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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Songs of Praise!!!

***These are songs that my group, CrossView, sings or just songs that mean a lot to me.  We only sing songs that lift up the name of Jesus Christ our Savior. I hope you can let the words minister to your heart even though there is no music.*** 

That's All That Matters To Me

I believe there are streets of gold, but it's alright with me
If there's nothing more than one old gravel road
And I know a mansion's waiting, but a cabin suits me fine
Just a place where I can rest my heavy load

Oh they say there is a river that flows beneath the throne
And the surface there reflects that holy place
Oh I'm sure that all the splendor will be so grand to see
But what I long to the most is Jesus' face

Cause' that's all that matters to me
To bow my head and thank my blessed Savior on my knees
On those peaceful hills of glory in his presence I will be
To know I'm home
That's all that matters to me

Oh the lights of that fair city will never fade away
It's a perfect land where night will never come
But all the beauty I'll behold there can't compare to how I'll feel
When I hear my precious Lord say well done

Cause' that's all that matters to me

To bow my head and thank my blessed Savior on my knees
On those peaceful hills of glory in his presence I will be
To know I'm home
That's all that matters to me

Monday, November 9, 2009

Well, that's just great.

Well, I guess I'm going to have to read my post The Same God over again.  But this time I need it for me. 

My car started clicking and purring on Friday, and let me just say that I never heard it make a sound before that.  I drove to the Advance Auto store and had them check the oil.  They said it was pretty low so they filled it up for me.  (I also found $3.00 in the parking lot which paid for Caden's happy meal, well, almost, it was $3.01.  And yes I fed him a happy meal, big deal).  Anyway, it slacked off a little on the clicking, so I went Saturday morning to just have the oil changed.  I thought maybe it could use a clean filter too.  And again, it helped the clicking a little bit. 

I got in my car this morning to drive to work, and what do I hear?  Clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick.
Great.  That's just what I need.  So I took it to be checked out at a garage today and they didn't tell me something I wanted to hear.  They said they wished they had some better news for me, BUT..........

The engine is dying.  

The engine.  The motor.  The very life of the car.  DYING.  It's just a matter of time, but it's coming.  Could be tomorrow, could be next week, could be next month.  But either way, my car will die.  He said the clicking will just continue to get worse, (from what my non-car-knowledge brain can understand the clicking is stuff knocking together in the engine which is tearing it up) until one day the lights will start coming on and going off inside the car and it will just go crazy and die. 


Do you want to know how much this is probably going to cost?  A WHOLE ARM AND PART OF ONE LEG!!!  In other words, a used engine and the cost of labor to put it in will run about $4000.00.  Or the alternative is to buy a new car. 

Again, GREAT.

So, I'm trying to remind myself that the same God that was walking around in the fire and saved the three Hebrew boys from being burned CAN and WILL help me with my car.  There is a reason this happened, and although it really stinks right now, I have to trust in God that he knows what he's doing. 

I do wish he would let me in it though.  Just a little heads up would be nice!

Songs of Praise!!!

This is my first Songs of Praise post.  I sing with my family in a bluegrass gospel group called CrossView.  It's my dad, my uncle and me singing, my husband playing the guitar and dobro, and a teen from our church playing the bass.  My dad also plays the guitar, banjo, and mandolin.  I play the mandolin too.  We sing all over North Carolina and sometimes Virginia and South Carolina as well.  My dad's family has been singing since he was about 5 years old and they used to go by the name Middle Cross Quartet.  We only changed the name when my grandma became to sick to travel anymore and we just didn't feel like it was really Middle Cross without her.  I want to share with you the words to some of the songs we sing. (And also some that we don't sing but I still really love)   We only sing songs that lift up the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.  I hope you can let the words minister to your heart even though there is no music. 


Words & Music by Dottie Rambo

Amazing grace will always be my song of praise
For it was grace that brought me liberty.
I can not know just why He came to love me so;
He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary
To view the cross where Jesus died for me.
How marvelous that grace that caught my falling soul;
He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary
To view the cross where Jesus died for me.
How marvelous that grace that caught my falling soul;
He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.

