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

Behind the Music ~ The Beauty of Your Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

ESV

A new song, a free gift, a sweet reminder… God’s grace.

God’s grace is simply too much for us to comprehend. First of all, God saved us by His grace through faith in Him. He sent Jesus to die for our us, our failures, our wrongs…our sin. It overwhelms me when I think about it. This perfect, holy Jesus came to earth to live a human life and sacrifice Himself for us, for me. This beautiful sacrifice not only covers up my sin and shame but it puts the blame on Himself, Jesus.

Grace – unmerited favor, unearned, perhaps something we haven’t even asked for.

“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

ESV

God has given me so much grace, grace when He saved me, grace when I mess up, grace in the smallest of things and in amazingly big ways.

This song has been swirling around in my heart and head for quite a while. My best friend, Jamie and I held a women’s retreat last Fall called “Broken and Poured Out” and during the planning stages I was continually reminded of God’s grace. We come to Jesus broken and in His grace He mends us, equips us, and pours us out to be used for His Glory. I started jotting lyrics and ideas down during this time last Summer (June 2019), I sang some melodies and lyrics into my phone in October 2019 and then once in a while would write something else down. Over the course of the next several months heartaches and hardships occurred, the most difficult being our soon to be granddaughter leaving this earth for heaven. But I was reminded of God’s grace and how beautiful it is. Through every difficulty He is there, His peace, love and grace washing over me, reminding me I am His, that He has me, and that I can rest in Him.

“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

I sat down to write this song on July 13, 2020 and simply started playing and singing – words flowing from somewhere inside me and it became almost a prayer. A prayer some or all of us have prayed or will pray.

“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

ESV

The Word tells us that we can draw near to the throne of grace and He will help us in our time of need. How beautiful is that? And it is continual.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“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

“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

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

“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

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

© Christy Hoagland | ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

A very crude recording from my phone (for now).

Behind the Music ~ Shine

“Let your light shine before others.” Matthew 5:16

The writing below is from an offender who was at Algoa Correctional Center, he read this to the congregation one Friday night at the end of one of our services last August. As I listened to him speak I was inspired to write “Shine”. I opened the word and searched for scriptures that talk about us shining for Jesus, that talk about Jesus being the light and being the light in us…there are a lot!

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

“I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21

“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

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

“For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:47-48

“The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15

“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5

So many powerful scriptures that point us to Jesus, His light, and the call to SHINE. Last October (2019) we took one of our beloved trips to Branson and while James fished I sat down and wrote this song. After we were home a couple of days I added ‘This Little Light of Mine’ which is so fun. Every time I introduce this song and get to ‘this little light of mine’ a smile lights up faces and they sing a little louder. When I lead this in prison the bridge becomes a battle cry, “Get on your feet, get in the fight. Go be the light and testify!”…they get it, it’s a beautiful thing.

Read this man’s words and heed God’s Word to shine the light of Jesus everyday, everywhere.

by Offender S.

As Christians are we walking the walk or only talking the talk? I’ve read somewhere that lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine. Are we shining? James 1:22 tells us to be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. Also in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Our lights are to shine. We are to share our knowledge and wisdom with our fellow men and women… to share Jesus Christ with all. He commands us in Matthew 28:20 to teach everyone everywhere all things He has commanded us. He also assures us that we won’t be alone on this mission. We have one another and Jesus promises that He will be with us, even to the end of the world. He’s with us in the person of the Holy Spirit, (The Resident Truth Teacher), by whom we are sealed, anointed, and equipped for good works.

