Archive | August 2013

Glory be to God on High

Glory be to God

Glory be to God on High
He has restored my life
Giving me peace to overcome
To cast down thoughts of the evil one
              
My very life I live in Him
Christ my Lord soon coming King
I’m watching and waiting His face to see
The one that gave me liberty
              
No greater love I’ve ever known
Than from the One that saved my soul
His praises I’ll forever sing
Lover of my soul is Jesus my King
              
His word is like medicine to me
The weapon I use to battle the enemy
For on His word I will stand
In the name of Jesus authority is given
            
I will not fear for He is near
The still small voice whispers in my ear
“Be still and know that I AM GOD”
The power of His word on the enemy to trod
              
Many are the afflictions of the righteous
But you deliver us from them all with love and kindness
Although it is good to be on the mountain top
It’s in the valley I have grown and you’ve taught me a lot
              
Both daughter of Zion and little girl He calls me
I’m blessed beyond measure to be in His family
Saved and sanctified for His purpose and plan
Never to be plucked out of His hand
              
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost I will praise
My God is 3 in One throughout eternity reigns
Bless the Lord O’ my soul and forget not all His benefits
Guide me and keep me LORD through your precious Holy Spirit
 
Pastor Linda Begley

Photo Credit: sunrise in Mount Fuji by Kevin Lam

To God Be the Glory

to god be the glory

Yesterday night I share a comment in Sue Nash blog about a hymn song called “To God Be the Glory” This  hymn song became one of my favorite songs from the hundreds favorite hymn song and I will use as my wedding theme song on December later. Why I and my fiancé choose this song? Because first, this song always reminds us How marvelous God’s work and also gives special place to the Free Grace position—that salvation is provided as a gift from God to everyone who will place his or her faith in Christ, regardless of one’s sins before or after conversion. The second reason, this is our gratitude to Lord Jesus Christ who has been gave us wonderful and marvelous blessing in our life. This evening I am pleased to share our reflection of this song. Here’s…..

When we observe and ponder this song, there are several aspects of this beloved composition set it forth not only as a hymn of praise, but also as a hymn of grace. From the outset, it is clear that Fanny J. Crosby ascribes all credit to God for His work (“great things He hath done”), with no role for man’s efforts in God’s great plan. In the first stanza, it is Jesus alone who opens the life gate of salvation, so that all have the opportunity to be saved. This is a clear message of grace, in contrast to the idea that man must prove his worth before eternal life is granted.

However, it is in the second stanza that Crosby most clearly sets forth the conditions for entrance through this gate—faith, and faith alone. Note that redemption is promised to “every believer” ( John 3:16), and that regardless of the magnitude of one’s sins, even “the vilest offender” who puts his or her faith in Christ, such as the criminal crucified with Christ (Luke 23:43) or Saul of Tarsus (1 Tim 1:15), will immediately receive pardon from Jesus.

The third stanza and chorus continue to bring this point of grace home, proclaiming that it is God who has done great things, and the One to whom praise and adoration belong. As is evident here, as well as in her other hymns, Fanny J. Crosby were a great woman of God who clearly understood the importance of God’s marvelous grace in salvation. The act of love on the cross which made this possible is truly reason to “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!” Let us indeed rejoice in our salvation provided so freely by Christ Jesus!

Fanny J.Crosby wrote this song lyric based on Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life, an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate, that all may go in.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer, the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!

Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done!

Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915) William H. Doane (1832-1915)

Karina – Kevin Lam

Watch and listen this great Hymn song “To God Be the Glory”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3qcyNUqdxA&list=RD02NKex7c7DzMA

With permission from Greg Howlett this music will be use in our holy matrimony

Photo credit: christianwallpaper.com

 

 

 

 

 

Count Your Blessing,Name Them One by One.

count your blessing

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”Isaiah 43:18-19

There is an old parable about God give two pieces of box to a young girl. One box is black and the other is gold. Then God said to the girl: “Please put all of your sufferings to the black box and enter your happiness to the gold box.  Then the young girl did what God says. Every suffering that she got always put into the black box. When she got happiness she put into the gold box and so on.

One day, she felt there was something strange. Day after day, time after time, she saw that the gold box getting full. But strange! The black box remains empty. Then she trying to find out what is going on. After a while she checking out that box, finally she found something. There is a hole in the bottom of the box. That’s why that black box still empty. Every suffering that she enters to the black box will come out again.