He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I know that I know!!

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.                                             I John 5:13 KJV

This is one of my new favorite verses in the whole Bible!  I've actually always believed it, but never knew where to find the verse to tell someone else who may have questions about it.   This verse is so important to anyone who is a born again christian. 

The day I got saved is the single most important day of my entire life.  Of course my wedding day and the day my son was born are a real close 2nd and 3rd, but my eternal salvation definately tops the list.  Without being saved by God's amazing grace, I would be doomed to spend all of eternity in hell.  Yes, I fully believe there is a heaven where saved people go to be with Jesus, but to believe that, you have to believe in hell also.  It's just as real as I am sitting here typing this.  Not having to go to that awful place is very important to me as I'm sure no one really wants to go. 

The thing is, no one has to go.  The one and only thing that makes a person go to hell is not accepting Jesus as their personal savior.   The one and only thing that will allow you to go to heaven is fully accepting Jesus as your personal savior.  It's not by the works or good deeds that you do, just like it's not about the rotten ugly things that you do either.  
(For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8,9  KJV)

It's simply believing with all your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, and asking him to come into your heart. 

That's it. 


It's not some big complicated thing. 

Then, once you get that concept, some people start to question their salvation after they get saved.  They begin to realize that they are still flesh and they still sin.  They don't feel perfect and good all the time and that can be scary.  But christians are NOT perfect and sinless.  

Christians are simply sinners saved by amazing grace and forgiven.  

You are still gonna mess up.  You are still gonna do the wrong thing sometimes.  You are still gonna fail God and disappoint him at times.  

But God is very good about forgiveness.  Thank God for that!!!  When you realize that you have done wrong, (that is the conviction of God, like him whispering (or shouting if needed) to you that he's not pleased with how you are acting) all you have to do is say you are sorry (and mean it) and he will forgive you. 
(whew, that's a whole lotta ( ), sorry!)

Now, here is the good part!!!!

You cannot be un-saved.  Even when you have sinned, you will never be un-saved and have to get re-saved.  Salvation is eternal.....forever.....for always.....never ending.....Do you get the point?!?  That is what this verse is saying.  You don't have to worry about it.  If you ever get saved, and I mean truly get saved in your heart, you will always be saved.  God knows you will mess up sometimes, and he loves you anyway! 

Without this verse, I would be so scared that if I died at the wrong moment I might not go to heaven.  I would have to ask forgiveness almost everyday because I'm sure I sin almost if not everyday.  I could never be "good enough" to deserve heaven.  No one that has ever lived or ever will live (besides Jesus) could ever be "good enough" to deserve heaven.  But what a blessing it is to know that I don't have to worry about that.  Don't you think it would be kind of mean for God to say ok, here's your salvation from an eternity of hell, and then take it back the next time you sin.   Our God is not like that.  Our God sent his only son to die on a cross so that ALL of my and your sins could be washed under the blood!  Past. Present. Future. 

Our God is awesome and his plan of salvation is perfect!  I'm so glad he extends salvation to anyone who truly wants it.  If you'll just let him in, you can know without a doubt that you are his child from now to eternity, and what a great thing that is to KNOW!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Same God

Last night we had a singing group called The Phillips Family visiting with us at church.  I have heard them many times and they are so good!  It's three brothers and a sister and you just can't beat good family harmony.  I knew one of the brothers used to be a pastor, but I had no idea one of the other brothers was a preacher too.  After they sang, he preached a message, and can I just say.......WOW!  I love it when preachers use stories and explain things in a way that I can really connect with.  I was really struck by one of the points in the message.  It wasn't the whole subject, but it really stood out to me.

First, here's a little background.  Nebuchadnezzar the king had made an image of gold and set it up.  He told all the people in the land that when they hear the sound of this certain music, they are to fall down and worship the golden image that he had made.  He said any people that do not  immediately fall down and worship shall be cast into a fiery furnace that same hour. 

