Christian Compositions - Conservative Christian Music

May
1

Book Cover Design Contest!


I am excited to announce an exciting and fun contest for my creative, graphic-design friends! I have been working on a new Bible study for ladies entitled, The Classroom of Contentment, Where You Learn That God Is Enough.

While I have learned to do some basic design, it is NOT my strong suit. That’s why I thought it would be good to enlist some help.

You will find all of the details, submission guidelines, and the entry form for the contest here. The following are some of the highlights:

  1. The deadline for submissions is May 25, 2018.
  2. Your entry form must be completed and e-mailed to: info@christiancompositions.com. (Be sure to add this address to your “safe” list so that any questions or replies I may send do not go into your junk e-mail folder.
  3. You must have a valid e-mail address.
  4. Entry must meet the technical specifications as well as be consistent with the image and values of Christian Compositions*.

Of course, you want to know what the prizes are, right?

Creator of the winning design will receive:

  • Credit in final book(s)
  • Signed copy of the finished project
  • $75 Amazon gift card
  • $25 Christian Compositions gift certificate

Two runners-up will receive:

  • Copy of the finished book
  • $20 Christian Compositions gift certificate.

I will select the top ten finalists, and will post the final designs on the Christian Compositions blog and Facebook page on May 28. Voting will close June 2, and a winner will be announced June 4. I am looking forward to the entries and the finished product!

Be sure to download and read all of the details before entering to ensure that your entry is valid. Happy designing!

Niki Lott
Christian Compositions

P.S. If you follow the Christian Compositions page on Facebook, tune in for a Facebook Live about this contest this afternoon (5/1) at 3:00 p.m. EST! 

*The purpose of Christian Compositions is to produce Christ-honoring, conservative Christian music and products. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that believers should seek to live a life that is holy and glorifying to our Savior. Further details are included in the entry download.

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Feb
19

Regret or Repentance? Two Rebels, Two Returns, Two Results

Today, I ask you to think with me of two prodigal sons in the Bible – one unnamed, yet familiar, the other named Absalom.

These accounts had similar beginnings, but far different endings. Both sons went away from their fathers. Both sons had their own agendas and rebellious hearts. Both came to a point where they wanted to return to their fathers. Both returned and were received by their fathers with a kiss; yet, there the similarities end, because one returned with a heart of regret, the other with a heart of repentance. One returned saying, “…make me as one of thy hired servants..” (Lk. 15:19); the other returned and stole the hearts of his father’s servants (II Sam. 15:6).

The return of Absalom surely included some regrets for the consequences that sprang from his actions when he killed his brother and fled the country. He did not like the impact nor the implications of separation from his father, so he sought to come home and return to some semblance of normalcy, but we see by his future actions that his heart toward his father had not truly changed. He was not sorry for the sins that had caused the distance between them, only for the inconvenience that distance produced. His return was not motivated by any type of repentance, only by regret for the outcome his own actions had created.

The return of the other prodigal in Luke 15 is a much different story. We find him coming to the end of his own resources, to the emptiness his own choices had created, and there is no doubt that he had regret, but his regret moved him to repentance. He came to see himself and his own actions in a different light. His return was not only motivated by a desire to improve his own condition, but by a desire to take responsibility for his own decisions. He not only wanted food from his father’s table but a restoration of a relationship with his father, even if that relationship was in a different context.

He realized he would rather be a servant near his father than a son far away.

There is a difference in regret and repentance. All of us at some time have regret for the consequences of our sin. It is painful to us. It creates separation from our heavenly Father. But are we truly repentant? Do we see ourselves as a victim of circumstances, or do we acknowledge responsibility for our own actions? Would we go back and do the same, or worse, if we thought we could change the outcome (as Absalom sought to do), or are we willing to forsake our sin and change in our heart and our actions toward our Father?

Regret alone will never truly change us. It will never bring restoration and peace, but repentance will.

Regret continually looks backward, but repentance allows you to move forward.

Perhaps the difference between the two can be summarized in this poem:

Regret says, “Lord, please change the bitter taste of my sin’s fruits.”
Repentance says, “Lord, please change me, dig up sin’s bitter roots.”

 Regret says, “Lord, I don’t deserve to reap what I have sown.”
Repentance says, “I don’t deserve one mercy You have shown.”

 Regret says, “It’s not all my fault, this trouble I am in.”
Repentance says, “Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned.”

 Regret says, “I’m sure hungry, And these swine eat more than I.
Repentance says, “I’ve been a fool, but I don’t have to die.”

 Regret says, “I have nothing left, no money and no friends.”
Repentance says, “I’ll go and tell my Father I have sinned.”

 Sin will lead you far astray, and no matter where you roam,
Regret laments the journey’s end, but repentance brings you home.

N.L.

© Copyright 2015 Niki Lott.

*Images used courtesy of Sweet Publishing/www.FreeBibleImages.org.

 

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Feb
10

Will God Give You More Than You Can Bear?

