Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sovereign Over All


This song is intended as an encouragement for those in either challenging health or other difficult circumstances. Prayer is powerful so lift up the people in your life that you know who are going through a difficult scenario.

Sovereign Over All
God you are creator sovereign over all
You made the mountains and the sea Spring, Summer, and Fall
You're with us on the good days and even on the bad
When things are looking up and when we're feeling sad

Send your power Lord and bring us through the fire
Let your healing come and purify
In everything we face oh Lord be glorified
You are sovereign over all and you are with us through it all

You are a loving Father and when you sent your Son
He won the victory over sin and death was overcome
and now your Holy Spirit is with us every day
Leading us and guiding in the path that we should take

Send your power Lord and bring us through the fire
Let your healing come and purify
In everything we face oh Lord be glorified
You are sovereign over all and you are with us through it all

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Commemorating the 500th Blog Post

Before the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al had become widely used, I started this blog as a way to share fun thoughts, quotes, wisdom, photography, book reviews, music, and encouragement on faith. It also served as a way to keep people in touch with my adventures while living in London and traveling around Europe.

When I started I didn't know that it would eventually turn into a blog primarily oriented towards encouraging people to pursue God's best in their lives. As a result of the process, I've learned a lot about both writing and website technology.

In school, I remember teachers talking about finding your voice as a writer and while I observed that writers had different styles, I didn't think of myself as having a particular "voice." However, as I've written more and more, my writing voice has developed into what you see in recent articles. In earlier posts, the writing had a sometimes whimsical or light hearted tone while also being informative or thoughtful but as the subject matter changed is now geared more towards inspiration and encouragement. Of course, I actively write and record songs and those posts make their appearance as well. Be sure to check out some of the songs on Spotify, iTunes, or YouTube.

The blog has been around through several seasons of life, starting geographically in Kansas City, then London, back to Kansas City, and then moving to Atlanta. Professionally, I've worked in both IT as well as Financial Planning. I've played in various bands, led worship for different church groups and Bible studies, and released a country/southern rock album called Southern's Who I Am. I've gone on a couple mission trips to the Philippines and Estonia as well. Some friendships have endured, others were for a season.

I've also had the opportunity to help two different authors write their first books and was very involved in the editing process. The most recent was Scorpions, Scones, and Your Favorite Playlist by my friend Danee.

As I read back over the articles, I'm glad that I took the time to write and capture pieces of my life and some of the things God was teaching me along the way. Many of the faith oriented articles came out of processing things with God during a quiet time or writing in my prayer journal. When writing an article, the advice can be just as relevant for the author as for the audience. It's one thing to write it and another to internalize it.

The name of the blog, The Pursuit of His Best, comes from a goal of mine and what I hope becomes a goal of those who read the articles. I want to pursue God's best in everything that I do. This sometimes slips from focus but it is what I try to keep coming back to. When I keep my eyes on Him and what He wants for my life, I'm confident that He will lead me to much better things than I could ever accomplish on my own.

Numbers are fun to me so I thought it would be interesting to revisit the most popular posts by view count as well as some of my favorites. According to the Blogger software, there have been 55,355 views with visitors from all over the world since the blog was started.

Top 3 Posts by Number of Views
1. The Friendship Hierarchy
2. Your Own Personal Board of Directors
3. Coffee Haiku

Some Favorite Faith Posts
If you'd like to checkout some past posts by category, click on one of the following categories.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more encouragement, music, and fun. If you want to subscribe via email so you don't miss a post, enter your email address in the box at the top left of the blog.

In pursuit of His best,

Andrew

Saturday, June 03, 2017

All Things Work For Good


Sometimes life doesn't turn out how you think it should. It might be a hope that's unfulfilled, discouragement with a job situation, disappointment over a relationship, frustration with a family scenario, an unmet goal with no completion in sight, or any other number of situations that are difficult to understand. This song speaks to that type of life scenario. God has a master plan and even though we don't always see it in the midst of things, He will work on our behalf for our good and His glory.

A couple verses that inspired the song are: Romans 8:28 and Psalm 139.

If you're interested in downloading the song on iTunes or listening on Spotify click on these links. Download on iTunes
Listen on Spotify

All Things Work For Good
From the start of time you had me in mind and you planned my days
You formed my inmost parts and you know my heart. I am wonderfully made.

