June 29, 2017

My Story

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

If I told you my story,
You would hear hope, that wouldn’t let go
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Love that never gave up
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak, then let it be
of the grace that is Greater than all my sin
of when justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

If I told you my story,
you would hear victory over the enemy
and if I told you my story,
you would hear freedom that was won for me
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life Overcome the grave

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long
this is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long

for the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
o to tell you my story,
is to tell of the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and mercy wins!

of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Big Daddy Weave
written by Jason Ingram and Mike Weaver

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This is the time of year when we, as a nation, take time to focus on what we are thankful for.  We have—this beautiful land in which we live, our freedom to vote, our freedom to worship, our families, our friends, our jobs, and so much more.  We should be full of thanksgiving to our Lord, because He is the Provider of all good things.

And God will generously provide all you need.
Then you will always have everything you need
and plenty left over to share with others…
For God is the One who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.
In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources
and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10

The greatest gift that we should be thankful for is our salvation.  We have salvation when we don’t have freedom.  We have salvation when we don’t have family or friends.  We have salvation when we are out of work and have no income.  We have salvation even when we are in a Third World country.  Our salvation is not dependent on any of these things.

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food.
Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
For God the Father has given Me the seal of His approval.
John 6:27

You see, it’s really Jesus’ story for which I am most thankful.  Our salvation is dependent on Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for us, each of us…not just a select few.  His provision to save us gives us grace, love, hope, life.  It gives us victory over the enemy, and freedom.  Out of His kindness, out of His story comes my story.  I have no story to tell if it were not for Jesus being willing to do His Father’s will and come to earth to live and die and be raised again to new life.

God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9

For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

I can and want to praise my Savior “all the day long.”

  • He gave His love, which never gives up.
  • He provides hope, which won’t let go.
  • He gave His life, so I could have mine.

Oh, the kindness of the Lord compels me to tell/sing of His grace and mercy, which always wins!

In His kindness, God called you to share
in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:10

What are you thankful for during this Thanksgiving season?  Is your list long?  What’s at the top of that list? I’m praying that your salvation is number one.  I’m praying that your story is not based on the things you are thankful for, but on the One you are thankful to.  Tell me your story; I’d love to hear you tell me about Jesus.

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With great thanksgiving, Lord, we come to You.  We come with our hearts bursting with the love and joy we have for You, knowing that all good things come from You.  Thank You for all of Your blessings.  We also come to thank You for our salvation.  Thank You, Jesus, for obeying Your Father’s will, so that we can experience new life with You.  The details of our individual stories may look different, but the truth of our stories is that it is Your story.  We are privileged to share Your Good News with others.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to praise You all the day long so that others will hear Your story and come to You.  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

My Story

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
If I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
If I told you my story
You would hear life but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
To tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
If told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
If I told you my story
You would hear life overcome the grave

‘This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long’

Big Daddy Weave
written by Mike Weaver, Jason Ingram
classical hymn, Blessed Assurance, written by Frances Crosby
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If I told you my story, you would definitely see the hand of God, the Father, providing in ways you couldn’t imagine.  You would see that love wins and the enemy is defeated on so many occasions.  You would see my imperfections being used for His glory and the many times I have been forgiven when  I failed Him.  If I told you my story, you might just see there is hope for yours.

What if we never shared though?  What if we never heard the stories of those who went before us?  Like in John 4…the woman at the well had an incredible story to tell all her people…she had gone to the well, at noon, so no one else would be there.  (Jesus knew though.)  After their encounter, she went away telling all who would listen that Jesus offered her the Living Water that would last forever!  I wonder how many lives were changed that day because she shared?  And today, how many people have found that Living Water and truly understood what Jesus was talking about because her story was told.

Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the men,
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did!
Could this be the Messiah?”
They left the town and made their way to Him.
John 4:28-30

You may be thinking that your story isn’t worth telling.  Or that if you did tell your story, that no one would respect you.  Or if you told it, how that might  affect you?  I say tell it and let God protect you and use you for His glory.  I hear from so many, “If I was called to be a missionary, then I would go tell others.”  Guess what?  We are all called to be missionaries. The Great commission is found in Matthew…do you remember hearing it growing up?

The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them.
When they saw Him, they worshipped, but some doubted.
Then Jesus came near and said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20 HCSB

He gave you the story you have and He wants to use you to give hope.  Pray and ask Him to show you how to start.  Then thank Him for how He is about to use you.

