Day 6/12: Heaven Everywhere (Christmas songs Countdown)

Here is a cheery song which reminds us that Christmas brings a sense of hope: we truly can be the selfless people we were designed to be, as we turn our eyes from ourselves and become just a little kinder and more generous towards our fellow humans. There is a little bit of ‘Heaven Everywhere’ at Christmas. The song is from Francesca Batistelli’s 2012 ‘Christmas‘ album.

Heaven Everywhere

I hear the bells, they’re ringing loud and clear
You can’t help but love this time of year
It’s Christmastime, there’s something in the air
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

Somehow there’s a little more of love
And maybe there’s a little less of us
Or maybe we’re just slightly more aware
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

It’s the smile on a man who has finally found hope
It’s the tears of a mother whose child has come home
It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

It’s funny how it takes a holiday
To show us how the world could truly change
If we all took the time to really care
There’d be a little more of heaven everywhere

It’s the smile on a man who has finally found hope
It’s the tears of a mother whose child has come home
It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
It’s the grace that we show to a world that needs hope
It’s giving our lives knowing they’re not our own
It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plain
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Hallelujah, halleljuah

It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plain

Songwriters: Ben Glover / Francesca Battistelli

Heaven Everywhere lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Capitol Christian Music Group
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From the Womb to the Tomb: thank You for the Time In Between

OXYGEN VOLUME 13

For so many people the time between Christmas and Easter is a whirlwind of busy-ness, and the latter holiday simply provides a welcome breather. (Is that how it has been for you?)
But I am reminded by the lyrics of this song that really it is the time inbetween Jesus’ birth and the Cross for which we must be thankful.

In that time Jesus lived the fully obedient life that pleased His Father, which we could never live. It was in this time he preached the good news that the Kingdom of God (and its King) had come. In this time he called people to follow Him. Here he was also despised, rejected, beaten and hung on a cursed tree – for us! We are the reason he gave his perfect life, a righteous life that now envelops us, if we are in Him. Hope you enjoy the song and take the time to be thankful, for the “time in between”.

Time In Between by Francesca Battistelli
You were there when your Father said “Let there be light”
You obeyed when He whispered “Son, You have to leave tonight”
To spend nine months in a mothers womb
Three days in a borrowed tomb

But it’s the time in between
That brings me to my knees
Knowing you came for me
And all that I can’t be
I’m amazed, so amazed
And I thank You for the time in between

Don’t take much for this crazy world to rob me of my peace
And the enemy of my soul says You’re holding out on me
So I stand here lifting empty hands
For you to fill me up again

But it’s the time in between
That I fall down to my knees
Waiting on what You’ll bring
And the things that I can’t see
I know my song’s incomplete
Still I’ll sing in the time in between

So many ways
Your love has saved the day
And I’m grateful for them all

But it’s the time in between
The middle of two thieves
That says everything. It’s the reason I believe
I’m amazed, so amazed
And I thank you for the time in between
Oh Lord, I thank you for the time in between

Appears on Album: My Paper Heart

December 25 in song, thanks to Francesca!

francescachristmasalbumA very short post today, encouraging you to go buy a new Christmas album for your collection, or as a gift for someone else. Bought this new one from Francesca Battistelli in October just after it was released, simply called “Christmas.” It was a birthday present for daughter Emily (14). It has become a huge hit in our house. Click here for the itunes link.

If you are looking for a great song for a Christmas event at your church, I would recommend “Heaven Everywhere” (sheet music available from Musicnotes.com) or a slower one “December 25“. If you live in a snowy location, try “Marshmallow world” for a bit of fun! Can’t say we relate to that over here in sunny Brisbane, in the middle of a heatwave. (If you have the time, check out my blog on the rationale for Christmas: “Why wouldn’t we remember Christmas”. It might help to share it with some “baa humbug!” friends or relatives.)

Here are the lyrics for HEAVEN EVERYWHERE (please note the grace in chorus #2)

I hear the bells, they’re ringing loud and clear
You can’t help but love this time of year
It’s Christmastime, there’s something in the air
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

Somehow there’s a little more of love
And maybe there’s a little less of us
Or maybe we’re just slightly more aware
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

Chorus
It’s the smile on a man who has finally found hope
It’s the tears of a mother whose child has come home
It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

It’s funny how it takes a holiday
To show us how the world could truly change
If we all took the time to really care
There’d be a little more of heaven everywhere

Chorus 2

It’s the grace that we show to a world that needs hope
It’s giving our lives knowing they’re not our own
It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

Bridge
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plain
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Hallelujah, halleljuah

It’s the joy that we feel and the love that we share
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere
There’s a little bit of heaven everywhere

Tag
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plain

Great Christmas music to ease your planning stress

Around this time of the year, every year, music team/worship team/church band leaders everywhere get a strange kind of nervous twitch whenever they remember how many weeks it is ’til Christmas. By October you could describe them as rather nervous, by November totally stressed, and it’s panic stations by December – but only if they have not sorted out their Christmas music repertoire! Finding great NEW item songs can be tricky… and there’s only 96 days to go.

Well I have got some great news for you (though there are no free steak knives involved). I’m going to share with you my favourite Christmas songs. They are tried and tested (except the new one I’m trying this year) and true to the gospel, with a great festive feel that even non-Christian Christmas visitors will appreciate. So hopefully, while it is still only September, you can settle on some great Christmas songs – and feel most smug that you are organised so far ahead of time!

Here they are. The first 4 come from a great album by Sovereign Grace Music called “Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man” (click the title to listen to all these songs. Find free lead sheets, guitar tabs and mp3s for all these songs here)

Hope has Come (fast and cheery – great with chimes or bells)

Christ the Lord is born today (great Christmas Day item)

Glory be to God on High (bright upbeat song)

Salvation is Born (a gentler feel – I used this with a choir, soloist in v1 and ending, arranged the chorus in 3 part harmony).

Is this not the Carpenter? from Emmanuel: A musical celebration of the Life of Christ
The One who made the world made this world His home
This child that grew to man came unto His own
But His own received Him not, Even looked into His eyes, yet never recognized Him, saying
“Is this not the Carpenter – is this not the Son of Mary?”

“Is this not the Carpenter – is this not the Son of Mary?”
Saying “This is but the Carpenter – it’s only Jesus, Son of Mary.”
It’s a sadness without measure, They had been with Him forever
And still not realized He was the very Son of God, saying
“Is this not the Carpenter – is this not the Son of Mary?” . . . read more

So Let Us Shine from Emu Live 2 (lyrics, pdf music and mp3 here)
For desperate people at their darkest hour, When fault and failure held us in its power
A babe was born – he said, “I am the way”.
He came to earth to turn our night to day, He came to earth to turn our night to day
So let us shine! And show the world his love
So let us shine! Because he first loved us
So let us shine! And show the world his love
This baby is the light of the world.

And this last one, is new to me, untested, but I envisage a string section and some groovy chimes and bells!
Shout for Joy by Paul Baloche – as recorded on his most recent CD “The Same Love”
(Note that the CCLI version of the sheet music has a different bridge. I’m going with the one on the album.)

Merry Christmas! (Just a little early)

Ps. Since writing this post I have included another which might be helpful – some new songs from Francesca Battistelli. Click here to read that post.