Christian Compositions - Conservative Christian Music

Sep
6

Now Available! Heart & Hands Companion Materials

I am excited to introduce the Heart & Hands companion products! These include a Teacher Edition, a Student Edition workbook, and Personal Study Guide. There is also a full set of PowerPoint slides that will be available that correspond with each lesson.

I’d like to share briefly with you how all this came about. For many years, I have taught teen girls’ and ladies’ Bible studies and Sunday School classes. I have enjoyed writing and teaching about areas where the Lord was dealing with and teaching me.

In the past few years, friends began asking if these lessons were available for use in their Sunday school classes and Bible study groups. I had never seriously considered doing anything like this, but after much prayer (and lots of work), I’m trying to make some of these studies available.

Writing and printing Bible study books and lessons is a whole new venture for me. Although I had many studies I had used, they consisted primarily of outlines and personal notes. Developing them into something others can use has been (and continues to be) quite a learning process! I hope that you will be patient with me as I learn. Please feel free to send me your feedback on areas you think need improvement.

All of my materials use the King James Version of the Bible, and are Baptist in doctrine. It is a serious concern of mine that many of the materials our churches are introducing to our ladies are not sound doctrinally. While we may appreciate the writing and teaching style of today’s popular teachers, many of them are not biblically accurate. No teacher is perfect, but it is dangerous to diminish, or even ignore, doctrine simply because we find something popular or attractive.

I do not believe this is always because we don’t care. As a pastor’s wife, I know how hard it can be to find fresh, solid, trustworthy resources to use in our classes for both children and adults. I think part of the reason we have resorted to using substandard materials is because there are limited resources available that are biblical, practical, and affordable. While that isn’t a justification, it has helped me to realize that there is a need, and to have a desire to help fill that void if possible.

I do not imagine myself to be an authority on the Bible or teaching, but if the Lord can use these studies to be a help to you and the ladies in your churches, that is my prayer. Please pray with me that the Lord will be glorified, and that many will be strengthened and encouraged to walk with Him through these materials.

For a little more detail about the actual materials:

The Heart & Hands booklet is the “text” and core of this study. It is a 40-page, easy-to-read booklet that can be used for personal encouragement, or as the foundation for group study. Quantity discounts are available.

If you wish to use the booklet for personal reading and study, you may be interested in ordering the Personal Study Guide. It includes questions for personal examination and study for each section of the booklet, as well as the Practical Pointers for Daily Devotions and a Scripture Writing Challenge. It is available as a PDF download (select “digital” from the drop-down menu) or as a coil-bound book (select “physical” from the drop-down menu).

If you wish to use this study in a group setting, the Teacher Edition is an expanded version that accompanies the Heart & Hands booklet. It includes tips for teaching the study, and detailed notes for each lesson. The Student Edition is a workbook that includes fill-in-the-blank style worksheets that include the main points, definitions, and Scripture references for each lesson. It also includes some supplemental materials – Practical Pointers for Daily Devotional Time and a Scripture Writing Challenge. The printed, coil-bound version also includes the Personal Study Guide.

Both the Teacher and Student Editions are available as downloads. They include the PDF files for all the lessons and supplemental materials. You will need to purchase a Student Edition for each student. You may also want to purchase the Personal Study Guide (these are optional).

If you have more than five students, the most affordable option will be the Download Package. This do-it-yourself download contains all of the files required for teacher and students, and includes permission to make as many copies as necessary for your class. These are designed to print on standard 8 ½” x 11” paper, and can be placed in a binder or folder to make a very nice class notebook. (You will need to order the booklets as well as they are not available in PDF format).

If you prefer not to do that much printing, you can purchase the Teacher Edition and Student Edition as 8 ½” x 11” coil-bound books. For classes of 10 or more, please check out the bundle packages that are available. These contain the booklets, workbooks, teacher book, and supplemental materials (including the Personal Study Guide).

Note: The book bundles cannot currently be used for international orders. Canadian customers can contact me for shipping rates.

Thank you so much for your support!

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Aug
4

A God Who Cares About a Child’s Prayers

The drowsy, little girl fought hard to stay awake. Her eyelids drooped, and her head nodded as the preacher’s voice seemed to fade. Her mind wandered to the piano. More than anything she wanted to play the piano, and not just for fun, but for church. One of her favorite songs to listen to at church was ‘Til the Storm Passes By. It was as if she could hear the thunder crashing and imagine the lightning flashing as the accomplished pianist brought the keys to life.

The sleepy child decided to make a deal with God. “If I stay awake in church, Lord, please let me able to play just like Mrs. Knuckols when the service is over.”

