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“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.”

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” ~ Luke 6:22-23, 27-28​

8/2/11: Do you ever have trouble leaping for joy when you are treated wrongly? I know I do, but this is an area the Lord Jesus has been working on in my life, and it is still a work in progress. I can be ok with being persecuted and with being treated badly most of the time, for I have had plenty of time to get used to the idea, but I still sometimes get hurt badly, cry a lot, cry out in my pain, and/or get defensive when I feel I am being treated unfairly. I don’t think it is wrong to cry, or that we should not feel it when people mistreat us, or that we should never defend ourselves, but I do believe I still need to grow in this area of counting it all joy, and in being thankful that I have been counted worthy to suffer rejection for the name of Christ and for the sake of his gospel.

Leap for Joy / An Original Work / August 2, 2011

Based off of Luke 6:20-36

Leap for joy in that day.
Great is your reward in heaven.
Blessed are you who are poor;
Blessed are you who hunger now.
You will be satisfied and
You will laugh if you weep now.
Blessed are you when men hate you
And exclude you because of Christ.

Leap for joy in that day.
Love your enemies who hate you.
Do them good; say kind things;
Pray for those who treat you wrong.
If you love those who love you
What reward is there for you?
Love your enemies and your
Reward will be great in heaven.

Leap for joy in that day.
You will be sons of the Most High.
Be ye kind; merciful
To the ungrateful always.
If you love those who love you
What reward is there for you?
Do to others as you would have
Them do to you every day.

Leap for joy in that day.
Great is your reward in heaven.
Blessed are you who are poor;
Blessed are you who hunger now.
You will be satisfied and
You will laugh if you weep now.
Blessed are you when men hate you
And exclude you because of Christ.

The Train

I believe this train is a picture of today’s modern institutional church movement which follows the teachings, philosophies and marketing schemes of human beings over and above, or in place of Christ, his word and his gospel. Much of The Lord’s true church here in America has gotten trapped into the snare of man-made religion and human marketing schemes which attempt to build Christ’s church, but which supersede Christ as the head of the church, his word as the authority for how the church should operate, and his word’s authority for how we should live our lives. So, this train is nothing more than institutions and businesses of humans run by humans in human ways but which call themselves “church.” And, God is calling his true church to come out from her so that she does not share in her sins and in her punishment (See: Rev. 18:4-5).

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” ~ Mark 7:6-8

The Train / An Original Work / July 17, 2011

The train is coming down the tracks.
It captures all who in faith lack.
The engine is controlled by man;
Leads each captive to ruin.

The cars, they are God’s holy church,
Which follows men who are on the search
To trap the church in their own snare;
For Christ they do not care.

The track, it leads to God’s judgment
For those who are not repentant,
But follow, each his own stubborn way,
And Jesus they do not obey.

So God is calling to His bride
To turn from sin and in Christ abide;
Stop placing their trust solely in man;
Trust Christ for His forgiveness.

Why So Downcast?

This song is based off Psalm 42. The psalmist was downcast due to some trying and difficult times in his life. He may have been in exile. He was suffering greatly. The storms and tempests of his life were sweeping over him like a flood. He felt forgotten by God. He questioned why he must endure such suffering. He was bordering on serious depression. Satan was attacking him, putting doubts in his mind: “Where is your God? Why has he not come to rescue you?”

The psalmist thus counseled himself. He countered each doubt with the truth of who God is, and with the truth of the psalmist’s past relationship with God; how God was his only hope; how God was his Savior (fulfilled in Jesus Christ) and his Lord; how the Lord sent forth his love into the psalmist’s life day-by-day; and how at night God’s song was always with him. God had always been there for him before, and he would not leave him now. And, he remembered that God was his Rock (a name for Jesus Christ), i.e. his fortress and his deliverer. In other words, the psalmist chose to put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s attacks (lies) and to put on the truth of who God is, and of all that he has done.

The psalmist intensely longed for his intimate relationship with God to be restored, i.e. for him to sense God’s holy presence abiding with him. He compared his intense thirst for God and for his righteousness to that of a deer panting for water. He longed to meet with God in his temple. He cried so many tears over his painful situation that it almost seemed as though his tears had been his food day and night. Men mocked him in his situation, thus reinforcing the thought in his mind that he had been deserted by God. Yet he chose to pour out his soul to God in prayer, to counter those lies with the truth, and, in spite of all his suffering, to put his hope and trust in God.

Why So Downcast? / An Original Work / December 21, 2012

Based off Psalm 42

Why so downcast, O my soul,
And why so disturbed now within me?
Put your hope in Jesus Christ,
For I will praise His name.
He’s my Savior and my God,
So therefore I’ll remember Him through
Storms and tempests sweeping o’er me.
Still I’ll praise His name.
Put your hope in God.

