Behind the Music ~ My King

“Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Many worship songs are me/I centered, what can God do for me, what has He done for me, I am this or that because of who God is, who He says I am, etc, etc. This isn’t all bad, we need truth and life spoken into our hearts, I even have some songs that talk about being chosen and loved by God. But for this song, I wanted to focus on Him. He is worthy, He is Holy, He deserves honor, praise and Glory! And when we stand before a Holy God and see ourselves in light of His holiness…oh Lord, I am ruined, undone, I am not worthy to be in Your presence.

“Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Armies.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:5‬ ‭

“But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Luke 5:8

Have you ever had this kind of response or reaction to the Savior? Woe is me, I am ruined because I’ve seen the King. Depart from me I am not worthy to be in Your presence, Lord.

A couple months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to lead worship for a week long revival with Dr. Robert Loggins. He is a mentor and friend and great man of God. It was such a powerful week for my heart, to grow closer to Jesus and just BE with Him. The messages were incredible and I jotted down so many notes, take-aways, ideas for songs (this one in particular) and more. Night 2 was about God’s holiness, His otherness, His attributes…I was undone. Isaiah was transfigured and transformed in the presence of a holy God.

Isaiah 6:1-8 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies;
his glory fills the whole earth.

4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Armies. 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for. 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who will I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.”

It is so easy to go through the mundane days of life and get numb, calloused, and forget the awesome God who created us, loved us, died for us, keeps us. We need reminded to abandon ourselves to Him over and over again. We get in the way, life gets in the way, stuff gets in the way. I will never be able to see the holiness of God until my desires die, until the distractions, obstructions, and longings of my sinful heart are dead at the foot of the cross of Jesus. I want to be crucified with Christ so I can truly live.

My heart is laid bare before you, Jesus, completely abandoned to You. Give me an undivided heart, Lord God. Strip away tradition and religion, pour out your lavish love and grace upon me so I can live life and operate in the overflow of Your Holy Spirit. Your Spirit’s fire brings change…change me Holy Spirit. You are MY KING!!! This song doesn’t even begin to describe who You are…but even yet, may it be a sweet smelling aroma and offering to You.

In the actual writing of this song, I gathered up my notes, my Bible, pencil and paper and sat down at my piano and began. I had verses, chorus, maybe a bridge? I can’t rightly remember at the moment. But I set it aside. In the middle of the night I woke up with My King, My Lord in a distinct rhythm and melody. So, of course I did what every rational songwriter does…you jump out of bed and go sing it in your phone so you don’t forget it! I did just that but I don’t think I would’ve forgotten this one. It is unlike anything else I’ve written musically speaking. I went back to bed and worked on it the next day with so much excitement. I can’t wait to share it in its fullness/entirety – music and all but until then you’ll just have to read the lyrics and imagine what it might sound like.

My King by Christy Hoagland

Verse 1
Maker of Heaven, and all the earth
Show us Your Glory, Your matchless worth
Counter of stars, giver of Names
Perfect and Holy, God of all Grace

Chorus 1A
My King, My Lord, My God, behold
My King, My Lord, My God, adore Him

Verse 2
Alpha, Omega, Beginning, End
Tamed seas You walked on, harnessed the wind
And just a glimpse of who You are
Your Holy presence, breaks our hearts

Chorus 1B
My King, My Lord, My God, behold Him
My King, My Lord, My God, I adore You

Interlude
Woe, Woe, Woe
Worthy is the Lamb

Bridge 1
I am ruined, I am undone
You are Sacred, the Sovereign One
I am ruined, I am undone
You are Holy, the Holy One

Bridge 2
Holy, Holy, Lord God of Armies
Your Glory, fills the earth
Worthy, worthy, Lord God Almighty
Blessing and Honor and Glory

Verse 3
Lord, crucify me, kill my desires
Holy Spirit, come light a fire
Fill me and give me, a brand new start
Here I am, Jesus, set me apart

Chorus 2
My King, My Lord, My God, I adore You
Father, the Son, Holy Spirit, come

© Christy Hoagland | ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

Songs of the Heart

I am currently working on my next album, it’s quite the process so please be patient with me. A lot of times albums are named after one of the songs on the album, hence “Sing for the King” for my last one. But this group of songs all came from things, circumstances, hurts, revelations…. of my heart. Here are three of those songs.

The following is a testimony of sorts that I shared at Cross Connect on Saturday, April 30th, 2022. This is not a salvation testimony, although that is my greatest treasure, this is a testimony of the Mighty God we serve, His intervention, His provision, His grace and the beautiful sanctifying work He has done and is doing in my heart. What a God…

Fall 2019 – Our son and daughter-in-law tell us our unborn granddaughter has triploidy and wouldn’t survive, that Sydney (our daughter-in-law)’s life was at risk and they are going to terminate the pregnancy.  I was devastated and in my desperation for the life of my unborn granddaughter I hurt my daughter-in-law by basically saying she should give her life for her baby.  I saw her a couple days later and hugged her and told her I was sorry I hurt her. She was teary and gracious and said “it’s an impossible situation”.