She sat up a little straighter, rubbed her eyes, and wiggled to keep herself from dozing off.

As soon as the service was finished, she hurried to the piano with all the faith of a child and sat down, picking out the melody of a familiar hymn. There was no miraculous ability suddenly bestowed, but she tried. And the next Sunday night, she prayed again…and tried again.

Over time, she learned a few chords, a simple arpeggio, and could tap out the tunes of a few hymns, but God didn’t seem to be answering her prayers.  Although her struggle to stay awake in church lessened as she grew, her desire to play the piano only increased. She continued to make her way to the church piano after nearly every service.

One day, a rather plainspoken church member went to the little girl’s mother. “I’m getting a new piano at my house, and I need to do something with my old one. Your daughter is driving me crazy pecking away at the piano after every service. Do you want my old piano?”

“Sure!” answered the mother gratefully.

“I will give it to you on one condition. You have to get that child some piano lessons!”

Soon the piano was delivered – a dark, heavy upright with a few ivories missing – but beautiful and thrilling to the little girl with the music in her heart.

A piano teacher was found and the lessons commenced, but it wasn’t easy. Money was tight, and lessons weren’t cheap, yet each week her parents managed to find a way to pay for the precious piano lessons.

Over the next two years, the happy child learned to read music, and she played constantly. When she was eleven, she was given her first opportunity to play in her church for a special youth service. She practiced Onward, Christian Soldiers for weeks, but was so nervous when the time came that she stumbled awkwardly through the notes she had so carefully practiced.

Not long after, her family moved to another state. Within a few months, they were able to find another teacher.  It still took a great deal of effort to get those lessons. The teacher lived 30 minutes away, and it required a weekly trip over the mountain to visit her house, but her parents made the investment.

The new teacher was different and exciting. The very first day, she sat down and played a rousing rendition of Dwelling in Beulah Land. When she finished, she turned to the look at the wide-eyed girl.

“Would you like to play like that?”

“Yes!” she replied breathlessly.

“Then I will teach you.”

Mrs. Bishop went on to make it known that she required a minimum of one hour of practice daily. She was strict, no-nonsense, and pushed hard. Every song had to be counted out loud until the timing was correct. Seemingly endless finger exercises, scales, and classical memorization were required, and then she taught hymns. The four basic notes of the hymnal were transformed into chords, runs, octaves, and fills. The songs came alive, and our girl began to learn how to make the lightning flash and the thunder crash.

Their time together as student and teacher was brief, just over a year, but Mrs. Bishop had opened a whole new world of playing to the once little girl, now fourteen.

Over the next few years, several other instructors crossed the path of our student – some for a brief visit, some for a few months – each leaving some lesson or skill she could glean. She continued practicing an hour or more daily. She began playing regularly in church, nursing homes, special meetings – anywhere she had an opportunity.

Although she did not realize it at the time, and it didn’t happen in some extraordinary, abrupt way, God had answered the prayers of a silly, sleepy little girl who promised to stay awake during the preaching if God would let her play the piano in church.

He answered through the gift of a gruff, but generous, lady. He answered through the gift of able teachers who were willing to share their knowledge and invest their time. He answered through the gift of parents who were willing to sacrifice to make sure she received the training she so deeply desired. He answered through the gift of other musicians who were willing to answer questions, demonstrate techniques, and inspire through their abilities.

You may have guessed by now, but I was that little girl. Recently, as I sat at the piano in a church service and had the privilege to play beautiful music for the Lord, I was humbled and awestruck that God had made my dreams a reality. I was reminded that He answers prayers, even the prayers of small children who have a hard time staying awake in church. He doesn’t do it to “keep a bargain”, or to reward some effort, but because He cares about the heart’s desires of His children. He doesn’t always answer dramatically, miraculously, or immediately, but He answers, especially when those desires can be used for His glory.

“Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Ps. 37:4)

Posted in Devotional Thoughts, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
May
8

Heart & Hands – A Bible Study for Women

I’m thrilled to announce the release of something completely new! I have just published a new Bible study booklet for ladies.

This booklet, entitled Heart & Hands, is the culmination of a personal study I began many years ago when I was teaching a teen girls’ Sunday School class. It has been very encouraging to me, and I hope it will be to you as well.

Heart & Hands deals with having a heart that loves God, and hands that desire to serve Him. It looks at seven different types of “hands” in the Bible, and the type of heart that produces them. Using women of the Bible as illustrations, it demonstrates how having the right type of heart for God will produce hands that serve Him and others.

