Tag Archives | music series

Verbs: #6 Watch

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More verbs!  Everywhere we look thee is advice to follow in our world.  which do we choose to do/follow?  Where and when to we get God’s answers?  That there is the tricky part.  Listening for what GOD is saying, not some person on tv or the radio.  And the hard part is when you want an answer right now, but you have to wait months for one.  Because of course, God works in His own sweet time.  Bugger.

God totally has a sense of humor about this too–I am not kidding.   That Lauren Daigle song “Trust in You” came on every time I got in the car for the last three weeks.  I finally put in a cd because I couldn’t take it anymore.  Then…I finally handed it over and trusted, and I got an answer.  And I know it is what HE planned, because it wasn’t what I had thought would happen.  I know in my heart, it is from HIM.  I just had to watch for it.

Here is the song if you don’t know which one…Lauren Daigle “Trust”

 

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White as Snow

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I love this old hymn.  I painted this one last year during the spring actually–all the pear trees were in bloom and it seemed like it was snowing out there were so many white petals on the breeze and in the new grass.

Right now there is real snow on the ground and I need this reminder of spring.  🙂  But I do love a fresh snow fall.  The fat flakes so big that you can see the intricate designs.  The tiny bits of glitter flakes that sparkle in the sun.  The wet ones that cling to the trees and make it a fairy wedding world.

And…I like how all of those visuals remind me of how Jesus forgives my every sin when I hand them over to Him.  He makes me fresh, blooming, glittering, a new bride.  Isn’t that a wonderful picture in the mind?  Imagine yourself that way.  In my head, that is what I want to look like in heaven as an angel.

Here is a version of this song.

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Be Made New

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My devotions this week included the story of Sodom and Gomorrah –which I had forgotten this was from Genesis, I was thinking it was later in the OT–but anywhoo…  In the commentary by David Preuss he made several points that fit perfectly with my theme this week on the blog that I just have to share with you.

“There has been no ‘golden age’…yet there is a great temptation to begin living in the past.”

“Nostlgia for the past is understandable.  If it becomes a hindrance to positive forward action it is destructive.  It will harden its adherents into an unmoving block of salt.”

Well said David Preuss.

We all know someone who is so bitter about the past that it colors every relationship of now because they just can’t let go. Maybe it is even our self.  I know I have been there, and when I finally realized the truth of the situation it improved those relationships dramatically.

We all know that person who still reminds everyone of their “glory days”, yet have nothing to show for a new life.

We all know that person who demands that life was so much less violent before–um, hello?  Have you studied any of the revolutions?

Maybe kids were more respectful and independent long ago–they were also orphaned as children, worked in factories (child labor), and grew up poor.  Wait…weren’t half of them refugees from European countries?  Isn’t that how most Americans originally got here?

We must remember there is always the other side of the past–the parts we hide from ourselves to make it all look better in our memory.

There is also the other half of our TODAY:  being made NEW!  We have an opportunity every single stinking day to get it right.  Especially when we call on Jesus to help us with that.  Remember our focus yesterday?  Light and love.  Love and light.  That is part of being made new.  And it can be awesome when we let ourselves enjoy a new day, a new opportunity, a new reality every day.

And if you want a little music inspiration to help:  Lincoln Brewster’s “Made New”

 

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Searching for an Inn

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I lied…I kept listening to the Piano Guys and came across this one and got another idea!

Code Name Vivaldi (Bourne Soundtrack/Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto) – ThePianoGuys

I am a DIEHARD fan of the Bourne movies.  LOVE them, watched them over and over, love the music soundtracks (had one as a ringtone).  It is something I share with Jeff and my dad–we even let the kids watch the chase scenes they are sooo good.  I know, crazy.

So what the heck does Bourne have to do with Christmas and being an innkeeper???

The searching.  The never giving up to find out who we truly are.

 That is what this week leading up to the birth of Christ is!  Right?  Mary and Joseph searched and searched for a room, and there were no guest rooms/upper rooms available (plus who wants to go up stairs when you are labor???)  So they stayed in a stable.

The Hebrews had been searching for a savior.  The wise men were searching for a star.  The shepherds were searching for what the angels announced.

We are all searching to find out who we are, for the IN:

we are God’s children.  We are LOVED.  That is who we are.

We just have to open up the stables in our hearts and acknowledge it all–let it all in–throw open those doors–let all those other searchers in and just roll with all that love.

So:  directions for today:  listen to the song, imagine Joseph and Mary searching, imagine the Hebrews searching, wise men searching. US searching.  Feel the urgency.

Then, realize, as they all did, we found the IN

Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of All who Loves and Commands us to Love Like Him.  

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Draw Nearer

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Here is today’s link to music:  The Piano Guys:  Nearer My God to Thee

This art piece has all sorts of layers of meaning:  I originally just drew it to focus on Jesus this Christmas, then it became our cover piece for the Advent art/coloring/drawing workbook for Bible Stories from the Heart.  But my favorite:  my cousin’s daughter rearranged all of their nativities (they have 3 or 4) so that every piece is facing the baby Jesus and they are in TIGHT.  Super close.  She is DEAD ON!  That is how we should all go to the manger–up tight and close facing the Christ.  May we draw nearer to our God.

