Tuesday, February 23, 2010

That's How The Lost Get Found

Matthew 18:11
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Luke 15:4
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

2 Corinthians 4:3
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" -- Hudson Taylor

"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him" -- Hudson Taylor

"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it" -- P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" -- Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950's trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" -- David Livingstone

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." -- C.T. Studd

"If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death." -- Dave Davidson

"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" -- Carl F. H. Henry

"The command has been to 'go,' but we have stayed -- in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth ... but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland." -- Robert Savage, Latin American Mission

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." -- Nate Saint, missionary martyr

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian." -- James S. Stewart

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!" -- Keith Green

"I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." -- Keith Wright

Hello my friend
I remember when you were so alive with your wide eyes
Then the light that you had in your heart was stolen
Now you say that it ain't worth stayin'
You wanna run but you're hesitatin'
I'm talkin' to me

Don't let your lights go down, don't let your fire burn out
Somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe
Why don't you rise up now? Don't be afraid to stand out
That's how the lost get found, the lost get found

So when you get the chance are you gonna take it?
There's a really big world at your fingertips
And you know you have the chance to change it
There's a girl on the streets, she's cryin'
There's a man whose faith is dyin'
Love is calling you

Don't let your lights go down, don't let your fire burn out
Somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe
Why don't you rise up now? Don't be afraid to stand out
That's how the lost get found, the lost get found

Why do we go with the flow
Or take an easier road?
Why are we playin' it safe?
Love came to show us the way
Love is a chance we should take
I'm movin' out of the way

Don't let your lights go down, don't let your fire burn out
Somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe
Why don't you rise up now? Don't be afraid to stand out
That's how the lost get found, the lost get found

Monday, February 15, 2010

They Are Watching

Almost three years ago, my grandfather went to be with the Lord. It feels like yesterday...yet it also feels longer than nearly three years. It was a long, painful process to watch him slowly grow feeble, but through our tears, we rejoiced in his homegoing. Up until then, I was writing songs on a fairly regular basis. When he went home, it was hard for me to write. Nearly a year after he left us, God gave me a blessing through reading Hebrews chapter twelve, verse one and two. It says:

Hebrews 12:1-2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Upon reading and studying that passage, I penned the words to a very special song. In a world full hurt, sorrow, and loss, it is a comfort to know that not only is Jesus running with us in this race of life, but the saints - all the greats in the past who have gone to Heaven before us - they are watching us! They are cheering us on as we press toward the finish line. They beg for us to keep going, to not faint or give up. They cry out to us, encouraging us to drop the sin and all the meaningless things that weigh us down and pursue Christ Jesus and His glory with every bit of strength we possess.

If you are dealing with grief and loss, I hope these words will lift your spirit.

"They Are Watching"

Vs. 1
We are running a race in this life here on earth
But we don't run alone
We're surrounded by all of the saints gone before
And they're cheering us on
I have loved ones and friends, looking on, watching me
They don't want me to stop or give in
They are waving the banner of God's "faithful few"
And they cry "Keep running, and win!"

They are watching, they're cheering for me
They are watching, they're calling my name
When I think I can't take one more step
When the ground is all I can see
"Keep on running! You're almost there!"
Is the cry from those watching me

Vs. 2
When troubles and trials try and throw me off course
Or threaten to slow me down
I remember that Jesus is running with me
And His saints are gathered around
I'm to lay aside every weight, every sin
And focus my eyes on the throne
I'm to run for my King, I'm to run for that crowd
In the heavenly stands, looking on

They are watching, they're cheering for me
They are watching, they're calling my name
When I think I can't take one more step
When the ground is all I can see
"Keep on running! You're almost there!"
Is the cry from those watching me

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lady With The Green-Light Eyes

I have been watching my generation of girls and young women with a fascinated eye. Lately, I have noticed the lack of ladylike dignity and modesty among the modern girls of today. I rarely see elegance, grace, gentleness, and purity on display but I too often see crude, feminist behavior along with a disdain for holiness and honor. It breaks my heart when I see boys and men at the alters while the women sit undisturbed and the girls play with their cell phones. It appears that very few girls and young women in the world today desire the breathtaking beauty of a consecrated life. Instead of aspiring to be enchanting and captivating and radiant through Christ Jesus, they settle in being labeled sassy, independent, and seductive.

In Proverbs, there are many references to a wayward woman; a strange woman; a woman who seduces, beguiles, and seeks to destroy the lives of men around her. Lately, I have seen many "wayward women." I have seen far too many girls with their cat walk, their seductive smiles, and their flashing and inviting eyes. Last month, I had a strange dream that I haven't been able to get out of my head. Let me tell you about it.:

It was a dark night and there was a highway stretched out before me. A lonely highway. Then up ahead, there was a stop light, flashing red, telling all travelers to stop. To the left of the stop light, there was a sign that read "Turn Back!" I watched as many cars obeyed. They stopped, then slowly turned around and went back in the direction they came. Then suddenly, the light turned green. Brilliant green! The cars coming were confused.... they saw the green light, yet they also saw the big sign that screamed out to all travelers to stop and go back. Many cars did. In spite of the green light, they slowed to a stop and went back. Then there was one car. On the dark street, coming fast.... the car noticed the sign, but was completely enchanted by the green light that shouted "Come!" So they went. And as the car passed through the light, it went over a ravine into a pit. Then suddenly, as I stared in horror at the green light, the light suddenly turned into eyes....brilliant green eyes. Then I woke up.