It also addresses many of the areas that I personally have struggled with, how Satan tries to con us, and how the Bible teaches us to overcome those difficulties and be victorious in our Christian lives.

Here are a few of the women you will see:

Rahab
Ruth
Jochebed
The Shunammite Woman
The Widow of Zarephath
Mary, the mother of Jesus
Esther

If you would like to see some preview pages, you can click here, and click the “Look Inside” emblem.

I will have companion products available within the next few weeks for those who may wish to do a more in-depth personal study, and for those who may want to teach this in a Bible study group, or Sunday school class. These resources will include downloadable teacher guides, student handouts, and PowerPoint slides.

I offer quantity discounts for those who may wish to order multiple copies for gifts, a class, or a bookstore. Click here to order.

It is my hope and prayer that the Lord will use this small study to have a great impact on the hearts and lives of ladies who have a desire to know and please Him.

Posted in Christian Composition Updates, Devotional Thoughts, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
Nov
6

Stand In the Gap

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The Lyrics

Wickedness is everywhere,
No one even seems to care,
But God still seeks today
For a man who will not compromise
Who’ll boldly stand against the lies,
Oh, can you hear Him say,

 “Who will stand in the gap?
Who will shine forth the light?
Who will make up the hedge?
Who will pray in the night?
Who will speak forth the truth?
Who will warn of God’s wrath?
Will you be the one
Who will stand in the gap?” 

Mercy’s door is soon to close,
Billions still who do not know
The hope found in God’s Son,
In my hands I hold His Holy Word,
And in my heart His Spirit’s stirred,
I long to be the one

Who will stand in the gap,
Who will shine forth the light,
Who will make up the hedge,
Who will pray in the night,
Who will speak forth the truth,
Who will warn of God’s wrath,
Will I be the one
Who will stand in the gap? 

Lord, give me boldness to proclaim
The truth unto the lost,
To stand for You in all I do
No matter what the cost.

Who will stand in the gap?
Who will shine forth the light?
Who will make up the hedge?
Who will pray in the night?
Who will speak forth the truth?
Who will warn of God’s wrath?
Will you be the one
Who will stand in the gap?

Will you be the one,
Will I be the one,
Oh, will there be one
Who will stand in the gap?

©Niki Lott, 3/10/15

The Lesson

This song came as a direct result of my dad’s prayers. A missionary friend contacted me through my dad, and asked if I knew of a song that went with the theme of “standing in the gap”. I began to do a search and was unable to find anything that seemed suitable.

Later that evening, as I was doing some housework, I was thinking about that phrase and what it means. I looked up the verse in Ezekiel 22:30 which says,

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

What a sad statement! God was looking for someone who would stand for Him, who would make a difference, but He found no one.

Our world is in a sad state. Our nation has turned her back on God. Even among those who claim to be Christians, there is far more conformity to the world and the culture than there is to Christ.

As I thought on this, the words to the song began to come to mind. I jotted down several lines, and called my dad to read the words to him. He told me that he had been praying earlier in the week that the Lord would give me a new song! It was so encouraging to me to know that this song was an answer to my dad’s prayers.

It is very fitting that this particular song would be the answer to his prayers. I am thankful for a dad who is a man of God, who has been willing to stand for the Lord.

What does it mean to “stand in the gap”?

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as, “…to expose one’s self for the protection of something; to make defense against any assailing danger.”

What does it require to spiritually “stand in the gap”?

  • It requires courage.
  • It requires conviction.
  • It requires character.
  • It requires confrontation.
  • It requires commitment.
  • It requires closing up the broken places.
  • Most of all, it requires the power and spirit of Christ.

This song convicts me every time I sing it. I believe God is still looking for someone to stand in the gap for Him. Will He find someone? Will it be you?

Special Note: As we face elections this week, I believe we need people who will “stand in the gap”. What is more, no matter who gets in office, God is looking for people who are willing to speak the truth and stand for right no matter what the cost. I have been encouraged to see so many Christians committing to pray and even fast over the elections. We must be careful not to let our fervor die after the election is over. Let’s be just as committed to pray, to plead with others, and to speak up after the election is history.

This week, you can download a package which includes the MP3 version of this song, as well as the PDF sheet music free of charge. All that is required to get your free download is your e-mail address. I hope that this song will stir and encourage your heart, and that you will be able to use it to do the same for someone else.

Posted in Christian Composition Updates, Devotional Thoughts, Inspiration, Lyrics, Song Stories | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
Nov
3

Imagine We Woke Up

imagine

Oh, Christian, imagine we woke up….

