Monday, November 29, 2010

Immanuel, Michael Card

We started listening to Michael Card right after our children were born; we've loved his work ever since. The first CDs we heard were his lullabys, Sleep Sound in Jesus and Come to the Cradle. His two lullaby albums got us started off right in parenting and opened us to using the Word of God. We are very indebted to him. The Lord has used his music mightily in our family!

His music on the life of Jesus Christ has enriched and strengthened our Christian walk. It makes us think about the greatness and mercy of God as He works in the lives of mankind.
There is great depth to the words. I wish I could share all of his music here, but the problems of good audio (you really need a decent sound system to appreciate the richness and texture)and the unavailability of a large part of his works via youtube makes that problematic.

"We have 'sentimentalized' the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. When we think of the birth we see wise men and shepherds and a star. The birth of the Christ is so much more than a 'birthday' to be observed once a year. Our focus must become the Incarnation, which we celebrate every minute of our lives. We must realize that the cry we hear drifting from the stable is the voice of the One who spoke the universe into being." -Michael Card

A sign shall be given
A virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing
Undiminished deity
The glory of the nations
A light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace
His warm reality

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

So what will be your answer?
Will you hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son
But gave him for us all
On earth there is no power
There is no depth or height
That could ever separate us
From the love of God in Christ

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

Supporting Scripture:
"All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
John 1:3

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,
which is translated, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?"
Romans 8:31-35

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

Before the Throne of God Above, Selah

God Almighty's throne is so much more than this!

Dr.Rudi Swanepoel writes, (this is so wonderful)
"A throne is the emblem of authority. From the throne official Kingdom business is ratified, decrees are made and judgments pronounced. Official audience with the King seated on the throne represents the highest form of representation available. In the presence of God there are times of tremendous intimacy and fellowship but then there are also moments to appear officially before the throne. Your moments before the throne of God are reserved for purpose, destiny, worship and judgments.
Unlike an earthly throne room though, God’s throne is mobile. It appears wherever God manifests His presence. God said in Isa. 66:1 “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.” God’s Throne is mobile! It is carried by the cherubim! The throne is not standing on the ground! (See Ezek. 1:25-26) The throne is part of the procession of Heaven. When the Glory of God enters a room tremendous things happen. In the unseen realm there is angelic activity, an open heaven, a manifestation of the throne of God and the awesome presence of God. There is fire, heaven’s altar, light, worship happening, and more. In Heb. 4:16 we are encouraged to draw near to the throne of grace with boldness that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in good time for every need! How do we draw near? One great way is to pursue the presence of God in worship. He comes seated on the throne, carried by the angels into your circumstance and life. What a tremendous thought!"

Our family loves the group Selah. Their music (much of it) is a little taste of heaven. I will be posting many more by them in the future.

This is actually an old hymn; the words were written in 1863 by Charitie Bancroft to the tune of Sweet Hour of Prayer (tune by William Bradbury). Below is a link to cyberhymnal with a rendition of the original hymn:

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,

One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Supporting Scriptures:
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:16

"I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

The entire chapter of Psalm 51 by King David illustrates the amazing power of God’s mercy as He responds to our plea for renewal and cleansing from our sin.

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" Revelation 12: 10-12

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes (pleads) for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will" Romans 8: 26-27

"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4: 14-16

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The New Jerusalem, Michael Card

Through works such as The New Jerusalem and the others to follow, we hope to present some God-focused, theologically-sound works of praise. My desire is to cause us to look away from self and to our Creator. The songs coming in weeks ahead are the favorites of our family, and I will try to post one every 2-4 days.This music helps, along with a submissive and earnest heart, to bring us into the throne room of the Almighty as we praise Him. He bids us "Come"!

"If Babylon is the wicked (harlot) of a city, Jerusalem is the spotless bride. If Babylon is heading toward sudden, eternal destruction, Jerusalem is proceeding to the final everlasting wedding. The place called the "City of Peace", which has for the last several thousand years been anything but peaceful, will at last live up to her name."-Michael Card

The New Jerusalem - Music and words by Michael Card

I saw the Holy City
Descending from the sky
So brilliant with the light of God
The city is His bride

There is no temple in this town
No sun, no moon, no lamp
For God's own glory is it's light
Illuminated by the Lamb

And God Himself will wipe the tears
From every weeping eye
No death, no pain, no mourning cry
And every tear made dry

And now our God will dwell with them
The new Jerusalem
And He Himself will walk with them
The new Jerusalem

And so let all of those who thirst
Come now and drink for free
And to the one who overcomes
Come now and you will see

Behold the old has passed away
Now everything is new
The Alpha and Omega's words
Are trustworthy and so true

And God Himself will wipe the tears
From every weeping eye
No death, no pain, no mourning cry
And every tear made dry

Supporting Scriptures:
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Revelations 22:13

"And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelations 21:2

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelations 21:4

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelations 21:5

"He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken." Isaiah 25:8