Christian Compositions - Conservative Christian Music

May
29

Beware of Balance

“I need to find balance.”

I have said it, and maybe you have too. It is a popular idea that seems to be a rational, mature, and many would say, a spiritual pursuit. But does God really want me to seek balance in my life?

My husband and I were talking recently, and he said that this word concerns him. He said that more and more Christians seem to be embracing the concept of seeking balance in their lives and ministries, yet God never commands us to be “balanced”. He commands us to be obedient. He commands us to be filled. Brian said, “Balance means I am in control. Fullness means God is in control.”

That thought has stayed with me over the past few weeks. To achieve balance, I must have equal parts on two sides. Well-intentioned as we may be, often those two sides we are attempting to balance are the flesh and the Spirit, a walk with the world and a walk with God. We deceive ourselves into believing that as long as we maintain some kind of equilibrium that walking this “spiritual” tightrope is pleasing to God.

Grace and truth are often mentioned when speaking of the “balanced” Christian life. The common notion is that we must seek to achieve a balance of grace and truth, as if they are opposing ideas.

Jesus Christ didn’t attempt to “balance” grace and truth. He was full of grace and truth – full of grace, and full of truth. “And of this fulness have all we received…”

When we think we can figure out how to “balance” grace and truth, we (and our human reasoning and perception) tend to attempt to take away or add to one side or the other. We think, “If I have a little less grace, I will have more truth.” Or, “I must speak a little less truth in order to be more gracious”. No. We are to be full of grace, and full of truth.

Holiness is another such example. God doesn’t say, “Be ye holy, but not too holy, or the world will be offended”. He just says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” We seem to have the notion that we can have a little holiness and a little worldliness and please everyone. The trouble is, that doesn’t please God.

We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit and to be dead to self. Seeking to balance self (my flesh) and the Spirit does nothing but grieve and quench the Holy Spirit of God, and make provision for our flesh to fulfill its own lusts.

Sadly, the area where we see a clear demonstration of this type of “balance” in the Word of God is in Revelation 3. The Laodicean Church was not too hot, not too cold. They were “balanced”, somewhere in the middle, lukewarm. They felt very good about themselves and their condition. They said they had need of nothing; yet, God’s view of them was quite different. He was sickened by their lukewarmness. They saw their financial prosperity as evidence of their spiritual success, and yet God described them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

God wants us “all in”. He wants us to make a choice – one side or the other, not both. Flesh or Spirit. God or mammon. Christ or the world. Hot or cold.

Fervent, zealous, passionate, Spirit-filled disciples of Jesus Christ will always be viewed as “unbalanced” by the world, and even sometimes by other professing Christians.

I have asked myself many times in the past few days,

“Who is in control? Me or the Lord?”

“Am I trying to ‘figure it all out’ and be ‘balanced’, or have I yielded all of myself to God asking Him for His fulness?”

“Am I constantly making adjustments to try to keep myself from falling, or am I completely relying on Him that is able to keep me from falling?”

“Am I allowing the world and the opinions of others to influence my obedience to Christ?”

“Am I holy, or just ‘not too worldly’?”

“Am I filled with the Spirit, and empty of self, or am I trying to have a little bit of both?”

“Am I pursuing balance, or am I pursuing Christ?”

“Am I hot, cold, or….balanced?”

© Copyright 2019 Niki Lott. All rights reserved.

I hope that this will be a helpful resource. You may print and share it for personal use. Please do not distribute it for any commercial purpose, or reprint/distribute in a different format without permission. Thank you!

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May
20

It’s All About Authority – Female Preachers, False Teachers, & the Blessing of Boundaries


God holds women in high regard, particularly women of virtue, women who fear Him, women with a meek and quiet spirit.

Throughout the Word of God, we read many accounts of women of courage, compassion, loyalty, and a love for God and family. God gives a great deal of instruction to women on the qualities and behaviors He finds pleasing and displeasing. He gives clear direction about the roles and responsibilities He desires them to seek and fulfill. He instructs mothers to teach and train their children. He instructs wives on how to behave toward their husbands. He instructs women, young and old, married and single. He also gives clear guidelines concerning the role of women in the church.

There is no doubt women have a valuable place in the service of God. Multiple examples are seen in the Old and New Testaments of women who served, women who prayed, and women who yielded themselves to the will of God.

God concisely instructs that older women are to be “teachers of good things”. He then lists what these “good things” are, and who is to be taught. (Tit. 2:2-5) He cautions young women, and young widows (I Tim. 5:1-17). He clearly forbids women to teach, or to “usurp authority” (which means to dominate) over the man (I Cor. 14:34; I Tim. 2:9-14). This “order” in the church is consistent with the order God gives in the home as well.

In our current feminist culture, the idea of a woman being “in subjection”, or being limited, or disqualified in any way from any position based on her gender, is considered demeaning, sexist, cruel, hateful, abusive, and incomprehensible. It is imagined that if God is limiting women based on their gender, He is somehow saying that we are “less than” in some way. This mindset presumes that God’s design for women implies that they are not intelligent, not capable, not…..whatever. That idea is wrong. What it does mean (and this seems to go against current notions as well) is that women are not men.

We are different. We are unique. We are special. We have strengths and weaknesses. These do not make us better or worse than men, just different.

The Bible clearly, unequivocally states that women are not to be preachers, pastors, or teachers of men in the church. We do not have to understand all of God’s reasons, but we are accountable to obey what He has revealed and instructed. It is not a question of a woman’s abilities, but of God’s authority.

In fact, it’s all about authority.

Many well-known “inspirational” writers and women’s Bible teachers consider themselves equipped and entitled to be preachers, and we are seeing them become more prominent and more widely accepted.

Some of the most popular of these women include (but are not limited to):

  • Beth Moore
  • Lysa Terkeurst
  • Ann Voskamp
  • Priscilla Shirer
  • Shauna Niequist
  • Lisa Bevere
  • Jen Hatmaker
  • Christine Caine

Careful examination of the doctrines and teachings of these women will reveal a great deal of biblical error, but this one error alone should be sufficient warning to women who are seeking Bible truth that these are not good teachers to follow. Women like these have a great deal of influence and are especially dangerous because “by good words and fair speeches” they “deceive the hearts of the simple”, and encourage the hearts of the rebellious.