I don’t think I’ve ever prayed harder than those next few weeks, I was praying and believing that God would give them a miracle. They had many more tests and ultrasounds and in November ended the life of little Evelyn Hoagland. They got her footprints and have a memorial for her, I know they valued her life. I didn’t have words or didn’t know what to say so I didn’t say anything, meanwhile, my precious daughter-in-law was struggling and hurting and being hurt by followers of Jesus…we have to do better, brothers and sisters in Christ. We can stand up for the unborn AND love their mamas. Jesus sure does, He died for both.

Somewhere around this time, I’m not really sure when, before or after?  The enemy began an assault on my heart, my mind, and I believe those around me.  I wasn’t really aware of it even, I just knew something was off.  In December I was crying off and on, stoic and a depression settled over me.  In January 2020, upon James’ request, I went away for a few days to spend some time alone with God and try and get my heart right. Meanwhile, we were still doing ministry and had almost 200 prison services scheduled for that year.  For the next few months I was still off and then COVID hit, prisons were shut down and we were all forced to be still.  We (the SFTK prison team) were making changes, seeking the Lord, making plans and I was struggling, so much so that I started having very dark thoughts.  I had lost my joy, my “everything’s going to be Okay” attitude and was just going through the motions of life.

And THEN GOD…intervened, I received a “random” phone call from a godly pastor friend, he didn’t know the situation but spoke truth over me and immediately I began to weep and a beautiful peace washed over me.  From there I prayed, talked to my husband, we prayed and I made a decision regarding Sing for the King Ministries, I knew what God was telling me to do and I had a confidence and boldness in it but it was not well received and the outcome was not at all what I thought was going to happen and when my darling husband said maybe we need to just step away I thought I would die.  I had put so much of my identity in doing prison ministry that I thought I couldn’t live without it.  I loved prison ministry, WE loved prison ministry, we had seen so many incredible things and loved being a part of it.  But it seemed like we were doing ministry for God than with Him.  Thankfully He does the work and used me in spite of myself, in spite of my striving.

I was having a hard time letting go and walking through everything, I asked my husband of course to pray but I also asked my accountability partner and BFF to pray for me, not just to pray but to pray and join me in asking God to show me my sin.  I didn’t want to be on the wrong side of this, I didn’t want to hurt anyone – I loved these people.  God, in His wonderful, beautiful grace pointed back to my obedience and this is what I clung to, that despite of the outcome or how I thought it should go and wanted it to go I had to be obedient to Him and He continues to confirm it even now. God has a better way, His thoughts are higher, He sees the bigger picture and I never again want my plans to interfere with what He wants to do.

I wrote this song July 13, 2020, in the midst of all this…The Beauty of Your Grace – it’s what we all need – my daughter-in-law, my ministry partners, my own heart – God’s beautiful grace. 

I sat down and it just poured out, like a prayer.  A prayer that some or all of us have prayed or will pray.

SONG – THE BEAUTY OF YOUR GRACE

Verse 1
Here I am again
Wondering how this ends
I need a friend
I’m on my knees, asking You
Please, oh please
Seeking Your face
A touch of Your grace

PreChorus
God I know You can, help me
I Need Your hand
Reach down for me
Reach down for me, (oh please)

Chorus 1
The beauty of Your grace is
Even when I fail it covers my shame
And takes all the blame
The beauty of Your grace is
Even when I’m wrong it’s never too long
To see I belong to You

Verse 2
You understand I’m broken
My heart’s words unspoken
Jesus, You see me
I’m on my knees, begging You
Please, oh please
Humbly I plead
Pour out Your peace (on me)

Chorus 2
The beauty of Your grace is
You choose me as Your own, I’m never alone
Or too far gone
The beauty of Your grace is
It restores, redeems and chases my soul
Secures all my hope

(Tag) Verse 3
Draw me near to Your throne, (where I’m) justified by grace alone

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” Titus 2:11

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

One of the things God showed me through this season is that my identity is in Christ alone, I had come to terms with this regarding my singing and worship leading – I didn’t worry about messing up or hitting a wrong note…it was no big deal because I knew my identity was in Him.  I just hadn’t embraced that with every part of my life.  Christ Jesus, my Savior, my Redeemer, He is all and everything I need.  He is enough and if I never sing or write another song – that’s okay! Jesus is enough!

This was a call to get back on my face, to seek Him, to be in His presence unrushed and undistracted, to spend time with Him with no planning for this service or that event, to simply draw near to Him. And He continues to remind me…to lean into Him, to sit at His feet like Mary of Bethany and choose the better thing – time in His presence, HIM.

