The Soundtrack of My Life

PicsArt_08-06-02.40.45All of us have particular songs which speak to us at certain moments of our lives. These are not the kind of music we became fed-up of listening after abusing the play button. These songs are our life story, our unique history. These are us. My music playlist has a hundred songs but I deliberately picked ones which have a huge impact on me. I can’t imagine how I could survive the mess of life without having these songs to listen to. I would like to share with you my life’s 10 songs and each reason behind and I do hope that you will enjoy listening to them like I do.

1. All For Love – Hillsong United 

I was brought up a Christian but truly experiencing Christ was first happened on the day I attended True Love Waits youth seminar held in our campus and organized by our university’s religious organization which aimed to teach the youth about the importance of waiting for the right time to kindle love. I was high school sophomore when I first experienced shedding tears of joy as I sang All For Love during praise and worship part of the seminar together with my classmates. Listening to it brings back that beautiful event inside of our university’s chapel, knees bowed down, eyes closed and hearts overwhelmed with a different kind of unexplainable bliss no one can ever fathom but the one who experienced it.

Favorite lyrics:

How many times have I broken your heart

But still you forgive if only I ask

How many times have you heard me pray

Draw near to me

2. Still – Hillsong United

I was in college when this song began to make sense to me. Back then I’ve quickly become emotional whenever I’ve heard it sung in the church. This music reminds me that I am not alone in this battlefield called world because there is God in every storm.

Favorite lyrics:

When the oceans rise and thunders roar

I will soar with you above the storm

Father, you are king over the flood

And I will still know that you are God

I’ve often sung it with misty eyes when I was around 19 until I graduated from college. This song is like a warm hug from a father, the Heavenly Father (I lost my father at 18) reassuring me that He is sovereign in every hardship of life.

3. One Way – Hillsong United

As a teenager this was my favorite upbeat Christian music. I feel nostalgic listening to it today. I was angsty and skeptic before yet I couldn’t help but sing along every time I heard it played.

Favorite lyrics:

You are the way, the truth and the life

I live by faith and not by sight

For you, we’re living all for you

It became part of my teenage Christian life. This good music contains wonderful memories of my youth and hearing it again always gives me the same and familiar excitement and fascination my adolescent heart used to feel.

4. None But Jesus – Hillsong

This was my song for God when I was still single. I never looked for a partner because I was preoccupied by a lot of things. I seldom had crushes and committing to a relationship was my last priority. I sometimes regard myself as a plant, living and growing but no physical attraction, no apparent gender. It’s ridiculous to admit but I thought I was too ugly to have a boyfriend. I have been comfortable with plain jeans, t-shirts and sneakers and feminine clothes don’t suit my malnourished and curveless body. Like a plant, another plant isn’t required to get through life. Sunlight and water are all it needs and God was my sun and He ordered the clouds to pour water on me. I was boyish and a NBSB but little did they know, I just had poor self-concept. I thought nobody would love and accept me as who I was because I was hideous, nobody, no one, none but Jesus.

Favorite lyrics:

There is no one else for me

None but Jesus 

Crucified to set me free

Now I live to bring Him praise

5. You Are For Me – Kari Jobe

I found comfort from this song in my first months of working abroad. Frustration and exhaustion at work, culture shock, adjustment period distressed me tremendously but this music helped me carry on. I used to listen to it 10 times a day for many months. Every time I listen to it again I remember how weak I was, how I cried out to God because I needed strength to go on with my life. I remember my darkest days and through this music I found light. I remember how this music lingered in my ears like a voice of angel (Kari Jobe’s voice is angelic) from heaven reminding me of this fact: God will never forsake me in my weaknesses.

Favorite lyrics:

I know that You are for me

I know that You are for me

I know that You will never

Forsake me in my weaknesses

And I know that You have come now

Even if to write upon my heart

To remind me who You are

6. Your Love Never Fails – Chris Quilala

In 2015, I searched good music on YouTube and found this. This music sounds so good and its lyrics hit me like a bullet straight through my heart, bull’s-eye. I admired this curly-haired and handsome Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture for his passion for Jesus. I have listened to it when taking shower, eating meal, heading to my duty, going home from work, every hour and every minute of the day until its melody became the natural beat my heart.

Favorite lyrics:

You stay the same through the ages

Your love never changes

There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning 

And when the oceans rage I don’t have to be afraid

Because I know that you love me

Your love never fails

7. For the Lord Is My Tower – Steve Kuban

To me this is special because this was included in Steve Kuban’s concert on August 8, 2014 which was the first concert we attended together with my significant other. The next day, on August 9, 2014 we became a couple. Yes, I convinced myself to become an old maid but God has better ways and plans for us that we don’t expect. He does care about my love life, doesn’t He?

Favorite lyrics:

For the Lord is my tower and He gives me the power

To tear down the works of the enemy

In a difficult hour He will crush the devourer

And bring the power of darkness underneath my feet

8. Steady My Heart – Kari Jobe 

This is my heartbreak song but as my relationship with God grows maturer, my relationship with my boyfriend also grows stronger. God indeed steadied my heart. He taught me how to handle relationship because I was a novice. He taught me the true meaning of love. I wrote about it on my blog post 3 Things I’ve Learned from My Relationship.

Favorite lyrics:

Even when it hurts, even when it’s hard

Even when the world just falls apart

I will run to you ’cause I know that you are 

Lover of my soul, healer of my heart

You steady my heart

9. Give Me Faith – Elevation Worship 

I wished I was the one who wrote it. This song is my prayer to God when my faith wavers and my doubt increases. Give me faith, Father God. If I would sing my prayer to Him, it would be Give Me Faith.