Just a few weeks ago, Beth Moore “preached” on Mother’s Day. She has received broad support from a great number of women teachers (and quite a few men as well), but does that make her right?

Preachers who dare to address the errors of these women are mocked or maligned. They are accused of sexism, abuse, and more. These women can use “great, swelling words”, like misogyny and complementarianism, or politically-charged words, like sexism or racism, to intimidate or silence their critics, but that doesn’t make them right. Even more, it doesn’t make them spiritual. A woman can be talented, eloquent, intelligent, passionate, and popular, but that doesn’t make her qualified to be a pastor or preacher, or justify her in being disobedient to God.

Beth Moore, when recently responding to a man who presented a scriptural view of women in the church (and home) said, “…I would be terrified to be a woman you’d approve of. And I would have wasted 40 years of my life encouraging women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture.” I wonder, is she terrified to be a woman God approves of? Does that mean for the past 40 years she has been teaching contrary to scriptural commands, or does she view God’s prescribed design and function for women a waste? How can you know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture, yet totally disregard His clear instructions about the roles a woman should and shouldn’t have in the church?

She claims she is “compelled to my bones by the Holy Spirit…to draw attention to the sexism and misogyny that is rampant in segments of the SBC…”. Regardless of how strongly she feels, the Holy Spirit would never compel her to do that in a way that contradicts what He has already said. (I Jn. 4:1)

If a pastor truly is immoral or abusive, he has biblically disqualified himself from authority in the church (I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9); but his disqualification does not qualify a woman to assume his position.

A woman who usurps authority in the church is just as disqualified scripturally as a man who abuses authority. Both are equally guilty of disobedience and defiance to God’s authority. To condemn one while condoning the other is hypocrisy.

Using someone else’s rebellion or sin to justify our own is a common tactic. It has been used since the Garden of Eden, and it is still wrong. God did not accept it then, and He does not accept it now.

I am alarmed by women who claim to be “spiritual leaders”, yet despise the leadership God has placed over them, and I am troubled by a generation of women who are willing to follow and promote these women despite what the Bible clearly teaches.

It’s all about authority.

For those who would dispute this assertion, I ask you, how do these women respond to the biblical mandates for them to be “in subjection”, or to submit to their husbands? How do they respond when confronted with the biblical limitations placed on the role of women in the church? Attacks and accusations (“…those men are just jealous, sexist….”), and even accolades and experiences (“I’ve served x number of years”), are not scriptural authority.

Are these “Bible teachers” faithfully teaching young women to be “discreet, chaste…keepers at home…and obedient to their own husbands” as Titus 2 instructs them to do? How do they explain the biblical qualification for a pastor to “rule well his own house”, and to be “the husband of one wife”?

Any “limitations”, or boundaries, placed on us by Scripture are for our good, and we should submit to them by faith. They should not be viewed in a negative light, but should be seen with gratitude as the blessings they are.

Since the Garden of Eden, Satan has been questioning God’s authority and boundaries, and convincing women that in order to be

  • successful (“…ye shall not surely die…”)
  • savvy (“…your eyes shall be opened…”),
  • spiritual (“…ye shall be as gods…”), and
  • smart (“…knowing good and evil…”),

they must go beyond God’s boundaries (Gen. 3). Eve fell for that lie, and so will we if we refuse to obey God.

It’s all about authority.

Eve didn’t have to know who the serpent really was, she didn’t have to answer his arguments, or understand God’s reasons. She just had to obey. Simple obedience would have spared her from the snare of the devil.

Satan hasn’t changed his tactics, and if we refuse to listen to God’s Word, we are just as susceptible as Eve was to his wiles. He is still subtle. He is still the wicked one. He still hates God, God’s Word, God’s authority, and God’s creation.

We, as women, do not have to be seduced or deceived; but if we are not willing to obey God’s Word by faith, and submit to His authority in our lives, we are already deceiving ourselves (Jas. 1:21). When we begin to question, “Hath God said…”?, we are in a dangerous place. We must stop following everyone who claims to be a Bible teacher just because they are popular, gifted with words, or make us feel good about ourselves. We must be willing to study the Bible and examine ourselves, and those we listen to, by it.

Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mount with the comparison of the wise and foolish men who built their houses, one on the rock and one on the sand. Both built houses. Both faced storms. One house survived; the other fell. The difference? One builder was likened to someone who hears the Word of God and doesn’t do it, while the other was likened to someone who hears and obeys the Word.

Knowing the truth of the Word of God is not what separates the wise from the fools. It is obeying the truth that determines if we are wise or foolish.

As Jesus finished His message, the Bible says, “…the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mt. 7:24-29) (emphasis added)

Ladies, I implore you, build your life on the strong foundation of obedience to the Word of God. Be willing to cheerfully, joyfully submit to His authority in your lives. Embrace God’s beautiful, protective boundaries, and live faithfully and fervently within them. Don’t be deceived by false teachers, false promises, and false doctrine. Be willing to discern scripturally. Simple obedience will protect you.

It’s all about authority.

 

 

© Copyright 2019 Niki Lott. All rights reserved.

If you would like to have the PDF version to download and print, it is available on my website free of charge. I hope that this will be a helpful resource. You may print and share it for personal use. Please do not distribute it for any commercial purpose, or reprint/distribute in a different format without permission. Thank you!

Link to free PDF download: It’s All About Authority

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Apr
19

Is All Current Christian Music Contemporary Christian Music, and Does It Matter?

I’m alive and write Christian music, so am I a contemporary Christian music writer? Is contemporary Christian music acceptable for the believer?

The word “contemporary” means “current, present, living or existing at the present time”.

In that sense of the word, I am a contemporary (living) composer and writer. However, Contemporary Christian Music, commonly called CCM, goes far beyond that definition.

Music is a powerful force, one that produces a great deal of passion, and is a topic that is the source of much confusion and debate in Christianity today. No matter how deep our feelings, it is vital for those who are children of God to examine everything, including our music, by the Word of God.