She was puzzled and more curious. Then she asks to God: “Dear God, where is my suffering?” With a warm and tender smile God answered:”My child, all of your sufferings are in Me” The young girl asked again: “And why there is a hole in the black box?”  Then god Said:” My child, I have purpose. I’m giving you gold box that you may always count every blessing that has been given to you. I gave you a black box with the hole that you may not see your sorrows, always forget all of your sorrows and never remember again. The point is always count every your blessing.”

My dear friends, did we realize that as humans we have two life’s side and both sides of it are in one package. Good and bad, happy and sad with all it is a unity that cannot be separated. We often experience the good things that make us happy but not infrequently, we are also experiencing the hard times that make us sad. Unfortunately, many of us tend to always remember the bad things that can make us stuck in that situation and makes us forget about God’s blessing. There is a hymn song that the lyrics were say:”When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” This song teaches us to always remember every God’s blessing even though we are in the bad situation and experience many suffering.

The parable above shows and reminds us to forget all of our sorrows and not always remember it again. Always remember the bad things that ever happened to us would weaken our faith. But if we always remember and count all of God’s goodness that has been given to us, it will further strengthen our faith. Isaiah 43:18-19 said: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

So my dear blogger, this evening I would like to ask all of us to ponder this; what will we do? Whether we would continue to fill the gold box and always remember and counting every God’s blessing  or do we want to always remember and count any of suffering that we have experienced and make our faith is getting weak?  Let this be our reflection. Amen.

“Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, and you will keep singing as the days go by.”

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost. Robert H. Schuller

Karina.

Song lyric taken from Hymn song: “Count Your Blessing” by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Photo credit: wallpaperarchives.net

 

 

Focused Prayer

focused prayer

The idea of this post is derived from my best blog friend when she was share unfocused prayer problem in her blog yesterday. Why I am longing to write and share this post because I really concern about prayer. Praying has become a part of my life. I spent about 1-2 hours (sometime more) a day to talk with God privately.

Back to the problem. I think this is not only her problem. Including me, I believe many of us often have a problem like Julie. So, how we can stay focused in prayer? How we avoid a distracted prayer? Below are some of my thoughts. But this is not a theological theory. This is just a thought based on my personal experience.

First, when we want to pray, it means we are ready to talk with God in our special time. Be ready! This is important to us. Our minds and hearts should be ready to take our prayer. Our hearts and minds have been leads to God and ready get into the God’s presence. For a while forget about other things that exist in our minds.

When we are truly ready, let us praising God through a song. We can do it by listening to a spiritual song with the theme of praising God or prayer then we can sing following its song. Paul admonished the Ephesians church to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19-20). According my experience, praising God through music before praying can help our hearts and minds to get in to the God’s presence. Choose a short song, not too long.

 Then after singing (or just listening a song). Start our prayer with praise and thanks.  Psalm 100:4 said:” Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Open up our prayer time with praise. Take around 5-10 minutes to thank God for what He’s done for us. Spend time focused on what Jesus has done for us and praise and thank Him for that. Then, continued with worship to God. Worship is different with praise and thanksgiving. Praise is thanking God for what He’s done, but worship is about who God is! Take the next few moments to simply marvel at the awesomeness of God such as: “LORD, You are everything to me. There’s none like You in the heavens or in the earth!”

After praising, thanksgiving and worship take time to ask God to forgive us. Worship should always lead to repentance, worship sees God for who He is and allows us to see how unclean we are. (Isaiah 6).We can read Psalm 51 for a prayer for repentance.

The next is intercession. Move to praying for others needs and for our needs. If we use a list for prayer requests, bust that thing out and start praying. One lesson I was taught in this area was to pray for other’s needs first then put your needs last. Get prayer focused on God, then others, then lastly yourself. Make categories for this part of prayer. I usually begin to family, friends, ministers and church, government, and lastly myself.

The last is I usually end my prayer time reflecting and reading my Bible. This is also a good way to listen for the voice of the LORD. Usually other needs start to “pop” into my head and I can pray for those needs as well. This part is hard because we feel like we aren’t doing anything.

What about an environment for praying? Is this important? Yes! This is important. We cannot pray in a noisy environment. Every day I always pray in my bedroom or work room which there is no one else except me. I turn off the TV or other tools that can produce unwanted sound that can distract my prayer. I recommend that do not pray while lying on the bed. We can lose of focus and even worse I am afraid we can fall asleep! God does not want us to say “Amen” in the next morning when we woke up!

Well my dear friends, this is my thoughts about focusing in prayer. If anyone wants to add or just sharing experiences in prayer. Feel free give your comment here.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”(James 5:16)

Karina.  Dedicated to Julie Garro (http://followhislight.wordpress.com)

Photo credit: foryouwhohaveanear.com