Christian Compositions - Conservative Christian Music

Oct
28

Featured Song – “There Is a Peace That Cometh After Sorrow”

Most of the lyrics to this song were written in 1897 by Jessie Rose Gates. I first heard these beautiful words in the testimony of missionary Darlene Deibler Rose. If you have never read her book, Evidence Not Seen, or heard her testimony, I encourage you to do so.

The beautiful words to this song made such an impression on me that I decided a few years ago to try to set them to music. In order to fit the melody, some additional lyrics were needed, so I wrote and added the last “There is a peace…” stanza.

I hope this song will comfort and encourage the hearts of many who may have experienced sorrow, and that they too will find the peace that only comes from knowing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ.

Find this song on your favorite streaming site, or purchase the How Can I Sing? CD & book at ChristianCompositions.

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Oct
27

Featured Song – Revive Me, Lord

This song began with just a few lines that I jotted down in a sermon notebook.

“Revive me, Lord. Stir my heart anew.
Revive me, Lord. Make me more like You.
Reveal my sin. Restore my joy. Refine me with your fire.
And revive me, Lord, this is my desire.”

I worked on it for a little while, but then set it aside. I came across it a couple years later while going back through old journals. I got it back out and began to work on the verses again. This time, both the words and the melody seemed to come more easily.

The first verse is taken from Psalm 51:

“I come before You now to make confession,
Imploring that Your mercy You’ll extend.
For humbly I acknowledge my transgression.
Against Thee, and Thee only, have I sinned.”

The second verse deals with the danger of being busy in “spiritual” activities but neglecting our time with the Lord. The story of Mary and Martha was in my mind as I was writing:

“It’s easy to get busy in Your service,
And neglect to sit and worship at Your feet.
Remind me that Your glory is my purpose.
Draw night to me as I draw nigh to Thee.”

There are many times in my life when I need reviving, and I am certain these are true for others as well. Sometimes, we need revival because we have allowed sin to creep into our lives. Other times, it’s because we have become so “busy” that we have allowed coldness and apathy to settle in. Sometimes, we need reviving because we are weary or fainthearted from spiritual battle.

Whatever the cause, I am thankful that we serve the Lord of life who wants us to have life more abundantly. Can you pray this prayer with me?

“Revive me, Lord. Stir my heart anew.
Revive me, Lord. Make me more like You.
Reveal my sin. Restore my joy. Refine me with Your fire.
And revive me, Lord, this is my desire.”

©Copyright 2004 Niki Lott.

This song is found on the How Can I Sing? CD and in the companion book, available separately or as a package. The sheet music can also be purchased individually in printed or PDF download formats.

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Oct
23

Featured Song – “Follow Their Faith”

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

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

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

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

🔹His love of the Lord and the Word of God

🔹His passion to tell everyone everywhere about the Gospel of Jesus Christ

🔹His love of airplanes and flying, and how he used that love to take the Bible all over the world

🔹His joyful, LOUD singing

🔹His boldness

🔹His prayers

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

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

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

What a testimony!

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

I am thankful for this man of God. I am also thankful for my dad, my husband, my brother, and many other faithful men of God who have invested in my life, and who continue to give the Word of God.I pray that this song will be an encouragement to many men of God to stay faithful, to know that their labor is not in vain in the Lord. I also pray that it will be a challenge to each of us to do as the Scripture commands,

Follow Their Faith

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

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

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

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

©Copyright 2007 Niki Lott.

This song is included on the CD and in the songbook entitled, How Can I Sing?

 

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Oct
21

Featured Song – “Let the Children Come”

Several years ago, after a week of Vacation Bible School, I was challenged by Bro. Howard Caldwell (Seeing Truth Ministries) to write a song about the importance of children coming to Jesus, with a specific focus on Matthew 18. This topic is near to my heart, and I began to study and pray about writing this song.

I trusted Christ as my Savior at a church youth event when I was four years old. There was no pressure, just a simple invitation after a brief devotion. Although my parents were there, when I went forward, a lady from our church took me to a quiet place to talk to me. I knew the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the dead, but that night I understood for the first time that Jesus died for me. I realized that because of my sin, Jesus had been willing to give His life. I bowed my head, in the entryway of a local skating rink, and asked Him to forgive my sins and save my soul. I am thankful that He did.

How grateful I am that I trusted Christ when I was young! I have known Him most of my life and cannot imagine how different my life would be without His constant presence.

As I grew older, I came to realize that not everyone encourages children to be saved. In fact, many believe that children cannot understand or come to Christ. This contradicts the clear teaching of the Word of God. While I firmly believe that we should be careful that children understand the Gospel, I also fervently believe that we should be actively seeking to win children to Christ. Jesus had strong words for those who sought to keep children from coming to Him, and even stronger words for those who would harm or hinder those “little ones which believe in me”.

