Monday, April 25, 2011

Thankful #71-90

I haven't written a post about thankfulness in a long while... too long, in fact.  As I write what I've been thankful for, I want to remember to be thankful in all things, not just in the good things, or the things that look good on the outside.
 
#71 Time alone and outside in Arizona
#73 Struggling with, but hammering out, 2 new songs
#74 Time on the front porch
#75 Being ridiculous together
#76 Friends who babysit
#77 A special night with friends - no kids
#78 Ellie walking
#79 Redefined purpose
#80 Support for music from new friends
#81 An open door
#82 Playing in the sprinkler
#83 New life and new cousins.
#84 These two. Together.
#85 He laid death in his grave
#86 1 Corinthians 15.  All of it. Wow.
#87 An understanding husband.
#88 A thoughtful husband.
#89 Nick's family and spending time with them over Easter
#90 Hope

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why is Good Friday So Good?

To celebrate Holy Week, I am going to try to post a video a day, similar to the one below.  I hope it helps you dwell on what was accomplished for us on that Sunday so many years ago.  


Why?

Because Sunday's coming.


Video by Igniter Media

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Heavy Load to Carry

To celebrate Holy Week, I am going to try to post a video a day, similar to the one below.  I hope it helps you dwell on what was accomplished for us on that Sunday so many years ago.  


Just last week, Nick and I went to Arizona.  He was on business and I... well... I mostly just sat by the pool.  :)  What was cool though is that I also got to spend a lot of time working on songs for the Scripture to Music Project - one for Hebrews and one that I'm currently calling "Gethsemane", taken from Mark 15:26-52.

For "Gethsemane", I tried to both describe what is happening and also capture the feeling and emotion and angst of what is happening.  It might sound a little presumptuous, but put yourself in Jesus's shoes on the night before he went to the cross, just for a minute.  Late on Thursday night, and into the early morning on Good Friday.... He knows He is about to be betrayed by Judas, and He knows the painful death that approaches.  It's dark and growing darker, and the weight of what lies ahead lays heavy upon Him.

The song ends on Friday, and it doesn't allude to Sunday at all.  I think we often skip ahead to the end of the story - to the resurrection - without dwelling on the darkness and sadness of that Thursday and Friday.  The cross Jesus carried was much more than just a physical object - it was all of our mess and sin and grief, and it was a heavy load to carry indeed.    




I climbed a mountain with three friends
Feel the darkness pressing in
I ask them to please stay awake
And I go off alone to pray

Father, please
Would you take this cup
It’s a heavy load to carry
But not my will
But what you want
Until I’m dead and buried

Sweat and blood they fall like tears
It seems the last star’s disappeared
Death it comes to separate
And my friends can’t stay awake

Father, please
Would you take this cup
It’s a heavy load to carry
But not my will
But what you want
Until I’m dead and buried

They came with clubs to capture me
An old friend he kissed my cheek
And all my friends they ran away
And I’m alone, denied, betrayed

Father, please
Would you take this cup
It’s a heavy load to carry
But not my will
But what you want
Until I’m dead and buried

My God, my God’s forsaken me
Hanging broken on a tree
Who can save you now they laugh
The darkness comes, I breath my last

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Power of the Cross

To celebrate Holy Week, I am going to try to post a video a day, similar to the one below.  I hope it helps you dwell on what was accomplished for us on that Sunday so many years ago. 


We used to sing this song by Keith and Kristyn Getty at our old church in Boston, and it is rich with truths that I know I need to meditate on as Easter approaches.  I love a particular line in the last verse:


"Oh to see my name, written in the wounds..."


What a LOVE, what a COST.  We stand forgiven at the cross.




I'm not really familiar with this song, but Keith Getty describes it as a prequel to "The Power of the Cross", so I wanted to post it here!  It makes the good news of the first song that much better.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Come Awake

To celebrate Holy Week, I am going to try to post a video a day, similar to the one below.  I hope it helps you dwell on what was accomplished for us on that Sunday so many years ago. 


