Hymns that inspire, revive and heal

I grew up attending church. Hymns were part of my childhood, from the simplest “Jesus Loves Me” to “Amazing Grace”.

Having a love for music, I have a great appreciation for those old school hymns.

Hurt in need of healing

Sometimes, when life has gut punched me and I find myself falling to my knees, those old hymns are the only music that will do.

Modern worship is beautiful, however, it doesn’t connect as deep in my soul as these tried and true songs do.

They bring me back to a time when things were simpler, less complicated, less chaotic and less burdensome.

They revive me. They heal me.

Hymns that Inspire, Revive & Heal

One of my favorites has always been “All Hail the Power”.

Memories that inspire

I remember singing this as a child, standing by my grandmother in a small church in rural south Georgia. I remember her slightly off key soprano…tremulous and soft the older she got.

I remember singing not just one stanza or chorus. Oh no, we would sing every stanza, every chorus…each more jubilant than the last.

No fancy organ. No drums or guitars. Just the piano. And the voices of a united congregation lifting up their Savior.

Future of Faith

I remember even then, not wanting worship time to end. I couldn’t have told you a reason why then.

I just knew it felt good to be standing there, holding her hand, singing.

It made me happy. It made my grandmother happy. It seemed it made everyone in the room happy.

And when I hear it now…it still makes me happy. Oh but now I know why!

It is the joy of being saved by grace. It is the grace that flows from His throne to my frail human form. It is awe at how marvelous and excellent He is! These hymns inspire, revive and heal our souls.

My life in 10 (or more) songs

Getting my life in 10 songs (or more) gives you a glimpse of how diverse my music

tastes are. Music is an absolute passion of mine. And I enjoy a variety of genres.

Hip Hop. Rock. Broadway. Pop. Rap. Native American. Celtic. Country. 

Old style hymns and modern worship. Even some metal.

To narrow down a list that I would call the soundtrack of my life is not easy.

Concerts, musicals, oh my!

I think about all of the concerts I’ve taken in over the years.

Alabama. Clint Black. Garth Brooks. Sawyer Brown. Charlie Daniels.

New Kids on The Block. Vanilla Ice. 

TobyMac. Newsboys (with and without Peter Furler). Manifest. Skillet.

The musicals…Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserable, Hairspray.

By no means an exhaustive list. I could easily list two dozen more acts.

So you see my problem, right? How do I pick just a handful of songs to represent my soundtrack?

I thought about the artists as well as favorite songs that really feel like they define parts of me.

My life in 10 songs

My top 10 (or more) in no particular order…other than how I remembered them.

A portion of my life’s soundtrack.

I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt – country was my upbringing and this song always made me smile and dance.

Some Girls Do” by Sawyer Brown – My absolute favorite country band ever! So hard to choose only 1 of their songs, but this particular one was an anthem to my teenage years. I followed them from when they were on Star Search… have been to dozens of their concerts, and I was super excited when I found out that lead singer Mark Miller is the producer for one of my favorite Christian bands, Casting Crowns.

That’s My Job” by Conway Twitty – My father was a huge Conway Twitty fan and I cannot listen to the song without crying. I lost my father when I was just 25. And this song epitomizes the kind of man my Daddy was.

I Cross My Heart” by George Strait – My wedding song. In honor and memory of my brother-in-law who died by suicide the year I got married. The day before my birthday that year in fact. Sometimes I listen to this with fondness. Sometimes I just can’t.

Jesus Freak” by dcTalk – My introduction to Christian rap. And every 90s Christian kids’ battle cry. It felt a bit rebellious, and yet pointed straight to the Savior.

Gone”, “Made to Love”, “Burn for You”, “Till the Day I Die”, “Move (Keep Walkin’) – OK, I know this is more than one song for the century but I am a huge, HUGE TobyMac fan!! I love the rhythm of his music, the diversity both and has a band physically as well as in the instruments utilized, and most importantly the words. I’ve been to dozens of his shows, Jesus freak cruise, and have every CD he’s ever made. His heart for God makes his music come alive.

Phantom of the Opera” by Sarah Brightman & Michael Crawford – My favorite Broadway musical. My senior prom song. We were drama and chorus geeks, what can I say?

