Category Archives: Praise / Worship

Whom have I….?

“Whom have I in heaven but You?  And beside You, I desire nothing on earth.” ~ Psalm 73:25

You’re my last hope and yet my first
You’re my brokenness and my strength
You’re my death and my life
The earth holds nothing to be desired but your presence
Nothing to be sought after but eternal riches in heaven
Nothing to be gained but my loss

(words penned in my college journal 8 years ago)

Addressing Worship

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” ~ John 4:23-24

I feel that we must be knowledgeable of the motive behind our hearts when we worship.  In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus quotes this warning given by the prophet Isaiah:
“This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart if far away from Me, but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” ~ Mark 7:6b-7

I believe that this warning holds true for us today as well.  We must never entertain “worship” with a heart that is far from God, otherwise our worship will prove to be in vain.  It doesn’t matter what our mouths and lips speak, it matters where our heart stands before a holy God.  God is not concerned as much about the external man as he is the inner nature of His children.  God always looks pasts our answers to questions, and our words of worship, to look into the deep recesses of our hearts (pretty scary I know).

Are we answering and worshiping to please man, or is our heart focused on the right thing during our worship time?

Bless the Lord!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
~Psalm 103:1-5
It’s been an incredibly busy past 5 1/2 weeks since the twins were born. Sometimes, I feel as if all we ever do is warm up bottles for the babies, feed babies, burp babies, change babies diapers, hold babies, get babies to sleep…and then start the cycle all over again. We’ve been running on little sleep, but the Lord is sustaining us. So, I simply do not have any deep exhortation, but a simple one: praise our creator as the psalmists do. Recently, I have found the book of psalms to be so enriching and encouraging, because the word of God is so powerful and true. It doesn’t get old or worn out (hopefully our pages do), it simply is Truth!
Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul! For He alone is Holy and has saved me!

4 Weeks Old!

(Picture is from leaving the NICU 2 1/2 weeks ago)

It’s hard to believe that it has been four weeks since the twins we were born; four weeks since we became a family with four children in four years of marriage. That being said…we are holding up pretty well. God is sustaining us through these nights with little sleep. Both babies are growing and doing well, and Abel and Amariah have been obedient and kind-hearted towards the babies. I am so thankful for our church family and Lighthouse at First Family Church for their generosity in serving our family by brining us meals. My joy is truly full right now and thought it necessary to give him praise…in the words of the Psalmist (84:1-4).

How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
The bird also has found a house,and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young
Even Your altars, Oh Lord of hosts, My King and my God
How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.

Isabel Hope & Elliana Faith

I’m at a loss of words for where to start this blog post, so I started it with a picture.  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events in our home.  I am in awe of God for his protection and provision for our family (which started 4 years ago today – Happy Anniversary Angela !).  I am so incredibly grateful for my wife’s health and the birth our twin girls.  Isabel Hope (left arm – right in picture) and Elliana Faith (right arm – left in picture) were born on May 28, 2009.  They were born via c-section weighing 3 lbs 15.8 oz and 5 lbs 10.2 oz respectively.  While Elliana and mother were able to come home from the hospital on Monday, June 1st, Isabel remains in the NICU as she continues to grow and catch up from her intrauterine growth restriction due to her two-vessel cord .  My heart is so grateful as I reflect on the events of the past week, months, year, etc.  My joy in the Lord is as strong now as it ever has been.  I can see his goodness in the midst of trial and praise him.  I see His protection for His children (my wife and I) as He sees fit to answer prayers according to His will and not ours (Mark 14:36)!  I see we have a God who truly answers our prayers and am thankful for the body of Christ and everyone who has committed to pray for us.  I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts at a later date ~ but I just wanted to give Him praise, because he is worthy and due all glory, honor, and praise (Revelation 4:11).

Worship Music

I have always had an affinity towards music. I remember growing up, I would always play basketball outside by myself listening to music. At that time it didn’t truly matter what kind of music it was. As long as it was music and something with a beat I would listen to it. Over the years growing up my taste in music would ebb and flow. From Country to heavy rock/metal, to 70’s & 80’s classics, it really didn’t seem to matter. After I became a Christian my sophomore year in high school, I started to get introduced to “modern worship music”, not just those “hymns” we sung in church (now I realize that some of the “modern worship music” was just hymns with electric guitar and drums).

I love worship music, there is just something about it that soothes the soul. There is something about singing praises to our God that just invigorates my soul. I love to just sit back, meditate, and sings praises to our God!

Now Playing: Chris Tomlin: “See The Morning

Answered Prayer!

Work has been very hectic this week, so I haven’t been able to blog as I would have liked to. There is so much to say…

I have experienced first hand the faithfulness of our God to answer our prayers and hear the cries of our hearts. My mom was diagnosed with ampullary cancer 14 1/2 months ago (and given 6-9 months to live originally). Since that day she has undergone three major surgeries, one in Cedar Rapids, and two at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She has also undergone various chemo and radiation treatments. She just had her first post-treatment check-up after three months of no surgeries, chemo, or radiation. Her tests came back clear, she just needs to make some minor diet adjustments to raise her potassium levels. We know that she is not completely out of the woods yet, but she does not have to go back up to the Mayo Clinic for check-ups for another three months! Praise God! He is such a good and faithful God. We have been praying since day 1, that God would heal my mother and that she would live and to God would be all the glory! I am thankful that the Lord blesses men, such as the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, to be instruments of his grace for his glory!

Never doubt that God does not hear your prayer or that he is not concerned about the affairs of men. We have a faithful and responsive God, who meets our needs when we cry out to him.