In Appreciation of Music, Lyrics and Mercy (not in that order)!

My husband loves a song that grabs him musically. I love songs that grab me lyrically. We both have musical talent, but he is the true musician. And I'm the lover of words.

Actually, John is the one who helped me realize I'm not a musician. He told me recently, "You have a God-given talent for playing the piano. But if you were a true musician, you would have to play. I can't imagine not playing my guitar for my own enjoyment." And his words are very true. I don't think I would have been a concert pianist as a kid if my dad hadn't supplied the drive. On the other hand, nobody has ever had to push me to write. Because that is my passion.

I love reading as well as writing. If it's about my own enjoyment, I would rather read OR write than play the piano. Come to think of it, even if I was at the peak of my musical accomplishment today, I would still rather cook a fabulous meal for you than perform a fabulous song. And while you may or may not appreciate my writing, I have yet to meet the person who did not enjoy my cooking. And I appreciate the music in my life that is supplied by true musicians! Especially today.

I frequently have moments of reflection (contrasting my spiritual past and present) in worship settings. Today was one of them. There is no anger or resentment in these moments, just thankfulness. Overwhelming thankfulness. I am in awe of God's mercy and faithfulness.

If you are anywhere near me when a worship song deeply touches my heart, it is obvious because I'm a crier. I cannot sing about the cross or God's love without tears filling my eyes. I am so moved by what Jesus did for me. In the past, I remember being profoundly confused by the cross and what this sacrifice actually accomplished. It sounded to me like Jesus died only to give me a chance of making it to heaven on my own effort. He was an example of course, but not truly a Savior in the full sense of the word.

He is still my example, but He is fully -- and foremost -- my Savior.

Our pastor pointed out to us today the meaning of the words restored and redeemed. To be restored is to not only be made new, but to be made better than new. And to be redeemed is to have something done for us that we could not do for ourselves.

Am I thankful that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself?
You better believe I am.

Do I want to live a life of obedience for His glory more than ever before because I now understand the true Gospel and what Jesus has done for me?
How else could I demonstrate my love and my gratitude for the gift of salvation?!

I read this on Facebook this afternoon (via Barry Schneider)...

A visitor (seeking to console the dying Thomas Hooker): Sir, you are going to receive the reward of your labour. Thomas Hooker: Brother, I am going to receive mercy!

My sentiments exactly! The Gospel is so humbling. No more do I ever think in terms of getting what I deserve. Mercy is what I want. I know the Bible does speak of rewards and blessings that follow our right choices. But I am so humbled by God's grace, love and mercy that I never feel I am deserving of either a reward or a blessing. Instead, I am just so very grateful for mercy.

I am so thankful that I have heard and believed the Good News of the Gospel. Today I have the hope and the joy I always longed for. The riches of His love will always be enough.

These are two of the worship songs we sang at church today. I could not sing either without tears.


Forever Reign

(Verse 1)
You are good
You are good
When there's nothing good in me

You are love
You are love
On display for all to see

You are light
You are light
When the darkness closes in

You are hope
You are hope
You have covered all my sin

(Verse 2)
You are peace
You are peace
When my fear is crippling

You are true
You are true
Even in my wandering

You are joy
You are joy
You're the reason that I sing

You are life
You are life
In You death has lost its sting

(Chorus)
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

(Verse 3)
You are more
You are more
Than my words will ever say

You are Lord
You are Lord
All creation will proclaim

You are here
You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole

You are God
You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

(Bridge)
My heart will sing
No other name
Jesus Jesus

All I Need

All I need to do is worship
All I need to do is say His name out loud
All I need to do is lift my hands, surrender
And bow down
All I need to do is find Him
All I need to do is let His presence fall
All I need to do is worship
Worship the Lord

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