My Stability

Though waves may break
Though mountains quake
I have a peace the wrong can’t know
In desert sands
In foreign lands
I have a joy where’er I go

In great alarm
In sudden harm
I shan’t be moved; He’ll strengthen me
When peoples melt
In dark that’s felt
My endless light He’ll ever be

When nations rage
When nations change
My King will never change at all
With every breath
In life or death
He’ll lift me up; He’ll hear my call

When days are dark
He’ll be my ark
He’ll save me from the raging sea
Like Noah, He
Will rescue me
Like then, right now He sets us free

He reads the heart
No end, nor start
Nor bounds of time or space has He
Since ancient days
His righteous ways
Have always been; they’ll always be

I know that He
Won’t turn on me
His Book won’t fade–not any page
His judgements stand
In any land
In any culture, any age

The past He knows
I know he goes
Before me, past what I can see
He stands by me
He’ll always be
My constant, my stability

Capture my Heart

I know You desire to have my heart
I want You to have it too
But I do not know about how to start
My giving my heart to You

For love is confusing, and thoughts are weak
I hardly know anything
Of what must be done to the heart I seek
To give unto you, my King

So capture my heart, Yah, steal all my love
For nothing compares to You
Please fill me with passion for things above
In all that I say or do

How wondrous it is that my heart You see
You see all the faults and sin
Yet still in my heart, Yah, You wish to be
I wish You would enter in

But how do I make You a throne in me?
So perfectly pure Thou art
You cannot abide where’er sin might be
You only can cleanse my heart

So capture my heart, overwhelm my soul
Come cleanse me, till all is Thine
Since me You forgave, and You made me whole
My heart should no more be mine

You gave me my life, breath, and everything
All things that are good and true
You gave me all these for Your work, my King–
For me to give back to You

Most precious, You gave up Your life to save
The souls of humanity
You rose and You conquered all sin–the grave
Now come conquer all of me

So capture my heart, draw my soul away
Your love is what sets me free
You gave up Your best when You died that day
Now come take the best of me

Yes, capture my heart, bind my soul to Thee
I truly want nothing more
Your covenant oath, Yah, confirm with me
Thus binding me evermore

He Gives Me a Song

He gives me a song
I’ve known all along
That He is the author of music
I’m learning life’s song
What’s pleasant, what’s wrong
And making the music melodic

I practice, I sing
Make praise to my King
I learn to keep key and keep counting
And quickly I’ve found
That major keys sound
More happy and sweet to the hearing

Yes, majors are nice
And majors suffice
But music could surely be finer
With depth in the song
I learned before long
That depth comes by adding a minor

The majors are glad
The minors are sad
When mixed, they put music to motion
With minors down low
And high notes you show
A spectrum of sound and emotion

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I think of this life
With triumphs and strife
So seamlessly melded together
Yah uses the good
In sorrow He would
Desire that I become stronger

I could pray for ease
For that which I please
Or ask that the storm doesn’t thunder
But I’d rather choose
To never refuse
The will of my Heavenly Father

He knows that I see
His blessings to me
More clearly when grief clears my vision
The sorrow, the pain
The peace and the gain
When mixed, put my heart into motion

He gives me a song
I’ve known all along
That He makes my music much finer
The joy mixed with strife
Adds depth to my life
He mixes the major and minor

Forever Hold My Hand

My life is Yours, my righteous King
Take all of me today
For there is not a single thing
That I would keep away

To You my heart surrenders, El
Your love has made me whole
Your grace is like a ceaseless well
That satisfies my soul

In wartime, I will fight for You
And do what You command
But in the fight, I ask You to
Forever hold my hand

Your people are my people , I
Will go where’er You go
For death can’t break our union. Why?
Because You love me so

Yes, I shall choose to follow You
For You have chosen me
I choose to trek the deserts too
If You shall call for me

What lies ahead, I never know
But as we walk the land
I ask of You, where’er we go
Forever hold my hand

I know that it is often harsh
As through this swamp we tread
I only see the sticky marsh
But You can see ahead

And when in life I have a way
To reach a peaceful land
But You declare that You will stay
In lands of desert sand

Then I would choose with You to stay
In lands of desert sand
Your presence guides me, day by day
Forever hold my hand

Your love is like a fountain and
A constant, healing flow
When walking through the arid land
Your blessings You will show

You shelter me amidst the rain
You guard me in the night
Your voice is comfort in the pain
Your presence is my light

So lead me to the wilderness
To any barren land
Whatever comes, I ask You this:
Forever hold my hand