And here are the lyrics to this hymn:

Lyrics

  1. 1. Nearer, my God, to thee,
    Nearer to thee!
    E’en though it be a cross
    That raiseth me.
    Still all my song shall be
  2. (Chorus)
    Nearer, my God, to thee,
    Nearer, my God, to thee,
    Nearer to thee!
  3. Though like the wanderer,
    The sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me,
    My rest a stone,
    Yet in my dreams I’d be
  4. There let the way appear,
    Steps unto heav’n;
    All that thou sendest me,
    In mercy giv’n;
    Angels to beckon me
  5. Then with my waking thoughts
    Bright with thy praise,
    Out of my stony griefs
    Bethel I’ll raise;
    So by my woes to be
  6. Or if, on joyful wing
    Cleaving the sky,
    Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
    Upward I fly,
    Still all my song shall be
    Text: Sarah F. Adams, 1805-1848
    Music: attr. to Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
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Strong God–and a bit of a soapbox on shootings

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This is from the song “Strong God” (Writer(s): Meredith Andrews, Jason Ingram, Jon Egan).

(link and verses at the bottom)

This is such a powerful song.  I pulled it up for the link, and as it started to play I had to stop writing, I just sat and rocked, listening and singing along–and it has that effect on me every time I hear it.  It stops me in my tracks.  As Jon Egan, the writer, says in another video, he based this song off Psalm 68.  He wanted it to be “a massive proclamation of truth, to sing out”.  He achieved that.

Our strong God is so needed.  The latest mass killing in California saddens me.  But even more so, I saw this article from PBS news about all of the mass shootings in the US in 2015.  We hear about some of them, but only a select make national headlines.  That is what is really sad.  The number of people shot in Chicago on a DAILY  basis is alarming.  2, 771 have been shot this year just in Chicago–on average EIGHT people every day.  THAT is really sad.

This weighed heavy on me yesterday, especially as I listened to others discuss this incident.  And I came to two conclusions:

  1.   There are a lot of people who need our STRONG GOD.  It is not guns that shoot people–it is people shooting people. People who are sad, and mad, and lost, and hurting, who feel unloved.  These people need God in their lives.  And not Christ shoved down their throats God.  But gentle, sweet assurances, deep help for what is wrong in their bodies, brains, and hearts.  They need to know there are other ways.  So today I am singing this song to the powerless, to the father of the widows, to the weak, to the prisoners of hate and sadness that God will move in their hearts.  And I will do what I can for those around me to spread His love.
  2. I will NOT BE AFRAID.  I heard a Christian radio station morning host talking about how he is afraid to let his kids go places because of the shooting.  It ENRAGED me.  Really–I was yelling at the radio in the car.  (I know..strong reaction…maybe a little crazed myself.)     But this is why I got mad:  we are not to be afraid.  We are the ones who are supposed to trust our Strong God in all circumstances.  We are the ones who are supposed to go out and help these lost–NOT HIDE in our homes and cower in fear.  If we are afraid as Christians then our culture is in even worse shape than I thought.  And as those numbers up above tell–if we are going to hole up in our homes afraid of a shooting, we  might as well never leave because it happens every stinking day in every stinking place.

Our nation is at war.  We are at war with ourselves.  We need our STRONG GOD.  Focus with me on Him, pray with me for our nation this weekend that we will stop fighting each other.

Father to the fatherless Defender of the weak

Freedom for the prisoner we sing

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed in love and strength

Sing out lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

You’re with us in the wilderness faithful to provide
Ev’ry breath and ev’ry step we see

There is no higher no
There is no greater no
There is none stronger than our God

 

 

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Power in His Name

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Inspired by this song:  Break Every Chain sung by Jesus Culture

A little on this artwork:  I was listening to this song, thinking about rocks–I think I painted this about the time I wrote the stepping stones series.  This time I was thinking of the purity of Christ and the whiteness of marble.  I was thinking about broken chains and just how hard that is to do.  About all the things He does, that I want to do with Him.  And this came out.

Notice the word at the top of the pile is the word I have been focusing on:  obey.  And from there I wrote ways to obey.  These are all ways I can do what Jesus is calling me to do.  And when I call on His power to help me do these things He shares with me–strengthening me in ways I will never imagine.

There is power in the name of Jesus.  There is.  There is power.

He breaks every chain holding us to sin, to the Earth, and He makes us pure in heaven with Him.

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Holy Spirit

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Link to : Francesca Battistelli’s “Holy Spirit”

This song gives me CHILLS.  Every time.

Friday September 18th I was headed to my first big class–and teaching acrylic painting.  A little outside my comfort zone. And sharing my story–totally inside my zone.  LOL    It was crazy raining, I was running late, I was getting nervous and worried.

