When a song is stuck in your head….and your heart (Part 2)

There are days when I cannot sleep. There are also nights when I find it very hard to sleep.

The funny thing is…….when I’ve had a bad day I don’t usually find it that hard to fall asleep. After all, I’m exhausted. Sometimes I have so many thoughts and thinks running through my head that it is a lot harder to fall asleep.

But the nights when I really can’t sleep aren’t those nights. The nights when I just want to get up and do something when I’m lying in bed perfectly awake for hours after regular bedtime, those nights are rarely sad nights.

Sometimes I think God just reaches down and blesses us with something even more special than he does every day. He gives us joy. Perfect unmatchable joy. Undying joy. (Sorry Erica, but it’s just such a beautiful way of thinking about it!)

This joy comes with a song, with a melody, an anthem if you will. My soul simply fills with praise and I cannot contain it. I want to jump up and pretend I know how to do pirouettes and spin in circles till I’m dizzy.

I remember one night I was lying in bed. My older sister who is my roommate hadn’t come in yet and was taking care of the goats. I was pretty sleepy or tired, can’t really remember which, and I was sorta just ready to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.

But then I heard a little voice. It prodded me saying “You haven’t spent any time with God yet today. It would only take a moment to pray. Why not?” So I was like “Okay, okay, I’ll spend some time with God real quick before I fall asleep.”

So I sat up in bed and began talking to God and praising him. As I was sort praying/meditating/ praising (whatever you wanna call it) on just how great God is, a song came into my head.

It was fairly early in the evening (at least for a homeschooler) and as I said, my older sister hadn’t gone to bed yet, so I figured I wouldn’t disturb anyone if I sang quietly.

I began singing one of my favorite songs ever. It goes:

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You’ll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing ’cause You pick me up
Sing ’cause You’re there
I can sing ’cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I’ll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

There are songs that get stuck in your head, but there are also ones that go even further: to the heart. This one is in my head, my heart, my mind, my soul, and my spirit. It’s a song that I’ll never stop singing even when my lips stop.

There is a song that will forever echo in my soul. It will stay there through the storms, through the darkest nights, because I KNOW that my Saviour lives, and I KNOW that I am loved by the King.

I don’t care how scratchy or awful your voice sounds to you, sing. Sing from your heart and soul. Even if you cannot sing out loud, you can always sing and you must sing. The one and only YAHWEH deserves to be worshiped and praised. And once you come to know his love you cannot help but sing.

There is one line from a hymn that makes me rejoice so much:

When this poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
then in a nobler, sweeter song
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

We may be lisping, stammering tongues, but one day he will transform us and we will sing forevermore.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” -Philippians 3:30-21

When I think of that one night when a song filled my heart and God blessed me with so much joy I could not sleep, it always reminds me of a beautiful verse that I now have taped to the wall above my bed.

“Let the godly ones exult in glory;

Let them sing for joy on their beds.

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,

And a two-edged sword in their hand” -Psalm 149:5-6

Let us sing for joy on our beds! Let us praise him with joy wherever we are and wherever we go!

May you not only have a song stuck in your head but a melody in your heart. God bless you and may you spread joy wherever you go!

As you may have guessed, this weeks featured song is How Can I Keep From Singing by Christ Tomlin.

[Side note we just had a bunch of baby goats born!!!! Pictures may be coming soon! We have 9 baby goats! They’re so cute!!!!! Two of them are Nigoras, too! So cute!]

“Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary;

Praise Him in His mighty expanse.

Praise Him for His mighty deeds;

Praise Him according to His excellent greatness………

……Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!” -Psalm 150:1-2,6
“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” -John 16:22

(All Scripture Quotations are from the NASB translation)

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When a song is stuck in your head

There are some songs that simply ‘stick’ in your head. And they won’t leave.

Sometimes they’re good songs. Sometimes they’re simply harmless.

But sometimes, they are not the slightest bit good and can be harmful.

The problem is that they’re stuck. Like they won’t stop playing on replay in your head. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and….well you get the point: over and over again.

I’ve found that often the only thing that will get a bad song out of your head, is to get a good one stuck there instead.

Because a having a good song stuck in your head is actually a good thing, not a bad thing, (although sometimes it can get annoying when the replay button won’t stop).

I believe Satan has figured out very well how to make trashy music catchy. It really is catchy and that becomes a huge problem when we are trying to keep our thoughts clean and pure. Because catchy music is the stuff that plays over and over and over in our heads.

Some or the songs we want to listen to are the kind that get stuck in your head. Others songs are good for thinking about, meditating on, relaxing to, or singing in a congregation. We really do need all of those.

Sometimes we can think of Christian ‘catchy’ songs as shallow. Or just something to have fun with, to play around with. That’s not always true. (Although it definitely can be) What we need are songs that are full of biblical truth that will stay in your head and stick there.

Often we can get in the habit of categorizing styles of music all in one category. For instance the genre “Pop”. My computer has an automatic genre categorizer. The “Pop” genre has 9 songs in it. Wanna guess what those songs are and who they’re by?

  • I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Chris Tomlin
  • I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (by some generic thing)
  • Hosanna (also by some generic thing)
  • Gold by Britt Nicole
  • Lead Me by Sanctus Real
  • Four songs by TobyMac (figures) including Get Back Up and Hold On

What are those songs? Gold by Britt Nicole is probably more of a fun song, but I Stand Amazed or Lead Me? Solid truth. Beautiful music.

