Ten Signs of a True Christian


My dad (who is a pastor) made this list in 2008 as a powerpoint presentation for a church. I found it while rummaging through some files/emails and thought, hey this would be great to share on the blog! 

It’s a useful tool to evaluate one’s spiritual standing. It may be useful to pass it along to your friends, new believers in Christ, acquaintances, or even church leadership to use.

Feel free to share it on Pinterest, FB, Instagram, etc. I added a pinnable infographic at the end for your benefit!  Please link back to the blog. Thank you.

Ten Signs of a True Christian

1. Has fellowship with the Father and the Son

truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:3,5,6)

Questions: How would you describe your fellowship with the Father and the Son? Do you think that God allows you to walk the dark side of life and still claim Christianity?

2. Loves the brethren

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (1 John 2:9, 10)

Questions: Do you claim to be a Christian but you don’t attend Church because you cannot stand believers?

3. Does not love the world’s values

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15,16,17

Questions: Are you a materialistic person? Is Las Vegas something you long for? Is the bar your “cool” environment? Are you up-to-date with the latest fads in fashion? Do you entice your flesh with alcohol, drugs, and too much food? Do you curse? Do you intentionally lust with your eyes or watch pornography? Do you live in immorality and claim that fornication is not graver than any other sins? Are you a prideful person, bragging about how good you are in different areas of life?

4. Lives in continual sanctification and practical righteousness

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
(1 John 2:9, 29)

Questions: Do you quickly confess your sins? Is your righteousness a reality outside the Church walls?

5. Practices charity

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:17, 18)

Questions: Are you indifferent concerning the poor brother or the poor family in your church? Do you always find new toys or gadgets to buy, and neglect the needy? Is your Christian love just a slogan?

6. Can not be overcome by false prophets/teachers and false doctrines

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4: 1-6)

Questions: Do you care about truth and accuracy in your faith? Are you afraid not to offend people’s convictions and therefore you don’t discuss “religion”? Are you an Emerging Church promoter? Do you think that all the religions lead to God? Do you think Christ is like any other founders or prophets of different religions?

7. Loves God

We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:19-21)

Questions: Do you ever tell God you love Him? After wandering a little bit form the truth do you long for God?

8. Has the right view of Christ as being God in flesh and the Christ/Messiah

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. (John 1:1, 2, 14; 1 John 5:1)

Questions: Do you totally uphold the deity of Christ based on what the Word says? Do you believe that He is the promised Messiah?

9. Is Trinitarian

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)

Questions: Do you agree with the Bible that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are co-equal, co-eternal, and co-substantial?

10. Is diligent in reading the Word, attending Church, taking the Lord’s Supper and Praying

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

Questions: Do you read the word daily? Is God talking to you through His Word? Do you take Communion? Are you praying alone and with others?

 
Copyright 2008-2015 Heritage of Grace

Discovering rare and interesting instruments

~ Music is what feelings sound like

Today is not just another Sunday in June, it is not just another weekend, today is National Music DayAbout 120 countries and 700 cities participate in this musical celebration day. If you didn’t know that, you’re not the only one. I never heard about this day before in my life, until this year. Sad, I know. I love music, I play music, I sing. So I am excited to take part in this musical day with a very special blog post! You will get to read about and hear music from some rare and unique musical instruments. I am intrigued by every one of the instruments listed in this post! And…psst, you know what? My dream and hope is that in the future, I will be able to collect and play each of these instruments myself. Probably sounds silly, but hey, at least one can dream! national music day

Kalimba “Thumb Piano”

It is a cute little instrument that almost sounds like a xylophone. To many people it’s known as the “thumb piano”, and it is also known as mbira. This instrument originates in Africa, and was discovered by European explorers such as the Portugese as early as the 1400s. It is often used in accompaniment to singing. Many charming little songs can be made by using the kalimba, and as the video below shows, it can be quite versatile!

(more info on kalimba)

Nyckelharpa

This odd looking instrument has a surprisingly beautiful, resounding and earthy tone. It is an ancient Swedish instrument, and the name means something like “key-harp”. It is a medieval instrument and variations of the instrument were from as early as 1408. I think it looks like a combination of a violin with a type of accordion. What do you think?

(more info on nyckelharpa here and here)

Ocarina

The name ocarina comes from a Bolognese dialect of Italy, and means “little goose”. The ocarina is quite ancient, and found in many cultures such as the Aztecs, India, China, and then in Europe. It is as old as 5000 B.C. In Europe, the Italians adopted the instrument from Central America in the 1500s, and later, Guiseppe Donati an Italian baker refined the instrument as we know it today. There are many different styles of ocarinas. An interesting historical note: In WWI and WWII, soldiers were given ocarinas to carry with them in war so it will keep their spirits up. I would love to get myself an ocarina! To me it sounds like a Celtic instrument. Listen to these short videos to see how lovely it sounds! The last video may be familiar, one I featured before on the blog. It has a Celtic style song with the ocarina.

