day 4, 5, 6

rachel day 4

one of my favorite worship songs of all time is “revelation song”, and it has been in my head and one that i’ve heard on the radio a lot yesterday.

one of the best things about this song is that it uses the word “i” or “me” infrequently. one of the issues that i’ve had in the past with worship/christian songs is so often they are focused on the singer. it is important to respond to what the Lord is doing, but so often it is easy to get caught up in the “me” of it; to almost be selfish in our worship to be thinking more about our unworthiness or unholiness or our own response rather than the who the Lord is. especially as i’ve grown in my faith, i have come to recognize the importance to focus on the qualities and attributes of the Lord as you worship Him. i think that defines worship–when you’re so focused on something else, you can’t think about yourself.

this song lists qualities about the Lord, He is holy, He is the Lamb, Creator, King while only acknowledging the singer as part of creation and as someone who adores the Lord. i love the truths of it, and i love that the focus is on the Lord. here is my favorite version of the song by phillips, craig & dean so you can have a listen.

rachel day 5

another song from the challenge that i’ve been really enjoying is “i lift my hands” by chris tomlin. now, not to contradict what i’ve said above, i consider this more of a Christian/reflection song. i get the sense that the person who sings this is almost giving him/herself a pep talk or a reminder of who God is as he/she responds.

i lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
as i pour out my heart
these things, i remember
You are faithful, God, forever

can’t you picture someone, maybe even yourself crying out to the Lord on your knees with your hands lifted to Him? you’re feeling far away from the Lord, but your soul remembers that He is your refuge, strength and He is faithful. there have only been a few times in my life that i’ve felt that way, however it is such a beautiful reminder of what the Lord has brought me through and also reminds me of the daily surrender to “lift my hands” to Him.

rachel day 6

you know how you have days where it seems like things just aren’t going to go how you thought or planned? that feels like it has kind of been my week. i was reminded this morning how so often we think we can plan using our calendars, reminders on email, etc., but there is always something that you can’t plan for. and this song is such a great reminder of how the Lord can and does use even the little things of life (usually unplanned) to teach us something (usually for me, its to slow down). “this is the stuff”-francesca battistelli

i lost my keys in the great unknown
and call me please ‘cuz i can’t find my phone
this is the stuff that drives me crazy
this is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
in the middle of my little mess
i forget how big i’m blessed

Matt day 4

My day 4 song comes on a day when I was feeling absolutely horrible. I had an awful headache from the moment I woke up throughout most of the night. To go along with an awful headache, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and really didn’t sleep to well over the weekend, so I was extremely lethargic and had no energy throughout the day. No amount of coffee was going to break the sleepiness out of me. Day 4 was a day of no strength or energy or knowledge. I didn’t have any medicine to take while I was at work so I couldn’t do anything to feel better. The more the day went on, the worse I felt. By the time I got home, I had nothing left.

Throughout the day though, was opportunity to find and remember that radical dependence on God that Jesus showed. While I will never be able to live or walk like Christ did in dependence, I strive to do so each day. In my weakness, I had only a few options. I could rely on myself and try to make the best of it, which most likely I would fail. Or feel sorry for myself and make all sorts of excuses for my sin and essentially feel worse. Or do what I can to keep relying on God as best as I can, knowing that I will fail to do so at times but keep reminding myself that every breath, heartbeat, moment is from Him.

To go with the misery of feeling bad, those days when we are weak always seem like the days when the battles of sin are the hardest. It seems like it is one attack after another. This in turn, makes me feel worse for even having to deal with those things or fall into temptation whatever that may be. Plus, it wears on my mind and body and whatever little energy I have and by the end of those days of attack, I am completely drained from fighting all day.

So, by the end of the day, fighting from beginning to end, beyond drained, all I had was this song. The day had its moments of peace and moments of refuge but not much. This was my cry. The song is one of my all-time favorites and it is performed by Bethel Church featuring Kim Walker-Smith, it is “I need you more”.

The original lyrics to this song are simple and aren’t very much, just a few lines, but when I hear this song it pierces my heart on how much I need God and how I should be living. What an amazing thought to think about though. The lyrics go like this:

I need You more

More than yesterday

I need You Lord

More than words can say

I need you more

Than ever before

I need You Lord

I need You Lord

More than the air I breathe

More than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat

More than anything

To think that I need God more than my next heartbeat or breath, is amazing. It’s not just words; my life is truly dependent on God to function to even have a breath or a heartbeat. But that just shows my life is more than this world because I need him for life, life beyond the here and now.