I can imagine that 2020 and following has been hard on all of us.  Maybe it was hard before, maybe it’s hard right now. Did you know that You are seen, chosen, known and loved by Almighty God? He created You, breathed life in you and He is enough for you no matter what circumstances or situation you find yourself in.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26

“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—” Philippians 3:8-9

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come” Revelation 1:4

SONG – JESUS IS

Verse 1
When the world feels dark
And the storms keep raging on
Help me to remember, I’m not alone

Verse 2
When I can’t forget my pain
When the hurt won’t dim or fade
Remind me once again, Lord, You know my name

Chorus 1
I am known, I am chosen
I am made with God’s own breath
I am seen, I am loved
I don’t have to be enough
Jesus is

Verse 3
When I’ve lost my way
When I want to just give up
Bring me to my knees to choose You, the better thing

Verse 4
You are the God who sees me
While everyone walks by
(And) Lord I know You’re faithful and all I need

Chorus 2
I am known, I am chosen
I am made with God’s own breath
I am seen, I am loved
I don’t have to be enough
Jesus heals and He saves, Jesus is, He is my praise
Oh, He was and He is, Jesus is, He is

Bridge
He is Holy, Messiah, my Savior and my King
He’s my hope, Redeemer, He is my Victory
He is kindness and He’s goodness, the truth, He is the Life
He is power, my freedom, He will satisfy
Jesus is, He is, He is, He is

Chorus 3
I am known, I am chosen
I am made with God’s own breath
I am seen, I am loved
I don’t have to be enough
Jesus rules and He reigns, Jesus is, He is my praise
Oh, He was and He is, Jesus is, He is
Jesus is enough, He is, He is, He is

Isn’t He good? What keeps us from completely surrendering and selling out to Him?

SIN.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

A few months ago, a close friend of mine confessed a secret sin at a church service, they not only went forward for prayer but confessed their sin to the guest speaker and the pastor there. 

We have to confess to God, He is ready and waiting, longing to cleanse us and heal us.  And we need to confess to someone we trust, someone who will check on us, love us and love us enough to keep us accountable.

The enemy wants you to hold on to your sin, to keep it in the dark because he knows as soon as it is brought into the light it will no longer have power over you! You will be set free! 

I know this is hard…we don’t want to be found out, but yet, we don’t want to continue living in the dark, tormented and condemned and feeling stuck.  But we can’t hide sin and be everything God has created us to be.  He has called us to be children of light.

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46

SONG – CONFESS & BE HEALED

Verse 1
Deep inside my sin remains, things not said, my secrets laid
And I, I just can’t
What if they saw who I am, the broken, prideful, wretched man
And I, oh I just can’t

Pre-Chorus
I hear you, confess you say, what if I remain this way
I don’t want to stay the same, I don’t
I just can’t

Chorus
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light is here, let fear give way, be healed
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light has come, the victory’s won, be healed

Verse 2
You don’t know the things I’ve done, the weight, the hurt, how far I’ve run
And this, it’s tucked away
Depression, pain, anxiety, all the things it steals from me
And I, I want free!

Pre-Chorus (2X)
I hear you, confess you say, what if I remain this way
I don’t want to stay the same, I don’t
I just can’t

Chorus
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light is here, let fear give way, be healed
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light has come, the victory’s won, be healed

Bridge (3X)
Speak it out, lay it down
Declare what’s in the dark
Name your sin, say it now
Let Him heal your broken heart

Chorus
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light is here, let fear give way, be healed
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light has come, the victory’s won, be healed

Tag
Mercy, grace, His righteousness, confession leads to all of this
And now, now I’m free

I hope these three songs and the messages they carry speak to your heart as they do mine and that you will realize the beautiful grace of God, confess any sin you may be holding on to and fall at the feet of Jesus and bask in His presence. He really is enough.

For more about these songs and others read blog posts in the Behind the Music category.

Behind the Music ~ Confess & Be Healed

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

I have quoted these scriptures and the phrase “confess so that you may be healed” to myself and others countless times. Does that sound rude? Does that sound like I’m trying to call out their sin or condemn them or myself? I’m not…I just want them to be free…I want to be free! And I’ve lived long enough and followed Jesus long enough to know that when I hold on to something or don’t confess a sin, I am miserable. Some things are easy to get rid of or say out loud and those are the ones that seem to take a little less effort running to the altar for. But, if we’re honest, some of us have something we’re hiding in the dark…something that brings us shame, makes us feel unworthy, and more. It’s the 2%, the little bit but really BIG thing we don’t want to say out loud, we don’t want to admit, we don’t want anyone else to know about. Because what will people think? Maybe we’ve gotten comfortable in our sin or we like it and don’t want to give it up. If you want to follow Christ, be used by Him for His Glory and for His Kingdom then you can’t hide. We can’t hide sin and be everything God has created us to be. He has called us to be children of Light.

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

It’s really interesting that I’ve been hearing this topic so much lately. Probably for the last couple years but more recently at a church service preached by Michael Miller at Park Grove Christian Church in November and then a couple week’s ago on Jennie Allen’s ‘Made for This’ podcast. We need our sin exposed, we need the stuff we shove into the dark brought into the Light.

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46

Some of these dark things are not even of our own doing, sins others have committed against us, forms of abuse that we try to block out or forget, or hardships that have befallen us and we hold on to pain, hurt and more. But it still needs said aloud, confessed… and we have a Savior who longs to carry the burden for us, to take the shame away, to forgive us!