I began to study Matthew 18, and to pray that I would be able to share the burden that was on my heart in a song. I long to see children come to Christ. I also long to see adults have a greater burden to bring children to the Lord, and to do nothing that would hinder their coming to Him.

At the same time, I was very burdened about the tragedy of abortion, and the mindset (even among many Christians) that children are a burden, not a blessing. The first verse of this song is based on thoughts from Psalm 139, and seeks to convey the truth that every child was planned by God, and is valued and loved by Him.

I encourage you to read the following verses carefully. Notice that seven times Jesus speaks of “little” children. I’m so glad Jesus loves little ones!

Matthew 18:1-14 (emphasis added)

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”

Did you ever notice that the verse that “…the Son of man is come to save that which was lost,” and the account of the lost sheep and the Shepherd who leaves the ninety and nine to find it, are given in the context of Jesus saving little children? What a beautiful, precious truth!

Friends, the greatest mission field in the world is at our feet, and we so often overlook it, or push it to the side to reach someone “more important”. We need to win our children to Christ! We need to win our own children. We need to win the children in our communities. Jesus loves them. He died for them. Let the children come.

LET THE CHILDREN COME

Seen by God before their birth then fashioned by His hand,
Each member written in His book according to His plan.
Every one a living soul, a soul for whom Christ died.
Little ones are loved by God; they’re precious in His sight.

Let them come to Jesus,
Bring them unto Him.
Gladly He’ll receive them,
Wash away their sin.
Teach them they are welcome,
Show them they are loved.
Seek them out and win them,
Let the children come.

Jesus called a little child to teach us to be great,
Example of humility, a model for our faith.
It is not the Father’s will for one to go astray.
Are we bringing them to Him or turning them away?

Let them come to Jesus,
Bring them unto Him.
Gladly He’ll receive them,
Wash away their sin.
Teach them they are welcome,
Show them they are loved.
Seek them out and win them,
Let the children come.

© 2015 Niki Lott.

 This song can be heard on the recording, How Can I Sing?The music is also available in the companion songbook, or as printed sheet music or PDF download. Be sure to look for the Book & CD package for a discount!

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Oct
20

Featured Song – “The Desire of My Heart”

Throughout this week and next, I want to share a little bit about each of the songs in my new songbook. Some of these are songs I wrote many years ago, and some are much more recent. As I look back, I find in each song a truth the Lord has tried to teach me, and has used to challenge, comfort, or encourage me. It is my hope that these songs will do the same for you.

This first song is one of my earliest. I wrote this when I was 17 or 18 years old, and it is still a favorite of mine.

I have loved Psalm 37:4 since I was just a little girl. When I was a teenager, I began to really consider what it meant. I was struggling with what I thought my heart desired, and what I knew God wanted for me. How could those be different? Didn’t God promise to give me my heart’s desires?

One day, it hit me that this verse didn’t mean that if I would do right God would give me whatever I wanted. Rather, it meant that if I would learn to find my delight in God, I would have my heart’s desires. When you truly love and delight in someone, you have no greater desire than to please them. I realized that if I would delight myself in the Lord, He would give me the desires of my heart, because the greatest desire of my heart would be to please Him. I went home that day and wrote this song.

As I think back about that time in my life, I realize that there was a huge battle going on for who and what would capture my heart. God does not want our money, our time, our “sacrifice”, our service, unless He has our hearts. He knows that if He has our hearts, all those other things will come along. That is why Jesus said that the greatest commandment is, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mk. 12:30)

Regretfully, I cannot say I have always loved the Lord as I should, but I can say that I have always found His promise to be true. My Savior has never disappointed me, and there is no greater joy and delight than walking in His will.

I pray that you know Him, and that you know the sweetness of finding your heart’s desires satisfied in Him.

The Desire of My Heart

You promised, Lord, that You would give the desires of my heart
If I would delight in You.
So, Lord, I pray, help me stay
Close to You in every way,
Through every day,
Help me to obey.

Grant the desires of my heart,
Help me, Lord, to be,
Pleasing unto Thee
That others may see You in me.
Grant my desires,
Be my one desire,
The desire of my heart.

Lord, You know sometimes it seems that all my dreams have died,
That all my hopes and plans have disappeared.
But help me, Lord, Your peace to feel,
Help me, Lord, to trust You still,
Help me do Your will,
Lord, not my will.