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Let us pray: Dear God, You are so awesome and so worthy of all our praise and worship.  You gave us each a different story of victory to share with others.  I pray today that You give us all the courage to go out and tell the world of Your goodness and grace.  We love You so much and we thank You for being patient when we are slow to share.  Thank You for the Holy Spirit, our Helper and Counselor.  This week, give us opportunities to tell someone our God stories.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Overwhelmed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I see the work of Your hands
Galaxies spin in a heavenly dance,oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming
I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise, oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You
God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free, forever You’ll be my God
All that You’ve done is so overwhelming

You are Beautiful, You are Beautiful
Oh God, there is no one more Beautiful
You are Beautiful, God, You are the most Beautiful

You are Glorious, You are Glorious
Oh God, there is no one more Glorious
You are Glorious, God, You are the most Glorious

Big Daddy Weave / Songwriters: Michael Weaver and Phil Wickham

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Do you ever get overwhelmed when you think about the glorious majesty of the Father???  I love, love, love the part in this song that says “…unashamed because of mercy…”  We don’t have to be ashamed because of the mercy of the Heavenly Father; we can run into His arms and receive His unconditional love.

God’s love is unconditional.  Unlike earthly affection, His love does not fluctuate.

The Father doesn’t care for us more when we have pleased Him
or less when we have failed or sinned.
Charles Stanley

But God showed His great love for us
by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Romans 5:8 NLT

Are you captivated by the beauty of the Father? I love this quote from Captivated By Christ!  (Click here for the full article by George Dillahunty.)

In our Holy Scripture text, for today, Jesus, the Christ, was talking to the Disciple/Apostle Thomas – “Doubting Thomas!” Every blessing – for the Christian true believer – is obtained – by being captivated by Jesus, the Christ – the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Having entered through the “Door,” by repentance and faith, we can continue to experience His Grace by following the path that only He can provide!

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.
John 14:6

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My prayer for this day:
Father, may we all be so ‘captivated by Your beauty’ that we are ‘overwhelmed by Your mercy’ and ‘run into Your arms’…in Jesus’ Name! AMEN!!!

Overwhelmed

I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance, oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

And I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

And God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God

And all that You’ve done is so overwhelming
I delight myself in You
In the Glory of Your Presence
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

And God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

You are Beautiful, You are Beautiful
Oh God, there is no one more Beautiful
You are Beautiful, God you are the most Beautiful

You are Wonderful, You are Wonderful
Oh God, there is no one more Wonderful
You are Wonderful, God You are the most Wonderful

Yes, You are Glorious, You are Glorious
Oh God, there is no one more Glorious
You are Glorious, God you are the most Glorious

I delight myself in You
In the Glory of Your Presence
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

And God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

There is no one more Beautiful
God You are the most Beautiful  

 Sung by Big Daddy Weave  (Music and Lyrics by Mike Weaver/Phil Wickham)

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Have you ever just heard God’s voice so clear, over the noise of all that is around you?  As we were coming home the other night from our anniversary dinner, kids included, this very song came on and I felt His presence.  I heard His voice and I was overwhelmed.  I immediately went to iTunes and found it and downloaded it so I could be taken away to that place again. A place that I literally felt like I was sitting at His feet and looking at the glory that shone around Him and I was calm. Isn’t He just amazing?

Just to see the work of His hands, the green grass and color splashes all over in the different flowers. To see the oceans and the sandy beaches and the sea shells that make perfect homes for the sea critters. Only God. And to hear the sound of His voice, in loud yet gentle ways, is so overwhelming. The thunder and lightning and rain at just the right times. I’m in awe of our Creator.

“Lord, the way You wait patiently for us to find our way home after a hard, tiring road we took, and the grace and mercy that are ours for free, a gift from You, the Lover of our souls. The Cross that Your Son died on to save us from our sins, so that we could live free here on earth and one day go to Heaven to be with You for eternity, is so overwhelming and we are forever grateful!”

When the chorus plays, I turn it up really loud and I can’t help the tears that fall at the sound of His name, “God, all that You are, is so overwhelming…I delight myself in You, captivated by Your beauty, I’m overwhelmed by You…God, I run into Your arms, unashamed because of mercy, I’m overwhelmed by You…You are beautiful, oh God, there is no one more beautiful…You are wonderful, oh God, there is no one more wonderful, You are the most wonderful!”  Chills run down my spine that the Lord of everything is in love with me and that He is overwhelmed by me and I by Him. And He loves you so much.  So today, find a phrase of this song, write it on a notecard in big letters, and place it somewhere that you will see it and be reminded of all that He is and all that He has done and the love He has for all of us and the love you have for Him. I pray you hear Him today….

