Category Archives: Music

Transform Your Morning and Your Mood in Less Than TEN Minutes…

Friends! March madness won’t drive us mad IF we try the below suggestion each morning…

GOOD NEWS for you readers out there: You do NOT have to be a morning person to start your day off well!!!

Coming from a confirmed grouch in the morning, in dire need of a pot of coffee prior to producing any semblance of intelligent conversation, I’m happy to report that listening to music in the morning brings blessings a plenty:

music and technology concept - smiling young woman with closed e

Blessing #1: Your focus will shift away from you and your distractions, rising up to the Lord.

Blessing #2: Praising the Lord allows you to worship with truths straight out of God’s Word.

Blessing #3: Your spirit will be lifted no matter your circumstance.

I’ll be giving you two worship songs shortly to get you started. If you listen to both of them, you can do this in under ten minutes

Recently we talked briefly about Dee Brestin’s book The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms which she graciously penned after her husband’s death. Songs are what saved her sanity.

The God of All Comfort

The first song I’d like to share with you John and I discovered while attending our middle son’s church, Tates Creek Presbyterian Church (TCPC), in Lexington, Kentucky.(www.tcpa.org )

Upon singing this song with its’ powerful lyrics (which caused me to weep), I made a mental note to investigate it.  I also wrongly assumed, because of TCPC’s more liturgical services and typically older hymns, that this song was also an old one. Au contraire…

Please allow me to show you one of my new favorites,

O Church Arise by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. (Never mind they also wrote a huge favorite of mine and I suspect yours, In Christ Alone. Checkout Travis Cottrell’s rendition if you have time.)

Keith is a British, Northern Irish composer, married to Kristyn, who many times co-write these “modern hymns”. Stuart Townend is a British, English songwriter and worship leader.

GETTYMUSIC-WELCOME-BOX_01

Please sit back and enjoy Oh Church Arise. Soak in the lyrics:

To read these truths from the lyrics, here are just a few Scriptures that spell them out:

Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 4:6 and 8, 12:9; 1 John 1:5; Isaiah 14:2; Psalm 27:1; Philippians 4:13; Romans 5:2; Colossians 2:15; and Hebrews 4:12.

The second song I’d like to show you I suspect you already know, but perhaps hadn’t been able to savor the Scripture around which it’s centered.

I’d heard about Kari Jobe over the past few years and was blessed to be led in worship by her at a Women of Faith Conference in Houston in March of 2014. (Click on “Houston We Have an Answer” from 3/6/14) FYI:

I love her song I Am Not Alone for several reasons…the most important of which is the reminder within the title. As believers in Jesus Christ, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit within us, we are never alone.

Matthew 28:20 is where Jesus tells us, “And lo, I am with you always…” Kari also says while writing the song, they began with Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. 

Please enjoy:

Savor these Scriptures which go along with Kari’s song:

Isaiah 43:1-2; Daniel 3; Psalm 23; Psalm 46; Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 7:9-16; Romans 9:2; John 12:35; Exodus 14:14; and 2 Chronicles 20:17. (You can find more if you hunt!)

My prayer for all of us is as we begin our days, may we jump start them with worship and praise as only our Lord deserves. See if your mood doesn’t vastly improve as well.

‘Til next time!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Music, Scripture

What’s on Your Christmas Playlist? (With help from Alistair Begg)

Friends!  It’s Christmas Week!   I pray your heart is at peace, your mind is at rest and not in frenetic motion, and you’ve got a skip in your step.

girls-skipping

If you’re saying, “Yeah, right.” I bring you good news along with some mighty fine tunes. Hang with me…

Few things help my mood more than music.  You? Our grown children talk about their playlists non-stop.  Little country here, little soul/dance-band-college-song there, sprinkled with a little worship music. (See their favorites at the end of this post.)

Hubster and I enjoy a little bit of everything.  We had friends over for dinner this week and he put on a “dinner party” tract, thanks to Pandora, that was perfect. Think Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, ahhhh.