There are some who say that the liberty we have in Christ makes anything permissible that is not overtly evil; but examining the Word of God teaches us that is not true. We are not to use our liberty as an occasion to serve our flesh (Gal. 5:13). We are to “believe not every spirit”, but to “try the spirits whether they be of God” (I Jn. 4:1). We are to “walk as children of light”, discern between light and darkness, and be separated from the world and that which is unholy (Eph. 5:6-17; II Cor. 6:17; Jas. 4:4). Satan’s plans to confuse and corrupt are often very subtle and cloaked in a shroud that resembles a lamb and light in order to disguise the dark wolf within (Mt. 7:15; II Cor. 11:13-15).

This post is not an in-depth examination of music. Rather, it will seek to look at some basic definitions, distinctions, and principles that can help us to discern the music that we should and should not choose to fill our hearts and minds.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are all new songs “contemporary”?
  • Should anything written recently be avoided?
  • Is all “old music” good?
  • How can we know?

First, it needs to be understood that Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) is an established style and genre of music. Its goal is to meld popular music with religious lyrics so that it is marketable and “comfortable” to both the church and the world. This definition is from a secular source: (www.allmusic.com/style/ccm )

“Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) is pop music with inspirational and religious lyrics. Musically, much CCM is indistinguishable from mainstream pop/rock, featuring the same melodic and production techniques. CCM developed in the ‘70s and ‘80s, as gospel artists found a new, more contemporary way to market their music. Using electric guitars and synthesizers, the religious music industry created a viable new form of gospel music that sounded like pop music – with their slick, professional productions, many CCM records could fit comfortably on adult contemporary radio stations.”

Though I am alive, and thus your “contemporary”, I do not write CCM music. I want no part of CCM, and am convinced that no child of God should. Its unapologetic purpose is to try to combine light and darkness, the church and the world, which God forbids (II Cor. 6:14-18).

There are some who will argue that only the lyrics matter. Lyrics do matter. One of the issues I have with many CCM songs is their lyrics. Many are doctrinally incorrect, or they are so watered-down and generic that they could easily be sung to your friend or lover instead of to Jesus. This last type of song is known as a crossover song, first because it is such an amalgamation of Christian and pop that it “crosses over” both genres. Second, many pop artists have “crossed over” from CCM to pop music through songs like these.

There are a few CCM songs whose lyrics have nothing doctrinally wrong with them. Some CCM artists may even take a classic hymn like “Amazing Grace” or “At the Cross”, and set them to contemporary music. What about these? Are the lyrics the only consideration?

Without going into a detailed history and explanation of music theory, I will assert that musicians and fans alike know that music matters as well. The rhythms and harmonies that define styles and genres of music do so because of how they affect and influence our bodies and our souls. The same crowd who argues that music style should not even be considered tends to reject traditional, conservative Christian music because it doesn’t “move” or stimulate them enough. Music that primarily feeds the spirit will rarely appeal to the flesh. Lyrics are important, vitally so, but the music that we wed our lyrics to is also vitally important.

Every song, old and new, should be held up to the light of God’s Word. If it is not faithful to the Word and distinct from the world we should stay away from it.

God has always given His people “new songs” (Ps. 40:3; 33:3; 96;1; 98:1; 144:9; Isa. 42:10; Rev. 5:9). The problem is not new songs, but an old deceiver. We need to guard our music. It is to be filled with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. It is to be a source of sound doctrine, spiritual teaching, and scriptural admonition (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).

If we fill our hearts and minds with music that is weak and worldly, we are at great risk of becoming the same.

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Jan
20

The Scorner


A Self-Portrait

There was a period in my life when I was a scorner. I do not say that proudly. I say it with great sadness and shame. When I became a scorner, it didn’t happen overnight, and most people who knew me probably had no idea; but my parents knew. My Sunday school teacher knew. My youth pastor probably knew. My close friends knew. My younger siblings definitely knew.

I could make a list of excuses a mile long, but the truth is that I came to a point in my life that I decided I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I didn’t want anyone to tell me anything different. I didn’t want anyone trying to offer me counsel, or logic, or correction, and I certainly didn’t want them to use the Bible to tell me why my decisions might be unwise.

I am thankful that this period in my life wasn’t lengthy, but I regret that it ever happened at all. I cannot think of one positive thing that happened as a result of my attitude, and it grieves me greatly to think of the many negative things that happened because of it.

I am thankful for parents who kept telling me the truth, kept praying for my spiritual welfare, and who were willing to forgive me when I finally “came to myself”. I am thankful that the Lord was faithful to continue to put people in my path who were willing to confront me, to correct me, and to be concerned for me even when I “scorned” them for it.

When I look back to that time, I thought I was doing what would make me “happy”, and yet I remember those days as some of my most unhappy. I was angry a lot. I felt guilty a lot (and rightfully so). I was selfish and miserable.

If I could encourage one person, young or old, to avoid that path entirely, or to get off of it if they’re on it, then sharing these thoughts will not be in vain.

God has nothing good to say about the scorner, but I am thankful that He can forgive and change even a hard heart. The key to the scorner changing is a willingness to humble themselves, repent of their sin, and allow God to change their heart toward Him, toward themselves, and toward others.

A Scriptural Portrait

A scorner, according to the Bible, is someone who is full of pride, and who uses mocking and shame to justify themselves, and to manipulate and try to control those who correct or rebuke them. The person they scorn may be someone who verbally reproves them, or it may simply be someone whose life and actions are a silent reproof to them.

God says that the scorner hates the one who reproves them (Pro. 9:8; 15:12). They refuse to hear rebuke, correction, or counsel (Pro. 13:1). They are the ultimate rebel. They have decided that they are the final authority in their lives, and anyone who challenges or contradicts them becomes the object of their scorn. They are angry and proud of their anger (Pro. 21:24).