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

A beautiful promise that we are not condemned if we are in Christ. So what are we waiting for? Find someone you trust and confess your sin. Be healed. Step into the Light.

 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

The actual writing of this song took place immediately after I listened to Jennie’s podcast, it was mostly written in about an hour…crazy! God is good 🙂

I encourage you to take a listen to this sermon by Michael Miller https://www.parkgrovechristianchurch.com/word-worship-spirit

And this episode of the ‘Made for This’ Podcast – “Want to Get Free? Listen to This” https://www.jennieallen.com/podcast

Confess & Be Healed

Verse 1
Deep inside my sin remains, things not said, my secrets laid
And I, I just can’t
What if they saw who I am, the broken, prideful, wretched man
And I, oh I just can’t

Pre-Chorus
I hear you, confess you say, what if I remain this way
I don’t want to stay the same, I don’t
I just can’t

Chorus
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light is here, let fear give way, be healed
Confess and be healed, let the darkness disappear
The Light has come, the victory’s won, be healed

Verse 2
You don’t know the things I’ve done, the weight, the hurt, how far I’ve run
And this, it’s tucked away
Depression, pain, anxiety, all the things it steals from me
And I, I want free!

Bridge
Speak it out, lay it down
Declare what’s in the dark
Name your sin, say it now
Let Him heal your broken heart

Tag
Mercy, grace, His righteousness, confession leads to all of this
And now, now I’m free

©2022 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

Here’s a primitive recording made with my phone… 😉

Confess & Be Healed

Shalom – Stepping into 2022

The end of 2021, the beginning of 2022…Shalom – peace out to 2021 and praying for a peace-filled 2022.

2021 was full of blessings – a new granddaughter, new ministry opportunities and a newly written favorite song “Jesus Is”.

Heading into 2022 I’m even more overwhelmed with God’s goodness. An additional new ministry opportunity that came my way and was really unexpected, an upcoming revival in April in Fulton, MO with one of my favorite preachers, lots more opportunities with my beautiful family and so much more.

God is a good God, He has good plans.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 

It is so easy for me to get sidetracked by many things – the day to day stuff that has to get done, work, social media, blah blah blah. I need plans…to make plans but I want those plans to be led by the Spirit of God and for my heart to know they are His good plans for me and not what I want. I don’t know all the things He is doing and I am trying not to run ahead of Him. I simply need to trust and obey. Lead me, Lord Jesus!

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Proverbs 16:3-4

For 2022…

I want to blog more regularly, to write with focus, intentionality and substance.

I want to play acoustic guitar (this is going to be a lot of work) and more piano, write more songs, memorize all my own songs…I know, I know…it’s ridiculous that I don’t have them all memorized.

I want to record my next album.

I want to study and learn more about my Jesus, to know Him more and more. To BE with Him and choose Him even when I think I need to “get things done”.

I want to know more of the Word, about prophecy and the gifts of the Spirit, the scriptures that seem harder to understand and more!

I want to memorize scripture.

I want to sing in unlikely places, like nursing homes, bedsides, jail pods, in living rooms with friends and neighbors.

I want to bake cookies with my granddaughters and sing songs with them, play on the floor and tell them about Jesus.

I want to read all kinds of books, do jigsaw puzzles and play games with anyone who will.

I want to visit my extended family, help my mama, love on the homebound and write letters like my grandma.

I want to go for long walks and work in my yard.

I want long talks with my husband sharing time in the Word and praying together, date nights and service alongside him. I want to be his biggest cheerleader.

I want to push my friends and other women of God to pursue and step into their calling.

I want to be a light for Jesus in my family and see them fall in love with Him.

I want to use the gifts, talents and my home for His Glory.

Here I am, Lord. Use me and all that I have for Your Will. Weigh my motives, Lord, and remove the plans that are not Yours.

“A person’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Behind the Music ~ Jesus Is

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26

Society says you are enough, dig deep, you are strong….but the fact is….I’m not. I’m not enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not good enough. I’m weak and broken and I’ll never be enough. But Jesus is.

He is everything, He is my creator, redeemer, healer. He is the beginning, He is the end, He is everything in between. He is my hope, my only hope. He is so good and kind, and loves me more than I even know.

“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

I don’t have to be enough because Jesus is…

Praise God!!!

“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Psalm 63:3

This song was written, birthed (if you will) through heartache, pain and a beautiful realization that if everything falls apart – Jesus is enough. I’ve heard, we’ve all probably heard that phrase but until you come face to face with losing things most dear, being hurt beyond what you thought possible, and feeling very alone, abandoned even, then it becomes real….Jesus really is enough. This truth was and is a balm to my heart. I’m so grateful for my Savior, that He sees me, that He knows me and He loves me still.