You know, I often pray for the salvation of those I love and care for… for everyone honestly. Then I sit back and wait for God to do all the work. Well, that wasn’t the deal… it wasn’t Jesus’ instructions. Church, I believe it’s a dangerous thing when our Christianity looks nothing like Jesus. He did more than just pray for people. He taught, He served, He loved, and ultimately, He sacrificed. I am convinced today that we have to be the answers to our own prayers for others. By serving, loving, sacrificing, etc. We have to share Jesus with others. We have to permit Him to shine in us and through us. We must sow seeds of hope. As children of God it’s our duty, and should be our heart’s desire to see all people experience salvation, redemption, and His forgiveness. FREEDOM! Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Are we willing to sow today what we want to see manifest tomorrow? I feel an urgency to share God’s love with everyone. The least we can do is share and teach what we’ve experienced, what we believe. I’ll not stay here dead… stagnant if you will, while He is risen! We must be obedient to our Lord, let our lights shine in this dark place, this dark world. Not just by ministering to others, but by our behavior, by our character, by our example of who we are in Jesus. There’s no substitute to abiding in Jesus. We must do what He did… be an extension of Him. Be His ambassadors. He is the star of this story and He deserves to have all our lights shine on Him, and so does all His lost sheep.

Guys, I feel like I’ve done way too much talking in my life and not enough walking… not enough shining. I’m convicted and ashamed by my failures. I’m not truly Jesus’ disciple if I only believe yet not share what I believe. Believing in Him has changed my life, but sharing my belief and my faith will change the world – one life at a time. So let’s Shine! Let’s let God stretch us until we are fit for His use. Our greatness isn’t in our comfort zone. If “it” doesn’t challenge us, “it” doesn’t change us. And we cannot lose sight of what’s eternal in our attempts to improve what’s temporary. Again, we aren’t His disciples until we are willing to shine, not just talk. God cannot bless who I pretend to be. There must also be some doing. My identity should be inseparable from my behavior. There cannot be 2 “Me”s. After all, I must be 100% in my service because it’s not about me, it’s about the God who saved me… who saved us all.

First Peter 2:12 says that “whereas we may be spoken evil of, that they may by our good works, which they shall behold, glorify God.” And also Hebrews 10:24 says for us to “consider one another to provoke one another unto love and to good works.” Finally, Jesus tells us in John 13:15 that “He has given us an example, and that we are to do as He has done.”

So please, let’s all take this journey together as a community, a family. To minister, to serve, to sacrifice, and most importantly, to love so greatly, so radically that our lights blind all the evil in this place and this world. Remember Matthew 5:14-16? What if that entire hill became one magnificent city of lights??? This journey is the destination. This process is the goal. I believe that our thoughts define our reality, and I think we can shine so brightly that Heaven can see us way down here. I love you guys!

God Bless You! – S.

Shine

Verse 1
Jesus, our light and salvation
Calls us to share with the nations
Who He is
Verse 2
His Spirit lights up the darkness
No shadow can overtake us
Be His Light
Chorus
Shine, so others can see Him
Shine, so they may believe in
Shine, your life is a light
For Jesus
Shine, so others can know Him
Shine, so they may behold Him
Shine, your life can show them
Jesus
Verse 3
This world is fading away fast
Blinded by things that just won’t last
Share His Light
Verse 4
Sometimes we do too much talking
Without enough of the walking
Be His Light
Bridge
Arise, shine, for the light has come
God made a Way through His Only Son
So get on your feet, get in the fight
Go be the light and testify!
Tag
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

This Little Light of Mine
Harry Dixon Loes
© Words: Public Domain

Behind the Music ~ Surrender

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.'” Matthew 16:24-25

I wrote this song in April 2019, it is my testimony song. As part of our prison ministry team each of us shares our testimony around our physical birthdays (Johnny, of course, shares his a lot more), I was sharing at Boonville Correctional Center and I said I just had to give up and give in to Jesus. And I immediately said “that would make a great song” 🙂 I started writing the same day I wrote ‘This Jesus’ but something wasn’t quite right so I laid it aside until the next day. Sometimes in song writing everything starts to sound the same or like something else you’ve written. When I picked this back up to finish it I was pleased with the result, it is a fun, upbeat song.

