Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘singing’

How Far from Here to Heaven?

Tears came as we sang “Hallelujah to the Lamb.”  We were in a small group of a dozen or so, but in my mind were other settings:  One was in church singing the same song ten days earlier with hundreds of people.  But even more, I visualized the larger choir that we were a part of:  the family of God all over the earth and in heaven—of all races and languages since the world began. 

More specifically, I pictured my newly-departed granddaughter in that choir, singing beside my dad (also who “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket,” as he said, while on earth) and with David the psalmist—all in beautiful harmony side by side praising Jesus, the Lamb on the throne:

Lord I stand in the midst of a multitude
Of those from every tribe and tongue
We are Your people redeemed by Your blood
Rescued from death by Your love …

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!  Hallelujah to the Lamb
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! By the blood of Christ we stand
Every tongue, every tribe, every people, every land
Giving glory, giving honor, giving praise unto the Lamb of God  (by Don Moen)

I turned to my husband and asked, “How far do you think it is from here to heaven?”  We think of heaven being gazillions of light years away, somewhere outside our universe.  But I suspect it’s much, much closer than we realize—in another dimension just beyond a gauzy veil.  When our songs of praise and those of our loved ones already in God’s presence join together to delight His ears, just imagine the glory!  What a privilege to be part of that! 

One more note here:  I was blessed yesterday to read a friend’s blog about an experience in a dentist’s chair where her dentist started humming the song, “Because He Lives.”  That happened on July 3 here in the eastern hemisphere.  Calculating the difference in time, I realized that this was within the same day (July 2 in the US) when we grandparents and parents were singing that same song around the newly-vacated body of our beloved granddaughter, Emmeline.  (It was her lifelong favorite song. The lyrics are below.) Do you think someone in heaven was coordinating the music?  I think so—and with a smile. Smile Note

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
     Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
     Because He lives, all fear is gone;
     Because I know He holds the future,
     And life is worth the living
     Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns!  (by Bill Gaither)

Why sing “Amazing Grace”?

If you watch a movie that shows people in a church situation, chances are that any hymn sung will be “Amazing Grace.”  And according to the news, “Amazing Grace” was sung at a recent memorial for victims of the theater shooting. Why this song? 

Sure, it’s a wonderful song.  It tells of the total depravity of the human race.  And of God’s unexplainable kindness that pities and saves the undeserving sinner and sees Him safely to heaven where he will enjoy unending bliss—just because God is like that! 

What baffles me is why this song is so popular in this age when people don’t want to admit they’re sinners—or that God is totally good—or that He even exists, for that matter.  Do people listen to the words they’re singing?  I’d love to hear your ideas on this!

Six stanzas of “Amazing Grace” are given below.  The fourth and fifth are not included in many hymnbooks, but I wish they were.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

Thank You for the Music!

The school children’s song brought a smile to my lips and an “Amen” from my heart:  “Thank You for the Music!” 

Of all the people in the Bible whose career I envy, it would be Heman, Asaph and Ethan, whose detailed family lines are listed in 1 Chronicles 6:31-48.  Their job must have been important to have such impressive credentials listed there:   Temple music!  Praising God!

Aren’t we privileged to have a God who communicates with us in this way?  He puts skill in the heads and hands and voices of those He chooses to lead in this service, and He plants joy and delight in the hearts of all of us who participate—whether in church, in the kitchen, the shower, or outdoors.  And then He sits back and enjoys it as we return the praise to Him.

Yes, thank You, Lord, for the music!Note

B J & R making music

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