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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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How Can I Sing? – New Sheet Music & Video

Several years ago, I heard a message preached on Psalm 137. It stirred my heart and got me to thinking of how difficult it can be to “sing the Lord’s song in a strange land”.

We know that the exile in Babylon was due to the sin of the nation of Judah, but not every individual who was taken to Babylon, or who was born there during the captivity, was directly responsible for their captivity. There were people like Daniel, Ezekiel, Mordecai, Esther, Nehemiah, and others who were godly people suffering because of the sin of others.

I can imagine that these who sought to remain true to the Lord even in the land of Babylon faced quite a bit of mocking and scorn, not only from the Babylonians, but from their own people who were not faithful to the Lord. It was from those thoughts and others from Scripture that this song came to be.

There is no doubt that sometimes our sorrow and suffering is the result of our own sin. There is also no doubt that sometimes sorrow and suffering is just the result of living in a sin-cursed world.

How can we sing the Lord’s song when we are in the midst of difficult, painful circumstances? Can we learn, as Paul and Silas did, to sing in the midst of our “captivity”? This song asks and answers those questions.

Although this song begins in a minor, and expresses a great deal of the sadness and sorrow we can experience, it is a song of hope and faith. I hope that it will encourage many to trust in the Lord, not just after a trial, but in the midst on one.

The sheet music is now available. It is arranged as a solo with piano accompaniment, and can be purchased as printed sheet music or as a digital PDF download. Just select “digital” from the drop-down menu to select the PDF download.
How Can I Sing? Sheet Music Cover Image

How Can I Sing is also the title song of my latest CD. You can purchase it here.



My harp hangs here in the willow tree by the riverside.
And the memories bring weeping that I cannot hide. 
The enemy says mockingly, “Why don’t you sing a song?”
And in despair I think of how it has been so long.
How can I sing Jehovah’s song while I’m here in Babylon?

How can I sing when I’m in a place that I did not choose?
How can I sing with a broken heart and a mind confused?
My thoughts are filled with shattered dreams and hopes left unfulfilled.
How can this be what has come to me if I’m in His will?
How can I sing Jehovah’s song while this pain is what I feel?

How can I sing that the Lord I serve is a God who saves?
Of deliverance and freedom when I am a slave?
How can I sing of joy and peace while I cry bitter tears?
How can I sing of confidence when I’m filled with fears?
How can I sing Jehovah’s song when it seems He is not near?

By faith I’ll sing that my God gives peace in the midst of fears!
And I will sing that my Lord gives joy in the midst of tears.
And I will sing for my spirit’s free although I’m in captivity.
And I will sing, for I know His plans are best for me.
Yes, I will sing Jehovah’s song while I’m here in Babylon.

Copyright 2013 Niki Lott.

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New Products! – Sheet Music, CD, Books & More

I am excited to announce the arrival of several new products on the website!

My latest CD, How Can I Sing, is now available to order. Quantity discounts are available, and music makes a great Christmas gift! It is also available to download or stream on most digital platforms, including Amazon Music, Google Play, Apple Music/iTunes, You Tube Music, and Spotify.

The sheet music for all of the songs on How Can I Sing is available as well, with the exception of the title song. I am working on that one, and hope to have it online soon. Once it is completed, I will send the compilation to a printer, and it will be available in book form as well.

One of the songs from the CD that has not been published previously is now available on the website. It is called Let the Children Come. It is a song about the importance of seeing children come to Christ. I will share more of the background of that song in a post next week.

I am also very excited to have my new Bible study available and in stock on my website. It is entitled The Classroom of Contentment. It is a personal Bible study book, with optional Teacher Resources in the back of the book. There is a separate Student Book available for those who wish to use the study in a group or class. If you want to order both books to see if they would be a good fit for your class or Bible study, order this preview package at a substantial discount. Both books are also available on Amazon.

Finally, I recently added the choral version of an old favorite, He Gave Himself, to the online store. Arranged for solo with choir, this is a powerful song that is appropriate for Christmas or any time of the year.

If you order now through November 30, use coupon code: THANKS to receive a 15% discount.

By the way, did you know that you can purchase digital gift certificates on Christian Compositions? They can be purchased in any amount, and can be emailed directly to the recipient with a personalized message.

If you aren’t already doing so, please follow my page on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for regular updates, encouraging posts, and exciting giveaways and discounts!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Niki Lott


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New CD! Pre-orders Available Now

Dear Friends,

The end of summer was incredibly busy for our family and ministry. We have had a very full ministry schedule, and are currently traveling in the northwest for almost two months. We are also working hard at school with our children in 5th and 6th grades this year.

I am excited to announce the release of my latest recording, How Can I Sing! I had the opportunity to record again at Faith Music Missions, and was blessed and impressed as always with their kindness, professionalism, and excellence.

This recording includes a few classic songs, as well as many new titles. There are eleven songs in all. All but one are currently available as sheet music on the web site, and that one will be available soon. There will also be a companion book coming in the near future!

You can pre-order the CD this week (9/24-10/2) and receive FREE SHIPPING. Orders will begin shipping next week. Order your copies today!

Please pray with me that this CD will be used by the Lord to be a blessing and encouragement to many. Preview the CD here:

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Beware of Balance

“I need to find balance.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Who is in control? Me or the Lord?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Am I hot, cold, or….balanced?”

© Copyright 2019 Niki Lott. All rights reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In fact, it’s all about authority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all about authority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all about authority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all about authority.



© Copyright 2019 Niki Lott. All rights reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few questions to consider:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Scorner

A Self-Portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Scriptural Portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They mocked their message and their methods.

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

They mocked their sorrow and their suffering.

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

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

 Spiritual Principles for Dealing with Scorners

          1. Determine

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

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

          2. Do Right

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

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

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

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

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

          3. Deal with the Scorner Biblically

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

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

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

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

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

4. Discern.

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

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

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

 The Scorner’s Prospects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to free PDF download: The Scorner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©Copyright 2018 Niki Lott.

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

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

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

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A Candle Or a Scandal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:3-16)

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