TobyMac is also awesome, by the way.

The world looks at the genre “Pop” and thinks way different things than the Christian music that got categorized there.

When Christian music is packed with truth, stays there, and plays on replay in your head, that has got to be a good thing. Which is one reason why I don’t think clean, God-honoring, God-praising, Jamie Grace or TobyMac style rap is bad. At all. I think it is wonderful. Even if some of it isn’t quite my style.

Sometimes we can take a style of music that doesn’t really come across to us, see the world using it badly, and then condemn it.

Often we won’t really condemn it, at least not openly, but we will very often put it at a lower level than our style or think of it as not equally as praise-worthy as hymns. It actually sort of sounds right.

A word about hymns. Hymns have been around for hundreds of years. Sometimes thousands. For instance the Psalms. They have been tested and tried true. For hundreds of years. We can still analyze hymn lyrics and make sure they completely line up with the bible. Some hymns aren’t quite right (in very minor half-degrees), for instance, many Christmas carols talk about Jesus being born on a cold winters night (a bit of an exaggeration, I know).

While hymns are for the most part accurate and trustworthy, new music has to be taken carefully. We need to think carefully about what exactly we are proclaiming to God and not be the slightest bit afraid to take scripture alongside and makes sure the lyrics of a song line up. Particularly when you are going to be singing it with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in church and proclaiming to God.

But there is still a bit of a problem with putting solid, clean, truth-filled music or rap on a lower level than hymns. For instance, someone once told me:

 Personally, I don’t think there will be rock n roll, rap, etc in heaven. But, I could also say the same thing about bluegrass.

It is really easy to start thinking this way. For me and a lot of people I know, there is a point where rocky music or rap gets a little beyond us. We don’t connect and how someone could we don’t know. Take note that I’m talking once again about solid, clean, edifying, truth-filled music.

So where is the problem with thinking that maybe hymns are a little more….well on a higher level or that there will probably not be rap in heaven? It’s what logically follows.

Let’s say one person praises God with joyous raps. Another person praises God with melodious hymns. Both praise God from the fullness of their heart. Both do it humbly. Both do not take God’s name in vain. The question that follows is this:

Which one glorifies God the most?

Neither one. Both glorify God equally. The style doesn’t matter. But the meaning, the humility, the state of the heart does. Entirely. So yes. I think rap, bluegrass, perhaps even rock n roll styles will be in heaven.

Oh, by the way, do you know who started reggae, even rap? The Israelites. Check out Hineh Ma Tov, which is really just Psalm 139. Guess what instruments they used in the temple? Harps, the Shofar (I think it is generally translated as trumpet), lyres, drums, rattles, and cymbals.

Doesn’t actually sound a whole lot like the modern hymn for some reason. It also doesn’t sound a whole lot like a megachurch either. Funny it doesn’t mention microphones…..I wonder how loud those clashing cymbals and trumpets (or the shofar) were.

I have a feeling that I just went on a long rant and no longer remember where I am…………………………………………………………………………………………

All that to say that a song can be catchy and stick in your head and that does not determine whether it is a good song or not. Whatever would we do without any good, God-honoring songs that got stuck in your head?

Okay, so pretty much the whole point of this post was to………………..

Share some good songs for you to get stuck in your head!


(As well as tell you that TobyMac is awesome. He is actually. Yes I know he can be a bit funky from what I’ve seen, but the way he always points it all to God and trains up other musicians to do the same, telling them that the lights, the stage, the everything doesn’t matter only God matters, is really amazing for someone………. with such a big stage I guess. He really does have a wonderful ministry. Also, unlike so many others who claim to be Christians and have songs with the same style, TobyMac’s music is all clean. You should just listen to his songs Steal My Show and Me Without You)


Very helpful, I’m sure. Actually and seriously, it might be helpful.

I found myself in a similar situation this morning where I had heard a not so great song that someone had played (don’t worry, I told them I didn’t like it but that doesn’t stop it from being in my head) and it was stuck in my head.

So I wanted to get it out (that is, the song) and tried brain-storming truth packed songs that can stick things other than themselves out of your head. (Did that even make sense?)

So here you go. I’ve tried to include some variety of style in each of them. Enjoy.


Should’ve Been Me by Citizen Way

I love this song. It’s something that’s so true and really does get stuck in my head. You can sing over and over again

Should’ve been me, should’ve been us, should’ve been there hanging on a cross

All of this shame, all of these scars, should’ve been stains that were never washed

Why do I hide, why do you try, over and over and over again

I guess it leaves me saying thank God, thank God, for the should’ve been.

When my sister first heard the first 30 seconds of it, she said she didn’t like it. Then I made her listen to all of it and now she loves it. At least I think she loves it. It’s also a nice short song and the chorus is one you can easily remember and can you know……get-stuck-in-your-head-in-a-good-way. Long word. Not really a word.

This is actually gonna be the featured song for this week.