Grant the desires of my heart,
Let me feel Your hand,
Help me understand
That You’ve had a plan from the start.
Grant my desires,
Be my one desire,
The desire of my heart.

Lord, be the desire of my heart.

© Copyright 1993. Niki Lott.

This song is recorded on the CD, How Can I Sing?, and the sheet music is available in the companion book, and as an individual PDF sheet music or download. There is also a Book & CD package available at a discount.
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Oct
16

New Songbook! Pre-Order Now Available

I am excited to announce the release of my latest songbook, How Can I Sing? ! This is the companion book to the CD with the same title. It includes 11 original songs, some arranged for solo and some for trio. All of the songs have full piano arrangements, and for the first time, chord symbols are also included. The books are spiral-bound.

The pre-order price for this week only is $10, plus shipping. I should receive the books on Wednesday and will begin shipping on Thursday or Friday. Retail price for these books will be $12.95.

I am also offering the Book & CD Package this week for only $20, plus shipping. Individually purchased, these items would total $27.90, so this is a significant savings. The package will retail for $24.95 after this week.


Song titles include:

Death Is Just a Shadow
The Desires of My Heart
Follow the Faith
Get On Fire 
Give Me Your Heart for Souls
How Can I Sing?
Let the Children Come
The Lord Is My Shepherd
Love the Savior
Revive Me, Lord
There Is a Peace

I hope this book will be a blessing to you!

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Apr
13

Making the Most of Our Mandate – 10 Tips for Keeping At Home

Did you know that one of the “good things” in the Bible that older women are commanded to teach the younger women is to be “keepers at home”? Titus 2:4-5 says, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

I find it very interesting that God specifically says, “keepers at home”, not just “keepers of the home” (although being keepers of our homes is part of our role), and God says that it is a good thing. Sadly, God’s “stay-at-home” mandate is just as unpopular with many women today as the recent “stay-at-home” mandates from our government officials. While we might be uncertain or even skeptical about whether our government has our best interests at heart in issuing such orders, we can be confident that God’s commands are always good and for our best.

With that in mind, I would like to take a few moments to encourage you to have the right perspective of “keeping at home”. Instead of viewing being at home as some type of forced detention, I challenge you to see it as a divine opportunity and make the most of it!

There is no doubt that even for those of us whose everyday lives are already centered in our homes, the circumstances surrounding this quarantine have disrupted much of the normalcy we may have had. For those who have abruptly been thrown into being at home all the time, it may understandably feel overwhelming.

Whatever the circumstances in which you currently find yourself, I would like to share a few suggestions to make these days profitable, joyful, and memorable (in a good way)! It is my hope that these ideas will not just help during this temporary time of quarantine but will be practical tips that will help each of us to be better “keepers at home” in days to come.

1. Start Your Day Right!

    * Get up. Get dressed. Get going.

This may be unpopular, but it is important! Do not spend half your day in bed. The Bible warns against this (Pro. 20:13). Get up early (Pro. 31:15). If you have children, do your best to get up before they do.

More unpopular advice here: do not ever spend the day in your pajamas unless you are sick. If you do not treat your role as the keeper of your home with respect, how can you expect anyone else to? Get up, make your bed, and put clothes on.

This doesn’t mean you have to be “dressed up” every day, but you should wear something appropriate for the work you will be doing. What you wear to bed is not appropriate for work. (By the way, you can look pretty and appropriate for working at the same time 😉.) If you dress “lazy”, it is easy to act lazy. Corporations, educators, and others in the professional world understand how much what we wear affects how we think, how we work, and how others perceive us. Why do we imagine it doesn’t matter? I encourage you to dress at home in a way that shows your husband and children that you love and respect them and that you take your job of caring for them seriously. What kind of unspoken message are we sending them if we only try to look “respectable” when others outside our home will see us?

Final question: How much different would our attitudes about homemaking be if we treated our role as keepers at home with the same passion, drive, diligence, and respect that we would a secular career?

    *Spend time with the Lord.

Make this the first priority of your day. Choose this priority and guard it carefully. If you have children, teach them to respect it. Don’t tell yourself that you don’t have time. We all make time to do what is important to us. When we say we don’t have time to read our Bibles and pray, we are saying that it is not important to us.

2. Set a Schedule. 

A schedule can be relaxed, it doesn’t have to be rigid, but it really helps to have some type of plan. If you don’t “rule your day”, your day will rule you. The Bible says that we are to “guide the house” (I Tim. 5:14). You are the manager of your home; manage. Remember, schedules and routines help reduce stress and provide stability and security for our families.

3. Adjust your attitude.

 This should begin in the morning (one of the reasons it’s important to get up and start the day with the Lord and have a plan in place before your children get up), but it requires continued work throughout the day. Some important attitude reminders:

    * You are the thermostat of your home. You set the mood and the overall attitude of the day.