They feel no shame for their own actions, but they seek to bring shame on those who would reprove them (Pro. 9:7). They delight in their scorning, and in the damage they do to those they hold in contempt. (Pro. 1:22)

A scorner loves and craves an audience. Although they may mock someone privately, they are empowered by the approval, sympathy, and praise of others. Their mocking may cause people to laugh, but it is not a laughter that brings joy; rather, it is one that gives pain. Scorners are often popular because their irreverent attitude and disrespect bring a guilty pleasure to many (Pro. 16:9). They appear a champion to some because of their willingness to challenge authority. Their ability to turn everything into a joke can make them the life of the party, or the class clown. Because they usually have a quick retort or sarcastic remark in any given situation, their wit may be mistaken for wisdom by those who are not discerning.

Scorners are often friendly, helpful, and outgoing, especially to those whose loyalty they seek; but, beware if you challenge their opinions or confront their sin. Those who are in a position to train, teach, or lead them are usually the only ones who know their true character, because they bear the brunt of their disdain. No matter how loving the reproof, how right the rebuke, how sacrificial the investment, the reprover will never be loved by the scorner (Pro. 15:12).

The scorner can watch a parent weep over them with a smile for their sorrow,
and a taunt for their tears (Pro. 30:17).
The scorner looks for any weakness to exploit, any fault to expose,
and any grievance to express. They portray (and see) themselves as a victim,
and rarely accept responsibility for their own actions and faults. They are sympathetic and supportive of rebels, and sarcastic and scornful to authorities.

As they grow older, they often seek positions of leadership or instruction, because they consider themselves to be always right. They sincerely value no one’s opinion but their own, or those who agree with them.

Because of their attitude and anger, they often have family and other relationship conflicts (none of which they believe to be their fault) (Ps. 55:12-14). Though they may speak of peace, they do not seek conciliation, but rather control.

Through their taunting, and desire to “bring down” those who correct or confront them, they will magnify flaws, mock failures, and misrepresent the motives of those they scorn. They may ask questions, but not because they genuinely want an answer (Pro. 14:6). Rather, they see responses as a means to gather ammunition, or to gain an audience. They will misquote the words of those they scorn, misunderstand their best intentions, and publicly malign their character.

They are often outwardly religious, but they despise those who are genuinely righteous.

Throughout the Bible, you will rarely find an account of a good and godly man, prophet, or king who did not have to deal with scorners, often in their own family.

  • Joseph was mocked by his brothers.
  • David was mocked by his brother, by his enemies, and by those he thought were his friends.
  • Job was mocked and falsely accused by his friends.
  • Nehemiah and the builders were mocked by their enemies.
  • Jeremiah was mocked by the people of Judah.
  • Hezekiah and the men of Jerusalem were mocked by the Assyrians.
  • Noah was mocked by those of his day.
  • Elisha was mocked by the village children.
  • Moses was mocked by the children of Israel, and by his own brother and sister.
  • Paul was mocked repeatedly.
  • Jesus was mocked by the Pharisees, by the priests, by those who doubted his abilities, and by those who crucified Him.

Although these were godly men, and even God in the flesh, these scorners mocked their dreams and their decisions.

They mocked their message and their methods.

They mocked their looks, their labor, and their lives.

They mocked their sorrow and their suffering.

As difficult as it is, we need to realize that even if (and sometimes because) we attempt to follow the Lord to stand for the truth, and to live holy lives, we are going to face scorners.

We should desire to never be found sitting “in the seat of the scornful”.

 Spiritual Principles for Dealing with Scorners

          1. Determine

Determine with God’s help not to be a scorner! Stay humble. Receive counsel and instruction. Refuse to mock those who are in authority over you for any reason.

Along with that, determine never to listen to a scorner. When someone begins to mock, stop listening! If you do not, they will use your approval as their justification.

          2. Do Right

It can be very discouraging and intimidating to be mocked. The Bible also describes being mocked and scorned as being despised, defamed, derided, reproached, contemned, and reviled. Examine yourself by the Word of God (not just by their criticism). If you are in error, correct yourself; otherwise, just stay the course. If you ever stop standing, you will find yourself sitting in “the seat of the scornful”. (Ps. 1:1)

If you choose not to sit in the seat of the scornful, you may stand alone for a while. Jeremiah did (Jer. 15:17). David did (Ps. 26:4-5). Paul did (II Tim. 4:14-16). Our precious Lord Jesus did (Mt. 26:56, 67-68).

A scorner will do their best to isolate the person they scorn. They will seek to gather support for themselves, and to turn family, friends, and anyone else they can against that person.

Sadly, I have watched scorners turn the hearts of children from their parents. I have watched scorners turn the hearts of new believers or young Christians against a pastor or other spiritual leader. I have watched scornful wives turn their own children against their father, and turn a godly husband away from the Lord. I have watched scorners discourage the hearts of children and teens who are trying to do right as they mock them for “being good”, or making spiritual decisions. I have watched scorners mock the man of God, usually the same man who won them to Christ, who has counseled them, taught them God’s Word and ways, and prayed for them.

I have also grieved as I have observed good men and women compromise what they know to be right in an effort to gain the love or respect of a scorner. It never works. If you relinquish your principles or convictions to appease them, they will still mock you (although maybe not to your face) for not being what you said you were in the first place. What is worse, even if you gain some level of standing with the scorner, you will have to trade it for standing for the Lord.

          3. Deal with the Scorner Biblically

If you are in a position where it is necessary to confront a scorner (perhaps as a parent, pastor, or teacher), you may need to reprove, rebuke, or correct them. As you do, be sure you realize that you are not doing it primarily for their sake, and certainly not for yours (Pro. 9:7-8; 15:12). Do it because it is your responsibility before the Lord. Do it for the sake of those whom they are seeking to influence. Biblically, when a scorner is dealt with properly the simple learn to beware and be wise. (Pro. 19:25; 21:11)

If necessary, cast them out. What does that mean? It does not mean you stop loving them. It does mean that if possible, you should remove them from a place of influence – in your home, your church, your class, your work. Sometimes it is the only means of stopping strife and contention (Pro. 22:10).

At some point, be silent. Don’t argue or attempt to reason with them. Don’t try to answer all of their charges, or to defend yourself against their attacks. It is impossible. Hezekiah instructed the men of the city not to answer the taunting of the wicked Rabshakeh (II Kings 18:26-36). The Lord Jesus stood silently before His accusers and mockers. Commit yourself and your reputation to the Lord (Isa. 53:7; Mt. 27:14, 29-31, 39-44, 48-49; I Pet. 2:11-12, 15, 18-25; 3:1-2, 9-10) .

