Looking unto Jesus

One of many beautiful chapters from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening. That book has been such a blessing to me…

It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus. All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is all in all. Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument-it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by looking unto Jesus. Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.

Happy new year!

It’s only one minute ’till the year 2007 is over and we say hello to 2008. What an amazing year, full of ups and downs, trials and mountain-tops, but ultimately, God’s grace and faithfulness has been undeniably evident. Before the ball drops, let me share this verse with you…
“Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
Let’s trust in the Lord with all our hearts and look forward to his best for us this year!

A Christ-centered Christmas

First of all, merry Christmas to all of you! I hope you all have had a wonderful season and a great day! In the midst of all the presents, Christmas dinners and family visits, I’d like to cut in and share with you guys the climax of Christmas, the real reason I’m making this post in the first place. While I don’t have any special words of my own, God’s word does have a lot to say…
…Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool…
…The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined…
…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…
…an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”…
…he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed…
…For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation…
…and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised…
…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Now, I’d like to close with a lyric from the song “Audience Of One” (by Sovereign Grace Music)…
“With all my heart and soul and strength
In every word and thought and deed
I’ll live for Him who died for me
To please the Audience of One
How can I not pledge all my love
In light of all that He has done?
There is one glory that I seek
To please the Audience of One”

Merry Christmas!
(PS: Updated the random song page.)
(scripture quotations from Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:9-11, Isaiah 53:2-5, Romans 5:6-11, 2 Corinthians 5:15, and 2 Corinthians 5:17)

12 things I’m thankful for

A lot of people like to say what they’re thankful for every Thanksgiving. I, unfortunately, have never bothered to follow that tradition, but this year, a lot of things have changed in my heart and life, and I have a lot to be thankful for…
• A nice parade to watch.
• A delicious meal to enjoy with my family.
Flickr 😉
• The fact that God gave me a passion for music / songwriting.
• Christian artists who have been serious about living what they believe and striving to pass that desire on to others (the Newsboys, Rebecca St. James, BarlowGirl, etc.)
• A wonderful, amazing church with wonderful, amazing people.
• The strong friendships God has blessed me with in (and outside of) my church.
• The husband God has blessed my sister with this month and the life they have together!
• My sweet, hilarious nieces!
• My amazing parents and the relationships I have with them.
• The Bible…God’s instruction book for our lives, without which I would be lost.
• My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for me and set me free. Lord, I strive every day to live my life for you and to be more like you. Thank you for saving me.
PS: Click HERE to see my Thanksgiving picture 😉

The meaning of "Sozo"

I recently stumbled across the music of an old Christian group called Sozo, which consisted of ex-Newsboys keyboardist Corey Prior and his wife. I’ve found their obscure music thoroughly enjoyable whilst wondering what the word “Sozo” could possibly mean. After a small bit of reading and google-searching, I realized just how cool this Greek word really is. Here are three descriptions which I think define the word “Sozo” perfectly…
Dictionary: “To exit a life of danger / distruction and enter a life of safety and wholeness.”
Cory Prior (from Sozo): “As Christians we are called to live a pure life before God in every way. We want kids to know that they can live a pure life through Jesus Christ.”
Titus 2:11-13: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Good stuff, huh?
If you want to check out some music from the band Sozo, you can go to THIS page at iTunes to sample and/or purchase their album, The Walk. Mostly soft pop/rock, but “Global Culture Sega Child” and “Life Cycle” are two very upbeat techno tracks for people like myself 😉