Song of the Week: Oceans – Hillsong United

(This is an acoustic version of the song)

So it’s quite evident that I’ve held to my promise of posting up my song of the week every Sunday 😉 Sorry about that. It seems that my Sunday’s have been a lot more busy than the usual, but hopefully things will get back on track from next week. Anyway’s without further ado, why this song?

Well, the actual reason is that we’re supposed to do a special item with this song next week Friday. We tried a run just this Saturday, and well our run sucked. We need a lot of practice, and so I pretty much have to drum it into my head :/ To be honest, the very first time I heard this song, I didn’t like it. People all across my country where getting riled up about it, saying “this is the best song everrrr!!!” (with that many r’s enunciated I’m certain) and I really didn’t quite understand what all the hubbub was about.

Eventually, it grew on me 🙂 I still don’t think it’s the best song ever, but that’s okay too.

I think perhaps the time I actually began to like it was when I read a post entitled Stop Singing Oceans. It spoke of the extent to which our faith is truly tested by this song, and for that, I truly enjoy this piece. I don’t want to just sing another sing that sounds nice, but mean every word I say, and when I say these words, I get excited. I feel ready to burst into a new level of an experience with the God I fell in love with. Do you?

I hope you enjoyed the song, acoustic version and all 😀 I hope you’re also enjoying the series as well 🙂 Love you all!!!

Real Talk: John’s Funeral

I’m pretty sure that many of you don’t know John. Truth is, I don’t quite know him myself either. I hope you all can humour me for a little while, and pretend that we do know him. Who was John? Who did John live with at his home? Did he even have a home? Was John married? Was his wife beautiful? Faithful even? What kind of car did he drive? What job did he own? What language did he speak? Feel free to leave a comment saying what thoughts came to your mind about John.

If you’re anything like me, you probably grew a little attached to John after ‘getting to know him’ a little bit. He seems like a cool guy, doesn’t he? Well I have some bad news for you… John is dead. He died a few days ago tragically of unknown causes. Life’s funny isn’t it?

So why mention John in the first place? John reveals to us a certain truth that we must recognize. His house, his job, his wife and his car all stay here on earth when he’s gone. There is absolutely no earthly treasure that can come with us when we die. It can’t help but make you wonder; why fight to earn so much wealth in the first place? King Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, said that all is vanity. He had everything life has to offer; riches, women, power… and he found fulfilment in none of them. The only thing he truly found fulfilment in was putting his trust in the Lord.

It’s interesting that Jesus would come out and say to put our treasures in heaven, as opposed to on earth. I reminds me of

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6 :19,20

the parable of the talents, whereby a master went to a faraway land and designated talents, or money, to his servants in varying proportions. The servant whom was given the least chose to hide his away, while the rest invested what they were given and brought forth an increase. It wasn’t hard to see that when the master came back, that he was angry with the one who hid his talent away instead of investing it. When we work for our master, Jesus Christ, we invest into His Kingdom and store up treasures for ourselves there.

So what does it really mean to live this life? It’s not guaranteed to be an easy one. Storing up treasures in heaven means not storing up any for yourself, while remembering that God is our Provider and that we will be taken care of. A simple example of life not being an easy one is Moses. He lead God’s people out of Egypt, where they were held captive as slaves, and to a place where God promised; the Promised Land. If only he got to go there. God held him back and only let him see the land to which he dealt with a complaining, miserable people for 40 years. From a mountaintop. Far, far away. That must’ve been really tough on him.

Throughout the Bible we see experiences of people who served God, but didn’t have life go as expected. If you really want to hear about someone who had it rough, go read the book of Job. Some might say hey! That’s not fair! We toil and toil for His kingdom and that’s what we get? Surely this must be some kind of joke!

But let me remind you of the one they call Jesus.

Jesus was the first and last person ever on this earth to be completely innocent. Never did a hint of wrong in His life. Out of everyone, He definitely deserved to live it up while on this earth. In the end however, that’s not exactly how it played out. He was betrayed by one of His closest friends with a kiss (which if you think about it, is really messed up), beaten three-quarters to death, stripped naked, taunted, ridiculed and spat upon, before being sent to His death by way of crucifixion; the cruellest manner of execution known to man. And He did that… for us.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

So what of John’s funeral? If you didn’t realise by now, John is a representation of us. All the things that we own, that we strive for, should never come before the service of our God, who gave more than enough for us, that because He died and rose again on the third day, we have victory over our faults and failures. And what’s in it for us? A bunch of heavenly treasures at the end of our road, and being able to meet face to face with the One who loves us more than anyone else ever could. Keep working!