Pray for them. We are commanded to pray for those who despitefully use us, and falsely accuse us (Mt. 5:11-12, 44). Pray that God will soften and humble their hearts, and that they will repent and be right with Him.

Pray for yourself. Pray for the Lord to keep your heart tender. As Nehemiah, Hezekiah, David and many others did, take their taunts and accusations as well as your wounds to the Lord. Ask Him to defend you, and remember that He is keeping the records.

4. Discern.

As I mentioned earlier, the scorner has a great desire to build alliances and seek approval. They may come to you looking for “counsel”, or “comfort”. One of the best ways to discern if someone is genuinely seeking counsel (and not just looking to gain allies) is by listening to their attitude more than their accusations. Do they have an attitude of reverence and respect toward God and other authorities in their life? Do they mock or show contempt for parents, husbands, teachers, pastors, or other authority figures? Be very careful about sympathizing with a scorner.

Also, be very wary of friendships or relationships with scornful people. Young lady, if a young man will mock his parents, his teachers, or his pastor, I promise you that if you marry him, one day he will mock you. Young man, if a girl will mock someone in her class who is seeking to live for God, or will mock her father or mother, be certain that if you decide to live for God that will eventually be her attitude toward you. If a wife will scorn her husband, she will eventually mock her pastor.

A scorner is no respecter of persons, because they respect no one but themselves.

 The Scorner’s Prospects

Can a scorner change? Yes! A scorner can humble themselves and repent, and that alone is their hope.

During my rebellious and scornful period, my dad sent me to a mission camp. Although earlier in my teen years I had surrendered my life to serve the Lord, I had my own agenda at this point. I was so angry with him for making me go. I cried. I tried to contrive ways to get out of it. I told my friends and my siblings how horrible my parents were. I left my mother in tears when they dropped me off, and I really didn’t care. They left, and they prayed. Thankfully, they did not give up on me, and neither did the Lord. God broke my selfish, scornful heart and my stubborn will that week.

The first thing I did when my parents came back to pick me up at the end of that week was to ask their forgiveness. I’m forever grateful that my parents didn’t give in to my selfish demands. I’m so glad they didn’t just try to “make peace” with me, and abandon what they knew was right because I was so obstinate and unhappy with them.

I later went to talk to a Sunday school teacher who had very kindly confronted me about something in my life. He had simply asked me if I thought the Lord was pleased with some of the choices I was making, and he asked what my parents thought about those choices. I hated him for it at the time. I didn’t mock him to his face, but I did behind his back. How it shames me to think I behaved in that way! When I got right with God, I went to that teacher and thanked him for caring enough about me to talk to me about my decisions, and asked him to forgive me for my attitude.

I look back and realize that the people I despised the most then were the only people who truly loved me. All those “friends” and supporters I had were not really my friends. Some just didn’t know better, but some did. Those who encouraged me in my disobedience, who sympathized with my disrespect, and who laughed at my derision didn’t really love me at all. The people who would stand with tears in their eyes and face my taunts to tell me the truth – they were the ones who actually loved me. I found out that when I decided to follow the Lord with all my heart all those other “friends and sympathizers” sort of faded off in the distance. Some treated me with the same ridicule and disdain that I had displayed toward my parents and spiritual leaders. I’m sure I deserved it, although not for the reasons they had.

I share all of this to remind us that any of us have the potential to become a scorner. Scorners are not just children or teenagers. Often, they’re angry, bitter adults. They’re unsubmissive wives and unspiritual husbands. They’re disgruntled church members, and discouraged pastor’s wives.  They can be found in a myriad of other forms and faces.

The common thread is a willingness to ridicule others to avoid personal reproof or rebuke. It’s a willingness to shame others to avoid being ashamed of one’s self. It’s a willingness to harden our hearts rather than humble them, to become calloused to the hurts we inflict on others to the point that we delight in laughing at their pain.

If you are tempted to become this person, please, don’t. If you have been a sympathizer or a source of approval for this type of person, stop.

There are some who have probably read these thoughts with a smirk on your face. If you share them, it will only be to advertise your disgust or ridicule. I have hesitated to share them myself for several reasons. First, I’m ashamed of the time in my life I have described. I have no desire to glory in my shame. Second, I know that saying these things will probably make some people very angry, and while that is not my intention at all, it is inevitable. Scorners hate to be called out. Third, I don’t like being mocked any more than anyone else, probably far less. I expect that mocking will happen. But it needs to be said. If you’ve read this far, even if only so you can pick this apart and use it for ammunition to throw back at me, I challenge you to read to the end.

God says that those who scorn will bear the results of their scorning. When the time comes for reaping what they have sown, the responsibility for their attitudes and actions will not fall on their parents, their pastors, their teachers, their friends, or anyone else they try to blame. God holds them personally responsible. They may see themselves as victims, but God does not (Pro. 9:12).

He says of the scorner that He pours out His words to them, and they hate it. He reaches out to them, and they ignore Him. He reproves them, and they despise it. He calls to them, and they refuse. He counsels them, and they will have none of it. He says that in the end, when their calamity comes, and they get what thought they wanted, He will become the mocker. He will have the last laugh. He says, that “surely he scorneth the scorners…” What a frightening thought! (Pro. 1:22-32; 3:34)

If you are a scorner, I beg of you, let the fear and love of God change your heart. I assure you that a tender heart is far happier than a taunting one, and a broken heart is better than a bitter one. Desire God’s mercy rather than despising it. If you do not, one day you will reap the results of your scorning….alone.

“If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.” (Pro. 9:12)

NOTE: I recently shared this as a series of posts on my Facebook page. If you would like to have the PDF version to download and print, it is available on my website free of charge. I hope that it will be a resource that will be helpful, and would be happy for you to print and share it. Please do not distribute it for any commercial purpose, or reprint/distribute in a different format without permission. Thank you!

