How do you see the world?

“Life is what you choose it to be”,
No, not in all cases, you surely must see.

Can you take a sour berry,

and make the very same berry sweet?

I surely can not and neither can you,

Unless with the help of some sugar cubes!

Just as surely as I cannot change

The time of day at which it shall rain,

I cannot change the circumstances

With which God has chosen to surround me.

There is something yet that I can do,
A power I hold, and so can you!

A power of strong fortitude-

This power is called gratitude.

This power changes how I see,

For it maintains joy in the little things.

Gratitude, what a mighty weapon,

Capable of changing one’s perception,

Dispelling dissatisfaction and complaints,

Even when one’s joy is distant and faint.

A change of view is all it takes,
To start a habit of giving thanks.

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Modern music with a classical touch (AKA shortest blog post ever…)

Patrick Laird, a cellist from the Eastman School of Music, and his pianist wife Marnie who attended Juliard, together comprise Brooklyn Duo, covering pop songs on their piano and cello. They have collaborated with famous chamber groups and quartets for many of their songs, one of which was recorded at Carnegie Hall. Similar in style to The Piano Guys, Brooklyn Duo makes good music to study to, or for those of us who sit in amazement at other people’s musical performance, that’s an option to. I can’t discuss the content of their music since it doesn’t have lyrics, but the musical aspect is wonderful! Here’s their Youtube Channel if you wanna check them out (which you should!) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk_9hHaw0n1Vbbld6cXyh6A

A song about bones?


Singer-songwriter Lauren Daigle has sung all her life. Her mother called their home a music box, because Lauren was always singing. In 2010 and 2012, she was a contestant on American Idol. Though the fame of Hollywood might could have been hers, she chose a different path and ended up joining Centricity Music, a major Christian record label.

Lauren’s most recent hit is entitled “Come Alive” (AKA “Dry Bones”). My initial thought when I first heard this song was something along the lines of, “What Christian artist sings about a passage in the minor prophets?” Yes, this song is based off of Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 37 of the book of the Bible which bears his name. Parts of the song are a bit vague; other parts wouldn’t be fully understood without a previous understanding of the passage from which they come. Overall, though breaking the mold, Come Alive has been a huge hit, making it to the top of the charts for Christian music.

Because of the vagueness, it may take a bit of effort to truly “get” the meaning behind each line. The main theme, however, is not too hard to grasp: As we “call out” to lost souls, God causes their hearts to be receptive and draws those souls to him; thus the spiritually dead receive spiritual life. The song is a prayer that God would save the people with whom we are sharing the gospel and for whom we are praying.

You can hear Lauren Daigle and Michael Farren explain their inspiration for this song right here.

A word to the weary…

Do you ever feel useless, a failure? Have you ever wondered if there’s any reason left to live? As someone who has experienced those things, let me show  you some hope in the truth. I can’t promise the truth will always make you feel warm and happy, nor will it solve all your problems; but perhaps it can give you a glimmer of hope and encouragement.


You are here for a reason.

There may be days you don’t want to “do life” and you just want to give up. Why are we here anyway? What good could we possibly do in this messed up world? Friend, you are here for a reason. God has a plan for your life.

If there were truly no purpose for your existence, no good you could do, no reason for you to keep on going, then you wouldn’t be here. But you are.

Your heart is beating, your lungs are breathing, and you are alive. Every beat of your heart and every breath you take is because God is sustaining you, and God always has a purpose in what he does.

“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:4b-6

 

Keep on fighting.

I know it’s hard. At times, you may be completely overwhelmed by  frustration and despair. It may be so tempting to climb back under the covers and never get out of bed in the morning. You know all the things you should be doing, but you just can’t seem to pick yourself up and get with the program. Yet no matter how hard it is, you must keep fighting. You must decide every day that you are going to live for Christ no matter what. You are going to get out of bed every morning because you are not alone; because no matter how hard it may seem, He will give you strength to face each day if you ask Him.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40:28-29



Rest in his care.

Cast your burdens on Jesus; Talk to Him about it. He’ll listen to your cries. He is able to sympathize with your weaknesses as He Himself suffered, that He might be the propitiation for your sins (Heb. 2:17). Come to Him, and He has promised to give you rest (Matt. 11:28-30). He may not take away all your problems, but He will help you to bear them. Acknowledge your dependence upon Him, and ask for His help.

God’s love for you is constant regardless of whether or not you see it; His grace abounds freely.

 

Look to the hope of the future.

This world is not our home. We have a greater hope: that of Zion, God’s future kingdom. Jesus purchased our citizenship by His own blood. Zion shall be a place of great joy and rejoicing where we will be happy with our Lord and Savior for the rest of eternity.

“Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.” Isaiah 60:18-21

 

Remember your purpose.

We exist to bring glory to God. As the Westminster Catechism states: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. It glorifies God when we choose to get up and face the day rather than apathetically lying in bed all morning. It pleases Him when we intentionally observe the beauty of His creation and the goodness of His character, and thank Him for it rather than wallowing in a state of despair.



Satan wants us to give in to apathy and desperation. He is the ruler of a kingdom of darkness, from which God has rescued us. But as Children of the Light, our job is to magnify Christ, not succumb to the darkness we’ve been saved from.


We were made for more.


We are children of God, chosen before the foundation of time to be adopted as sons and daughters, that we might magnify the glory of our Father.
Giving into the darkness and pain is not the only option. No matter how impossible it may seem, you can keep on fighting, and live to bring hope to others as you glorify God.