By day the Lord sends forth His love.
In the night His song is with me.
I pray to the God of my life.
I will praise His name. I say to God my Rock,
“Why must I be called to suffer this way?”
Foes attack me; Satan sneering.
Still I’ll praise my God.
Put your hope in Him.

As a deer pants for the waters,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God who’s living.
When can I meet Him?
My tears have been my food at night,
When men say, “So, where is your God?”
I pour out my soul to my God.
I’ll still praise His name.
Shout with joy to Him.

What Blessed Communion

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:5-8).​

What does it mean to “remain” in Christ? Other scriptures tell us we must continue in Christ, endure to the end, persist, persevere, and keep on, etc. It means to last throughout a period of time. It means to keep going and to not stop. It means to survive, especially when faced with difficulties. And, it means to not give up, to not back down, to not run away, and to not get lazy, complacent or indifferent (Source: Encarta).

Yet, it is more than just hanging in there even in the toughest of times. It involves active involvement in the life of Christ being lived out in and through our lives for his purposes and for his glory. This means that we must cooperate fully with God’s work of grace in our lives, and we must yield our wills to his will, and we must willingly choose to walk daily in his ways and in his truth.

What Blessed Communion / An Original Work / July 11, 2011

Oh, what sweet and blessed communion
With our Lord is ours to share
When we sit at Jesus’ table,
Share His cup and eat the bread.
Sit at His feet, hear what He says,
Listen to each word He speaks;
Harken to obey His teachings;
Meet with Him throughout the week.

Oh, what grace he gives unto us
When we come to Him in faith;
Believe in His precious promise;
Free from our sins; saved by grace.
Turn from our sins; turn to our God;
Commit all our ways to Him.
Choose to live for Him each moment;
Daily cleansing us from sin.

Oh, what love He has for us that
He would die a cruel death,
So that we could be forgiven
Of our sins and live instead.
Walk with Jesus; serve Him only
As our Lord, God, priest and King.
Abide with Him; His word in us;
Bearing fruit, our offering.

Awaken the Dawn

Psalm 57 is a psalm of lament. The psalmist experienced some type of disaster in his life which engulfed him like a violent storm. He was hotly pursued by his enemies who, to him, were like lions or ravenous beasts just waiting to devour him with their sharp tongues. They tried to trip him up and to cause him to fall, and this distressed him greatly.

So, he called on the Lord for mercy, and he chose to seek God’s protection. He acknowledged God’s divine sovereignty over his life, and he trusted in God’s love and faithfulness to his servants who put their faith and trust in him.

Even though “all hell” was breaking loose all around him, still he chose to be steadfast in heart and mind by trusting in the Lord, and by choosing to not give way to the enemy, but rather to rise before dawn (to awaken the dawn) in order to give praise to God.

Awaken the Dawn / An Original Work / January 15, 2013

Based off Psalm 57 (NIV 1984)

O my God, have mercy on me!
In the Lord, my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of Your wings, Lord,
I find shelter till the storms pass.
I cry out to my God Most High.
He fulfills His purpose for me.
He sent His Son to die for me,
So I could be saved.

I am in the midst of lions;
Men whose teeth are spears and arrows;
Whose tongues are sharp; words accusing.
They spread a net, my feet to catch.
They dug a pit, in hopes I’d fall.
O God, be exalted o’er all.
Let Your glory shine to all men,
So they may be saved.

Steadfast is my heart, O my God;
I will sing of all Your wonders.
Awake, my soul! Sing praise to God!
Early I will rise and praise Him!
I’ll praise God among the nations;
I will sing among the peoples.
God’s love reaches to the heavens,
So we may be saved.

God's Great Commandments

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~ Matt. 22:34-40​

Jesus summarized the commands of God into two commands, for if we truly love God in this way, and if we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, we will honor God in all we do, and we do no harm to our neighbors. Our hearts’ desire will be to please God and to show his love to others, yet not by human standards, but by God’s standards. So many people think that love caters to selfishness and that it only does and says pleasant things which make people feel warm and fuzzy all over. But, that is not a true picture of love. Yes, love does what is kind, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, etc., but love sometimes has to be tough love, too, and it must speak the truth in love, and confront sin, call for repentance, warn of judgment, and tell the truth about what it really means to love God and to obey his commands.

God’s Great Commands / An Original Work / July 10, 2011

Based off of Matthew 22:34-40

Loving God and loving others
Are the Lord God’s great commands.
On these rest all of the others;
Live by them and you’ll not fail.
Be a witness, share the gospel,
Be a light in this dark world.
Share the love of Jesus always
To a world who has not heard.

Serving others; be like Jesus;
Wash their feet and pray with them.
Be a healer; mend their hurts and
Show them how to turn from sin.
Be a living example of
How to live for Jesus Christ,
Walking with Him in His footsteps,
Leading others to new life.

Give to God and give to others
Of yourselves in ev’ry way.
Obey your Lord, do His bidding;
Bow your knees and humbly pray.
Pray for others to know Jesus.
Tell how they can be set free
Of their sins and live for Jesus;
Walk with Him eternally.

