Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A From-the-Heart Update on Life

"Jesus Christ is worth everything, and the best thing we can do is to give Him EVERYTHING." -Louie Giglio

I'm sure you all know by now that I'm a Christian. I have been since I was three, but in these months since January, the trajectory of my life has taken a radical turn, and my life will never be the same.

Let me explain.

You may remember that I graduated high school in May of 2014, and as I didn't know what I wanted to do, I decided not to go off to college. I chose to stay and invest my life in the local "only exclusive tea shop" that was started by my former youth pastor, as an outreach to the students here in the community. Shortly after that, I became a shift lead (manager), and therefore, most of my time was spent there, developing relationships with those who came in to "chill out".

But in January, things started to become more clear to me. I've always had a desire to do 
missions, but I didn't have a heart for the unreached, until I began the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class. Around the same time I started this class, I also began reading David Platt's Counter Culture, and I also started listening to his podcast on Moody Radio.

In the time since then, God has used these podcasts, as well as all of David's books (Radical:Radical TogetherFollow Me, and Counter Culture) to hugely impact my life, as a follower of Jesus. They have driven me to the Word, and to prayer, and have greatly strengthened my walk with Jesus. They have opened my eyes to the reality and the urgency that the Gospel demands.

As a result of this, I have recently come to the conclusion that I don't want to be a superficial Christian, living a comfortable life while ignoring the fact that there are billions out there - and thousands in my community - living, working, and dying without ever hearing of Jesus. 
Instead, I want to be a follower of Jesus, living in radical obedience to His word. 
One of David's quotes really got me...

"My biggest fear is that I would hear Jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him." 

Wow. The first time I read that, I sat there thinking, I don't want to settle for less than radical obedience to Him either, and I fully surrendered my life to Him, to live my life on mission for the spread of the Gospel and the Name and Glory of Jesus Christ in all the nations, knowing that it could cost me my life, but also knowing that He is worth it.

I've also become super ecstatic to be able to attend the Passion 2016 conference in Houston this coming January. I'm sure you already knew that though (my brother is already getting tired of me expressing my excitement). 

Now, in mid-August, I have chosen to take an online course from Moody Bible Institute, called The Church and the Community, in hopes of learning way for engaging the community, and the culture. I'm two days into it, and thoroughly enjoying it! Soaking it in, and already learning so much!

Let all the Earth Rejoice,

Friday, August 7, 2015

In Which I Share Some More Favorite Songs...

It's time for another music-related post... just cause you NEED these songs in your life. ;) I've included favorite lyrics from the songs. 

1. Natalie Grant
"Your Great Name"

The name of Jesus,
You are high and lifted up and all the world will praise your great name
Worthy is the Lamb
That was slain for us,
Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up and all the world will praise your great name, your great name, your great name

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.


Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! Alive!
Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before.
I am His because He is alive!

2. Anthem Lights... WOW. They're amazing!!!! Such Talent, and I LOVE "You Have My Heart"

"Can't Get Over You"

Here in the arms of my Father
Only grace can be found
So I lay my fears down
Nothing is the same anymore
You've changed me from the inside out
Now my heart is beating and it's singing won't You...

Hold me
Pull me just a little bit closer
I don't wanna lose this moment
Your love has covered me
And now I can't get over You
I can't get over You
I can't get over You
I just can't get over You

"You Have My Heart"

Let it fade, let it slip away
Let it go, every past mistake
Cause I know your love makes all things new
When it hurts I'll sing your praise
Unashamed I'll bear your name
Unafraid I'll give it all to you

All I can see, all I believe
You have my heart, you have my heart
My everything, my only need
You have my heart, you have my heart

"Hide Your Love Away"

Hide your love away
And wait for me, wait for me
I will do the same
Wait for me, wait for me
There will come a day
When i will finally say
Staring in your eyes
I've waited my whole life... for this night

3. Passion - Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels...I've been into Passion's worship music, lately... They're really simple, but so powerful!

I am literally "addicted" to these songs. 

"My Heart is Yours" (Kristian Stanfill)

I give You my life
I give You my trust
You are my God
You are enough

My heart is Yours
My heart is Yours
Take it all
Take it all
My life in Your hands

I lay down my life
And take up my cross
For You are my God
Whatever the cost
For You, Jesus
"Even So Come" (Kristian Stanfill)

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We'll be a Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing
Even so come
Lord Jesus, come 
"The Cross of Christ" (Chris Tomlin)

Our God is high and lifted up

It is the cross my only plea
The blood He shed delivers me
Our Savior's arms are open wide
A love so great the cross of Christ

Every debt
All we owe
He bears it as His own

Brought to life
We are free
To live in Christ alone

See the Lamb of God
See the Father's love
All to Jesus we owe
He paid it all

"Symphony" (Chris Tomlin)

Let the earth fear the Lord
And all the people of the world
Stand in awe, stand in awe

"Lord, I Need You" (Matt Maher)

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness

Oh God, how I need You

4. Kari Jobe

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome

Well, there are just a few of my most recent favorite songs of all songdom. It's a HUGE "fandom" of mine, as I am discovering a whole load of Jesus music - music that lifts up the Name and fame of Jesus Christ.

What are some of your favorite songs?
Please leave me a comment!