“Peter began to say to him, ‘See, we have left everything and followed you.'” Mark 10:28

My story – I grew up, off and on, in church. I knew all the right answers, I believed that Jesus was the Son of God, that He died for me but I didn’t have that peace that surpasses all understanding. I remember hearing about someone being “saved” around the age of 12, maybe? I may have heard that before but at this particular time it really stood out to me. I prayed that night when I went to bed for Jesus to save me and I would look back at that time and claim it as my salvation experience many times in the future even though I never told one single person about it. And you know what, I don’t even know for sure if that was my point of being reborn but I do know this…Jesus was pursing me and there were times I would run to Him and times I would push Him away. A couple/few years later we had moved and were attending a little country church, the pastor came to our home and talked to my mom and the next thing I know my sister, myself, and my brother were getting baptized. Then I went to church camp and rededicated my life to Jesus. And for the next 13 years I would rededicate my life to Jesus several times over and would secretly struggle with doubt and torment over my salvation. I would see occasions in my life where it is clear I was not following Jesus and at other moments that seemed how did I make those kind of choices without faith in Him. Over and over I would be prompted to make things right, and I so wanted peace, I so wanted to be sure that I belonged to Jesus and that I would live in eternity with Him. But I would consistently listen to the lies of the enemy or do the “self-talk” and continue living unsure of everything. I would wake in the middle of the night crying, scared that if I died I would go to hell and begging God to save me. Then one day… I was standing at my kitchen sink, again doing the self-talk “you’re ok, you did that a long time ago, what would people think” thing and I said out loud “ok, Lord, I give up”, “whatever you want me to do Lord”. I needed to surrender, to declare in front of everyone who thought I was a follower of Christ and surrender my life to Jesus. A Sunday morning shortly following this encounter I ran to the altar after the sermon, I can’t even tell you what the message was about but the first chord on that piano and I was giving my life to the Lord. And you know what? I got that peace, I got free from that doubt that was crushing me. Hallelujah! Jesus saves! I got baptized (again) in that little country church a short time later.

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

My greatest sin was pride and I almost let that pride send me to hell. Some people think I was saved all along, I really don’t know but I do now and that’s what matters. I remember hearing those sermons when the preacher would say “do you know that you know” and I didn’t know! If that’s you, if you are struggling with doubt or fear or you just don’t know if you are His…all it takes is surrender. This isn’t about walking and aisle, saying the right words or doing something a certain way. Christ has already done the work on the cross to set you free, to save you from your sins – you just have to surrender.

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:35

“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’” Luke 18:22

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Below are the lyrics and a video from a rehearsal last year. I am so looking forward to recording this and putting on the next album.

Surrender

Verse 1
Are you running and fleeing, trying to hide
Not knowing that His peace is on the other side
Of surrender

Verse 2
Are you searching for meaning, a way to get free
Wondering and fearing, what will they think of me
Just surrender

Chorus
Just give up, give in
Lay down your pride and let Him in
You can trust in Him and win with Jesus
(repeat)

Verse 3
Can you hear Him, He’s calling, to you once more
This Jesus is greater, just walk through the door
Of surrender

Bridge
Are you bound by sin and your chains?
Squandering His great grace?
Satisfied with your pain, today?
Are you trying not to fall apart?
Ashamed you’ve fallen so far?
Longing to give Him your heart, but how?
Oh surrender, just surrender

© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

Book Club

I have issues…I have lots and lots of books, I read lots of books but I buy lots of “oooo, that sounds so good” books. I am creating this Book Club to ‘in-a-way’ force myself to read the books I own before I purchase any more. Ahem, sure… okay, okay, I will probably buy more but I do need to read the ones I already have and what better way than with others who love to read. The majority of the books I have are nonfiction – christian books that inspire, encourage, teach, and help us grow closer to Jesus. There will occasionally be a fiction book offered, currently there is one on the Book Club page by Francine Rivers. There are 9 books on the Book Club page, the page will continually be updated once a book is completed. Maybe you already have some of the first nine books listed and haven’t read them yourself or perhaps you’ve always wanted to read ______________ but just haven’t made the time. Feel free to read all the books, a few, or even just one. Check out the Book Club page and read about each title, they are all unique. Most books will be allotted one month to read and then we will come together for discussion either in person or via Zoom.

There are links to Amazon for purchasing books on each book’s page and one book is even FREE on its website, but please purchase where you choose. If you would like to join in or learn more click here > Book Club! The first book starts July 1st!

