On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul

On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul.png 

In the midst of your pain, in the midst of your darkness, in the midst of the terrifying paths in front of us that we call the future – you’re so radically and beautifully loved. May we never lose sight of that.

 

i.

 

I sit peacefully on the porch, one leg curled under me, guitar resting on the other. I feel the cool breeze of the evening in my hair, the summer mosquitoes swarming around my feet, and I unwind as my fingers dance up and down the familiar strings.

 

And in the stillness, the quiet, the only solitude I’ve had all day, one thing comes to my mind – Worship Him. The Savior. Continue reading

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A Poem and Commentary on Slavery and Freedom.

A Poem and Commentary on Slavery and Freedom.

Merciless shackles imperiled my fate;

All were hopelessly lost without grace.

Freedom on the lips of every poor child;

Despairing cries came from every place.

My whole life, I’ve gone to church, memorized Scripture, gotten all the answers right in Sunday School, and all that. I’m guessing that many of you readers have lived the same way. However, that doesn’t constitute real freedom or even salvation.

 

I wanted real hope,

But it just seemed too bleak.

Held back by sin’s chains,

I knew I was too weak.

No matter who we are, we’re all born slaves to sin. I was born a sinner, so were you. No amount of baby dedication, baptism, or prayers would save a human born into this world. But as soon as you or I are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose wrong, we make it known that we have this thing – this disease – penetrating our hearts and enslaving us to its grasp.

No one can break free alone, whether the child of a saint or a criminal.

My mind told me to run,

So I tried to flee.

All the while,

Sin gained a stronger grip on me.

All my life I knew what the Bible said. However, knowing what it means is a different story. The Bible isn’t some random self-help fairytale. It is written for us, absolutely, but it’s not a 12-Step handbook.

The thing about Christianity is that we think we should “try harder,” “just be stronger,” or “put more effort into it” and we’ll overcome everything in our lives. But no. The more we try on our own strength, the more we will fail magnificently. The more we see ourselves fail, the more we let sin hold us down.

Salvation came as I realized something:

I’m not the one that holds the key.

The one who could save me could only be

My Savior, the One who died to make me free.

 

No amount of good deeds on my part could earn me my freedom. I was chained to sin, condemned to death, and hopeless. But it didn’t have to stay that way.

I was offered a choice

To go or to stay.

By believing in my Savior, I’d be out –

Why wait another day?

When we realize we’re slaves to sin, we know we can’t leave by anything short of a miracle.

The thing is, we have that miracle. Jesus died and rose again to free us, and when we believe in Him, we are set free.

Regardless of our pasts, regardless of our horrible deeds, regardless of the times that we’ve chosen sin over salvation, we can be saved. It’s a choice.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 20:31

“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

His hands reached down to free me

Along with the others here.

All I could utter was “thank you” –

Relieved that He was so near.

 

Galatians 5:1

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

We are free from slavery to sin! Hallelujah. We. Are. Free. The chains have been removed and we have been rescued. I grew up in church, yes. But salvation – my own choice – was what made me a free child of God.


My shame, my sin, my terrible chains

All have been destroyed, along with my pain.

My freedom is mine, but was never free;

I owe all to my Savior who rescued me.

 

We couldn’t save ourselves, in all honesty.

Let us praise the One who saved our souls! It is grace that has saved us, and not our works. When we were powerless in the darkness, we were given the choice of freedom.

And freedom is what I chose.

How about you?

*aj

Free: A Poem

American Flag

This past week, I went to camp, and while scribbling words in my journal, this poem came together. As I was scheduling a post for today, I was stricken with writer’s block. Incidentally, I remembered that this poem had to do with freedom…so I decided to use it.

In honor of Independence Day today, I am sharing this with you all. Though it is true that I am free from control by England, I am truly free because Christ has saved me! Happy 4th of July, friends. I hope you find true freedom this year!

Shackles tear deep into my flesh.

“You’re hopeless. Worthless. Got nothing left.”

The lies seem true or so appear.

For I know I deserve to be stuck down here.

My life’s a mess. I’ve fallen apart.

Seems nothing could mend this tattered heart.

My bones are bruised. My face is marred.

I can’t see my way out of these bars.

But something here – a whisper maybe –

Pulls me close and helps me to see.

I’m not alone here, He’s been with me all this time.

He proves the words “I love you” and He assures me “You’re mine.”

Though overcome with power, I am filled with grace.

I know that He loves me, for He took my place.

Where majesty meets mercy is where I am found.

Set free from these chains, no more am I bound.

No longer a slave, I serve the King.

To Him I give my everything.

In my darkness, His Light shines.

I am free and no longer held captive inside.

Poetry: Amazing Grace

  

Happy Saturday, everyone! This week, I wrote another poem. It’s pretty much my entire testimony summed up. 😛 Sometimes I can’t explain things, but writing out words in poetry form seriously helps me do that. And I know that this post is short, but I hope that you find the meaning is the same as any other post. Enjoy!

Amazing Grace
I’ve finally let go
Of who I thought I had to be.
All my plans and all my dreams 
I let them define me.
I once claimed full control.
Held on with all my might.
I grasped a death-grip hold.
Wouldn’t go down without a fight.
I let my life tell me
What I was forced to do.
I fell prey to all the lies
Forgetting what was true.
But I put my ear up close
To the door calling me inside.
I heard, “You are pure and you are holy.
And I call you my child.”
Now who I am is so much more 
Than just another face.
God has made me who I am 
By His Amazing Grace.
*aj

A Poem: The Song of Mankind (As Told By Eve)

  

Happy Tuesday, world! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Now, I’m not feeling very well today and I don’t have the energy to write a full post, but I still did not want to leave y’all in a lurch waiting for a Tuesday post. So without further ado, here is a poem I wrote from the point of view of Eve and the rest of mankind after. Enjoy!

The Song of Mankind (As Told By Eve)
It all started in the garden
Oh, I was so naïve
Everything so beautiful 
Everything to believe 
That serpent started talking
Oh, he seemed so kind
Talking about that fruit
He seemed to read my mind
Before I knew it 
I bit in
I disobeyed God
I understood sin
I cursed mankind 
I caused the fall
Destroyed perfection
Brought sin to all
But God told of a savior
One who was to come
To forgive me and everyone
By pouring out His love
Mankind rejected Him
But even still He came
To conquer death, sin, and the grave
Though not deserved, He took my blame
He forgave all sin
And we’re all free
No more lies
He rescued me!
*aj