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Let us pray:  Oh Lord, all that You are is overwhelming. Your beauty is beyond compare and Your mercy is so freely given even though we don’t deserve it. Thank You for open arms that wrap us in them and shelter us from this world that sometimes is too much. And may someone hear today from this song, the hope and the message that You want for them to hear. We love You and we praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Only Name (Yours Will Be)

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Yours will be the only Name that matters to me
The only One Whose favor I seek
The only Name that matters to me

Yours will be the friendship and affection I need
To feel my Father smiling on me
The only Name that matters to me

Yours is the Name, the Name that has saved me
Mercy and grace the power that forgave me
And Your love is all I’ve ever needed

When I wake up in the Land of Glory
And with the saints I will tell my story
There will be one Name that I proclaim

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, just that Name

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

 
~  Performed by Big Daddy Weave / Words and Music by Benji Cowart  ~
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Jesus.  The Name that calms storms and heals the sick and raises the dead to living. The blind could see again just by believing in Him.  The woman at the well carried Living Water home with her so she never would thirst again.  And Lazarus, he rose from the dead, just as our Savior would one day.  Jesus.   Doesn’t saying His name just calm you?

His Name is the name that we should seek above all.  Do you know that He experienced everything on earth that we do?  I’m not saying that He sinned, I’m saying that He lived here and walked here and saw the same hurts and sickness that we do.  God sent Him to pave the way for us.  And to experience the same powers that He had.  Of all the things of this world, nothing else matters except our relationship with Jesus, the Son of Man, the Son of God.  Jesus is the difference between life and death.  He is the difference between Christianity and all other religions. You must accept Him in your heart and have a relationship—a day to day speaking, and loving, relationship with Him.

Do you see His beauty?  Do you feel His presence with you?  As it says in this song, His name saves.  His name forgives and shows mercy and grace.  He so readily loves and so readily befriends all.  He is Jesus, friend of sinners.  He is the “I Am.”  We all will live with our Heavenly Father forever, because of Jesus.  He ate with tax collectors.  His own brother didn’t believe in Him and yet Jesus loved him so.  His own disciple betrayed Him, yet He broke bread with them and gave thanks, knowing that His own Father would have to turn His back on Him.  Don’t you want to love like that?  If so, then let’s do this together.  Let’s start now, preparing our hearts for His coming.  While we are here, let’s love each other.  Let’s get our hands dirty and get in the middle of life with each other.  There are plenty of onlookers but not enough team members!  Let’s ask God to empower us to truly turn it all over to Him and start fresh.

This week was the first week of Spring.  It’s time to do some cleaning up and cleaning out; and it’s time to plant some new seeds.  And when you’re ready to give in or give up, or when life is so hard and you just can’t breathe—just whisper His Name, Jesus. It still calms storms!

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Let us pray:  Dear Lord, we praise You for who You are.  We thank You for sending Your Son to walk before us in life and prepare the way for us.  Thank You for Your Word that documents His every move, from birth to death and every miracle in between.  Oh, how we are blessed!!!  Thank You that we can call on You in every situation and You are right there.  Because of Your Son, we are never alone and never will be.  We will forever walk with You and we have been given life abundant, full of joy, full of peace, full of grace, and full of You!  Thank You for the journey…for the wild ride that’s called our life.  Help us to prepare our hearts for Easter and to never take His death for granted.  For it’s in His name we pray, Amen.

Redeemed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

  ~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me
“Son, stop fighting a fight that’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain
Now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed… I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper “Child, lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I don’t have to be the old man inside of me ’cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God redeemed

~ Performed by Big Daddy Weave ~
~ Songwriters: Benji Cowart and Michael David Weaver ~

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The first time I heard this song was when they were in concert.  Mike Weaver’s testimony of what he had just been through—not suceeding in his weight loss journey and the death of a family member—really touched my heart. But as time went along, and I would hear the song at other times, the words would begin to minister to me. Telling me that no matter what, by the Blood of Jesus I have been redeemed and made whole. I do not have to stay in the pit of self-pity, self-loathing, and whatever other negative emotions the evil one chooses to send my way.
It is our job to keep those destructive thoughts and feelings out of our hearts and minds. The ‘old man’ or old ways should be dead and we will need to be able to rebuke those thoughts as they enter. We are to take those thoughts captive and throw them back at the one who does not want us to feel the perfect love of God! We are to stand firm, stomp our feet, and tell him to flee! For we have been ransomed and wash clean. How I love that thought! How I have needed to write this as well. I have to let the old sinful nature die and not want to bring it back, ever!
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Thank You, Father, that we have indeed been redeemed. Thank You for those who have the gift of songwriting as You gave so freely to David. Let our hearts continue to sing praises to You as we offer our human voices to sing along with Your choir in heaven.  Thank You!  In Jesus’ name, amen.