white as snow // hymn #4 text

While preparing for the children’s Christmas concert for our church this month I have had sweet little carols singing in my head.

I love children. I love music. I love Jesus. These three things together = Gold!

So for this month I decided to compose a children’s hymn for Christmas, White as Snow.

hymn4

I am writing about snow. I live in 75 degree wintry Texas. The probability of snow falling and staying in Texas is near impossible. I can accept this.

I like to fix problems. Sin is a problem that I can’t fix on my own. Only God can “create in me a clean heart”, I know this, and yet I try compensating for my sins still! It could drive me nuts! When I focus on solving the problems that result because of sin on my own it’s like having a to do list item that never gets crossed off the list! It’s impossible!

This is why the picture that God gives about forgiving our sins is so comforting,

 Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18b

Isaiah was talking to God’s people who continued to rebel… sound familiar? We all do! God demands perfection from every person and we all fall short – everytime.

This is why Jesus’ coming, the Messiah, is life changing. Eternally.

Jesus came to win us eternal life. He came to make us right with God again. He did this by substituting his perfect obedient life, though tempted, in our place and taking ALL sin and death into himself on the cross. Only a pure lamb, without blemish, one as white as snow, could be accepted for sacrifice to God. That pure lamb is Jesus. This is where true peace in the face death can be found.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15

As I was reading the text for the Christmas readings in Hebrews 1 & 2 from the church year calendar, I was reminded how important it was that Jesus was both true God and true man.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17

hymn 4 text

White as Snow

Refrain: Though our sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow,
they shall be as white as snow.

Christ was made like us,
made with flesh and blood,
to share humanity.
He was given breath,
to free us from death,
from sin’s captivity.

Refrain: Though our sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow,
they shall be as white as snow.

Christ is merciful,
as high priest faithful,
to make atonement for sin.
For us He suffered,
was tempted, and learned
obedience to help men.

Refrain: Though our sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow,
they shall be as white as snow.

Christ is radiant,
fully represents
our God’s being and glory.
We are purified,
all our sins have died
by Christ, our Savior, holy.

Refrain: Though our sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow,
they shall be as white as snow.

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the secret of living // hymn #3 text

I have completed the hymn text for my third hymn, The Secret of Living.

As I looked at the texts available from the church year calendar for Thanksgiving I decided to go with the second lesson text,

 Philippians 4:10-20

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.  And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

What is the secret of living revealed to us above? Contentment.

“…be content whatever the circumstances…” Oof. Reading that sentence hurts, doesn’t it?

I think it hurts for two reasons. The first reason it hurts is because I know how easily I have not lived up to it. I flare up in anger or annoyance quicker than I can control and take my circumstances out on those nearest to me. I hang my head. The second reason it hurts is because I fear the pain of what “whatever” may include in the future. What is the “just not that” that I have tried to reserve for God to not let break me?

When God says “whatever” does that include when injustice has occurred to me?

Life is supposed to be fair, right? I deserve better.

Does “whatever” include when balancing the budget comes out just right and giving to the LORD out of my first fruits hurts?

I deserve more.

Does whatever include even if I lose my health? or even worse my children’s health or life?

We deserve to live it fully.

The greatest injustice has already occurred to me. Only I didn’t get the short end of the stick. Truly, what I deserve is torment forever in hell. No sugar coating here. Yet, something I will never be able to fully understand is the love of our God, because of Jesus we are made righteous in Him.

I win!

I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20

Let’s weigh those works of mine on a balance. It’s a landslide to negative, complete debt, impossible… yet because of Jesus,

I profit!

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:21

On my own I am spiritually dead already! I should not fear sickness or death in this finite world because of Jesus,

I live forever!

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil 1:21

be on guard // hymn #2 melody

I sat at the piano pondering the words that Jesus said in Mark 13:5-11,

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.

These are the beginning of birth pains. You must be on your guard.

You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.

On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

While thinking on the words Jesus spoke for the Reformation hymn I began playing the piano in d minor. As I progressed to Jesus’ words on not worrying and being His witnesses I couldn’t help but turn tonally and lift the verses to d minor’s relative major key – F! I like how this melody reflects the text and am anticipating to compose the rest of the voices this week.

I attempted the recording below while my children were sleeping and I was holding a bit back

– but feel free to sing along!

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