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

The world seems to be getting darker and darker, many of us have lost loved ones, jobs, and more. But if we lose everything…Jesus will still be enough. Difficulty grows us in ways that good times never will. Embrace the hard and choose what’s better…Jesus.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—” Philippians 3:8-9

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come” Revelation 1:4

Jesus Is
By Christy Hoagland

Verse 1
When the world feels dark
And the storms keep raging on
Help me to remember, I’m not alone

Verse 2
When I can’t forget my pain
When the hurt won’t dim or fade
Remind me once again, Lord, You know my name

Chorus 1
I am known, I am chosen
I am made with God’s own breath
I am seen, I am loved
I don’t have to be enough
Jesus is

Verse 3
When I’ve lost my way
When I want to just give up
Bring me to my knees to choose You, the better thing

Verse 4
You are the God who sees me
While everyone walks by
(And) Lord I know You’re faithful and all I need

Chorus 2
I am known, I am chosen
I am made with God’s own breath
I am seen, I am loved
I don’t have to be enough
Jesus heals and He saves, Jesus is, He is my praise
Oh, He was and He is, Jesus is, He is

Bridge
He is Holy, Messiah, my Savior and my King
He’s my hope, Redeemer, He is my Victory
He is kindness and He’s goodness, the truth, He is the Life
He is power, my freedom, He will satisfy
Jesus is, He is, He is, He is

Chorus 3
I am known, I am chosen
I am made with God’s own breath
I am seen, I am loved
I don’t have to be enough
Jesus rules and He reigns, Jesus is, He is my praise
Oh, He was and He is, Jesus is, He is
Jesus is enough

© 2021 Christy Hoagland | ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

This is a live recording from a women’s retreat “Flourish” on October 23, 2021.

A New Thing

“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:19

Covid really changed up our lives and there were unexpected blessings, hardships, and now new things. But instead of dwelling on the heartaches of Covid and 2020 let’s look at God’s grace, mercy and great love for us. As the entire world was sat down and made to be still, God began speaking to us and showing us what was missing. In our busyness we were not plugged in to our family as much as we needed to be, work (the cabinet shop) was difficult to keep up with and we were on the go so much that even our preparation for ministry suffered. Fortunately, God can use anybody and He used us even in our weakest, exhausted and most unprepared states for His Glory and His Kingdom. I wouldn’t trade the past few years of prison ministry for anything, it was one of the most precious and amazing times of our lives and I am so thankful I got to be a part of it.

Change is hard and when things come to a halt it is sometimes hard to see what the next step may be. It’s at these times that obedience is key and faith is held. If I believe God, if I trust God is who He says He is and that His Word is true then I don’t have anything to worry about, it’s gonna be okay. His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. “Be still and know”…remember who He is!

God is not surprised by anything, and He has a beautiful plan for His children. This new season, the new thing(s) He is doing is exciting. We are trying to be more intentional with our kids, granddaughter, our family and God is opening so many doors to serve Him with our callings. James is filling in at our home church now and then and pulpit supply preaching in upcoming months. I have been asked to lead worship in so many places and am so blessed to walk through each open door of opportunity. I recently started a small business doing graphic design to make some extra income, I get to lead a Worship Camp for high schoolers this Summer, I’ve gotten to have quality granddaughter time, and so much more.

God wants our willingness and obedience to say yes to His plans and no to ours. It may not always look like what we think it will or wish it would but you can count on His plan being better than anything we try to hold on to or force. Aren’t you thankful for an almighty God that is control of everything? I sure am.

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.” Psalm 128:1

Undressed to Impress

Photo by Toni Hukkanen from StockSnap

Undressed to Impress….wait, what? Isn’t the saying Dressed to Impress? What basically means is dress to make a statement, to leave a lasting impression on someone or a group of people – how we appear to others is sooo important. We want people to notice us, to be impressed with us, to think we have it going on or have it all together. And if we’re honest, none of us do! Can I say that again for the people in the back? NONE OF US HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER! And you know what? That’s ok!

Our culture is so full of “look at me”, “look at my accomplishments”, “look what’s going on in my life”. Selfie overload, filters and more but if we peeled off the “clothes”, the mask, if you will, I think we’d find we all look a lot alike – messed up, hurting, dealing with life. I’m reminded of a song I used to sing, a Natalie Grant song called “The Real Me” with lyrics stating – But You see the real me, hiding in my skin, broken from within, unveil me, completely, I’m loosening my grasp, there’s no need to mask my frailty, ‘cuz You see the real me. It’s time we were unveiled – undressed.

A few weeks ago at church I went to the altar to pray but after and even a Sunday or two before, I was prompted in my heart to ask these people, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to pray for me. So, at the end of service I opened up and shared my struggles and asked them to pray for me. Why is this so difficult? I need help, in overcoming my issues, my sin…I need encouragement, I need lifted up in prayer, we all do. But yet, we don’t ask. We don’t want people to know our “stuff”, we are afraid. We are afraid of judgment, of not “looking like we think we should”, of admitting we aren’t perfect. We would rather walk around in our brokenness than let even one person know the truth about us, that we are a sinner like everybody else or struggling with anything at all. Looking at it that way makes it sound ridiculous, doesn’t it? But it’s what we do, it’s what I do, what I’ve done.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” James 5:16 CSB

Do you want to be healed? Yes! I do! But…I don’t want to tell my junk, people have hurt me, they’ve shared my secrets, they’ve betrayed my trust so…I’ll just hold onto it. Or, I can handle this, I’m doing better now, no one will understand, they won’t look at me the same. This is the dialogue I have frequently let play out and it has held me captive. James 5:16 gives us the antidote, confess… I don’t believe this means tell all your drama and business on social media, that’s another issue all together. Confess to a brother or sister in Christ, an accountability partner, a trusted friend. I shared with my small church congregation because I trust them and love them and know that they will indeed pray for me. These (righteous persons) are the people James is telling us to confess to, their prayers are powerful!