Link to free PDF download: The Scorner

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Dec
31

New Song for the New Year – “This Is Your Mission Field”

I wrote this song recently at the request of a good friend, Pastor Keith Troyer. The theme of their church’s missions conference (which our family was privileged to be a part of) was “Reaching Our JerUSAlem“. There was a good, and much-needed emphasis, on the importance of reaching America, our Jerusalem, so that we are able to send missionaries to the uttermost parts of the earth.

As you may know, our family recently stepped into a new ministry called “Refreshing Grace Ministries”. A huge part of our ministry vision is to encourage and refresh pastors and their families, and local churches. Our churches will not reach the world if they will not reach their own communities. If pastors are disheartened and churches are dwindling, not only in number, but in passion, missions around the world will suffer. We desire to be a support and help to pastors, their wives and children, and their congregations. If we could be a help to you or someone you know, please contact us.


When Pastor Troyer mentioned the idea of writing a song to go with their theme, this ministry burden was fresh on my heart. We had recently started traveling to meetings, and were also in the midst of packing for a move. While I was interested in writing a song, I wasn’t sure at all that I would be able to do so.

One week in September, I returned home for a few days from some meetings in the south to pack up our house. I had some time alone to think and pray. As I was considering the theme, the thought, “This is your mission field” popped into my mind. I grabbed a pen and paper, and throughout the day as I packed, I worked on the lyrics. Later, I began going back and forth to the piano and developing the tune. I’m not sure I got a lot of packing accomplished that day, but this song was born, and I was certain it was an answer to prayer.


The idea of this song is not to discourage foreign missions. As the opening lines say,

“There is no doubt that somewhere far away
There are lost souls who’ve never heard Christ’s name,
And someone needs to go across the sea,
And tell them Jesus died to make them free.”

I fear, though, that we are quite content to send missionaries far away, but just as content to ignore the mission field at our back door. The next lines continue,

“But there are also lost souls on your street,
And who will tell the people that you meet
That Jesus is the only way to heav’n?
How will they hear that they can be forgiv’n?”

We dare not ignore the mission field of our own nation. As we travel around the United States, it is shocking and sad, yet deeply challenging, to see the need for the Gospel here in our own nation.

If God burdens you to go somewhere far away, by all means, go! But God has called each of us to be His witnesses no matter where we are.

Not at some distant time, 
Nor in some distant place,
But here and now we need to share 
The message of God’s grace!”

I hope this song will be an anthem that reminds, convicts, and motivates us to be missionaries to our own people. It is foolish to bemoan the condition of America while we neglect to share the only message that has the power to transform the hearts and lives of people.

“America, the land we love so well,
Is filled with precious souls still bound for hell.
And who will reach this land of liberty,
And speak the only truth that makes men free?”

“This is your mission field.
The harvest now is white.
There is no time to linger,
For swiftly comes the night.
The Master’s call is clear,
His will has been revealed.
Oh, will you lift your eyes?
This is your mission field.”

©Copyright 2018 Niki Lott.

This song is SATB w/piano and is available in printed format, and in PDF download format. Please remember that when you purchase a download, you are purchasing the right to make one (1) printed copy. Also, if you wish to purchase digital music, be sure to click the title, then select “digital” from the drop-down menu. If you just “Add to Cart” from the main page, the default is “physical”.

For this week only (through 1/7), use coupon code MISSION19 to receive a 33% discount on this song. This will apply to printed or PDF sheet music, and there is no limit on the quantity.

P.S. I plan to have a listening demo, and a piano track available soon.

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Dec
27

A Candle Or a Scandal?

2018 has been filled with headlines and stories of immorality and scandal. We have been inundated with the “Me Too” movement, the Kavanaugh accusations and subsequent retractions, the “Shout Your Abortion” campaign, gender confusion, and much more. Even worse, we’ve heard stories of wickedness and abuse in churches.

As I’ve watched and listened, it has been with an ever-growing sense of grief. I am sad for those who have been victimized. I am angry at those who have been perpetrators. I am aghast at the accusations, while also being shocked and frightened at how quickly people assume the guilt of any accused person. I am sickened at the callous corruption and moral confusion of our world. Most of all, I am grieved at the seeming inconsistency of those who claim to be Christians, and the lack of salt and light we are in our “present evil world”.

The greatest scandal occurs when we who are to be shining as lights in the world reflect the world around us more than the Christ within us.

Many are quick to speak their outrage at the awful things done by “Hollywood elites”, media moguls, Washington insiders, and even religious leaders. We should be outraged, but how can we speak with any kind of moral integrity or authority if we are lining their pockets by watching the filth they produce, or voting them into office when we know they have no moral compass? We consume the garbage that Hollywood and the music industry puts out, and refuse to put out the garbage in Washington that we have voted in. We are righteously indignant at immorality in our spiritual leaders, yet we are just as indignant if our spiritual leaders preach for holiness and against sin.

The seeming avalanche of immorality and corruption should come as no surprise. For generations, our culture has been descending into a slimy pit of sexual “freedom” by systematically attempting to remove God from our conscience, denying moral absolutes, and substituting cultural relativism for the reality of God’s commands. We’ve created confusion and corruption by refusing God’s clear guidelines.

God created sex for marriage, a union between a man and woman within that exclusive bond. God’s plan is simple and clear. Sexual intimacy inside of the marriage covenant is honorable. Outside of that bond, it is sin. Whether or not those accused in this recent spate of scandals are guilty of breaking the laws of the land, if they engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage, they have broken the law of God.

Although it is sad to see our culture flooded with such moral decay, it is grievous to see those who claim to be God’s children doing little to stem the tide. Rather than standing firmly for what the Bible teaches and seeking to model the beauty of God’s plan to the world, in many cases, we have fallen for the world’s lies and seen our families, churches, and even communities pay the price.

Do you think I overstate it? Consider this.
Even among many who profess Christianity:
Modesty is mocked.
Purity is seen as prudish.
Fornication is widely accepted, or at least expected. Abstinence is seen as archaic.
Fornication is seen as freedom.
Marriage is viewed as bondage.
Pregnancy is widely perceived as a punishment, and children are generally viewed as a burden.
If you choose to believe that children are a gift from God, and have many of them (more than two or three), you will be subjected to a great deal of criticism.

