Grace

Your Love Drives My Fear Away

Your Love Drives My Fear Away

A C#m D2 E
I’ve got this knot inside of me, It’s getting hard to breathe
I’m straining for the surface now, I’m pleading for relief
Desperate for my Papa’s love, I’m feeling beaten down
Why is this Great Sadness, Clinging to me now?

F#m E F#m E
But when I come to you, Your arms are open wide

CHORUS:

D E A F#m
Your love drives my fear away
When I feel lost in the gloomy dark,
I focus on the cross, how it moves my heart
Your love drives my fear away
Now I trust in Your light so pure
How your love holds my heart secure
Your love drives my fear away
Your love Jesus

A C#m D2 E
I’ve grown especially fond of you, Your love’s reshaping me
My heart is filled with gratitude, Your goodness I believe
I open my heart wider still, Receiving all your love
You’ve taken my Great Sadness, I’m healed by your blood

F#m E F#m E
And when I come to you, Your arms are open wide

(CHORUS)

2017 Reflect Worship Music (Inspired by the Shack)

Categories: Gospel, Grace | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Scandal of The Shack

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When I read the Shack it was a very healing experience for me. It made me question and consider the fact that God loves and wants to save the very worst of humans, pedophiles, porn stars, Muslim terrorists, and even judgemental Christians! Through the story William Paul Young demonstrates what Scripture tells us:

“Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.” Romans 5:20

I remember reading one part in the book about a son’s relationship to his father. I became so angry that I threw the book across the room. I was angry because it was bringing up my own painful and strained relationship with my father. I was bitter about the divorce and I hadn’t talked with him in a couple years. He had rejected his family. He had rejected me. I wrote a song you’ll never hear about that pain and the blame.

Well a few days later after I finished the book, I had the most powerful encounter with the love of Jesus. It happened, as it often does with me, in a dream.

Here tis:

I was standing there looking at my dad. My brother was there as well and my first impression was an overwelming awareness that we are One. Then God started to reveal how he felt about my dad. God’s love started pouring into my heart and it grew in intensity. It just kept growing and growing more and more intense and I thought, “Is there any end to this love?” It became so intense I was convinced I would explode into a million pieces. Fearing for my life I shook myself awake as if to say, “No more!”

That profound experience healed my relationship with my dad. Of course I forgave him! I have treated him with love and respect ever since. I called him up shortly after that and was going to send him the book The Shack but he told me that he had just read it. The book made quite an impact on him as well.

Wow God!

From My friend Robby Dawkins:

robby-dawkinsIs there a Demonic Spirit related to the movie the Shack? The Answer is yes!
I read the book several years ago and weeped so hard. It made me angry then broke my heart. Then watching the movie tonight with my wife Angie Dawkins, all those emotions were stirred once again. This story is really about the authors horrific struggle with the Lord after suffering sexual abuse as a missionaries kid. This deep wound is depicted in the story with a horrific tragedy in a family.
None of the depictions of God are Caucasian (loved it!) And portraits God in both male and female form (loved that too). This movie is so powerful and I felt the Presence of the Lord so strong at various points of it. And felt the theology to be very sound.
So what of the demonic I mentioned you ask? I believe their is a demonic assignment against this book and movie. It’s both by a Religious Spirit and a spirit that insights Prejudice. These Demonic spirits are trying to block people from experiencing healing and freedom from a critical spirit.
I highly recommend you take every atheist, spiritually wounded, orphaned spirited person you know to this movie and then a “sit down” with them afterwards to process it.
It sets us up to bring many to Christ…

More: William Paul Young and his book Crossroads: https://daniellovett.com/2013/07/15/cross-roads-by-william-paul-young-book-review/

William Paul Young and his book Eve: https://daniellovett.com/2015/09/23/william-paul-young-and-his-new-novel-eve/

Categories: God is Good, Gospel, Grace | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Inner Healing? Try Inner Healed!

Every time I hear John Crowder speak on the glories and the good news of the Gospel of Jesus my heart swells with joy. I trust yours will too. This is a talk he gave about inner healing and how Jesus has already accomplished this. I have proven this to be true in my own life and have seen that my victory over depression has come about because I just started believing the Gospel.

Jesus really did save me! Done deal. To quote Jesus, “It is finished!”

I love telling people their salvation is bought and paid for. They are already forgiven, you just need to believe it and receive it.