Rejoice in the Lord Always

Fear, anxiety, and worry must be universally troublesome to most people because God/Jesus Christ warned his people, and/or he encouraged his people all throughout scripture (and history) to not fear, to not be afraid, to not fret, and to not be anxious, but “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,” (to) “present your requests to God. And, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (see Phil. 4:6-7).

One of the antidotes for fear and worry, thus, is to pray with thanksgiving, believing that God is going to answer, and to put our trust in God, knowing he has all things under his control, for fear is the opposite of trust/faith. Yet another antidote for anxiety is to rejoice in the Lord always and to sing songs of praise unto God. So, when Satan throws his darts of fear or doubt our way, we need to pray. It is essential that we choose to put our trust in God, believing that he has our circumstances under his control. And, we must be thankful, we should rejoice, and it is necessary that we praise our God in life, word and in song.

Sometimes we worry because we have adopted the ways and patterns of this world, and because we daily take into our minds and hearts far too much of this world’s junk, philosophies, character traits, habits, and attitudes. Instead, we need to focus our minds, hearts and attention on what has eternal value. We need to daily die to our old ways of living in sin and for self, and we need to clothe ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ, and take on his character and values. What is important to him should be essential to us. And, we should not only read or hear his word, but we should put it into practice in our lives.

Rejoice in the Lord Always! / An Original Work / January 26, 2013

Based off Phil. 4 & Col. 3

Rejoice in our Lord God always.
I say again: “Rejoice always!”
Let your love and kindness show forth.
Our Lord Christ will soon appear.
Do not let yourself be troubled.
Do not fear your circumstances.
In all of life’s complications,
Pray to God with thankfulness.
God will give you peace and rest.

Set your minds on things of heaven:
What is true and right and lovely.
Do not focus your attention
On the things that pass away.
Therefore put to death your old self.
Clothe yourselves with God’s compassion.
Put the word of Christ in practice.
Let God’s peace rule in your hearts.
Sing songs of praise unto God.

In all of life’s circumstances
I’ll learn to trust; be contented.
Whether I have none or plenty,
I will give thanks unto God.
I can live my life to please Him,
Because Jesus gives me His strength.
My God will meet all of my needs,
From his treasure chest in Christ.
Glory, praise be unto God.

Oh, What Joy!

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt 24:30-31).​

Just the mere thought of the return of Jesus and getting to see him face-to-face, and now being with him for eternity, brings much joy to my heart! And, yet, I don’t have to wait until heaven to experience such joy, for when Jesus Christ came into my life, and he set me free from the power of sin over my life, and he gave me the promise and the hope of eternity with him, I was filled with joy. Every day that I meet with him is sweet fellowship. Amen!

Oh, What Joy! / An Original Work / July 8, 2011

Oh, what joy! Oh, what peace
There will be when Christ you meet.
Oh, what love He imparts,
When Christ comes within your heart –
Saving you from all your sins;
Holy Spirit, now within,
Teaching, guiding you each day,
As you bow your knees and pray.
Oh, what joy! Oh, what peace
When you sit at Jesus’ feet,
List’ning to your Lord speak;
Obey Him throughout the week.

Oh, what grace He provides;
From our past we step aside;
Turn from sin; cleansed within;
Walking with Christ; died with Him.
He paid the price for our sins,
So our new lives we begin,
Living for Him ev’ry day,
Doing all that He did say.
Oh, what grace He provides
When we walk at Jesus’ side;
Follow Him where He leads,
Loving others; their needs meet.

Oh, what joy! Oh, what peace
When Christ Jesus soon we meet.
He will come in the sky
To take home with Him, His bride.
We are waiting His return.
For our Savior, our hearts yearn.
We keep watch in how we live.
To our Lord, our hearts we give.
Oh, what joy! Oh, what peace;
Live with Christ eternally!
Reign with Him; His kingdom;
We will be forever Home.

Follow Him

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, to be one of his followers, he (or she) must first of all deny (disallow; repudiate; forbid) himself, i.e. renounce his life of sin, selfishness, and following his own will and way for his life. He must take up his cross daily, i.e. he must daily die to sin and to living for self. And, he must follow Jesus, i.e. he must go where Jesus says to go, and he must do what Jesus says to do, i.e. he must obey him. If we truly understand this death to self and sin, it should revolutionize our concept of faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This means that my life is no longer my own, for it was bought with a price, so I am to glorify God with my life by yielding my life to the cross of Christ, dying to not only sin but to my own selfish will, and by allowing the Holy Spirit within me to live the life of Christ out through me. “I” no longer live, i.e. am no longer the boss of my own life, but Christ in me is now boss (Lord) of my life, so I surrender to his will for my life.

Follow Him / An Original Work / February 21, 2013

Based off Luke 9:22-25

Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.

Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.

Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.

If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.

Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.

Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!