    * Choose to be grateful. NO WHINING! This isn’t just for kids. Set the example in this area.

    * Choose to be positive. Trust the Lord and focus on His goodness.

    * Choose to be sweet and pleasant.

     * Choose to be in control of yourself.

There are many things we cannot control, yet we tend to let those things control us. Stop focusing on things and people over which you have no control. Pray about them and let them go. Instead, focus on things you are supposed to control, primarily yourself! Even better than self-control, seek Holy Spirit control! Ask the Lord to help you stay in control of the things He has placed in your realm of responsibility. These include your thoughts, your tongue, your temper, and your time. They also include training your children and taking care of your home. We will discuss several of these in more detail in the following tips.

4. Guard your mind. You must control your thoughts, and you need to do so biblically (II Cor. 10:4-5).

    * Avoid wrong influences. Don’t fill your mind with things that create insecurity, instability, or that are false or evil (I Thes. 5:22; I Pet. 2:11).

    *Fill your mind with good and godly things. (Phil. 4:8)

    *Memorize Scripture. Choose verses that deal with areas you are struggling or need encouragement.

    * Don’t dwell on possibilities, “what if” scenarios, fears, and disappointments. Constant thinking on those types of things will breed fear, anger, bitterness, and depression.

 * Don’t fill your mind with impossible fantasies and unrealistic expectations.

5. Love Your Husband.

It is easy, especially when things are stressful or a bit overwhelming, to lose sight of what really matters. If we are married, our relationship to our spouse is crucial. In the same passage where we are commanded to be keepers at home, we are also commanded to love our husbands (Tit. 2). I encourage you to look for ways to show love to your husband! Do a little brainstorming and then start implementing your ideas. I am going to offer just a few suggestions:

    * Tell him you love him. Say it. Write it. Show it. Be intentional!

    * Make his favorite meal.

    * Be encouraging! Stressful times are hard on our husbands as well as on us. We often expect our husbands to support and encourage us, but sometimes we don’t seek to do the same for them. Be your husband’s most loyal, loving, and encouraging supporter!

    * Be kind. Critical, nagging, hateful, demeaning, angry…none of us like those words, so we should seek to avoid those attitudes, especially toward our husbands.

    * Pray for him. Pray for your husband, but also pray for his wife! Ask the Lord to help you to be the wife your husband needs.

6. Direct Your Children.

Children left to themselves will probably choose the wrong things to do. They’re kids! Help them find good things to do to fill their time. Here are a few ideas:

    * Plan educational activities. You may be “schooling” in some form or fashion right now. If home school is not already your norm, don’t stress about it. Do the best you can. However, don’t be lazy about it either. Keeping your kid’s minds engaged and learning is important. Get it done in the morning as much as possible before moving on to other activities. By the way, many museums, zoos, art schools, and other places are offering free online resources at this time. Take advantage of some of this!

    * Plan fun activities – Games, puzzles, and skits are just a few ideas.

    *Plan creative activities – Try painting, coloring, crafts, building, and more.

    *Play outside as much as possible. Sunshine, fresh air, and exercise are good for them (and for you!). Even if they can’t get outside because of weather, try to find a way to help them be active indoors.

    *Learn/practice a skill – cooking, baking, music, laundry, sewing, woodworking…help your kids learn practical life skills. Give them opportunities to practice (and fail). Schedule regular practice times for music or other lessons.

    *Read GOOD books. Read to your children, and encourage them to read. We require at least 30 minutes a day of reading (on top of their regular schoolwork) as part of our schooling.

    *Serve others. Help your children find ways to be a help and blessing to others. Color pictures. Write letters, notes, or cards. Rake/mow a neighbor’s yard. Call a shut-in. Encourage them to think of things they can do!

    *Help with household chores. Teaching your children to work as part of your family team is good for them (and helps you!). This doesn’t mean dumping your workload on them. It does mean that they can and should learn to help carry the load. Responsibility is good for them.

7. Be Frugal.

Frugality is always a good plan, but with many people out of work, even temporarily, this point is very important. One of the ways you can help reduce stress for your family during this time is by being an excellent money manager. This will require planning and work for you (don’t ever be deceived into thinking that being a homemaker isn’t real work), but it will save you a great deal besides money. Wise planning and financial stewardship will save you time and stress in the future. Here are a few basic tips:

    * “Retail therapy” is a short-term fix that creates long-term problems. Don’t be sucked into unnecessary online purchases because you’re bored or anxious.

