Lyrics, Other

Lecrae Is Second

A music artist I have quoted many times in my posts is a Christian rapper named Lecrae. The Lord has blessed him with an ability to articulate the truth of His word, to explain it and expound upon it in a clear and beautiful way. I would recommend him to anyone searching for Christian music without shallow or nebulous lyrics. I have included a link to his testimony recorded on the I Am Second website. I have also included the lyrics and a link to one of his songs called Take Me As I Am. It had a profound impact upon me when I was a young believer. I pray that it will on the reader as well.

http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/lecrae/

Take Me As I Am – http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Take+Me+As+I+Am/4fdZxy?src=5 (If this doesn’t work, you can find this song on youtube or other websites)

Christ through faith
I talked to a cat the other day
And he was like;
“Man I really wanna come to Christ
But I gotta clean my life up first, get my sins together”
I told em: I used to think that way too
I thought I had to change myself before I could come to Christ
But Christ changed me
Let me tell you my story, it starts like this

[Verse One]
It’s 5:46 in the mornin’, tossin’ and turnin’
Chest burnin’, sermons in my head keep reocurrin’
Havin’ visions in my head of a kid
Cryin’ at the feet of the Father, for all the wrong things that he did
Now I’m sweatin’ in my sheets can’t sleep
My mind keeps tellin’ me I’m six feet deep
Don’t remind me, even though I’m still alive I can’t tell
The way I’m living my life I feel I’m going to hell
God they telling me I should accept you
That you had to leave the world, cause the world left you
Reason I can’t change, like a mystery to me
So I make believe there really is a heaven for a G
Even though they say you loved the world so much, you shed ya blood
God I feel I’m too messed up for love
They tell me come as I am but I smell like smoke
My whole lifes full of sin cause it’s all I know
The bible told me that you died for my sins
If I believe in Christ, it’ll save me from the end
But I’m scared to ask you, to save me my heart
So evil, I got thoughts, that’s full of hatred hurtin’ people
I thought at first I had to clean up my life
Now I’m hearin’ I just need to cling to the light
I’m ready to do it, but Lord I pray you understand
My life is a mess, will you take me as I am

[Chorus]
Will you take me as I am
I know the way I’m living is wrong
But I can’t change on my own, trying to make it alone
I wonder, how could you love me when my life so ugly
But you came down and died for me

Will you take me as I am
I know the way I’m living is wrong
But I can’t change on my own, trying to make it alone
I wonder, how could you love me when my life so ugly
But you came down and died for me
Will you take me as I am

[Verse Two]
I’m sick and tired of trying to me the man, my daddy never taught me to be
I’m grown up now, life ain’t what I thought it would be
I made many mistakes in my past I can’t fix
Now I’m staring at this crusifix tatted on my wrist
Is it true what they telling me, am I just crazy
Did ya bleed on the cross, for my sins to save me
But why would ya die for me
My whole life I’ve been working for Satan, while He fed lies to me
And now I’m hearing too much, trying to get a true touch
Of a love that can change me, I’m all screwed up
Figure Hell is what I deserve
But your word says we all fall short so I guess we all outta burn
Teach me I wanna learn
How you could save a wretch like me, before death says it’s my turn
I think I finally understand
No matter my past, you’ll still take me as I am

[Chorus]

[Verse Three]
My father had a few last words to give
I be telling people the reason to live
The reason to die, united with the King in the sky
This life is passing us by, I got no reason to lie
You’ll never give the world enough, they’ll hunger for more
They figure there ways are nuthin to the wonderous lord
More security than the man that left you
More love than the moms who kept you
He’ll always accept you
Be everything your supposed to
Let Christ rule ya heart, mind, body and soul cause He chose you
And if the world don’t know you
It don’t matter you’re Gods child and he’ll never disown you
Ya purpose on earth is far from worthless
That’s why ya glorified like ya life’s been purchased
And it don’t matter if the world don’t seen us
We still mean the world to Jesus

[Chorus]

[Talking]
Yeah, we’re saved by grace through faith
It’s not works
Ain’t nuthin you can do, ain’t nuthin I can do
That could get us this great salavation that we got man
It’s only Christ
So if you feel like you gotta clean yourself up
Before you can come to Him
Forget it
Just come to Him
He’ll take you as you are, and He’ll change YOU
From the inside, out.

