On Fire for All Things Christ

Archive for August, 2011

90 Minutes that Change a Life

We don’t often get to choose the ministry in which God leads us to serve His purpose best.

I have known of the book 90 Minutes in Heaven for a few years, but I had never read it. This past week, the book randomly popped into my mind. I mentioned the thought to a friend who promptly informed my that Mr. Piper would be speaking at a close by church this very weekend.

Hmm, is this one of those things that the Lord is trying to tell me and I’m not heeding the signs? I already had plans for the weekend, but His Spirit was apparently leading me elsewhere. After some thought, I decided to buy 90 Minutes in Heaven on audio and I quickly engulfed myself in it.

Based on a true story, Don Piper, after being in a horrific accident and announced dead on the scene by four paramedics, goes to Heaven and ninety minutes later is resuscitated back to life by a pastor friend who prays over his dead body. Today, Don Piper lives to tell his story.

His eye-opening description of heaven and his time of painful recovery ministers to thousands every day. In fact, part of his book focuses on these very testimonies. Mr. Piper had actually died, gone to Heaven and come back – but not by choice. He desperately wanted to go back to Heaven, but God’s direct answer was a clear, “No.” After some time in depression, and then finally accepting his fate (he wasn’t going to die and go to Heaven any time soon), Mr. Piper begins to use his experience as a way to help others through their difficulties. In some cases, he also helps open the gates of Heaven to others (lead them to Christ). His survival through such physical and emotional trauma has given so many a faith and hope of things to come.

Only the Lord knows how many Mr. Piper has guided to faith through his remarkable and one-of-a-kind story. He will indeed be greeted by many when he sees Heaven again, and he will welcome many more through those same luminescent gates he gazed at once before.

From Mr. Piper’s book and experiences, I’ve come to these three main conclusions to reflect upon.

  1. God hears and answers prayers!
  2. God is still in the miracle business!
  3. We don’t often choose our ministry/purpose the Lord has for us.

Is this what the Lord wanted me to hear? Perhaps. Will see as He continues to reveal His purpose for my life.

In love,
Edmee

Praise Music or Worship Music?

What is the difference between a praise song and a worship song?

I love it! Great simple question that would otherwise go unanswered thinking that the answer is obvious. However, to those that may be new to faith, or did not grow up in a culture that exercised music liberties, the distinction may not be so clear. Here is my answer along with some sample songs that I hope will help you understand the difference.

Praise means to express gratitude and admiration. So in a praise song, the lyrics tend to be more about thankfulness and the melody is rather upbeat and cheerful. Many times, the lyrics mention God’s sovereignty, His majestic holiness, His good nature, grace, etc. and we sing as cheerful followers. Congregations clap-along, jump, sway and are all together making a joyful noise. At church you may notice that services often start with “praise” songs to get the congregation moving and alive.

Here are a few of my current favorite praise songs:

Worship means to express reverence and adoration. Worship songs in Christian settings have lyrics that tend to go deeper into the heart. They are piercing to the point of tears. They stir the heart to reflection and change. Here, congregations tend to stand still and lift their hands in surrender. Sometimes people are on their knees, on the floor, or simply bowing their heads as they sing.

Here are a few of my current favorite worship songs:

Cutthroat Street Posters

An artist by the name of Cutthroat pastes Houston city streets with posters. After noticing a few of his posters on corner electric boxes throughout the city, I decided to do some mild research on the artist to see if I could get a sense of his spiritual beliefs. I found little info online, other than a few other posters on Flickr and an interview on artist views of street art. Nevertheless, I wanted to mention these two posters that recently caught my attention.

Santa Muerte Street Poster

Santa Muerte Street Poster in Houston (corner of Main St. and Wheeler) by Cutthroat

This first poster caught my eye on my way to work because just days earlier, a friend and I had been discussing how some religions have deviated so far from Truth that they have come to worship death – one form called Santa Muerte. It saddens me when I think of Satan so devilishly laughing at all the people he’s deceiving through false idols like Santa Muerte. Satan wants to be like God, so when people worship and welcome him (like they do when they worship Santa Muerte), he’s all over it! (Lucifer rebelled against God and sought to take God’s place: Isaiah 14:12-21)

Then, just a few days after seeing the first poster, a few blocks away I saw this other one. Awesome! I was much more excited about this poster, as it references Jesus, the true image to rightful worship! (Read another post about this poster here)

Jesus Poster by Cutthroat

Jesus Street Poster in Houston (corner of Fannin St. and Wentworth St.) by Cutthroat

I don’t know much about street art here in Houston or Cutthroat’s intent in all his art, but if he wants to publicly display posters of Jesus around the city, then I’m all for it!

Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

April 3, 2012 UPDATE: The Santa Muerte poster on Wheeler was stripped down several months ago and replaced with the “they all on me” poster of Jesus. Yes, all our sins were upon Jesus. Receive His gift of love by the precious blood of Christ.

Felt Bible Story Posters

A coworker sent me this, and I liked it very much and wanted to share it with you. The Felt Project is a series of simplistic teaser posters illustrating stories from the Bible. It’s one of those ideas I look at and think … if only I would have thought of that!

It would be neat to buy a group of these posters and put them all around a Bible study room and use them as illustrations that remind us of God’s faithfulness, grace and promises. Great idea and well thought out. Praise God, for giving us talents to glorify Him! Below are a few of my current favorites. (Available for sale/donations by the designer.)


Breath of Life
from Genesis 2: Adam and Eve

From the dust of the newborn world he’d created, God formed the man Adam and gave him life. Though he lived in paradise and was given land and animals, Adam was alone. But God created a companion for him, and the two became the roots of all mankind. (Read the Story)


Promise
from Genesis 8–9: Covenant of the Rainbow

Once the floodwaters had subsided, Noah and his family left the ark. God blessed them and vowed to never again flood the earth, setting a rainbow in the sky as the recurring sign of his promise to mankind. (Read the Story)


The Tower
from Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel

At this point in time, all men on earth spoke a single language. Together, they began to build a city with a huge tower, so that they could gather together and become more powerful. (Read the Story)

Other similar Bible book posters that may suit your fancy:

Looking at the Heart

When Samuel went out to anoint the man the Lord chose as Israel’s second King, the Lord said to Samuel

… man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (NIV) or
… for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (NAS)
1 Samuel 16

I feel like this verse came to life for me yesterday. Awesome!!

I was thinking about a friend that “likes” me and I asked myself, why I didn’t “like” him back the way he liked me? I thought, Lord, is there something wrong with me? This is a good guy. He serves the Lord, attends church, enjoys fellowship, always tries to do what is right. He’s a good looking guy. I asked the Lord, is my heart hard towards him? Why am I not willing to accept the opportunity? Wow, that can be a loaded question. That can go back to insecurities, rejection, past hurts, etc. But the Lord brought me revelation on this matter. I love it when God brings unexpected revelations! Or, maybe I thought it was unexpected, but God brought it at just the right time.

I realized that the reason I didn’t want to jump into “liking” this person was because I wasn’t attracted to his heart. It’s not that this person had a bad heart, it’s that the Lord revealed that this person didn’t have the kind of heart that I needed. God was saying, this is not the one I have chosen for you. Wow, pretty cool revelation!

I don’t think it’s ever dawned on me to look at someone’s heart when considering dating. This made me regress to think about past relationships. I remembered an old boyfriend that really had a heart that drew me in. His heart attracted me and we had a really close relationship with each other and with God. We were good friends for a while and then tried dating, but I couldn’t get past my worldly judgments on outward appearance and I ended the relationship.

Lord, I have prayed to you, asking that I may see how you see. Thank you Lord, for You have been faithful in answering my prayer. I thank you for letting me see into the hearts of others. I thank you for letting me know when to draw close and when not to. Lord, I leave it to You to join me with the right man that has the right heart for You, for me and for others. In Jesus’ loving Name. Amen.

Life Changing Performance to Everything by Lifehouse

This is a drama performed to the song, Everything by Lifehouse. I first saw this about two years ago at a Christian conference and I was very touched by it. So much so, that I haven’t been able to forget it. This is often shown to young adults, but I think it’s relate-able to others too.

Whatever our battle with the enemy has been in the past, as believing Christians, we all remember the day we went looking back for God and He stretched out Himself as we out stretched our arms to Him. Very moving and well done.

I Will Wait, a Poem

Below is a video of a young lady reciting her poem, “I Will Wait for You.” She speaks good truth very effectively. Listed below are also the words to the poem in case you want to listen and read along.

