Weekly Soap

We made it, We survived.”

To quote the gospel-great Hezekiah Walker, we have survived the month of February and thank the Lord for that!

Secondly, How’s your heart?

If you read the PKE from last week, we talked about daily heart checks to remind ourselves of where we stand with others and oursleves. However today, I want the Weekly Soap to have emphasis on our relationship with the Lord.

Specifically, what happens when we love God?

Let’s Dive in!

Scripture:Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalms 97:10 NIV.

Observation: The verse makes it plain about what we as people of God should do. We cannot love God and love sin. We must love God and hate evil. Notice the word choice in this scripture. Hate in this scripture is used to highlight the disgust we should have about evil/sin. But why? In the next part of the verse, we should hate evil BECAUSE God protects and delivers his people from the evil in this world, things not of Him. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him and even to those who are not (2 Timothy 2:13) It also reinforced that because God cares, we have no reason to fear. We don’t have to fear events, people, or things that are in this world, because God’s got our back To quote Andy Mineo’s lyrics from Lost, ” He didn’t say that we wouldn’t go through it, He just said that we wouldn’t be alone.”

Application: Often, I always pray that I flee from evil or temptation when the time comes, but this scripture puts it into perspective for me. It’s not about asking God to help you flee; you also willingly must run. Here’s a better thought process behind hating sin:

Loving God with all our heart should be our desire, something we strive after every day. Whether it be by reflecting on the word or praying, we are building a long-standing relationship with God that cannot break. The same way we understand a significant other’s likes and dislikes, we understand what God likes and dislikes: God hates sin.

So what do we if we come in contact with something our partner dislikes? We avoid it like a rotten tuna sandwich sitting in the sun on a hot day in the middle of August! We should be the same way with sin.

If I sin, it’s like hurting someone I love repeatedly. That’s neither healthy nor acceptable in a loving relationship. God doesn’t hurt us because his grace and mercy follow us.

So, why then do we continue to sin if we know it hurts our relationship with God?

God always remains faithful to us, even when we cheat with sin. However, this isn’t a one-sided relationship, it’s a joint effort. It’s time for us to cut off our affair with sin and focus our primary relationship with God. He is our life-giver, deliverer, protector, our everything. By loving God, we receive so much more than if we love sin.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I thank you for being my protector and deliverer. I did not realize how much you keep us from daily, but I am so grateful for you doing just that. Lord, you don’t ask for much except that we love you and hate sin. So today, I decree and declare that I will do just that. I pray that when I face tough spots in my life where temptation may come that I turn towards you. Let me be constantly reminded of your love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for looking out for me. I love you, Lord, with all my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Be Blessed!

Chan

The Heart

February may be one of the shortest months of the year, but it has been so impactful this far. From previous posts, love has been the overarching theme. The Weekly Soap touched on how we should love God, and love others the way we love ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40). The Song of the Week gave us “Wild” , a song about the overwhelming love of God.

So I guess my question now is:

How’s your heart?

With the outpouring of love or the opposite for the past couple of days, how are you doing? Are you treating yourself? Are you giving love? Receiving it? Whatever your status, let’s talk about what’s in your heart.

Take a minute and think. How many times have you heard the phrase “follow your heart”? Is following your heart always the best decision? Be honest.

As a PK, my parents taught me to hug every person in the church as soon as I came in. I had no issue carrying out this task because it was something I loved to do. I’d hug everyone so tightly that you could feel the love transferred from me. As I grew older, hugging lost its luster. Before I even entered through the doors, I wished no one would come up to me at all. I didn’t want to fake the funk, nor did I want to even attempt it. Soon after, my mood followed this same pattern.

It bounced from grumpiness to anger to frustration and back again. I wanted no parts of what was going on in service. It became so bad that I had soured towards people in my church. I remember making it my mission to avoid others. By ducking into the bathroom or occupying myself with technical work, it allowed me to escape hugging people. This went on for years. Every Sunday, I continued to spiral in this apathetic mood towards the church and my faith.

But, I couldn’t recognize how far I was falling down the pit because my heart kept telling me I was right.

God had to put me in a place where I had to run a heart check on myself. After many heartbreaks and unnecessary sacrifices, my mother preached one Sunday from Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV):

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

These two verses alone hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately I felt so much conviction, but a revelation on why my life produced such ugly results.

Our fleshly heart is sick and “beyond cure” meaning it can lead us to believe that the same can of Coke that can clean toilets is also good enough for us to drink (no shade to Coca-Cola products). Now, I’m not saying that your choice of drink is wrong, but our heart’s desire may not always match what is best for us. We know that Coke tastes good. We know what it can do, but if we continue to drink it, there are adverse effects: diabetes, obesity, even tooth decay. Like verse 10, the Lord gives us the reward of our conduct; for every action, there is a reaction for what your heart carries out.