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Other

Greater Than Fear

I am currently taking a Composition class, and recently wrote a short definition essay about courage and its importance in a believer’s life. I have been urged by several people to post it, so here it is. Enjoy.

Greater Than Fear

Courage is a quality with a thousand definitions, the majority of which depend upon the opinion of the definer. The dictionary definition is, “…the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear.” A person in the military may believe courage is what drives him to fight on the front lines and prepares him to die for the welfare of an entire nation. G. K. Chesterton believed an aspect of this, saying, “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” A plethora of examples of what is perceived to be courage and its products exist, but I believe courage to be something very different from the most common definitions.

Harper Lee defined courage accurately in her book, To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus, a main character in the book, was speaking to his son, Jem, when he said: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” In the Vietnam War, something drove many soldiers to continue fighting, even with the chaos of war surrounding them. One must only imagine walking through the jungles of Vietnam, struggling to fight with the corpses of fellow brothers in arms scattered across the ground, to get a sense of the reality in this definition. Courage gave soldiers the strength to carry on. Lee’s definition is correct, but is it complete? I believe her concept of courage is lacking a key ingredient: purpose. Why does courage carry us through a noble task amongst incomprehensible opposition?

Since ancient times, wars between tribes, states, and nations have been waged constantly. The nation which successfully builds an empire is the one that efficiently utilizes the most destructive weapon of all: fear. Adolf Hitler used this powerful force to his advantage in World War II, a war in which tens of millions were killed. Fear also proved itself to be Hitler’s own undoing through his suicide. Courage is the antonym of fear; to resist fear, one must have courage. Another famous author of American literature had his own definition for courage. Mark Twain said, “Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear – not the absence of fear.” For there to be courage, there must also be fear. Courage has to be in opposition to something; otherwise, there would be no need for courage. Bravery caused the Allied forces to stand the gap against Germany’s seemingly unstoppable reign of terror. Is that all there is to bravery though? Is courage simply overcoming fear, without any purpose? What truly caused millions of men to accomplish that which many would label brave?

Although the definitions I have given so far are rather insightful, I believe they are insufficient, because they do not answer the simple question of purpose. Why do soldiers continue to fight when victory seems to be unreachable? Why does a believer in Christ stand up for what he knows to be right amongst those who might persecute him? My favorite definition of courage explains this; it is a revised version of Ambrose Redmoon’s definition, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather action, based upon the realization that there is something more important.” This is why: Something greater than our fear exists, and that is why we persevere through difficult times; that is why we fight for our nation, and that is one reason believers stand up for the Word of God.

No matter what definition for courage the reader prefers, it likely contains truth. I believe the definition stated above is the best because it describes not only what courage truly is, but why we must have courage: because there is something of greater importance than our fear, and ultimately ourselves. In reality, true courage cannot be practiced with a selfish attitude; it must be performed with humility of mind, regarding others as more important than oneself. In fact, to practice any other virtue, one must have courage. C. S. Lewis said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” Whenever one encounters a trial, he faces fear. To truly practice any virtue, one must have the courage to overcome this fear, realizing the end result is much more important than the fear that impedes one from growth as a believer. Courage is one of the most important virtues one can possess, as it drives all others. As Christians, we cannot walk with the Lord without courage.

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Psalms, The Word

Psalm 145

Psalm 145 has recently become one of my favorite psalms, as it was written to praise God, and does so elegantly. This psalm extols the Lord for His attributes, His acts, His power, and His blessings. This is the conclusion of the 73 psalms of David, and grand it is. A couple of my favorite verses are:  “6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness. 7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”

Psalm 145

1 I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.

5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.

6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.

7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

8 The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

9 The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.

10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.

11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;

12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14 The LORD sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.

16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.

