Music Feed

the fourth man

Screen Shot 2020-03-07 at 7.26.17 AM“. . . be sure of this: I am with you always”

(The words of the fourth man in Matthew 28:20, NLT)

I just came across a cool song by the 3 Heath Brothers called, "Smell of Smoke." It is based on the third chapter of the book of Daniel in the Bible. Give it a read and keep your eyes peeled for the fourth man. And then check out the song below!

There’s a fourth man in your flame;

everybody watching, they’ll be amazed,

. . . You’ll come out of that fire,

And you won’t even smell of smoke.

 


Singing and Praying

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The one who sings prays twice. —Augustine

 

The song, "Goodness of God," has been the constant soundtrack of my heart these past few days. I sing it in the shower and I sing it on my way to work. I sing it louder during my drive home. It is on my mind when I go to sleep and it is the song that I am humming when I awake in the morning.

I have been doing a lot of singing lately, and according to Augustine, twice as much praying.

But how can I not? God's mercy never fails me, he holds me in his hand. He's with me through the fire and in the darkest night.  All my life he has been faithful and so, so good. Even when I'm faithless, he's there, running after me—as a loving father and a faithful friend.

I will keep singing, with every breath that I am able, of the goodness of God. 

Check out this great song . . . and sing (and pray) along!

 


drowning . . . or dancing?

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These lines are from a song that I recently came across by the group, We The Kingdom, called “Dancing On the Waves.” The song is one that God is singing to us. It tells of God’s extravagant love for people. It speaks of God’s understanding and compassion for us all in lines like these:

You're weary fromitall

Been running fortoo long

I'm here to bring youhome

. . .

Your past is dead and gone

Your healing has begun

I'm making all things new

The song title refers to water and waves and we know, either from the news updates on our phone or a quick glance in the mirror, that we’re all sinking in this vast ocean called life. We are drowning, either because of rough waters that surround us or due to entanglements (self-imposed or otherwise) that are pulling us under.

But God, the one who set every star into place and yet calls us His masterpiece, says this:

I'm reaching out, I'll chase you down

I dare you to believe how much I love you now,

Don't be afraid, I am your strength

We'll be walking on the water, dancing on the waves 

In Matthew 14:29-31 (NIV) it says, “Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

We can't control the wind and the waves and we can't keep ourselves from sinking. But what we can do is trust. Don't doubt the One who says,

I'm reaching out, I'll chase you down

I dare you to believe how much I love you now

It's the difference between drowning . . . or dancing.

Check out this song from We The Kingdom, and be blessed.

 

 


He put death to death - Easter Sunday

Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 7.52.31 AMBecause God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

(Hebrews 2:14-15, NLT)

Photo by Robert J. DeGray

Up and into the day. I enjoyed listening to the song, “His Heart Beats,” by Andrew Peterson. Easter is a time to remember that Jesus came and put death to death. I am reading The Slavery of Death by Richard Beck and he states that rather than sin leading to death, death leads to sin.

Huh?

As I entertain the power of death, with the end that it seemingly holds and the emptiness and the unknown that it affords, I am affected to live selfishlygetting all I can out of life right now. JOMO, the Joy Of Missing Out, controls me rather than hope and faith in God.

If the fear of death dictates our lives then we will strive for all that we can get. We will see every person and situation that “trespasses” against us (makes us late, costs us time and money, hurts us by what they do or don’t do, etc.) as the enemy, and we will treat them accordingly. We will even treat our loved ones as enemies if they stand in the way of us getting all that life offers.

When we live in the fear of death we live under the Sword of Damocles, with persistent thoughts like: the clock is the ticking, don’t let anything stop you from getting all that is yours, and look out for number one. In the fear of death we do all that we can to avoid the ticking crocodile through things like, fitness, cosmetics, surgery, hair plugs, new stuff, a new spouse . . . and on and on it goes.

The fear of death leads to sin. The fear of the Lord leads to wisdom and life. On Easter, the Lord put death to death. Thus, with hope we can say, “He is Risen!” and we can live as if, "He is Risen Indeed!"

 

His Heart Beats
by Andrew Peterson / Ben Shive
 
His heart beats
His blood begins to flow
Waking up what was dead a moment ago
And His heart beats, now everything is changed
'Cause the blood that brought us peace with God
Is racing through His veins
And His heart beats
His heart beats
 
He breathes in
His living lungs expand
The heavy air surrounding death turns to breath again
He breathes out
He is word and flesh once more
The Lamb of God slain for us is a Lion ready to roar
And His heart beats
 
So crown Him the Lord of Life
Crown Him the Lord of Love
Crown Him the Lord of All
 
He took one breath
And put death to death
Where is your sting, O grave?
How grave is your defeat
I know, I know His heart beats
 
He rises, glorified in flesh
Clothed in immortality, the firstborn from the dead
He rises, and His work's already done
So He's resting as He rises to reclaim the Bride He won
And His heart beats
 
So crown Him the Lord of Life
Crown Him the Lord of Love
Crown Him the Lord of All
 
He took one breath
And put death to death
Where is your sting, O grave?
How grave is your defeat
I know, I know His heart beats
 
The last enemy to be destroyed is death
The last enemy to be destroyed is death
He must reign until no enemy is left
The last enemy to be destroyed, to be destroyed is death
 
His heart beats, He will never die again
I know that death no longer has dominion over Him
So my heart beats with the rhythm of the saints
As I look for the seeds the King has down
To burst up from their graves
 
I know, I know
He took one breath
And put death to death
Where is your sting, O grave?
How grave is your defeat
I know, I know
He took one breath
And put death to death
Where is your sting, O grave?
How grave is your defeat
How great, how great is His victory
I know, I know His heart beats
I know, I know His heart beats
His heart beats
 

do you remember to remember?