Favorite lyrics:

Give me faith to trust what You say

That You’re good and Your love is great

I’m broken inside, I give You my life

10. Here In My Life – Hillsong

The first time I heard it my soul knelt down to God and worshipped and since then this song got stuck in my head for several weeks. I am happily diagnosed with Last Song Syndrome. I can still hear my mind singing it if I will just listen. Its lyrics are my unspoken words for God. Jesus, You’re the reason why I live, I breathe, I love, I hope, I forgive, I strive, I persevere, I trust, I pray. You’re the reason why I blog. Without you here in my life I probably will jump off a cliff or ingest poison because there is no reason to exist. I can’t thank you enough so let me kneel down before You.

Favorite lyrics: 

You are my freedom

Jesus you’re the reason

I’m kneeling again at Your throne

Where would I be without You

Here in my life, here in my life

I may add more and more songs to this list as time goes by. God has been using these songs and many other Christian songs to bring us back to Him, to win our hearts, to know Him more, to remind our forgetful souls, to heal and restore our spirit. The song writers and singers are certainly talented people but without Christ in them their songs are merely noise. I am grateful for their lives.

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Why We Shouldn’t Follow Our Hearts

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I thank God for this man.

Follow your heart. We’ve heard it from famous people, websites, social media quotes, songs, movies and books. It’s a belief that our heart is our guide to complete bliss. It sounds really tempting and liberating but as a person who sometimes uncontrollably obey her heart’s commands, I would like to share with you why our heart can be a trap leading us to complete destruction.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” -Proverbs 4:23 NLT

The heart has sinful tendencies.

I always assess my heart and I could find the most sickening things the human mind can ever conceive. Whenever I am filled with rage, my pulse races, my heart pounds and our heart urges us to pour out our anger to the person who hurt us. Hurt him back! Slap her on the face! Destroy her! Make his life miserable! The heart has sociopathic tendencies. The heart tells us to do things based on our selfish inclinations without proper judgment. Our heart is egocentric by nature and it doesn’t favor those who disapprove of us.

I honestly don’t trust my heart when I’m extremely infuriated because I know I can regret the things I might uncontrollably say or do. I might kill or blabber hurtful words more painful than killing. Once spoken, it can never be taken back. Though we can forgive, the damaging words can’t be forgotten. I don’t trust my heart when I’m hurt because I tend to care less than I used to and betrayal might replace sincerity and hate might replace love. In grocery shopping, I don’t trust my heart when I’m starved because I have a tendency to buy more edible stuff than I ought to. The heart is irrational and wicked because human beings are naturally sinful. You’re lying if you claim that you have never thought evil in your heart.

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” -Matthew 15:19 NIV

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” -Jeremiah 17:9 NIV

The heart is not a leader to be followed but a servant that should be tamed and led. Because to obey every impulse of the heart is to be enslaved by it and though difficult, it isn’t impossible to control our vicious drive. Self-control can be taught.

The heart must be changed.

God knows the secrets of our hearts (Psalm 44:21) and He knows exactly its depravity and weaknesses. He doesn’t tell us to follow our sinful passions but He wants our hearts to be made new. Knowing that our heart is filthy, God wants to give us a brand-new heart.

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” -Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)

But how can God change our hearts? As we submit to His sovereignty, we humble ourselves before Him and we let Him turn our broken heart into a whole heart. We allow Him to change our polluted heart into Christ-like heart which is pure and purposeful. Is it possible that God can transform a completely evil heart and make it clean? If you’ve read my ancient blog which I deleted all the contents, you’ve known me as a self-absorbed whiner. I honestly created another anonymous blog where I blatantly raved about my bitterness and angst and cusses added spice to my suicidal write-ups. Old fellow bloggers and readers will likely to give a second look at this site and think that I’m entirely different person. God has put a new heart and a new spirit in me and I’m jubilant to know what kind of person I turned out to be: a blogger who has a heart which is after God’s heart and encourages others to draw close to Him and not the old one who had succumbed to her egocentric temperament and rarely wrote about happiness because she was downcast.

But we aren’t as perfect as Jesus. We still forget that God has already made our heart new whenever we let evil conquer us. But the changed heart will keep on following the heart of Jesus. I remember a song ‘From the Inside Out’, thousand times I’ve failed , still Your mercy remains. Should I stumble again, still I’m caught in your grace. As long as we keep on seeking His heart, He doesn’t count our mistakes.

Follow the heart of Jesus.

A brand-new heart that has changed by God is a heart that follows the heart of Christ. How well do we know Jesus? As a kid, I was taught that He is holy and I grew up celebrating His birth every 25th of December, though no one knows His exact birth date. But we shouldn’t stop there. To fully get to know Jesus is to be overwhelmed by his sufferings for the sake of our eternal life. The more I understand His great love for me, the more I love Him. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). He wants to have a relationship with you, like a merciful father to his rebellious son and like a best friend that listens and understands. But when I was a child, I was looking for His physical presence, and thinking, ‘how can I speak to Him when I can’t hear Him answer back? How can He comfort me when I can’t feel His warm hug? Where is Jesus?’

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20

Jesus Christ is in us and His is spirit dwells in us when we surrender our selfish desires to the perfect will of the Lord. So whenever I want to feel Jesus, I let His spirit manifest in me and His heart be my heart. I know it isn’t easy but like a playboy who fell in love with a girl who also loves him dearly, his love for her changed him to become a better man.

This song is my personal message for Jesus who loves us more than we can imagine.