One of my biggest pet peeves is when worship lyrics are grammatically incorrect. Don’t get me wrong – I am completely for contemporary worship songs and its use in formal and informal services – but it really bothers me when they are written with pretty terrible grammar.
One example: “I Will Follow” (Chris Tomlin) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnwz3xx_yGs
Where You go, I’ll go
Where You stay, I’ll stay
When You move, I’ll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I’ll love (Whom You love, I’ll love)
How You serve I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You, yeah
I will follow You, yeah
Another example, from my LIFE group worship last night: “One Voice” (Integrity’s Hosanna!) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrQlBuV0WkU
Now is the time for you and I (Now is the time for you and me)
To join our hearts in praise
That the name of Jesus
Will be lifted high above the earth
Then the world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I love worship songs and I love the fact that we have the ability to lift up praises in music to our God. But please, please proofread your lyrics for grammatical errors. Or maybe I just like to nitpick, I don’t know.
Any other grammatical errors you’ve run across in worship lyrics?
Many of you reading this may already know, but I will be heading off to Honduras during this upcoming spring break, from March 4 to March 11. I’m excited to share a little bit about how I came to this decision, and why I’m pumped for what God wants to do in Honduras!
I came to the University of Michigan almost five years ago as a wide-eyed freshman, eager to become a doctor and be sent out as a medical missionary one day. This was the passion and burden God had placed on my heart early in my high school years, and I thought I had it all figured out. I had laid out my five-year plans and my ten-year plans for myself and for what I thought was the future God wanted me to pursue.
Fast forward three and a half years, around this time last year, I was in the midst of applying and interviewing for medical school. I had already made plans to finish what I thought was the tail end of my time in Ann Arbor when God challenged me to stay for an extra year to serve the church that has blessed me so tremendously and also to develop my character even further. In short, God wasn’t ready for me to move on from here.
During the Congregational Revival last year, when God first convicted me of this, I did not know how to respond. Staying in Ann Arbor had not been on my radar. I had not made plans for housing or work. Moreover, I quickly began to calculate the cost this decision would entail. I knew that I would face opposition from family and friends. I felt insecure about being “late” to medical school as opposed to others in my class. But God reminded me, “I do not want to send a smart doctor. I want to send a surrendered life.”
The decision to stay in Ann Arbor after graduation did come with a great cost. Turning down medical school admission offers, restarting the application process for this cycle, and facing the opposition of friends and family members who simply cannot understand my decision all were all incredibly taxing hurdles I had to overcome this past year.
Yet in the midst of it all, He’s proven Himself to be faithful. He provided me with a job and a place to live, even if they all seemed very last-minute or coincidental. At the same time, God has allowed me to witness the transformative power of the Gospel in people’s lives (especially in my LIFE group ABBAWALKEEZ) and taught me so much about what it looks like to be burdened about things that break His heart. During this time, He has renewed my passion for missions and ultimately opened the door for me to participate in the Honduras Missions Project this March.
If I have learned anything through this process over the past year is that following and obeying God is the greatest and most fruitful thing that I could ever hope to do. I pray that I will have a chance to see God working powerfully in the lives of people in Honduras in even greater ways than I’ve been able to see Him work here in Ann Arbor.
If you would like to read more about what I’ll be doing, please see my support letter here. Please keep me and the team in prayer!
As 2013 rolls around, one thing God really burdened me about this year was a renewed desire to rediscover my first love. In other words, I feel like God wants me to learn what it looks like to end my appetite for junk food and satisfy myself fully with the sweetness of Christ.
This idea of “sweetness” is a really powerful one, actually. I have always been a sweet tooth at heart. I remembered one time when I was young when my mom would tell me to always eat/drink the sweetest thing on the table last.
Why? “Because when you eat the sweetest thing first, all the other things that is less sweet will not taste sweet anymore.” Try it sometimes. Get a really sweet dessert and eat it first, and it’ll ruin your appetite for anything that is any less sweet.
I think this is how I want to experience Christ for this new season — that I would learn that following, obeying, and trusting in Christ is so much better, sweeter, more wonderful than anything that this world has to offer that all the things of this world would cease to whet my appetite.
But as of now, what actually happens is what John Piper describes here in his book A Hunger for God:
If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. God did not create you for this.
Consequently, even as our church starts anew this year with a church-wide fast next week, I pray that I would rediscover the sweetness of relishing in this love of Jesus. In preparation for our church-wide retreat and fast and with a desire to refocus on Christ for this season, I will be taking a hiatus from all forms of social media indefinitely (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram), but at least until February 2. Of course, as it seems to happen every year, this will include my birthday, so feel free to contact me via email or this blog, as I will likely continue blogging here.
Looking forward for what God has in store for this year!
I really want to read. I own a ton of books, but rarely do I get to read them. I usually become too busy, or forget.. This year, I got a Kindle for myself thinking that I’ll get to read more as a result, but yeah.. that definitely did not happen.
But I want to try again! Here are a list of books I’d like to read this year! Most of these are Christian books, but here you go:
Hopefully I’ll get through most of those. (Inspired by Lizz’s blog here!)
The best thing I heard all week this week was when one of the freshmen in our church came up to me after our Access service and gave me a giant hug and wished me a good holiday break. We casually talked about our lives, and about how our LIFE groups were going. Then he said, “You know, Andrew, if you would’ve not given me that Sno-Cone on the Diag during Welcome Week, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
This floored me. I thought back about that hot summer day when yes, I was manning the Sno-Cone machine to the incoming students as a working adult, wondering whether staying in Ann Arbor was a mistake if that was all I was doing. And now to see the fruits of that blossoming before my eyes really stunned me.