So it seemed, that it was cool, for everyone to be in a relationship but me.
So I took matters into my own hands, and ended up with him.
Him who displayed the characteristics of a CHEATER, a LIAR, an ABUSER, and a THIEF.
So why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?
I called 911, but I was cardiac arrested for aiding and abetting
Cause it was ME who let him in.
Claiming we were “just friends”
It was already decided for me by the first date, that even if he wasn’t
I was gonna make him “the one”
You know… I was tired of being alone.
And I simply made up in my mind, that it was about that time so I decided to drag him along for the ride
Cause I was always the bridesmaid and never the bride.
A virgin in the physical, but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat
Who was tired of the wait
So I was gonna make him “the one”
He had a form of Godliness, but not much
But hey, hey I can change him! So I’ll take him, I mean he’s close — enough
Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter, not knowing the value of its use to me
Arties so clogged with MY will, it blocked HIS will from flowing through me.
So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,
That flatlined my obscured vision, put me flat on my back
Through my ignorance He saw
Through my sternum He sawed & cracked open my chest
To transplant Psalm 51:10.
A new heart and a renewed right spirit within!
So now I fully understand,
Better yet I thoroughly comprehend,
How much I NEED to wait… for You.
See, the bad thing is that I knew he wasn’t You from the beginning.
Cause in the beginning was the Word
And he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
And all he could whisper was sweet, empty nothings –
Which meant NOTHING.
He couldn’t even pray when I NEEDED him to.
Asking him to fast would be absurd.
So forget about being cleansed and washed with water through the Word.
But I know You.
You were already praying for me.
Even never having met me
Let me assure you, I will wait for You.
I will no longer date, socialize or communicate with carbon copies of you
To appease my boredom or to quench my thirstiness I have for attention
And short-lived compliments from “sorta kindas”
You know…. He ‘sort kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?
His first name LUKE,
His last name WARM.
I, I won’t settle for false companionship
I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,
Attempting to find some closeness,
But never feeling so far apart cause, I just wanna be held
Cause all I gotta do is say “No!”
NO more ‘almost sessions’ of ‘almost coming close’
Passing winks and buying drinks,
I’ma, I’ma, I’ma flirt!
Who flirts with the ideology of,
‘Can you just tell me how much I can get away with and still be saved?’
No more.
I’ll stay in my bed.
Alone, and write poems, about how I will wait for You.
He won’t even come close,
Our fingers won’t even interlock
We won’t even exchange breath
Cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.
I will no longer get weighted down,
From so-called friends and family talks,
About the concern for my biological clock
When I serve the Author of Time.
Who is NOT subject to time,
But I’M subject to Him,
He has the ability to STOP, FAST FORWARD, PAUSE, or REWIND at any given time.
So if we could role play,
You would be Abraham & I would be Sarah
Or you could be Isaac and I can be Rebecca – a servant’s answered prayer.
I am bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh,
Made up of your rib Adam!
And once we meet, like electrons
I will be bound to your nucleus, completely indivisible atom.
We even speak the same math: 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, which really equals 1 if you add them.
We were all created in His image,
But you have the ability to reflect, project and even detect the Son.
If I were to explain what you looked like,
You would have to look like a star,
A son of the Son.
I would gain energy simply from the light you shine on me.
I would need you in order to complete my photosynthesis.
I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis, I will wait for you
And I will know you because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom.
Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses.
Your faith will remind me of Abraham.
Your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel.
Your inspiration will remind me of Paul.
Your heart for God will remind me of David,.
Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah.
Your integrity will remind me of Joseph.
And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples.
But Your ability to love selflessly and unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews or any special Marks.
Cause His word will be tatted all over your heart.
And you will know me, and you will find me,
Where… the boldness of Esther meets the warm closeness of Ruth.
Where the hospitality of Lydia is aligned with the submission of Mary.
Which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hanna.
I will be the one, drenched in Proverbs 31… waiting for you.
But to my Father, my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth
Only if you should see fit
I desire Your will above mine,
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
My heart is content with YOU – the One who was sent.
YOU are the greatest love story ever told,
The greatest love ever known.
You are forever my judge and I am forever Your witness
And I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.
Oh, I will always be Yours!
And I will always wait for You Lord, more than the watchmen wait for the morning.
More than the watchmen wait for the morning… I WILL WAIT

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