Last night I had the opportunity to sing for a group of pastors, wives, and attendees from around the state at the Mississippi Baptist Convention meeting. It was a huge blessing to me, and was such a privilege to encourage these servants before they go back out to their respective towns and churches. I have the wonderful opportunity of singing with a large choir week after week at my church, and it would be almost impossible to explain all of the ways that this challenges and grows me, and gives me joy and fulfillment as a place of service to the Lord. Last night was no exception. However, this choir was a combined one, from three area churches. It was refreshing to worship and sing with other Christians who might do things a little bit differently than the norm for our church.
I wish I had an mp3 of the music we sang. It was truly worshipful. One particular song, that was written for this group of pastors and ministers specifically, pierced me straight to the core. The song is about the story in Acts 3 when Peter and John encounter a crippled man, and restore him through the power of Jesus. Writing the words out won't do it justice at all, but it's better than nothing:
"He was fallen and crippled, with no strength to stand
Wounded and wasted, just a shell of a man.
Peter and John passed by him one day,
And when he called out for help, they knelt down to say
In the name of Jesus, rise up!
Cast away your doubt and shame
Find healing today.
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus
Simple words, but when combined with the music, so powerful. Wish you could have heard it! Looking at the words in print like this stirs up memories of my grandmother--my father's mother. I remember visiting her in her home in Wiggins, Mississippi, on many occasions. As she went about her tasks during the day, I would often hear her saying softly, "Jesus, Jesus." I remember as a child thinking, "Good grief she sure does talk to Jesus a lot!" That memory is now so precious to me. I hope to be like her, in constant conversation with Him.
I love the part about casting away your doubt and shame. I had never really thought in depth about what that man in Acts 3 must have felt like, what kind of emotional state he must have been in after years of feeling worthless, feeble, and impotent. He not only needed physical healing, but emotional healing as well. His physical state was but a reflection of his spiritual one. The preaching last night was on this kind of emotional and spiritual healing--just what my heart needed. It reminds me of the scripture in Ezekiel 37, when the Lord leads the prophet to a dusty valley of destruction and death, and he asks him, "Son of man, can these bones live?" Out of a place of destruction, desolation and despair, the Lord brings healing and redemption. It is so amazing to me that the whole of Scripture, as vast and diverse as it can seem to be sometimes, points so tellingly to this theme of redemption and healing through the blood of Jesus--for sinners like me, who are so egregiously undeserving.
Ok sermon over now. ;) Just had to get that out!
So, shifting gears--I have quite a few books on my reading list right now. I tend to find myself in the predicament of being in the middle of about four or five books at a time. I just get so excited about different ones that I can't wait to start them, so I end up immersed in about 4 different worlds at a time. I am still finishing up this book, which I have absolutely loved, but it has taken me a while to get through it:
The recent movie "Lincoln" was based on it. Next up are these two:
I have to admit I'm a little peeved at this Aimee Byrd girl (the author of Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary) because as I read the title I realized she totally stole the idea for the book I would love to write one day. I mean, how dare she utilize an idea that she had, when someone she doesn't even know MAY or may not have decided to bite the bullet one day, and MAYBE write a book on the same topic??
HMPH. People these days.
I'm looking forward to receiving that Amazon package so I can get started on them!