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Song of the week: Take Me Away – Worth Dying For

So I sorta forgot to do this for this past Sunday, and I won’t exactly be home to post it this Sunday, so I decided I might as well do it in the middle of the week. Happy hump day! Well it’s already over Since it’s technically Thursday right now, but that’s okay.

So why this song? Because I absolutely love it ❤ I remember about two or three Christmases ago I spent the entire afternoon with this one song, crying all the while. I remember feeling worthless because I had a rough month and for some reason or the other, everyone was just pointing out all the things I’ve been doing wrong for the past few days around that time. So the very first line of the song,

“You took upon Your shoulders
The weight of my failures”

resonated with me like I never imagined, and so I just cried. At that point I just asked Jesus to take everything away, and just to be in His presence for a while.

Psalm 16: 11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  I bore witness of that that day. So I hope this song blesses someone out there too! Enjoy 😀

Heart’s Respite

I guess I lost.
Heart long gone
Spilled out into trenches
called Tributaries.
Tributes of attributes
Of what I thought I wanted
Heart squandered into rivers as I wandered
Wondering is this her?

Pouring out like drink offerings
To idols thought to bring healing
Drawing me in with draughts of toxins
Drinking by no fault of theirs
But mine
Offering to dine at tables to which I wasn’t invited
Perhaps as a guest but not as its head
I was overwhelmed by feelings
Things from occurrences and dealings
Misleading myself into thinking
That I can handle them on my own

I made a gamble
My heart risked and I now lay in shambles
Because I chose not to wait.
It’s funny, because I thought I was too late
Hesitating because I know some records weren’t straight
But there was no time to set them
Because I tried to forget them
But they beset me,
Lead me to do things for which He died on that tree
Because I was simply not ready
For that kind of responsibility.

Now left with the consequence
Of a soul unkempt cobweb infested
Heart rejected yet once more;
I give what’s left
arteries dried up and dead
To the One who should’ve had it in the first place
Clearly I misplaced it
When I replaced it with my vain words that said
My heart is Yours.
Yet here we are. Time stopped and heard throbbing
For You to say peace be still
Because silence kills in this storm
And I’m dying for something real
But all I hear is this constant ring
Of a self proclaimed god in its pathetic mutterings
Still declaring itself to be king

So I pray you kill it.
This pride with your blood stained bullets
Slay this giant with these pebbles
Of humility swung round about
Within a cradle of grace and serenity
For in this moment, I hear you calling me
Beyond the visions of my inadequacy
You much rather to see me
see you as the apple of my eye
As the treasure to which unfortunate circumstance cannot corrupt
To view me in the Garden of your promises
Where hurts are undone
Hearts are mended, and once again,
We can be one.
Where this lonely night at five in the morning
Bursts forth into sunrise
Because Your Son rose
For that very thing.
He paid a price so that I can see abundant life
At the Cost of everything He had.
So give me Jesus any day over the guilt of
My mistakes.
Help me to see the beauty of this morning,
Shimmering in the light of Your grace.

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Song of the Week: Faith Walk – Swoope ft. Nicole Serrano

 

So I decided that I’d like to share some of the music that often speaks to me, because why not? If it inspires me, it might inspire someone out there. God willing I’ll be doing this every Sunday, with a little explanation of why I chose to highlight the specific song mentioned. I’d also like to pool from a variety of genres to appeal to as much people as possible, and if you want to share some of your favourite songs as well, feel free to! 😀

So, why this one? Well because it was playing when I decided to do this.

More seriously though, it’s a song that always had an impression on me. It helps me keep focused on my mission here on earth, which, put simply, is to work for the Glory of God, and nothing else. Religion, friends, family, success… these things are trivial in comparison to the Commission which our wonderful Saviour, Jesus Christ, gave to us. It’s easy to get lost within everything that goes on in this life.