(more info on the ocarina here)

Glockenspiel

Glockenspiel means “bell play” in German. This instrument is a combination of two types instruments, one with bells and another instrument called the “metallophone” from Eastern Asia. In the 17th century, the Dutch refined the instrument and arranged it in the shape that it is today, with the rows of metal bars. George Friedrich Handel was the first composer to write music for the Glockenspiel and include it in his orchestra. I just love the sound of the Glockenspiel! It has such a sweet, charming, peppy sound! Listen to this short clip in this video.

(more info on the ocarina here and here)

Bowed Psaltery

The psaltery is originally an instrument that is plucked with the fingers. An ancient instrument, it is referred to in the Bible too. However, the bowed psaltery, which is played with bows like a violin, was invented in the 20th century. It has an interesting sound, and it looks like a fun instrument to play. I think it goes along well in combination with other stringed instruments.

(more info on the psaltery here)

Mountain Dulcimer The Mountain Dulcimer is another hybrid of an instrument. It originated in the Shenandoah River Valley in Eastern United States, from a combination of Scottish and other European folk musical instruments such as German, Swedish, Norwegian and French. It was also an Appalachian mountain instrument. The Mountain Dulcimer has a nice tone.  It reminds me sometimes of fingerpicking guitar. I love it!

(more info on mountain dulcimer here)

Which instrument do you like best? Which would you choose to play? Which do you think is the oddest instrument? 

Praising the Lord

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.” (Psalm 146:1) 

Each of the last five psalms (146–150) begins and ends with: “Praise ye the LORD”—i.e., “Hallelujah.” They comprise a sort of “Hallelujah Chorus”: a grand epilogue to the five books which make up the complete book of Psalms.

It is interesting, even if coincidental, that these five final praise psalms—all thanking God for past deliverances and the promise of an eternal future—contain a total of 153 verses. This is the same as the number of…(Click Here to Continue).

Attribution: © 1994-2013 Institute for Creation Research. All Rights Reserved. http://www.icr.org

I want Vengeance

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
And your bones shall flourish like grass;
The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants,
And His indignation to His enemies.
For behold, the Lord will come with fire
And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury,
And His rebuke with flames of fire.
For by fire and by His sword
The Lord will judge all flesh;
And the slain of the Lord shall be many.
“For I know their works and their thoughts.
It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
(Isaiah 66:14-18) 


(image credit)

Take a moment to absorb the imagery of this passage. The rich description of a day of wrath, a day when vengeance will be served by God, the Lord of the universe.

the hand of the Lord shall be known…

His indignation to His enemies

fire… whirlwind… chariots

render… anger… fury

rebuke… flames of fire 

His sword… 

the slain of the Lord shall be many…

…and they shall come and see My glory

fotos-vulcao-chile-erupcao-impressionante

(image credit)

It’s just beautiful. It is so expressive of the power and wrath of God against evil and His enemies.

This may sound politically incorrect, but I love God’s vengeance. Yes I do. I want revenge on the injustices that happen in life, the crimes, evil, and oppression that the children of God experience.

Yes, life is not fair. Life is full of difficulties and situations where we are wronged.

And guess what-  it is healthy to want to be revenged when you are wronged. It is not Biblical to deny the reality of the need for justice and revenge, and pretend pacifism when something is wrong. Saints in the Old Testament and even in the New Testament asked God to avenge them too! And the Lord did not rebuke them for it.

Here are some examples.

Jeremiah: 
“You know, Lord;
remember me and take note of me.
Avenge me against my persecutors.
In Your patience, don’t take me away.
Know that I suffer disgrace for Your honor. (Jeremiah 15:15)

David:
It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
He delivers me from my enemies. (2 Samuel 22:2).
And David had many other Psalms where He asked God for vengeance, like this one.

Nehemiah:
Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You
(Nehemiah 4:3)

Samson:
Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28)

Paul:
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil; may the Lord repay to him according to his works (2 Timothy 4:14) 

Martyrs in Revelation:
And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:10)

Now, let me qualify the statements I made above. Yes it is healthy to want revenge, but God also commands us to never seek to do justice on our own.

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

But here is the thing most people do not realize- we are allowed to pray for vengeance on evil (not on our brethren). Prayer is powerful.  It is so comforting to know- to be certain, that there will be a final day of vengeance, by the Almighty Ruler of the universe, where all the injustices will be righted and punishment served. It does my soul good to know that I can leave it all up to the One who will bring holy and ultimate vengeance for everything throughout history.

