Posts Tagged ‘ Music ’

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – My Hymns & Songs – 10/14/2018 – Washed and Whole

As we continue looking at hymns and songs that majorly impacted my my spiritual life – and I offer a reminder to check out the other blog I contribute to, ProverbialThought.com, and the daily thoughts on the Bible (specifically Proverbs) – I offer another two songs that directly relate to last week’s hymns.

Mighty Is the Power  of the Cross

Lyrics

What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?
Brokenness

[Chorus:]
Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father’s love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones
What can save and overcome?
Overcome

[Chorus:]

It’s a miracle to me
And It’s still a mystery [2x]
It’s a miracle to me
The power of God
For those who believe

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is …
Mighty is …
Mighty is the power of the cross

Thank You for the cross [2x]
Love the cross [2x]
So Powerful …
What can take a dying man?
And raise him up to life again?

Worship You Jesus
By your wounds we are healed
By your wounds we are saved
Mighty is the power of the cross [2x]
Thank You Jesus for the Holy cross

Nothing but the Blood

Lyrics

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

[Refrain]
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

[Refrain]

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

[Refrain]

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

[Refrain]

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

[Refrain]

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

[Refrain]

A few thoughts:

As discussed last time, the cross is central to Christian theology and doctrine. It is the ultimate demonstration of love, that the Father loves us and the Son calls us friends, willing to lay His life down for us (John 15, 1 John 3:16).

Further, there is no forgiveness of sins but by the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9-10), and Christ’s blood being spilled is what has brought us peace with God and cleansed us of our sin (Isaiah 53, Hebrews 13).

 

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – My Hymns & Songs – 10/07/2018 – Wondrous and Rugged

Let us continue looking at the hymns and songs that have made a big impact on my spiritual life.

This week, I bring you two hymns that are simply … wondrous.

The Old Rugged Cross

Lyrics

  1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
    And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
    For a world of lost sinners was slain.
    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it someday for a crown.
  2. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
    Has a wondrous attraction for me;
    For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
    To bear it to dark Calvary.
    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it someday for a crown.
  3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    A wondrous beauty I see,
    For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    To pardon and sanctify me.
    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it someday for a crown.
  4. To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
    Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
    Where His glory forever I’ll share.
    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it someday for a crown.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Lyrics

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

A few thoughts:

The work of the cross is central to Christianity!

Without the perfect, sinless sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, there is no forgiveness of sin. Without the atoning work of Christ on the cross, we are still steeped in and deceived by our sin.

Did Jesus gladly bear our sins?  Yes.  Did He enjoy the process?  Absolutely not.

For the joy set before Him, having the hope of eternity with the Father and joined with the Saints, He endured the pain and shame of the cross to bring about our forgiveness. (Philippians 2, Hebrews 12)

If we claim to believe it, we are no longer our own (and never really were). Instead, we are God’s, and He commands all of our life. We owe Him everything, for He made the ultimate sacrifice to redeem our souls and our life on this Earth.

Turn to the cross and repent. Allow Christ to indwell you and change you by the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – My Hymns & Songs – 09/30/2018 – A Shout Out

How about a new series?!

Okay.

To close out the year (the last three months), I will revive Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas to go through some of my favorite songs. Specifically, I want to cover the songs that have had a major impact on my life, and more specifically on my spiritual life.

So, how about we begin at the beginning?

A New Shout to the Lord

One song that has perennially been there for me is from the very beginning: meaning, from the day I first bent my knee to my Lord as Savior.  It has played (not by my doing) for every major life event, as well (Deciding to go to college, starting a ministry, moving to Arizona, finding my wife, changing churches, accepting ministry positions).  But it started with playing as I first went to the altar to pray, on January 9, 2000.

So, why not share the version that started it all:

Shout to the Lord – Darlene Zschech

And for good measure, one of my favorite renditions:

Shout the Lord – The Insyderz

Lyrics

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have
In You

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

You’re my comfort
(My comfort)
And my shelter
(My shelter)
You’re my tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have
In You

A few quick thoughts:

When we seek God, we will be filled with wonder. It becomes impossible to not be fascinated by all that He as done and can do, most importantly that He is powerful enough to create literally everything and then redeem His creation from the Fall we created through sin.

And at the end of history, mountains will bow down and the seas will roar as they are consumed by fire as He ushers in the new heavens and Earth.