Imagine we woke up and were as fervent talking to God in prayer, and talking about God to others as we are talking about politics, or our problems, or other people.

Imagine we woke up and were more concerned that Christ may return today than we are who may become our next president tomorrow.

Imagine we woke up and realized that our world isn’t wicked because of the behavior or beliefs of whoever is in the White House, but because of the behavior and beliefs of those who are in our house, and in God’s house.

Imagine we woke up and instead of trying to find excuses to stay out of church, we went out and tried to find others to bring into church.

Imagine we woke up and were as passionate to follow Christ, and righteousness, and holiness, as we are to follow our favorite sports team, or TV show, or celebrity.

Imagine we woke up and instead of trying to imitate the world in a pathetic attempt to draw them to us, we tried to imitate Christ in an attempt to draw them to Him.

Imagine we woke up and were as eager and faithful to share the Good News of the Gospel as we are to share the latest bad news we heard on tv or the internet.

Imagine we woke up and were more concerned about our private, personal walk with God than our public profile or perception.

Imagine we woke up and were as zealous about being His followers as we are about gaining our own followers.

Imagine we woke up and were as anxious to spend time in His Book as we are on Facebook…or Twitter…or Instagram….or Snapchat….or…

Imagine we woke up and remembered that the grandest house, newest car, biggest raise, or trendiest gadget have zero value in eternity, but the redemption of a soul is precious.

Imagine we woke up and instead of being concerned that if we speak the truth someone might think we’re judging them, we were concerned because without Christ they are condemned already.

Imagine we woke up and realized that abortion, and terrorism, and shattered marriages, and drug abuse, and a million other “ills of our day” are only symptoms of the real sickness of mankind – sin, and that we have the cure – Christ.

Imagine we woke up and our fear of God was greater than our fear of man.

Oh, Christian, imagine we woke up….

 

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:11-14)

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (I Cor. 15:34)

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
(Eph. 5:6-16)

(emphasis mine)

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Oct
22

Follow Their Faith

grandpabobme
I am very blessed to be the wife of a pastor, the daughter of a missionary, the sister of a missionary pastor, and the granddaughter of a missionary. As a rather astonished man once told me when I shared how many preacher relatives I had, “Lady, that’s a whole lotta church!” It is far more than a lot of church. It is a beautiful spiritual heritage, one that has helped to make me the person I am today.

October is “Pastor Appreciation Month.” I am thankful that someone has designated a special time for remembering our pastors, but I am reminded that the Bible does not limit us to appreciating them only once a year. In fact, it encourages us to remember them, honor them, obey them, and follow them continually as they follow Christ.

The song that I am sharing now is one that I wrote several years ago to honor my grandpa, Missionary Bob Adams. There is not enough space here for me to share what a man of God he was, or the depth of the impact he made on my life, so I will only share a little.

A few things that stand out in my mind about my grandpa:

  • His love of the Lord and the Word of God
  • His passion to tell everyone everywhere about the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • His love of airplanes and flying, and how he used that love to take the Bible all over the world
  • His joyful, LOUD singing
  • His boldness
  • His prayers

I can hardly type these words without crying. So many memories flood my mind – of Grandpa witnessing, praying, singing, preaching, memorizing Scripture. I don’t think that anyone who met him ever went away without knowing that he knew the Lord, and that he wanted them to know Him too. How I pray for a portion of his spirit! How I long to “follow his faith”! I have never known a more fervent Christian.

When he was around 80 years old, someone asked him about his plans. This was his response:

“I thank God for all that He’s done in all these years, and I don’t plan on quitting until I just can’t even move, and then…I’m going to go to heaven.”

What a testimony!

When I wrote this song, it was for a video tribute that was going to honor the 35th anniversary of the ministry he began, Wings Bearing Precious Seed. I wanted the song to honor him, and more than that, to honor the Lord and be faithful to the Word of God. That is what Grandpa would have wanted, and I pray that it does just that.

I am thankful for this man of God. I am also thankful for my dad, my husband, my brother, and many other faithful men of God who have invested in my life, and who continue to give the Word of God.

I pray that this song will be an encouragement to many men of God to stay faithful, to know that their labor is not in vain in the Lord. I also pray that it will be a challenge to each of us to do as the Scripture commands,

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” (Heb. 13:7)

Follow Their Faith

We are living in a world today that’s full of compromise,
And it is rare to find those who have served God with their lives.
So when we see a warrior who’s been in the battle long,
And we find that he’s still standing strong,

We should follow the faith of those who’ve been faithful to the Lord.
We should follow the faith of those who’ve been faithful to His Word.
We should lift up their hands. We should honor their stand.
As they finish their race, we should follow their faith.

