The Hungry Song

Out of the recesses of the basement storage room, deep down in a box labeled “Old Music”, I found a little treasure. “The Hungry Song” was a light-hearted attempt at songwriting way back in 1999. The lyrics are silly and I share them only to give you a smile as you head into another quarantine weekend. I’ll be back on Monday for another week of Aleph-Bet.

The Hungry Song

Verse 1
I get hungry for some Fritos or a Little Debbie’s treat.
I start craving mashed potatoes with a juicy piece of meat.
But there’s a place in my heart food will never satisfy;
I need to open up the Word and give some soul food a try.

Chorus
Oh, make me hunger for You, Lord.
Give me an appetite for Your Word.
I will come to Your table where such goodness abounds.
And I can eat and eat and eat and never ever gain a pound.

Verse 2
I like donuts filled with custard, I like hotdogs with baked beans.
I like Oreos and Cheetos, I like caramel on ice cream.
But there’s a place in my heart food will never satisfy;
I need to open up the Word and give some soul food a try.

Chorus
Oh, make me hunger for You, Lord.
Give me an appetite for Your Word.
I will come to Your table where such goodness abounds.
And I can eat and eat and eat and never ever gain a pound.

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“I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” ~ Jesus
John 4:32

Here’s My Heart

heart

It’s a dangerous prayer.

“Here’s my heart, Lord.  Speak what is true.”

That kind of prayer is an open invitation to the God who knows all, sees all, hears all.

Here’s my heart, Lord.

It’s opening the deepest part of me for His examination.

Speak what is true.

It’s listening to His diagnosis and the prognosis for my neurosis.

While it’s true that I am loved and I am redeemed and I am hidden with Christ in God,

it’s also true that I am controlling and I am selfish and I am anxious.

Thankfully, God speaks the Truth about Himself as well:

“I, the Lord, am strong.

I am sure.

I am good.

I am true.”

This week, David Crowder and I are singing this song:

Christ Be All Around Me

Christ beside me

When the alarm on my phone goes off in the wee hours of the morning, a song starts playing next to my pillow:

“As I rise, strength of God, go before, lift me up.

As I wake, eyes of God, look upon, be my sight.”

Before I’m fully awake, I need this prayer.  Negative thoughts, worries, and bad attitudes can attack me before my feet even hit the floor.

Then I stumble into my office, light a candle and open up my Bible.

“As I wait, heart of God, satisfy and sustain.

As I hear, voice of God, lead me on, be my guide.”

Some days, as my blurry eyes focus on the Word, it jumps out and grabs me by the neck.  Other days, I just look at God and He just looks at me. Both satisfy and sustain.

Then I move into the day with all the lists and obligations and duties.

“As I go, hand of God, my defense, by my side.”

By evening, I am happy to rejoin my pillow and whisper a vesper prayer.

“As I rest, breath of God, fall upon, bring me peace.”

This song has carried me through many, many days.  Many, many moments.

“Your life, Your death, Your blood was shed for every moment.”

I started listening to the music of “All Sons and Daughters” three years ago.  When I needed a reason to sing, I put “Reason to Sing” on repeat.  When I felt poor and powerless, I kept “All the Poor and Powerless” on top of my playlist.  I love their music.  I love their lyrics.

This duo doesn’t know it, but they need me.  I add a third harmony part to their songs every morning in the shower.  Duets are great, but in my opinion, three part harmony is glorious.

I guess I’ll leave well enough alone and keep them by my pillow for now.

This week, this is my song:

Written by Leeland and Michael W. Smith.  Recorded by Leslie Jordan and David Leonard.

It Is Not Death to Die

it is not death

The title caught my eye.  “It Is Not Death to Die” — what an intriguing phrase.  I jotted the words down on a slip of torn-off notebook paper and stuck it in my pocket.  When pondering a thought, that’s what I do.  I seem to need to carry ideas in my pocket for awhile.  They roost in there, like a hen on her eggs, waiting for an insight to hatch.

Through the morning I argued with the short sentence that captured my thoughts.  Of course dying is death, I say to the paper in my pocket.  The final exhale, the last look before closing the eyes, the heartbeat halted — that’s death.  That’s what it is to die.  Right?

In the afternoon I had to know more.  A little research revealed the origin of the words.  In 1832, 60 year old Henri Abraham Cesar Malan wrote a hymn titled, “Non, Ce N’est Pas Mourir”.  Fifteen years later, George Bethune translated the French lyrics into English and the song found it’s way into 126 hymnals.  One hundred and sixty years later, Sovereign Grace Music recorded the hymn with a new tune.  I think Henri would approve.

By the evening, I was sitting at my piano singing a song that made its way from my pocket to my heart.  I got it.  Dying is not death in the sense that there is nothing more but blackness and non-existence.  Paul said that to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:8)  Jesus said, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)

It is life to die — more life than we can fathom.

The best of everything is yet to come.

This week, this is my song:

It Is Not Death to Die, Sovereign Grace Music

Singin’

I love musicals. My favorite all-time movie is “Singin’ in the Rain”. It makes me want to break out into a spontaneous song and dance routine while grocery shopping or gassing up the van. Except, unlike the movies, where everyone suddenly joins in with perfect four-part harmony and synchronized dance step sequences, I would be afraid of having to explain my behavior to a police officer. But, oh, to live in a world where people bust out with a show tune and it snowballs into a real show stopper, right there in the check out line. What a fine world that would be.

Music is a powerful force. Just try to imagine living without music. One of the best things about a song is how it can transport you back to a place and time. For instance, when I hear James Taylor’s “Smiling Face”, I’m sitting in my dorm room writing a letter to my future husband. I was falling in love with his smiling face even though we were four states away from each other. That song reminds me of those carefree days and the excitement of a future out there somewhere.

Maybe that’s why the last thing Moses did before climbing a mountain to die, was to teach the Israelites a song. He knew a sermon wouldn’t be remembered after he was gone, and he had already given his share of commandments. But a song…a song would stick with them. So, he composed a song, a very long song, and taught it to the whole assembly of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32) Imagine a 120 year old man standing before a nation, delivering the performance of a lifetime. It would not be forgotten. It would be sung and re-sung for generations. A reminder of their heritage, of their glory days, of their God and His faithfulness.

Moses’ song must have been a good one, because, as it turns out, it will continue on in the last days. (Revelation 15:2-4)  Maybe my dream of being in a spontaneous outburst of song and dance isn’t that far away.