Take action – get up, confess. In John 5, Jesus sees a disabled man at the pool of Bethesda where people come to be healed. “One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” Verses 5-6. The ESV says “Do you want to be healed?” The man makes excuses but Jesus says “get up!” We make a lot of excuses and stay in our pit, in our pain, for way too long instead of getting up, instead of reaching for the Savior, instead of simply saying “I need help”. This is just what the enemy wants….for us to stay down. Stagnant, sad, lonely.

One of my favorite authors, Jennie Allen, talks about going to counseling, yet many of us believe if we sought help by way of a therapist, counselor, etc then there must be something wrong with us, shame seems to be attached to getting professional help. We live in a fallen world, we get hurt, we suffer, we get attacked by the enemy, spiritual warfare is a real thing, the list could go on and on. Maybe we just need told that it’s ok to get help, maybe we need to be reminded that we have a Savior who loves us and wants to rescue us. Maybe today is a good day to get up and get undressed, let go of having to look perfect or normal and seek healing. Whether that’s a friend, pastor, church family, or counselor. I recommend getting undressed – call out to Jesus, confess to a trusted friend, and schedule a meeting with a counselor. Do you want to get well?

One Year and Counting

It was a night like this…ok, it’s not night time but lean in and I will tell you a story.

One year ago today… It was a night like tonight may be, cold and dark. We had just left the prison in the West Bottoms of Kansas City. We pulled in to a dimly lit, shady looking gas station not far away and parked next to a truck that was idling near the pumps under the lights. We stepped out of our vehicle as did she. She was holding a tiny, trembling puppy dog named Timmy. You read that right, Timmy, oy. James had already made up his mind that he wanted to name him Buddy (cuz he was gonna be his buddy, by golly) and because he didn’t want to be out somewhere calling for a Timmy, lol. I wanted to name him Mr. T but I lost that battle. I digress.

We weren’t expecting him to be so small but decided we would take him home anyway. Earlier in the day we stopped at PetSmart and purchased a dog bed, James thought we should’ve maybe gotten a bigger one but…lol, it’s a good thing we didn’t!

This picture is right after we picked him up, his ribs and hip bones were sticking out and he was shaking like crazy.

He sat on my lap for the ride home, whimpering and occasionally licking my hand which I saw as a good sign. We pulled into another gas station down the road and let him out to go potty. To my pleasant surprise, he went! We got home and went to bed, since we didn’t have a crate for him yet we sat him at the end of our bed and turned out the lights. A pitiful little howl came from his doggy lips, it really was sad. I reached down and petted him for a minute and he stopped and he has never howled since. I always say this is why he became so attached to me, I comforted him in his darkest hour, ha.

He followed me everywhere and still does most of the time. There was a time when he wouldn’t eat unless I was in the room, he’s getting better about that, probably because he gets hungry 🙂

He loves his toys, it is comical. If we say “wanna go bye bye”, he will run and get a toy and wait by the door. He doesn’t like baths, he’s scared of other dogs and acts like he can take them (bad idea) and he doesn’t like the hard treats from the bank.

Buddy meets Faye. She thought he ought to be licking her but he just isn’t a licker.

He sleeps funny and does silly things, he makes me laugh. And…he likes the cat.

One year with this little guy and hopefully, many many more.

Buddy the Wonderdog

Meet Buddy, today is his birthday, he’s the big 2! He enjoys doggie treats, rides in the car and the boat, snuggling, short games of fetch, and walks at Drake Harbor in Warsaw.

James acquired Buddy last February (February 4th), he had been looking for a dog for himself….a buddy, if you will, and found this sweet miniature schnauzer on a Facebook rehoming page. An elderly lady got him from a breeder but later she had to go to a nursing home and from there he went to people who didn’t care for him. We don’t know exactly what happened to him but he was very timid and scared for quite a while after we took him in, he still is at times. He wouldn’t look James in the eye for the first 3 weeks, he was very skinny (about 8lbs) and followed me everywhere. Needless to say, he became “my dog”. It was bizarre, he would stare at me like a new born baby, he was smitten lol, and, if I’m honest, so was I. I haven’t really ever been a dog person, not in the way that those radical dog lovers are, you know, those fur moms and dads calling their pets their fur babies and kids. I always thought that was a bit much but….ahem, I started acting like one of “those people”…talking about him all the time, showing pictures, you name it, lol.