Well, the music played for the first time and everyone began worshipping this man-made golden image.  Everyone except for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  They did not bow down.  Some of the kings people came and told the king that these three Hebrew boys had disobeyed him which made him very angry.  He had the three men brought to him and even told them a second time that they were supposed to bow down and worship this golden image when they heard the music.  I can just imagine the king saying something like
"What's wrong with you boys?  Can't you hear?  I told you to bow down and worship this golden god of mine when the music plays.  Now are you gonna cooperate or not?"

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not even have to think before they answered the king saying
"O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.                                                        
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

**This is how I can imagine it being said,
"Now you listen here o king, we are not gonna candy-coat this or beat around the bush any.  If you are gonna throw us in the fire, you just go right ahead.  Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of your hand.  But if he doesn't, you make sure we're clear on this, we will not serve your silly piece of gold you call god!)

They knew who their God was and they knew he was alive and full of power to help them unlike that chunk of gold the king wanted them to serve.  Can you imagine talking to something like a candlestick and asking it to help you through your daily trials and struggles?  It can't hear you....it can't move.... it's not real.  I stand in awe of their boldness to answer with certainty who they were going to serve.  Faced with being thrown in a fiery furnace and being burned alive and they still did not waiver.  It makes me think of the Columbine school shooting where one of the killers walked up to a young girl, pointed a gun at her head and asked her if she believed in God.  She answered yes, and he shot and killed her. 

Just think about being in a life or death situation like that for a moment.  Would you be bold enough to stand up for Jesus and answer yes...without a doubt you believe and trust in him?

So, anyway the king told them to heat the fire seven times hotter than it already was.  He commanded the most mighty men in his army to bind the three Hebrew boys up and throw them in the fire.  Because of it being hotter than normal, the army men were instantly killed by the flame of the fire as they got close.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell into the fire.  Immediately the king jumped up and called out to some other men standing around and said "Hey, didn't we just throw three men into the fire?"  They answered him and agreed that three men were thrown in.  Well I'm sure the king must have thought he was going crazy or maybe he was just delirious from the heat because he could see not one......not two......not even three......but FOUR men loose and walking around in the fire with not a care in the world it seemed.  He proclaimed that the fourth man looked like the Son of God!!!!!!!  The king went over to the edge and called the boys to come out and when they did not one single hair was even singed.  Their clothes didn't even smell like smoke. 

Now here's where it starts really getting good!  Remember they had told the king that the God they served was ABLE to deliver them from the fire.  Then they went one step further and said that God WILL deliver them from out of the hand of the king one way or another.  But they knew that even if God chose not to physically save them from the fire and they were instead burned up, they would spend eternity in heaven with the Lord and would still be free from the king.  They knew that God would show up in someway to help them, and he sure did!!!

He didn't just sit up in heaven and wave his hand and put out the fire for them. 
He didn't tell them it was going to be ok and to just stick it out.


That is exactly what God does for you and me too.  He doesn't just sit and watch us struggle from a distance and wave a magic wand to make things better.  He is right here with us.  He will not leave you to fumble through your trials alone.  He may not always answer a prayer the way you think it should be done.  But no matter how God sees fit to handle the situation, he is still right there with you. 

Sometimes he will deliver you out of whatever it is that is happening just like he did with the Hebrew boys. 

Sometimes he will allow things to happen to you that are really awful like he did with Job. 

But he will always be right there with you to provide strength, comfort, peace, help, and love no matter what the circumstance.

What's the point of all this rambling you ask?

It is simply this:  The God we serve today, is the very same God that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served all those years ago.  He's the same one that was standing in the fiery furnace with them.  He's the same one that kept the lion's from eating Daniel in the lion's den.  He's the same one that literally parted the Red Sea for Moses.  He's the same one that allowed Jonah to survive being swallowed and live in the belly of a whale before being spit out.  He's the same one that healed sick people, cleansed the lepers, opened blinded eyes, and raised the dead. 

God is the same God yesterday, today, and for all eternity.  If he could perform miracles like these that seem almost unbelievable back then, why do we not have enough faith that he can help us with our problems today?  Surely he can help with our financial struggles, our marital issues, or our broken cars and dishwashers.  We just need to remember that not only is our God ABLE, but that he WILL deliver his children like he said he would!