Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days: Meaningful Worship: Amazing Grace (part two)


Via 

Hey there...Im Alix and I have been a slacker the last week or so. With that being said lets get back to it! 

Today we are going to look at Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) by Chris Tomlin. 

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

[2x]

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine.

I love Amazing Grace as a hymn. It is one of my favorites, and I am a little sad that its really only sung at funerals. I love the message it brings. God's grace (He sent His one and only son to die for us so we could be with Him one day) is AMAZING!!! As a human-being its hard for me to even fathom doing something like that for people who I knew would reject me. 

Without God's grace we would be lost forever. There would be no hope, no happy ending. We are all lost but once we decide to let him into our hearts we are no longer blind. Its like living in darkness our whole existence only to be healed by grace. Once we can see, we see a bright and vivid world teeming with life.

Amazing Grace the hymn was written by John Nweton in 1779. Unfortunately for Mr. Newton, he had a very stormy life. John was actually on a slave ship in the middle of a storm that almost took the boat when he accepted Christ. At this point John experienced true fear. I would assume the fear was much like that of disciples when they were caught in the storm in the sea of Galilee. Some speculate that he penned the words "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.." because his conversation was a result of the immense fear of God's fury as exhibited by the storm. 

John also noted in the second line that while grace taught his hear to fear, grace also gave him incredible peace. That peace was so precious in a time like this. In a time where nothing was certain, and all that was left was fear. As a result of God's grace John later became a pastor, he then wrote this song. God's grace is amazing. 

Like I said I love this song. Honestly I could talk about it for a while, so thats why I am breaking it into two posts! Tomorrow we will look at the second half of the song. 

Love Always,
Alix 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days: Meaningful Worship: Amazing Grace (part one)

Well friends it's late, and I am a little behind on sleep. For tonight I will leave you the lyrics of the song we will be looking at tomorrow. I love that this song incorporates on of my favorite hymns. 

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

[2x]
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine.

This has been a great few weeks of writing, thank you all for your encouragement and ideas. You all mean more to me than I can express. Happy Friday!!!!!

Love Always,
Alix .


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days:Meaningful Worship:Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)



There have been several times in my life where I have felt that God called the wrong girl. The situation or task at hand was much to difficult for little ol' me to handle. At leased thats what I thought at the time. 

As time moved on, God gave me strength I knew was not my own. Through Him, I survived and thrived. I emerged a better and new creation. 

Today we are looking at Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United 


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
[x6]

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine


This song has required a lot of prayer and contemplation on my part. These lyrics are deep (no pun intended), and were a little difficult for me to understand. 

In the first verse it refers to the point in time where God calls us out on the water much like he did to Peter during the storm. (Matthew 14:29) He calls us to step out with Him into the great unknown. It is scary and uncertain out there, but we know we can trust our God. Our feet will fail us, we will feel like we can go no farther. Yet, with God's strength we continue on. It is on faith alone that we can stand. 

When we get to this scary place we can call on our Father. As long as we keep our eyes on Him, He will keep us above the waves as the ocean rises. While all this turmoil and uncertainty swirls around us we can rest in His embrace. He will give us unceasing peace, regardless of the circumstance. He will always be ours and we will always be His. That my dear friend brings true comfort. Doesn't it?! 

God's grace shines the most brightly in adverse circumstances. Our God is sovereign...what does that mean?! Yes, this means another definition! 

Sovereign: Possessing supreme or ultimate power 

God, who has all power will guide us through these hardships. As fear starts to swell around us we can trust in Him. He has NEVER failed, and He never will. Even if what we face is scary, or something bad has happened, God has a plan. This plan I promise you is what is best for His children and His kingdom. 

The bridge brings a very brave request. We ask that God would bring us to the place where we have no choice but to trust Him. Its hard for me to ask that. I like being comfortable. The problem with comfortable is growth will never occur. We must be stretched in order to grow.  

We ask that God would call us to this scary place, and it is here that He will make our faith stronger. The stronger our faith, the closer we are to the presence of God. 

That should be our greatest desire (I wish it was that easy)
, to be as close as we can be to our God.  God has us go through some tough things in order for us to grow. He wants us to grow as people and as followers of Christ even if it takes going where our feet may fail us. 

Love Always,
Alix   



Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days: Meaningful Worship: Lead Me to the Cross


Via 
Can I be honest with you guys? Sometimes I lose sight of what really matters. Sometimes I take my focus off of God and start to forget why I am really here. Sometimes I forget that God is the is the center of my worship not all the other things in this world. 