I am a Christian by NewSong

I love how this song simply proclaims:

“I am a Christian and my name is pilgrim (I know it’s sort of mixed up cause according to Pilgrim’s Progress it’s “I am a pilgrim and my name is Christian)

I’m on a Journey but I’m not alone

Jesus is with me and he goes before me,

And his love surrounds me, he’s leading me home”

That’s all I’ll say.


Face to Face by Matt Kearney

This song LITERALLY GETS STUCK IN MY HEAD. Sometimes it can get annoying….but it is SOOO much better than a not good song. I really do love this song. Also, this is the version without the annoying background noise that some people actually like?

My favorite is part is where it goes:

I hear your thunder pouring like rain

Down on the mountain of all my mistakes

Rolling like rivers, running with grace

Into the ocean of your embrace.

Etc.


Different by Micah Tyler

This is probably one of my top songs ever. I truly long to be different, to be changed, till all of me is gone and all that remains is a fire so bright the whole world can see.

There are so many times when I’m so tired of feeling like I’m stuck in a pattern and I’m just so tired of it and I listen to this song, and for some reason, it comforts me a little.

I know, that I am far from perfect
But through You, the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different…….etc.


Light Shine Bright by TobyMac

Yep. Definitely gets stuck in your head.

I wanna magnify Your light
I wanna reflect the sun
Cut like precious diamonds
With the colors by the millions
This is the only world we know
And for now this rental’s our home
If we gonna be a reflection
Gotta make this third rock glow
Just so you know 


Sky Spills Over by Michael W. Smith

Another great song. Particularly if you really like Michael W. Smith. Gets stuck in your head but once again, in a good way. More like an anthem, sort of.

Lift your eyes
Look to the horizon now
There’s still a hope for us
Reach up from the dust
And call it down

Can you hear
Can you hear that thunder
Sing His name, sing it out
‘Til the sky spills over


Run, Devil, Run by Crowder

Don’t be worried by the guy with the cigarette or whatever in the video. That’s supposed to be the devil. Crowder seriously had way too much fun making the video. Love this song. The devil’s got no power anymore! He’s been defeated!

I got the King of kings and the Lords of hosts
I got angel armies and the Holy Ghost
I got spirit filled, baptized by fire
I got a valley of bones that came alive
I got a cross, a hill, and an empty grave
I got a trumpet sound and one sweet name
Shake the gate of hell, it’s finished and done
I got my Jesus and the devil gotta run


Scars by I Am They

This is a newer song that I’m really starting to like. I am so thankful for his scars.

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars


Battles by The Afters

Definitely gets stuck in my head!! I love this song.

You surround me on every side
Your love is my armor I fear no evil.
Darkness runs from your light
So I won’t be afraid, I won’t be afraid.

You’re going before me
And oceans are parting
You’re fighting my battles.
When my feet are failing
And my heart is shaking
You’re fighting my battles.


God’s Not Dead by The Newsboys

The final and perhaps the best. A wonderful classic. Our God is not dead. He is alive.

Let heaven roar
And fire fall
Come shake the ground
With the sound
Of revival

My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion


Hope you enjoyed this post and that you found it helpful or will find it helpful. God be with you!

Praise the Lord!

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise [i]the Lord.
Praise the Lord!”

-Psalm 150 (NASB)

(The featured photo is from the free Pexels photo library. It was sort of cool, so I liked it and chose it for the featured picture.)

Bad Typo.

I’m so sorry everyone!

My post I posted a couple minutes ago had a REALLY bad typo in it. It was so bad I don’t even want to write it here.

I’ve corrected it in the original post.

It was supposed to read:

“I believe that God is the very definition of good

That was really bad. I need to read over my posts a LOT better. I’m so sorry if you read the post before the correction!!!!

Once again so sorry!!!!

I Believe

I believe that the Lord our God is One

I believe that God is eternally existent as three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I believe that apart from Christ’s atoning sacrifice we are lost and our righteousness is as filthy rags.

I believe that we are saved by grace alone, through faith, and that salvation is from God.

I believe that God is completely sovereign and desires everyone to be saved.

I believe that man has been given by a completely sovereign God a free will and has been given the choice to accept God’s call unto salvation.

I also believe that Christ’s atoning work on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit are sufficient to enable men and women dead in their sins to respond to God’s call.

I believe that God is omnipresent and is outside of time.

I believe that God has predestined all those that accept His call to be conformed into the image and likeness of His Son, and that because He is in His very nature all-knowing, He knows who will accept His call, but He gives them a chance anyway.

I believe that God WILL bring to completion the good work He has begun in those who are His and that we cannot fall from His love. I believe that once we are saved, nothing can take us away from our God.

I believe the Bible as the one and only infallible Word of God and that it is complete truth as well as completed.

I believe that one day I will see the One my whole heart longs for.

I believe that God is 100% love and 100% justice.

I believe that God is perfectly HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!

I believe that God created all heaven and earth.

I believe God wants us to know him and that through Christ, it is possible to know God the Father.

I believe we were made to KNOW, LOVE, and WORSHIP God.

I believe that those who refuse to cast themselves at God’s feet will be separated from him forever after the Great and Glorious day when He brings us to Himself.

I believe that God is with us.

I believe that Adam was created first and that Eve was formed from his rib.

I believe that God created us as male and female and that nothing will ever change that.

I believe that the Church is the bride of Christ.

I believe we will never be whole, never be filled until we know God.

