Posts tagged Christian Music
Lenten Devotional Series: To Worship You I Live
"To Worship You I Live" by Israel Houghton

by Sophia Harang
Worship Vocalist at 945 Service

I live to worship you!

Over the last 5 years, I really struggled with my purpose. Financial challenges, unknowns in my career, relationships - and at the core of it all, I was having an identity and purpose  crisis. When I finally dropped to my knees and began to put God first, everything came together for me. I rediscovered one of my old favorite songs  "I Live to Worship you”, and it took on a whole new meaning for  me, giving me an even greater revelation about my purpose and thus my priorities. My purpose, was to worship and my identity was “in Christ”. 

The lyrics of the song...
I just want to bless your name
I just want to make you glad
I just want to move your hear God, and give you all I am
For it’s by your will and for your pleasure I exist
You are worthy
To worship you I live, To worship you I live, I live to worship you.

Rather than seeking my identity and my purpose in an academic accomplishment, or in my career, I began to turn wholly to my creator. My identity shifted from being a single mother, to a human being designed to worship and be in fellowship with my creator. And it was as if a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The scripture Matthew 6:33 helped me to restructure my life “But seek ye first, the kingdom of God and all these things, shall be added unto you." Rather than looking to please others or myself, or even to be the best mom, or best at my job…(I stopped waking up and checking emails, and started waking up and giving thanks). I understood that I had been created to worship the almighty God. And in seeking to worship him, and putting him first…everything else started coming together.  

Lenten Devotional Series: All Creatures of Our God and King

All Creatures of Our God and King
Lyrics by St. Francis of Assisi
 
Hymn 455 in our Hymnal
 
Classical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26DHOhynJ1Q
 
Contemporary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSFK7UiH5Us
 
Psalm 148
 
I chose to share thoughts on  All Creatures of Our God and King for two reasons. First, we sing this song in both services. We sing the hymn in the classical service, and we sing the adaptation by David Crowder in the contemporary service. Second, this song is one of my favorite hymns, and it is a song that translates well into contemporary worship music.
 
The lyrics of All Creatures were originally in a poem by St. Francis of Assisi in 1225. Francis is considered the patron saint of Italy, San Francisco, CA, and the environment. The latter is evident in this song. In the spirit of Psalm 148, which I encourage you to read, Francis calls upon God’s creation to praise its Creator.
 
Do you ever consider other parts of creation praising God? If you are like me, you usually think of humanity alone praising God. This song challenges us to see beyond that. It opens up to us the mystery and grandeur of God’s creation. It’s not just God and me. It’s not just you, some friends, God, and me. This song reminds us that it’s not even merely humanity and God.
 
What does it mean for another part of creation to praise God? If St. Francis is right, creation praises God simply by being. “Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon with softer gleam;” “Thou rushing wind that art so strong, Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along;” “Thou flowing water, pure and clear, Make music for thy Lord to hear.” These parts of creation praise God bydoing what they were created to do.
 
What are you created to do?
 
We are all specially created, and we all have something special to do to honor our Creator. God has plans and purposes for you individually. But I think this is true for each of us: we were created to worship God. All of us. Individually, corporately, continually. As we continue through the Lenten season toward Easter with our series on worship, ask God to continue to build you and your worshiping life. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move your heart constantly to worship God. It is what you were created to do. - Drew Hanson

Lenten Devotional Series: Thy Dwelling Place
Fourth Movement of Johannes Brahms Requiem

by Roy Atherton
member of BHPC Choir
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Psalm 84:1-2
 
My personal connection with the text of the fourth movement has always been my reflection of Brahms' feeling that there will always be another dimension of life that is beyond our earthly existence. Although his expressed intent was to be mindful of the living souls who remained behind on earth, it was his intention to be mindful that the departed would be remembered as those spirits who entered the Lord's beautiful dwelling place.
 
Spiritually, the soaring musical phrasing and textual appeal of "...Thy dwelling place of the Lord..." compliments my sense of personal well-being in our troubled times.  The text is apropos and mindful of those who have departed.  I have been blessed by my parents and know they sought the Lord's beautiful dwelling place. Blessed are my parents who dwell in the house of the Lord.
 
In my own way, I also pray for forgiveness, hope and the unlimited blessings that God has bestowed upon each of us.  I will always remind each of you that there is a daily need to count your blessings. Be thankful for your blessings, large and small, and always be in the presence of the Lord - willing and able to be of assistance others.  It is well to remember those who came before us, who taught us the way and wisdom of our Lord how to be of assistance to others less fortunate and guide us through the final days of our lives into the Lord's dwelling place.

Lenten Devotional Series: Music helps us to focus on God

 

Lent is a season of the church life where we prepare our hearts for Easter by being aware of our need for redemption.  Traditionally, Lent has been a time of fasting.  A choice to deprive one’s life of something to remind us of our dependence upon God alone.  

This lent, we at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church have decided to focus upon musical worship.  When we worship God, we essentially fast from our own tendencies to self-absorption, control, fear, anxiety, and an assortment of other problems of focus.  Instead of focusing upon ourselves, we rightly focus on God.

So this Lent, we offer a number of devotionals centered upon music.  These devotionals are meant to invite you into moments of worship throughout your week.



I can remember the point in my life where worship music transitioned from church into my car.  Shortly after college I was working at a bank in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.  The grind of my commute, my new lifestyle of “work-all-day-every-day” was different from my “wake-up-when-you-want, study-when-you-want” college lifestyle.  It was a bit of a shock to me.  I soon found that I was getting to work each morning in less than a good mood.

One morning, I realized that the radio personalities I was listening to on my commute weren’t helping my attitude.  So I turned the radio to a local Christian music station.  I believe I would have called the Christian music at the time “a bit cheesy.”  But I was desperate for as much positive to be poured into me as I could get.  

Before long, I found my mind and heart turning to God’s goodness and grace.  My morning commute became a time of worship.  This practice not only transformed my commute but affected the rest of my day.

Today, the songs have changed but the practice is the same.  I am blessed by the gift of music to help remind me that I am defined by the God who has called me, saved me, and sent me into my every day.  Each day, he does so with singing!

We’ve created two Spotify lists with some of the music we use during our two worship services.  Click on the link below to listen!

https://open.spotify.com/user/drewhanson89/playlist/3eDumU1iiYXgUqfthj7bq8