Just recently, a well-known “Christian” singer said she “could not say” what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. This saddens, but also frustrates me. The Bible is abundantly simple and clear on this point (and many others), yet there is a large and growing movement of people who claim to know, love, and follow Christ, but have views about sexuality and morality that are anything but biblical or Christian.

They cling to, and promote, the belief that “love” should never identify or confront sin. They fear offending others but seem to have little or no fear of offending God. While they are quick to embrace the idea of “coexisting” with others regardless of their doctrines or lifestyles, they are quite skeptical that love and candor, grace and holiness, or mercy and truth, can coexist. Because of their worldly popularity, they are influencing the hearts and minds of our young people (and frankly, a lot of older people) while they openly admit they know little to nothing about the Bible.

Some of you may be thinking (or shouting at your screen), “What about all those preachers who preached on purity and holiness and morality, then turned out to be adulterers or predators?”

There is no doubt that this is sometimes a sad and terrible reality. I would gently remind you that the problem wasn’t that they preached on holiness. The problem came when they didn’t live what they preached. God’s commands are still true and good even when the people who are supposed to be following them, and even teaching them, turn out to be false and evil.

Christians, it is time for us to stop conforming to our culture and instead conform ourselves to Christ. We need to allow the light of His holiness and purity to shine through our lives. We are to be people of virtue and integrity. Single or married, our lives should be a testament to the purifying influence of God’s Word and Spirit. Our character should be above question. We need to seek above all else to live in a way that honors and glorifies the name of Christ. We need to stop excusing sin in ourselves and in our churches. If we would stop entertaining ourselves with immorality, perhaps we would not find ourselves engaging in it so frequently.

We must be aware that we have no moral ground to stand on if we are not first basing that ground on the foundation of God’s Word. We need to know the Word of God. We need to live the Word of God. We need to teach the Word of God. Right and wrong are not relative to our opinions, our emotions, our family backgrounds, or our culture. Right and wrong are based on God’s Word.

Should we have compassion on those who have been sinned against, or even those who have sinned themselves? Of course! Do we offer forgiveness and restoration to those who seek it? We should, just as Christ does. Compassion, love, and restoration require truth – not “my truth” or “your truth”, but God’s truth. It is not unloving to share the Word of God. We are to be “speaking the truth in love” to those around us.

If you choose to pursue a path of purity and holiness, be prepared for some fierce opposition and derision; but also realize that walking in the fear of God, according to His Word, is a shield for our hearts, minds and lives. If you have failed or fallen, repent and do right as quickly as possible.

In a day when our culture reflects the book of Judges, when every man did that which was right in his own eyes, let’s seek to be people who strive to live according to that which is pleasing in God’s eyes. Shine the light of His truth, His holiness, and His redemptive power over sin to a world that is desperate for hope, freedom, love, and peace.

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Phil. 2:15)

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 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. 5:3-16)

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Dec
11

The Lesson of the Ornament – A Christmas Story

I wrote this story several years ago while studying for a ladies’ Christmas devotion. The lesson it seeks to convey comes from this passage of Scripture:

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (I Pet. 3:3-4)

Someday, I would love to have it illustrated and published as a booklet; but until then, I would like to share it here with the hope that it will inspire and encourage someone to see what true beauty is about.

If this story is a blessing to you, and you think it could be a help to someone else, please share it! I only ask that you share without editing it or removing the copyright information.

When just a girl of four and ten,
I changed from what I might have been.

So clearly still it seems I see
The day that brought this change in me.

Be patient with me as I share
The memories of what happened there.

I was a child of humble means,
A princess only in my dreams.

We lived upon a grand estate
As servants of a master great.

A good man in both word and deed,
He met my family’s every need.

But in the winter of that year,
My heart was also cold and drear.

For as the house guests came and went,
My days were in self-pity spent.

I watched one with a fancy dress,
Another’s jewelry did impress.

I felt that I was less than fair
When with these guests I did compare.

So on that cold, December morn
I was not festive, but forlorn.

And yet the task that fell to me
Was helping with the Christmas tree.

Each year, the tree stood in the hall
In splendor, it inspired awe.

The garland gold, the twinkling lights,
The ornaments, the star so bright,

Adorned the tall and stately pine,
I’d seen no other tree so fine.

No doubt this year would be the same ~
The Christmas tree of local fame.

And so, with my rebellious heart,
The decorating I did start.

But then I heard a step behind…
I turned and was amazed to find

My master, gazing first at me,
And then up at the Christmas tree.

He spoke to me, his voice was kind.
“I wonder, child, if you would mind

If I gave you a helping hand.”
I nodded, and the work began.

The decorations had been kept
In boxes ‘neath the basement steps.

As we unpacked, he shared with me
Some favorite Christmas memories.

And then he asked if I could guess
Which ornament he loved the best.

He said he could not estimate
Its value, for it was so great.

My interest then was highly piqued,
And for it I began to seek.

I saw a shining silver star,
Its origin was from afar.

My master’s eyes said this was not
The precious ornament I sought.

I found a jewel-encrusted ball,
Its sparkle could be seen by all.

Expectantly, I looked at him,
But soon began my search again.

An angel then, with flowing gown,
No doubt an heirloom handed down.

But this one too he did reject.
I was beginning to suspect

That I would never figure out
Which ornament he spoke about.

But when all hope I’d almost lost,
I saw a simple, wooden box.

It wasn’t bright, with jewels crowned,
And so I slowly put it down.

But when I saw my master’s eyes,
My mind was filled with great surprise.

The tender look upon his face
Assured me there was no mistake.

I turned and picked it up once more,
Bewildered by a choice so poor.

And as it came into my grasp,
My fingers touched a hidden clasp,

It slowly opened and revealed
What formerly had been concealed.

This ornament, this precious one,
Contained the image of his son.

And what I’d thought was somewhat plain,
Was now a lovely, picture frame.

The simple lines and modest hue
Allowed an unobstructed view.

No sparkling sequins to distract,
No golden glitter to detract

From strength, and love, and manly grace,
As seen in that beloved face.

I’d seen my master’s son before,
But then he’d gone to fight the war.

And there himself he’d sacrificed
To save another soldier’s life.