    * If you don’t have a budget, make one. Even a very simple, basic budget will help you to stay on track with your spending.

    * Plan your meals. Remember, three big meals a day really aren’t necessary. If you have a large family, many times a large breakfast, light lunch, and large dinner are much simpler and affordable than a “continental” type breakfast and a bigger lunch and dinner.

    * Plan your shopping. Don’t impulse buy. Make a list and stick to it.

    * Learn to use what you have on hand. Get creative! Pull out those recipe books and dig into your pantry and freezer. 😊 Re-purpose leftovers.

    * Look for ways to save on “non-essentials”. What part of your budget is spent (or wasted) on luxury items or things that aren’t necessities? Learn to get back to basics. Learn to cook “from scratch”. Not only will you save money on food, you will also save money on doctor bills. Processed foods are not usually healthy.


8. Simplify Your Life
.

Yes, it is good to have a plan, but don’t complicate your life. Most of us tend to go to one of two extremes when we’re under stress: we either let everything go or we try to micromanage and become control freaks. Neither is good! Use this time to simplify and streamline your normal routine and enjoy the time you have with your family. Take a walk. Watch a sunset. Enjoy doing simple things together. Because of the nature of the our temporary “confinement”, some of our lives have been simplified without our permission. Don’t complicate it just for the sake of being “busy”.

Also, when it comes to housework and homemaking, if you’re feeling overwhelmed start with the “BIG 3” each day:

  1. Make your bed right away each morning (and have each child make theirs). 
  2. Keep your dishes done and kitchen straightened. 
  3. Pick up clutter in each room throughout the day. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and pick up and put away as quickly as you can. If you have kids, get them to help you. They love racing the clock!

By the way, most of these “life lessons” and ideas are things that my mom has taught me over the years. I’m so thankful for her patient investment in my life!


9. Spend Your Time Wisely.

* Don’t be idle. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Pro. 31:27) (Eccl. 10:18).

* Don’t be wasteful.

* Rest isn’t wasted time, but slothfulness is.

If you have not previously been home full-time, you may be realizing that when you are at home with your family all of the time being a full-time wife or mom quickly becomes a full-time job! When your house is filled with people 24 hours a day, you discover there are more meals to prepare, more laundry to do, and more housework to be done. No doubt, you may not have as much “free time” as you might have imagined; however, if you do some of the things mentioned already, you should have some extra time you would not otherwise have. How are you going to spend it? Here are a few suggestions:

    * Spend more time with the Lord. Do a new Bible study. Spend extra time in prayer. Memorize and meditate on Scripture.

    * Read GOOD books. This isn’t just for your children. Don’t waste your time. Read a missionary biography, a book that will help you spiritually, or a book that will encourage you to grow in an area where you’re needing some help. Choose carefully and use discernment. Just because someone writes a book doesn’t mean you should read it.

    * Finish a project you’ve been postponing. I CONSTANTLY have a list of projects that need finished or that I would like to tackle. This is a good time to start knocking a few of those out. A word to the wise: don’t overcommit. Choose one thing and finish it. When you’re done with that, you can move on to the next. Don’t commit your husband and family to completing every project you’ve ever wanted to do. Choose one for yourself (and enlist helpers if you can) and finish that one thing before moving on to something else.

    * Learn something new or improve something you’ve let go. Many places are offering online classes or lessons free of charge or at a greatly reduced price. Lots of resources are available right now that may not be available in the future. Want to learn to paint? Sew? Play an instrument? Make bread? Garden? Again, don’t overcommit. Choose ONE thing and work at it.

    * Serve others. For many of us, our ministry opportunities have been changed or limited during this time. You can still find ways to serve. Call a shut-in. Mail a card. Send an e-mail. Video chat with a lonely friend. All of these are good ways to serve. Never forget that our greatest avenue of service given by God is to our families through our homes. If we think we must leave our homes to serve the Lord, we need to get back in our Bibles. Take this time to look for extra ways to serve the people God has placed in your home (Pro. 31:20).

10. Be a Good Steward.

This is basically a recap of all of the previous points, but it is so important. Ask for God’s help to wisely steward your life.

No matter how long this quarantine lasts (and none of us really knows), the time is going to pass. At the end of these days, we will look back and see days wasted in worry or idleness, or we will see days spent wisely. We will look back and see time spent complaining about what we are losing or time spent cherishing what we have been given.

This principle holds true for all the time we spend, but perhaps this “mandated” period will cause each of us to stop and reevaluate our priorities, our values, and ourselves. I hope that it will help us to realize what is truly important, to deepen our relationships with God and those we love, to cherish the privileges we’ve been given, and to steward wisely the precious resources God has entrusted to our care.

