Oh, Social Media, you provide such wonderful opportunities and such awkward moments. Just like real life and real people provide. It’s interesting the advice one receives about how to approach Social Media; sometimes it’s “you should be very involved and interactive with your followers” and other times it’s, “the best way to handle that is not to respond at all.” And there may be some truth to both. I know Jesus occasionally was silent when asked questions, and sometimes he answered, told stories, asked more questions or…flipped tables. But there is, in fact, that time for silence.
Someone asked me today how I would describe God’s love.
Aaron Shust’s “Unto Us” Christmas Tour is about to begin! Grab tickets here while you can!
Before I write any song with another songwriter, I try to spend a full hour alone in the Word, reading one of my favorite devotionals, asking God for some direction as to what we should write about during our four hour window. It’s incredibly cool to see how often the concept that is laid on my heart is the same concept share with the other person. Not always the case, but fun when it happens that way.
Triumphant Conquerer is one of my favorite songs on Doxology. It pumps me up, to sing of the absolute strength of our Lord Jesus Christ! Corey Voss brought the first verse and a melody for the chorus to the table on February 11 of this year, and we set out to write a song that captures the majestic and victorious nature of our King of kings.
Fred Hartley, in his book Church On Fire, says, “The upper room is the closest we can get to the Throne while still on earth”. He is referring to a place of corporate prayer like where the disciples gathered for 10 days to wait for the promised Holy Spirit. They gathered to wait and to receive. Maybe they prayed for Peter’s mother-in-law’s neighbor’s head cold: they had seen Jesus’ perform miracles and they had already performed miracles themselves, in His name. But they were simply told to wait. (Acts 1:4-5) When my church gathers to pray, we certainly allow for times of intercession (praying for others) but we spend a lot of time simply lifting our praises to God and worshiping Him for Who He Is. We ask for more of Him in our lives, in our families, in our church body and in our community. His Kingdom come and His will be done in us. It’s a much more engaging time than just praying for another stubbed toe.
Over a year ago, at the end of one of these Upper Room prayer meetings, I began to play the guitar, just as background music, while we quietly waited on God…to do whatever He wanted. My heart’s prayer was for Jesus to fill that place with His presence, with His Holy Spirit, and my prayer quickly morphed into a melody. Guitar in hand, I began to sing it. What a precious moment when a brand new song is sung corporately for the ears of Heaven to hear!
A genre of music was born in the Deep South of America when enslaved Africans were brought to the United States in the early 17th Century. This was the music of the slave who would be free. The sound of the mother in the field who would be united with the children heartlessly taken from her. The song of those who would escape their trials and find a new life in the North. The cry of those whose only hope was to cross that River Jordan and find their peace and freedom in the Life to come.
King David opens Psalm 8 by singing, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth.” One dictionary describes the word majestic as “having or showing impressive beauty or dignity”. David is marveling at the created order, attributing its magnificence to God alone, in awe that God would even think about us, even still give us charge over His creation. David concludes that the very name of God has impressive beauty and dignity.
The title “King of kings” has been used since the 13th century BC when an Assyrian first gave himself the name. In the book of Ezra, Artaxerxes refers to himself as king of kings and both Ezekiel and Daniel refer to Nebuchadnezzar as the same. Monarchs throughout history have adopted it to indicate their supremacy over all subject kings beneath them. Even as recently as 2008, over 200 African tribal kings bestowed Muammar Gaddafi with this title.