Words and Music – I Get to Love You

Sometimes the smallest word can have a huge impact.  The first time I heard Ruelle’s “I Get to Love You” I was struck by the use of the words “I Get To”.  Not “I’m Obligated . . . “o or “I Guess I . . . ”  but “I GET to love you.”  It’s a privilege.  Something I’m lucky enough to get to do.  Needless to say, I think of my husband and smile every time I hear this song.  Mindset is everything.

I get to love you
It’s the best thing that I’ll ever do
I get to love you
It’s a promise I’m making to you
Whatever may come your heart I will choose
Forever I’m yours, forever I do
I get to love you

Music and Me – I Stand

I love a good “girl power” song.  From the fun and upbeat to the thought-provoking, I love them all!

Idina Menzel’s “I Stand” was one I fell in love with IMMEDIATELY.  The chorus is especially powerful –

‘Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me
I stand for the strange and lonely,
I believe there’s a better place
I don’t know if the sky is heaven,
But I pray anyway

Music & Me – Church (Take Me Back)

There was a time that I swore I would never go back
I was blind to the truth, didn’t know what I had
I was running, I was searching
But every place I turned for healing
Left me more broken than the last
Take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that’s in my bones
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse
Where they’ve seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first
Oh, I want to go to church
Tried to walk on my own but I wound up lost
Now I’m making my way to the foot of the cross
It’s not a trophy for the winners
It’s a shelter for the sinners
And it’s right where I belong
Take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that’s in my bones
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse
Where they’ve seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first
Oh, I want to go to church
I want to go to church
Oh, more than an obligation
It’s our foundation
The family of God
I know it’s hard
But we need each other
We’re sisters and brothers
Oh, take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that’s in my bones
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse
Where they’ve seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first
Oh, I want to go to church
Yeah, I want to go to church
Oh, I want to go, want to go, I want to go
Oh, I want to go to church
Oh, I want to go to church

Music and Me – Freedom Hymn

I push, I pull
Go back and forth finding myself pounding on a locked door
I try to make it out alone without your help
But I know I’ll never win this war
I can never be, never be, free without you
I can never be, never be, me without you
This is the sound of chains breaking
This is the beat of a heart-changing
This is a song of a soul forgiven
This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn, my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn, my freedom hymn
I breathe the air of freedom in knowing my life
Is better off in Your hands
The past is gone, what’s done is done
Now I’m alive
And I’m never gonna look back
I can never be, never be, free without you
I can never be, never be, me without you
This is the sound of chains breaking
This is the beat of a heart-changing
This is a song of a soul forgiven
This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn, my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn, my freedom hymn
Who the Son sets (free)
Is free indeed
Who the Son sets
Is free indeed
Who the Son sets
Is free
I’m free, oh
This is the sound of chains breaking
This is the beat of a heart-changing
This is a song of a soul forgiven, oh
This is the sound of chains breaking
This is the beat of a heart-changing
This is a song of a soul forgiven
This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn (my freedom hymn), my freedom hymn (my freedom hymn)
This is my freedom hymn, my freedom hymn, ooh

Day One – Matthew West

This seemed like a fitting song to share on New Year’s Day – LITERALLY Day One of 2020!!  Since Tuesday is all about “Words and Music” – I LOVE the phrase that says “Every single day Your grace reminds me that my best days are not behind me.”  Talk about hope!

Music and Me – December Song

During the month of December, the “Music and Me” weekly feature is going to simply be lyrics from Christmas songs that I love.  Merry Christmas!!

In December
We give our gifts
Wishing well to our world
Peace on Earth to
Everyone
A time to be joyful
when all is calm
and all is bright
But why
Does it change with seasons?
And why can’t we just hold on?
to Silents Nights
Holy Nights
And Angels Singing
Lullabies and
Heaven and Nature
Singing Good Will To All…
To All
There are times
I can remember
with family and friends
the light of Christmas
radiates
It lights up my memories
the magic of love
we made time…
But why
Does it change with seasons?
And why can’t we just hold on?
to Silent Nights
Holy Nights
And Angels Singing
Lullabies and
Heaven and Nature
Singing Good Will To All…
To All
O Come Let Us Adore Him
O Come Let Us Adore Him
O Come Let Us Adore Him

Music and Me – Legacy

The year was 1996.  My husband, Jim, was serving as the youth pastor at First Evangelical Free Church, a small congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The job was mostly volunteer with just a small stipend attached.  He was also working at UPS in management.  I was pregnant with our fourth child and an ultrasound had revealed that we were having a son.