It’s not for fame or glory that so patiently they’ve run,
But because they long to hear their Heavenly Father say, “Well done”.
A privilege we’ve been given to watch them bear His name.
Will we who come behind them do the same?

We should follow the faith of those who’ve been faithful to the Lord.
We should follow the faith of those who’ve been faithful to His Word.
We should lift up their hands. We should honor their stand.
As they finish their race, we should follow their faith.

©Copyright 2007 Niki Lott.

If you would like to sing this song, you can hear a sample clip, and order the sheet music or digital download here.

grandpabobpreacher

  • grandpabob

If you would like to see the video tribute of Grandpa’s ministry, I know it would be a blessing to you. You can watch it here.

Posted in Christian Composition Updates, Inspiration, Song Stories | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments
Oct
15

What Can the Righteous Do?

 

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3)

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I am not a pundit or a politician. I am a Christian, a preacher’s wife, and a mom. I am concerned for my nation and my family, as are so many of you.

In a few weeks, the elections will be over, and in a few months, we will have a new President. Although emotions and opinions have been fervent and varied, I think the majority of Christians would agree that no matter which side wins, we are going to have a President who is immoral, dishonest, and ungodly. This election and the choices we have for candidates are a reflection of who we are as a nation, and tragically, of the state of American Christianity.

I have thought for months of the verse, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3). I have heard that sentiment echoed repeatedly in various comments and conversations. “We know things are bad. What can we do?”

Honest Christian people are well aware that the foundations of our nation have been systematically destroyed over the past several decades. We have seen an acceleration of this destruction, or perhaps it has just become glaringly evident, in the past few years.

The foundation of the home – marriage, family, the sanctity of human life – has crumbled. Those who still believe in the traditional, biblical view of marriage, and of parental roles and rights as given by God, are quickly becoming a despised minority.

The foundation of the church – biblical beliefs in God, salvation through Jesus Christ, the Bible, creation, freedom of worship and expression – is also collapsing. Even among those who call themselves religious, those who believe in the Word of God, holy living, and righteous preaching are viewed more and more as dangerous zealots who either need to conform to “societal norms”, or be silenced completely.

The foundation of government – the rule of law, justice, and integrity – is decaying and disappearing before our eyes.

If we desire to continue to stand on these foundations, although they seem to be disintegrating around us, what can we do? Do we throw up our hands in despair? Do we put our heads in the sand, and pretend it isn’t happening? Do we cave to the pressure, and conform to the world’s demands? Do we become pragmatists, and decide that we compromise “where we must” because the end justifies the means?

What can the righteous do?

Thankfully, as always, the Word of God gives us the answers.

  1. Pray Fervently.

Over the past months, I have been convicted over how little I have truly prayed for my nation, and for my elected officials. No matter who is in authority, we are commanded to pray for them.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2:1-4)

I have been told that we have no right to complain if we do not vote for one candidate or another. Christians, we have no right to complain if we do not pray. If we were as fervent in our private prayers as we are in our public politics, I firmly believe that our current situation would be entirely different.

  1. Obey Faithfully.

The Lord Jesus Himself taught us that the only foundation that will not be swept away in tempestuous times is the foundation of hearing and obeying the Word of God. When Jesus shared the parable of the wise man and the foolish man, He taught us that the difference between them was not that one knew God’s Word and one didn’t. The difference was that while they both heard the Word of God, only one obeyed (Mt. 7:24-27).

It is not enough to hear God’s Word. It is not enough just to know God’s Word. It is not enough even to talk about the Bible. We must determine with God’s help to do what it says.

“But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (Jas. 1:22)

  1. Live Godly.

Obedience to the Word of God will produce a life that is glorifying to God. It is our responsibility as believers to “live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” We need to live lives that reflect the Word of God, the fear of God, and the goodness of God. “…In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation…” we are to “shine as lights in the world.” (Phil. 2:15) As this world becomes more wicked, and our rulers and those around us become more opposed to the Word of God, it will become more difficult, but even more vital, to maintain our Christian testimony.

We need to fear God more than we fear people, more than we fear the future, and more than we fear losing our freedoms. We need to fear God and keep His commandments. (Eccl. 12:13)

I believe that one of the reasons Christians are having so little influence in this election and in our culture is that we have lost our savor as the salt of the earth. We are willing to accept darkness, and so we are no longer a light. You cannot hold hands with the dark and walk in the Light at the same time (I Jn. 1). As long as we are willing to “make affinity” with evil people, and excuse sin and unholiness in our own lives, we will diminish and lose our influence for good.

