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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Growing! (Hopefully ;)

Hello, all my wonderful readers!
Today instead of an actual post, I have a few quick announcements/favors to ask of you. :) 

First off, I want to say thank you so much to all of you who take the time to read, comment, and repost things from this really means a lot to me. I don't have a huge reader base, but I didn't start this blog to get massive amounts of readers, I just wanted to be a blessing to someone! :) That being said, I have been trying lately to think of some ways I can refresh or restyle things every now and then. I want to make sure that my content is not only God-honoring, but also pleasant to read and relevant to my readers. 

So, I made a little poll on the sidebar of the blog. If you read my posts via email, (which I think many of you do), would you mind just hopping onto the web version and voting really quick? A desktop or laptop is the most user friendly, but you can do it on your mobile device as well by scrolling to the very bottom of the web page and clicking "View Web Version". It will probably be pretty small, but you can then zoom in and vote that way. It would help me out a ton! :)

Also, if there are any of you that are interested in guest posting for me sometime, I would love it if you'd contact me by my blog email:

Lastly, I just wanted to let you all know, I've been putting content on my YouTube channel a bit more regularly lately. I have had some time to record a few of my original songs, as well as a couple of piano improv/solos. I don't have a regular upload schedule or anything like that, but you can find the latest videos here

Again, I want to make the content on here a joy to read for you all! If at any point you feel like you just aren't getting much out of the posts, or there are too many emails coming in, or anything like that, don't hesitate to either let me know, or simply unsubscribe! I'll never be offended at something like that. ;) 

Thank you again for your time and your feedback, I truly appreciate it! Have a wonderful week. <3

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Voluntary Faithfulness

Their deep voices rolled over my 8 year old head in more ways than one. I sat on my living room floor, listening as my preacher father talked to a preacher friend. I remember thinking how much I enjoyed listening to their "doctrinal discourse", as I called it...I'm sure I just heard the phrase somewhere and thought it was neat. ;) Many of the things they talked about I couldn't understand very well, even having grown up in church under good preaching. How smart my dad must be to know so much about God and His Word! As a young child, I thought he must know more than anyone else in the world. 

Time passed, and seasons melted one into the next as the years went by. More preaching, more doctrinal discourse. I accepted The Lord as my personal Saviour at age 10, and began to grow in knowledge. Still, my convictions were formed based on my parents thoughts and study of God's Word. They taught me right and wrong, and why we believed certain ways about certain things. They wanted me to have wisdom and discernment about issues such as modesty, music, friendships, relationships, Godly leaders, role models, and entertainment. As a child, it was enough for me to know that they knew.

At some point, however, a shift had to happen. A change had to be made. I was growing up, as were my siblings, and soon--very soon, that would no longer be enough. As we grew older and made several moves in my teen years, we began to have more exposure to the world and the sparkly but lethal attractions it offered. I can't tell you the day or moment it happened, but all at once, I had to make choices on my own whether or not to chase after those attractions. 

There had to be a change of heart from me holding my parents' beliefs because they said so, and me holding those beliefs because I myself believed they were true. They had to become MY convictions. When you face a strong temptation, it doesn't work very well to say, "Oh, parents say that's not a good thing to do..." No. There is a huge fall coming for someone who does that. 

Thank God, that change happened. I don't know the day or the moment, but in His infinite grace, He brought me into firm convictions about the truth of principles in His Word. I no longer hold to what my parents believe simply because they say so (though I am so deeply grateful for their teaching in my life!!!)...I do it because I truly want to follow the ways of God myself. I want to live out His Word in my life, with all my heart. And I fail, oh, I fail so often! But I can't express in words how thankful I am that God is willing to take me back and show me the way over and over. To cleanse me when I mess up yet again. 

Here is the heartbreaking part of this, though. I have many dear friends who have never made this choice. All through their teen years, they still served God like their parents did, but only because they had to. Once they turned 18, they had no reason to stay because their parents' faith had never become theirs. These are people that I love and care about, that I grew up with for a good piece of my life! I am thinking through name after name in my head as I write this...Over a dozen names of people I was close to at one time. Now, they have left church and their families. Some of them are married to or dating people they should never be involved with at all. Some of them are into drugs. Some are simply not interested in the things of God anymore...they have much more important things to think about and work towards, in their eyes. And when I think of and pray for them, it hurts so much, because I know how they once were. On fire for God, serving Him, and following His way, but never on their own. They never made the choice to grow towards God in their own lives, even if everyone around them were to fall away. And as a result, they themselves fell away, dragging many others with them. They have hurt the name of Christ, caused heartache and pain to their families, friends, and leadership, and discouraged others around them, all because they didn't make the shift from mandatory to voluntary faithfulness. God is able to draw them home and bring redemption in their lives. I know this, and I pray so often for it to be done. However, how many broken, wasted years have already gone by! And how many more will pass before they come back to the sheep fold!

