Why We Sing: Raise My Voice

  We all have bad days.  Some, bad weeks, or bad months.  And still other times life just seems to be constantly stacked up against you. 

  It's during these days, weeks, months, lifetimes even… that we often substitute what is irrevocably most true about us, with what our circumstances say is currently most true about us.   But is that our fate? To be controlled and defined by life's ever-shifting circumstances?  

  In our journey through the book of Acts, we see two followers of Christ who defiantly reject a definition of circumstance:

            The crowd joined in attacking [Paul and Silas], and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

            About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,

(Acts 16:22-25 ESV, emphasis added)

The Christian is never slave to circumstance. 

  The most true thing about Paul and Silas in this passage is not that they’re being beaten and imprisoned.  While that is currently true, it is eternally true that they are adopted sons of the most glorious, gracious, resurrected, living God. And this is the bulletproof identity that they are holding to, that no temporary circumstance can extinguish.

  As we continue through the story of the early church, we’ll learn that their circumstances don’t really improve; yet their joy remains fiercely unyielding, supported by the everlasting grace of Jesus.  And so, as a family, we will follow this example on Sunday mornings and beyond, laying our circumstances down at the foot of the cross and embracing the greatest truth about us: God calls us family. 

  So as often as our hearts begin to fold and our hands begin to droop, it is my hope that this song would be one of many we will use to sing a joyful truth back to ourselves.  The song is Raise My Voice, by the Robbie Seay Band:

 

If everything I had was lost

If everything was gone

If everything I knew was suddenly a fraud

And all I had was you holding on

Would it all be the same

Could I find the beauty in the pain?

Would I seek your face

Would I sing your praise

  

I raise my voice loud and sing

Tell ‘em all what you've done for me!

Even in my darkest days

I'm gonna sing your praise!

 

Everywhere I look today

Every common tree is ablaze

With the fire of God, the maker of the stars and

The healer of my heart

Where would I be if you never gave the eyes to see?

I praise you!  Oh I praise you!

 

Your grace is like an ocean crashing with hope

Your peace is like a river flooding my soul

It is well with my soul

It is well with my soul

It is well with my soul

 

Raise My Voice can be found on the Robbie Seay Band bandcamp site here: http://robbieseayband.bandcamp.com/track/raise-my-voice

Why We Sing: Marvelous Light

A good song is like a good story, it should take you somewhere.

 

As the story of Acts takes us through the journey of the early church and it’s members, it is appropriate for our family to connect and celebrate with like-minded songs.  Enter, Marvelous Light, by Ellie Holcomb.

The Book of Acts is witness to many glorious transformations, like frightened Peter, ruthless Saul, and the uninformed Ethiopian Eunuch…  We see over and over again how God steps into the darkness that is one person’s story, and transforms it from the inside-out into a vibrant display of light and color, the likes of which brings a life-altering joy and freedom that was previously unknown.

Three weeks ago we celebrated this very thing with two baptisms!  Praise God that He is faithful to continue to work among us!

 

And so we sing of His glorious transforming power with these words:

I am not who I once was

Defined by all the things I've done

Afraid my shame would be exposed

Afraid of really being known

But then you gave my heart a home

 

So I walked out of the darkness and into the light

From fear of shame into the hope of life

Mercy called my name and made a way to fly

Out of the darkness and into the light

 

With years of keeping secrets safe

Wondering if I could change

'Cause when you're hiding all alone

Your heart can turn into a stone

And that's not the way I want to go

 

So I walk out of the darkness and into the light

From fear of shame into the hope of life

Mercy called my name and made a way to fly

Out of the darkness and into the light

 

There's no place I would rather be

Your light is Marvelous

Your light is Marvelous

You have come to set us free

You are Marvelous

Your light is Marvelous, to me

 

So maybe next time we sing this song together, remember the faithfulness of God that is woven throughout history, and of which, you are a part.

 

You can check out Marvelous Light on Ellie Holcomb’s website: http://www.ellieholcomb.com