So, He deserves all our praise. May we shout it loud!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – Going Back with David Dunn

I promise I am not simply choosing songs that John Piper and others have said they disagree with!

Why do I say that?

Well, in my last Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas I discussed Hillsong’s “What a Beautiful Name”, which included a response to John Piper’s response.

Similarly, today’s song has had a few negative responses, including one I listened to from John Piper about a month and a half ago.

The gist of the negative reactions is this: it sounds too much like David Dunn wants to go back to living like a child, without having to deal with the problems and pressures of adult life. It seems too much like he wants to go back to a simplistic life in which there is not much responsibility and we can fall back on a blind faith.

Here is why I disagree and, more importantly, like the song.

(Other than living a simple life as a simple man of God, of course!)

In the first verse, I am hearing less “I want to go back to an easy life when I believed just because” and more “I long for a faith as strong as I remember having.”

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.
Revelation 2:4-5a, ESV

When I listen to this, I am hearing a reminder to have faith like a child (Luke 18:17), not to return to living and thinking like a child (1 Corinthians 13:11).

In the second verse, I hear a reminder to not worry about what others have and do, but to simply love them … which sounds a lot like living out one of the greatest commandments!

However, I think the deepest message is found in the chorus, as it helps us remember how the rest of this is possible.

I am reminded of the Karl Barth quote that he could summarize his work and understanding of theology in the simple lyric “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

What exactly does this mean?

We can rely on Word of God, the Bible and Jesus, to guide us in all truth and inform our faith. Therefore, David Dunn is reminding himself and us that we need to make sure we are digging deeply into the Bible and seeking Christ through devotional prayer (“Devotional” both in the sense of spending time in study and thought as well as out of a deep love).

And the chorus continues with letting this little light shine.

Obviously, this is the call to live out the faith given by God for His glory!

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16, ESV

In other words …

… This song can be simply understood as a call to fall back on the greatest commandments:

  1. Love God with everything you are (Deuteronomy 6:4-5),
  2. Love others (Leviticus 19:18),
  3. Love the Church (John 13:34-35).

David Dunn – I Wanna Go Back Lyrics

When I was a kid
I was sure
I could run across the ocean
And I was gonna be an astronaut

When it was You and it was me
I had everything I needed
Faith could even move a mountain top

And then I grew up
And then I got older
Then my life got tough
And we grew apart

I wanna go back
To Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me
For the Bible tells me so
I wanna go back
To this little light
Gonna let it shine
Gonna let it shine
I wanna go back

When I was a kid
I didn’t care to keep up with the Jones’s
I was just happy that they lived next door

When it was You and it was me
I had everything I needed
Your hands were big enough to hold the world

And then I grew up
And then I got older
Then my life got tough
And we grew apart

I wanna go back
To Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me
For the Bible tells me so
I wanna go back
To this little light
Gonna let it shine
Gonna let it shine
I wanna go back

I wanna go back, back to
Yes, Jesus loves me

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – A Powerful Name – 10/15/2017

Instead of my poetry, as I have done in the past, I am posting a music video, as I have done, with some commentary, as I have done, and a response to what others have said … which I have not done as much, at least in the way I am today!

I know I am far from alone in greatly enjoying worshiping God through song. I can be picky with what I like –  such that I do not always care for some modern church songs, especially if they fall under the “Jesus is my Girlfriend” type music, but not necessarily … – but I am also willing to give songs a chance, especially in certain contexts.

As an example, I have a concern with Hillsong music. The majority of the concern is that the leadership at Hillsong Churches tend to have questionable theology. That being said, I think the music that comes out of the various incarnations of Hillsong bands can be excellent.

One of my recent favorites is “What a Beautiful Name” from Hillsong Worship. Naturally, there has been some controversy. This article sums it up nicely, but it is about John Piper’s response to the song.

More specifically, it is John Piper’s response to the response of the band at church.

Even more specifically, they take issue with the line in the second verse, “You didn’t want heaven without us, So, Jesus, you brought heaven down.”

The concern centers on whether this lyric is too person-centric rather than Christ-centric.