Then this came on the radio.

I already planned that I was going to open the class by holding our hands open and calling on the Spirit to fill us that night.  But at this moment, it was like God was reminding me in the sweetest, gentlest way–this is about calling on Him, on the Spirit.  As long as I did that God would take care of the class, He would carry every woman through the night, He would fill my words and teaching.

He did.  He changed the atmosphere.  I called on Jesus right there in the car and then we opened with that prayer.  I instantly felt His calm fill me, and the joy of worshiping fill me.

Ah, yes.  This is what deciding is all about dear friends.  When we ask, we receive.  Thanks be to God.

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I Decided

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I decided by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

It is time for a song week!  These are definitely journal pieces–ones that I just glued down paper, painted, and added words.  Nothing fancy, but a lot of worship and prayer in these.

I have said it before, I will say it again, when I preplan the month, which artworks I will post when, God helps plan it.  He knew I would be exhausted and pressed for time this week, and He knew music would be the perfect thing to share.  Isn’t He great?  Don’t you just love those God moments?

Here is the link to Brandon Heath’s “No Turning Back”

And this week’s songs have been playing in my head a lot recently!  They are my little personal soundtrack keeping me rolling.  Do you have songs like that?  When you hear it, you must turn it up louder, and let it sink into every cell?

This song by Brandon Heath helps me keep on track with my goal of obedience.  When I start thinking I can’t keep up with all that He is calling me to obey right now, this reminds me:  I decided to follow.  I know this is best.  And this calling is part of His commission to call of you, to encourage others to obey.  To obey Jesus’ call of love and peace.  Oh, what a great thing to decide to do!  What a great thing to obey!

Yes, I have decided.  Yes, I want you to come with me.

 

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Cornerstone

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Cornerstone Acts 4:11 by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Before I painted this one I googled images for cornerstones.  Most of the photos were of very old buildings, hundreds of years old.  Buildings of stability, tradition, strength, and even the courage to prevail.  Buildings that had made it through any number of natural and human disasters.

When we are in need it is so good to know that we can turn to the strongest one of all!  Jesus is our cornerstone.  He is stability, strength, courage.  God is a tradition of faith and love that has prevailed through thousands of years of natural and human disasters.  We can stand in His corner and know that we are protected and loved.

Remember I prayed for a bubble of protection this weekend around my daughter?  I liked that image, but now I think I like the visual of her standing by the cornerstone of Jesus-the walls flanking her on either side.  I like the visual of me standing in that corner with my hands pressed against the cool stones and bricks feeling the power of Jesus jolt my system as I feel that stability strengthen me.

We sang the song Cornerstone this weekend in church, and of course, I cried.  And my artwork came to my mind.  I closed my eyes and could picture this building.  And the cornerstones of countless churches.  And I was fortified.

Here is the song by Hillsong for you to listen to.  What images come to mind?  How does it make you feel?

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Blessed Assurance

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Blessed Assurance by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

As long as we keep an attitude of reverence, submission, and praise we can be assured that God will continue to offer us His faith, His hope, and His truth through all the information we wade through.

Remember this old hymn?  Blessed Assurance  listen here and as you listen and read the lyrics join me in the prayer and worship that this song is.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Listen to something new

Scan-001I am only going to share music with this today.

This is some of the best piano music I have found in a long time!  Absolutely inspiring click the links below to go to YouTube and listen:

Paul Cardall New Life, “Letting Go”*

David Ketchum “MGNT Kids Remix” you can listen here. **

(* He composed the music to go with several Richard Paul Evans books and an album of hymns.)

(**The original song is good, but a bit scary. But as a piano piece it was fabulous.  The rest of the album is good and interesting also.  I always like being introduced to something new.)

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It is WELL with my Soul

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It Is Well with MY Soul by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Ahhh.  And this dear friends is the culmination.  To feel that peace.  To feel the positive outcomes of a little time of solitude.  To enjoy our dream places of staying.  To know that we are loved by family and friends.  To know that we came home to what we really should focus on.  To know that God is with us.  Yes.

It is well with my soul.

Drink it in, breathe it in deep.  repeat it to yourself over and over, as a prayer.

It is WELL with my soul.  It is well with MY soul.  It is well with my SOUL.  

Isn’t that wonderful?  Do you feel it change you?

Remember that piece in orange, one positive thought a day?  This can be it.  This is all it needs to be.

Rest in the face that faith makes our souls well.  We are WELL.

Here is the song and the fascinating story behind it!

 

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Be Lifted High

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My Life Lifted High by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

This song by Hillsong United inspired this faith art journaling piece. I don’t think I can’t end this week any better.  Here are the lyrics.

“Came To My Rescue” Writer(s): Dylan Thomas, Joel Davies, Marty Sampson

Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek your face
Lord all I am is yours

My whole life
I place in your hands
God of Mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at your throne

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are

My whole life
I place in your hands
God of Mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at your throne

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are
[x2]

In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high
[x3]

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are

 

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