I truly hope and pray that every one of us, myself most of all, will strive after the things of God. Not just because others say to, but because we truly want to be good soldiers ourselves. I know how hard it is sometimes to keep up the good fight. Things get discouraging. Times get tough, and the grass on the other side of the fence looks so much more appealing than the path God has us walking at this moment. But think of the reward! Think of hearing Jesus say "Well done, thou good and faithful servant"! Is it worth it to walk away? To drift around, not knowing your own convictions and beliefs? Think about it...your stand for Christ will ALWAYS be rewarded and blessed. Your stand against Him will only cause pain, grief, and heartbreak. By the grace of God, may we make the right choice!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Power of Music

Psalm 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 

To say that I love music would be a severe understatement. I am passionate about it. Music is such a huge and important part of my life, I can't imagine what my day to day life would look without it. (Just look at the name of my blog! :)

Whether I am driving, washing dishes, cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, working out, writing, reading, or just lying on my bed thinking, I will usually have music playing, or be singing myself. Just ask my is a part of just about every waking moment of my day. ;)

Music is fascinating, powerful, and entirely underestimated by many people. Let me say it again, because it is so true:

Music. Has. Power.

Music can inspire, encourage, and brighten a day. Conversely, it can cause depression, frustration, stress, and dark thoughts when used for evil. My entire mood can be changed for better or worse, depending on what music I am around. Don't get me wrong, I am always responsible to act and react in a Godly way, no matter the surroundings. However, music has such a great propensity to affect even the little areas of life!

Because music holds such power, we need to be very, very careful with it. The Almighty Himself is musical; He proves it in the nearly 600 Scripture references to songs, singing, music, instruments, and musicians. Music is a good and holy thing when used in a Godly manner. 

However, for every good thing God has given us, Satan has made an evil counterfeit. So called "Contemporary Christian Music", or "Christian Rock", or any other form of worldly music tweaked the tiniest bit to sound spiritual, is not Christian. In any way, shape, or form. I'm being blunt here, but it's true. When all you do is take the world's fleshly music and change the words, there is no difference. I have seen videos of "Christian" concerts, that literally looked like a heavy metal performance. NO discernible difference, except you could maybe catch a random reference to God scattered through all the screaming, pounding thrashing drummers, and lights wild enough to give you an instantaneous migraine. It's really sad to me that so many Christians are fooled into thinking this is right and good. In Isaiah 5:20, it says, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" What better example of this verse than music that feeds the old man, the unregenerate flesh, and calls it a holy thing!

As followers of Christ, it is our responsibility to discern between good and evil. To walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. I realize that many who are deceived by the modern "Christian" music movement are sincere in trying to worship God. However, you can be sincere in doing something, but be sincerely wrong in doing it. Music is something that has led many people astray, because it is important to us as humans. We are made in the image of God, and God loves music. Because of that, we are born with an innate appreciation for beautiful melodies and harmonies. Just watch a small child when there is music playing. They will almost always be wiggling or singing or banging along! Music is so close to our hearts that it's easy to become caught up in the emotional side of it without stopping to think about whether or not it is truly honoring to God. 

An interesting thing to consider about the relationship between music and the way we were created by God: Just as God has three parts (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), so we have three parts--Spirit, Soul, and Body. The melody (tune) of music appeals to the spirit, the harmony (chords) to the soul, and the rhythm (beat) to the body. Satan's counterfeit godly music is dominated by the rhythm. The goal is to stimulate the flesh, not the soul or the spirit. True Godly music does have a rhythm, (obviously! ;), but it is not rhythm dominant. The goal of Godly music is to bring glory and praise to God, and to refresh and uplift the spirit. (Not the flesh). 

Here are some important questions to ask yourself, with an open heart, about the music you listen to on a regular basis:
1. Does the Holy Spirit lead you to listen to this music? Rom. 8:14
2. Can you pray while listening to this music? 1 Thess. 5:17
3. Does it bring glory to God? 1 Cor. 10:31
4. Does it offend other Christians or cause them to stumble in any way? 1 Cor. 8:13
5. Does this music appeal to the flesh, or to the soul and spirit? What draws you to it? Rom. 8:5
6. Does this music create Godly joy in your life? Isaiah 51:11
7. Would you be comfortable letting your pastor, your parents, and the most Godly Christians you know sit down and listen to this music? (Wow, that's a hard hit!) Heb. 13:17, Prov. 24:6
8. What doctrines are being taught through this music? Titus 2:1

It is my sincere hope that you will prayerfully consider these thoughts. Please know that my purpose was not to offend anyone through this post, but if you are offended...maybe there might be something you need to change? Believe me, I KNOW this is a delicate subject, and it can be difficult to let go of long-held beliefs (or lack thereof), on the subject of what is or is not Godly music. I have faced struggles with this at various times in my life, and sometimes it is not easy even to discuss it with people, because it seems that there are so many different opinions on the topic! However, in James 1:5 God promises that He will give His wisdom to those who ask for it with unwavering faith. He will guide and direct your steps! 

May the music we listen to, write, sing, and play be a source of encouragement and blessing to everyone around us. Especially The God who created music for us to enjoy!