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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Song Story: In CHRIST Alone


- Debra Akins, Contributing Writer

The verse read in the beginning of the video is from John 1 (Click here).

Songwriter Stuart Townend grew up as the youngest of four children in a Christian family in West Yorkshire, England, where his father was a vicar in the Church of England.
 The Townend family always enjoyed music, and young Stuart began to play the piano at the age of seven. Known and respected today by musicians and worship leaders throughout Britain and beyond, his involvement in Christian music dates back over 10 years.
During this time, Townend has used his talents to produce albums for British-based worship leaders as diverse as John Pantry, Keith Routledge, Sue Rinaldi, Vinesong and Praise Gathering.
As an artist, he has made two solo albums: Say the Word and Personal Worship.
 But it is perhaps as a songwriter that Stuart has made his most enduring contribution to the contemporary worship movement. Songs such as “How Deep the Father’s Love,” “My First Love,” “The King of Love,” “Who Paints the Skies” and “Lord, How Majestic You Are” are favourites in the repertoire of thousands of churches around the world.
 And now one of his latest works, “In Christ Alone,” seems destined to take its place among other worship classics both in the UK and in the United States.
Written in 2002, “In Christ Alone” was a collaborative effort between Townend and fellow songwriter (and now good friend) Keith Getty.
 “The song came about in an unusual way,” Townend explains.
 “Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I loved, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody.
 So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.”
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm…
Townend and Getty both admit they are motivated by the idea of capturing biblical truth in songs and hymns that will not only cause people to express their worship in church, but will build them up in their Christian lives.
“I’ve been amazed by the response to this song,” says Townend.
“We’ve had some incredible e-mails about how people have been helped by the song through incredibly difficult circumstances.”
One e-mail described how a U.S soldier serving in Iraq would pray through each verse of the song every day, and how the promises of God’s protection and grace helped to sustain him through the enormous pressures and dangers of life in a war zone.
“It seems like this song is timely,” Townend says.
“We in the West have had our sense of safety and security brutally torn apart by recent world events, and it's caused many to re-evaluate the foundations of their life. I feel that the song has helped to stir faith in many believers that God really is our protector; that our lives are in His unshakable hands.”
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled and striving cease
My Comforter, my All-in-All
Here in the love of Christ I stand…
Since its initial creation just two years ago, several versions of “In Christ Alone” have been recorded by artists around the world, and Townend admits to having a few favourites.
 “I've heard some wonderful recordings of it. “The Newsboys’ version is really fresh and exciting, and the one done by Alan Asbury is superb,” Townend says.
 “But the one that always moves me most is when we recorded it with a congregation of 8,000 at the Stoneleigh Bible Week in England a couple of years ago.
When we finish the third verse, about the resurrection of Christ, there’s an extraordinary burst of praise from the congregation that at the time was overwhelming, and listening back still sends a shiver down my spine.”
The uniqueness of Townend’s writing lies partly in its lyrical content.
 There is both a theological depth and  poetic expression that some say is rare in today’s worship writing. And not surprisingly, it’s an emphasis that Townend and Getty both maintained within the composition of this song in particular.
“I think content is vitally important to our corporate worship,” Townend shares.
“Sometimes great melodies are let down by indifferent or clich├ęd words. It’s the writer’s job to dig deep into the meaning of Scripture and express it in poetic and memorable ways the truth he or she finds there.

- Debra Akins, Contributing Writer

Knowing the truth about God and who we are in Him is central to our lives as believers. Songs remain in the mind in a way sermons do not, so songwriters have an important role and a huge responsibility.”
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny…
He continues,
 “The lyric [of this song] excites me because it places our hope, our assurance, our eternal destiny in the right place—on the solid foundation of Christ. I know in my own life I need reminding continually not to live by my feelings or my circumstances, but by the unchanging truth of the gospel.”
“In Christ Alone” was the very first collaboration between Townend and Getty.
In fact, it was Townend’s first collaboration with any other songwriter. But it was an experience he found to be very fruitful and well worth the effort. So much so that the two have continued their musical partnership on other songs, and are currently working on a series of songs based around the Apostles’ Creed.
They are hoping to have a recording available next year, and are excited about the possibility of making it into a live presentation.


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm…
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled and striving cease
My Comforter, my All-in-All
Here in the love of Christ I stand…
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny…

Knowing the truth about God and who we are in Him is central to our lives as believers. Songs remain in the mind in a way sermons do not, so songwriters have an important role and a huge responsibility.”
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny…
He continues,
 “The lyric [of this song] excites me because it places our hope, our assurance, our eternal destiny in the right place—on the solid foundation of Christ. I know in my own life I need reminding continually not to live by my feelings or my circumstances, but by the unchanging truth of the gospel.”
“In Christ Alone” was the very first collaboration between Townend and Getty.
In fact, it was Townend’s first collaboration with any other songwriter. But it was an experience he found to be very fruitful and well worth the effort. So much so that the two have continued their musical partnership on other songs, and are currently working on a series of songs based around the Apostles’ Creed.
They are hoping to have a recording available next year, and are excited about the possibility of making it into a live presentation.


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm…
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled and striving cease
My Comforter, my All-in-All
Here in the love of Christ I stand…
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Band Aid 30 - Do They Know Its Christmas?