Some mornings when I’m about half awake, I have three go-to worship songs which almost immediately transform my mood from “ho-hum” to “let’s go!” Give these a try when you have time:

#1 – We Will Feast in the House of Zion by Sandra McCracken

Here’s the chorus:

“We will feast in the house of Zion.  We will sing with our hearts restored.  He has done great things, we will say together, We will feast and weep no more.”

#2 – O Church Arise by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Favorite part:

“Come, see the cross, where love and mercy meet, as the Son of God is stricken; Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet, For the conqueror has risen! And as the stone is rolled away, And Christ emerges from the grave, This victory march continues till the day Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.”

#3 – In Christ Alone by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Two favorite stanzas slay me every time:

“In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song; This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm….My comforter, my all in all—Here in the love of Christ I stand.”

“There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, Sins’ curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine—Bought with the precious blood of Christ.”

On the rare occasion when Nancy Aguiar and I are in the same room hearing the above song (usually sung by Travis Cottrell at a Beth Moore Conference), puddles of tears splash about our feet. We are undone, 100%.

So where does Alistair Begg figure into this equation?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Big smile.

Alistair has written a clever-while-petite Christmas book, perfect for one’s stocking:  Christmas Playlist – Four Songs that Bring You to the Heart of Christmas.  You could read it in an afternoon over a cup of coffee.  Or, you can savor it during this Christmas/winter season, and the next, and the next. (How cute is the cover?)

41xgc0xtsrl-_sx315_bo1204203200_

Alistair hails from Scotland.  If you’ve ever heard him on his radio program, Truth for Life (www.truthforlife.org), you love his accent and his preaching like the rest of us.  Alistair pastors Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio.  He’s been there since 1983. (www.parksidechurch.com )

He was recently on The Eric Metaxas Show which is how I learned about Christmas Playlist.  (www.metaxastalk.com ) Hearing Eric attempt Alistair’s brogue is worth the effort above and beyond the program itself!  Alistair says Eric sounds like a very sick Mrs. Doubtfire.

Two very fun surprises from Christmas Playlist blessed me before I dove in:

First, Webb Simpson wrote the Foreword.  You golfers know him.  I had to call our resident golf expert, our middle son, Gordy, to find out about Webb. Gordy said, “Oh yeah, Mom.  I know him.  He’s a great golfer.  Won the U.S. Open in 2012.” Awesome.

Webb tells us, “This book is about eternity…Allistair takes us to the first Christmas and to what, or who, that first Christmas was truly all about—Jesus.  In Him, I’ve found a sense of fulfillment and peace that no number of major golf championships could ever bring me.”

Webb adds, “On the 17th hole of the final round of the 2012 U.S. Open, when I was…just a few shots from winning the golf tournament I’d dreamed of winning, I had a conversation with my caddie, Paul Tesori. We reminded each other that if we won that day, it would not make any difference to our sense of satisfaction, because we couldn’t take the trophy with us beyond this life anyway. There was a more important contest that would matter for all eternity, and the one who was born at that first Christmas had already won it for us.”

us-open-champion-2012-web-simpson

Second surprise will shock your socks off.  One of Alistair’s endorsers is Alice Cooper!  He says, “Connecting the Bible’s songs to modern songs makes this book come alive.”  (Checkout his Christian testimony)

Back to the book…Alistair’s Christmas Playlist walks us through:

Mary’s Song: What is God like?,
Zechariah’s Song:  Why do you need God?,
The Angel’s Song:  How did God come?, and
Simeon’s Song:  How did God do it? 

Alistair tell us these four songs of the first Christmas “were heard before, during and after the birth of the baby who lies at the heart of the real Christmas…This is a playlist that helps us to prepare for Christmas properly, and to celebrate Christmas joyfully.”

