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Oh Lolli Lolli Pop

I the corner I sit,
Sweet, spiriling pleasure
Watching, awaiting
A rich man’s young daughter

My ploy is deceptive
So good, so destructive
To have me, you suffer.
Only momentary pleasure

Beg for me,
Plead for me,
Throw your head back
and scream!
To have me will come true
your wildest dreams!
Your desire so pure,
Weilding power so strong.
You control your daddy
All the day long.,
Instant satisfaction
Your only concern.
You know not the consequence
Of quenching this thirst.

Daddy’s girl,
I’ll destroy you;
Rot your teeth,
Kill your flesh.
Your way, not exactly
The one that is best.
You may scream,
You may cry out.
But in time you’ll forget.
I am only a lollipop,
And a serious threat.

Oh, Happy Mountain,
Praising God
Your smile is bright,
You are standing strong

Your deep voice, resounding,
“Come and see,
Come and praise Him,
Join with me!”

Oh Happy Mountain,
Proclaiming God,
Innocence, your countenance,
And passion, your plea.

Your strong voice convicting,
“Come and see,
Come and praise Him,
Join with me!”

Oh Happy Mountain,
Calling to me,
I cannot stay silent,
My heart has grown wings!

Together we sing out,
In joyful reply,
“Our Creator is worthy,
He’s the reason, “why?””

Oh good people,
I charge you,
Give up on self-focus,
Look instead up to Heaven,
See the One who is glorious.
Our savior who’s Christ,
Who’s come down from above,
Has rescued His children,
The ones whom He loves.
Not because of our goodness,
Our worth, our desires,
But because of His grace,
We’ll avoid the hot fires.
Eternal damnation,
We don’t have to endure.
He’s satisfied His wrath,
Christ alone is The Cure.
Join with me and my Mountain,
In happy surrender,
Jesus Christ, He is Lord,
Our redeeming Savior.

Coming Back

Wow, I just realized it has been over a year since my last blog post. I have no idea if anyone even reads this and cares, but I figured I’d offer up an explaination and get back into writing.

This last year of my life has been crazy. I wrote a book, had my first boyfriend, broke up with my first boyfriend, parents got separated, moved to a new town where I didn’t know anyone- leaving behind a slew of friends who were strong believers and kept me going strong, started a new job, suffered from loneliness and spent month after month in the valley.

I didn’t stop writing because I was too busy or had no ideas. i stopped writing because I was fleeing from God because of shame and anger and rebellion. This last year, I have done some shameful things that I wish I could take back, but that’s not how it works. That is something the Lord has never allowed His children to do, and I believe it is because He loves us. In the valleys and in our own rebellion we are given great opportunities to learn about ourselves and our Father. I am not saying rebellion is the key to understanding. That would be heracy. The Lord hates rebellion. It is the turn from rebellion back to our first Love. That turn and that trail back to Him is one of the most difficult things you will do in your life, but it is also the most gratifying. Dear reader, if you are living in rebellion and have a want to turn back to Him, but are afraid. If you feel as though you are lost in a tunnel and cannot see the light at the end, Run. Run straight to Him! i don’t care if you can’t see the light at the end it. Know and have faith that it is Christ standing there, ready to welcome you into His strong, peace-bringing embrace. You will not find fulfillment anywhere else. Nor will you find true rest. Run like your life depends on it, because it does! Your physical life and spiritual life depend on the relationship you have with your Heavenly Father.

THe Lord has been teaching me about freedom over the last few weeks. Freedom from sin, freedom from loneliness, guilt and shame. I have been trying to grasp the concept of freedom. I know what it is like to feel free when I am burdenless, but is it possible to soar in the valleys as well as in the mountain tops? I believe it is. Freedom in Christ is an unconditional freedom. It shouldn’t matter what we are going through. Put on your Helmet of Salvation and remember! it is no coincidence that Paul puts the Helmet of Salvation on our heads in Ephesians 6. No coincidence that the Belt of Truth is around our center and the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace on our feet. We are to keep our salvation at the forefront of our thoughts because we are free from sin! Do you understand what that means?! FREE! Free from sin. Believer, we cannot die! For us, death is but a moment. As soon as our eyes close here on earth, our eyes open in heaven and will remain in that glorious state for all eternity!

We are free from self doubt. It is not about us. When we finally grasp this truth, the heaviest burden we bear falls off our shoulders and we can be like children. Dance before your Father because you want to. Sing! Make up songs, laugh and love. We were not created to be in bondage. Open your hands in a holy surrender, take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet. Pray out loud, scream and cry, jump up and down. Rejoice! Your burden is lifted!

At the Beach

An empty bench
All alone
Staring out at things
Unknown
Peaceful watching people play
Free to sit and stare
All day
Things are quickly passing by
Things are changing,
Don’t know why
Freely sitting
Content in place
Unmoving,
Unchanging,
Unwavering faith