Yet, the only cure for our sick heart is God.

When we have the word of God in our hearts, it extends our life (Proverbs 3:1-2), we are blessed (Psalms 119:2), and He gives us the desires of our heart when we align with Him (Psalms 37:4).

So instead of trusting my heart, I had to trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6). Hardening my heart towards my church family or even acts of love did a disservice to me and my creator. It’s a commandment to love one another, and I wasn’t following through. I asked for forgiveness from God and a repentant heart, so it would make me new (Ezekiel 36:26). I had no reason to feel bitterness, especially when no one had provoked me. But, a change like this doesn’t come overnight. It takes an effort to turn away from a wrongful path. Joel 2:12 says that “return to me will all your heart with fasting, weeping and mourning.”

After all this, I hope that you run some diagnostics on your heart. Ask God to reveal what hides in your heart. Pray that what you desire in your heart matches the will of God. If you spiral or become malicious towards someone or something, ask yourself:

How’s your heart?


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Be Blessed!

Chan

Song of the Week

Before we get to the Song of the Week, I have to say thank you for the many comments last week on the Weekly Soap. It was the most comments that I have received this far and I am so grateful to you all.

Now, let’s get to the Song of the Week!

In December 2018, I ran across this album titled Hotel Sessions by Local Sound. I had no idea who this group was or what they were about, but the message was clear: they were singing about the love of Christ!

Right off the back, I was sold with the stripped down versions of their songs. Specifically, their song Wild. The song starts with a simple 808 beat followed by layered chords from an electric piano. Instantly, the Da-Da-Da’s caught my ear (I love a catchy one syllable melody), but there was more to this song than its feel-good beat. The lyrics described what makes God’s love so wild.

The overwhelming love that God gives us surpasses all that we could ever imagine or think (Ephesians 3:20). But what does this look like?

  1. From the very beginning, He claimed us in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 29:11).
  2. It pulls us from darkness (1 Peter 5:7)
  3. It never fades or fails. (Jeremiah 31:3; Psalms 136:26)
  4. There is no fear in His Love (1 John 4:18)
  5. He made the ultimate sacrifice out of love (John 3:16)
  6. God is Love. (1 John 4:16)

Looking at some of these scriptures of love, I am so glad our salvation does not depend on man. Why? Because how many people can genuinely say they love unconditionally? Are we able to die for the stranger on the street the same we might die for our family members? CAN we even think about dying for our family members?

The message here is:

God’s love is extraordinary!

Reflect on it this week as you bop to this song! Think about where you’d be without His love. Think about where you are because of it.

This is the stripped down version of “Wild” by Local Sound.
This is the EDM-Pop version of “Wild” by Local Sound.


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Be Blessed!

Chan

Weekly Soap

Happy February! It’s a brand new day and a brand new month and I am so thankful to God for it. This month, there are many holidays, celebrations, etc. that we observe, but I wanted to focus solely on one thing this month: LOVE.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, how cliché!”

But hold up!

How many of us crave love or want to give love in some form or capacity?

With that being said, why don’t we learn from our Father in Heaven what it means to love, how we’re supposed to love, and most importantly what love is.

Scripture: 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 34-40

Observation: Although the question asked may have come from curiosity or to tempt, Jesus gave the answer that covered the basis of all law. He told us to love God with every fiber of our being, which is our heart, soul, and mind. Loving God is always first which includes knowing to not put any other thing before Him (Exodus 20:3-5). Secondly, Jesus called us to love our fellow brothers and sisters like we love ourselves. Check out 1 John 3:16. Overall, the two commandments that Jesus spoke among the people were the foundation for all the other laws written. They could not follow everything else if they didn’t love the Father or the people.

Application: Now that we know the greatest commandments of the Law, how do we carry this out? Jesus told us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (vs. 37). To do this, we have to allow God to move in our lives on every level. With our hearts, we seek the Lord daily to develop a lasting relationship (Psalms 24:6). In learning more of God, his Word penetrates our soul and transforms us. We realize that He has been faithful to us, even when we were not; who wouldn’t love a God like that? (2 Timothy 2:13). However, we can’t let our love stop there. In the same passage, we are called to love our neighbors, the surrounding people, strangers or not. Not to just love them, but to love them the way we want to be loved. What does love look like among fellow man? We look out for each other. We take care of each other. We are helpers one to another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Take into account that the self-love described here is not selfish self-love. Our society tends to lean towards the “I’m gonna do me, and you do you” mentality, but this self-love requires an awareness of who we are and takes into account the welfare of ourselves. Self-love should reflect in love we share for others: to build, to grow, to learn.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I am so grateful for the love you have given us. Thank you for teaching us the greatest commandments of all: to love you and to love others as we love ourselves. Lord, I ask right now that if I struggle with any of these that you help me. Help me learn to love you more. Help me love others. Help me love myself so I can love others. God, I know that your love covers a multitude of sins, so let me operate only in the love of Christ. I pray that even now my heart is changing to be more compassionate than I was before. Thank you, God, for showing me the way to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Song of the Week 2