I’m thankful for a blossoming, growing, fruitful church community I have in HMCC. I’m thankful that every day, in and through our ministry, God is using us to transform lives, and I get to be a part of it! In a few hours, I will be going in the baptismal pool with a dear friend who will finally be able to declare, without shame, that He is a follower of Christ.
It really is a beautiful, wonderful privilege to be a part of the stories God is writing in people’s lives.
That’s something I can be thankful for today.
I’ll start by saying that I hate interruptions. I hate having things mess up my perfect, tidy schedule. I hate that what I have in mind to do or accomplish doesn’t happen. Ultimately, I know myself: I love controlling all aspects of my life, and any interruptions to that drive me insane.
Today has been one of those weeks when too many interruptions happened. Some of those things:
An older sister I respect recently told me in the midst of all these frustrations that “maybe God is trying to stop and interrupt you for something.” I realize just how true this is.
Today, as a result of my car battery dying on me, I got an extended time to work and reflect. My dad came up to Ann Arbor to help with the car, and we ended up catching a weird, spontaneous, but really awesome time at lunch at a Chinese restaurant together. Boy I’m thankful for my parents too – parents who not only live so close to where I’m at right now, but also ones who care so much that they’d be willing to skip work to help me fix my car.
I think that although I don’t like it, interruptions are actually really beautiful. They are breaks from the normal “routines” of life – a reminder that you’re not in control of your life, and that the One who does have control of my life is much bigger and has way better plans for me.
That’s something I can be thankful for today.
Something that has been bothering me recently is just how little I’m thankful for what He has given me. Oh yes, of course I’d say that I’m thankful for different things when people ask me, but do my actions really show that I’m actually thankful for these things?
This is an attempt to document what I’m thankful for on a more-or-less daily basis. Hopefully I’d be more faithful to this that I have to other attempts to online journaling. I know I’m probably setting myself up for failure here, but hey, here’s to hoping that I’ll follow through on this!
The property that my cousins just purchased needed a lot of work to make it livable. There are doors to be attached, furniture to be set up, and so much to be cleaned up, especially in the lawn! I spent a good chunk of time today raking the leaves and moving the lawn. There was SO MUCH grass. The grass on average about 3-5 inches long, which made mowing the lawn a little bit of a pain. I can’t remember how much I had to restart the lawnmower because it couldn’t handle the grass. Not to mention, there were these little annoying plants that pricks my shirt randomly, which didn’t help in getting things done quickly.
If my parents would’ve had the money, I know they would rather not spend time fixing up an old house. Who in their right mind would, seriously? If you have no monetary restrictions whatsoever, why buy an old, decrepit house that requires work rather than a ready-to-move-in house? Or better yet, why not have a new one built for yourself? It doesn’t make sense to fix what’s broken if the cost (monetary, physically, and emotionally) of starting over from scratch is less than the former.
But this is exactly what God did for me. For us. For humanity. God has every right to destroy humanity for its sins. Even better, if God really wanted things to worship Him, He still could’ve just started over from scratch. Why not just wipe humanity clean and start over with more obedient people more inclined to hearing and obeying Him? It wouldn’t cost that much. In one swing, God wiped off 99.9% of the world and started over with a “new” lineage – that of Noah. He’s done it before. Why not now?
Scripture says, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” (Lamentations 3:22). Instead of wiping humanity off the planet and starting over, He chose to take the long, costly route of fixing us. This was no small sacrifice — this sacrificed costed Him His own beloved Son. Jesus had to die so we can get fixed up.
I’m so thankful for a God whose compassions never fail.
After almost 2 years in the U.S., my cousins finally closed on a house in Toledo, and our entire family helped them move stuff to their new home. Of course Thanksgiving is the only day everyone had off, so we were doing work during Thanksgiving!
When we arrived, I noticed that there were 4 small boys living next door to my cousin’s place. I waved hi to them and introduced myself, and I found myself playing on a pile of leaves with Eric. We had so much fun by covering ourselves silly with leaves and getting dirty together. I miss doing that. I love being a little kid.
I quickly realized that this was a kid I barely knew 5 minutes ago, and I brushed off some of the leaves off his shirt and hair, saying half-jokingly, “I don’t want your mom to get mad at me for making you dirty!”
He responded matter-of-factly, “I don’t have Mom and Dad anymore…”
This took me by surprise. I began to apologize, but he continued, “I lost my dad when I was 5, and I lost my mom when I was 6. I live with my grandma now.”
After a little bit of small talk, I told them that I had to work on moving things to the new house. “Are you going to live here now?”
“No,” I responded. “I don’t even live in town.”
His face turned sad. “I wish you’d live here. We’d have so much fun together!”
I was taken aback by the fact that this kid I barely knew is already becoming attached to me. Already he has gone through more loss than I have. I still have a loving father, a wonderful mother. And I have a God who will be my perfect Father.
I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. I pray that one day Eric will get to know that amazing Father as well.
I read this article on CNN earlier about an Indiana candidate for senator who is being widely criticized for his statement in regards to pregnancy and rape. In regards to his opposition to abortion in the case of rape, Richard Mourdock commented, ”I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”
I’m realizing that I’m inviting controversy, but it reminded me of a short story I wrote a few years about this issue. I don’t think I need to add much more to this. Regardless of what your views are on abortion, I do think this is an important question. What is the sovereignty of God? What do we mean when we say that “life is a gift from God”? Is this true in any case? Is suffering in God’s plan for our lives?