In late March, Warren, one of the founding members of the church passed away rather unexpectedly.  He was the grandfather of one of the youth group members and had really been the significant “father figure” in that young man’s life.  In early May, the Pastor of the church, Dr. Frederick Moore, went to the National Institutes of Health for the continued treatment of a rare genetic condition he suffered from. I will never forget the morning that phone call came in.

A pastor of a sister church north of the city called and wanted to know how my husband was doing.  Needless to say, we were a bit confused since there was no reason for him to be anything but fine. Or so we thought. That’s when we got word that Pastor Fred had died early that morning.  Complications following surgery.  This man was more than “just” the pastor of our church.  He was my husband’s mentor in ministry.  His impact on my husband’s life was so powerful that my son bears the middle name “Frederick” in his honor.  Pastor Fred had two boys still in the youth group and his oldest was in college.  “Our kids” lost two very significant individuals in just a few weeks.  They were reeling.

Fast forward five years – I was helping to “run” the music ministry of the church and Warren’s widow approached me with a touching request.  She didn’t want a big fuss made but she wondered if it might be possible to have a song done as special music on some random Sunday.  While the grief of losing a spouse never really goes away, she had been having an especially difficult time of late and it would be a comfort to her to have just a little memorial in the form of a song.

I started looking but nothing stood out.  I just couldn’t find the right song.  I wasn’t even too concerned with finding a song specifically for me to sing.  That church was rich with vocal talent and there were any number of vocalists – of all voice parts – that could have done a beautiful job sharing this gift.  I vented my frustration to my husband, who knew about the request I was trying to honor.

“I can’t find a song that will work to honor the memory of Warren and Pastor Fred.  But I promised we’d do something.  What am I going to do?”

“Maybe,” he replied with a smile, “You haven’t found the right song because it hasn’t been written yet.”

Now I do not consider myself a songwriter.  By that I mean I don’t wake up in the morning and think “today is a good day to write a new song.”  Usually an experience triggers a lyric or melodic line and I just kind of work from there.  When my husband and I had the conversation mentioned above, I had only written a few songs. I never would have come up with the idea on my own. But my husband had said it so there it was.  Was I really supposed to create something completely original to honor these two much-loved individuals?  Was I even capable of living up to the task?!

Then one morning, while standing in the shower, of all places, a lyrical phrase ran through my mind – “They left a legacy, built on the solid rock.”  As quickly as was reasonably possible, I finished the shower and got dressed, then grabbed a note pad to jot down that phrase.  I knew at that moment that the song would be about ordinary individuals with no earthly fame who left behind a legacy of faith.  When it was finally written and shared as special music in a Sunday morning service, the sound man made sure to record it.  We passed CD’s on to the family members that those two faithful servants had left behind.  Since that time, that recording has been played at my grandfather’s funeral and my grandmother made me promise I would sing it live at hers which, by some miracle, I was able to do.

I continue to be humbled by the impact this song has on those that have heard it.  It seems that those of us who claim the name of Christ often have those individuals in our lives, past or present, who have left an imprint on us because they embody the truth of the lyrics –

“They left a legacy built on the solid rock;
Their footsteps led the way to the firm foundation.
Their faith in Jesus you could see in the way they lived.
They knew the greatest gift that they could give
Was the legacy of Heaven.”

Hebrews 12:1 (NASB)

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Words and Music – Now More Than Ever

Not gonna say much about this one except to share the lyrics that can reduce me to grateful tears in a moment –

Is Love’s Old Sweet Story too good to be true?
Do you find all this hard to believe?
Has the cruel world we live in so battered your heart
That the hurt child inside you can’t grieve?
I can’t say I blame you
I’ve been where you are
But all I can say is
It’s true!
You’re wanted
You’re precious
You’re the love of His heart
And the old rugged cross was for you