Usually, I like to tie in the Song of the Week to the Weekly Soap, but this time I feel led to do something different. Since it is the last week of January, I wanted to reflect on what has happened just in the first month of this year.

So… take a moment right now and thank God. Think about how great God is to have brought you this far! Think about where He’s taking you from here!

Sometimes, I realize that even the smallest things that we overlook, I can thank God for. With God, I don’t have to want for anything, because he has everything (Psalms 34:9-10). Even concerning my body, God protects that too (Psalms 34:20). That’s just how great God is.

So what does this have to do with the Song of the Week? Everything.

“Great Big God” by Lisa Knowles-Smith fully encompasses what many of us think about when we think of God. As the track begins, the upbeat tempo and high energy mirror the way we should describe God, with joy in praise and worship. As the lyrics follow, the songstress goes into detail about our “Great Big God” we serve and the things He does. That He is:

  1. ” He’s a Miracle Worker.”
  2. “God will ease the pain.”
  3. “God will be whatever we need him to be.”
  4. “God is peace in my problems.”
  5. “God has already won over the enemy.”
  6. “He is grace in decisions.”
  7. “All-Knowing God.”

The list can run on even further than that, but God is the “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He is so mighty and powerful that the Avengers ain’t got nothing on Him (Psalms 18:47). So as you begin to listen to the song, don’t forget about the mighty God we serve and what He can do not just in your life, but the lives of others.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Weekly Soap 2

Welcome Back to the Weekly Soap! This week we will dive into a passage that convicts me to be more aware of what I say. I remember when I pranked my parents into thinking I had received a speeding ticket coming back from work one day. Not knowing the importance of my words, two days later I was stopped by a sheriff and given a speeding a ticket. When I confessed to my parents, all they could say was “there is power in the tongue”. They used the Bible to always remind me of actions, but let’s see where we find it!

Without further ado, let’s dive into James 3!

(Note: I encourage you to read the entire chapter.)

Scripture: ” [5] Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. [9] With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. [10] Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and my sisters, this should not be.” James 3:5, 9-10 NIV.

Observation: James writes about taming our tongue or as my mother calls it, our “pink tornado”. He mentions that although it may be the smallest thing on our bodies, it can do the most damage as described in the verses following verse 5. James notes that how can we as humans praise the Lord, but with the same mouth curse our fellow neighbor. We cannot do both if we be in the Lord; “this should not be.”

Application: Often, we fail to recognize the weight of our words and what they can do to our friends, family, strangers, or ourselves. What comes out of our mouths not only has power but can cause things to manifest in our lives, both positive and negative. It reminds me of the phrase, “Do you kiss your mother with those lips?”. But I say to you, “Do you praise God with the same lips you curse people out with?”. Are we careful about the words we say? Are we being intentional about speaking life over ourselves and everything connected to us?

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for entrusting me with so much power in my words. Although I am not always aware of the words spoken in anger, malice, or bitterness, God help me be more mindful. Forgive me for all the hostile words that I may have said over myself and others. Lord, constantly remind me to speak life to all surrounding things. When I want to say something negative, correct me and turn it into a positive. Let me focus on you, God. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

The Mind

In the Weekly Soap, we started out with a prayer to focus on the Lord and to have peace during overwhelming times. In the Song of the Week, I recommended a song that quieted storms for me, but now I want to explain why this has been on my heart.

As a young child (age 3 or 4 according to my mom), I remember having this vivid dream. I was in a dim room with a dark figure; I thought it was the devil himself. He had all these surgical tools laid out in front of me. With a marker, he tried to write a huge X on my forehead, like a surgical incision. Clear as day, the devil said, “I’m going to kill you, right there, in your mind”. All I can recall after that is pleading the blood of Jesus. Repeatedly. I did not stop until I was sure the devil disappeared. This brings me to my first lesson as a preacher’s kid.

God protects his children.