If the message of Easter is true, if Jesus' resurrection laid sin and death in the grave, then why do we often live as if it's not true - as if those things never happened?  Shackled, sleepy, and bored.

There is a great song called "Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher, and my brother-in-law Rob's company Igniter Media did an amazing video using it.  Re-watching it just now filled me with hope and excitement for Sunday morning.  Seriously, make sure you watch til the end.

I love the last part: "O Church, come stand in the light.  Our God is not dead; He's alive!"

Monday, April 18, 2011

He Laid Death in His Grave

When I get the chance, I like to read blogs by songwriters that I really respect and look up to... a more recent find being Audrey Assad.  I read this post by her the other day, and it has stirred in me since, particularly the words she quotes from John Mark McMillan's song "Death in His Grave" (see video and words below).  


As Good Friday and Easter Sunday approaches, I am trying to dwell on this thought... that death is defeated and one day we will no more feel its sting.  Instead, we will experience LIFE full and complete.  Hard to imagine....  
The DEATH of death! 


To celebrate Holy Week, I am going to try to post a video a day, similar to the one below.  I hope it helps you dwell on what was accomplished for us on that Sunday so many years ago.  


PS - I just wrote a song the other day about Jesus' experience in the Garden of Gethsemane, and I'll try to post it at some point this week.  



Although the earth cried out for blood, what satisfied her hunger was
Her billows calmed on raging seas for the souls of man she craved
Sun and moon from balcony turned their head in disbelief
That precious love would taste the sting, disfigured and disdained.On Friday a thief, on Sunday a King;

He laid down in grief, but awoke with the keys of hell on that day;
First-born of the slain, the Man Jesus Christ laid
Death in his grave.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tribb is Here!

With his big brothers and sister.
Our newest nephew, Robert Tribble Thomas ("Tribb" for short), is here!  He was born on Thursday morning and weighed in at 8.1 lbs.  Ellie and I had the privilege of going up to the hospital on Thursday to check him out.  He's super cute!  Praise God for a healthy baby, no complications, and new life.  Just needed to do the via the blog :)

#4 for these guys.
My sweet sister who was looking forward to her 4 day "vacation".


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What Does It Matter Anyway?


Don't see the player?  Click refresh or click here and listen to it on Bandcamp.  PS - Download it for free!

I wrote this song the other week from the book of Ecclesiastes.  It's called "All is Vanity" and that's pretty much the subject of the whole song (and the whole book of Ecclesiastes!).

Which got me to thinking...

Throughout time and history, billions of songs have been written and sung.  99.999% of them die away quickly and many are never even heard by a wider audience than.... like... the person's mom.

Plus, there are so many great songs out there already.  Songs that move you, songs that make you dance, songs that make you laugh. It's like we have all the songs we'll ever need covering every topic you could dream up.  As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun.

So, why write another song?  Who really needs another song when we have bazillions to choose from already?  Who needs another everyday songwriter, yet another voice?  Is it all, to quote Solomon again, just "striving after wind?"  Is it all "vanity of vanities" and meaningless?

I've been asking myself these questions lately and, to be honest, have been pretty discouraged.  In the last week or so, I've felt my creative energy drain away - maybe it's all the work we're doing on the house, maybe it's writer's block, or maybe it's just these questions getting to me?

Maybe it's a combination of those things, but here's the TRUTH that I'm trying to preach to myself:

As a Christian, I don't work and toil so that I can write the next great, lasting song.  I don't write to gain fame or so that people will know my name.  So why do I write?  And why do I sing?

It is not gain significance under the sun.  
For I have already gained great significance in Him.
Even more, He infuses everything under the sun with significance.

And so I write.
And so I sing.

To chase my own glory would be like chasing the wind.
I would come up empty every time.
But in His love, He has chased me.

And so I write.
And so I sing.

Why do you write, sing, blog, paint, mother, cook, work, design, study?  What does it matter anyway?