Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Love of God’

Untitled Hymn

A familiar harmonization of "Amazing Grac...

Image via Wikipedia

I have often been asked what I think of  hymns, and invariably I will answer, “I like the ones that have been ‘re-done’ to have meaning for this generation.”  There are many examples of this. Some we do in our Sunday worship service – and some I hear from my favorite artists.

I believe that anytime you speak to a generation and make things relevant and meaningful, there needs to be flexibility on style – not on theology.

Many have argued that modern worship choruses tend to be “me centered” – and some of them can be – however, how many people really look closely at some of the hymns?  They are often very emotion and “me” driven too.  For example, “Love Lifted Me” – talks about the personal experience and emotions.  And for that matter, “Amazing Grace” speaks in a personal way as well.  Probably why it has gone the distance as everyone can relate with it and it has stood the test of time.  Some that I just personally do not care for, would have to be “When the roll is called up yonder” and others like this with very thin content – only repetitive verses and choruses.

Are there bad hymns?  Oh yes.  Are there bad modern worship songs?  Yes indeed.  I guess finding the balance between the two styles is really the key.  I don’t think anyone would claim to say that hymns have everything and should be used exclusively – and in fact they would admit that they do not have a place in most worship services today, if they are left in their traditional format.  But most would agree that if made relatable – then they are useful.  And  new generations can relate and have something passed down from generation to generation, making the old into something brand new.  In the same way, the modern worship song has its place today and has great theology and content – if choosing the right ones.

I’m a big fan of Gloria Gaither lyrics – as well as other brilliant lyricists like Dottie Rambo and Michael W. Smith from my generation who have graced us with their amazing ability to give us fresh new songs for our worship services and personal reflection.

And there are songs written clear back in 1917 that still have relevance for us today – like “The Love Of God”  by Frederick Lehman:  I just LOVE these lyrics – they are rich and have such beauty.

  • The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  • When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  • Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.
Now here is another fresh voice –  Chris Rice  in “Untitled Hymn”  These lyrics are simple and straightforward – but will speak directly to your heart as well.
Enjoy and God Bless

Shine Your Light

It’s Easter Sunday. A day where death was turned into life.  Where everything changed for me.  The day I began to really live.

Easter means a reason to celebrate. A reason to go on. More than just something we do once a year – it is something that holds meaning for us who know Jesus – every day of the year.

It means that even sin and death cannot separate us from the love of God – shining down and moving within us.

It is the final victory – our anthem carried deep in our hearts and it is our ultimate theme song.

A risen Jesus – no longer imprisoned or confined to death’s agenda – breaking through that icy grip of Satan and presenting us with that same power to sustain our ordinary lives – give us a new reason to exist – not be enslaved any longer to sin and most of all to give us an opportunity to live with renewed hope for the future.

As I was looking for a song that would describe this risen Jesus – I was struck by this next song  by Phillips, Craig and Dean.  It speaks so beautifully of God’s love.  That He – in his terrible love – would shine His light on us.  “That we may be saved, that we may have life – to find our way in the darkest night – let your grace fall on us…”

I am praying that you too would know this risen Jesus – and let His love shine down on you.

God Bless

Seasons Of Love

Cover of "A Season of Love (Picture Psalm...

Cover of A Season of Love (Picture Psalms)

God created love. Love is a divine attribute, or characteristic, of God. The essence of God’s nature, and of a godly nature, is love. Love is more than a feeling. The love of God is a way of being.        1 John 4:7


I’m loving this season that I am in.

Greg and I are building relationships with people in our small church and our small group  in particular.  How wonderful it is to discover what happens when people find themselves colliding on a  journey – and you link arms and say, “Let’s do life together”  It is what the church is all about.  People.  Relationships.  Love.  And so we have in fact ‘linked arms’ and meet together to discuss our pastor’s messages from the Sunday morning before.  It is a refreshing and sweet time.  A season of love.

I am also discovering new blogging buddies and finding words of encouragement and camaraderie from people who have been through similar situations along this journey that I am on – and it’s a wonderful ‘God thing’ that they have been placed in my path.  Their transparency and honest approach to past failure and situations in the church – puts me to shame – as I feel I have had to be careful what I say and what I reveal, even though I too have tried to express my heart clearly and without apology.  These individuals have been a daily encouragement to me and through this wonderful gift of writing – we are discovering that we are not alone – and that God has wonderfully brought us together to share, relate and validate.  It is a season of love.

And then there are the things that are not so well – a family situation that can have no happy ending.  But again – it is an opportunity to see just how God is going to work on our behalf – working behind the scenes to bring about restoration, reconciliation and forgiveness.  He is big on all three of these – and it is exciting to know that He will always be a God that draws us to His very heart – a heart of grace and mercy.  He is always interested in our heart when we deal with difficult situations – and so even in difficult situations – we attempt to keep things right in our own hearts – and not allow bitterness or pride to hinder us from seeing the truth – and we pray that for others as well.  It is an opportunity for God to truly speak and an opportunity to build character and integrity.  It is a remarkable season of love.

I am praying for each one of my readers today – that you will allow whatever situation you find yourself in right now – to be an opportunity for that ‘season of love’ in your own life.  May the love of Jesus be your focal point as you look out on the things that are happening all around you.  And as you focus on that love – I pray something will happen in your own heart and life – a change from within.  May it give you clear perspective as you love others in your world that desperately need it today.

Below is the song from the musical “Rent” – great song about love.  This link will take you to another screen.  Click on ‘view on youtube’ to see and hear the song.  It’s a great one!

Enjoy and God Bless

The Timeless Beauty Secret

Broken Heart

Image by Gabriela Camerotti via Flickr

It isn’t really a secret – but for some I think it remains so.

It is the thing that makes women more beautiful as they age – and the thing that makes a man want to be a better man.

It is:

Intangible.

Non-fattening.

Slow to develop.

It can bring you to your knees

And break your heart.

It has the longest memory.

It is intense

But peaceful and fulfilling

It is all-consuming

and intensely self gratifying

It is – love.

Ever notice an attractive and confident woman?  If she is loved and knows that she is – she sparkles and glows from within. There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman in love with a man – and in love with God and the world.

Ever notice an attractive and confident man?  If he is in love and has the love of a special woman – it actually makes him want to be a better man. That love and admiration from the woman he loves and who loves him back actually releases something in him that makes him walk prouder, sit taller, work better, strive farther, dream clearer and live fuller.

Love is the great motivator.  The missing link in many relationships  The most misused and misunderstood emotion in the universe.

What was created and meant for good – got twisted and abused by man.  And in the name of ‘love’ many relationships became weapons of abuse – and a means to manipulate the other.  This was never God’s plan.

The whole Christmas story is based on love.  God’s love. He came – He reached – He got involved – He gave. He showed us what true love is all about.  It is self-sacrificing for another.  It is action without thought of gain.

When we love like God loved us – we lose ourselves – we give ourselves away.  We know the timeless secret of beauty that cannot be bought or sold. It comes from within.

And because you do not have to have the love of a man or a woman to understand this about God’s love – everyone can shine from within and be radiant with love.  You can have that special something that glows on your face – all year-long.  When you give yourself away for another.

I’m praying that this is the best Christmas season ever!  As you live in love – one for another.

God Bless

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