Look Up

Yehovah, You will hear my voice in the morning. In the morning I will present myself before You, and I will look up.” -Psalm 5:3

You look at what is all around
At sights and lights and fights and sound
That threaten to distract your soul
From things that truly make you whole

Look up, don’t think this fallen earth
Will give you gifts of life, of worth
Good gifts shall come from Yah above
Who showers us with endless love

The vain delights this earth can give
Don’t give you any strength to live
The treasures of this earth don’t stay
With wings of birds, they fly away

Look up, for hope’s not found in dust
In silver, gold, or things that rust
But look at Yehovah, you’ll see
Unending hope that sets you free

Don’t think that you’ll find joy or rest
In earthly things. The very best
Of earthy joys can barely start
To fill the holes within your heart

Look up, and know that He who made
The sky gives joys that never fade
With him we walk in strength and peace
In great travails, when comforts cease

Don’t let your heart be troubled when
You see this world of pain and sin
Don’t set your heart on what you hear
On troubles, strife, or things you fear

Look up, and trust your heart with Him
Who made the bud upon the limb
Who gives the mighty trees their leaves
Who’s always near and never leaves

When life is very harsh and dark
You try to find a little spark
Of light, of hope, to light your way
You long to see the light of day

Look up and see the stars, the moon
And understand that very soon
Our King will come, and slay the night
More faithful than the sun, He’s light

When all looks twisted, sick, and wrong
Remember! Sing a little song
To Him who gave His life for you
Who’s always loving, just and true

Look up, and see, our Savior lives!
What power, grace, and peace He gives!
Oh, hope and trust and never fear
Look up, for your redemption’s near

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” -Luke 21:28

The Priceless Price

I stumbled in
My guilt and sin
So quickly did I stray
What price could pay for what I’d done
And bring me to Yah’s way?

For all I’d done
Just only One
Could save me from my sin
Just One could pay the priceless price
For me to enter in

My El came down
Gave up His crown
And lived ‘midst pain and strife
My Savior died; He paid for me
The priceless price–His life

And since He lives
My Savior gives
Me power over death
He gives me love and hope and peace
He gives me life and breath

I can not say
Each little way
He’s showered me with love
I wonder why, for who am I
That I should dwell above?

Just one gift He
Wants back from me–
One price. In joy and strife
I’ll pay the price of being His–
The priceless price–my life

Fish and Loaves

My talents and my strengths are like
Some fish, and loaves of bread
And when I see this whole wide world
That’s desperate to be fed

I wonder what my food can do
To satisfy such need
My fish and loaves of bread are few
How many can they feed?

But when I open up my hands
Yeshua comes and takes
The meager loaves and fish I have
He blesses and He breaks

I wonder what He’ll do with them
And then, when He is done
He calls and tells me to disperse
The food to everyone

I do as He commanded me
I give the food, and then
With shock I look around and see
It fed five thousand men

And thus Yeshua multiplies
My strengths and talents, and
I share His boundless blessings with
The needy of the land

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“And Yeshua took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fish as much as they would.”
-John 6:11

As a Child

Me, one month before I accepted Messiah

Earlier this week was the Festival of Tabernacles. Every year, I love to recall and celebrate the day during the Feast of Tabernacles in October 2012 when I accepted Yeshua as my King.

**********

He took me as a child
At the tender age of eight
And on that day
I found the Way
To enter Heaven’s gate

He took me as a child
When I wondered, when I cried
He loved me
And He chose me
Even though I sinned and lied

He took me as a child
When I hardly had a thing
Of usefulness
Or preciousness
That’s worthy for a King

He took me as a child
When I stumbled, when I fell
He chose to love
And strengthen me
So that His praise I’d tell

He took me as a child
When I thought, “My selfish way
Just doesn’t bring
Me anything
I want; it doesn’t pay.”

He took me as a child
When so small I was, and weak
His eyes could see
Some worth in me
He chose my soul to seek

He took me as child
Like an orphan I had been
My guilt was strong
I’d been so wrong
But still He let me in

He took me as a child
In His grace, adopted me
Although naive
I did believe
That He could set me free

He took me as a child
When He helped my faith to win
And on that day
I chose the Way
That conquers death and sin

He took me as a child
In the days I joked and played
Amidst the fun
Of being young
A covenant we made

He took me as a child
Oh, how little did I know
Of what I’d see
When I was free
Or where my life would go

He took me as a child
When I hardly knew a thing
Of life’s travails
Of hope’s avails
Of what my choice would bring

He took me as a child
With His love He took my heart
And on that day–
What peace! What joy!–
Was life’s amazing start

