30 day challenge

as you might have noticed, we haven’t been posting about our songs. we left off somewhere around day 19 i think.

the sad thing about this is, we have been traveling and haven’t had secure internet access for about the past 12 days.

we do want to leave you with a couple songs that have a lot of meaning to us, seeing as our 30 days would have been complete sometime this week.

rachel:

shane & shane. these guys are some of my favorite artists. and apparently no one else thought they were cool when i did (high school). my parents only recently got into liking them, and matt has listened to quite a few of their songs/albums when the radio isn’t working on the car. i love how they capture so much power in one song. in one space of 3 or 4 minutes, they have transported to focus not on this world or other or yourself, but on the Lord.

one of my favorite shane & shane songs is one that matt has already talked about here, but my other favorite is “burn us up”. the lyrics tell the story of shadrach, meshach, and abednego when they refuse to bow to the pagan god that king nebuchadnezzar has set up for all the people to worship. the king orders that anyone who does not bow down to worship the false god will be thrown into the furnace. first of all, i love the faith of the men in this story, because they stand firm. they allow themselves to be thrown in the fire. but second, i love this story because it encourages me to question myself, would i refuse to worship a false god and risk being thrown in a fire? very convicting, and so worshipful. my favorite part of the lyrics are these:

You are able to deliver from the fire of affliction // it’s the declaration of my Lord // You’re not an image of gold // You’re the God of old // You have made us // come and save us // we are Yours // but even if You don’t // we will burn

the lyrics of this song acknowledges that God can save them, that He is the one true God. they ask that He save them, but even if He doesn’t, they will die for Him. so cool. such faith.

Matty:

Since we have been wandering around like nomads the past few weeks and haven’t been able to blog regularly especially about our songs for that day, as Rachel mentioned we wanted to share with you some of our favorite songs. Some of these you may have heard and some may be new, but please enjoy.

1.       I Exalt Thee by Jesus Culture

This is my all-time favorite song. I fully expected to write about this one day during the challenge but each day something else came up that was right for that day. This is one of the simplest songs and a classic hymn. “For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth// Thou art exalted far above all gods” This part is my reminder of who Thou art and why Thou is to be praised, worshiped and exalted. Thou is Lord and above all we can imagine. It continues to lead us to worship Thee, and as we worship the Lord, we exalt Him over all that we are and can see. The music really gets to me on this one as the drums pick up and I can feel the beating of the drum in me. It lifts me up to take my eyes off this world and my cares and simply exalt God. It starts off soft and finishes with passion. One of my favorite parts is where Kim Walker-Smith comes in and starts an impromptu prayer. “Oh with all we have// and with all we are// we have come so far// to lift Your name// lift Your name on High, Jesus// Cause it’s all about You, oh Jesus// Oh it’s all about You – oh yeah yeah yeah// and this love, this song, this praise// is what we bring to You” I simply love that part because it is us lifting up the most powerful name and worshiping Him. It is saying not about us but all about the Lord. Everything we do and give, we give it to God to honor and praise Him.

2.       Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle

What a wonderful, beautiful and sweet song this is. Amidst the suffering and pain this reminds us to look to the cross, to cling to it. Above all else, not to wisdom or reasoning or anything of man, simply cling to the cross where such love was shown. Called out of death and brought to life, free from wrath and now reconciled. I love how it sings of the beauty of the cross and the life we have been given, undeserved life at that. God beckons us to the cross; He asks what we are going to do with it. Move on and away from it or kneel in awe of it. More than a symbol, more than an artifact, what was done closed the gap between my sin, our sin and our heavenly Father. So what do we do… we will do what the song suggests, “You draw me gently to my knees, and I am// lost for words, so lost in love//I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.” I pray that we stand in awe of the cross, in awe of the Savior, lost in what He did. To reconcile people home and call them His children. As God breaks me, it is very tough to live surrendered. My human desire for self-protection comes in, but it is not until I surrender that I live, love and learn. When I surrender, God reveals himself in His timing not mine. Most of all, He brings the peace.

3.       One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture (or by Bethel Church, CFNI as well)

So this was another one that I thought would have come up since it is an all-time favorite of me and has meant so much to me these past few years. This is simply one of the best songs about God’s love. It sings of the strength and power of God’s love. It reminds us that there is nothing that separate us from His love, no matter what we do or have done or how much we have failed, His love conquers all. His love is constant. It doesn’t go up or down depending on what we do or don’t do, His love never fails and through all the changes in life, the good times and bad times, His love remains. It satisfies the deepest parts of our soul. Our longings and deepest desires are satisfied by His great love and nothing of this world. We try to fill that void with things when the only thing, the one thing that will fill the void left by The Fall in the garden is God and His great love.  We don’t have to be afraid of what comes; God and His love are with us and will help us at the right time.

4.       I love Your presence by Bethel live

This is such a beautiful song about being in the presence of God and how there is no place I would rather be. Such a simple yet powerful song about being with God. Reminds me of the verse, “be still and know that I am God.” We don’t have to say anything, we don’t have to try and do anything, but just rest in the beauty of God’s presence. It talks about the rest and peace that comes from being with God and spending time with Him. It reminds us that only God can make us whole. As the music picks up and then has the climax, it calls us to do something I and maybe you struggle with. “…Let go of your heart… Let go of your head and feel it now.” If we pursue God, he will honor our efforts and we will grow closer. But we must also surrender control and let go of all things and give in to Him. It is worth it. It is hard to do all the time, and I fail a lot, but when I let go and let God be in control, His peace is overwhelming.

Some of our other favorites we will just list. This isn’t comprehensive and there are many great songs out there for different taste, but these are some of the ones we like (in no particular order):

One thirst; Worthy is the Lamb by Bethel Live

Your Love never fails (great and amazing song!); Rooftops, Come away by Jesus Culture

Chris Tomlin: God of this city, many many more

David Crowder: O praise Him, Oh my God (new song),

Hillsong: from the inside out (so touching to me in troubling times)

Jesus paid it all – kristian stanfill

Carried to the table – leeland

Matt redman: you never let go, blessed be your name, the heart of worship (love the live version)

Beautiful – mercyme

Medley – third day

More – matthew west

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