I Sing Because I'm Free

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He holds the sky

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He formed the clouds within His hand 

He holds the sky

and sea 

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The very hand that holds the world-

it cradles

you and me 

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And when the distant storm clouds bring 

the threat of thunder

and rain

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In the shelter of His mighty wings

we can find peace 

once again 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty-

Psalm 91:1

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I have always loved a good storm!  I watch the sky in absolute amazement… the clouds swirling, the wind howling…it is truly a marvelous site.  Weather patterns can be so unpredictable, and yet even when a storm comes- our daily routines still goes on.

He reminded me this morning that sometimes life is like that, too.  Many times we experience circumstances and storms that seem completely out of our control.  And yet, He is Lord of ALL creation, and He will be faithful to lead us through.

For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.  Job 12:10 

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He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.  Psalm 107:29

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Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.        Deuteronomy 31:6

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The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7

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Jesus Our Lord is Crucified

Jesus Our Lord is Crucified

O come and mourn with me awhile, 
O come ye to the Savior’s side 
O come, together let us mourn, 
Jesus our Lord is crucified.

Seven times He spoke seven words of love; 
And all three hours His silence cried 
For mercy on the souls of men; 
Jesus our Lord is crucified.

O love of God! O sin of man! 
In this dread act Your strength is tried; 
And victory remains with love; 
Jesus our Lord is crucified!

A broken heart, a fount of tears, 
Ask, and they will not be denied; 
A broken heart love’s cradle is: 
Jesus our Lord is crucified.

lyrics written by Frederick Faber – 1849

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Moved by these beautiful words, I took the lyrics of this old hymn and set it to a new melody and piano accompaniment.  I would be happy to share the chord chart with anyone who would like to have it.  Be blessed!

Jesus Our Lord is Crucified

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Whiter than Snow

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
I give up myself, and whatever I know—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet,
By faith for my cleansing, I see thy blood flow—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
Oh, glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

Written by James Nicholson in 1872

 

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Be Born In Me

This has become one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Written from Mary’s perspective, it so beautifully captures the range of emotions she felt when realizing she was carrying the Son of God.

One of my favorite lines is this –

“I am not brave, I’ll never be- the only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy.  I’m just a girl, nothing more,  but I am willing- I am Yours…” 

May we all make room in our hearts for Him.   Be Born in me.

Be Born in Me (Mary’s Song)

Everything inside me cries for order
Everything inside me wants to hide
Is this shadow an angel or a warrior
If God is pleased with me, why I am I so terrified
Someone tell me I am only dreaming
Somehow help me see with Heaven’s eyes
And before my head agrees, my heart is on it’s knees
Holy is He. Blessed am I.

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me
I’ll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

All this time we’ve waited for the promise
All this time You’ve waited for my arms
Did You wrap yourself inside the unexpected
So we might know that Love would go that far?

I am not brave
I’ll never be
The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy
I’m just a girl
Nothing more
But I am willing, I am Yours

*written by Nichole Nordeman

*originally sung by Francesca Battestelli  

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Your constant love is better than life itself…Psalm 63

IMG_0657O God, you are my God,
    and I long for you.
My whole being desires you;
    like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land,
    my soul is thirsty for you.

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Let me see you in the sanctuary;
    let me see how mighty and glorious you are.
 Your constant love is better than life itself,
    and so I will praise you.

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 I will give you thanks as long as I live;
    I will raise my hands to you in prayer.
 My soul will feast and be satisfied,
    and I will sing glad songs of praise to you.

Psalm 63

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autumn-atic

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Golden leaves

dripped from trees

as I walked autumn’s

wonderland

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foliage bright

a glorious sight

crafted by

the Master’s Hand

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Final chance

to catch a glance

before the colors 

fade  

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was hard to budge

I felt the nudge

so glad that I obeyed

Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.  Psalm 150:6

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He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  Psalm 1:3

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For everything there is a season  Ecclesiastes 3:1

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He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.  Psalm 104:19

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You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 

Psalm 65:11

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eclipse

when clouds roll in

over a sky of blue 

and you can’t see the eclipse- 

what’s a girl to do? 

take a picture 

anyway! 

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I’m not really the best at planning ahead, so naturally I did not have a pair of “eclipse” glasses laying around the house.  But honestly, I wasn’t really interested in watching it… I’m just not that into you.

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Until I noticed the sky got all strange looking…and then I couldn’t look away.

 I admit it-  I was sucked into the eclipse obsession, trying my hardest NOT to look up, but still look around at all the cool clouds and colors.

 

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While the eclipse was a bust here in Charlottesville, I experienced my own personal “eclipse” that day.  It seemed as if a cloud were hanging over me when I woke that morning, and I was desperate to see the light of the Lord.  This was partly my own fault.   I’ve been spending way too much time watching the news and surfing the internet… spending time doing meaningless things that I could be spending with the Lord.  So I did everything I could to get my heart and mind completely focused on Him.