I love a story Rick Warren shared once. A man walked up to him and asked, “Pastor, what do I have to do to be saved?” “You’re too late” Rick told him. “What do you mean I’m too late?” he asked. “What needed doing was already done for you 2,000 years ago. You just need to accept it.”

Categories: Gospel, Grace, Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments

Hallelujah, New Verses, New Version

Yesterday I shared the song Hallelujah on the piano at a nursing home. I had written some new verses for this song and talked about one of them with the group. As I spoke about the inspiration behind it, I was deeply moved. Here is the verse:

“Those who’ve been forgiven more,
Respond with love to the Lord,
So remember all the grace He’s given to ya,
He pursues you when you go astray,
When you choose wrong and lose your way,
Forgiveness gives you back your Hallelujah!”

The Inspiration:

hallelujah-squirrel.png editedOnce while Jesus was dining at the home of Simon, a religious leader, a woman who had a reputation for living a sinful life walked into Simon’s house. She stood at Jesus feet and sobbed in Christ’s loving presence. She was so moved and grateful for the grace, redemption, and lack of judgement she had found with Jesus that she washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

She even kissed Jesus feet and anointed them with expensive perfume. I was so overwhelmed as I spoke of how Jesus heart must have gone out to her… but then, sadly, this was compromised and soiled by Simon’s judgmental attitude toward the woman.

So Jesus told Simon a story about a king who forgave a man a smaller debt and another man a larger debt. Who do you think loved the king more?

Answer: The one who was forgiven more.

Jesus responds:

“I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:47 NLT

Read more about that story and hear my two year old sing the song Hallelujah!

I suppose the reason I get emotional over that story is because I can so relate to being the prodigal who has been warmly welcomed home by a loving heavenly Papa. This woman’s story is the prodigal son story fleshed out in a real life event in Jesus life. The woman is the prodigal and the religious leader was the older brother. We all ought to celebrate the grace and redemption of Jesus and then, like the Father does, gently and lovingly urge the “older brothers” among us to join the party!

Here is a Ukelele version of this brand new take on the song. It has a new melody and everything!

More Nursing Home Ministry Update:

My ministry concerts just keep getting better and better. My wife asks me how my concert went day after day and my reply has been for a while now, “It was the best one yet”!

A year ago I had a desire to be able to start incorporating piano into my concerts. Now I have enough really nice arrangements of piano songs in my repertoire to fill up an hour or more and have written a few songs on the piano as well. I love it!

I wanted to learn to play Be Thou My Vision on the piano because it is such a beautiful and powerful song. Read the song story here! The first time I decided to try Be Thou My Vision on the piano at a concert I figured that I would just play block chords which I was confident I could do. Instead I was amazed when I played all this arpeggiation and how the song had such flow and feeling. It was a great feeling to have communicated the song so well!

I shared Be Thou My Vision recently in Sheboygan and one lady talked with me afterwords. “That was one of my most favorite hymns. Thank you for sharing that. I am so glad I came down and I almost missed it. I enjoyed it so thoroughly even though I am in such incredible pain!” she said as she gripped my hand.

It blessed my heart so much recently at my concert in Milwaukee when one lady afterwords said, “I just feel so full of God! I just feel so full of God!” And this after I shared with her the “Leonard Nimoy blessing” and talked about what God’s Name, El Shaddai, means. From my studies it indicates that God is the One who fully satisfies our hearts. All our longings, desires, needs, and dreams. God satisfies them all!

It is interesting to think that this is why there is absolutely no reason to sin. To sin is not to trust and to look elsewhere to meet your “needs” or to find your identity in something less than God our Good Shepherd. If Jesus is your Good Shepherd, he takes such good care of his sheep that they lie down in green pastures. You, an ignorant helpless sheep, have all that you need, you are so full of blessing to the point that your lying down at rest with all this lush provision all around you. Your thirst is so satisfied in God and the peace he gives calms your heart and mind, your cup runs over with blessing!

I’d suggest for us all to read and meditate on Psalm 23 NLT:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

Categories: Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Redemption | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tullian Tchividjian, a man after God’s own heart

 Tullian TchividjianTullian Tchividjian stepped down from his leadership role as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after he confesses to an immoral relationship. His wife committed adultery, he then followed the same destructive path. His last few tweets as of today were:

“I’m so so sorry. I love you all…fade to black.”

