God is not dead, nor doth he sleep

No one remembers – or is alive who remembers – if it was cold in New England on Christmas Day in 1863, but the country itself was in the cold grip of the Civil War. Long years of war had taken its toll on homes both Union and Confederate. This Christmas, sons were at war or imprisoned or dead or injured or ill.

Henry’s son, Charley, had been one of the injured and the ill, surviving both a bout of malaria and a bullet wound in the back.  A single father of five who lost his wife when her clothes accidentally caught fire a few years earlier, Henry had been heartbroken but resigned when Charley ran away to join the Union Army.

“I shall not send for him,” Henry wrote in his journal. “He is where he wants to be, in the midst of it all.”

Nonetheless, he crossed through army lines to reach to his son’s bedside when he  was wounded in late November 1863 and brought him home.

Henry may have recalled the pain not only of his own grief and concern, but also that of a nation when he penned his poem, Christmas Bells on that Christmas Day. Continue reading

A Song for Sunday: Take My Life

The Passion Regional conferences in DC and Atlanta must have been the least video taped conferences ever! Or maybe more people were actually paying attention to instructions not to record the sessions.

I’m actually glad there weren’t that many videos available. Otherwise this beautiful moment from Passion DC might have been lost in the shuffle.

 

A Song for Sunday: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

This video came from the first night of Passion 2007. I sat on the floor of the Georgia World Congress Center to watch the talk. As Chris Tomlin and crew came to the stage to lead Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), I had to get running to go the whole way to the other end of that massive complex to get to the Georgia Ballroom where I was a community groups volunteer serving the great students in the Silver Community Group.

It wasn’t until I got home after Passion and watched the sessions online that I saw the video below. It choked me up even then. I can’t imagine what it was like that night.

To get the full impact, click over here and watch Louie Giglio’s message from that night.

Then watch this.

A Song for Sunday: Glorious/Our God Reigns

For the rest of the year, the Song for Sunday will feature songs from Passion Conferences through the years. The only qualification I have is that I’m choosing songs from the conferences at which I served as a volunteer.

This video is from the final moments of Passion 2006, the first Passion event at which I served. It’s still a highlight from all the events I’ve attended.

It’s long, but worth it.

A Song for Sunday: One Thing Remains

I’m scheduling this post a week early.

‘Cause this week’s going to be a doozy.

I work nights on Monday and Tuesday, regular day shift on Wednesday and an early shift on Thursday so that I can work a full eight hours then go to the loveliness that is the Allume Social conference.

Here’s what I know I will be able to say come next Sunday:

  • I’m so tired!
  • I’m so blessed to be be able to share about Him through writing.
  • I’m doubly blessed to have found a community like Allume.
  • I wish I wouldn’t have had to work on Thursday.
  • I should have sprung for the hotel room instead of commuting.
  • God put just the right people in my path all weekend.
  • What am I going to do with all these gifts from the goody bag?

And here’s another thing.

I know that if every little bit of that comes true or if every little bit of that falls through, his love will never fail me and he will never give up on me.

That’s the message another song that seems have been on constant repeat since the Passion CD dropped last March. The original is by Jesus Culture. The video below is Kristian Stanfill leading at Passion 2012.

A Song for Sunday: 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

This song hovered under the radar for me even though it’s on one of my favorite CDs of the year. It finally blossomed to the surface late summer. A friend at work was facing the loss of a loved one from cancer. I was wrestling with the idea of leaving my job without a back-up plan. Truthfully, God felt far away.

Then, I really listened to the lyrics, particularly the last verse (printed below the video).

I can’t begin to describe how much it has sustained me over the past few weeks. My prayer is that it will meet you where you are today and remind you of all the reasons we have to praise God.

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

The sun comes up
Its a new day dawning
Its time to sing your song again
What ever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

You’re rich in love and you’re slow to anger
Your name is great and your heart is kind
For all your goodness I will keep on singing
10,000 reasons for my heart to find

Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more

Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name
Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name (repeat 3x)
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name (repeat 3x)