“My daughter, can you comprehend
Why all the money I could spend

Could never purchase or replace
This portrait of my dear son’s face?”

I nodded yes, and through my tears,
I saw my master’s smile appear.

“Just one more lesson I would share,”
He said, as we were seated there.

Our heavenly Master also holds
An ornament worth more than gold.

He sees it in a girl like you.”
I wondered if this could be true.

“He does not look at form or face,
Or pride of station, or of place.

The beauty that we do possess
He did not give us to impress

Those who can only see a part,
But cannot see our hidden heart.

The jewels, the hair, the costly clothes,
Are seen as beauty, I suppose.

But fancy gowns and diamond rings
Are only superficial things

That in an instant can be lost,
Or can be purchased at great cost.

The beauty that our Master seeks,
Is of a spirit calm and meek.

The baubles that this world attracts,
From this true beauty just distract.

Our Master longs to see a heart
That’s lovely in the hidden part.

For when He looks at such a one,
He sees the image of His Son.

This priceless beauty can’t be bought,
Though for it many long have sought.

It does not tarnish, tear, or fade,
But grows in value with each day.”

I wondered how my master knew
The struggle I’d been going through.

But in his wisdom he had seen,
And helped a young girl, just fourteen,

To see that beauty was far more
Than all the things the world lives for.

I sought to heed his wise advice,
To seek the beauty of great price.

To have a heart serene and still,
Submitted to my Master’s will.

And every year at Christmastime,
This memory comes back to my mind.

Forever grateful that God sent
The lesson of the ornament.

~Niki Lott
© Copyright 2008

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Nov
26

How Can It Be? A Christmas Solo

I wrote this song to sing in a Christmas program at my church. I wanted to have a song that would share the testimony of Mary from the first chapter of Luke. I have always loved the response that Mary gave to the angel when He told her the incredible message God had sent to her.

I am certain that Mary knew the prophecy of Isaiah that a virgin would conceive and bear a son. I am equally certain that she could not imagine how that would be possible. Her response required a simple faith in God’s Word – not comprehension of every detail, but faith that God could work those details out. It required a complete surrender of herself to God – spirit, soul, and body. I’m so thankful for her humble and beautiful example.

I also love the rejoicing of Mary when she goes to visit Elizabeth, and together they praise God for the miraculous work He was doing in and through their lives.

As I contemplate the wonder, the faith, and the praise of Mary, I want to sing with her:

“My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name.”

May we never lose our awe at the miracle of salvation.
May we never cease to believe that with God nothing is impossible.
May we never fail to rejoice and glorify the One who has regarded our low estate and shown mercy on us.

“How Can It Be”

A wondrous gift I have received,
By Holy Spirit pow’r conceived.
I am amazed, yet I believe.
How can it be?

At last fulfillment of God’s plan,
The King of heav’n will come as man.
My human heart can’t understand.
How can it be?

How can it be
That God chose me
To bear the gift of His Son?
My grateful heart will magnify the Holy One.
In God my Savior I rejoice,
That He has made me His choice.
That He’d regard my low estate
Reveals His mercy, Oh, how great!
Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it unto me according to Thy Word.

©Copyright 2017 Niki Lott.

The sheet music for this song is available as a PDF download or in printed, physical format. You can order it here.

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Nov
2

Wesco Family Fundraiser

Dear Friends,

Many of you know by now of the tragic death of Missionary Charles Wesco. He was shot and killed just a few days ago in Cameroon, West Africa. He had only arrived there with his family twelve days earlier. 
Although I have known Stephanie Wesco for many years, I had not seen her in quite a long time. In May, she and her family stopped by our church for one of their final deputation meetings. We thoroughly enjoyed getting reacquainted, and I was so happy to meet her husband and children. Their family was a great blessing to our church, as well as to us personally.

Bro. Charles teaching the story of Jonah. My son, Evan, was being “thrown overboard”.

 

Bro. Wesco playing the harmonica and accordion

My heart is grieving for this dear family, and I know that their greatest need is prayer. I ask you to please pray with me for Stephanie, and each of her eight children, along with the many extended family and friends who have been affected by the loss of Bro. Charles. Please pray also that the Lord would be greatly glorified, and that many souls would be saved.

In addition to prayer, there will be many physical, practical needs for Stephanie and the children. In the immediate, they need funds to return to the States, to pay for an unexpected funeral, as well as for living expenses. I have been pondering and praying for a way to help raise money for the Wesco family.

With that in mind, I am going to offer my 2 CDs for a discounted price of $10 each for the next week (November 2-November 9). Consider Him is a vocal solo CD. Jesus Is All the World To Me is a piano CD.

All of the money from the CDs (not including shipping) will go directly to the Wesco family. I will be sending the money through their mission agency at Wyldewood Baptist Church.

There is no limit on quantities. You can purchase them for gifts, to sell in a bookstore, or just for your personal use. Again, all of the money from the sales will go to help this sweet family.

If you prefer to donate without purchasing, you can do that as well. You can send checks directly to:

First Light Baptist Mission
ATTN: Charles Wesco Fund
3030 Witzel Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54904

You can also donate online at www.wyldewood.org.

Thank you so much for praying for the Wesco family, and for any assistance you give.

Niki Lott

 

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Sep
8

New Piano CD – Jesus Is All the World To Me

I am excited to announce that my piano CD, Jesus Is All the World To Me, will be arriving in just two days! I am thrilled to see this project completed.


I recorded this CD many years ago, but for several reasons, I never released it. It includes some of my favorite hymns, and I am happy to get to share them with you.

Three of the arrangements are from other arrangers, and the remaining seven are my own arrangements. Only one of these is currently in print, but I hope to have all of them available in the future.

If you would like to get an idea of the style and sound, you can find sample clips of each song here.

The CDs will retail for $14.95, but I am offering a pre-release price of $10 each through Monday (9/10). There is no limit on quantity, and no coupon code is needed. Orders will begin shipping on Tuesday.

It is my hope that this CD will be uplifting, encouraging, and soothing to each listener, and that the message of each hymn will be conveyed through the music.

I would love to hear what you think of this CD! Do you have suggestions for future arrangements? I would welcome those as well.

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