IMG_4780Do you remember to remember?

I seldom do. But when I do remember to remember, it is rich.

One thing that helps me in my remembering is my journaling habit. Every morning I download onto paper all the stuff that is in my head and in my heart, and the result is a haphazard collection of thoughts, whinings, wishes, memories, thanksgivings, frustrations, rejoicings, repentance, ponderings, pontifications and desperate prayers that are barely suitable for my eyes only—and yet, somehow God uses it all for good in my life.

For me, journaling is an act of in-the-moment, short-term remembering that I find extremely helpful. But the real payoff is when I look back in my journals—at the vaporous days, months, years and decades of my life—and recall, reminisce, weep, rejoice, reflect and remember. Without fail, in all my rememberings, I see the unmistakable threads of God’s mercies (which run into the billions) and the relentless, extravagant, faithful grace of God, woven in and through the story my life. (Ps. 119:156, MSG)

When I remember to remember, it is rich. It is how I learn and grow and become.

John Dewey says, “We do not learn from experience . . . we learn from reflecting on experience.” Just doing things and experiencing them isn't enough. The power to learn, change, grow and become is primarily realized in and through those things that we think about and reflect upon. Experience teaches us that there are some things to be avoided and there are some elements of the remembered past that may well be worth repeating. In God’s economy and grace it's about becoming all that we can be in Him. A primary way to do that is through remembering.

The story of God is replete with references to the act of remembering. From the early days in the lives of the Children of Israel, to the last few hours of Jesus’ time on earth, remembering is primary to the very core of being a follower of God. With his eyes on the future, Jesus sat at the table with the disciples and he equated the bread and wine before them with his body, blood, life and impending death upon the cross, and then He entreated them to regularly partake of the elements and when they do, . . . to remember.

“We won’t walk into God’s good future if we have no memories of God’s mighty acts on our behalf in the past. Or at least, we won’t walk into the fullness of that future, with all the power and healing force for our communities that God intends. Again and again in Scripture, one of the fundamental rhythms is that of remembrance.”

                                            —Len Hjalmarson

What got me started on all this thinking and talk of remembering is a song I recently came across by Steven Curtis Chapman called, “Remember to Remember.” The song and accompanying video moved me greatly (ok, I must admit, I wept). It caused me to remember and, it called me to remember.

So, I leave you with this: take a walk, go on a hike, find a quiet place and reflect; let the memories linger, resonate and . . .

Remember the way He led you up to the top of the highest mountain

Remember the way He carried you through the deepest dark

Remember His promises for every step on the road ahead

Look where you've been and where you're going

And remember to remember

                —Steven Curtis Chapman

(Check out the song and video below.)

 

 


the conversation continues

I'll say it again, Andrew Peterson is one of my favorites.  I have been listening to his music for a long time.  His songs fill my iPhone and I find them to be the perfect traveling companions.  Whether I'm on a long bus ride to Seoul or on an even longer plane ride to--who knows where--I am listening to Andrew Peterson.

I'm not just listening though, I'm conversing.  Andrew's music always leads me to engage in a conversation between the song, my heart and God.  I think it's because Peterson's music resonates in the thin places where real life and God interact with and encounter one another.

Here's a song about growing up, coming of age and trusting in God.  I have been there and am doing that. 

The conversation continues.



much needed medicine

DSC01710I love listening to music-lots of different kinds-and in my musical wanderings I recently came across a guy named John Mark McMillan.  Wow.  (Yeah, I know, he's been around awhile . . .)  I like his music, his lyrics and his style.  McMillan's song, Skeleton Bones, is a cool one (see video below).  In the song he speaks about our hearts, he refers to Ezekiel 37 where God breathes life into a valley of dry bones (skeletons) and throughout the song he points us to God-the true source of hope, joy, love and life.

Skeleton Bones comes from the album, The Medicine.

I needed this song.  Maybe you do too.  I have included the song/video and the lyrics below.  Enjoy.


Peel back our ribs again
And stand inside of our chest
We just want to love you
We just want to love you yeah

Peel back the veil a time
Let us see you with our naked eyes
We just want to love you
We just want to love you yeah

Skeleton bones stand at the sound
Of eternity on
The lips of the found
Grave stones roll
to the rhythm of the sound of you

Skeleton bones stand at the sound
Of eternity on
The lips of the found
Yeah so separate those doors
Let the sun of resurrection in

Oh let us
Adore the son of glory
Dressed in love
Open up your gates
Before him
Crown him
Stand him up

We want your blood to flow inside our body and
We want your wind inside our lungs
We just want to love you
We just want to love you yeah

Skeleton bones stand at the sound
Of eternity on
The lips of the found
Grave stones roll
to the rhythm of the sound of you
Skeleton bones stand at the sound
Of eternity on
The lips of the found
Yeah so separate those doors
Let the sun of resurrection in

Oh let us
Adore the son of glory
Dressed in love
Open up your gates
Before him
Crown him
Stand him up

Everything that Breaths
Yeah


Harmony

DSCF3125My daughter, Becca, is an amazingly talented musician and a wonderful young lady.  She has some talented friends too. As high schoolers they share lots of laughs and good times together, but they don't waste all of their time just goofing off.  Just for fun, they write music, make songs and create beauty.

Below is the most recent creation by Becca, John and Peter.  This is a song that Becca (vocal/piano), John (vocal) and Peter (guitar) recently wrote (music and lyrics) and they debuted the song at an Amnesty Int'l fundraiser at TCIS.  Even though the piano was a bit out of tune with itself and with the guitar, the song was terrific. 

It is a song sung by a boy and a girl who are in love.  They sing about how the characteristics of their true love compliment one another and the result is beautiful harmony.

Enjoy!