THURSDAY TUNE #31: To Love You Back by Jamie Grace

I was having a conversation with one of my officemates a few hours ago when he said something that caught my attention. He said with a smile and a deep sigh: “You know what, Nicole? Recently, I feel that God has been pursuing me. It’s amazing because even though I’ve been struggling week after week, He still continues to pursue me.”

When my officemate shared this to me, it reminded me of how humbling it is to be pursued and desired by God. He made the heavens and the earth. He made every part of our bodies. He can even make miracles happen in a heartbeat if He wants to. And yet, this same God is our God who loves us; who knows exactly what is in our hearts; and who desires to have a personal relationship with us.

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“If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

(Psalm 139:8-10, 14-18)

As I read through the Bible verses mentioned above, I find myself thanking the Lord for His relentless love for me. Yes, He has been pursuing you and me. But, have we been pursuing God? Have we been delighting in who He is and in His Word?

I’d like to share a song by Jamie Grace which has been very instrumental in encouraging me to draw near to God and pursue Him more than anything. I hope that this will bless your hearts as well as you seek the Lord this week.

 

Thursday Tune #30: One Life by Danny Gokey

So, it was just a hoax. Whew! Earlier today, I read tweets and posts online about the death of Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer”. It didn’t really sink in until after I got home from work. However, after checking his official Facebook page and reading more updated articles online, I learned that it was just a false report. No wonder it didn’t make the headlines of newspapers worldwide. Usually, when celebrities pass away, everyone immediately gets informed — thanks to technology.

From http://wallpaper-actress-beauty.blogspot.com
From http://wallpaper-actress-beauty.blogspot.com

This event reminded me of a song that I heard recently while I was browsing through YouTube. It was written and sung by Danny Gokey (third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol). I wasn’t able to watch that season, but I learned about Danny’s story online while watching his interviews. Four weeks before he auditioned for American Idol, he lost his wife due to complications of a routine surgery for congenital heart disease. It was a devastating experience for him, but by God’s grace, He used Danny’s darkest moments in life to bring out good and give hope to others who are also experiencing similar struggles. Praise God for you, Danny Gokey!

Danny Gokey (Photo c/o hollywoodreporter.com)
Danny Gokey (Photo c/o hollywoodreporter.com)

One of his songs called “One Life” talks about the reality of death and how important it is for us to maximize the life that God has blessed us with. In the song, he mentions tragic events that people experience all over the world – those that lead to death. However, he also comforts the listeners by encouraging them to be serious in extending love to others while we still can, while we’re still alive and breathing.

I’ve been listening to this song since Monday this week and it has been such an encouragement to me. I love it because its sound remind me of my favorite songs in the 90’s, but more importantly, the message of the song helps my heart re-focus on more important things in life – like, living for God, loving Him and others, and sharing the hope that I have in Him to the people around me.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” –James 4:14

“How was she to know as she ran and slammed the door
That the angry words she spoke were the last words she would breathe
How was she to see eternity between the red light and the green
It all ended suddenly

Cause tomorrow isn’t promised
All we have is one life, is one time
To live and love and make it right”

[One Life – Danny Gokey]

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31

 

P.S. Dear Cesar Millan, I’m glad you’re still alive. May God bless you and use you to be a blessing to more people. I pray that you will also know Him more each day. :)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

THURSDAY TUNE #19: Come However You Are

I was looking for new songs last week when I found this amazing tune. When I first heard the verse, I instantly knew that it would be one of those songs that I could listen to all day long. It was unique, refreshing and encouraging because it talked about how we can freely open up our hearts and go to God anytime, in spite of our past or of the troubles and pain we’re going through at the moment. Plus, it had a beautiful, chill tune.

I then remembered what Ptr. Peter Tan-Chi said in one of our church services years ago: “Whatever you have done in the past, you cannot change. But starting today, you can tell God:  “Lord, thanks for loving me just the same.” :)

May this song encourage us all to know God more as we draw closer to Him each day. Thank You, Lord, for constantly reminding us of Your love for us.

From Google Images
From Google Images

“Come However You Are”

by City Harbor

To anyone walking down a hard road
Worn out with blisters on your feet
To anyone with a heart that’s shattered
Doing your best to hold it together
With no prayer to pray and no song left to sing

Whatever pain you’re dealing with
Let me offer this

Come however you are
Come with all your heart breaks
Come with all the mistakes you’ve made
Lay them down at the cross
Give them to the God who loves you
Hurt, scarred, falling apart
Come however you are

To the girl who never had a father
To the guy who thinks he’ll never amount to much of anything
To those of us who feel unwanted, unneeded, unloved, and desperately incomplete

Come however you are
Come with all your heart breaks
Come with all the mistakes you’ve made
Lay them down at the cross
Give them to the God who loves you
Hurt, scarred, falling apart
Come however you are

Come with your regrets
Come with the things you can’t change
Come with all your fears
With all your shame with everything
Come with the pieces of your bruised and broken heart
Don’t wait
Don’t wait

Whatever pain you’re dealing with
Let me offer this

Come however you are
Come with all your heart breaks
Come with all the mistakes you’ve made
Lay them down at the cross
Give them to the God who loves you
Hurt, scarred, falling apart
Come however you are

1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” :)

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)

THURSDAY TUNE #13: To Me by Matthew West

“If you repeat a lie again and again and again, you will believe it.” -Peter Tan-Chi

For the past week, I was tempted to believe in certain lies about myself/others, my security, my purpose, my basis for joy/fulfillment, etc. and it was really discouraging. But, God continued to speak to me through His word and He reminded me of His perfect love for me. In spite of disappointing moments, I was encouraged to trust that God knew what He was doing and that He will continue to do so. :) And even in the midst of lies and negative thoughts, God allowed me to see the Truth in Him and in His promises for me.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever. (Psalm 138:8)

This song has been such a great encouragement for me and I hope that as you listen to it, you too will be encouraged to find your security in Christ. He is definitely more than enough for us. His unfailing and everlasting love for us is enough. :)

I hope that this song encourages you today. :)

“To Me”

Well it breaks my heart
Every time I see the world break yours in two
You know those lies ain’t true
When you let ’em get to you,
Being you is hard to be, I see.

These days sticks and stones
Sound like paradise
Compared to those harsh words
They’re rather cut you down than hold you
But they don’t know you like I know you
If they did I know they’d see,
Yes they would see…

To me you are
Heaven’s finest invention by far
So much brighter than the brightest star
And what I’d give to make you see
Who you are to me

All your so called friends
Said they’d be there to the bitter end
But I won’t be just like the others
I’m gonna show you my true colors
You can’t ever make me leave
No, no, I won’t ever leave

To me you are
Heaven’s finest invention by far,
Even brighter than the brightest star
And what i’d give to make you see
Who you are to me

When you laugh it’s my favorite song
And all the gray is gone
Every single time I see you smile,
I just haven’t seen it in awhileSo go on and dream
Bigger dreams than this town’s ever seen before
There are just two kinds of people:
Ones who say you’re just not able
And the ones who change the world
And you’re gonna change the worldTo me you are
Heaven’s finest invention by far
Even brighter than the brightest star
And what I’d give to make you see
Who you are to me
…to me.
Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)