I remembered waking and thinking "Wow!" and immediately my thoughts went to the passage in Proverbs where it speaks of a strange, seductive woman luring a man into her bed.

Proverbs 7:6
I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

After I awoke from that strange dream and thought back to the verses in Proverbs, I decided to give my dream a title....The Lady With the Green-Light Eyes.

I'm not sure about you, reader, but I do not want to be a lady with green-light eyes. At least, not HER kind of eyes. I don't want my eyes to seduce many traveling men, luring them in, only to bring them death and spiritual destruction. My eyes need to be a flashing red in that department! God forbid I use my feminine charms to entice and fill men's hearts with lust. God forbid I be anything but graceful, modest, and ladylike, filled with love for my Savior.

Girls, if I can encourage you along with myself - let's throw away the rags of impurity, immodesty, and selfish seduction and flirtatiousness. Let's toss the crude language, the dominate behavior, the disdain for ladylike dignity, and embrace, with more fervor than ever before, the elegant, selfless, poured-out life our Lord desires from us.

Let's definitely work hard not to be a lady with green-light eyes...

Proverbs 5:3
For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:
But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

Proverbs 6:23
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

Proverbs 7:27
Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Want To Be a History Maker!

This past week in revival, I was given the opportunity to bring a small message to the youth one night. I chose my heart's passion - sacred and set-apart living! I spoke about greats in the Bible; Gideon, Joshua, David, Isaiah, Paul, John, Hannah, Ruth, Esther, Mary, and Deborah and about greats in history like Maeyken Wens, David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, and John Hyde.

Why do we not know of these people? I asked.

We know about Brad Pitt and Hallie Berry. We know about Will Smith, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Tom Cruise and Sandra Bullock. We know about the latest Hollywood Blockbuster and the newest American Idol. Yet we know nothing of the Godly saints, the persecuted Church, the martyrs, missionaries and heroes of the faith. We know nothing of our brothers and sisters who are being tortured, imprisioned, hunted, and killed as we speak. We know nothing of our Christian heritage and the blood-stained path of the narrow road. We don't know....and we don't care. We are too consumed with iTunes, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to care. We are too caught up in texting, weekend parties, and dates to give it much thought.

I want to be a history maker! I don't want my life to merely be plastered on Hollywood's big screen or broadcasted all over the world on Pop Radio. I don't want the fade-away things that are physical and mean nothing. I want the eternal things. I want to be named among the mighty, valiant women of old. I want my life to be in Heaven's "Who's Who" instead of this earths.

I want to be a history maker..... do you?

Hebrews 11:33-38a -
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)....

Hebrews 13:3, 7
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversati


Friday, February 5, 2010

Ellie and Her Worship

I have heard my Dad preach on worship for as long as I can remember. In the Bible, there are many different definitions but he always brings out two that are very rarely used. They are:

1. To kiss toward.

He always says that a kiss is the most tender, personal thing two people can do and is held as such a special act. It, in itself, is worship.

2. To lick...as a dog would lick his master's hand.

The second is what I was reminded of just yesterday. We have two dogs, one of which is our little baby. Her name is Ellie and she's the cutest little mullins feist you'll ever meet. While my family and I were gone on revival, some friends took care of our "baby dog." Yesterday, Mom went to pick her up and bring her back back. Well, as I walked towards the door as Mom entered with Ellie in tow, Ellie went crazy jumping and running all throughout at house at full speed! She wagged and shook and pounced up and down, running circles around us and trying so hard to jump up and lick us. She seemed unimaginatively thrilled and amazed that she was graced with our presence.

Ellie worshipped us yesterday and, as I watched and laughed, I couldn't help but wonder why I don't do the same thing towards MY Master. All I do for Ellie is feed her, play with her, and pick her up whenever I find the time. I let her walk with me around the house and let her help occupy my lovely bed whenever she wants. And she worships me for it. She worships us all for it. When she does something she should not do, we spank her. Yet, she worships us still. 

But Christ, who provides for all my needs, who cares for me so deeply that He sacrificed His life for my sake, who comforts, strengthens and directs me, does not receive that same kind of total adoration. I don't worship Him the way my Ellie dog worships me. It struck me yet again today...I have heard that definition all my life and am just now understanding and seeing this humble act in a new light. I needed to be reminded and...who knows?...maybe you did too.

Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "This Is A Moment Made For Worshipping" comes to mind when I think of this. This one line always gets me thinking:

This is a moment made for worshipping
Because this is a moment I'm alive

I fail miserably in that department. The last line says, for every moment that I live and breathe, it is a moment made for worshipping.

I need to burn that into my brain so I'll never forget and willingly dismiss a chance to worship. I guess I can thank little Ellie, huh? :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Let the T-Zone SHINE!

Okay, so this is for more for you girls today, although I will enthusiastically applaud the guys if they read as well. My sister and I were talking about beauty the other day, and we discussed the annoyance of the T-zone shine...you know, that area of your forehead, nose, and cheeks that can't seem to stay smooth and shine-free.

Well, as we were talking, my sister's eyes got big and she said, "You know...the T-zone is the only thing on your face that shines...and it is in the shape of a cross."

And my jaw dropped.

I haven't been a fan of that annoying facial shine. But now? I don't think I'll mind as much. As girls, we have to endure the shine and apply powder if we so choose. But as Christians, we should live to shine! And how cool it is to think that the dredded t-zone is in the shape of our beloved cross. Wow! So....I say, let the T-zone shine! ;)

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