Sometimes I just mess worshiping up. 

Thankfully we have a God who is forgiving and teaches us lessons through our mistakes. Thankfully we have a God who loves us regardless of the true messes we really are. Trust me, I can be a complete mess most of the time. 

The song we are looking at today helped me bring the focus back to where it really needed to be, on God.

Today we are looking at Lead Me to the Cross by Hillsong United


Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemption's hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost


[Chorus:]

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross


You were as I
Tempted and trialed
Human
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost


[Chorus]


To your heart
To your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart


[Chorus]


The first verse is asking that God would help prepare us for worship. That he would quiet our soul and draw our attention to the holy sacrifice that was given on our behalf. I find it hard to quiet my soul. I get all sorts of wound up and my brain is going a mile a minute. I appreciate this plea to God to just give me rest from all that. Life just seems so much more peaceful and calm when all is still and my focus is where it should be. When we focus on God everything we once thought was valuable is as dirty rags.

 

In the chorus, we plea that He would help us to maintain our focus on Him. That we are humbled and brought to our knees in front of our all loving God. We surrender ourselves, we long for him to teach us to be selfless. I can be self absorbed guys. I cant worship God when I am in that state. I have to literally beg him to help me separate myself from my human inadequate self. Praise the Lord that he is more than capable of doing that! 


I find that once my focus is where it should be everything else fades away including myself. Guys its the best and most amazing place to be. I hope you get to experience this if you have not already. Everything is much clearer in this place: I can finally see simple truth. We are all here for one purpose, and thats to love others and tell them about our God. Thats it. Its rejuvenating to remember that.


The reminder in the second verse always gets me. Jesus was just like us. He was human, tempted, tried, and crucified. There are over forty four prophecies relating to the Messiah in the old testament. Every single one of these prophecies came true. Jesus was the living word as supported below:


"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." ~John 1:14
Here is one of the many things that made Jesus different than all of us. He rose from the grave! Hallelujah! 


When it all comes down to it, God is what matters. Worshiping Him is my purpose. I want nothing more than to be lead to His heart day after day after day. I am not perfect in any way shape or form. I am a terrible mess. He still comes back for me everytime. He draws me near and brings my attention back to what matters, Him. 


Love Always,
Alix 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

31 Days: Meaningful Worship: Lord I Need You


Have you ever tried to do everything on your own? We struggle, we strive, and all is does is leaves us exhausted, frustrated, and not an inch further that where we started. I am guilty of CONSTANTLY doing this. It is emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. The song that we are looking at today makes me release my grasp that I think I have on any situation. God uses these words to breathe new life into me every time.

Today we are looking at "Lord I Need You" by Chris Tomlin   

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You


My favorite part of the first verse is this: "With out you I fall apart..." I love the vulnerability of this sentence. No inhibitions, no reservations, we just put it all out there. Lord I confess, I have been doing all of this by myself and I am failing miserably. I literally fall apart at the seams with out you God. 

Like the other songs we have looked at the grace of God is highlighted. His grace sets us free from sin and from ourselves. 

When we look at the chorus once again, I am blown away by the vulnerability that we can bring to our God. I had one question though, I didn't quite understand what was meant by this: "My one defense my righteousness..." I understood that God is our one and only defense, but what did the righteousness meant? You guessed it! I looked up another definition!

Righteousnessthe quality of being morally right or justifiable.

I didn't know what the sentence meant until I stumbled upon this verse:

Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.~Ecclesiastes 7:20 

Light bulb! God is our righteousness! We don't have the capability to be righteous but God is that for us. We NEED Him to be that for us. We are so incapable, we NEED our God every moment of everyday. How blessed we are to know that he is with us everyday? Especially when we know how dependent we need to be on Him. Our rock is our God and he will never be moved.  

Love Always,
Alix 



Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days: Meaningful Worship: Another Hallelujah


Today we will be looking at Another Hallelujah by Lincoln Brewster.

I have the immense privilege of being part of my worship team at church. I get to be surrounded by some very very talented people with a hearts that beat solely for our God. This is one of the first songs I ever got to sing with the team, and for that reason it will always hold a place in my heart.