I know that things don't always turn out how I think they should
But I know that when I'm walking by your call, all things work for good

You knew I would mess up but then you'd pick me up and you'd give me grace
And if I pursue your best in all I do, you will guide my way

I know that things don't always turn out how I think they should
But I know that when I'm walking by your call, all things work for good

When the sun don't shine, in the dark of night I find, even there you love me

From the start of time you had me in mind and you planned my days
You formed my inmost parts and you know my heart. I am wonderfully made.

I know that things don't always turn out how I think they should
But I know that when I'm walking by your call, all things work for good

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lord of Today

Is Jesus Lord of your today? Many would say that Jesus is Lord of their life but when you break it down to day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, could it be said that he is Lord of that moment? Without intentionally inviting him into your day and acknowledging him as Lord of that day, things can easily get off track.

When you try to do this, it can be hard as people get on your nerves, temptations come at you, traffic is terrible, a coworker annoys you, or you have conflict with someone close to you. It's especially in these moments that it's so important to maintain focus on Him and ask Him to be Lord in that situation too.

In Psalm 55:17 it says: "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." As you go through the next days and weeks, start out each day asking Him to be Lord of your day. As the day goes by, keep checking back in with him and allow him to be Lord of every moment.

In pursuit of His best,

Andrew

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Gethsemane


Gethsemane by Andrew Robert Allen

In 2015, I visited Israel and while on the trip, I had the opportunity to visit the Garden of Gethsemane. The group that I was with had a  meaningful time of prayer and a session of worship that I got to lead. It was a beyond bucket list moment. To actually be in the place where Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified was deeply moving.

I wrote this classical guitar instrumental music a number of years ago and in the video, it is set to the text of the Garden of Gethsemane passage in Mark 14:32-41 where Jesus prays before undergoing the trials and crucifixion. Luke 22:44 documents when Jesus sweat drops of blood. As you listen to the song, meditate on the verses and what Jesus experienced in those moments.

The background photo from the video was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane at the bottom of the Mount of Olives.

In pursuit of His best,

Andrew

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Jesus Son of God


Jesus Son of God by Andrew Robert Allen
Jesus, Jesus Son of God came to Earth Jesus
Jesus, Jesus Son of God bled for us Jesus
A love that's like no other, sent down from the Father
Poor sinners were forsaken, but now their hearts awaken

Jesus, Jesus Son of God came to Earth Jesus
Jesus, Jesus Son of God bled for us Jesus
A lion roars in Judah, the King of Kings victorious
For he has conquered over sin, and death could not contain Him

Jesus, Jesus Son of God came to Earth Jesus
Jesus, Jesus Son of God bled for us Jesus
Jesus, Jesus Son of God came to Earth Jesus

Monday, March 13, 2017

Don't Be An Asa

Crown
Photo by: Dennis Jarvis (archer10)
Asa was by and large a good king of Judah. He honored the Lord with his life and in how he led the people for the majority of his reign. He helped turn them away from idol worship and removed many false gods and the associated images and heathen behavior. At one point, he led the army of Judah and Benjamin against an army of a million men in which they were outnumbered two to one. Despite these overwhelming odds, he trusted in the Lord and asked Him to overcome their enemy. The result was a resounding victory.

A prophet came to Asa after this victory and said, "the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you." -2 Chronicles 15:2b Asa went on to lead Judah in following the Lord with resulting blessings for many years.

However, towards the end of his reign, Asa decided to go outside of God for assistance and do things in his own thinking, his own ability, and with the resources available to him. He ended up hiring a mercenary army to fight on his behalf. While this might have had a semblance of sense from a military and secular perspective, he did not seek out guidance from God or ask for His power to handle the situation. As a result, God withdrew his blessing from Asa and his final years were marked by war and illness.

There is wisdom and practical application that can be drawn from this passage. You may be very skilled at a particular task, profession, relationship, activity, social situation, or any number of different areas of life. In your own ability, you may be able to make things happen and advance your goals. However, if you try to do this without God's involvement or seeking his counsel, at some point, you'll either fail or fall far short of where you could have ended up.

By including Him in the process, He can open doors that otherwise would remain shut. He can create opportunities that would not be available to you. He can make a way in what would be an impossible situation. He can guide you away from making mistakes or aligning yourself with people who may mislead you or be a poor fit. He will allow you to do it without Him but more times than not, avoidable heartache and far less favorable outcomes will result.

As you go through life, don't follow the example of Asa in his latter years; pursue God's best and allow Him to provide for, bless, and lead you.

In pursuit of His best,

Andrew
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