I believe that the Word of God is Everlasting.

I believe that every promise that God has made WILL come true.

I believe that even when we are faithless, He remains faithful.

I believe that we are no longer under the law.

I believe that the purpose of the law is to show us that we do not and cannot measure up to the standard and show us that we need a perfect substitute.

I believe that Jesus bore the sins of the whole world, even those who refused to accept his sacrifice.

I believe God sent his one and only Son, not to judge the world, but save the world.

I believe that Jesus has saved me from my sins.

I believe that Jesus died in my place and that my iniquity was laid on him.

I believe that Jesus is the mediator of the NEW COVENANT.

I believe that I am justified, or declared right in the sight of God, because of Jesus’s sacrifice.

I believe that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, and later ascended to heaven.

I believe that one day Jesus is coming again.

I believe that Jesus Christ (or Yeshua Messiah) is the Son of Man and the Ancient of Days.

I believe that Jesus died ONCE and for all and that no further sacrifice will ever be needed.

I believe innocent children should not be taken from their mother’s womb and murdered.

I believe that sin needs to be recognized and repented of including sin such as homosexuality, adultery, lying, murder, envy, idolatry, etc., etc.

I believe no matter how sinful you are, you can still be forgiven.

I believe that we need to take the plank out of our own eye before judging the speck in our brother’s eye.

I believe that Jesus has been tempted in every way as we have.

I believe that God is completely without sin in every way.

I believe that God is the very definition of good. (So sorry about the typo here earlier!)

I believe you should seek to be baptized but that it is not required for salvation.

I believe that a husband is called to love and protect his wife and that wives are called to submit to their husbands.

I believe the bride should submit to her bridegroom, Christ.

I believe that marriage is a beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ.

I believe that celibacy is a gift from God but is not for everyone.

I believe that God’s glory is completely independent of us, and that he relies on us for nothing.

I believe that God is infinitely great beyond all imagination.

I believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are all completely equal in glory and power and the same in nature, attributes, and perfection.

I believe that we can trust God with everything.

I believe that love never fails.

I believe that to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


All right, I could go on with this all day, but I guess I’ve got to stop. Hope you enjoyed this! I sure did!

Here is the featured song.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” -Jude 24 (NASB)

We Were Created to Create

Enjoy this beautiful post from Bethany J’s Journal! Also, just a reminder that Lord willing, I’ll be changing my URL on March 3rd (Oops I meant March 2nd) to: farmgirl4jesus.wordpress.com.

Bethany J's Journal

adult-art-artist-374009.jpg

I know some ultra-creative people. My friend Ashley can paint stunning landscapes. Gia can craft imaginative stories. Natalie can sketch heart-warming portraits. And that’s only a glimpse.

The world is oozing with creativity. Painters, poets, potters and pianists have embellished life since its beginning. They’ve blended colors and forged rhymes and morphed melodies into beauty.

Did you know you’re a creator? Whether it’s a song or a spreadsheet or a software system, every person was born to create.

Why?

Because we were created in the image of an ultra-creative (and brilliantly glorious) Creator (Gen 1:27).

Out of Nothing

My creative friends all have something in common: They need materials to work.

Ashley can’t paint without oils and Gia can’t write without words. As broad and deep as their creativity is, not one of them can fashion something out of nothing.

That’s because humans are mini-creators. Everything we make is only…

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My One Year Blogiversary and Exciting Announcement + Liebster Award

Hello everyone, today’s post is going to be a really exciting one. For one….

TODAY IS MY ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

blogiversary_

For another……….

I GOT DOUBLE-NOMINATED for the LEIBSTER AWARD!

We’ll start this post with the Liebster award, but stick around for the rest of the post, cause I’ve got some really exciting announcements!

The Liebster award is for bringing awareness to other new bloggers…….from the Global Aussie: “The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

I was nominated by Maxine at HEAVENSREEF and Erica at Undying Joy

Thank you so much, both of you!!!!!!

HERE ARE THE RULES:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you.
  3. Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nominations.
  5. Ask your nominees 11 questions.

Here are the questions from HEAVENSREEF and my answers:

1: Why do you write about the particular subject matter on your current blog

Subject matter for my blog posts generally flows from things that God has laid on my heart and that I am passionate about. I’m learning more and more to let God lead what I post.

2: When you leave this earth, how would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered for an always joyful smile as well as a humble heart that points to God.

3: What or who motivates you to keep on writing?

Primarily my Abba in heaven, but close friends and family also encourage me with sweet words and motivate me to keep on writing.  My sweet Grandma, also.

4: What part of the country do you live in?

Sorry, can’t answer this question!

5: Are you a mountain person or an ocean person?  Which do you prefer? (Sorry 2 questions)

It depends….the ocean is for rest, and the mountains are for growing strong. I love both so much!!! All of God’s creation is so beautiful and breathtaking….from the highest of heights to the depths of the seas….I cannot choose.

6: What is your favorite food group?

Definitely real, authentic Mexican food. It’s sooo good. Speaking of which I just made like 4 trays of chicken enchiladas and we ate 2 trays last night so we still have 2 more trays to eat tonight!!!!!! Homemade refried beans, homemade tamales, quesadillas, nachos, oh yum! I love Mexican food.

