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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Heart Beats: Matt Papa

I don’t know how frequently “Heart Beats” will be updated, but there are a few songs and artists that have jumped in my heart from the very first beat of the drums or strum of the guitar and I really want to share them with you.

Isn’t if funny how joy has to be shared? If we love something we will share it.

Anyway, below is an artist that I especially dig.

Also, I’ve never said ‘dig’ in that context before. I’m not sure how I feel about that.


Heart Beats: Matt Papa

Matt Papa led worship at the Campus Outreach National Conference this year and it was so awesome. [If you want to read more, I talk about Matt Papa and what God taught me through the conference here.]

Why I love Matt Papa: 

He is 100% biblically sound.
He doesn’t compromise lyrical content to sell records.
His colorful world map jacket.
His songs take you to the throne.
The tunes are just plain awesome and are easy to pick up.
He loves missions.
His daughters’ names are Paisley and Stella.
He still has a myspace and uses it.
Every Monday on his blog is Martyr Monday and you can read of a fellow believer who gave it all for the One who gave it all.
He follows Christ and his music leads us to Him.
I have two of his albums [This Changes Everything and Your Kingdom Come] and I love them.
If you want a snippet of how he doesn’t compromise his lyrics to sell records, try this on for size:

“You won’t ever hear this song on Christian radio
Cause the Jesus that I serve is not safe
He’ll say take Your cross and die
So if you want a comfy life
Stay away from Jesus” 

-Matt Papa, Stay Away From Jesus from the album This Changes Everything

If that still isn’t enough, here is another bite of the less-publicized portion of Scripture he isn’t afraid to preach or sing:

“Religious people
You white-washed tombs
Beautiful on the outside
But you’re full of bones 

You look very religious
You follow all your little rules
But you don’t follow Jesus
You just talk like you should” 

-Matt Papa, Woe to You from the album Your Kingdom Come

Top-3 Favorite Matt Papa Songs:

It is Finished (number one favorite song)
Here Am I, Send Me
Open Hands

Bonus Song:

The Reward of His Suffering
Please watch the following video or go to the website and watch it and donate. 
From the website:


Watch. Click. Donate. Be lifted up and encouraged to share the Gospel and go and make disciples. 

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