“So grateful that God is a bottom feeder.”

“No vertical condemnation does not mean no horizontal consequences. Surrender early.”

“Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death…thank God grace reigns here.”

“You and I are persistent promise breakers. God alone is a perpetual promise keeper.”
From his twitter page.

His bottom feeder comment reminds me of the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. As I like to say whenever I play that song, that chariot will swing as low as it has to in order to rescue the worst of us.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus suffered on the cross, He “swallowed death“. He became sin to make us the righteousness of God. Because of his love for us and for his Papa He voluntarily drunk the dregs of all it means to be separated from Love – His Papa – to rescue us from all that we had become apart from him. The way I like to think about Christ’s atonement is that Jesus has plumbed the very lowest depths of hell to rescue whoever might be there. He came for every last one of us sinners (see Ephesians 4:9-10).

Jesus took Tullian’s sin upon himself at the cross. At the cross Jesus became guilty of Tullian and his wife’s adultery and has already suffered the wrath of God on his behalf because of his great love for them. Jesus has done the same for you. He became guilty of all your sin.

Tullian is obviously receiving the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus extends to him. He has confessed his sin and can expect, along with anyone else who confesses their sin, to be completely forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

One of the comments on one of the posts on Tullians Facebook page was this:

“Tullian Tchividjian, hearing the news was heart breaking. I pray God uses this to further his gospel and pray you and your wife find common ground. You said it yourself “I am the biggest sinner I know.” You are upholding that phrase well but you are also upholding a better practice, confession and repentance. What you did makes you no less of a leader to a lot of us. Depending how you handle the situation it could even make you a bigger one. Come out of this a better pastor, father, and husband. Don’t rest and give the devil hell.”

God will and is using this to further the Gospel (The Good News) that Jesus loves and forgives sinners. None of our sin will remain secret for long. All of heaven knows all our stuff already, and the Lord has said, “you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23) and “God cannot be mocked, we reap what we sow”. And again, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” (Luke 12:2 NASB)

We will all stand before God one day and give an account for our lives. Jesus has assured us we have the opportunity through trust in him and by receiving his gift of righteousness that we can stand before him pure and clean and as white as snow warmly received by cheering crowds of heavenly saints and angels because we trusted and appropriated his gift.

Or, we can hide and cling to our sin and suffer the profound shame and regret in the presence of a Holy God and all the saints and angels.

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 NLT (NASB says “will find compassion”)

Another quote from Tullian:

“If the depths of everyone’s sin was made public, we would all be much more gracious to each other.” ~ Tullian Tchividjian

He’s very quotable. I also wholeheartedly believe he truly is a man after God’s own heart. This phrase was used by the LORD of King David. His sins were made public too. He suffered some severe horizontal consequences. Many who are reading this have as well. There is grace for you!

The thing about grace that is often overlooked, and even perhaps not stressed enough (even by Tullian) is that grace empowers us to live holy lives. To live a holy life is a New Testament imperative:

“…but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth…” 1 Peter 1:15-17 NASB

He means it. He gives us the Holy Spirit to see to it. He expects it, commands it, and demands it. So, what does being “holy” mean? I have come to learn that, just like the commitment we make in marriage, it means essentially that you become 100% God’s… i.e. wholly God’s, surrendered. This is what the Bible also refers to as, “pure in heart”. We get to surrender our all to love! This is why I love the song I Surrender All which appears on our last album:

The result of this complete and absolute and total surrender is living empowered by the Holy Spirit to do and be and live as God would have you to. His Grace (His unmerited favor) works this into our lives:

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV)

God will change us because he loves us Tullian

I still love Tullian and still think he has a great deal to contribute to the kingdom of love in Jesus Christ… in fact, even more so now. I am reminded of a quote about Johnny Cash after he passed on: “Sinners make the best saints.”

I will still recommend Tullians books and teachings (Here is one not to be missed: Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything!). I also suggest you visit his Facebook page and subscribe for grace filled quotes and encouragement. I pray for the healing of his marriage and that God would bless his ministry to all the rest of us sinners made saints by the grace (unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor – and smile – of God upon us) of Jesus (whose Name means “I AM Salvation”). I encourage you to run to Jesus yourself and find his open arms welcoming you back into the sweet loving fellowship of your Papa who loves you intensely and immensely.

Jesus plus nothing equals everything

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Categories: Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Redemption | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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