We readers journey through the Gospel of Luke in Chapters One and Two, plus Twenty-three and Twenty-four as Alistair points out the importance of the crucifixion and resurrection. He notes, “Luke’s Gospel finishes in a very similar place to where it began. We began with angels appearing, and we finish the same way. We began with an angel announcing the presence of life where it is, humanly-speaking, impossible—in the wombs of a woman who was infertile and a woman who was a virgin. We finish with angels announcing the presence of life in a tomb—the resurrection of a crucified criminal to eternal glory.”

In the conclusion, Alistair reminds us, “Christmas provokes a decision. At the first Christmas, Jesus came to you. Now you must decide:  Will you come to Him?”

Rick Warren said in a recent Daily Hope email, “We have a hard time missing Christmas as a cultural phenomenon, however we can miss the very point of Christmas.  Take the innkeeper for example.  Are you too busy with your work to make room for Jesus this Christmas?  Is your schedule, your plans, or your budget too tight to let Jesus in this Christmas?”

Let’s keep those questions in our hearts while we praise the Lord for another Christmas season…

isaiah-9-6

I pray you and your family have a most Blessed Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.  As we used to say on the last day of school before Christmas Break, “See you next year!”

P.S.  Wednesday, December 14th was a banner day in the Hoagland Household for two reasons:

First, it was the 33rd anniversary of Hubster proposing to me. We celebrate our engagement almost as much as our wedding date.

Secondly, we were blessed to attend “The Big Reveal Party”, hosted by our oldest son, John Jr.  and his lovely bride, Diana.  See the amazing-after-thirty-years-of-boys results below…

Merry Christmas from our family to yours:

img_2706

Coming May 4, 2017, Lord willing:  Claire Elizabeth Hoagland

We’d covet your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby! (Pictured left to right:  Woody and LT, Hubster and Yours Truly, Diana, John Jr., Lauren and Gordy)

P.S. Again!  (Oh, you’re so glad I’m not blogging again until January…)

I polled our family for their favorite songs/genres/playlists FYI:

John Jr. says it’s a two-way tie between country music and audio books.

Diana says it’s a tie between country and Christian music.  She especially loves the group NeedtoBreathe.

Gordy’s current favorite song is the classic New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. (They just returned from a fun trip to the Big Apple this month.)

Lauren loves country and Christian music with her favorite artists being Lauren Daigle and Thomas Rhett.

Woody’s current fav is Love Me Now by John Legend.

LT loves the worship group Bethel along with John Mayer, Johnny Swim, and pop music.

Hubster parks mostly on country channels while I flip back and forth from Christian to jazz to classical to songs from our college days in the ‘80’s.

I cannot be still if Earth, Wind, and Fire are playing.

I maintain Phil Collins is one magically talented musician.

However, after seeing and hearing Nicole C. Mullen sing My Redeemer Lives in Nashville this summer, I’m a forever fan. Mercy.

Please comment and tell me your favorite artist, song, or genre?

‘Til next time!

6 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Friends, Holidays, Music

WORSHIP: A Window and a Weapon…Back-to-School Survival Tips for Us Adults (Part 2 of 4)

Anyone been in a “mood” lately? Seems Back-to-School-Scurry wreaks havoc with all of us, even if we don’t have a student to dress, drop off, or pick up. Remember the saying, “If Mamma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy?” September simply screams for survival tactics.

Last week we focused on PRAYER with some survival ideas for you, your student, their teacher, and your family.

This week we’ll camp on something that can turn our moods around in a second: listening to music. Worship music has the power to turn all of our attitudes around.

Worship #2Recently, while watching a video of Matt Redman leading worship at the Passion Conference this year, I was struck by his vision of worship. He said, “Worship is like two things:

#1: It’s a WINDOW, that enables us to see God.

Window

And #2: it’s a WEAPON which wards off the enemy.”

coat of arms medieval knight shield and crossed swords isolated

Consider these valuable visuals… I predict we all will have better attitudes, be better equipped and perhaps be a tad easier to get along with when we intentionally worship!!!