I turned off the tv.  I prayed.  I read scriptures.  I cried as I read through the Psalms…

Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
 I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.  Psalm 63

I prayed that verse over and over. Because His love is better than life. And the more I prayed it, the more my heart felt it.  He is everything.  He gives me life.  And I thought- why would I ever choose to do anything other than praise the Lord when I have any “down time”?  It is through worship that He fills me up!

Then I watched church on youtube. The first service I clicked on happened to be a baptism service.  It was so beautiful- on one side of the stage, there were people leading worship, and on the other, a pastor was baptizing and praying with people.  You could hear the cheers as the people were baptized.  I was so moved- I cried tears of joy for these people I’d never even met!

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I mean- I was all wrapped up in worship.  Hands raised, crying, singing…

And then I moved on over to the piano.  Words and music flowed out of me effortlessly.

It was such an amazing God-filled day.

It made me really think about how I was spending my “down” time on a regular basis-

Are the things I’m doing bringing me closer to the Lord?

Or are they taking precious time away from Him?

His love is better than life.  

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

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a psalm

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I love you Lord, for You are everything to me. 

You are my Protector, my Provider, my Life-giver

my Song Singer, my Joy, and my Redeemer!  

When my head hangs low, you lift it up

when I gaze behind, You shine light 

in front of me 

You mark my path

You pick up each foot, placing one in front of the other. 

It is not my strength, but Yours, Lord 

that keeps me going in the direction of Your path.  

When I see failure, You show me Your victory

When I see darkness, Your light leads me on 

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In our small group we have been going through the book of Psalms.  Being a music lover, the Psalms speak to my heart.  So many of these verses are found in old hymns, and even in the newer contemporary Christian songs.

After reading Psalm 18 one morning,  the Lord prompted me to write a psalm of my own- to praise Him for who He is to me, what He’s done, and what He continues to do in my life.

 Nearly half of the 150 Psalms are attributed to King David.  King David is one of my all-time favorites leaders in the Bible.  He is greatly flawed, yet he is described as a man after God’s own heart.  An imperfect man, yet perfectly in love with the Lord.

His story reminds me to-

constantly seek God’s will

to worship Him with all my heart

to trust Him at ALL times 

to remember what He has done in my life

and to praise Him at ALL times!   

I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.  

Psalm 86:12
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what’s consuming you?

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For our God is a consuming fire.  

Hebrews 12:29

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I can become consumed with so many things…

What am I gonna make for dinner?! 

Do my girls have clean clothes?  

Did I remember to get those snacks from the store for their lunch? 

What am I gonna wear today?  What doesn’t make me look like a frumpy grandma? 

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But something happens when I see a blazing sky….

2016-09-02-19-56-36-hdrI stop obsessing about tomorrow.

And I stop thinking about what I failed to do yesterday-

I am consumed by the present

and His presence.

 

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Dancing with Jesus

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The sun streaming through the trees on a recent walk… 

I woke up one morning filled with joy-so much so, that I couldn’t stop smiling!  God had answered a very specific prayer of mine in a very special way. I didn’t call anyone to share the good news- I simply spent the day being quiet with Him- and that made the day all the more special!  Doing ordinary, everyday tasks, I felt His presence with me all day.

You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever  Psalm 16:11

I had to drive into town and run a few errands- nothing special- but He was there. I remember there being lots of road work and traffic- things that would normally irritate me- but as I sat there in the car, I felt His hand in mine.  It didn’t matter what I did or where I went, feeling His presence in such a way was the most wonderful thing I could have imagined.  As I was driving home from running errands, I noticed the sunlight glittering through the trees.  I remember exactly where I was on the road when I had this vision…

A picture flashed in my mind. It was instantaneous, and yet it felt like an eternity.  As I drove up the curvy road, I saw a vision of Jesus and I holding hands- standing with our arms extended.  We twirled in circles and danced around like children. Sunlight sparkled all around us and there were flowers everywhere.  And then it was gone. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought about what it will be like to be in heaven, worshipping Him for all eternity.

I told my husband about my experience the next day.  I shared with him how I felt His presence all day, and about catching this glimpse of what heaven might be like.  He smiled at me and said it sounded like I needed to write a song about it… and so I did!

“Dancing With Jesus”

It’s a new day

I’m singing your praises

thankful and grateful for all that you are

Driving around

sun shining down

and I see a vision of 

You and me

Your presence is real

I’m moved in my soul

I grab Your hands

as we sway to and fro

I’m dancing with Jesus

Singing, rejoicing, 

and worshipping Him

I’m dancing with Jesus

I rest in Your arms and I know

You are with me wherever I go…

A moment it was

frozen in time

a glimmer of heaven

and what it might be

Amazing and sweet

feeling complete

I surrender all that I am 

at your feet..

How sweet it will be

when Your face, I see

when I get to heaven

and dance with You there

Forever more

and always I’m Yours

In your presence I will 

forever adore You 

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