And you know what? The righteous will cheer when they will see God’s vengeance on their behalf:

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
And your bones shall flourish like grass (Isaiah 66:14) 

Have you ever thought of vengeance in this way before? What things would prompt you to ask for God’s vengeance? 

Midweek Music XIV: To celebrate summer

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Let’s celebrate summer with a vibrant, joyful melody. And you may be surprised what kind of music I chose to feature this week. It is church organ music.

I used to dislike organ music. I found it stuffy, outdated, boring, even spooky at times. Some people can make the organ sound like a nightmare. But after attending a church who had a talented, dynamic organ player (who played the organ for about 47 years), and accompanied the church hymns with organ music, I developed an appreciation for this complicated instrument. If it is played correctly, it can lend a majestic, even royal air to the music of the church.

You do have to admire all the effort the musician has to put into playing the organ- using both hands and often both feet! Quite a workout!

This melody is called the Prelude in Classic Style by composer and organ player, Gordon Young. Here is the surprising part. Although it sounds very much like a baroque style music, the piece was composed around 1966!

It is a lovely tune, and I’m sure you all will enjoy it too! This can even be played by a whole orchestra. The moment I heard it played at the end of the church service, I wanted to find out the name of the melody, and thankfully it was listed in the bulletin. Unfortunately, I did not have a recording of the organ player from church, but I found plenty of skilled organ players on youtube.

Have you ever listened to church organ music? What did you (or do you) think of it? 

Coffee Cake Days Book Review

Hello Thursday! 

Let me introduce to you a new book/short story. It is “Coffee Cake Days” by Amanda Tero my friend and fellow blogger.  Banner 01

In this dynamic short story, a young lady named Meg finds out how to balance her spiritual walk with the reality of the demands of daily life. Reading it, there were many instances where I could relate to the frustrations the character was facing and the reactions she was tempted to display when things don’t always go as you plan them in your mind. Amanda did a good job of portraying the interactions and relationships between siblings in the story, especially when it comes to dealing with younger siblings.

Readers will also easily relate the interruptions that regularly happen on a day to day basis in family life.

After reading the story, readers may ask themselves questions such as: how do you relate to your family? how do you react when things don’t go your way?, what do you consider your priorities? There are many Scripture references that weave into the story nicely showing how Meg, the character learns the most important lesson in her spiritual life. The story is a quick and easy read, enjoyable for ages 13- up.

Oh but don’t take my word for it! You can find the book over at Amanda’s website. Drop by and check it out, and share with your friends.

About the Author of Coffee Cake Days: Amanda Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate whose desire is to provide God-honoring reading material. Her current projects include short stories and novels-in-progressWhen she was a young teenager, Amanda was obsessed with writing. However, the Lord helped her to realize that she was writing for her personal pleasures and purposes – not His.

For several years, she put away “pleasure writing” and wrote mainly Biblical articles for several years (which she still continues). She found the time of writing silence beneficial in gleaning from God’s Word and strengthening the focus of why she writes. Since 2013, the Lord directed her to begin writing fiction again. Her desire is to glorify and exalt God in all of her writing. She desires to challenge girls to focus on their relationship with God and grow in Him and His Word. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

Website: http://www.amandatero.weebly.com

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero

Blog: http://www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com

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From my little studio – a sample of handmade cards

Hello lovely readers!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and that means a long weekend here in the United States. It kind of marks the beginning of summer, though ironically we’ve been having weather quite the contrary! In any case, this weekend will find me working long hours, not relaxing. That’s why I’m writing this blog post late at night :D

I wanted to give you a glimpse of handmade art from my little studio. I don’t have a studio per-se, just a bunch of art and craft supplies in different drawers and boxes in my room, and my school desk, but I like to call it a studio. It makes me feel more important and creative, ha, ha!

I like to combine drawing and sketches with card-making, so I practically make most of the cards for every occasion in my family. Even in last-minute situations when we may have unexpected guests or we need a ‘thank you’ card, my dad may say “quick, make a card for so and so!”  In fact, I don’t remember the last time I bought a card.

These cards are just a small sample I made over the course of several months for friends and family. I’ve been making a lot less than I used to do in the past just because as a student, I have less time to dedicate to creativity :/ But I always try to squeeze in a bit of time for that whenever I can.

Some cards are exact replicas of examples I saw online, others are my own creation or a combo.

 

handmade cardsFor Mother’s Day

 

handmade cardsFor a friend’s newborn baby

handmade cardsFor a friend’s birthday

handmade cards For another friend’s birthday

handmade cardsIn gratitude for a gift

handmade cardsFor a young friend’s birthday

Which card do you like best?