Monday Vitamins: The Love of Advent

The song, “Noel,” sung by Lauren Daigle on Chris Tomlin’s Christmas album, Adore, moved me deeply the first time I heard it, and its impact seems to deepen each time I listen. If the gospel can be summed up in one song, “Noel” does so, for me. I experience a sense of wonder when I hear Lauren Daigle exult, “Noel. Noel. Come and see what God has done…Story of amazing love.” Indeed.

 Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore

Chorus
Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
Noel

Verse 2
Son of God and Son of man
There before the world began
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave
Christ the everlasting Lord
He shall reign forevermore

Lyrics from http://worshiptogether.com/songs/noel-chris-tomlin/

 

 

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Playlist: This is my Father’s World

So often, and moreso now with recent natural disasters, wars, almost daily acts of mass terrorism, the murders of Christians, the unending, seemingly “unwinnable” battle against human trafficking, I need the reminder that this is my Father’s world.

Psalm 103:19 reminds us:

The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 103:19-22 notes, “He that made all rules all, and both by a word of power: He has prepared His throne, has fixed and established it that it cannot be shaken; He has afore-ordained all the measures of His government and does all according to the counsel of His own will… He takes cognizance of all the inhabitants, and all the affairs, of this lower world, and disposes all persons and things according to the counsel of His will, to His own glory (Daniel 4:35): His kingdom rules over all kings and all kingdoms, and from it there is no exempt jurisdiction.”

 

1. This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

2. This is my Father’s world,
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

3. This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Lyrics found on http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh144.sht

(The version sung by Fernando Ortega includes the alternative ending of the third verse: “This is my Father’s world. The battle is not done. Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heav’n be one”).

Click here for history of the hymn.

From sunrise to sunset and in all other moments

When morning gilds the skies 

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my heart awaking cries:

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May Jesus Christ be praised! WP_20150504_011

When evening shadows fall,

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this rings my curfew call

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May Jesus Christ be praised!

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The words quoted above are some of the lyrics from the classic hymn, May Jesus Christ be praised (When morning gilds the skies). I learned the hymn as a child; however, it is as an adult that I am learning the full truth underlying the lyrics – God is worthy of my praise and is to be praised at all times and in all circumstances. Also, the choice to praise is  Him is always within my power.

The  complete lyrics can be found here.

Playlist: “First”

He was a preteen who, due to circumstances outside of his control, was no longer living with his mother. She communicated by telephone daily, or at least attempted to do so. One day, after he was given the telephone to speak with her, his first words were requests for items he desired. “Ask how she is doing before asking for things,” he was firmly reminded by one of his caregivers.

Like him, I too need the reminder to focus on my Father first, when communicating with Him. He will not reject me if and when, like the preteen, my first words to Him are requests; however, I stand to benefit much by focusing on Who He is through worship, and expressing thanks for what He has already done. One benefit is that my attention shifts from my problems to Him and I am reminded of His greatness and goodness. Such reminders are always, always uplifting.

“First,” a song by Lauren Daigle, encourages this practice. Multitracks.com notes that the song is based on Matthew 6:33, and “expresses a desire to put God ahead of everything else in our lives, bringing Him our worship before we bring Him our needs.”

Here are the video and lyrics.

Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
Before I lift my cares
I will lift my arms
I wanna know You
I wanna find You
In every season
In every moment
Before I bring my need
I will bring my heart
And seek You

First
I want to seek You
I want to seek You
First
I want to keep You
I want to keep You
First
More than anything I want, I want You
First

Before I speak a word
Let me hear Your voice
And in the midst of pain
Let me feel Your joy
Ooh, I wanna know You
I want find You
In every season
In every moment
Before I speak a word
I will bring my heart
And seek You

First
I want to seek You
I want to seek You
First
I want to keep You
I want to keep You
First
More than anything I want, I want You
First

You are my treasure and my reward
Let nothing ever come before
You are my treasure and my reward
Let nothing ever come before
I seek You

First

Playlist: Good, Good Father

I heard the song, “Good, Good, Father” for the first time last Sunday, during a night of worship at my home church. I wept in face of the truth: God is a good, good Father, and I am loved by Him. I thought of the times when I behaved as if He was everything but loving, and ranted and raged in pain and willfulness. He is only good and His goodness, like every aspect of His being, endures forever.

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who You are, It’s who You are,
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, It’s who I am,
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers only You provide
Because You know just what we need before we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who You are, It’s who You are,
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, It’s who I am,
It’s who I am

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Oh it’s Love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so Unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

Lyrics from http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/h/housefires/good_good_father_crd.htm

Playlist: Mighty is the Power of the Cross

1 Cor 1 v18

Playlist: The Power of the Cross

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18; ESV)