© Copyright 2020 Niki Lott.

Want a printable copy? Download the PDF here. For personal use only.

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Mar
9

A Cancer or A Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 8

Part 8 – The Cure

The only way that any of us can truly succeed as wives is through the grace and power of God. Just as a cancer or even a cavity must have any decay or damaged tissue removed, any infection cleared up, and sometimes protective measures added, so we must be willing to repair and strengthen our marriages with the Lord’s help. How then do we acquire and apply the cure we need?

  1. Acknowledge your failures. (Ps. 51:3)


    Be willing to be honest with yourself and with your spouse. It is easy to get defensive or to blame our failures on someone else, but the first step to change and healing is a willingness to take responsibility for our own actions. No excuses. No accusations.

  2. Ask for forgiveness. (I Jn. 1:9)

    First, ask forgiveness from God.

    In any area we know we have not obeyed the Lord, we need to ask His forgiveness. Whether it is a bad attitude, a lack of submission, an uncontrolled tongue or temper, or a myriad of other possibilities, we can receive forgiveness if we confess our sin to the Lord.

    Just a reminder, confession is not “informing” the Lord of what I have done. He already knows. It is agreeing with Him and acknowledging that His view of my sin is right and my actions or attitudes were wrong, and asking for His forgiveness.


    Then, ask forgiveness from your spouse.

    This one is always hard because swallowing our pride is a bitter pill; however, genuine repentance is necessary if our relationship is going to be restored and changed. We need to be careful not to just say, “I’m sorry if…” or “I’m sorry…”, but instead ask for forgiveness for the specific things we have done. Depending on the level of hurt already involved, the response may not be what we would hope for, but their response is not our responsibility; our repentance and change is.

  3. Act by faith (Pro. 3:5-6)


    Trust & obey God’s blueprint for a godly wife. Don’t commit to doing right as a wife in order to improve your husband. Don’t commit to doing right as a wife in order to improve your marriage. Commit to doing right as a wife to be right with the Lord and to please Him, then trust Him to work in your husband’s heart if that is needed. Trust Him to help your relationship to be what He would have it to be.

    Genuine faith requires obedience. Some practical ways to take steps of obedience are:

    * Make a list of the areas where you find yourself struggling. Perhaps ask your husband to read through these posts and tell you where he feels you need to improve.

    * Make each area a matter of serious prayer. Be specific!

    * Take that list and write down the biblical response in each area. What are specific ways you need to make changes?

    You may not be able to accomplish all of them in a day, but pray about each one and be willing and obedient as the Lord shows you from His Word things you need to do. Many verses have been listed in this study, but there are many more, and the Lord will bring more to your attention in specific areas if you are seeking His help. Read them. Memorize them. Meditate on them. Put the principles and commands He gives into practice.

  4. Ask for filling.


    Pray and ask God to fill you with His Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).  The Holy Spirit can teach us how to be the wives our husbands need. He can give the healing our marriages need. He can give us wisdom and power to carry out His will. The question is, do we want Him to? Are we willing to obey His commands and be sensitive to His promptings?

I encourage you to allow and trust the Lord to fashion you into a crown that is both beautiful and glorifying to Himself and your husband.

Find all of the previous posts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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Mar
7

A Cancer or A Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 7

Part 7 – Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan, cont.

  1. She gives him only what is profitable (Pro. 31:12; Pro 16:24: Tit. 2:5).


“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Pro. 31:12)

A crown represents something precious.

It is something valuable and beautiful. God speaks very highly of the worth and value of a virtuous woman (Pro. 31:10). Her character and nature are both beautiful and beneficial to her husband.

God’s Word teaches us that one of the vital ways we can be a “crown” to our husbands is by simply doing good to him – not some of the time, or most of the time, but all of the time. This includes doing him good, and not evil, when he isn’t so kind or good himself (see I Pet. 2 and 3 and Luke 6:35).

Genuine kindness, courtesy, thoughtfulness, service, and honesty are just a few of the important ways that we can do good to our husbands all the days of our lives (I Pet. 3:8-17). We need to ask the Lord to help us to be the kind of wife that is always seeking the good of our husbands, who is always looking for ways to benefit and help him.

  1. She glorifies his position (Pro. 12:4; 31:11, 23; I Pet. 3:1-6).

A crown symbolizes power.

A king has authority whether he wears a crown or not, but when he wears the beautiful crown on his head, others can see and recognize the authority and position he holds. In much the same way, God has given the husband authority in the home. Whether we recognize or honor that authority doesn’t change the fact that it’s there. However, when we as wives choose to honor the position of authority that God has given to our husbands, we are truly a crown to him.