Does God promise that He won’t place on us more than we can bear? I know so many people right now who are going through tremendous heartache, difficulty, and sorrow. For some, it is a health problem. For others, it is the loss of a loved one. It may be a financial hardship or some heartbreak due to a relationship. No matter what the burden or trial, I often hear people say (and have probably said it myself), “Remember, the Lord has promised He won’t place more on you than you can bear.” When we say this, we do so to bring comfort to the person who is suffering or grieving, but I am afraid that quite unintentionally, we may be adding to the weight of their burden.
 
Where does the Bible promise that God will not give us more burdens or trials or suffering than we can bear? I Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
 
This verse speaks specifically of temptation, and God promises that He will provide a way for us to escape temptation; but, after searching, I have not found any other passage or verse in the Bible that holds this same promise to be true for grief or suffering.
 
Think of Joseph. God provided a way for Joseph to escape the temptation to sin, but Joseph continued to suffer for many years even though he did what was right.
 
Just because we are God’s children….
 
1. We are not exempt from suffering. In fact, the Lord reminds us often that we will suffer need (Phil. 4:12), tribulation (I Thes. 3:4), reproach (I Tim. 4:10), trouble (II Tim. 2:9), persecution (II Tim. 3:12), affliction (Heb. 11:25), adversity (Heb. 13:3), and more.
 
2. We are not promised an escape from sorrow and suffering. Again, the promised escape is from temptation, not trials. In heaven, we know that there will be an escape from all of the suffering of sin and the flesh, but we are not promised an immediate escape from our earthly trials.
 
3. We are not equal to sorrow and suffering.
 
The truth is that our burdens are often heavier than we can bear. If we believe that we are promised that nothing we face will be greater than we can bear, then when we face some great trial or tragedy and are completely crushed and overwhelmed, we may begin to doubt God. We may feel angry and betrayed. Or perhaps, we may begin to even doubt if we are His children at all, for we believe that God does not place such heavy weights on His children’s hearts.
 
If all this seems to be discouraging, please do not stop reading yet! The trouble is that our original premise is faulty. We are counting on a promise that isn’t there and depending on our flesh to have the strength to bear alone what we can never carry without God’s help. Our flesh is utterly weak, frail, corrupt, and broken. It is more than prone to frailty, it is predisposed to it. “My flesh and my heart faileth….”, the psalm says. Over and over the Psalmist speaks of being overwhelmed, of weakness, of despair, of grief and tears. But, he does not stop there! He then turns his mind, his heart, and his hurt over to God. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Some other passages are found in Psalms 55, 61, 77, 78, 124, 142, and 143) He chooses to think on the Lord and to trust in the Lord in the midst of, in spite of, and because of his circumstances.
 
While we are not equal to our burdens, the Lord is far greater than anything we can face. We can do all things through Christ (Phil. 4:13). “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows….” (Isa. 53:4), and “… we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities….” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus not only bore the penalty of our sin, but also the pain – the grief, the suffering, the heartache – that sin brings. And while we may not be exempt from suffering, and there may not be an escape, He promises us:
 
His presence (Ps. 23:4; Isa. 41:10; Heb. 13:5) We do not have to go through our difficulties alone, for He is with us.
 
His power (Ps. 84:5-6; 37:39; Isa. 40:31; Phil. 4:13; II Cor. 12:9)
 
We can rest in His strength.
 
His purpose (Rom. 8:28; II Cor. 1:3-7; 4:17-18)
 
We can realize that God has a purpose for our lives, in spite of and through our suffering.
 
His pity (Lam. 3:31-36; Ps. 103:13)
 
We need to remember that these promises are reserved for His children, and for those who fear and follow Him, but what precious comfort they are!
 
If we are going to weather the storms, and survive our suffering, it will not be because we are strong, but because we acknowledge our utter weakness and turn to the Lord for strength. The Lord brings us to a place of weakness to teach us how much we need Him.
 
How our flesh despises this! It so longs to be independent of God. We want to be strong, to be brave, to be resilient and able to deal with whatever comes our way. We are more proud and full of ourselves than we even know. We rarely realize how much we depend on our flesh, our reasoning, and our emotion until it fails us.
 
Our Heavenly Father longs for us to depend completely on Him. “Trust in Him at all times.” “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…”. It is easy to say that we trust in the Lord and to truly feel that we are trusting Him when things are going well. But when our hearts are broken, and nothing makes sense, and we have been betrayed and battered, it is then we must truly trust. It is easy to succumb to the wiles of Satan and the whisperings of our own hearts at such difficult times and allow ourselves to become bitter. It is easy to turn to other things or people in hopes that they can provide us comfort and healing. It is easy to stray from the Lord when we should be running to Him. But it is when we are willing to admit our own need, and realize that only the Lord can bear our grief and carry our sorrows, that we will “find rest” for our souls (Mt. 11:28-30).
 
If you are “overwhelmed”, run to the Lord and His Word. There you will find salvation (Ps. 119:92), comfort (Ps. 119:50), and strength (Ps. 119:28). His Word will teach you (Ps. 119:71), correct you (Ps. 119:67), stir you (Ps. 119:50, 107), and sustain you (Ps. 119:116-117).
 