7: If you have chosen one, what is your life verse from the Bible?

It’s not really ONE verse, it’s more like a short passage, but you need the whole thing. I just love this verse/passage.

“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.”

-Psalm 27:4-6

8: When is your favorite time of the day?

Morning….like around 8 am in the winter. Really right after the sun rises when everything is so golden and pretty.

9: What part of the Bible are you currently studying?

I’ve been studying Acts within the last week or so. Before then I was studying Isaiah/Jeremiah.

10: What do you treasure in your heart most about GOD?

His infinite vastness? His complete beauty? His everlasting lovingkindness? His majesty and power and love and justice and…..oh the list goes on and on. I don’t know. Lately, I’ve been treasuring and meditating on what it really means that he is my Abba. That he is holding me. He’s been showing me just how much he is THERE. He’s been showing me that when I’m lonely or upset or tired he is THERE just waiting and calling for me to rest my head on his shoulder and tell him all about it.

11: How are you HIS hands and Feet in this current season of your life?

Right now in this season of life, I don’t really have a whole lot of HARD stuff that I’m going through. So a lot of being HIS hands and feet in this season of my life is pouring out the joy and peace he has given me onto others around me, primarily my siblings. Cooking cleaning, doing what I can to make things run smoother, trying to prevent squabbles between my younger siblings……sometimes as simple as just giving one of my sisters a hug and listening to them when they’ve had a bad day. Jokes and puns can often do a lot to bring a smile to someone’s face also. 🙂

Maxine, you had such wonderful questions! Thank you once again for nominating me!

Here are the questions from Undying Joy and my answers to them.

1: How long have you been blogging?

For EXACTLY a year!!!!

2: Who/what encouraged you to start a blog?

I’ve struggled with writing things that felt worthwhile and/or coming up with topics to write about in my homeschool English “studies”. But sometimes I would write about something I was struggling with like Self-Pity or Jealousy and I actually sort of liked it. I remember once I showed one such writing assignment to my sister. I remember her telling me “You should have a blog sometime”. And that sort of stuck with me. Also when I was like 6 or 7 I sort of had a blog that my mom did for me. My mom also encouraged me to work on HTML and CSS and computer coding stuff. So that was also a reason I wanted a blog, although I found out later that you have a paid plan to do CSS. I’ll probably answer this question better later in this post.

3: What is your favorite Bible verse (if there can be such a thing)?

I love so many verses! I gave my absolute favorite verse in reply to Maxine’s question earlier, so I’ll give another verse I love here. This is one of the many verses I have hanging on my wall by my bed.

“O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear” -Psalm 10:17

4: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Jerusalem in Israel, maybe? Or India, or China, or Greenland, or, or….I don’t know….the ends of the earth? Other than missionary work I sort of like where I live. But you know….Alaska might be cool.

(“Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.” -Mathew 22:9)

5: What is a quote you really like?

I love a lot of quotes! Here is one by Corrie Ten Boom that I like:

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” -Corrie Ten Boom

Also here is probably my favorite from Jim Elliot:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot

6: What is your favorite Christian song/hymn?

I’m always finding myself going back to How Great Thou Art. But I love a lot of hymns and songs. Currently, I’ve been really loving this one.

7: Do you play any instruments? If so, what?

I played violin for 4 years and wasn’t that good at it and then switched to cello and I love it. I can also play a little self-taught piano, which I greatly enjoy. The instrument I probably use the most though is my voice. I love to sing my heart out to God.

8: What is your favorite color?

I think my favorite color is probably blue. I love the color of the sky, particularly the deep blue color in the summer right before it gets dark. Next probably comes purple or sunset colors.

9: What is your favorite season?

Spring. I love the vibrant colors! Everything seems so alive. I love wind, too. Sunny wind.

10: Where is your favorite vacation spot?

We mostly go camping and we go to the beach. We usually go somewhere different each time so I don’t really know what my favorite is. Once when I was like 8-10 or something, we went to Yellowstone National Park. That was awesome. But I didn’t really appreciate it then as much as I should have.

11: Do you like cats or dogs better?

I love dogs! Particularly my dog. (Bluetick Coonhound, BTW) I like cats too…but well …have you read the story by Rudyard Kipling called The Cat Who Walked By Himself? Yeah. That’s sort of what I think of cats. They don’t rely on you very much. They are affectionate and like to be pet, but they don’t continually want to serve you and please you like a dog. Here are some pictures of my dog.

 

 

I know….. a little overload on the dog pictures. I really love my dog. She’s an awesome dog.

THANK YOU SO MUCH ERICA!!!!

Boy, I really need to hurry up with this Liebster award thing! Onwards!

 

11 random thoughts about myself

  1. I like to make jokes and my younger sister actually thinks I’m kind of funny. (Occasionally.)
  2. I have freckles.
  3. My camera lens has dust inside of it so I have to Photoshop blobs and dots out of my photos
  4. I’m the middle child. I have two older siblings and two younger siblings.
  5. I’m an ambivert. Don’t know what that means? It means I can be either an introvert or an extrovert. I have a limit of how long I can do extrovert time before I need alone time or turtle time, but I don’t generally reach that limit very often because I’m homeschooled and live on a farm. I recharge both by hanging out with and talking to people (aka fellowship) as well as by having alone time. But I really need people. I could never live alone.
  6. My favorite part of the day is the time of the day I can just be alone with Elohim and study His WORD.
  7. I LOVE studying Hebrew words (as well as listening to Messianic Jewish music).
  8. I concentrate a lot better when I listen to music while doing other things.
  9. I just finished playing and performing Symphonic Variations and am now working on some sort of Boccherini sonata in c major as well as the Bach Suite 2 Prelude on my cello.
  10. I love to cook
  11. I LOVE TO WRITE ABOUT YESHUA MY SAVIOUR!