To take this further, I need his strength and power to act and respond in a Christ-like way with each new encounter or interaction. What my heart aches for is intimacy with God, which is why I love the part where Kim Walker-Smith breaks into her own impromptu worship styling:

We give you the highest praise, x3

All our praise, all our love, all our adoration, we give you all

I’m so hungry for more of your presence God

I don’t want to stay where I’ve been

I don’t want to camp out and stay in one place God

I want to run deeper into your presence God

‘cause I’m hungry for so much more of you

My heart always follows you, my heart always finds it way home to you

‘cause my heart is pressing in, its pressing into you voice tonight God

I’m pressing in…. what are you saying? What are you doing? I just want to be with you tonight. I just want to be in your presence tonight.

Oh Lord Jesus, I need you more

So much more than anything, more than everything, you’re all I want. You’re all I want. Tell Him tonight(x2)

Sing out your words and now your song and say you’re all that I want God (x3)

This whole section is one of my favorite pieces in any song. Talking about just being in Christ presence, telling Him he is all that I want, that I don’t want to go back to who I was, telling him that I am hungry for more of him and just pressing into Him.

It reminds me that no matter what the situation or circumstance or how bad I feel, I want to give God the highest praise. I must lay down myself, my wants, my desires, my needs, whether that is respect or love or compassion or joy or worth, and be self-less. This life isn’t about me, it is all for my God. That is what this song is about to me. Needing God more than anything in this life and living for Him. I will fail and be unfaithful, but He is always faithful!

Plus, this song was sung at our wedding by Rachel’s brother and was sung in such a beautiful way so it does bring back some other good memories!

Matt Day 5

Rachel has already wrote some very beautiful words about my day 5 song and there isn’t much that I can really add, but here are my thoughts on this song for this day.

as you can imagine, my song for today is “Forever Reign” by One Sonic Society. some of my favorite lyrics from this song are:

You are good, When there’s nothing good in me
You are light, When the darkness closes in

You are hope, You have covered all my sin
You are peace, When my fear is crippling

You are true, Even in my wandering

You are joy, You’re the reason that I sing

You are life, In You death has lost its sting
Oh, I’m running to Your arms,I’m running to Your arms

The riches of Your love; Will always be enough

Nothing compares to Your embrace

Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing no other Name Jesus, Jesus

So as Rachel has mentioned, this is one my my favorite songs. I absolutely adore this song. I love how the music picks up and it just gets me going. it enlivens me in ways that not a lot of songs do. even writing this, forgetting about singing it and just seeing the lyrics are wonderful. my favorite part is “Oh i’m running to your arms,” because i just feel that amidst all the storms and my own efforts to live or make it through the chaos, it reminds me that i need to be in my Father’s arms. when i am not at peace, God is always peace.

The song ends in perfect fashion by reminding me of the power of Jesus’ name. A name this world takes for granted. A name so revered in Scripture. A name above all names. A name that can move mountains. A name that I pray to have a greater realization of its power. the holiest of all names. a name that strikes fear in evil. the devil tempts us to call on others or own strength or other idols, but nothing will ever compare or offer refuge like the name of Jesus.

the reason i chose this song is because as i was driving home, i saw one of the most beautiful sunsets and this song was on. it put my heart at ease, it set my eyes on Christ. i feel one of the ways i get to see God as He reveals himself to us a 1000 times a day is through the beauty of His Creation. As i drove home, He reminded me He is in control. I was driving to the sun just as i was running to the arms of His Son.

Matt Day 6

My song for today is “Blood so beautiful” by Christ for the Nations (CFNI). In a later blog, we will discuss CFNI out of Dallas, TX but for now i will focus on the song. this song is off the latest album titled “37”. This is one of my favorite albums at the moment and the crazy thing was I was actually there with a couple of friends the night of the recording so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

one of the reasons i love this song is because you just sing the attributes of Jesus. during this song, you are able to tell Jesus that He is wonderful and beautiful. the lyrics aren’t readily available so i won’t post them, but everytime i hear this song, i just start singing at the top of my lungs. i don’t know why this song does it but i love just driving along and just telling Jesus how beautiful and wonderful Jesus is to me.

There really isn’t much to the lyrics, its just a song that simply allows me to tell my Savior how wonderful He is. i know there are times when i don’t get why things happen or i feel so lonely or i don’t feel like anyone could love me. There are times when i don’t feel beautiful or important and i hear this song and it takes my attention off of me and points me to God. i can be in a miserable place and i can hear this song and it brightens my day. i hope it will have a similar meaning to you. very few songs make me sing to God like this song does.

Please note the video is off their DVD so it includes an extra long version and some spontaneous worship.

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