Image result for cozy fireplace wallpaper

Just shy of Breakin’ Down
There’s a bend in the road that I have found
Called home

Take a left at loneliness
There’s a place to find forgiveness
Called home

With clouds adrift across the sky
Like heaven’s laundry hung to dry
You slowly feel it all will be revealed

Where evening shadows come to fall
On the awful and the beautiful
Every wound you feel that needs to heal

And silence yearns to hear herself
Some long lost memory rings a bell
Called home

Standin’ tall and straight somehow
Called home

Mailbox full of weariness
And a word of hard won happiness
Called home

Leave behind your Sunday best
You know we couldn’t care a less
Out here we’ve learned to leave the edges wild

And stories they get passed around
And laughter – it gets handed down
Read it in the lines around a smile

Our bodies’ motion comes to rest
When we are at last
Called home

Image result for my worth is not in what i ownGraham Kendrick, along with Keith and Kristyn Getty, wrote “My Worth is Not in What I Own” which has recently become a favorite of mine.  I’ve wondered what went into putting this song together, as it is not only theologically robust but heartfelt and personal.  Too few songs nowadays offer that!  Well, here is the story of “My Worth is Not in What I Own” in Graham’s own words (and below that a video of the Gettys performing it).

“Lyricists are always on the lookout for a big idea, a concept or phrase that might just have a song hidden inside it. Like the sculptor running their fingers over a rough block of marble and laying out their tools, or a potter feeling the weight and texture of a fresh lump of wet clay, the imagination has to see something that doesn’t yet exist.

Some years ago I was struck by the simple phrase ‘My worth is not in what I own’ and sensed a ‘big idea’ in waiting.

It is a theme I have explored before in songs, in fact one of my earliest performance songs is called ‘How much do you think you are worth’, but here it came again and I saw a congregational song in potential.

I made several attempts over several years to let loose that big idea, but during a writing session with Keith and Kristyn Getty I bounced my seed idea off them and the process began. The song went through numerous drafts and redrafts, but eventually it settled. From the first occasion it was sung it was clear that the theme resonated powerfully as people began to join in.

We know that our culture calibrates human worth by measures of wealth and status, skills and achievement, beauty and youth, power and so on, but we don’t always appreciate how deeply those values are ingrained into us and how effective they are in driving our behaviour. Christians are little different. We need to sing about our worth from God’s perspective, not ours or our cultures, and God’s perspective centres in on the cross.

John Stott wrote; ‘Our self is a complex entity of good and evil, glory and shame, of creation and fall…we are created, fallen and redeemed, then re-created in God’s image’ ….. ‘Standing before the cross we see simultaneously our worth and unworthiness, since we perceive both the greatness of his love in dying, and the greatness of our sin in causing him to die’ [The Cross p. 285]

William Temple wrote: ‘My worth is what I am worth to God, and that is a marvellous great deal, for Christ died for me’

It has been a pleasure working together with the Gettys to bring this song from concept to reality and we hope that it will help many to sing themselves free from all that steals away the joy of being loved by God.”

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed – my ransom paid
At the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

 

Oh God, I am furrowed like the field
Torn open like the dirt
And I know that to be healed
That I must be broken first
I am aching for the yield
That You will harvest from this hurt

Abide in me
Let these branches bear You fruit
Abide in me, Lord
As I abide in You

So I kneel
At the bright edge of the garden
At the golden edge of dawn
At the glowing edge of spring
When the winter’s edge is gone
And I can see the color green
I can hear the sower’s song

Abide in me
Let these branches bear You fruit
Abide in me, Lord
Let Your word take root
Remove in me
The branch that bears no fruit
And move in me, Lord
As I abide in You

As the rain and the snow fall
Down from the sky
And they don’t return but they water the earth and bring they forth life
Giving seed to the sower, bread for the hunger
So shall the word of the Lord be with a sound like thunder
And it will not return, it will not return void
We shall be led in peace
And go out with joy
And the hills before us
Will raise their voices
And the trees of the field will clap their hands as the land rejoices
And instead of the thorn now
The cypress towers
And instead of the briar the myrtle blooms with a thousand flowers
And it will make a name
Make a name for our God
A sign everlasting that will never be cut off
As the earth brings forth sprouts from the seed
What is sown in the garden grows into a mighty tree
So the Lord plants justice, justice and praise
To rise before the nations till the end of days

As the rain and the snow fall
Down from the sky
And they don’t return but they water the earth and they bring forth life
Giving seed to the sower, and bread for the hunger
So shall the word of the Lord be with a sound like thunder
And it will not return, it will not return void
It will not return, it will not return void
It will not return, it will not return void
We shall be led in peace
And go out with joy

And the sower leads us
And the sower leads us
And the sower leads us

By Andrew Peterson

FullSizeRenderThis week I’m vacationing with my family on the Vineyard (Martha’s).  Last year when we visited I found a quaint shop in Oak Bluffs that grabbed me.  Now you have to know I thoroughly abhor touristy shops, filled with annoying nick-knacks and postcards and t-shirts and coffee mugs.  Yuck.  And this store of mine was something like a touristy shop.  Except for some reason I kinda liked it.  Why?  Well, it had clever quotes on pieces of wood.  And I’m a sucker for good words and timber.  Last year I got a plank with the inscription “One day at a time.”  I needed that message every day this past year.  This afternoon I got something from the mind of Clive Staples Lewis: “Courage, dear heart.”

Why am I fond of C.S. Lewis?  Well, to be melodramatic, Lewis has left an indelible mark on my life – starting with the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was a silly middle school boy.  Lewis is something of an upper echelon writer for me, not because he’s a brilliant folk philosopher, or because he is a bleeding-heart poet.  He is one of those rare writers that can capture the imagination and usher the reader into thrilling worlds, while ever-so-subtly also impressing beautiful truths upon the hearts of his readers.  That is indeed a rare thing.  So with that, here is an excerpt from his Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This extended quote let’s us feel the impact of Aslan’s timely whisper to Lucy during her dark voyage.  May we hear Aslan’s whisper to us as well, when the waters are murky, the waves are crashing, darkness ever looms, and land is nowhere in sight.    

Drinian’s hand shook on the tiller and a line of cold sweat ran down his face. The same idea was occurring to everyone on board. “We shall never get out, never get out,” moaned the rowers. “He’s steering us wrong. We’re going round and round in circles. We shall never get out.” The stranger, who had been lying in a huddled heap on the deck, sat up and burst out into a horrible screaming laugh.

“Never get out!” he yelled. “That’s it. Of course. We shall never get out. What a fool I was to have thought they would let me go as easily as that. No, no, we shall never get out.”

Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting top and whispered, “Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.” The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little—a very, very little—better. “After all, nothing has really happened to us yet,” she thought.

“Look!” cried Rynelf’s voice hoarsely from the bows. There was a tiny speck of light ahead, and while they watched a broad beam of light fell from it upon the ship. It did not alter the surrounding darkness, but the whole ship was lit up as if by searchlight. Caspian blinked, stared round, saw the faces of his companions all with wild, fixed expressions. Everyone was staring in the same direction: behind everyone lay his black, sharply-edged shadow.

Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.

In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been. They blinked their eyes and looked about them. The brightness of the ship herself astonished them: they had half expected to find that the darkness would cling to the white and the green and the gold in the form of some grime or scum. And then first one, and then another, began laughing.

From the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 12, C.S. Lewis