He’s Alive” by Dolly Parton – In my opinion one of the best worship songs ever written or sung. It absolutely gives me chills every single time. And every time I hear it I am reminded of the great sacrifice made and the love the Father has for me.

Monster” by Skillet – Skillet my favorite Christian rock band. This song resonates as I often struggle with keeping the ugliness of my humanity at bay when I feel hurt or wronged. It lets me know I’m not the only one and that helps me feel more normal.

Cry for You”, “Welcome to America”, “ Good, Bad, Ugly”, “Tell the World” – Okay, again I couldn’t narrow it to just one for this artist. Lecrae is a phenomenal rapper with a heart for the Lord and for marginalized people. And he isn’t afraid to talk (or sing) about it. He’s bold yet humble…like I hope to be.

So there you have it. Songs that resonate with who I am and seasons of my life that defined me.

What does your life sound like?

Roller coaster ride

My life has literally been a roller coaster this year.  It has been full of tears, fears, pain, heartbreak, distrust, trust regained, wounds, scars, and finally now…healing.If you are struggling today, give it to Him…whatever healing you need, physical, mental or spiritual, He can handle it…He can heal any wounds, any illness, any hurt. And he is much better equipped to battle than you are. Let His strength be your comfort.

Another verse that has been a constant companion this year has been Psalm 28:7.  Psalms and Proverbs both are great places to start if you feel a need for comfort and wisdom.  So many rich little bits there!My continued focus for this year is to keep my eyes on Him so that I will not stumble, fall, or be a stumbling block for someone else. My biggest problem is and has been worry…when I forgot to give everything to Him, when I do not spend time in prayer and His word…I find myself slipping back into a pattern of worry, fretfulness, easy to be angered, upset, thinking the worst in all situations, seeing things in a worse light than what they truly are.

It is only when I begin to pray and read His word more diligently that I become centered and grounded again in the truth that He proclaims over us…the power of His love, grace and mercy. God let my focus stay on you…lest I worry myself into a frenzy over something you have already defeated and won victory over.

If I can just remain focused on Him and not on my situation, everything becomes much calmer…more peaceful…not fixed maybe, but hopeful at least.  I leave you with this illustration…

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Now arm yourselves with Biblical weapons and go SLAY!

Reminiscent Ramblings

Christmas Past

Approaching the holiday season has caused me to have some reminiscent rambling going on in my head today.

I remember Christmases long ago as a youth visiting grandparents playing with cousins, on swings, in the fields. Fireworks, running around waving sparklers one in each hand, laughing!

Gift exchanges, the fun of buying presents. What would be in those packages?

Rummaging at the auction with granny picking out just the right thing for each grandchild. Or at Mamaw and Papaw’s opening Santa’s gifts Christmas morning.

A Strawberry Shortcake dollhouse, Easy Bake oven, Dukes of Hazard sleeping bag, Cabbage Patch Kids and Barbie dolls. Oh and Lego’s and Hot-wheels cars!

Part girly girl and part tom boy was I…

Traditions

I remember decorating the tree, Mom stringing her reindeer lights. Sissy and I throwing on the icicles.

Daddy putting lights up outside making a tree design on the porch wall.
Lights on the bushes…wrapping presents and putting them under the tree.

I remember caroling with school friends door to door, running in the dark because we heard a dog bark!

I remember piling in the car…sissy, cousins, Mom, my aunt, visiting the Hardy Boys property with all its wonderful decorations and lights.

I remember watching Christmas cartoons in pajamas, Mom baking fruit cake, granny’s pound cake and dumplings and chocolate cake with layer upon layer upon layer!

Childhood Memories

I remember Christmas parties at school. Room moms bringing in treats – homemade, not store bought!

Construction paper and Popsicle ornaments, learning Jewish holiday traditions from my third grade teacher, practicing for the Christmas concerts.

So many fond childhood memories!

Though Christmas is still my very favorite time of year, one of the most fun and exciting times, it now holds a touch of sadness as I long to share memories with those who have passed.

Sadness in the sacred

Just to hear once again my daddy’s chuckle, my uncle’s deep laugh. To talk with grandparents, be teased by my “brother”. To run and laugh those carefree laughs.

Though family and friends are scattered far and wide those memories remain near.

And I remember and reminiscence…and smile through teary eyes.