Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Songs That Have Shaped The Journey

Those of you who know me even just a little bit will know that MUSIC is a huge part of my life and who I am. Here's a sample:

It all started with piano lessons from my wonderful mother from about age six.
I progressed to the recorder at school, then tried guitar in third grade but my fingers were too small.
Bass guitar and drums were both taken up at about age eleven, and I still play to this day.
I have taught classroom music at school, as well as private music lessons in keyboard and guitar.

Having grown up in church, there came a point where I was just singing the words to songs, without taking time to understand or appreciate what I was singing. As I grew as a Christian, I realised that considering the songs were about and for God, the Creator of the Universe, this probably wasn't a good idea, since we "will all be accountable for every careless word we have spoken." (Matthew 12:36)

So over the last few years, there have been some songs which have had a huge impact on my life. Even though as a musician I am interested in song structure, timing, a great melody or bridge, ultimately it is the lyrics that get me. The lyrics of a great song settle in my soul and affect the way I see God and the world in general.

I wanted to share the lyrics and video of five songs that have shaped my journey over the last few years. Please enjoy, and take some time to soak in the lyrics.

Song # 1 - "Alive" (Natalie Grant)
I first heard this song two years ago at my church on Easter Sunday. I think the occasion, combined with the visual just got me. The reality of God leaving heaven and coming to earth as a man to be with us is just too amazing for me to wrap my mind about.

Who but You, could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies and dream of me?
What kind of Love is writing my story till the end with Mercy’s pen? Only You.
What kind of king would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars to win my heart?
What kind of Love tells me I’m the reason He can’t stay inside the grave?
You. Is it You? Standing here before my eyes, every part of my heart cries

Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! Alive!
Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before
I am His because He is alive.

Who could speak, and send the demons back from where they came with just one Name?
What other heart would let itself be broken every time till He healed mine?
You. Only You could turn my darkness into dawn; running right into Your arms

Emmanuel, the promised King the baby who made angels sing Son of Man who walked with us, healing, breathing in our dust
The author of all history, the answer to all mysteries The Lamb of God who rolled away, the stone in front of every grave

Song #2 - Oceans (Where feet may fail) - Hillsong
When I first heard this song, I was considering the move to the Philippines, so I particularly related to the line "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders; let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me."

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

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

Song #3 - I Saw What I Saw (Sara Groves)

Having seen poverty up close in 12 countries over the last four years, this was the cry of my heart. I was humbled and inspired by their faith, joy, generosity, contentment and kindness. They know that with God, there is always Hope.

I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
And what I know of love

We've done what we've done and we can't erase it
We are what we are and it's more than enough
We have what we have but it's no substitution

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I'm giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction

Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
Your courage asks me what I am made of
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
And what I know of God,
And what I know of God.

Song #4 - How He Loves Us (David Crowder Band)
Top line: "If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking." I can't get past this line. Every day we have on earth is evidence of God's grace, and I am indeed sinking.

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us, oh,
Oh, how He loves us,
How He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If his grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way...

Song #5 - Red Letters (DC Talk)
Just in case you are unaware, Red Letters refers to the words of Jesus from the Bible, and it stems from some translators choosing to print the words spoken by Jesus in red ink. I know many people have differing opinions about Jesus and the Bible, and you might be reading through this and not really be a "God-person" but in the words of Whispering Danny, "I cannot deny something that has revealed itself to be true to me." The words of Jesus are powerful. I know, sitting in the homes of the poor, I had nothing to offer them except the Hope of Jesus.

Pages filled with a holy message
Sealed with a kiss from heaven on a scroll long ago
Phrases, words that were bound together
Now have the power to sever like a sword evermore

Heed the words divinely spoken
May your restless heart be broken
Let the supernatural take hold

There is love in the red letters
There is truth in the red letters
There is hope for the hopeless
Peace and forgiveness
There is life in the red letters

One man came to reveal a mystery
Changing the course of history, made the claim he was God
Ageless, born of a virgin Mary
Spoke with a voice that carried through the years, it's persevered

What You say moves me, revelation, come and take me
The more I look (the more I look) the more I see (the more I see)
The Word of God (the Word Of God) is what I need

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