Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

“I Will Sing Unending Songs…”

“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord…”
Psalm 102:18 (ESV)

unending songs

This weekend, I will spend Saturday morning and Sunday evening recording a live worship album with the worship ministries team at church.

I’m only one small part of the second row of a large choir (plus orchestra, rhythm section, praise team, tech team, children’s choir, and student choir), but I am so excited to be a part of this recording project. I do not take this opportunity and responsibility lightly … to be a part of leading others (both present and future generations, both in my city and around the world) to worship in spirit and in truth and to praise the Lord’s name!

While we’ve been diligently preparing and rehearsing for several weeks (probably more like months…) now, this past Wednesday evening was obviously a particularly long and intense rehearsal as tempos were being nailed down, harmonies were being fine-tuned, rhythms were being locked-in, cut-offs were being sharpened, and all of the moving parts were being tweaked to come into their final places.

No doubt there will be a few additional tweaks throughout the multiple day recording process this weekend (and beyond) as well.

But beyond the logistics and the technical aspects of the music, the lights, the sound, etc., it is such an honor and privilege to serve alongside this worship ministries team under the leadership of a worship pastor who values and prioritizes Biblical worship.

Even the most intense rehearsals are Christ-centered and worship-focused.

I love that!

Now I’m not really much into visions. In fact, I’m probably more on the side of the skeptic when it comes to receiving some form of a vision from the Lord, but I also believe that God can and does still work that way when His people are willing to listen and see.

So what I’m about to say, I take incredibly seriously, but know I likely won’t be able to do the moment much justice at all. But it’s too rich not to at least try!

As we were nearing the 2.5 hour mark on Wednesday evening, as I was feeling more fatigued by the minute and rather at the end of myself, during our final worship set, a medley of four songs all about the eternal song of praise in heaven, the Lord allowed me to catch a hazy and fleeting, but oh so powerful, glimpse of the reality of heaven.

Not in a clear photographic vision sort of way.
Not even in a clouds-parted-and-I-literally-saw-heaven sort of way.
Not at all.

But with the house lights down, the spotlights bright, the many exit signs glowing, in the fogginess and dimness of that moment as we were literally singing the words,

“Every eye will see the coming of the King…”

I saw it.

A hazy, fleeting, barely-for-a-moment glimpse of That Day when all eyes will be focused on the Center of this eternal reality … the light and truth that is our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh. Wow.

I’m speechless just thinking about it again!

It was as if for that very brief moment, I was able to step outside of myself, aware of the powerful and heartfelt worship coming from the entire team around me, but somehow removed from it and able to catch a glimpse of what this looked like from the outside.  Somehow able to see this grand light – Jesus Christ on His throne – that we were all singing towards, that our hearts were all directed towards, that our eyes were all looking towards.

Every eye seeing. Every knee bowing. Every heart worshiping.

And y’all.

It changed my own heart in an instant.

At the end of myself, the Great I AM stepped in and re-directed my heart to the unending, awesome, holy, and wonderful Glory of His Son.

While still physically exhausted, my worship was transformed following that moment … renewed, energized, passionate, and true.

Eternity is a reality. Heaven is real.

And THE eternal song of heaven begins now…

“Holy, Holy are You Lord, God, Almighty!”

“Worthy is the Lamb!”

“Jesus is the Lord!”

“Blessing and honor and glory and power, forever!”

“I will sing unending songs…”

What I’m Learning In the Everyday

Lately, it seems I’ve been in one of those seasons that is mostly characterized by the routine of the everyday.

what i'm learning in the everyday

Oh, sure, I have a couple of trips planned for later this year, I’m doing my fair share of dreaming big (which if I’m being totally honest, still feels a little different and uncomfortable because I’ve always tended more towards the practical and logical side of, well, everything), and there are new things potentially surfacing in the distant horizon, but they’re not right around the corner. So I find myself doing life right now in the everydayness of it all.

It’s good. It’s full. It’s rich. It’s demanding.

It’s just the everyday.

But I want to be wildly, unashamedly, with-abandon passionate, faithful, and focused on the Lord in the midst of this.

Because this is real life. This is relationship. This is walking with Him, trusting Him, depending on Him even when it doesn’t always “feel” like I need Him. Because I do. Desperately. In each moment of the everyday.

And perhaps because of this particular season, when it comes to living this life worthy of my calling, I find myself in the middle of learning so much that serves as a constant reminder of how unfinished and how desperately-in-need-of-Him-each-moment I really am…

I’m learning to keep my eyes fixed on Christ … even though I’m really bad it.

I’m learning to live by the Spirit in each and every moment.

I’m learning to accept the grace upon grace that Christ so freely gives.

I’m learning to walk by faith and not by sight … even when my calendar is too full and I feel like I’m operating in survival mode.

I’m learning to ask God for big things according to His will.

I’m learning to see the beauty in the small things that I far too often overlook.

I’m learning to love well by allowing Christ to fill me, so that I can be emptied on others.

I’m learning to rest in the fullness of Christ rather than attempting perfection by my own strength.