Believe God, Live Free

I’ve read this book twice and then had the privilege to study and share this beautiful bible study in Philippians. I have learned so much and have so many take-aways and I hope I will be intentional in keeping them at the forefront of my mind and heart.

Some things that grabbed my attention…

“Doubt steals hope.” – Chapter 3

“When Ann said those simple words – ‘Jennie, this isn’t who you are” – she was right. In my soul I knew it. This wasn’t who I was. I loved God. I was a believer. I trusted Jesus and prized my faith. And God was not going to let go of me.'” – Chapter 4

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

“A heavenly Father gave everything for me to be free. Everything so I could choose this way out! He built the way out with the love and blood of His Son, Jesus. When we think thoughts that lead to life and peace, we don’t just get better thoughts, we get more of God.” – Chapter 5

“Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5

“The only true self-help is for us as followers of Jesus to believe who we are as daughters and sons of the King of the universe and to know that our identities are secure by the shed blood of God’s own Son. But self-help can offer only a better version of yourself; Chris is after a whole new you.” – Chapter 6

“The enemy wants you to settle, to find a way just to survive and be somewhat happy. Because of Jesus, every fight has been ultimately won. Victory? It’s already yours. It’s already mine.” – Chapter 7

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

“Why is the simplest, best thing for our souls’ long-term health so crazy difficult to do? I’ll tell you: because real, connected, intimate time with Jesus is the very thing that grows our faith, shifts our minds, brings about revival in our souls, and compels us to share Jesus with others. It’s where the spiral stops. To put it plainly; all hell is against us meeting with Jesus.” – Chapter 8

“So instead of letting the enemy hold us captive in isolation, let’s remind ourselves of this truth: I have a choice. I can remember that the Spirit of God lives inside me and He will walk with me as I reach out to others who are just as human and just as in need of connection and grace as I am.” – Chapter 9

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

“God has called us to hope, to joy, to perseverance – to think on what is true!” – Chapter 10

“Jesus came for us – for you and me, with our arms crossed. Bitter, cranky, unsure, doubting, cynical, negative us. I know I said the interrupting thought that shifts all the others is I have a choice. And there is one reason that is true. It’s because Jesus first chose us.” – Chapter 11

“But lasting joy will come only when God is the center; not when I am empowered but when I rest in His power. Humility reminds us of this truth. It says, ‘Relax. Your only hope is Jesus.’ Humility says, ‘Not only do I see you, but I choose to elevate your needs above mine.'” – Chapter 12

“When we make the brave shift from victimhood to gratitude, we affirm our understanding that God remains committed to redeeming all things.” – Chapter 13

“Surrender. And obey. Go give Him away, it’s how we’re supposed to live.” – Chapter 14

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

“Because of Jesus…you can choose to be still with God instead of distracting yourself, you can choose to let people know you instead of isolating yourself, you can choose to stop being afraid of what the future holds and trust God, you can choose to delight in God and the people around you, you can choose to be grateful no matter what, you can choose to get out there and do something.” – Chapter 15

“Only God can take the thing we want to hide and build the greatest story we will ever tell.” – Chapter 16

And there is so much more! Build your teams! Connect and share the last 2%! We have a choice, stop the spiral and take those thoughts captive (one at a time!), speak God’s truth over them and choose to believe God! Live free!

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 ESV

In January and February, I read and did a study with this book as well by Rebekah Lyons “Rhythms of Renewal” – Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose. Although I don’t feel like I struggle with stress and anxiety (except for these past few months) it is really helpful in showing you how to get into routine with REST, RESTORE, CONNECT and CREATE. Some of the same principles from GOOYH are here and the session videos are also on Study Gateway.

Behind the Music ~ This Jesus (Beautiful Jesus)

“Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know. Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him. God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death.” Acts 2:22-24

This beautiful Jesus…there aren’t words enough to describe Him, the price He paid for me and for you. This song is about God’s plan to send His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for us so we could have life. The vastness of this wonderful gift is summed up in this simple song of this Jesus – the beautiful, perfect, holy, and blameless Son of God. Why God chose this way to save His creation we may never know here on earth but I am so thankful He made a way for me to live forever with Him and to have a life more abundantly until He comes to get me.