Alrighty! Now for my nominees!

I am nominating:

Here are my questions:

  1. What is a way in which you are really passionate about serving God? I.e. a career, a hobby, a ministry.
  2. What is your favorite post of all the posts you’ve ever written?
  3. Who in your life was most instrumental in showing you the WAY in Christ?
  4. What book other than the Bible do you read or have you been reading regularly?
  5. Who is your favorite non-Bible author?
  6. Who is your favorite Old Testament character?
  7. What time of day do you usually go to bed?
  8. Do you wear glasses or contact lenses at all?
  9. Favorite Christian music artist?
  10. Do you like spicy food?
  11. How long does it typically take you to write a post?

ENJOY!!


 

So it’s been a WHOLE year since I started blogging. One day, exactly a year ago, I asked my mom if I could start a blog. I’d been thinking about it for a while, but it took me a little while to get the courage to ask her. She said yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She got me started on WordPress and on February 19th, 2018 I started this blog. I wrote a really choppy post saying “Welcome to my blog” et cetera, and I began to do blogging. I started by writing posts about snow or what we were doing with our goats. I always ended with a verse. By March I began weaving in biblical lessons into my posts. And then I wrote my first “real” post. Can you guess what it was? Calvinism. Heh. It’s really the first post I wrote that I really like. You can read it here. It was on Unlimited vs. Limited Atonement. By April, I was writing “real” posts on a regular basis. I had about 1-3 likes per post…..and they are all from people who found my blog later and looked back at my older posts.

Around that point, statistics became something real because I actually had a couple views most weeks. May was the month of my series on TULIP, the Calvinistic acronym.  I was beginning to find how to write and enjoy it. And then…..something happened. My first post in the month of June has 7 likes. My last post in June has…..25 likes. So what happened? I followed blogs. They followed me. I became really into my Stats. I did all the stuff you do to get followers and stats. I hit 50 followers and did a Q&A. It was great.

By July I was getting an average of 22 likes per post. In August I hit 80 followers. Before that summer I had 30 followers. I got over 50 followers just over that summer. And it makes sense. I had time on my hands. I liked blogging. I liked that people liked my posts. And……..I became obsessed with it.

In September I hit 100 followers and made the biggest mistake I’ve made in blogging. I decided to announce that I would be now allowing comments. And I completely disregarded the fact that my mom had said she didn’t want me to have comments. I created feedback forms and tried to make content people would want to read. I disregarded my mom’s wishes and her advice. In the process of all this, I began to realize my obsession….and I didn’t like it.

I didn’t like that I was relying on whether people liked my content. I didn’t like that I HAD to check my WordPress notifications every day and that it was a struggle to read my Bible before checking them. When I was upset or lonely…I went to my WordPress app. So as I began to realize my tendencies and obsession, I decided I needed to take…..a break. Hence, this post, UNannouncing the comments thing, and announcing my much-needed break.

So I took my break and it was awesome. I completely removed the WordPress app from my phone and it is to this day GONE.

And then I went headfirst into posting. Like crazy. I was no longer obsessed with stats. I was obsessed with blogging. Not quite as bad, but still. I was posting like three times a week.

Guys, DON’T post three times a week. You can’t be doing school, involved in your family, doing everything you should be, AND writing QUALITY posts. Perhaps I should correct myself. It is………..really hard. It is NEXT to impossible. And yes, I understand, LOTS of people post three times a week. But the kind of posts that grow you as a person, to write, and grow your readers, CANNOT be pumped out that fast. Sorry. So error number two: Even if you’re not obsessed with your stats, you can still be obsessed with blogging/writing itself.

Then one Sunday afternoon (November 18th to be exact), as my mind was busily working, thinking about all the different post I could write, etc, etc, buzz, buzz, buzz, my mom comes over and tells me this……statement….she says “———-, your dad and I have decided that we want you to not blog anymore.”

I think all I said was “Okay.” That’s all. I was sort of in a less dramatic way…stunned. Everything that consumed my thoughts, everything I felt I was passionate about, everything that absorbed me, was now gone. With one sentence. Looking back, I can laugh at myself. A little. I think I went outside after sufficient time to make it seem less abnormal, and I cried. I had just written this post on loneliness (one of my best btw) and I think it actually prepared me to better react to this seemingly really hard thing.

That week was spiritually pretty rough. I struggled to get a grip on my thought life and think lovely, commendable, and pure thoughts. After a week or two, I realized I had not truly been surrendering ALL my life to God. I felt a little (only a very little) upset at my parents for deciding something that seemed a little unfair, although I knew it was truly for my good and that I would be more than thankful later. Then finally I surrendered blogging, yes, even blogging to God, and he blessed me with peace. It came with a fight but it was the Shalom of God and nothing could take it from me. I still struggled with joy and being passionate and on fire for God. That is not to say I wasn’t on fire for God or joyful. I just struggled to be.