He took me as a child
That was many years ago
Life’s journey brings
Me many things
That ‘fore I didn’t know

He took me as a child
And I never shall forget
The day that He
Delivered me
The day He loved me yet

He took me as a child
Though I’m now more strong and wise
I still recall
When I was small
Yet valued in His eyes

He took me as a child
Let me never think I’m more
Than tiny me
Whom Yah set free
Than who I was before

He took me as a child
That’s the greatest gift Yah’s shared
All talents, joys
Success, and toys
Lose luster when compared

He took me as a child
Though the years have flown away
I know I must
Retain the trust
I had in that blessed day

He took me as a child
Since that day, I’m not the same
My joy, my choice
Is that my voice
Shall always praise His Name

He took me as a child
That’s where joy and hope begin
Though grown we be
To heaven we
As children enter in

He took me as a child
On that day He rescued me
I praise Him, for
Forevermore
His child I shall be

Me, one month after I accepted Messiah

Fear or Faith?

As servants of Messiah, we are supposed to have faith in our Savior. We know that He can do anything and save us even from the darkest pit. All throughout the Bible it says to believe and not to fear, as fear tries to destroy faith.

For I am Yehovah your Elohim, holding your right hand, saying to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.

Isaiah 41:13

In the Hebrew language, the word for “fearing” and the word for “seeing” are very similar in spelling and pronunciation. Hebrew suggests that fearing comes from seeing. It’s like the Bible account of how the apostle Peter became fearful when He saw the waves around him (Matthew 14).

What I find interesting is that Peter was already walking on the water when He became afraid. He was walking on the very waves that frightened him. When he began to fear, that is when He began to sink.

Like Peter, we can rise above the waves around us and do the impossible by the strength of Yeshua. When we keep our eyes on Messiah, and don’t look at the wind and waves around us, we will have faith, not fear.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

But there are times when we can’t help but see the waves–the things around us that look so big and frightening. We ask ourselves, is it a sin to feel scared? Is it ever possible to feel scared, yet still have faith?

I propose that the feeling of fear inside of you means very little. We place too much emphasis on feelings. Hebrew is an action-based language. You are what you do. So what matters is not whether we feel brave, but whether we act brave.

Fear as an emotion isn’t a sin, but it can lead you toward acting in fear, or acting in faith. It’s how we act when we’re frightened that matters.

When we let fear steal our faith and control our actions, that is a sin. When we don’t love, don’t speak, or don’t do the will of Yehovah because we are scared, we have fallen short of our calling. This is a tool of the devil, and this is walking in fear.

But when our emotions cause us to seek Him, our faith can be strengthened. Scary situations can lead us closer to Yehovah. And it is a wonderful thing to fear Yehovah, and to flee from disobeying Him. This is walking in faith.

The fear of Yehovah is the beginning of wisdom.

Psalm 111:10a

For you shall fear Yehovah your Elohim, and He will deliver you from the hand of all enemies.

2 Kings 17:39

So next time you feel fear welling up within you, pay attention to what you do, not what you feel. Does the fear drive you toward sin, or do you walk by faith and cling to Messiah despite the frightened feeling?

We’re called to walk in faith, not feel faith. Faith rarely can be felt; it is done. “Faith” in Hebrew can also mean “loyalty” and “steadfastness.” When you are afraid, do you run to Yehovah and remain loyal? Do you steadfastly guard His word? Do you learn Peter’s lesson and keep your eyes on Messiah? Do you keep standing and working for Him, despite what you feel? Do you trust in Him, like David did?

In the day I will fear, I will trust in You.
In Elohim I have trusted. I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:3+12

From the ends of the earth, to You I will cry. When my heart is weary, guide me by the Rock that is higher that I.

Psalm 61:3

I’ve found that usually when you step out in faith and do what’s right despite the fear, that fear will leave. There are many examples, in the Bible and elsewhere, of righteous and brave people who did what they should despite whatever feelings they had. We should aspire to be like them.

I once read a true story about a ship full of immigrants trying to sneak into the land of Israel in 1947 (before it became a state). In the middle of the night, not far from land, the ship hit a sandbar and tipped onto its side. The waters were too choppy to use lifeboats. But men on shore, waiting to receive the immigrants, grabbed a long rope and swam all the way out to the tipped ship. Using the rope as a lifeline, they brought the weak immigrants from the boat to the shore. Not one life was lost.

Thus says Yehovah, who gives a way in the sea and a path in the strong waters.