He really is such a sweet dog, so gentle and loving and is so patient with our granddaughter. She is really good with him but has accidentally bonked him, she plays “this little piggy went to market” on his toes and takes over his domain (gets in his dog bed with him) and he just lets her have her way. He barks at everyone who walks in the door except for me and her 🙂

Buddy has come a long way with people, it just may take him a little while to warm up to them. He now likes James and will jump in his lap for scratching and cuddles. He has really taken to James’ mom, she dog sits when we need to go somewhere and she loves it, I think he has converted her to a dog person too. Everyone thinks he is handsome with his baby blue eyes and black and white fur. But his sweet disposition is his greatest attribute.

Now, I’m not one of those “all dogs go to heaven” people but I do love this little guy and believe the God placed him in my life when I needed someone (a dog of all things) to love me unconditionally. Oh, my darling husband and bestie, Jamie, are so wonderful and supportive and I am so grateful for them. But Buddy was and is a precious reminder of God’s love for me. The end of 2019 and the year of 2020 was probably one of the most difficult I’ve had to endure. And when there seemed like there was no consoling me, Buddy was there to lay in my lap, to hug on and with no judgment, criticism, or even words of wisdom (ha!). I guess that’s one of the nice things about dogs, no lectures, or “suck it up, buttercup”… just a listening ear (or maybe they’re not but they don’t seem to care what you’re saying).

So, I’ve become a full-fledged Dog Mom, complete with hat and shirt, thanks to my bff, and I don’t mind.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 CSB

I am thankful for a God who sees me and gives me even the sweetest little glimpse of His love for me. It may seem silly to some but I bet if you looked, you could see a gift from the Lord in your life that might seem trivial to others. He is good and He loves us so.

*This Little Piggy – Author unknown.

In 1728, the first line of the rhyme appeared in a medley called “The Nurses Song”. The first known full version was recorded in The Famous Tommy Thumb’s Little Story-Book, published in London about 1760.

I Will Sing

“I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.” Psalm 104:33

“My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being.” Psalm 108:1

“My tongue sings about your promise, for all your commands are righteous.” Psalm 119:172

“I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing to my God as long as I live.” Psalm 146:2

“Hallelujah! How good it is to sing to our God, for praise is pleasant and lovely.” Psalm 147:1

“Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.” Psalm 149:1

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and they will trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” Psalm 95:1

“Sing the Glory of His Name; give to Him glorious praise!” Psalm 66:2

“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you, my soul also, which you have redeemed.” Psalm 71:23

“My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises.” Psalm 37:7

“For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name.” Psalm 18:49

Singing with my boys on Mother’s Day 2020 – “The Holy One”

“I will sing to the Lord because he has treated me generously.” Psalm 13:6

“Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in his tent with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord.” Psalm 27:6

“I will praise God’s name with song and exalt him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

“I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever; I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations with my mouth.” Psalm 89:1

“Therefore I will give thanks to you among the nations, Lord; I will sing praises about your name.” 2 Samuel 22:50

“Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” Psalm 47:6

One of my first songs “Sing for the King” has the scripture from Psalm 47:6. He is the reason I sing.

There are so many scriptures about singing about and to the Lord, even more than the ones listed above and this should cause our hearts to sing because He is so worthy of our praise, of us lifting our voices to Him! There is never an occasion that does not constitute His worthiness of praise and adoration, even in the most difficult of circumstances, even in crazy 2020. Things have definitely changed all around us, especially in my life but through it all, I still will sing.

I will sing in the new places He has given me – my sweet little church, in parks, festivals, revivals, youth rallies, in Africa soon; I will sing to and with my precious granddaughter, I will sing when my heart is breaking and when my heart is joyful…I will sing. Even when my life, the path, directions, and situations change – I know I am called to sing for Him, to sing for the King of Kings. I have included two blog posts from my old blog (crazychristianchic.blogspot.com) regarding this calling on my life to sing. It is good to look back and see how God has molded me and continues to mold me into the person He has called me to be, how He has grown my gifts to be used for Him and His Kingdom and how He is using me for His Glory.

Use me Lord, for Your Kingdom and Glory. I will sing for You.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sing for the King

I know my calling….to sing for my King.  Let’s go back a few years…

My musical interests revolved around playing the piano and the saxophone.  I begged my parents for piano lessons when I was in 6th grade and they said yes.  My lessons were $4 a week and I walked to them every week for a year and a half.  We moved after my 7th grade year and had to leave my piano and my lessons behind.  I played the saxophone from 7th grade on and I loved it.  Even when I started singing in high school the saxophone was my first love.

I didn’t begin singing until I was around 15 years old, I hadn’t thought about singing.  I loved my saxophone, remember?  A year or so after “the move”, we began attending a little country church…they had a youth choir.  They asked my sister and I if we would like to join and we said why not.  My sister sang in glee club at our former school but I had only been interested in playing instruments.  Much to my surprise and everyone else’s, I was a decent singer, who knew?  And…I wasn’t too shy to sing in front of people, another who knew?  The first solo I ever sang at my church was by Petra “The Prayer”, I would sing with tapes or CDs or acapella if need be.  I sang a duet with a friend at youth church camp the Summer after my freshman year, I was in the high school choirs my Junior and Senior year, I sang at revivals at various churches, in people’s living rooms, I would sing whenever anyone asked, anytime, anywhere.