A verse that is not culturally popular today is Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” We all like the first half of this verse, but often we aren’t so sure about the second half. The reverence we are commanded to give in this Scripture doesn’t speak of worship, but of an attitude of honor, respect, and deference.

We need to look for ways to show our husbands that we respect the position God has given them in our homes and in our hearts. He is to be our leader and our counselor. Some practical ways to do this are to speak respectfully to him. As mentioned in an earlier post, guard the tone of your voice and the look on your face. Speak respectfully of him to your children and to others.

Perhaps your husband is not respectable in your mind (and maybe he truly isn’t). Speak first and often of him to the Lord. Speak only of his faults or failures to others when necessary, and do so with compassion. If you need counsel, seek godly counsel, preferably from an older woman or from your pastor and his wife.

Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was mentioned by God as an example for us in this area. She demonstrated respect and honor to her husband in the way she spoke to him and of him (I Pet. 3:5-6). We should seek to do the same.

  1. She is grateful for his provision (Pro. 31:21-23; 26)

A crown is a proclamation.

Unlike the “rotten bones” which are under the surface and invisible for a long while, a crown is a public display.

In Proverbs 31:21-23, 26, we see that the virtuous woman is well-provided for and she is grateful for what she has. Her attitude of thankfulness isn’t based primarily on what she has been given, but on who she is. Virtue and humility go hand in hand and always produce a grateful spirit. Pride and selfish expectations also go hand in hand and result in attitudes of ingratitude, complaining, and entitlement.

Gratitude is so important! Thankfulness that isn’t expressed is wasted. Be sincere; flattery is manipulation so don’t say nice things you don’t mean, or just because you want something. However, be sure to say thank you often to your husband. Find ways to show your appreciation to him and for him. Be careful not to thank him only for material provisions (although you should be thankful for those), but thank him for who he is and what he does. Is he a hard worker? Thank him? A good provider? Thank him. A faithful husband? Thank him. A good dad? Thank him. A thoughtful mate? Thank him. A kind friend? Thank him.

A grateful wife is a crown to her husband.

  1. She gains his praise (Pro. 31:28, 30-31)

A crown represents pride.

I am not referring to pride in an arrogant or even personal sense, but by this definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary: “An asset that brings praise or renown”.

While we honor and praise him, we also earn the honor and praise we desire. Every woman wants to be praised by her husband, to be seen as an asset that is valuable, precious, and worthy of recognition, but so many times we seek that attention, admiration, and appreciation in all the wrong ways. Seek to be a wife that your husband can respect and praise, not just for superficial qualities, but for your godly character and care for him. Seek to be that virtuous woman whose price is “far above rubies”.

Remember that ultimately the One whose praise we should most desire is the Lord’s. If He finds our efforts praiseworthy, we can rest and rejoice in that knowledge.

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Pro. 31:28-31)

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”

Remember this, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord…”. You cannot change “the king”, but you can choose to be the crown.

If you have been a “cancer” to your husband instead of a “crown”, do not despair! There is hope! Don’t miss Part 8 – The Cure – Applying God’s Healing Power

Have you missed a previous post?

Post 1
Post 2
Post 3
Post 4
Post 5
Post 6

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Mar
5

A Cancer Or a Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 6

Part 6 – The Crown – Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan

In the last post, we learned about some of the characteristics of “rotten bones” and the tragic prognosis if the underlying issues are left untreated. I found it fascinating as I studied that many (not all) diseases of the bone are caused by deficiencies. Some are caused by nutritional deficiencies – a lack of Vitamin D, calcium, and other important nutrients. Some are caused by a lack of blood supply to the affected bone(s). While some have genetic or other origins, the majority were caused by deficiencies.

I make note of this because it is true that our wrong attitudes and actions can be very damaging and detrimental to our husbands. It is equally true that it is not enough to just try to avoid that which is wrong. We need to be sure that we are providing the essential nutrients that our husbands need.

Please don’t misunderstand. We, as wives, can never provide for our husbands what only God can give. There are certain “lifelines” that we can never provide. These must flow from the source of life, the Lord Jesus Himself. However, God does give us clear instruction for how He desires us to behave toward our husbands. As we examine the characteristics of a good and godly wife, I hope that it will motivate us to seek to please the Lord as we love and serve our husbands. There are specific responsibilities that God has placed upon us as wives, and He desires to help provide for our husbands’ needs through us. I hope that each of us will desire that our husbands will not have deficiencies in their lives because we are not fulfilling the role that God intended for us.

