Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Much Too High A Price

I recently was reminded of a song I'd sung publicly a few times many years ago and it strikes me that many who regularly visit this space may have never heard it...and that's a shame.

Not a shame that they've never heard ME sing it, but a shame that they've never heard it at all. It speaks clearly of the lengths to which God went to show His love for us...the price He paid in order to pave our path to life eternal with Him. (And with Good Friday just a few days away, now is a perfect time to introduce the song to the those unfamiliar with it.)

This is the most popular recording of Much Too High A Price, sung by Larnelle Harris.

Your love endured the cross
Despising all the shame
That afternoon when midnight fell
Your suffering cleared my name
And that sin-swept hill became
The open door to paradise
Because You paid so high a price

You paid much too high a price for me
Your tears, Your blood, the pain
To have my soul just stirred at times
Yet never truly change
You deserve a fiery love
That won't ignore your sacrifice
Because you paid much too high a price

Your grace inspires my heart
To rise above the sin
And all the earthly vanity
That seeks to draw me in
I want to tell this jaded world of love
That truly saved a life
A love that paid
So high a price

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Truth is...the first time I heard this song, I cried. I rarely sang it all the way through without shedding tears. And today, when I just read the words to my son so he would know what I was talking about...you guessed it. How can I not be overwhelmed by being loved so completely?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

So Will I

We sang this song as part of our worship at my church. I was supposed to lead the congregation in prayer right after it. It took me a bit to get the catch out of my throat and the tears out of my eyes.

God of creation

There at the start, before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark and fleshed out the wonder of light

And as You speak

A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapour of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship, so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You've made
Every burning star, a signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises, so will I

God of Your promise

You don't speak in vain, no syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken
All nature and science, follow the sound of Your voice

And as You speak

A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature, so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky, a canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You, so will I
So will I, so will I

If the stars were made to worship, so will I

If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I
And if the wind goes where You send it, so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we'll sing again a hundred billion times!

God of salvation

You chased down my heart through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world abandoned in darkness to die

And as You speak

A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You, so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You've done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender, so will I
I can see in Your heart, eight billion different ways
Every precious one, a child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them, so will I

Like You would again a hundred billion times

But what measure could amount to Your desire?

You're the One who never leaves the one behind
"So Will I"
Benjamin Hastings, Michael Fatkin, Joel Houston

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Truth is...Just as the good shepherd leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside and risks everything to go find the one little lamb who wandered away (Matthew 18:12), so Jesus left the glories of Heaven to scoop me up from whatever metaphorical briar-filled ditch I'd gotten myself stuck in. I must...I simply must join in with all of creation in praising Him and expending all my life's energies for the glory of His name and the spreading of His love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Righteous Rocker #3

Larry Norman recorded several different versions of "Righteous Rocker" throughout his career, but since this blog has taken it upon itself to educate the masses about the album In Another Land, you get to listen to the shortest (48 seconds) and least rocky rendition available.

You can be a righteous rocker or a holy roller
You can be most anything
You can be a child of the slum or a skid row bum
Or you can be an earthly king
But without love you ain't nothing without love
Without love you ain't nothing without love...

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Truth is...no matter how fast, slow, long, short, rocking, or contemplative the arrangement, this particular song is an able restating of Paul's words in First Corinthians 13:1-3.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (NLT)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Chris Rock On Marriage

If you know ANYthing about Chris Rock's standup comedy, you know I can't post a clip for you to see him in action and maintain the purity standards I've set for this blog. That's right, he allows words to flow from his mouth that are not suitable for the audience that has been established here.

What you may NOT know is that he's got a few excellent words of advice on relationships tucked away inside his current comedy special streaming on Netflix, Tambourine.

Allow me to clean things up a bit and pass on some truth:

You got somebody you love? Hold tight. Commit. And don't be the one always threatening to leave. If you're gonna leave, leave now. That's right, now. During the show. But before you leave, you better make sure you got some options. Some of y'all been in relationships so long, you don't know how ugly you are! [Okay, don't include the "leave now" stuff as part of the truth I'm wanting to pass on to you. I just thought it was funny.]

People say, "Oh, relationships are tough." No they not. They only tough when one person's workin' on it. That's right. Two people can move a couch real easy. One person can't move it at all.

If you're in a relationship, let me try to help you right now.

Rule One: Stop competing. It's not a competition. Her success is your success, and your success is her success.

Number Two: There is no equality in a relationship. You're like, "We equals." No, you're not. You're both there to serve. You are in the service industry.

When you're in a relationship, you're in a band. And when you're in a band, you have roles that you play in the band. Sometimes you sing lead, and sometimes you're on tambourine. And if you're on tambourine, play it right! Play it with a smile, 'cause nobody wants to see a mad tambourine player.

It's like Hall and Oates. I don't know WHAT Oates does, but Hall never had a hit record without him.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Truth is...I cannot recommend much of the rest of this particular piece of comedy, but I can meditate on the truth of these particular thoughts.