When I had finally fully surrendered blogging to God, he gave it back. Without me saying anything or arguing or anything, my mom came to me another Sunday afternoon and told me that they had decided I could blog, as long as I only worked on blogging on Saturdays with a limit of 2 hours. Which is wonderful. I need limits. Or I’ll go too far. And I’m so glad because I GET TO BLOG AGAIN!!!

Now while had not been blogging, I found that I had to write SOMETHING. So I wrote a couple of things. And now that I’m blogging, I’ve been using them as blog posts. Most of the post The Fear of God came from me writing down my thoughts on the Fear of the LORD from what I’d been learning. I wrote the whole post Where Do We BELONG during my hiatus.

I remember how good it felt to write The Fear of God. To feel the keys flying under my fingers as I tried to make my thoughts clear to myself and write what God has shown me so clearly. There is so much joy when we blog with God in front of us guiding us continually! And you know what was also awesome? Someone reblogged my post The Fear of God. It isn’t important statistic-wise, but what this blogger said about my post really blessed me and reminded me that on top of giving us Himself, God has given us so many other gifts that are made so much more beautiful knowing the Giver of every good gift.

IMG_1957 as Smart Object-1

Here is what the blogger said about my post:

I love the way in which the author has untangled this often misunderstood doctrine.

(here)

My recent post Powerful Verses To Help Win Victory Over Sin also got reblogged, and once again I was blessed by what the blogger said about my post. She said:

Hi y’all…
I read this today and was like “Wow, that really sounds like some struggles I’m…having…” 😉
Anyway.
Read this post and be encouraged!
(* I especially loved how she used all of those Scriptures…so sooo convicting!!!)

(here)

These short sentences, along with so many other things made my day, my week, and my month.

Yet my joy does not depend on what other people think or say. And that is SOO freeing.

I have joy in Him alone, praise God!

In the past year, if I could sum up what I’ve learned about blogging as a Christian, this is it:

  1. Rejoice when you get praised. Rejoice when people like your posts. But also rejoice when they don’t. God loves you the same. You are His Beloved still. He is your Joy still.
  2. Don’t post unless you have something to post. I know all the writing and blogging experts say that you need to post and write consistently. But unless God is laying something on your heart, you don’t need to post. Breaks are good.
  3. Don’t try to get followers like I did. IT DOESN’T MATTER. Likes, views, followers…it’s all an illusion, a mist that vanishes at dawn. Do not put your hope and your joy in your statistics.
  4. This one should be number 1. It is something in particular that I really need to work on. Let me ask you this question? Do you pray for each post you write? Do you pray for God to give you the right words to say? Do you pray that people who read your post will be blessed by it? This is one BIG area I’ve failed as a Christian and as a blogger. If you want to bless people go to the One who alone is able to bless. If you want to write a powerful post, go to your all-powerful Creator. We need to be praying in depth for each and every post that we post. Prayer is SOO important. And I’m saying once again: I have utterly FAILED in this aspect.
  5. Limit how much time you spend blogging. Limit how much it obsesses your thoughts. Don’t get obsessed with it. STOP CHECKING YOUR STATS EVERY 5 MINUTES!!

Another thing I’ve learned for myself, which is different for everyone, is what I want to write about. I started writing about two things: Faith and Farm Life. While my farm life posts are some of my most popular…………well….I enjoy writing about Jesus SO much more. So you may have noticed that I’ve sort of stopped writing farm life posts. And I haven’t really done a recent photography post (although that fact might also have something to do with me not taking a whole lot of photos). You can glorify God and write for God about almost anything. You don’t have to blog about just Christian topics. But the kind of blogging that makes ME want to spin and dance, and the kind of blogging that I’m PASSIONATE about, is blogging about Jesus. Which is why I’m focusing more in that direction.

Thank you so much for dealing with this enormously long post!

Sorry, we are NOWHERE near done.

I STILL HAVE SOMETHING SUPER IMPORTANT TO ANNOUNCE SO PLEASE PAY ATTENTION

Minor announcements first. One is that I’ll be updating my about page. Part of it is still from when I originally wrote is a year ago. Once again: choppy sentences.

I’ll also be adding a favorite books page where I’ll exhaustively list every good book I’ve ever read (not quite). Those updates will be ready at some point.

If you want to see the about page or any new page I put up you should check out my actual blog (to any of you who always view blog posts in the reader… don’t worry, you’re in good company…..I usually do that myself as well) and click on or hover above the “About” or “Other” tab thing.

 

I really do have something really exciting to announce but I like keeping you in suspense

I know we just talked about how unimportant stats are, but Y’ALL ARE THE STATS so I still wanted to share some with you. With all the huge breaks I’ve been taking, my stats in themselves are not that impressive. But I’ve got something to share.

I’m not actively trying to get followers or likes anymore. I’m still at an average of about 20 likes per post. And I love where I’m at. But amazingly……without me trying to do anything…..I just looked at how many followers I have…and well…..I am surprised!

