough to finally get it drilled into myself to take a step back and let go of that which lies behind and grab hold of what lies ahead. That is to say that I let go of the old season and begin to enjoy the new season. With each new season, I never do forget the old. I look back on them regularly rejoicing over what God taught me during those times. I fondly recall the memories of days gone by. Embracing the new season simply enables me to live in God's will and there I find peace. There I can truly say "I can simply because I know I AM".

Coming home began a new season. I still do not know what all this season holds. What I do know is that yesterday was the breaking point. It was in the hours of yesterday that I realized "I can simply because I know I AM and He has given me this work to do."

Amazingly enough He finds a way of bringing all the elements of my life into balance. Those people who occupied so much of my time during the old season slowly but surely begin new seasons of their own. The things I did for them get done by someone else. Everything works out in God's perfect timing.

So, here I am. A new season a new beginning. I've embraced the goodbye of the last season and can finally say that I am ready to enjoy this one.

Please pray for me. Pray that I would continue to be kept by God. Kept seeking Him, being drawn closer to Him, being sought by Him, and glorifying Him. Pray that this season would bring forth the fruit meant for it, fruit that will proclaim the Name of our Great God!

Use Me

Living on mission is not a result of anything IN us. It is only by the grace of God that we can or will live on mission and continue to go. Pray that God would use you.

On this track, Tedashii shares some of the wisdom and passion God has given him.

The whole song is basically a prayer that God would use Him WHEREVER He sees fit. Tedashii does address people along the way with their need for the Gospel that God has sent him out with. He says, "What you need is a Savior to save you...and to set you free from the sin that's within. I've got that hope; Washed by His blood and shining bright...Saved by His grace and that by God alone. All so I could enter mission...trusting Him to get it done, I'll overcome every obstacle."

He then calls us to join him, "Let's enter mission with feeling. No time for sitting, let's get it..."

And the prayer begins, "Use me like you never have before. Give me passion beyond passive. Father, let me be Your voice, crying out in the wilderness, of peace. On a pilgrimage to feast on the Your Scripture then start spilling it with willingness...Submission to Your Spirit's hand, make it clear to men who are lost...the fact that they're mortal and they can't escape the fate...Sin keeps on adding up, how long before you've had enough? Surrender to the Master!"

"Use me however, Lord. I'll give it whatever, my talent, my time, my treasure. It's all for You, no exceptions. I want to give You every part of me. You deserve the heart of me, more than just my artistry. To some this is the hardest thing, but You came down, took the former man and pardoned me. Bore my load and saved me soul, for that, Lord, You get all of me! And this I mean it truthfully, because of what You do for me, You can find me enter mission, on duty! Everything I am, Lord, You can get it! Please sanctify me to live it as we walk on this mission. Trusting in Your only Son to tell them Your the only One that saves men, raises men, and now we live forever..."

May we join him in this prayer that exalts the name of the Lord. The One who was on mission before time began. The One whose mission has changed us. The One who has given us the mission to enter into! Use me, all of me, Lord! I'm willing because you made me willing and will keep me willing!

Show Off

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

So, if our mission is to make Christ known in our everyday lives, how do we go about doing that? Simply put, Show Off. Show Off Christ. Show Off the work He has done and is doing in your life!

On this track, Lecrae and Flame come together under DJ Official.

Summaries of Lecrae's key lines:

This is the new me, the old me I had to throw off.

Let people know that Christ is still in control.

I'm going to sure enough show what He did in my soul.

Everyday is another mission, send me, I'll go!

Yes, you got me. Yes, I'm a show off. Shirt to the shoes, everything for Jehovah!

Like the moon, I reflect what the Son does. I don't want to get the glory, I want the Son to!

We share that Gospel. We aren't talking about walking up to the altar. We are talking heart change where your life gets altered!

Summaries of Flame's lines:

I've got the world on my heart...all seven continents. I move smooth with all of heaven's confidence.

Good news, good news, I'm showing off the Gospel!

Enter the Mission

Monday, January 10, 2011

The intro to the entire album is called "Enter the Mission". Featuring Dr. Eric Mason, DJ Official, and R-Swift, this introduction ties all that follows together.

It begins with Dr. Eric Mason speaking these words that I think of almost every day, "The Christian by identity is a missionary. We don't just 'do' missions. That's the most important thing we have to understand; that missions is not a trip you go on. Missions is who you are. The call of God for His people to go into the world based on the Great Commission is His call and His command to mission."

Wow....Christian, missions is who you are.

DJ Official also has a few words to share. He speaks for those artists who worked with him on the album who share one mission with God, each other, and all His saints. "That mission is to make Christ known to others in our everyday lives."