Isaiah 43:16

Yehovah is our lifeline, our way of getting through the choppy sea. When we see a wave that scares us, what will we do? Will that emotion compel us to act in fear (flail, scream, and be shoved under the water), or to cling more tightly to our Savior and be saved? Again, it’s not the emotion that matters, but the actions.

So try to practice with the little waves. Any time something frightening comes at you, cling harder to Yeshua. And don’t worry if you happen to slip and fall into the water. Yeshua will be there to pick you up, just as He did for Peter.

And after such practice, when harsher waves crash over you, you’ll automatically know what to do. You will keep your eyes on the Savior, cling steadfastly, and walk by faith. Yeshua and His Word are our peace and hope in the midst of great storms. He, our lifeline and security, saves us and guides us through the sea to the shore of the promised land.

And now, thus says Yehovah, your Creator, Jacob, and your Former, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called your name, you are Mine. When you pass through water, I am with you, and in rivers, they will not wash over you.

Isaiah 43:1+2a

Graduation

My senior picture

I completed my homeschool studies this past May. Upon graduating, I often hear, “Follow your dreams.” What exactly do people mean when they tell me that? I guess they mean that they want me to find happiness in life (which is very sweet of them) and that I will find that happiness in my dreams.

I admit that I have dreams. I have ideas of what I’d like to do or what I’d like the future to look like. But I don’t really care about those sorts of dreams. The only dreams I care about, the only dreams I want to follow, are Yehovah’s dreams for me.

For what use is a dream, if it is not in Yehovah’s will? As Psalm 127 says, “Unless Yehovah builds the house, in vain its builders toil in it.” Any dreams or plans we have that are not in Yehovah’s will shall fall like a house on shifting sand. Such fruitless dreams will not bring happiness.

But whatever dreams you have that are in Yehovah’s perfect plan are the dreams you should seek. Those are what you should work for. And those are the plans that will give you the most happiness and fulfillment in life.

How do you know Yehovah’s perfect plan for you? He reveals it through His word, through circumstances around you, through a dream, or through a message that burns in your heart. He can speak to you in multiple ways. You just have to be open and receptive to His voice, His will. You have to take time to pray and read His word.

But here’s a little warning. Yehovah’s plans for you are usually hard. He usually wills for you to travel the difficult path, the trail less traveled. How then, you might ask, will such a path riddled with trials bring joy and fulfillment?

Because that is the path where you find Yeshua–the ultimate source of joy. That is the path where you are able to help the desperate brothers around you–the ultimate source of fulfillment. As you walk the path of obedience to Yehovah, you can be certain that any difficulty that comes your way has a purpose and can help you become a better person. That path leads to heaven. That is the path I want to travel.

So now, to the best of my ability, I am walking that path of obedience. I try to listen to His words and seek Him and His will. I feel Him telling me that my future is with children. In His great love, He has given me an opportunity to practice my skills with children. On July 27, I became a first-grade teacher to my little friend Kiley. I’ve known her since she was nine months old, and she is such a dear. It’s hard to put in words how grateful I am to be able to teach her and input into her life. It’s a precious gift from Yehovah–a perfect preparation for my future with children.

Kiley and I on our first day of school

I also feel Him telling me that in the future, times will be tough. For that, I prepare spiritually. I work to memorize chapters of the Bible, grow in trust, and learn more about Him.

There are some people that think that I ought to go to college. But how can college help me prepare for my future? Yehovah has not called me to be a nurse, a business woman, or anything that would require a college degree. I don’t need a degree to do His will for me. I can teach Kiley without a degree. I can write poetry and stories for Yehovah without a degree. I can love and help those around me without a degree.

The best preparation for my future is what I am doing right now: homeschooling my friend and hiding Yehovah’s word in my heart. I couldn’t ask for anything more from Him.

So, to any other graduates reading this, I want to encourage you to find Yehovah’s plan for you. Find where He wants you to grow and what He wants you to do. Whether He wants you to go to college, get a job, stay at home, be a missionary, or whatever His awesome plan is, follow Him. “Trust in Yehovah with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Know Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5&6) Remember that “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of Yehovah–that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

We have been bought by Messiah. Our lives are not our own to control, but for us to give unto Him. It’s not enough to read inspiring stories of brave, influential people of the past. We need to be the brave and influential people of our age, and the only way we can do that is through Messiah Yeshua. If we surrender to Him, He will do more with us than we could ever hope or imagine.

I suppose I am following my dreams, because following Yehovah’s plans for me is my dream. He can do with me what He pleases. I will be content as long as I’m with Him. I look forward to a future of serving my King.