Although our national foundations may be shaken, even destroyed, our personal foundation does not need to be. We know that our foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. I am encouraged by this Scripture:

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (II Tim. 2:19)

  1. Submit Respectfully.

As the children of God, we are to obey the laws of the land in every area that we can (Rom 13:1). If the laws of man contradict the law of God, we know that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29); but otherwise, we are to be submitted to the authorities God has placed over us. This includes having an attitude of honor and respect for the office they hold (I Pet. 2:17). Many times, this is difficult when we have legitimate differences with the rulers and their policies, but it is still commanded. We see many examples throughout the Word of God of the importance of having an attitude of submission toward authority.

  1. Share Passionately.

Child of God, share the Gospel! Remember that the only reason we are “righteous” is because someone shared the Gospel with us, and when we placed our faith in the work of Jesus Christ, He placed His righteousness upon us. There is no room for boasting or pride. There should simply be a desire to share with others the goodness that God has given to us, and that is available for them as well.

There are some who are choosing their vote based on which candidate they feel will ensure our religious freedom. I appreciate the gravity and importance of that. I wonder though, what are we doing with the freedom we already possess? Unless our nation turns to God, no political candidate is going to ensure our freedom.

Please understand, I am not attempting to downplay the serious implications of this election. I have no desire to lose my freedom. It grieves me for my children. It breaks my heart to see the direction our nation is headed; but it is headed the way it is because of its spiritual condition, not because of its political condition. We are self-destructing because as a nation we have turned away from God. We have rejected Him, His Word, and His laws as our foundation, and He has removed His hand of blessing from us.

As God’s people, we should know that the hope of this nation is in the Gospel. We have been blessed to have so much freedom to share it, but I fear we have squandered it. We have been so busy pursuing money and pleasure, that we have stopped pursuing God. We have little desire to “deny ourselves”, take up His cross, and follow Him.

I have heard many say, “If Hillary gets in, we will lose our religious freedom!” Sadly, we may.

How would that actually affect our lives? If you could no longer go to church, would that really change your life? If you could no longer share a Gospel tract publicly, or speak to someone in the name of Jesus, how would that change your life? How frequently are you doing it now, while you can? Considering this has been a challenge to me personally. I want to redeem the time I have now, while I still have the freedoms I do!

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16)

Don’t be discouraged, my friends. If you truly love God, and are concerned about the state of our nation, you can still make a difference; but it won’t be by compromising, or conforming. It will be by continuing to do what God has said. God has not changed. Our obligations as His people are the same no matter what the circumstances, the culture, or the political climate.

We will never change our world by becoming like it, or agreeing with it. We can only change the world by being like Christ, by holding fast to His Word, by praying faithfully, and by sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the hope of this world.

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Rom. 13:11-12)

That is what the righteous can do.

©Copyright Niki Lott 2016.

 

 

 

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May
24

Exciting New Piano Arrangement – Dwelling in Beulah Land!

DwellingCover

This piano arrangement is not original to me, but is very special to me. When I was about 12 years old, I began taking piano lessons from a new teacher, Mrs. Athlene Bishop. I will never forget the first day I went to her house. I was a little nervous. She had me sit down, and she sat down at the piano, and began to play this arrangement. I was mesmerized!

She asked me, “Do you want to be able to play like this?” I said, “Yes!” She said, “Then I can teach you.” And teach she did! She was strict, REALLY strict. She required an hour of practice every day, written in a log. She required counting OUT LOUD with every song. If your counting was slow, or off rhythm, she would tap with her pencil, sometimes quite firmly! She required LOTS of finger exercises, scales, and a classical “repertoire”. She expected a great deal from me. She challenged me constantly. And she taught me hymn playing – not just playing the notes from the hymnal, but how to build from those notes with chords, and octave runs, and energy, and passion. She took the basics that I knew, and she pushed and inspired me to go far beyond what I had imagined possible.  In just over a year that I took lessons from her, my playing completely transformed. She gave me knowledge, experience, and confidence.

When I started lessons, Mrs. Bishop had already been playing for 60 years. She had learned to play hymns by listening to Rudy Atwood on the radio. She had quite a personality, and was known for breaking piano strings because of her strong, enthusiastic playing! She was a wonderful teacher, and I know that God brought her into my life at just the right time.

This arrangement of Dwelling in Beulah Land is the arrangement she played for me that first day I sat on the couch in her living room. She taught it to me from the church hymnal and memory. There was no written arrangement, so this is her arrangement the best I can remember it. The energy, joy, and breadth of this arrangement seem a perfect summation of her style.