I hope you enjoy it!

– Zecks

 

“I wouldn’t take nothin’ from my journey now
Ain’t nothin’ gon’ turn me around
I’m workin’ to earn me a crown
I’m marchin’ up to the clouds
No nothin’ from my journey now
Ain’t nothin’ gon’ turn me around
I’m workin’ to earn me a crown.”

The Farce of Years Anew

It’s really amazing what technology allows us to do these days… I’m supposed to entertain some guests at home in a couple hours, while I’m stuck here at the bank.

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Not a pretty sight now is it?

To make matters worse, I neglected to bring my headphones along for the wait, so I’m left to tune out the murmurs of eager and understandably disgruntled customers.

What a great way to spend the new year!

Sarcasm aside, new years tend to have a sort of placebo-like magic that gets the better of most, if not all of us. Talks of new beginnings and wiping the slate clean surface as if the clock turning twelve this time around has that kinda power; we humans are a funny people, aren’t we? Regardless of reality, I, like everyone else, will continue to look forward to the Spring of newness that warms our hearts after cold Winters.

Carrying burdens can be really tiresome. For obvious reasons. Even for the strongest soul, burdens can drown us like a cement block around the ankle if left unchecked. Many of us decide that we’ll bury these burdens in the old year, and just like that, upon that mythical January first, we are feather light and ready to face the world again.

But can this really last?

That emotionally charged season tends to make us feel so empowered that we make brash decisions about what we may plan to do in the future. Whether it be losing weight, gaining weight, finding our dream job or car, in the back of our minds we believe most of these ideals to be either very difficult or virtually impossible. But not this time, we say. I will definitely achieve my goals this time around. Does this sound like you?

I say this because I too have done this before. Quite recently in fact. For a while I have been carrying a burden along for the ride because of a past hurt, and it was affecting me in other areas of my life. It made me do things that I regretted, and have feelings that I knew were unmerited and in certain cases, undesirable.

That’s when on old years night I told myself that I’ll embrace these feelings, all of them, one last time…. But on the strike of twelve, I’m letting go, never to look back. Surprisingly enough, it worked to some extent, but of course, not entirely. I continued to operate in some capacities as if midnight never happened.

Am I saying to just let go of all ambitions that come to fruition upon the herald of a new year? Not really. I’m simply blissfully recalling the ignorance that warrants me to think that a new years day could do anything outside of the normal. It’s awesome to sit back and reflect upon the happenings of the year gone by and make decisions going forward, but not quite awesome if these decisions are unrealistic and going to lead to disappointment down the road. That just sucks, honestly.

Some believe this realization that life is still the same to be inevitable, but no matter how you turn the page, life goes on. No matter which day in the year it is, there is always hope. So while my burdens haven’t lifted with the magic of January first, I will continue to strive. I have learnt ever so much that I really can’t do this on my own, if any of you feel like that as well, know that we can always put our hope in Jesus Christ to carry us through.

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14

So long as we draw breath, we will face challenges. Not all of them we will be able to conquer, and in fact, we may very well be defeated at times. I know I’ve been; sometimes I wonder how weak can I really get, after failing so many times. But this Christ that we serve has never really sought to judge or condemn us for the times we mess up, but rather to redeem us. The religious folk among us tend to point out our faults and say we are going to hell if we don’t change, but Jesus himself has said that he was not sent here to condemn us, but to save us through Him. Our strength is, and will continue to be, feeble. If we would focus for once on Him, instead of us, or the rules that we think bind us, our world would be a much different place.

If you want to make at least one resolution this year, make it to focus on Jesus Christ. Does this mean to go to church more, read your Bible more or pray a little longer before you go to sleep? Not really. We’ve proved well enough that doing more has never really worked for us. At least I know that’s true for me. Seek Jesus. Get to know Jesus Christ for who He is; not what He’s proclaimed to be. How do you get to know someone better? Just do the same for Him. Have a desire not just to do the things He said to do, but to think like He thought. To have compassion for others as He did. Make His life your motivation, and His will the thing you thirst for.

Trust me, it’s easier said than done. But with His help, we can do all things.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

Have a great year everyone 😀

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Happy New Year! – Zecks