I think there is good reason for this, however, I think a simple introduction to the song could deal with any possible confusion quite easily. If I were the pastor or music leader, I might say something like this:

God is mighty, powerful, and independent. He has no need for others, as He has perfect community and relationship within the Trinity. And God is love (1 John 4:8), therefore He desires others with whom to share that love. It is not out of a need, but a loving desire to create and share that God made humanity. And even though we have done everything in our power to push Him away, God still desired intimacy with us. Therefore, God did the impossible, and He brought heaven – He brought Himself – down to us.

Confusion gone. And the people are given a beautiful expression of God’s love for sinful people.

But, my favorite part of the song?

My favorite part comes in the official lyric video. Immediately after the bridge, to be precise.

Throughout the video, the lyrics appear to be displayed from a rear-projected light. It is how this is done that gets me excited, as throughout much of the song “JESUS” is lit up, slightly translucent, behind the lyrics.

My absolute favorite part, though, is as the bridge comes to an end, and with the lyric “What a powerful Name it is” the Name “JESUS” suddenly bursts in behind as the music reaches a crescendo.

Why is this my favorite?

I know “JESUS” is coming, and as I get to sing “What a powerful Name it is.” The song building to this point reminds me of promise of His return.

His Name appeared in the song, and then it went away.

And then, BAM! BACK! And always behind the worship!

It is just like awaiting the full return of Christ. This event is something we have a vague understanding of, something we can see only slightly in the world today through His Church. And as the things in this world progress, and His Name is shared throughout the world, at a moment which is coming soon, He will appear in glory and power and we will be amazed and worship Him!

Sorry for that run-on sentence, but I got excited!

How can we not when thinking of Christ’s return!

I could talk about so much more in this song, but I think I have gone on enough already. Therefore, I have a hope that you enjoy the song, especially as you anticipate His coming!

What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship

You were the Word at the beginning
One With God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

The Joy of the Lord (and Rend Collective)

I spent the past two years working on a Master of Education in Secondary Education. It took quite a bit of my energy, especially over the past five months when I had to prepare for then fulfill my student teaching experience (in a 7th Grade Math – Pre-Algebra) classroom.

Needless to say, I was busy. I still worked. I had classes and observations to do. That is why this blog took a hit in terms of my attention. This past five months, though, were some of the most tiring and full periods of my life. Only a few things kept me going:

  1. Working at the coffee shop gave me opportunities for ministry. I was involved with bolstering faith in others, practicing my apologetics skills with many non-Christians, and played a role in a couple of people becoming Christians!
  2. My wife and friends encouraged me A LOT!
  3. At my weakest moments, God reminded me of His immanence (which was a common theme in messages I heard this past weekend).

My most common reminder was through a song.

Whether on the radio or during interactions with others in which the song would play, Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective would be exactly what I needed to feel a little stronger for my task.

Joy Of The Lord

Rend Collective

Though tears may fall
My song will rise, my song will rise to You
Though my heart may fail
My song will rise, my song will rise to You
While there’s breath in my lungs
I will praise You, Lord

In the dead of night
I’ll lift my eyes, I’ll lift my eyes to You
When the waters rise
I’ll lift my eyes, I’ll lift my eyes to You
While there’s hope in my heart
I will praise You, Lord

The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness I’ll dance
In the shadows I’ll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength

When I cannot see You with my eyes
Let faith arise to You
When I cannot feel Your hand in mine
Let faith arise to You
God of mercy and love
I will praise You, Lord

Oh You shine with glory Lord of light
I feel alive with You
In Your presence now I come alive
I am alive with You
There is strength when I say
I will praise You, Lord

When sorrow comes my way
You are the shield around me
Always You remain
Like courage in the fight
I hear You call my name
Jesus, I am coming
Walking on the waves
Reaching for Your light

And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
~Nehemiah 8:10b, ESV

There is something to be said to be able to “taste and see that the Lord is God!” And it is a blessing to “[take] refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8) That we can trust Jesus when He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
~Exodus 15:2, ESV

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/01/2015

Find the joy of wisdom, and start with Proverbial Thought!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13, ESV

Whatever you may be going through, good or bad, joyful or miserable, and however it all makes you feel, may you find the true happiness and joy of God today.

how happy You make me

how happy You make me
i do not want to say
Your joy You give to me
every single day
goes beyond mere feelings
to a point beyond words
though i do still have feelings
that are never forced
the things that i do feel
joy and love complete
make me ask if You feel
how happy You make me