Before we get to a couple of songs, you MUST know God orchestrated quite a God-incident. Last Friday, I learned from my sister-in-law that her son-in-law, Chris Byrley, would be preaching at Throne of Grace Community Church. (www.throneofgracecc.org )

Naturally we wanted to go hear him. What do you s’pose his topic was? Yep: WORSHIP. “Worship and Beholding the Glory of God” from Isaiah 6:1-8. Do you love that? (I’ve had my four survival tips for y’all for September lined up for weeks. Worship being this very week’s topic!!!)

Chris delivered a superb sermon, walking us thru’ each verse, enlightening us on his well-chosen points which we could ALL relate to. He asked, “Do we truly behold God’s Glory or do we allow it to become too familiar, mundane, routine?” We were all nodding our heads…”Yes, we’ve all snuffed out the fire in our worship.”

Chris dubbed the below passage as “Biblical Lasik”….giving us better vision to behold the Lord of Hosts, who defines “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Isaiah

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:1-8

One of many pearls Chris offered comes from John Piper:

“The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God;

the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit;

the furnace made alive and warm by

the flame of truth is our renewed spirit;

and the resulting heat of our affections is
Fire flames on black background background
powerful worship,
pushing its’ way out in
confessions,
       longings,
             acclamations,
                             tears,
                                       songs,
                                             shouts,
                                                     bowed heads,
                                                               lifted hands, and
                                                                                     obedient lives.”

I’d like to share with you just two of my favorite worship songs, along with some of the lyrics. They instantaneously bring a healing balm to our fragile hearts. My prayer is you’ll have a refreshed and renewed attitude after reading (and hopefully singing) these:

The first song is Come As You Are sung by David Crowder.

Read slowly and savor the lyrics to Come As You Are – (My comments are in parentheses.)

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin (Don’t we ALL want to be rescued???)

Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

Earth has no sorrow
That Heaven can’t heal (There is NOTHING Heaven can’t heal. Don’t miss this repeated phrase!)

So lay down your burdens (Lay them down and LEAVE them at the Cross.)
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face (Yes, we can lift up our face no matter the situation.)

Oh Wanderer come home (Pray for all our prodigals to COME HOME.)
You’re not too far
Lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are (My favorite part! Come as you are…..
AS.
YOU.
ARE….)

There’s hope for the hopeless (Hope!!! Don’t we ALL want hope??? Need hope???)

And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace

There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures (Rest for the weary that ENDURES!!!)

Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure”

The YouTube version with the lyrics is wonderful:

The second song is Oh God How I Need You sung by Matt Maher. This song kills me every single time. Read thru’ and savor these lyrics. (Again, I’ll comment in parentheses.)

“Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my REST
Without You, I fall apart (We must recognize we do truly fall apart without Him.)
You’re the One that guides my heart

*Refrain:

Lord, I NEED You
Oh, I need You
EVERY HOUR I need You (Every hour, every minute, every second we need Him.)
My one defense
My righteousness

Oh, God how I NEED You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more (Grace is more!)
Where grace is found, is where You are

Where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Yes, where You are, Lord I am free (Don’t miss this! We are FREE!!!)
Holiness is Christ in me

*(Refrain—see above)

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay” (Yes, Jesus is our hope and stay. Amen.)

* (Refrain)

Now listen to it on YouTube:

Keep in mind these are just two of a multitude of worship songs to turn your mood around, helping you survive this back-to-school September. If you’re more prone to enjoy hymns (I love both contemporary and traditional), grab a copy of Rob Morgan’s Then Sings My Soul.

49397

This past March, I did a three-part post on worship. (Yeah, sorta obsessed, but in a good way!!??!!) For more ideas on worship, please visit these LINKS:
Power Up Your Mornings with Worship”,
and “Transform Your Morning and Your Mood in Less than Ten Minutes”,
and “Mr. Music Please….Why We Mustn’t Argue Over Musical Styles of Worship”….

Now go hum a few bars….

Revel in God’s Glory.

Stay right here for the next two weeks when you’ll hear from some STELLAR authors on their take for two more tips on surviving September!

‘Til next time!

8 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Friends, Music, Scripture

Transform Your Morning and Your Mood in Less Than TEN Minutes…(Part 2 of 3 on Music)

GOOD NEWS for you readers out there: You do NOT have to be a morning person to start your day off well!!!

Coming from a Confirmed Grouch in the morning, in dire need of a pot of coffee prior to producing any semblance of intelligent conversation, I’m happy to report that listening to music in the morning brings blessings a plenty:

music and technology concept - smiling young woman with closed e

Blessing #1: Your focus will shift away from you and your distractions, rising up to the Lord.

Blessing #2: Praising the Lord allows you to worship with truths straight out of God’s Word.

Blessing #3: Your spirit will be lifted no matter your circumstance.

I’ll be giving you two worship songs shortly to get you started. If you listen to both of them, you can do this in under ten minutes

Last week we talked briefly about Dee Brestin’s book The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms which she graciously penned after her husband’s death. Songs are what saved her sanity.

The God of All Comfort

The first song I’d like to share with you John and I discovered recently at our middle son’s church, Tates Creek Presbyterian Church (TCPC), in Lexington, Kentucky.(www.tcpa.org ) We’d gone to Lexington to meet Gordy and Lauren at their church and celebrate Gordy’s birthday.

Upon singing this song with its’ powerful lyrics (which caused me to weep), I made a mental note to investigate it.  I also wrongly assumed, because of TCPC’s more liturgical services and typically older hymns, that this song was also an old one. Au contraire…

Please allow me to show you one of my new favorites,

O Church Arise by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. (Never mind they also wrote a huge favorite of mine and I suspect yours, In Christ Alone. Checkout Travis Cottrell’s rendition if you have time.)

Keith is a British, Northern Irish composer, married to Kristyn, who many times co-writes these “modern hymns”. Stuart Townend is a British, English songwriter and worship leader.

GETTYMUSIC-WELCOME-BOX_01

Please sit back and enjoy Oh Church Arise. Soak in the lyrics:

To read these truths from the lyrics, here are just a few Scriptures that spell them out:

Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 4:6 and 8, 12:9; 1 John 1:5; Isaiah 14:2; Psalm 27:1; Philippians 4:13; Romans 5:2; Colossians 2:15; and Hebrews 4:12.

The second song I’d like to show you I suspect you already know, but perhaps hadn’t been able to savor the Scripture around which it’s centered.

I’d heard about Kari Jobe over the past few years and was blessed to be led in worship by her at a Women of Faith Conference in Houston in March of 2014. (Click on “Houston We Have an Answer” from 3/6/14) FYI: She’ll be in Louisville May 16th with Women of Joy!!! (www.womenofjoy.org )

I love her song I Am Not Alone for several reasons…the most important of which is the reminder within the title. As believers in Jesus Christ, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit within us, we are never alone.

Matthew 28:20 is where Jesus tells us, “And lo, I am with you always…” Kari also says while writing the song, they began with Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. 

Please enjoy:

Savor these Scriptures which go along with Kari’s song:

Isaiah 43:1-2; Daniel 3; Psalm 23; Psalm 46; Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 7:9-16; Romans 9:2; John 12:35; Exodus 14:14; and 2 Chronicles 20:17. (You can find more if you hunt!)

My prayer for us all is as we begin our days, may we jump start them with worship and praise as only our King of Kings and Lord of Lords deserves. See if your mood doesn’t vastly improve as well.

Next week we can all look forward to hearing from my friend, Elizabeth Jeffries, who has discovered this type of beginning to her day. Wait ‘til you see what she’s learning!

‘Til next time!

3 Comments

Filed under Music, Scripture