This is a great little TED talk that reminds us how ‘making music’ makes our brains engage, stretch and grow. It’s like a ‘whole body’ workout for your brain, that strengthens connections between your hemispheres. If you ever despised the idea of taking your child to music lessons, or practising your own instrument, keep this in mind!
Just a little truth and encouragement from C.S.Lewis:
from “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader“ by C.S.Lewis
Today’s post is an excellent excerpt from at post at The Blazing Center, entitled “Jesus is for people who hate Christmas.”
“That, ladies and gentlemen, is the true meaning of Christmas. Wherever Jesus goes he brings the reign of God! Christmas is ultimately about the kingdom of God coming to this sad, broken, sin-marred world. Christmas is ultimately about a baby who would grow into a mighty warrior – a warrior who would crush Satan, undo sadness, defeat death, and ensure that it would be always Christmas and never winter.
Listen closely. For just a moment, tune out the Christmas music and television commercials. Do you hear that slow creaking and cracking noise? It’s the sound of Satan’s skull being slowly crushed underneath the foot of our conquering Savior.
Now we suffer. Now we experience cancer and migraines and anxiety and singleness and sadness and loneliness and poverty. Now we are afflicted by sin and Satan and our flesh. But not always.
Ultimately, Christmas should give the most hope to those who hate Christmas. Things won’t always be this way. As it says in 1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
Those are such sweet words. Christmas is a celebration of war! Jesus himself has declared open season on Satan. He came to destroy all the works of the evil one. He came to wipe away tears and heal broken bodies and lift up despondent hearts and drive out fear and destroy loneliness.”
I just commissioned this Christmas card design, featuring a line from Matt Redman’s ‘O Little Town/Glory of Christmas’. Thanks to my daughter Emily, you can buy yours here:
Weddings do hold a great fascination for human kind. They consist of great joys, traditions, promises, losses and gains, endings and beginnings. They transport us through time, looking back, looking forward, remembering those who have gone before and those yet to come. They tie us to our families and they unite what once was separate. They provide hope as we express faith and love. They amplify our faith to the witnesses who gather, as we are reminded of the Great Designer’s plan for human kind to be joined as one, to live in love and commitment to one another. At my daughter’s wedding yesterday, I was reminded by the best man (in his humorous yet poignant speech) that a wedding day poses a great question to Christian couples: will this relationship honour Christ? The day is the question. The marriage is the answer.
Enjoying this new Matt Redman song, from his latest album “Glory Song”
“When our musicians, instruments, lighting, and technology aren’t impressive, we can wonder why people would come to our church. They come because we have something the world doesn’t: the amazing news that Jesus Christ died in the place of lost, rebellious sinners to reconcile them to God. Music, no matter how great it is, can’t raise a dead soul to life. The gospel can and does. Your church may never come close musically to what the church down the street does or what people listen to on their iPhones. That’s okay. Faithfully preach, sing, and explain the gospel and you’ll see lives changed.“
A beautiful ‘grace’ song for your congregation from City Alight.
Here is another song list which might be useful:
Across the Lands/You’re the Word (Getty and Townend)
All I have is Christ (Sovereign Grace)
Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone (Tomlin)
Behold our God (Sovereign Grace)
Behold the Lamb/Communion Hymn (Getty)
By Faith (Getty and Townend)
By Our Love (Christy Nockels)
Glorious Day (Casting Crowns)
He is Holy (Garage Hymnal)
Highest Place (EMU music)
I’m Forgiven/You are My King (BJ Foote)
I Will Glory in My Redeemer (Sovereign Grace)
Immortal, Invisible (hymn)
Jesus Thankyou (Sovereign Grace)
May the Mind of Christ My Saviour (Mark Petersen version, EMU Music)
O Great God (Sovereign Grace)
See the Man (Trevor Hodge)
Show us Christ (Sovereign Grace)
Speak, O Lord (Getty)
Take My Life (hymn)
This I believe/Creed (Hillsong)
The Church’s One Foundation (hymn)