As we have considered the harm that the wrong kind of wife can inflict, I am grateful that the mirror of the Word of God does not just reveal what is wrong in our lives, it is also profitable for correction and instruction in righteousness. God teaches us how to be wives that will please Him and protect and honor our husbands.

So, what are some of the “crowning characteristics” of the virtuous woman toward her husband?

  1. She guards his passion (Pro. 31:11).

A crown symbolizes protection.

Remember that the word “crown” has the idea of encircling and protecting. As wives, one of our most important duties is that of guarding the heart of our husband. The key verse in Proverbs 31 is verse 11, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…”.

We certainly cannot do this without the Lord’s help, but with His help, we need to seek to ensure that our husbands can always trust us.

Our husbands should be able to trust our virtue. They should be able to trust us with their dreams and even their fears. They should be able to trust us with their children, their money, and their confidences. There should be no area of life where our husbands cannot safely trust in us.

Trust is vital to any successful relationship. If you have broken trust in the past, be willing to work to restore it. Be willing to be accountable and to set safeguards in place to help “shore up” any areas of weakness.

  1. She guides his place (Pro. 31:12-24, 27, 31; I Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:5)


    A crown symbolizes provision
    .

It is a visible reminder of the resources the king has at his disposal. A dirty and tarnished crown would be a poor reflection on the king. In the same way, we should desire to be a crown to our husbands by being good stewards of the resources he provides.

In I Timothy 5:14, God says that we are to “…guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

As we look through Proverbs 31, we see that the virtuous woman was a capable and diligent homemaker. She took her job seriously. The Bible says in verse 27, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” In verse 13 it says, “…she worketh willingly with her hands.”

In these verses, we see that she not only did the right thing – she worked – but she did it with the right attitude – willingly. She got up early to make preparations for the day. She made sure that her family had adequate food and clothing. She was careful with the finances and made things that she could sell. (By the way, this does not imply that she was some type of modern-day career woman. She made things at home and delivered them to the merchant. Her primary place of industry and influence was in her home.)

She paid attention not only to practicality, but to beauty as well. “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry, her clothing is silk and purple.” (Pro. 31:22)

As wives, we need to take our role as keepers at home seriously (Tit. 2:4-5). We need to do our work willingly and well. This doesn’t mean our homes have to be a “showplace”, but we should do our work there with as much energy and enthusiasm as we would if someone were paying us to do it. We should be creative and conscientious about the care and keeping of our homes. When we do, our husbands will find home a place of rest and enjoyment, not a place to which he dreads returning each day. Seek to make your home is a place of which your husband is not ashamed.

  1. She gratifies him physically (Pro. 31:11; Pro. 5; I Cor. 7)

A crown symbolizes possession.

Not just any man can wear a king’s crown. It belongs exclusively to him.

As wives, we need to remember that the marital relationship is a beautiful and exclusive one. There are many things that other people can do or provide for my husband if I cannot, but this area of marriage is the responsibility of the wife and no one else. Because of that, if we fail to provide for our husbands sexually, we are leaving him with a dangerous deficiency and vulnerability.

Isn’t it strange that  many people seem to have no problem watching or talking about immorality, yet talking about physical intimacy in marriage often seems to be uncomfortable or off-limits? Worse yet, sex in marriage is often treated as something foolish or burdensome, even by Christian women. We should always have modesty, prudence, and discretion when talking about sexuality, but God does have some clear guidelines in this area, and we would be wise to learn and follow them and to teach them to the next generation as well.

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled…” (Heb. 13:4). Sexual intimacy in marriage was created by God and is seen as honorable by God. Our world has the idea that sex before or outside of marriage is exciting and gratifying, but that sex within marriage is dull and unfulfilling. Shame on us if we believe, practice, or promote that lie! God’s Word teaches just the opposite. Hebrews 13:4 begins with, “Marriage is honorable…”, but continues, “…but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” God desires that the intimate, physical part of marriage be beautiful, enjoyable, and fulfilling for both spouses.

He warns us about the dangers of withholding ourselves physically from our spouse unless it is by agreement by both parties for the purpose of prayer and fasting (I Cor. 7). I’ve heard a lot of reasons why women withhold sex from their husbands, but I’ve yet to hear that one!

There is no doubt that there are times when we are physically ill or have other legitimate reasons, but these should be the exception, not the rule.

God commands our husbands to be satisfied and “ravished” always with our love (Pro. 5), but it is more than a little bit difficult for him to do that if we are always avoiding him. Look for ways to stay in love with your husband, not just emotionally, but physically. Flirt with him. Make time for him. Let him know how much you love him.

There are still four more ways we can be a crown to our husband! Don’t miss Part 7, Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan, cont.

Did you miss the first five posts? You can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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