O Holy Night!

| December 23, 2012

“The Manger Scene” drawn by my little kindergartener

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 

“O Holy Night” is my favorite Christmas song. Whenever I hear it, my heart grows within me. I think it’s that amazing final crescendo of “OH NIIIIIGHT DIVIIIIINE” that grips me, every time. And, when it’s sung with perfect pitch and power, it’s truly breathtaking. Today, my church‘s talented music team led us in praising God to this beautiful work of art. The lead singer was flawless in hitting those notes and her passion for Christ behind the lyrics was clearly evident.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 

But, this morning at church, something new grabbed my attention as we sung this carol. I don’t remember ever hearing the version we proclaimed: “Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease”. The words surprised me, because although this has been my favorite Christmas song for many years, the purposes of God in my life for abolitionist work is fairly recent. So, with my eyes opened wider to the injustices of our modern world, my song rang out in praise to God… and also in prayer for those around our world who are captives. May God set them free! And, not just free from physical chains. But, may this prayer be for any who are bound with sin’s soul chains that trap them from the true freedom that can only be found in Christ! What a beautiful freedom He offers!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

I felt a little bit like this morning’s worship was a prelude to heaven. Wow. We get to praise this God, forever. The only God that came to us to draw us close to Himself.
No matter what your Christmas is turning out to be, I encourage you to look to Jesus.  The King that “In all our trials (was) born to be our friend. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.”  ”His power and glory ever more proclaim!” We truly have something wonderful to proclaim! The Savior of the world, Jesus Christ came just for us! Thank you, Lord!
John 3:16

God Of This City Video

| November 25, 2009

Here is a video from the band Bluetree, that shares the story of the song, “God Of This City.”

Come Alive

| April 27, 2009

“The glory of God is man fully alive.” -Saint Ireneaus

Sara Groves “Just Showed Up For My Own Life”Sara Groves “just showed up for my own life”

Are you really living? I can honestly say that I’ve just started to truly come alive. There’s a difference between knowing something in your head and knowing it in your heart. I finally believe, with all my heart, that Christ loves me and He has a special purpose for me, every day of my life. A growing realization of who I really am, in Christ, has been changing my life. Understanding who He made me to be is allowing me to glorify Him in new ways.

I glorify Him because of who I am. I am His creation, a unique woman who has individual interests and value aside from any of the roles I play in my life. I am also Nathan’s wife, the boys’ mommy, a writer, an artist, a photographer and an up-and-coming modern day abolitionist. I’m a Christian who thinks that living for Jesus is more about what I do in Him, rather than what I shouldn’t be doing in the world. I can say now, what I wouldn’t have said just over a year ago, “I AM a world changer.”

A part of what he’s using to glorify Himself is my realization and acceptance of who I am not: the stereotypical pastor’s wife (there isn’t a “typical pastor’s wife”, by the way), an amazing cook, the girl who other people might think I am… and most importantly, who I was yesterday. What freedom!

I pray the same for you. Seek after God. Receive His love and accept that you ARE valuable! He made you with a special purpose that only you can fulfill. I encourage you to glorify God by coming alive in Him! It’s the only way to live!