Mrs. Bishop passed away many years ago, but her legacy lives on, and I hope to honor it.

I have labeled this an intermediate arrangement. If you struggle with octaves or large chords, it may be a little more advanced. In the spirit of Mrs, Bishop, I would encourage you to practice, practice, practice until you can play it smoothly and with the energy and emotion it deserves. In spite of the challenge, this is a FUN arrangement!

I pray that it will inspire and bless you as much as it has me!!!

Want to hear this arrangement? You can listen here:

 

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Apr
22

Christian, What Is the Basis for Your Boycott?

Basis Boycott

Folks, I have to admit that I am just as saddened, infuriated, sickened, and frightened by the latest “bathroom announcement” as many other people. Whether it is the position of a government, a business, or an individual, the notion that any man who wants to say he’s a woman can stroll uninhibited into a bathroom with me or my children horrifies me. I believe that this not only opens the door for men to freely enter a bathroom that is supposed to be exclusively for women and vice-versa, but it also opens the door for a multitude of other alarming possibilities. I agree that it is dangerous for me, for our sons and daughters, our sisters, and friends. I’m all for voicing our concerns, and boycotting businesses who choose to cater to the whims and wickedness of a few than to protect the innocence of our children.

Although I am frightened by the potential results of these policies, those results are not the primary reason we should be against them. We need to stop and ask ourselves some questions. Here are a few I’ve been considering:

  • Why do I think it is wrong for a man to dress up like a woman in the first place?
  • Why do I think that sodomy and the lifestyle that accompanies it is sinful?
  • Why do I think it should be forbidden for men to enter women’s dressing rooms or bathrooms, or for women to enter men’s bathrooms or dressing rooms?
  • Am I against it simply because I don’t like it?
  • Is it because it is potentially dangerous?
  • Is it because I find it uncomfortable or even repulsive?
  • Is it because it makes me feel angry, or afraid?

If these are the only reasons, then I have no real authority for my position.

As Christians, we have become so fearful of being seen as “legalistic” or “fundamentalist” or “intolerant” that we have stopped looking to and speaking from the authority God has given us. We are supposed to base our lives on the Word of God. If we do, then we can speak and act with His authority. If we speak  from the Word of God, we can speak in truths that are absolute, not opinions that are arbitrary.

If we do not use the Word of God as our authority, then everything is simply preference, and someone else’s preference has just as much validity as mine does, perhaps more. This principle holds true for any decision we make and any position we take. In regards to this particular discussion, I can say the following:

  • Why do I believe sodomy is wicked? Because God says so.
  • Why do I believe men should not dress up like women, and women should not dress like men? Because God says so.
  • Why do I believe that modesty, purity, and discretion are crucial? Because God says so.
  • Why should I refuse to conform to the world when they insist on the tolerance of wickedness? Because God says so.

No matter how I feel – sympathetic or sickened – I should act based on the Word of God.

No matter what I think, my opinion should always be subject to what God says.

No matter who I know that may agree or disagree, I should seek to know and then align myself with the position of the Word of God.

This seeming explosion of acceptance of perverse behavior that we have seen recently did not happen overnight. The efforts to blur the lines of distinction between male and female have been going on since sin entered the world. If they had not, God wouldn’t have addressed it in His Word repeatedly. There has been an aggressive and concerted effort in our nation to obliterate these lines for the past 50 years or so. We have seen it in the attempts to remove any type of difference between biblical roles, male and female appearance, and distinguishing characteristics.

This obscuring of God’s design has been done in the name of rights, equality, and tolerance at the expense of righteousness, equity, and truth. 

There are those who have tried to sound the alarm for years. Faithful men of God have preached and taught what the Word of God says about our design, our dress, and our decorum. They have warned about the dangers of allowing our girls to be masculine, and our boys to be feminine. They have instructed us about the biblical roles of husband and wife, mother and father, sons and daughters.

For the most part, especially in the last 10-15 years, these men have been scorned, slandered, and spurned – not just by the world, but by their churches, and even their children. They have been labeled old-fashioned, unloving, out of touch, intolerant, bigoted, legalistic, and just about any other negative name you want to tack on there. As the criticism and pressure to conform has grown from within the church and the home, the numbers of men willing to preach and practice the truth has dwindled, but a few have continued to stand and warn. Now we are watching as what they have warned about is coming to pass.