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.” – Psalms 42:4

As I grew older, this dream replayed as my battles revolved around my own mental health. Diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), I faced depression, low self-esteem, and indecisiveness; my brain was a battlefield within itself. Sometimes I’d question my own beliefs or wonder if God was still there. I convinced myself that I was too far off the deep end to receive help. However, I never forgot what I read in the Bible. I never overlooked what my preacher-parents had instilled in me since day 1.

And that’s the funny thing about being a preacher’s kid. Those Sunday morning services at church that overflowed with prayer, praise, and preaching carried over into the four walls of our home and the week ahead. God’s reminders of the faith-planted seeds in my mind were the encouragement I needed during these times of decreased faith. The scripture, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6), echoed in times like these. 

So, how did I know I was God’s child? How did I know his protection was over me?

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,” – Galatians 3:26

Before I even realized the depth of my dream or the scriptures taught to me in preschool, the word of the Lord had already outlined for me, for us, that if we have chosen and “clothed [y]ourselves with Christ” that we are God’s children (Galatians 3:26-4:7). How easy it is for us to know that if we choose God, we are in the family of Christ. Because we are his children and God is our Father, He hears our cries and rescues us in our time of need (Psalms 34:15,22). When I called him, God reached in to liberate me from the hands of the enemy and from the things that plagued my mind. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart,” (Psalms 91:4). My parents encouraged memorizing Psalms 91 into my brain to know that God is our refuge and our protector (it is also the foundation scripture of their church).

Most importantly, I wanted you, who is reading this, to know that it is not some complicated process to be a part of the body of Christ. All it takes is a simple yes to the will of the Lord and to surrender all over to Him. I wanted you to know that although the worst punches may get thrown at our faces, God blocks the blows that can take us out. To know that we as children of God, although we may suffer, we also can rejoice in the glory to come (Romans 8:17).


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Song of the Week

Since the Weekly Soap last week followed overcoming anxiety, my music choices have followed this theme as well. During times of trouble, I find myself looking or searching for songs that I can relate to or share with others.

Recently, I took a deep dive on Spotify that led to several artists being added to my Gospel playlist (there are over a thousand songs already on it). As I went from song to song and artist to artist, I ran across a piece that spoke to me so clearly that I could not stop listening to it.

Jonathan Ogden’s “Slow Down” became my anthem after the first 30 seconds. With an ambient feel at the beginning of the song, I felt immediate peace. The lyrics that followed emphasized what I needed to hear at the moment. I needed to let God take control and slow down. I was reminded of Deuteronomy 31:8 and 1 Peter 5:7 as the song continued. God will never leave me nor forsake me, so what do I have to worry about? When I feel weighed down or overwhelmed, I can look to the Lord for help because He cares for me. I continued to listen to this song on repeat for hours. I was constantly reminded of how God is so patient with me and that I needed to be patient myself. I wanted everything that I prayed for immediately that I would rush to make it happen on my own. I would try to make my own vision the priority and not God’s will. I needed to slow down and let God work by surrendering everything over to Him.

Feel free to listen to the beautiful track in the link below. I hope you will be as blessed as I was.

Chan

Happy New Year!

Welcome to The Heart of a Preacher’s Kid, a new blog reflecting the contents of my heart as a PK and weekly posts on music, the Bible, and whatever else flows through this mind. So feel free to spend as much time as you like here. Get acquainted, look around, but most of all please keep an open mind.

To Kick off 2020, let’s dive into our very first Weekly Soap!

Weekly Soap 1

Scripture:Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

Observation: These verses fall at the end of Paul’s letters addressed to the Philippians. Paul is encouraging them to continue to press their way through and to not worry about the journey ahead of them as believers in Christ. In verse 6, Paul relays to the church in what seems like the easiest way to get rid of anxiety: by prayer, worship, and by “present[ing] (y)our requests to God”. Paul makes getting rid of anxiety as easy as pie! And it is! When we pray for the peace of God to enter our lives, it surely will come!

Application: As we enter into the New Year with new goals, a new mindset, and the unknown ahead, be reminded that the love of God covers a multitude of things. Remember this scripture when you fear what’s to come on a new project or a new season of your life. That God is bigger than anything that we face; He is always here for us. Be reassured today that when life gets overwhelming to follow these steps: pray, give thanks, lay it before Him, and He will take care of the rest.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the peace that you give to me. I thank you for protecting my heart and mind from the things that could possibly trigger me. I pray right now that in this new year, if I do become anxious or am overwhelmed, that I am reminded of who you are and what your Word says to me. Lord, forgive me for turning to others before turning to you. You have always been here for me and I should come to you first with whatever is troubling me. Lord, I thank you for taking on my burdens and caring for me. Keep my mind and my heart guarded. In Jesus name. Amen.