Christian, missions, that is to make Christ known to others in your everyday life, is who you are.

R-Swift then addresses everyone imaginable with a sort of battle cry for the missional journey that lays ahead.

Some of his key lines:

"They told me shoot for the stars, but my aim is Christ."

"Our hearts beat for the streets with no vitals in them...We're praying to see revival in them!"

"This is just the enter mission, as we enter the mission!"


Sunday, January 09, 2011

I may have already talked about this. But it doesn't matter, I'm bound to have fresh insights! God is doing so much in me right now. I'm bursting at the seams. I have been overwhelmed by His goodness in all areas of my life. I have visited nearly every place I have ever wanted to visit in life. I have seen one of my little brothers get baptized. I have seen my little sister meet with God in a way that leaves her changed. I have had the chance to be a part of a Christian body learning from some serious saints. The list really goes on. In short, I have seen God's grace in my life, in the lives of those around me, and in the lives of those far off.

Seeing God's grace is exciting, amazing, and absolutely unfathomable.

So, what's this post about anyway?

DJ Official's album: Entermission.

This this album, a Reach Records DJ gathered the lyrics, voices, talents, and styles of artists from around the world to share a passion for God and His mission.

That's right, they gave their time, their talents, and their knowledge to share with anyone who will listen some of God's riches!!! Riches that have become their own. Riches that have them writing songs, producing beats, planting Churches, loving wives, raising children, and traveling the world with the Gospel of Christ.

That album continues to bless me. It has been blessing me more than usual in this time of gathering with my family to look at God's mission for His people. The mission, the vision He intends for every one of His people to catch and live their lives for.

Developing a Mission

Friday, January 07, 2011

Through advent this year the opportunity came up for me to request that our family seek God and labor together to develop His mission statement for our family.

I believe that such a focused declaration will help us use all of our todays for the sake of the Gospel. So often, we are living lives that reveal hearts of people who totally disregard God.

So, what does developing that mission look like?

I am going to request that we go through CJ Mahaney's book "Living the Cross Centered Life Together".

I listened to Francis Chan's talk at Passion 2011 in Atlanta and was challenged by this summary of his message: Make your life make sense in light of the Gospel.

I am challenged by what God showed us the other night in Bible study: You are alive, you are saved to become worshipers of God who help those around you become worshipers of God who help those around them become worshipers of God.

Worshipers of God know God, love God, and obey God. That is to say that they have a relationship with God. They seek Him daily. They hold Him in highest esteem, above all else. Finally, they do His will. They put off their sinful tendencies and put on the holiness they see in Christ.

Drinking From the Fountain of Living Water

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

First thing this morning, my little sister bundled up and headed for the barn to take care of her horses. While this can take a while, it took her longer than usual this morning. She finally came inside. When she did, she had a smile on her face, a smile that I could hear in her voice before I even saw her face! As she began talking, I looked up from the work I was doing. She told me that she had met with the Lord. Growing up in a Christian family often means that your faith becoming your own is unique. She has had a heart for the Lord and prayer for quite a while. Many people would have said that she has been a Christian for a long time. Maybe she has. But, in her mind, this morning will be a day she remembers for hte rest of her life.

This morning she met the Lord. She praised Him in song. She was led to kneel before Him in prayer. She literally felt Him work in her heart and mind. I praise God for being able to hear of the work He has done in her life. I praise God for being able to be a part of the work He will do in and through her life.

This evening, at her request I gathered with her and my little brother for a Bible study. We were reading about how we were created by God to be worshipers. The ultimate worship we were created to enjoy is worship of our Holy God, the very One who Created us. The One who is our Redeemer, Justifier, and Sanctifier. The One who walked with Adam and Eve, Abraham, David, and Paul. The One who crafted beauty from the bitter life Ruth and Naomi faced. The One who walked with Spurgeon, Edwards, Owen, Whitefield, and Mueller. The One who walks with the likes of John Piper, Lecrae Moore, Matt Chandler, Mark Dever, Francis Chan, and all the saints who are risking their lives to enjoy God forever. Yes, He is working in our lives. Lives that no one outside of our direct acquaintance may know. Yet, He works in us. He saves us.

He has made us to be worshipers of Him.

Last year the fact that we were made to know God and make Him known became very real to me. I am alive, I am saved to know God and make Him known.

This evening something else became real to me. We are alive, we are saved to become worshipers of God. Each day that we wake up, wether we are young and have our lives ahead of us or find ourselves in a nursing home wishing we would just die already, we can face each day saying, "This day has been given to me to become a worshiper of God!"

May we become worshipers of God, today. May we use today to become worshipers of God who help those around us become worshipers of God who help those around them become worshipers of God.

By God's grace we can and we will and it will be very good, indeed!