We are beginning to reap the fruit of generations of masculine mothers and effeminate fathers, of faithless marriages and absent parents. We are reaping the fruit of allowing secular humanists to convince our children that they have no Creator, and to “educate” and “enlighten” them to the point that they no longer comprehend the basic biology of male and female.We are reaping it in young people who are so jaded that they no longer believe good marriages are possible or necessary. They have no idea that the intimacy that God designed for marriage is something sacred and honorable. They believe that babies can be murdered on a whim. They have no respect for authority and no regard for humanity. There is no fear of God before their eyes.

We can be angry at the wicked, but they are not the problem.

The world has not grown more wicked, but the church has.

Christians, we have lost our salt and our light. Little by little, we have shifted the lines that God established. The world has attacked, and rather than contending, we have capitulated. Then we have compromised.  Then we have conformed.

We have stopped using the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to convict and convince the world of sin, and have instead turned to emotional or intellectual arguments. We have abandoned our secret prayer closets, and in doing so, we have enabled the wicked to “come out of their closets” with such brashness. They no longer hide in shame because we no longer shine the light.

The world disregards us and disdains us, not because we are so much like Christ, but because we are so much like them. We have excused our carnality and conformity by saying it will allow us to reach more people for Christ, but we must be willing to “come out from among them, and be…separate” before we will ever be truly effective going in to all the world to preach the gospel to every creature.

We are seeing the pattern of the book of Judges played out before our eyes, where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Tragically, we are also going to see the judgment that followed the disobedience of the people of God.

Child of God, I challenge you to stand. Don’t stand on your opinion. Don’t stand on your emotion. Don’t stand as a reaction. Stand with conviction based on the Word of God. Stand for truth because it is what God says. Stand and teach your children, from the Word of God, why you are standing. Stand graciously, but firmly. Stand and give the hope of the Gospel compassionately, but fearlessly. Stand with a life that shines purely, brightly, peculiarly, distinctively, blamelessly for the glory of God. Don’t conform; be transformed.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…” (Eph. 6:13-14)

Bible References to Consider: Rom. 1:16-32; Rom. 12:1-2; II Cor. 6:17; Tit. 2:3-5; I Tim. 2:9-10; I Cor. 6:9-11; Mt. 7:29; Eph. 5:1-16; Eph. 6:10-18; Mt. 5:13; I Cor. 11:14-15; Deut. 22:5; Rom. 12:21;

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Apr
12

Wedding Song – With You

With You
I am very excited to announce the release of my newest piece of sheet music, With You. I wrote this song almost 10 years ago for my husband, Brian. It was near our tenth anniversary, and I wanted something special to express how blessed I felt to have him as my husband.

Although I wrote it for my anniversary, it would be very fitting as a wedding song for a Christian wedding. My husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this year (I can’t believe it!), and it truly is “sweeter than before”.

No marriage is perfect, and mine is no exception, but marriage is a precious and beautiful thing when it is founded on Christ. Brian and I do not have a good marriage because I am a perfect wife, nor because he is a perfect husband. We do have a good marriage because we have a common goal to please the Lord. I am well aware that if that focus changes for either of us, our marriage has no guarantee of continuing to be a success. I pray that the Lord will keep our hearts faithful to Him, and give us many more years for His glory!

To a young person who is contemplating or entering marriage, I encourage you to be sure that you have chosen the Lord Jesus Christ as your first love and loyalty, and that you have chosen a mate who feels the same. If your greatest passion is Christ, He will teach, increase, and bless your love for one another.

Here are the lyrics to With You:

The love we have is not by chance,
More than a fairytale romance,
For as we sought God’s perfect will
Our heart’s desires He did fulfill.

For with you, my joys are brighter,
And with you, my burdens lighter,
And each day I am thankful I have found a love that’s strong and true
With you.
So to you, I will be faithful,
And for you, forever grateful,
For there’s nothing in this world that I would rather do
Than share my life and love with you.

Two separate lives God joins as one,
As man and wife we now become.
Not less am I, but so much more,
Each day is sweeter than before.

For with you, my joys are brighter,
And with you, my burdens lighter,
And each day I am thankful I have found a love that’s strong and true
With you.
So to you, I will be faithful,
And for you, forever grateful,
For there’s nothing in this world that I would rather do
Than share my life and love with you.

© Copyright 2006 Niki Lott

This song is available as printed sheet music or a digital download. There is a vocal MP3 download available. There is also a piano accompaniment track available (it includes the lyrics and vocal MP3). Finally, if you want to purchase all of it – the sheet music, and the piano soundtrack, you can download the package.

I hope this song will be a blessing, and that each young couple who chooses to use it in their wedding will also choose the Lord Jesus Christ as the center of their new home.

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