Boldly I approach (The art of celebration)

“Let us therefore come boldly (with open hands) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16 ~

By grace alone somehow I stand
where even angels fear to tread…
Invited by redeeming love,
before the throne of God above.

He pulls me close with nail-scarred hands
into His everlasting arms!

When condemnation grips my heart,
and satan tempts me to despair,
I hear the voice that scatters fear –
The Great I Am The Lord is here!

Oh praise the One Who fights for me
and shields my soul eternally!

Boldly I approach your throne…
Blameless now I’m running home!
By Your Blood I come,
welcomed as Your own…
into the arms of Majesty!

Behold the bright and risen Son:
more beauty than this world has known!
I’m face to face with Love Himself –
His perfect spotless righteousness!

Oh, a thousand years, a thousand tongues
are not enough to sing His praise!

Chorus

This is the art of celebration: (oh, joy in my heart)
knowing were free from condemnation! (I’m blameless now!)
Oh, praise the One, praise the One,
Who made an end to all my sins!

There is no condemnation in You,
we are blameless before Your throne!

Chorus

~ Written by: Gareth Gilkeson, Chris Llewellyn
Performed by: Rend Collective
Album: The Art of Celebration ~

Count your blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost…
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.  (Psalm 143:5)

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?  (Matthew 11:28, 1 Peter 5:7)
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?  (Matthew 16:24)
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
and you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,  (Proverbs 11:28)
think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.  (Matthew 6:20, John 14:2-3)
Count your many blessings:  Wealth can never buy  (Acts 8:18-20, Ephesians 2:8)
your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
do not be disheartened, God is over all…  (Ephesians 1:21-23)
Count your many blessings:  angels will attend,  (Psalm 91:11)
help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

~ Words:  Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Music:  Edwin O. Excell ~

A Soldier’s Bible

The Bible in a deck of playing cards

A young soldier was in his bunkhouse all alone one Sunday morning. It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn’t made a noise.  The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week. As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk.

Just then an Army Sergeant came in and asked, “Why aren’t you with the rest of the platoon?”  The soldier replied, “I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord.”  The sergeant said, “Looks like you’re going to play cards.”  The soldier said, “No sir, you see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I’ve decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards.”  The sergeant asked in disbelief, “How will you do that?”

“You see the Ace, Sergeant, it reminds that there is only one God.

The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

The Three represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The Four stands for the Four Apostles: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Five is for the five virgins, there were ten, but only five of them were glorified.

The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.

The Seven is for the day God rested after working the six days.

The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives, in which God saved the eight people from the flood that destroyed the earth for the first time.

The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten but nine never thanked Him.

The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.

The Jack is a reminder of Satan. One of God’s first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the Joker of eternal hell.

The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.
(Personal preference:  the Bride of Christ, the Lamb.  Rev. 19:7-8, Rev. 21:9, Rev. 22:17)

The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year.

There are a total of 52 cards in a deck, each is a week, 52 weeks in a year.

The four suits represents the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Each suit has thirteen cards, there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter.

So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.”

The sergeant just stood there and after a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, “Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?”

~ Written by:  T. Texas Tyler ~

Heavenly Perspective

Colossians 3
1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  4  When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

Hebrews 12
1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3  For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

2 Corinthians 4
16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  (See also 2 Corinthians 5:7  “For we walk by faith, not by sight…”)

Hebrews 11
8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  9  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.
13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  14  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  15  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  16  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 13
14  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.  15  By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.

John 14
1  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  2  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”  5  Thomas saith unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”  6  Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

2 Peter 3
11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Titus 2
11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14  Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Romans 8
24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

1 Peter 2
19  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  20  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps…

1 Peter 5
7  Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.  8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10  But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Matthew 6
31  “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

1 Timothy 6
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Philippians 3
7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9  And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10  That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death…

See also http://www.shepherd.to/heaven/contents/How_live.htm

Pray & work

Prayer & work:

Never work harder than you pray

Never work harder than you pray.

“… continuing instant in prayer.”
~ Romans 12:12

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 4:6-7

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
~ Colossians 4:2

“Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

“… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 5:16

 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
~ Philippians 4:13 ~

The Altar

The service is nearing an end
The choir is singing “Just As I Am”
And now as that old song is played
People at the altar are kneeling down to pray
Some are finding mercy
Forgiveness for their sin
Some are fighting battles
They’ve been struggling to win
The time has come to give them to the Lord
That’s what this altar is for

That’s what this altar is for
You don’t have to carry those burdens anymore
There’s a Light in the darkness
And there’s a Love that’s true
And Jesus is waiting
Waiting here for you
Go quickly now before they close the door
That’s what this altar is for

I see a father is praying with his son
Momma kneels beside them thanking God they’ve come
There’s an old man standing there in tears
Giving up a part of him he’s held back for years
Hearts are being broken
Lives are being changed
And those who call upon Him
They will never be the same
The time has come to give in to the Lord
That’s what this altar is for

Chorus

You can give your burdens to the Lord
That’s what this altar is for

~ Words and music by:  Ray Boltz ~

Jesus Christ – the Head over all (Ephesians 1:15-23)

15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

ABC motivation

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving –
Do not begin to blame.
Even though times are tough,
Fierce winds are bound to blow:
God is forever able –
Hold on to what you know.
Imagine life without His love:
Joy would cease to be.
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee.
Move out of “Camp Complaining”;
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone.
Quit looking at the future.
Redeem the time at hand.
Start every day with worship –
To thank is a command.
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky,
We’ll run the race with gratitude,
Xalting God Most High.
Yes, there will be good times, and yes, some will be bad, BUT
Zion waits in glory, where none are ever sad!

~ Cindy Blackamore ~