I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, but I wanted to share with you some songs that my heart has been delighting in recently. May you welcome the Lord into your heart with praise for His magnificence. I hope you enjoy!! 🙂
Archive for the ‘Poems, Songs & Lyrics’ Category
: the emotion evoked by well-being
: a state of happiness or felicity
Two years ago I was going through a heart break situation. In that, I visited a church in which the pastor spoke joy over me. A year later I visited another church and again the word joy was given to me in prayer. Then again just a few weeks ago, I visited yet another church and there the pastor also prayed for me to receive the joy of the Lord. All different churches, all different people but the same message. I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me to receive joy as my healing strength! But how do I do that?
… the JOY of the Lord is my strength. – Nehemiah 8:10. This verse of scripture packs a punch of truth in such a short statement! (Read this awesome commentary) When I earnestly meditate on God and the great and amazing work He does for me and through me, I in turn take on an attitude of praising Him. When my attention is turned outwardly away from my selfish “pitty-party-of-one” attitude and onto Him and serving others, I see joy in Him – in His work on the cross for me. In His little day-to-day acts of love towards me. And in seeing His amazing hand go forth as I serve Him. The enemy wants me to focus on myself, but the Lord wants me to focus on Him. Thank you Jesus that my joy is found in all things You and that you give me strength to refocus my life.
After several weeks of amazing experiences in serving Christ, His people and in hearing and meditating on His amazing transforming power, I think I have a better understanding at what it means to have a glimpse of joy in Christ. I pray and hope that I continue to receive deeper understanding of this joy as I draw closer to Christ, and that I can give you further encouragement as I go along. May joy become our normal beattitude of living!
For fun, here are a few new songs to listen to and enjoy!!
A few months ago I joined the Singers group at our church. The Singers is a small contemporary choir that sings on stage with the worship team leaders. It has been such a blessing to me to be a part of the Singers! When I sing, I am filled with so much delight to God. I absolutely love looking out to the congregation and seeing everyone worshiping Jesus. As I’m on stage I look up to the people on the upper level and my spirit says, yes, I sing and raise my hands in praising God with you! When I look at the bottom level my eye catches a lady singing along with us in sign language, and my spirit rejoices with hers. In these moments, my heart leaps with joy, and I can’t even imagine the fullness of joy in brings to God as His glory resounds.
Maybe I sound like a dork in all this, but I absolutely love worship to God. So much so that just recently I bought an authentic djembe drum to join others in playing worship music. I have always wanted to play the drums but I never have. In May I took a few lessons to get comfortable with it and a few weeks ago I joined my fist drum circle in worship to God.
Yes, praise God. I wanted to share these experiences with you because earlier today I came across one of my older blog posts (My Hear Sings) about singing to God and He has heard my desire and has brought joy to my heart! Psalm 28:7 … My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Recently my sister shared with me that the song “How Can I Keep from Singing” by Chris Tomlin reminds her of my heart to worship. It brought tears to my eyes, but yes, that’s exactly what it’s like. Thank you Jesus for filling the desire in my heart to offer you a full heart of worship through singing and instruments. May the glory always be yours!!
Grace is defined as God’s unmerited favor.
That is, grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve.
It’s been a rough few days here at the office. I had unintentionally let some things slide through the cracks in some of my projects and now my mistakes are all being discovered all at one time. Yikes! Not good. With all these mishaps, I am feeling very much on edge thinking that I may get fired any day now. How could I let so much go wrong in such short amount of time? And in the midst of the tension, my email has been surprisingly silent. I thought surely I better start packing up my things and updating my resume.
Then yesterday after lunch, my boss came to my desk. He leans over my partition wall, hands me a napkin and says, “Here’s half a cookie. I cut it in half so that it makes a smile for you.” How sweet (pun intended). He knew how I was feeling and wanted me to feel better.
Shortly after I got the cookie, I heard a silent voice from the Lord say to me, “you are given grace.” Almost immediately, tears filled my eyes as I stared into the air. The Lord was telling me that I was being extended grace and that things were going be okay. This whole week I had been thinking about what the punishment and consequence were going to be for my bombing mistakes, but instead I was given grace. Wow, such a God-like gesture. He’s giving me grace and mercy. Aside from the Cross, I think this is the biggest act of grace I can remember. Then, to reinforce His message, the Lord confirmed “grace” to me when the Holy Spirit prompted me with the song “Only Grace” by Matthew West.
Praise to You, Jesus. For You have used this to bring glory to Your Name. Let me always remember Your act of grace and the acts of grace from others. This conforms us to Your image. And may I also extravagantly extend grace to others. Thank You for Your peace despite the difficult situation. Glory be to Your great name.
So ultimately, my circumstance may not be monumental in the long-term, but the lesson surely is. God extends His grace to us in so many ways. And in this lesson, I also discovered that the very last verse in the Bible in the very last book references His grace, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” (Rev. 22:21)
Hebrews 12: 14-15
Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
1 Peter 1:2
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
This month’s songs are about our redemption after the cross of Christ and one is about reverence to the Creator. Although some of these songs may be familiar, listen closely to the lyrics and surround yourself in the beauty of their meaning. If interested, I wrote about the two middle songs in a previous post Out of the Ashes.
Just recently, I received life changing news. You know, the kind of news that you need to just graciously accept and move forward with despite your broken heart behind it. In the midst of coming to grips with the reality of the news, the Lord revealed a few songs to me. Ironically, one of them I had just heard for the first time only a few weeks prior.
The first song was “Aftermath” by Hillsong United’s most recent album.
I love the message of this song, and these are the verses from the lyrics that resonated deep from my Spirit early last week:
And in that moment, of glorious surrender
Lifted out of the ashes, I am found in the aftermath
In those words, the Spirit was revealing to me that even though I may fee like I am ashes (dead with my dream), the Lord finds me in the aftermath of the destruction. In my glorious surrender to my dream, in death to my desire, He finds me and lifts me up. It is quite beautiful, touching and loving when I think about it.
Later that same week, the Lord woke me in the morning to these words from a different song:
Out of the ashes, beauty will rise.
Those words from, “Beauty Will Rise,” by Steven Curtis Chapman. With this one, the Lord was reminding me that I will rise from the death, the disappointment and he will make it all new! I will rise as beauty out of the ashes!
Both songs have very different sounds and mood, but the Lord brought them both together for me to give me a message of hope beyond death. Praise God! Although tough to face and experience, I receive the hope He is bringing me.
What is the difference between a praise song and a worship song?
I love it! Great simple question that would otherwise go unanswered thinking that the answer is obvious. However, to those that may be new to faith, or did not grow up in a culture that exercised music liberties, the distinction may not be so clear. Here is my answer along with some sample songs that I hope will help you understand the difference.
Praise means to express gratitude and admiration. So in a praise song, the lyrics tend to be more about thankfulness and the melody is rather upbeat and cheerful. Many times, the lyrics mention God’s sovereignty, His majestic holiness, His good nature, grace, etc. and we sing as cheerful followers. Congregations clap-along, jump, sway and are all together making a joyful noise. At church you may notice that services often start with “praise” songs to get the congregation moving and alive.
Here are a few of my current favorite praise songs:
Worship means to express reverence and adoration. Worship songs in Christian settings have lyrics that tend to go deeper into the heart. They are piercing to the point of tears. They stir the heart to reflection and change. Here, congregations tend to stand still and lift their hands in surrender. Sometimes people are on their knees, on the floor, or simply bowing their heads as they sing.
Here are a few of my current favorite worship songs: