Poetry/Songs

“Don’t Leave Messiah in the Manger”

I wrote this song a couple year ago to sing at Christmas time in my church back home.  It’s easy I think, even as Christians, to choose to do exactly what the title of this song tells us NOT to do… to leave Jesus in the manger.

 

Christmas comes and we get excited about that little baby that’s come to save us (and all the gifts we give and receive)… but then the rest of the year, it’s just “that God-guy over there”… Whether consciously or not, it’s easy to think, "He’s not powerful enough…. He’s not mighty enough… he’s just that baby in the barn that we sing about at Christmas.” 

Well, I wonder what might happen if we stop trying to keep Jesus confined to being “just a baby in a manger”.   I wonder what would happen if we let Jesus be the Savior and King in our everyday lives that he came into this world to be. 

As Christmas passes this year, please, don’t leave your Savior “away in a manger.”  Let him come near… who knows just what could happen?!?

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Don’t Leave Messiah in the Manger

We sing , “away in a manger” There’s “no crib for a bed.”
Where our Lord Jesus Christ, “laid down his sweet head”
But those “stars in the night sky”, that “looked down where he lay,”
Are the same stars that shine on us today.

 

We say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
We sing “Away in a Manger” year after year
But I wonder what might happen if we let Jesus near
And don’t leave him far away in that manger

 

“O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,”
But could really be that still with so many travelers passing by?
Yet, they didn’t seem to notice that their King was drawing nigh
As Mary laid that boy in that manger.

 

We say Merry Christmas and Happy New year
But that “little town,” Bethlehem seems so far from here.
I just wonder what might happen if we let Jesus near
And didn’t leave him far away in that manger

 

That “Silent” night, that “Holy” night on which our Savior came
How’s that fit our chaotic life… with war, hurt, and pain
I bet it wasn’t a silent night when they hung him on that cross
Made of wood, just like that humble manger.

 

Christ came to Bethlehem, but went to Calvary
There he died and rose again, to give life eternally
While it may not have been silent, it was completely holy
Cause our Lord didn’t stay in that manger

 

Yes, Christ came at Christmas, so many years past
But we forget the gift he brought before New Years has past
Let’s sing about His humble birth, day after day
And refuse to leave him away in a manger
Don’t let your Savior be a stranger
Refuse to leave Messiah in the manger.

 

Be near me Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray.

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Ps 73:28 “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds”

31 Days of Hope

Hope {Day 28} – My Hope by Matt Redman

A beautiful song by Matt Redman called My Hope. ENJOY!

 

 

My Hope by Matt Redman

Verse 1

My hope is built on nothing else
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly live on Jesus name

 

Chorus

When the mountains are falling
when the waters are rising
I shall be safe in you
Through the nations are quaking
Every kingdom be shaken
Still I will rest in you

 

Verse 2

When darkness seems to hide your face
I rest on Your unchanging grace
In every high and storming gate
My anchor holds within the veil

Crossroads, First Trinity, Internship Highlights

Collision: Mend the Broken

Well we did it!  We survived the first “road trip” planned by Bekah. :)  As promised yesterday, I wanted to share a little bit about my experience this weekend at Acquire the Fire in Cleveland, OH with 16 teens and 2 other awesome adult leaders.  The theme this year for this conference was Mend the Broken.

 

DSCF7078 I guess I’ll just go through the weekend chronologically to give you an idea of what we experienced and learned.

 

The first session on Friday night started with worship led by a band called School Of WorshipThey led us in worship all weekend and it was always an amazing time to just enter into God’s presence and give him praise before hearing Mike Guzzardo share God’s Word with us.  FridayDSCF7088 night Mike shared with us that our lives are kind of like broken down cars that need refurbished.  First we have to let God take us out of the junkyard so that he can begin to take us a part and clean every little part of us…. it takes time and he has to get into every little deep place, but then, once we’re clean on the inside, he can begin to rebuild us in a way where we can think and live how he originally intended us. 

 

The night ended with a Newsboys Concert during which we got to be a part of the video recording for a music video.  They said they only use a live audience DSCF7060for a music video once every 2 or 3 years and they picked Acquire the Fire- Cleveland, OH to be that audience.  Watch for their video for the song “Miracles” coming out soon and see if you see any of First Trinity Crossroads group in  there!

 

After that we headed back to Lutheran High School West in Rocky Road, OH which was gracious enough to let us use their facilities to sleep and shower this weekend!  A youth group from Hosanna Lutheran Church nearby also joined us Friday night at Lutheran West.

Saturday morning started bright and early (for high schoolers) at 8:00 am and was broken into three sessions all including worship, a message, and part of a drama that continued all throughout the day. 

 

The first session Saturday tackled some difficult issues that teenagers (and all of us) face today regarding pornography, sex before marriage, same sex attraction and more. Teens were challenged to join “The Resistance” when they struggle with these or any sins in their lives committing to purity in heart, mind and body.  An organization called CovenantEyes.com also provided students with a 30-day trial of an internet filtering and accountability software that they produce.

 

The afternoon session was about failure and how we deal with it.  We were reminded that just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we won’t fail (see Proverbs 24:15) it means that God helps us get up when we fail and that we don’t have to be defined by our failures. 

The afternoon also included 2 concerts, one by Young Joshua and the other by Jimmy Needham

 

After dinner we went back for the last session which was about how our world tries to get us to focus on The Me-World .. my problems, my stuff, my fun.   God calls us in our new refurbished  life to focus on the HE-World …. the things of God’s heart… whether that’s serving your neighbor next door or going overseas, we all can start now making changes in our lives to shift and “get away from ME”.

 

Our weekend wrapped up by attending St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Chesterfield, OH on our way back to NY.  They were very welcoming, had a beautiful sanctuary and there was some AMAZING scenery on our drive  between the high way and the church.  Think, curvy hilly roads with gorgeous houses lined with trees still dressed in autumn colors yet covered with snow.  BEAUTIFUL!  Definitely added meaning to the term “scenic route”. 

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Overall it was an AWESOME weekend filled with fun and, I pray, spiritual growth.  Those of you from First Trinity, take a chance to ask one of the kids about it… them sharing with you is one thing that can help continue the growth that began this weekend. Thanks again for your prayers and support!

 

 

 

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Here’s a video summary put out by the Acquire the Fire organization. (You can see some of our group members at around 1:42).

31 Days of Hope

Hope {Day 19} – Made New

I’ve heard the stories again and again.

Each one so distinct and unique, yet, so similar at the core.

Something happened-

Many things maybe.

Something so horrifying it rarely,

if ever,

gets any attention in conversation.

Yet, it gets all the attention in the heart.

 

Neglect.

Rape.

Abuse.

 

The death of a loved one.

The death of a marriage.

The death of a friendship.

 

An eating disorder.

Depression.

Self-injury.

 

A monstrous mistake.

A horrific memory.

A crippling fear.

 

“I’m not good enough.”

“Will I ever change?”

 

The shame is too much.

The guilt is too heavy.

 

Forgotten.

Alone.

Afraid.

 

Whether it was “their fault” or not, the pain obviously runs deep as the story eventually flows out. But it’s not just “them.” 

 

It’s me

and

it’s YOU. 

 

We all have had those secret things buried deep in our hearts… those times when we seriously wonder…

 

Is there any hope?

 

Can God REALLY do anything with this messed up life of mine?!? 

Through the darkness comes a marvelous Light responding:

“YES! THERE IS HOPE!  I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW!

No matter what mess you’ve gotten yourself into… no matter what anyone has done to you… no matter how much sin has messed up your life and messed up your heart, I can, and will, through Christ, make something BEAUTIFUL out of your life! 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 

Isaiah 43:19 See I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Things
by Gungor

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

 

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

31 Days of Hope

Hope {Day 17} – LIGHT Part 2

I was hoping to put this up yesterday in continuation to Day 15’s discussion about LIGHT but after fighting with my computer for entirely too long yesterday, I gave up.  Thankfully, I was victorioius over my computer today and have this song, or the startings of one, to share: (Click the triangle to play.)

This prayer asks God to let his light shine in our lives… to give us a little hope.  Sometimes when God shines his light into the dark places of our lives it’s scary, but there is freedom when we step into the light.

I hope you enjoy.  Maybe eventually it’ll get some verses and be a full song. 🙂  But for now, here are the lyrics for the chorus:

Break through the darkness
Break through the night
Break through the shadows
Lord, shine Your light
In the deepest places of fear and shame
Lord, shine Your light again.

31 Days of Hope, Music

HOPE {Day 3} A Light is Coming

 

As I played this song (You Never Let Go by Matt Redman) on the piano for fun after youth band practice, these lyrics seemed to be saying… HOPE:

 

I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

 

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

 

Lord, we thank You that You never let go of us!  Through the calm times and through the trials, You remain and remind us that there will be an end to the troubles we face.  Thank you for the light you shine in our darkness that provides HOPE! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!