Christianity

Building a Firm Foundation

You see those ruins in the picture? They’re still standing. Why? Because they have a firm foundation. They were built to last. They were built to withstand rain and wind and time in general. Obviously the whole building hasn’t survived, but a large section of it is still there, and it’s because of that foundation.

Nearly everything in the Bible is a foundation for something. The fall was the foundation for sin and the need of a savior. If Passover hadn’t happened, Jesus wouldn’t have had the last supper with his disciples. If God hadn’t orchestrated everything exactly the way He did, things wouldn’t have turned out how they did. Under all that happened to bring a need for Jesus, and Jesus himself, God was controlling it. God was the foundation for all of it. Biblical history – and all of history, really – is like a pyramid. You have to have the layer before for the next one to be exactly right. And God is that foundation and that cornerstone. Isaiah 28:16 says, “Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.”” He was talking about Jesus. Everything, everything, points back to God and to Jesus. Because they’re the foundation. If they didn’t exist, nothing would. Everything would crumble, like a pyramid without a firm foundation.

We need a firm foundation, too. We need to be able to withstand life’s problems, we need to be able to last through whatever comes. God is that foundation. He’s the only foundation that will actually keep us rooted in place. Matthew 7:24-27 says, ““Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”” We want to be the wise man, not the foolish man. We want to stand firm, not be washed away in the storms.

To be honest, I haven’t been very good at standing on that foundation, but I’m working on it and I’m getting better at trusting God, even though it’s a lot harder than you might think it should be. It’s worth the struggle. I used to think I’d never have God’s peace. I used to think He was just ignoring me in that area. But then I realized I wasn’t really worshiping Him, trusting Him, following Him, and once I started praying more regularly and making a more concerted effort to follow Him, I did get some of that peace. It was my fault, not His. And sometimes that’s hard to accept, but it’s something that needs to be realized so that it can be fixed.

I hope you’ll join me in working to hold to this foundation.

No Greater Love: A Poem

How great the Father’s love for us

Who gave His only Son to die

To pour out His precious blood for us

All for our freedom to buy.

 

How great the Father’s love for me

That he would choose to look

And try to know me personally

Though His Son’s life it took.

 

How great the Father’s love for you.

He wraps the strongest arms around

And truly loves you through and through.

His love for you abounds.

My Favorite Music

“Autumn,” you say, “This is a writing blog. What are you doing talking about music?”

I know, I know. But I also love music, so you’ll just have to put up with me talking about it for a post or two. This post is about some of my favorite songs and artists and why they’re my favorite.

The topic of this post came about from the sermon before an all-nighter I went to Friday night. They were talking about teens being dangerous to the Devil and how music and movies these days are geared at teens and can be very worldly. Later on the radio in the bowling alley and the trampoline place we went to, I heard a couple of songs that had really fun music and atrocious lyrics. The most memorable was “Shape of You,” by Ed Sheeran. Songs like those, bad songs wrapped in a package of great music, are dangerous. Which is not to say that all secular music is bad, and there is still secular music that I listen to, but you have to be careful. Anyway, that got me thinking about what music I listen to, and thus this post came about.

MercyMe

I have nearly all of MercyMe’s albums saved on Spotify, and there are very few songs of theirs that I don’t like. They do a great job of getting to biblical truths in their songs, and it’s all really eye-opening and deep-reaching.

Even If

This is definitely my favorite of my songs, though all of them are great. I first heard it on the radio when a lot of stuff in my life felt really shaky, and it affected me quite a lot. I don’t think I’m legally allowed to quote it, but the chorus is just a great reminder that things aren’t in our control and God’s plan isn’t necessarily our plan.

Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins is an excellent songwriter, and as with MercyMe, he has very few songs I don’t like. They’re all really deep, and he does a good job of mixing that with fun music.

My current favorite of his songs (because there’s no choosing one favorite Rich Mullins song) is “What Trouble Are Giants.” It seems rather fitting, because the sermon before the all-nighter used David and Goliath as a focal point.

Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns is another one that’s really good at writing eye-opening music. They have several songs on the the lack of alertness and love in the church. One of my favorites is “If We Are the Body,” but it’s hard to pick just one favorite, as tends to happen with my favorite artists, obviously.

tobyMac

tobyMac is an example of really fun music with a good message. A couple of my favorites are “Beyond Me,” “Speak Life,” and “Like a Match.” The latter two are about showing our faith through our actions, and the first is about God being far greater than we are.

Britt Nicole

Another example of fun music and good messages. Her music is especially geared toward teen girls, but it’s great for anyone to listen to. My favorite is probably “Set the World On Fire.” It’s an invitation for God to use you.

for King & Country

A friend of mine termed for King & Country as having “a song for everything.” I listen to them when I want to hear something uplifting. I especially like “Matter” and “Fix My Eyes.”

Hallelujahs by Chris Rice

This song is gorgeous, both musically and lyrically. It paints a beautiful picture of how everything in creation points to God and it’s just gorgeous. ^-^

Thank God for Something by Hawk Nelson

This song is a great reminder of how there’s always something to be thankful for, no matter how small. As someone who tends to overlook little mercies and complains too much, it’s good to hear. Plus it’s wrapped up in upbeat (if musically boring) music that’s fun to listen to.

 

What are some of your favorite songs and why? What is some secular music that’s still good and encouraging?

What To Do When You Can’t

What do you do when the person you’re trying to help won’t listen? When the person won’t open their eyes to the truth? When you’ve tried every possible thing you can think of and you just. Can’t. Get through to them. When they’re making things worse on themselves and you can’t make them stop. When they’re refusing to do the things they need to just because it’s hard. When they seem to be doing everything in their power to hurt themselves and cause themselves more pain.

When it seems like it’s an uphill climb. When you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. When you feel like your stuck in one spot on the river fighting against the current and not making any progress. When you don’t have all the answers to all their questions. When you don’t have the foggiest idea what to say. When you feel such weight upon your shoulders to take care of them and you just can’t because you’re not capable of doing that right now. When you feel like you’ll be crushed under the pressure. When there’s such a burden upon your heart and you just. Can’t. Lift it on your own.

I don’t know. I don’t know what you do in these circumstances and situations. I don’t know. I hate that I don’t know. If I knew then maybe I’d be a better friend to those who need me. If I knew then maybe I wouldn’t get so frustrated. If I knew… But I don’t. I don’t know. I just. Don’t. Know. The best that I can tell you is to ask God for strength, ask Him to open the eyes of your friend, encourage your friend to read the scripture even if you have to remind them over. And over. And over. And over. And over. Remind them to pray, even if they don’t and even if you have to repeat it a billion times. Encourage them to talk to someone with more experience than you, even if you have to drag them to that person to get them help.

You can’t always do it on your own. You can’t even always do it with a whole group of friends. Maybe you can’t do it at all and God has to be the one to do the actual work, while you’re just the one opening the door or something. I don’t know. I don’t know everything, no matter how much I wish I did. But if you can do even a little bit to keep their heart beating, to keep them going, to just be there for them when no one else is, do it. No matter how hard it is. No matter how much it seems like you’re just going over the same three things over and over and over and over again. You have to keep going. Because you may be the only person they have. You may be the only person who’s willing to build them up when they and everyone else around them is trying to tear them down. They may need you. You may be their only defense against others and themselves.

And maybe what you think your purpose is in helping them and what God’s purpose for you helping them is are two different things and you won’t see that right away. You may not see it until even years later. But there is a purpose to it. I know that much.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

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