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?

10 Reminders of L.O.V.E. for Valentine’s Day!

Well friends, we are at the end of our 14 day L.O.V.E.; loving others; very encouraging blog series.  I hope and pray everyone is having a wonderfully blessed Valentine’s Day!

To conclude, let’s look at 10 Reminder of L.O.V.E. that we have studied over the past two weeks:

  1. The LOVE of Jesus is the ultimate Valentine’s covering all of our needs!
  2. We can be fearless because of LOVE.
  3. Because Jesus died AND rose again, LOVE wins…no matter the situation.
  4. LOVE does not judge…it just loves…
  5. Marital LOVE is God’s design for a husband and wife to enjoy fully!
  6. LOVE is forever because God is forever.
  7. LOVE gives to others cheerfully!
  8. LOVE is for all of us…we all need His saving kind of love.
  9. God commands that husbands and wives LOVE well.
  10. LOVE requires us to give all we have as HE gave all He was for us!

My prayer is that through this study you are reminded just how much you are LOVED.  And that L.O.V.E. is not always romantic.

Whether you have a special Valentine this year or not, someone, somewhere loves you very much.  A parent.  A sibling.  A friend.  A child…son, daughter, niece, nephew…neighborhood kid.  Cousins.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles…you get the picture.

You are loved and you are not alone!  Best of all God in heaven loves you and wants to be your forever Valentine.  His love will never forsake you, never fail you and never leave you lonely.

If you do not know this love…please read Romans 10:9-10 and Romans 8.  He loved you to death and back!

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

  
Mac Powell & Jamie Grace “Love Song”
 

L.O.V.E. is intimately designed by God

Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) 7:6 – How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!

Intimate love between a husband and wife was made to be divine!  This chapter of the Bible is not one taught on very often.  I think people read it and quite honestly are a bit shocked by it.  Talk of very intimate kissing and body parts makes many blush.  Yet, there should be no shame in any of it…God wants us to enjoy our husband or wife in our marriage.  It keeps us close both on physical and mental levels which is necessary to keep our marriages strong.  The Bible would not have a whole chapter devoted to this kind of love if it was not important.

You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, but there are kids to tend do, laundry, car pools, jobs, etc….”  We let the busy get in the way of getting busy if you get my drift!  

Think back to when you were dating…you put on special outfits…took extra pains with your makeup, your clothes, what perfume or cologne to wear…you went all out right?

I have found that the best marriages never stop dating!  Both partners make time to have date night or special times together away from the kids and the chaos that is part of being a family.  By taking time to renew and refresh themselves with one another they are able to parent better and work better…they L.O.V.E. better!

So if you have been neglecting the love of your youth…Valentine’s is just 8 days away…you still have time to make this one a special one!