Here are the lyrics:
(verse 1)
I love You Lord with all my heart
You've given me a brand new start
And I just want to sing this song to You
It goes like this the fourth the fifth
The minor fall the major lift
My heart and soul are praising
Hallelujah

(chorus)
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujan, hallelujah

(verse 2)
I know that You're the God above
You're filling me with grace and love
And I just want to say thank You to You
You pulled me from the miry clay
You've given me a brand new day
Now all that I can say is
Hallelujah
Yesterday, I mentioned that I believe that every word that leaves our lips should be intentional. (I believe this to be true worshiping or not.) Sometimes, when we worship we get comfortable. We have sung these songs before, and it is easy to sing them without thinking about what we are saying. I have been guilty of this on numerous occasions. 

To combat this, I wanted to know the definition of Hallelujah. We have heard this word a million times right? It graces many a song and is used an an exclamation of praise. The problem is, I had been singing it for years without ever knowing exactly what it meant! 

Hallelujah: God be praised. 

I wanted to make sure I understood the whole definition meant before I went around singing this powerful word. Therefore, I dug a little deeper, I looked up the word praise. 

Praise: To express one's respect and gratitude towards God. 

There we have it. When we sing Hallelujah, we are expressing our respect and gratitude to our almighty God. What a privilege it is to have the ability to do that! 

My dear friends, we are speaking to the creator of all things. He gives a new start in Him everyday. He holds our lives in his hands and shapes us as if we were clay. He fills us with grace and love that we are incapable of creating ourselves. He does all these things simply because He loves us. That alone my friend is reason enough for me to exclaim Hallelujah!  

Love Always,
Alix

Sunday, October 6, 2013

31 Days: Meaningful Worship: "I Wonder"

Via
For the next 31 days I will be writting everyday about a particular worship song. (This was supposed to start on the 1st but, there were a few aparment issues that popped up.)

I believe with my whole heart that when we worship (which can come in many many forms) we need to mean it with all our being. Every word that leaves our lips, must be thoughtful and full of love.
My favorite way to worship is through song, and that is why we will be going through 31 songs this next month. We will be talking about what the songs mean, what bible verses back them up or inspire them, and how they have spoken into my life.

Via
To start off this series, I wanted to start with Leeland's "I Wonder." We covered this song last week in the worship service, and it captivated my heart.

Have you ever felt like there is just nothing you can say to God because of all that He has done for you? Have you ever felt like all you can do sit there in awe? I am at a loss when I think about all the words in this song.

Here are the words:

"I Wonder"

At the stars in the night, I wonder
At Your lightning in the sky, I shudder
Your glory is a blanket that covers
Every living thing

I’m in awe at the majesty of who You are
Your love is a seal burnt inside my heart
All of the day I want to be where You are
Holy Father

And it feels like there’s not enough praise inside of me
With all these words, all my heart can sing is holy
You are holy

Jesus Christ
You bled Your love, laid down Yourself
And gave me life
In naked shame You hung and You were lifted high
Here I lay in awe and wonder

I am afraid
For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way
So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace
Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder

I’m in awe at the majesty of who You are
Your love is a seal burnt inside my heart
All of the day I want to be where You are
Holy Father

And it feels like there’s not enough praise inside of me
With all these words, all my heart can sing is holy
You are holy


Jesus Christ
You bled Your love, laid down Yourself
And gave me life
In naked shame You hung and You were lifted high
Here I lay in awe and wonder

I am afraid
For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way
So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace
Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder 

I love the first verse, it just describes a few of Gods creations that leave me in awe every time I see them. These creations display his glory and it covers everything the eye can see. Look at the two pictures above, don't they just scream Gods glory and majesty?!

The second verse is repeated twice in this song. It describes the awe that we have for the majesty of our God. The God who has created all things, and yet calls us by name. The God who does not need us, but wants us anyway.  His love is with us always, and is written on our very hearts. We know all of this, therefore, we want to be with Him wherever he is all day everyday.

The chorus speaks of Jesus' crucifixion. The crucifixion was God's greatest sacrifice and the greatest demonstration of love the world will ever see. His grace is so heavy that all we can do is fall under the weight and sit in awe of the God who loves us. We have absolutely nothing to offer Him, but He loves us anyway. We can not repay our debt, thankfully Jesus did it for us. 

When I think about that, the debt that I no longer owe because of Jesus, I am in awe. All I literally can do is sit in the presence of God and marvel at who He is. 

Are there any worship songs that you would like to share? I would love to write about them and discuss them with you. I am definitely going to need some ideas in the up coming days. Please let me know if there is a song that God has laid on your heart! 

Love Always,
Alix