This continued through my adult life, singing in my college show choir, singing at church, cantatas, special events in my or other communities, youth conferences, stupid talent shows…sing, sing, sing. In 2003, I recorded a “demo” CD with 6 songs to tracks, I never really did much with it but was grateful for the opportunity and experience to make it.  Once in a while someone asks me about a CD and I get a little embarrassed, I don’t know…I really don’t think of myself as a big deal and don’t want to either, even typing this makes me a little uncomfortable because all this is not about me, it’s all about my Jesus and the journey He has led me through. 

I did a few concerts at various churches after that which was a great learning experience as well.  And eventually I ended up on a worship team at my church…

All the events leading up to now are important and played a role in my life but the last couple of years have been a whirlwind of not only musical growth but more importantly spiritual growth.  In the Fall of 2010, I began singing on the worship team at my church, I led a few of the songs for Sunday morning worship and gained some knowledge on what it was like to sing with a live band instead of CDs or the typical church piano.  Then in 2013, due to various circumstances, there was a need for an interim Worship leader and I seized the opportunity.  It was also at this point that I began singing on Monday nights as well at our Celebrate Recovery meetings, another blessed experience and opportunity.  The CR worship leader was a big support and contributed about as much as I did to the Sunday morning process.  I can’t say that I was great at it because I wasn’t but it was an eye opening experience and I am thankful for every minute of it.  It taught me a lot about all the work that goes in behind the scenes that nobody sees or notices on Sunday mornings and what kind of leader I was and need to be.  Another first during this time…Prison Concerts, the CR worship team took their first concert to prison, it was awesome and we were hooked. Along with that…I began playing the keyboard, I played for a couple songs during the prison concert and a couple times at CR and the very last Sunday morning that I led the music.  I was not very good, I just chorded mostly but it put me on a path to things I had only dreamed of.

Five months later we hired a worship pastor, he was wise and gracious and an incredible leader, musically and spiritually.  He has taught me a lot about music and worship and has been continually guiding and teaching me to be a better worship leader.  I now play keys most Sunday mornings and every Monday night and the craziest part…I’m singing too. That has always been a challenge for me, to sing and play at the same time and I’m still working on it, but I can play for myself and have on several occasions now for revivals or our worship services and the occasional funeral.  But the most important life-changing part is the work God has done in my heart.  I have a renewed sense of awe and wonder about Him, He has given me a freedom to worship Him like I never had before…what an amazing King I serve.  I am humbled by His majesty, undeserving of His mercy and grace, and completely surrounded by His love and presence every day.  And I can’t wait to see what’s next…

Saturday, February 11, 2017

To You, O Lord, I Will Make Music

The Lord placed music in my heart and life when I was a child.  I remember singing songs to Jesus at night as a little girl, I don’t recall having a good voice or a bad one…it didn’t matter, I just sang.  I begged my parents for piano lessons in 6th grade, I played the saxophone in jr high and eventually started singing in high school (which was ironically the biggest surprise to me and everyone around me).  God gave me the gift of music, even more so…being decent at it.  I realized early on that this was indeed a gift from Him alone and I vowed always to use it for Him and for His glory.  I jumped at every opportunity presented to me to sing, be it the national anthem at various events/causes, a church special, a school assembly, funerals, weddings, so many occasions…all for Jesus.  And yes, I sang about Jesus at school assemblies, God makes those things happen, ya know.  I’ve been singing for over 26 years now, mostly in church which I love!  I love singing and worshiping with God’s people, my sweet church family.  I have been content in this for a long time but just a few short years ago felt God prompting me to more, to step out and share Jesus through song with more people, in more places.  And I said yes… God is equipping me to progress as a worship leader and is opening doors for me to use this precious calling.  I am humbled and honored to serve Him in this way.  I GET to lead others in worshiping Jesus, in singing praises to Him…sometimes in a room full of boisterous men singing at the top of their lungs, tears streaming down their faces, running to the altar…and other times stillness, quiet, reverent singing, joy filled faces, or no words.  What a privilege.  I am content in this…and why shouldn’t I be?

God is calling me to more, I’m writing songs, leading worship at conferences, conventions, and more.  I have the opportunity to record my first original album and I know I’m supposed to do it.  Honestly, I could lead my songs in prisons and other venues and not think another thing about it.  But I know I’m called to this too, men in prison, others at other events have asked for my songs and I have nothing to give them and it breaks my heart.  I will not squander this gift of songwriting and singing, if my meager attempt at songwriting brings others into a greater understanding of who Jesus is then I have to share it.  I do not desire a big stage, a record deal, a music career…I just want to be obedient to my calling to lead others in the worship of the Lord through song.

“To you, O Lord, I will make music.” Psalm 101:1b

Sing for the King,

Christy