And I’m learning to crave more of Jesus Christ above all else because He is the only One who truly satisfies.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30 (ESV)

Tragedy & the Hope of the Gospel

This is a conversation that I would much rather have with each one of you over coffee. While listening to your story and sharing some of mine. And interjecting a healthy dose of encouragement throughout what would no doubt be a rich discussion. But although it doesn’t seem complete enough in this limited format, although there’s so much more I could say, the message is far too important to not share at all. And maybe for today, simple is best.

tragedy & the hope of the gospel

Tragedy is hard. The fallenness and sinfulness of humanity is painful.

In the wake of recent events such as the shooting in Newtown, CT, the unrest in North Korea, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and the earthquake in Pakistan (just to name a few…), it becomes obvious that we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

But on days like today, I want to say in no uncertain terms that in Jesus Christ there is a foundation that is solid and a hope that is secure.

He is an immovable, unshakable anchor. He is the only guarantee in this uncertain world full of hurt and pain and heartache.

He alone fills the emptiness for more and satisfies the longing for different.

His victory is secure.

He’s hope. He’s peace. He’s salvation.

Eternally.

Do you know Him?

Do you trust Him?

Do you follow Him?

If you do, then would you acknowledge His presence and lean into Him even closer today? Would you pour out your heart before Him and unashamedly trust in His faithfulness, in His goodness, in His sovereignty? And would you pray for those affected by the horrors and tragedies of this world?

But if you don’t, would you pause for a moment and consider that you’re not guaranteed tomorrow? Would you consider that there is a greater purpose and a greater peace for this life? Would consider your urgent need for Jesus Christ and that through His sacrifice there is forgiveness for sins and the promise of a perfect eternity with Him? Would you consider that He’s extending an invitation for you to draw near to Him and all you have to do is call on His name?

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
– Jesus Christ (John 16:33, ESV)

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If I can answer any questions, suggest resources, or simply listen to your story, it would my privilege to do so. You can contact me via email at theinnerharbor(at)gmail.com.

I Pray That…

“O Lamb of God, for sinners slain.
Redemption’s price, Your sacrifice, my ransom paid.
O Bread of Life, broken now for me.
Your blood, the cup poured out in love has set me free.”
– Travis Cottrell / O Sacred Head Now Wounded (O Lamb of God)

i pray that

Today, as we continue to reflect on the power of Christ in us made possible only by the cross, by His selfless and loving sacrifice…

I pray that we would remember the fullness of His suffering on the cross with the hope and assurance that comes from knowing that on this coming Lord’s Day, we will proclaim with boldness that He is risen, just as He said.

I pray that we would know the truth of that reality in the depths of our being, whether for the first time or for the hundredth time.

And I pray that we would come near to this Lamb of God who gave Himself up and poured Himself out for each one of us … because of His holy sacrifice, as the perfect and blameless and spotless Lamb, we are free.

Have a blessed Easter!

There Are Just No Words

There are just no words

There are just no words.

I’ve written so many of them this weekend as my human and fallen mind has done its best to attempt to process such an unspeakable horror and tragedy. Yet through all the brokenness and the heartbreak and the tears shed, the words all come up short, hollow, empty.

This reality, this evil … it’s too overwhelming for words.

All that’s left is sitting with the suffering, sharing in the sorrow. Not in their physical midst, but with a prayerful heart that aches alongside.

There’s just nothing else to do.

Even precious promises on the pages of Scripture don’t seem to be enough.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

Oh, I have certainly turned towards them often over these past few days for reminders of absolute truth, for reminders of the Everlasting Father’s faithfulness, for reminders that this world is not the end, but still, all that’s left is sitting at the feet of Jesus, in His presence, knowing He hurts with us, knowing He hurt first.

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” Isaiah 53:4

And at His feet, there is mostly silent prayer, trusting that the Holy Spirit knows the words, because even these words brought before Him – a cry for His mercy, a plea for His peace and comfort on the community of Newtown, CT, a desperation for Him to come quickly – are inadequate. Even these cries are insufficient.

But I know that the inadequate and the insufficient can be laid on the all-sufficient One.

Lord, be our Emmanuel, God with us, with them, this night, this weekend, this life. Be the God of all Comfort, the Prince of Peace, the Light in this darkness, the Savior of the world. Heal us, restore us, draw us near. Wash over Newtown, CT with your overwhelming presence in their overwhelming grief.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

We stand in such desperate need of a Savior, of untold mercy. And this sin, this wrong, this evil can be overcome by none other than the Messiah Himself.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When the weight of sin and the depravity of man are just too great, He is greater still.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of this Savior, this Messiah, in the midst of our “How long, O Lord?” and “Come, Lord Jesus” pleas, we cling to Him with greater resolve, we hold fast to Him in greater desperation.

And we sit with the suffering, we share in the sorrow.

There are just no words, no answers, but one:

His name is Jesus.

“Freedom’s calling, chains are falling. Hope is dawning bright and true. Day is breaking, night is quaking. God is making all things new. Jesus Saves.”

– Jesus Saves (Travis Cottrell)