If you are attempting to carry more than you can bear, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Ps. 55:22) “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Ps. 62:8) And remember, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Ps. 61:2)
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Feb
8

Christian Wedding Music


Finding Christian wedding music can be a real challenge! If you have a desire to have music that is lovely and romantic, but that also honors Christ and doesn’t sound like the world, it can be difficult to find.

I am thankful that there are good and beautiful songs out there. I would like to tell you about a few more!

There are three wedding songs available on the website as sheet music or PDF downloads, and they are now available as a package as well.

The first song, A Forever Kind of Love, was written a very long time ago when I was engaged to marry my husband. 🙂 It’s a simple, sweet song that looks forward to a future together.

“It’s a forever kind of love, the kind of love I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of.
It’s a faithful kind of love, committed to be true.
It’s a lasting kind of love, a living love that joins two hearts as one,
It’s a forever kind of love for I’ll forever be in love with you.”


The second song, With You, was written several years after the first. I wrote it for my husband for our anniversary. I enjoy seeing the progression and differences in this song from the earlier song. This song celebrates the beauty of spending life with the person you love and seeing that love grow over time.

“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.
And to you, I will be faithful,
And for you, forever grateful,
For there’s nothing in this world that I would rath
er do
Than to share my life and love
With you.

*This song is also available with a piano soundtrack and vocal demo.

The final song, The Vow I Make Today, was written for a young couple’s wedding. The bride had grown up in our youth group, and the groom asked if I would be willing to write a song that he could sing to her at their wedding. I was honored to be able to do this for them.  This song is based on the wedding vows, and the promises a bride and groom make to one another and to God.

“Today I vow before the Lord that you’ll be honored and adored,
That I will never cease to care, for you’re the 
answer to my prayer.
And as we seek to do God’s plan with heart in heart, and hand in hand,
We’ll find true joy as we obey.
This is the vow I make today.
This is the vow I make today.”

Perfect for weddings, these songs can also be appropriate for Valentine’s banquets, couple’s retreats, anniversary celebrations, or vow renewal ceremonies. I hope they will be a helpful resource for you!

 

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Jan
10

Just As I Am – Repentant Response or Defiant Declaration?

The original hymn, “Just As I Am” is a beautiful song that expresses how you and I can come to Christ “just as we are” for cleansing from our sin. We come hopeless and helpless, and find Him sufficient. We come guilty and find mercy. We come repentant and find forgiveness. It is a meek acknowledgement, a penitent plea, and an obedient response.

In many modern churches, we hear the idea expressed that we can come “just as we are”, but it has taken on an entirely new connotation.

If we are not careful, the concept that I can come “just as I am” no longer sounds like a sincere desire for forgiveness, but a selfish demand for acceptance.

Instead of the humble cry of the repentant, it is the proud claim of the rebel.

It seems to express, not the willingness of the obedient, but the willfulness of the obstinate.

Although many contemporary churches no longer welcome hymns, perhaps the lyrics would be more honest if they went like this:

Just as I am I come today,
And that is how I plan to stay,
Assured You love me anyway,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

“Just as I am”, I proudly claim,
“And ‘grace’ means I can stay the same,
With no repentance, grief, or shame,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.”

Just as I am, I lift my hands
To flashing lights, and pulsing bands.
I feel my praise You understand.
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, convinced I’m blessed
Because of temporal success,
At peace with my own worldliness,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

It is true that we must come to God as we are. There is nothing we can bring to buy our way into heaven, to earn His favor or forgiveness, or to merit His acceptance (Tit. 3:4-6; Eph. 2:8-9). It is equally true that if we realize our wretched condition, we cannot come to Him “as we are” without realizing how desperately we need Him, and how unworthy we are of His notice, let alone His love or mercy.

It is good for us to ensure that people know they are welcome and that the invitation of Christ is to “come”, but we must also ensure that they know the way to come. The Lord Jesus Christ is The Way. (Jn. 14:6) He is the narrow way.

In a religious culture that seems determined to make sure no one has to deal with the negative feelings of guilt or condemnation, I fear many who want to share the Gospel have left out the painful reality that apart from Christ, we are all guilty and condemned. (Jn. 3:17-18) The freedom, peace, love, and acceptance we seek are not found in ignoring this truth, but in realizing it, and then coming to Christ in repentant faith, trusting that His death and resurrection, His mercy and grace, are the only hope we have.

When we come to Christ as sinners seeking His forgiveness, trusting Him by faith, we will find the salvation and acceptance we need. A broken and believing heart is always received by our Lord. Rest assured though, if we come to Christ “just as we are”, He will not leave us as we were.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)

I wonder, which version of “Just As I Am” best expresses your heart, your beliefs, and your attitude in coming to Christ? I hope it is the biblical one.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears, within, without,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve.
Because Thy promise I believe,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

-Charlotte Elliott

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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)

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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.

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Nov
6

Stand In the Gap

whowillstandinthegapfb-1

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 , , , , , | 1 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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