Perhaps those of you who have whopping thousands of followers this number will not amaze you. Perhaps if you have 600 or upwards of followers this seems small. But I’ve been blogging for only a year! For the whole month of December, I did not post, as well as for most of November and September. Last I knew it was 80 followers. And then I knew it had hit 100. I sort of knew it had risen a lot and had a somewhat accurate vague idea of where it was. Here is the current number:

173 followers as of 2/18/2019

So here goes.

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO MY 173 FOLLOWERS FOR READING MY BLOG. IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME THAT YOU CARE ENOUGH TO HIT THE FOLLOW BUTTON AND THE LIKE BUTTON TO TELL ME YOU APPRECIATE WHAT I’M WRITING.

I cannot believe this. When I started blogging I looked at blogs with 25 followers or so and I thought, “Wow! They must be really good blogs.” And now…I’ve only been blogging for a year and I have almost 7 times that amount! WOW. Thank you, LORD, you are good beyond belief. Even without followers and likes.

Gadol Elohai!

Thank you, guys! Y’all are wonderful.

Now for my announcement. I mean my REAL announcement. I think I’ll make you scroll. A little.

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Alright, I’m ready. I will begin with a question.

Would you be able to list off my URL off the top of your head?

Think about it. Do you actually know what my URL is by memory? Let me guess….No. Why? Because…well ……um…….this my URL:

farmgirl4jesus.wordpress.com

See those numbers? Yeah, like 1704468224541….. wait ……what? I can’t remember all those numbers! Yeah, can’t, I don’t know how you could. So I’ve decided to……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Change my URL!!!

I’m going to change it in about two weeks to make sure everyone knows before I change it.

Lord willing I’ll be changing it March 2nd, 2019 to:

farmgirl4jesus.wordpress.com

Hopefully, that will be a better URL!


For all your support and for reading this post, I want to give y’all a gift (I promise I’m not a Texan).

I wrote this short 1 1/2 -2 page THING and I think it might bless you. I really hope it blesses you! It’s based off of Luke 24, John 20, and Matthew 28:19-20

It is called:

Peace be with you

God bless you!


Thank you for everything, guys! Thank you Maxine and Erica for nominating me, thank you followers for following me, thank you readers for reading this long post! I think I’m hitting 4,370 or more words here for this one post.

“Behold, bless the Lord, all servants of the Lord,
Who serve by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the sanctuary
And bless the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion,
He who made heaven and earth.”

-Psalm 134 (NASB)

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

Where Do We BELONG?

We all long for and desire to belong and have special place. We are filled with joy when someone thinks of us especially and when we are special to someone. We want to fit in, to be known, thought of, to BELONG somewhere. Sometimes we will give everything just for the chance to be popular or to fit in with the crowd. Sometimes we will even sacrifice who we are just to fit in with those we find ourselves around.

But there’s a better way. There is One with whom we belong. There is One who truly cares about us every second of every day and night. We are so special to him! His love is so strong, so high, so deep, it will never fail us. He loves us so much he came and died the most horrible death for us just so he could bring us to himself. Just so that he could bring us to the only place we will truly belong.

Oh, how we want to belong somewhere! But we are exiles. Strangers in a strange land without a place to stay. This world is not our home! And thank God! He has promised that he is preparing a place for us in heaven. A special place just for each one of us!

I, too, long for a place to belong. I not only long for it but I want to live my whole life to hear my Savior tell me “Well done good and faithful servant. Welcome to the place where you belong”

Do you long for a place to truly belong? There is only one place where you can. Run to Jesus. He loves you more than you could ever imagine! Yes, even you. With all your scars and struggles, all your dark past, all your pain, he still loves you infinitely and intimately. Run to him, and he will forgive you. Turn from your hurt, your sin and your pain, and run to him. Then share his love with the world and wait for the day when all those who accept his love finally arrive at the place where we belong.

Read and listen to these lyrics. Remember, you don’t need to belong here in this world. You cannot. You belong with God and you need to have a relationship with him. He will love you and care for you as he has done for eternity. Welcome to the place where you belong.

WELL DONE by The Afters

What will it be like when my pain is gone
And all the worries of this world just fade away?
What will it be like when You call my name
And that moment when I see You face to face?

I’m waiting my whole life to hear You say

Well done, well done
My good and faithful one
Welcome to the place where you belong
Well done, well done
My beloved child
You have run the race and now you’re home
Welcome to the place where you belong

What will it be like when tears are washed away
And every broken thing will finally be made whole?
What will it be like when I come into Your glory
Standing in the presence of a love so beautiful?

I’m waiting my whole life for that day
I will live my life to hear You say

Well done, well done
My good and faithful one
Welcome to the place where you belong
Well done, well done
My beloved child
You have run the race and now you’re home
Welcome to the place where you belong

What will it be like when I hear that sound?
All of heaven’s angels crying out:
Singing holy, holy, holy are You, Lord
Singing holy, holy, holy are You, Lord
Singing holy, holy, holy are You, Lord
Waiting my whole life for that day
Until then I’ll live to hear You say

Well done, well done
My good and faithful one
Welcome to the place where you belong
Well done, well done
My beloved child
You have run the race and now you’re home
Welcome to the place where you belong

Well done


“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” -Mathew 25:21 (ESV)

“And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”” -Revelation 21:5 (NASB)

Also read Beloved.