Check out this track released by Band Aid 30. Donate at http://bandaid30.com to help support Ebola victims. Also please like our page http://fb.com/MattTauraeb for more awesome music. You are currently hearing audio from this music video from the right pane of the page (under "Song of the Fortnight)



Truth Will Always Win





I know it’s hard to always do
What we know is right

We look around at other folks
And how they live their lives

But just because they may do
What we know is wrong
We must stay true to our God
And keep our spirits strong

Our eyes must always be fixed on
Our Lord and saviour Christ
Don’t worry what the others do
In His word we must abide

They may laugh at our stand
For righteousness and truth
Just know the one that matters most
Is smiling down on you

He alone is whom we please
Not anyone else down here
For He alone is so worthy
Nobody else compares

No matter what they say and do
Stand your ground for Him

They may try to ridicule
But truth will always win


© By M.S.Lowndes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

You Mustn't Quit

- Anonymous

Paul writes: 

Philippians 3:13-15(NIV)

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press ontoward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

Paul was driven by his vision of reaching the world for Christ (Romans 10:1).

Romans 10:1(NIV)

10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

It was his yardstick for daily living and his motivation for every effort. It made him relentless.

An unknown poet wrote:

'When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
and the road you're trudging seems all uphill.
When funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When things are pressing you down a bit,
rest if you must, but don't you quit!
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about,
when he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
you might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than it seems,
to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
when he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
You never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
it's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.'

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn

 
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Kiran Mathew John
Kiran Mathew John
Student at National Institute of Technology Calicut
Alleppey Area, India
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Tiny Rosebud

- Anonymous





A young preacher was walking with an older more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and the younger preacher, feeling a bit insecure about what GOD had for him to do, he was inquiring of the older preacher.

The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the Will of GOD for his life and for his ministry.

Because of his high respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact it wasn't long before he realized how impossible it was to do so. Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older preacher began to recite the following poem.

"It is only a tiny rosebud, a flower of GOD's design; but I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine. The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I. GOD opens this flower so sweetly. When in my hands they die. If I cannot unfold a rosebud this flower of GOD's design. Then how can I have the wisdom to unfold this life of mine” ?


So I'll trust in HIM for leading each moment of my day. I will look to HIM for HIS guidance each step of the pilgrim way. The pathway that lies before me, only my HEAVENLY FATHER knows. I'll trust HIM to unfold the moments, just as HE unfolds the rose"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A.W. Tozer

- Samuel Machado



Aiden Wilson (A. W.) Tozer was born in a small farming community in Western Pennsylvania on April 21, 115 years ago.
His spiritual path opened up when, as a 15-year-old, Tozer responded to a street evangelist.

Five years later, with no theological training, he began pastoring his first church.

Tozer spent the rest of his life as a pastor, rising to national prominence during his tenure at Southside Alliance Church, Chicago, IL (1928–1959). Tozer wrote the spiritual classic The Pursuit of God during his time in Chicago, and over his lifetime authored more than 40 books.

His steadfast call to repentance and faith earned him the nickname “the 20th-century prophet.”
On May 12, 1963, he went to be with his Lord after suffering a heart attack.

The epitaph on his tombstone simply reads:
“A. W. Tozer—A Man of God.”

To celebrate this remarkable man of faith, I put together 10 of my favorite Tozer quotes:



1.“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion. You would never get me interested in the old maids’ social club with a little bit of Christianity thrown in to give it respectability. I want all that God has, or I don’t want any.”

- from The Counselor

2.“I wonder also how many Christians in our day have truly and completely abandoned themselves to Jesus Christ as their Lord. We are very busy telling people to “accept Christ” - and that seems to be the only word we are using. We arrange a painless acceptance.”

- from Who Put Jesus on the Cross?

3.“The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were normal.”

- from Born After Midnight


4.“But a lot of people have gone too far and have written books and poetry that gets everybody believing that God is so kind and loving and gentle.
God is so kind that infinity won’t measure it. And God is so loving that He is immeasurably loving. But God is also holy and just.”

- from The Attributes of God, Volume One

5.“I can only say, let us be tolerant wherever we can be, and let us be charitable toward all those we cannot tolerate. But let us not imagine for a minute that we are called upon to take a top-of-the-fence stand, never knowing exactly what we believe.”

- from Faith Beyond Reason



6.“It is a high Christian privilege to pray for one another within each local church body and then for other believers throughout the world. As a Christian minister, I have no right to preach to people I have not prayed for. That is my strong conviction.”

- from Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts

7.“In some circles, God has been abridged, reduced, modified, edited, changed and amended until He is no longer the God whom Isaiah saw, high and lifted up.”—from Whatever Happened to Worship?


8.“No matter what the circumstances, we Christians should keep our heads. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. It is a dismal thing to see a son of heaven cringe in terror before the sons of earth.”

- from The Warfare of the Spirit

9.“Rightly understood, faith is not a substitute for moral conduct but a means toward it. The tree does not serve in lieu of fruit but as an agent by which fruit is secured. Fruit, not trees, is the end God has in mind in yonder orchard; so Christ-like conduct is the end of Christian faith.”

- from Size of the Soul

10.“The only fear I have is to fear to get out of the will of God. Outside of the will of God, there’s nothing I want, and in the will of God there’s nothing I fear, for God has sworn to keep me in His will.”

- from Success and the Christian: The Cost of Spiritual Maturity