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music monday: overcome by jeremy camp

Tiffany NicoleComment

Do not try to make the bible relevant. It's relevance is axiomatic. Do not defend God's word but testify to it. Trust to the word. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

You can talk until you are blue in the face about the truth of the bible. About how great it is to read. How life changing its text is. Boast of the wisdom sewn in to each page and the lessons that make up the verses. But unless someone actually reads it, your words may be just that. Words.

Your life on the other hand, has mounds to say without ever opening a bible. Your actions and conversations and decisions. Your testimony - the evidence that you are giving about what God had has done, who he is, and claiming the truth of the bible. No one can argue with that. It is yours to claim. Yours to profess. No one can tell you that you have not been changed or transformed. Your constant growing trust in God and the ever growing list of his working on your behalf cannot be argued. 

With the lack of truth in the world today and the move from people knowing they are sinners in need of a savior to not understanding they are caught up in sin, your testimony sets a perfect tone.

You story has power and has been written for such a time as this. Do not let the story God has written through you - your personal story - be down played or make you feel ashamed. Perhaps you feel your past was horrible, scattered with drugs and theft and all sorts of personal trauma. Or perhaps your past was not so dramatic and you came to Christ with what you see as just a small tray of issues but nothing so big and dramatic that God could use. The latter is what I thought. My story is not so impressive and could possibly be viewed as anticlimactic. But every story that has Jesus as a main character has a climax. The part where Jesus showed up and turned your world upside down and started the refining process.

Do not be afraid to share what God has done for you. God has given you life experiences to share of his abundant goodness and faithfulness. He has given you people to profess to and the story to go with it. I pray that you would not be so focused on the day to day and caught up in your own agenda that you lose out on those around you who you can invest in. Those you can share what God has done for you personally.

I pray that if you have never written out your testimony, that you would seek God for the words to do so. That you would be equipped when someone asks you about why you are different. That He would show you how he turned your trials in to victories.

I pray that each chapter in your life that was viewed in shame would be lifted up by the power of God and be transformed in your mind as a victory - through Christ you were able to overcome it. That you would freely share openly what Christ did for you and in doing so that you would give hope to someone going through the same struggle.

We are not perfect. It is through our weaknesses that we are made strong. Our testimonies attest to it. We are sinners. Jesus bridged the gap between God and every person who has walked the earth. 

Jeremy Camp quotes part of Revelation 12:11 in Overcome, which states: They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. We can overcome the darkness with the light of our testimony because of Jesus. Have a listen. 

We will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. 
Here's to sharing your story and giving God the glory through it all.

music monday: great are you Lord by all sons and daughers

Tiffany Nicole2 Comments

I was talking with an acquaintance when he interrupted himself, asking if he has just made a complaint. I was baffled at the random question. He went on to take a rubber band from his left wrist and place it on his right, stating that he was working on not complaining. Each time a complaint was made, he moved the rubber band to his other hand, as a physical reminder of progress.

In our society, complaining is another form of speaking and great in casual conversation. The weather is too hot. No it's too cold. The food is not up to standard. The day is just horrible. You should have stayed in bed. On and on and once it starts, it just gets easier from there. 

These idol topics do nothing more than fill you will negativity. Perhaps you know someone like this. Perhaps it sounds a lot like you. Perhaps the complaining comes off with more of a bragging connotation. Oh, she is so busy. There is so much to do. How is she ever going to enjoy those vacation activities among all the other summer shenanigans? How is she going to get from work to practice and then the other party? Poor her.

It is a constant in society. A society that is so full of affluence and wealth and full bellies and two car garages that the only thing left to do is complain about all you have. How messy your house is. How you have to clean it. All the maintenance needed to perform on such and such. How much this and that costs.

When Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt, they were nearing the promise land. They had escaped Pharaoh's grasp and witnessed miracle after miracle. The parting of the red sea. Eating mana from heaven. Drinking water from a rock. God guiding them in the form of a cloud by day and fire by night, yet with all of this, they managed to find something to complain about. God heard their grumbling. "How long will this wicked community grumble against me?" he asks (Numbers 14:27).

Complaining only makes matters worse. Because of their complaining and doubting God's deliverance, the Israelites wandered the desert for forty years. I have yet to reach that milestone in my age, perhaps you are approaching it or already hit it many years back. Can you fathom wandering forty years of your life in the desert? 

God has given you blessings to count, not issues to grumble about. He has given special markers in your faith where he provided as only he can, so you can praise him. When you start focusing on the blessings in your life, the complaints start falling on the way side.

God did not give breath so it can be used to sit around and complain all day. He gave it so others could be built up with it. For praising him. For sharing the good news. For joy and laughter and love. God gave you breath to praise him.  Here's a song that conveys just that, Great are you lord by All Sons and Daughters.

It's Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, we pour out our praise. It's Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only.
Praying that more praise and uplifting words would leave your mouth than negatives. Praying that complaints would be weaned from your vocabulary and thankfulness would be a regular. Praying you would use your breath for his glory and purpose. 

Here's to using your breath and all your being to give praises, not only to God but those around you. Less complaints and more compliments.