20 The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

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Holiday

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

Christmas. The very utterance of this word carries hundreds of images to the mind at once. Lights, trees, decorations, candy, fudge(white chocolate in my case), love, friends, family, comfort, Santa, and Jesus are examples of the kinds of images that would scurry through one’s brain at this word. There are so many topics I could write about under the Christmas category that I will not be able to expound upon them all. I’ll fit as many as I can in this post though.

First off, the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Watch any secular children’s Christmas movie and you’ll get a different spin on it. “It’s about getting gifts from Santa for being good,” and “The true meaning of Christmas is giving stuff to people you love,” are the most common meanings that the culture projects. Looking in from the outside, one can see that for the typical family, Christmas is a holiday filled with discontentment and spawned from greed. People will become angered if they don’t like what they got or didn’t get as much as they wanted. One might feel jealousy over a friend who received something better than they. One could become greedy, hoarding as much as he can get, giving nothing in return. For an unbeliever, Christmas is a holiday rampant with sin. This should be in direct contrast with the conduct of a believer on this holiday, or really any time. For a follower of Christ, CHRISTmas is just that: a designated time that we offer up praise to God for the gift of His Son being sent into this world, as a perfect and holy sacrifice for our constant sin. Really this is nothing we shouldn’t already be doing everyday of the year, everyday of our lives. Jesus Christ has given us the greatest gift that only God could give; why should we only praise Him for it once a year? No, as already stated, we should do much the opposite!

So then, why should we participate in the traditions of our culture? Why should we give gifts? Is God not enough? If we have accepted the free gift of God of eternal life, we know He is enough. As I have said before, “no money, cars, relationships can compare to joy in Christ,” to borrow from the Christian rapper Lecrae. Nothing we can possibly desire on this earth can match up to who Christ is.

Psalm 73:25-26, 28 “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of Your works.”

See, to become discontent would defeat the purpose of Christmas: praising God because HE is enough! Each of us has been blessed beyond measure, so to sin in greed and discontentment would be like sneering at the Mighty God saying, “You are not enough. I want more! Your sacrifice was nothing.” How could we? Our Eternal Father deserves our lives and more for the boundless love which He has for us! We give gifts as a reflection of the gift we have been given, and should be proclaiming Christ the whole time we do.

In light of the fact that we must have this praise for Christ all the time, I believe many Christians should change their perspective of the Christmas season. To paraphrase John MacArthur, “When the world throws you a pass, catch it.” For the unbeliever, Christmas is a time of sin. For the child of God, Christmas is a tool. A tool for the furtherance of the gospel, of the good news of Jesus Christ, so that more may come to know Him. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is the only reason we celebrate Christmas. Far from it. We are finite humans, bound in weak flesh, and Christmas season serves to remind us of the gift of our Savior’s birth. We commemorate and celebrate the day of His birth at one time, together as a body.

I hope and pray that you will keep your focus on Christ throughout the Christmas season, throughout the year, and throughout your life.

Here is a little something I was shown on youtube. It’s a hilarious narrative of the birth of Christ by a British pastor. Enjoy!

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Psalms, The Word

Psalm 19

First I would like to apologize for the absence of posts upon this blog. The school year has been hard for me, so I have had almost no free time so far this year. I will try to be more diligent in my posting habits, even if all I can put up are song lyrics. With Christmas day fast approaching, one would think I would write a Christmas-themed post. I will try to before then, but no promises.

This is a psalm that has been so encouraging to me. It speaks of God’s ownership of the world, the beauty of His handiwork, and how it proclaims His name to all who desire to hear. How wonderful is the Word of God! It contains everything needed for a life in godliness. It restores, makes wise, rejoices, and warns us, as adduced by this passage. Nothing compares to the Word. “No money, cars, or relationships compare to joy in Christ,” to borrow the words of Lecrae. It’s easy to say these things, but the product will be found in our everyday lives. Do I really love the Word? If I do, the evidence will be clear to all those around me. I must examine myself daily, praying for the love the 119 psalmist had(and still has) for the Word. I would encourage the reader to do the same.

Psalm 19

1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

2 Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.

3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.

4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.

13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; 
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

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