Psalm 25:1-5 “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies be put over me. Indeed, none of who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I will wait all day long.”
Isaiah 44:9, 18-20 “All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame.
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, ‘Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’ He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself to say, ‘Is there not a lie in my right hand?’”
We have been walking through a series called “The Truth Project” on Wednesday nights, which asks and answers questions such as, “What is truth?” A familiar quotation from Jesus in John 14 might pop into your head “I am the way, the truth and the life”( but what does that mean?). We also read in John 18:37 the reason Christ was born, “to bear witness to the truth.” So, what is truth? It’s obviously of great importance since testifying to it is the reason Christ was born! Truth is God’s perception of reality, and Jesus Christ is in ultimate authority over this. It is imperative that we see things through the Lord’s perception of reality. It is the only truth, everything else is a lie. It is for this reason that the writer of Psalm 25 pleads for the Lord to lead him in truth. He knew that on his own he did not have the ability to discern truth from lies. His perception of reality, and ours, is not the same as the Lords. We should desire to look at everything through the lenses of truth. Colossians 2:8, the memory passage for this month, gives us a warning, do not be taken captive by lies! What lies are you believing and acting on? Let me ask you; what is the definition of insanity? Loss of touch with reality, believing and acting on things that aren’t true, right? So, then, wouldn’t it seem that sin is insanity? A few years ago when we went through John Piper’s “Battling Unbelief” we learned that the root of all sin is unbelief. Every fundamental sin can be traced back to a lie that was believed, for example; idolatry believes the lie that God doesn’t exist or isn’t good enough. Sin is suppression of truth.
Now, let me turn the tables and ask another question; Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? Then, Christian, why is your faith so small? Why do you struggle to leap into the arms of your Father like a small child does to his dad? Don’t you trust that He will catch you? Why do you have a hard time praying? Why do you doubt? Why do you have to “get in the mood” to worship? Why do you struggle to seek him as your treasure? And why is your motivation so small to memorize His word and hide it in your heart? Why don’t you speak the truth with boldness? I am much more quick to speak a lie and be confident in that than I am the truth.
I would encourage you, Believer, to seek the truth and live by it. The world fights hard to keep you from it. Put on your armor (Ephesians 6) and stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Proverbs 2:1-5, 7-8 “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding, yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding. If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God…he stores up sound wisdom for the upright, he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the ways of his saints.”
I’d like to begin by asking a question: if you knew you could not fail-and not only that you could not fail, but greatly succeed, what would you do? Please, take a moment to think of your answer. Would you start an orphanage? A church? A company? Would you invent something? Go to school? Be a writer? Raise a large family? Go on a treasure hunt?
Mark Carlton read the passage above a few weeks ago and I began to question myself. Do I desire the Word of God? Do I seek it like silver and gold and search for it as for hidden treasure? Am I willing to struggle for it? Do I hold dear every piece I find because it means I am getting closer to him? And with every little piece that I find, is my joy and strength renewed and my faith in his promise encouraged?
Believer, if you are anything like me, your answer is, most often, no. I don’t treasure His Word, nor do I seek it as I ought to. And this is one thing he promises we will not fail in doing! “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Knowledge and understanding of the Lord should be our goal. But searching for treasure is a hazardous venture, be willing to take great pains, for within this passage there is a second promise; protection! “…he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” Because Solomon transitions from treasure seeking right into the Lord’s protection, we can safely assume that treasure hunting and treasure guarding are dangerous occupations that believers must take on. Remember the story of Daniel and take hope! The law was passed that no one should pray to anyone but the king, lest he be thrown into the lion’s den. Daniel continued to pray to his God, he did not know whether the Lord would save his life or take him to Heaven to be with Him, yet he prayed without ceasing because his treasure was the Lord. And he was kept safe in that den by the power of the Almighty God! Think, also, of the stories you’ve heard of missionaries who have gone to terrible places to bring the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how they were tortured for it, even killed. I read their accounts in books like “Foxes Book of Martyrs” and marvel at their faith and peace and unwillingness to compromise the Word of God for the sake of a few more moments of life. They quote Scripture and sing praise to the King as their bodies burn and arrows pierce their sides. With tears of conviction streaming down my cheek as I write, I think to myself, “I have stopped reading the Word of God for so much less; a busy schedule and trivial entertainment.”
To connect this to the sermons we have been hearing over the last month, let us look at Ephesians 6:14-17 and see what we are to “put on” for protection. “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for our feet, having put on the readiness of the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Perhaps there needs to be a change in perspective. What is your treasure worth? Will you put on the armor of God and stand?

This past month Ken has spent a few Sundays talking about our armor: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, on our feet-as shoes-the gospel of peace, the shield of faith in our hand, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. Symbolism in the Bible is a very powerful thing. In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, we are as warriors fighting a spiritual battle against the evil one. A battle which we cannot lose. We are victorious over death because Christ has defeated the enemy and he is our strength to stand. Our armor is centered around and held up by the belt of truth, which is, Christ. And upon the head is the helmet of salvation, which we are to think about, continually. Symbolism. Tangible, real, concrete ideas that aid men in understanding more fully, Christ, and our walk with him.
Another symbolic idea that we are called to is baptism. This month at Providence Community Church we have been blessed with an opportunity to baptize a few of the believers in our midst. Because of this opportunity, I believe it would be fitting to share with you what baptism is, the way we baptize (by immersion), the meaning of baptism, the effect and the necessity.
We choose to baptize by immersion because: the Greek word for baptism (baptizo) means “to plunge, dip or immerse”, Christ was immersed, and it symbolizes death and resurrection. Baptism symbolizes a union with Christ in his death and then being risen and walking with him in the newness of life. Generally, the closer your baptism is to your actual moment of salvation the more meaningful it is because the revelation of the Holy Spirit in bringing you salvation is clear in your mind and experience. Being baptized does not save you. Baptism strengthens and encourages your faith. Baptism also symbolizes the cleansing and purification from sins. We pass through the waters of judgment safely, die and rise with Christ with our sins washed away. Again, baptism is not salvific, your sins are not actually washed away by the water. They are washed away
by the blood of Jesus Christ. Baptism is an obedient step of faith. We do it because we are called to. We do it because we are to follow the example of Christ. We obey because he is worthy and because it is a great privilege!
If you are a true believer and you have not yet been baptized, I would strongly encourage you to do so. Think of it! Your first major step of faith as a believer is to proclaim your love for Christ to other believers. You get to speak of and act out the covenant you have made with Him. Surrendering your life to Him, trusting Him fully.

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