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Acts 2:36

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

I wrote this song one afternoon (April 2019) while James was fishing and we were on a mini-vacation. And it began with the title “this Jesus, beautiful Jesus”. It is remarkable how a song can come together with just a couple of words but anything regarding our Savior has much to say.

“And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

Although I have led this song many times in prison services, churches and conferences, this song is not yet recorded and to date I have not even a meager recording to share with you. I will update this post with a recording soon.

This Jesus (Beautiful Jesus)

Verse 1
Marked by death for the sins of the world
God’s only Son, no one could afford
Perfect and blameless, yet willing for me
To give up His life, the Father to please

Chorus
This Jesus, Beautiful Jesus
He came to die, so I could live
This Jesus, Beautiful Jesus
Destined to die for us, so we might live

Verse 2
Son of God and the Son of Man
Righteousness and still my friend
Holy and Mighty and I so unworthy
Of this Savior’s love given for me

Bridge
Then He arose with my name in His hand
The Victor of death, all part of His plan
Exalted and worthy, Master and King
This great humble Hero, forever we’ll sing of

Chorus 2
This Jesus, Beautiful Jesus
He came to die, so I could live
This Jesus, Beautiful Jesus
Destined to die for us, so we might live
Destined to die for us, this Beautiful Jesus

© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

A Mind Like Christ

“For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11

“Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

How do we know we can have a mind like Christ’s? “And because we have access to His Spirit, the mind of Christ is ours! It’s already in His Spirit living within us and laid out through His Word. We have help for our anxieties and fears about tomorrow.” – Jennie Allen (GOOYH Study Guide, pg 129).

We’ve had this power all along, to take thoughts captive, to make them submissive to the truth of God’s Word, to live free!

And the next time we are feeling anxious…because we will, use this guide and believe God and fight the lie!

When we experience the low or hard things, we really can see that Jesus is enough! He has power over our thoughts because His Spirit lives in us to help us overcome the lies from the enemy and ourselves.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I can be content in every circumstance and situation. I can risk and say yes to hard things to further the Kingdom. I can live expectant of Jesus’ coming, I can remember that this world is so, so temporary and trust Him with each day. I can choose to be grateful and I can choose what I think – whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is pure…

Behind the Music ~ There is Hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

This song itself came about in just a couple hours. The power went off during the winter of 2019, January 13th to be exact and sat down and wrote this song. Each year for Sing for the King Ministries, we choose a theme, this year we chose Hope – sharing the Hope of the Gospel with the Incarcerated. I had been studying scriptures about hope for awhile so when I attempted to write this song the lyrics just came. Jesus is our hope. Where would we be without the Hope of Jesus!

“For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.” Psalm 69:33

“For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.” Psalm 72:12

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“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

“Endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:4-5

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” Romans 8:24

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

Below is the hot off the press recording I made with my phone then a worship leader friend asked if he could use the song with the attached video for their Celebrate Recovery. Watch it and remember that there is always Hope in Jesus.

There is Hope

Verse 1
Waiting in the sorrows
In the lowly depths of sin
Chastised, broken, lonely
Will this never end?

Verse 2
Nothing left to offer
Wondering how to live
Reaching for the Savior
Trusting He forgives

Chorus
There is Hope
Lift Your voice
Sing His praise
O rejoice!
Call on His Name
He’ll light the way
The Gospel proclaims
There is hope
(There is hope)

Verse 3
Gaining sweet salvation
His Spirit and this faith
Living in His promise
Until that coming day

Bridge
You are forgiven, You’ve been set free
His grace and mercy for all who believe
Great expectation, awaiting in peace
No longer needy, a child of the King

Tag
Gaining sweet salvation
His Spirit and this faith
Living in His promise
Until that coming day

© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing

Get Out of Your Head ~ Week 6

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

This last week we are focusing on having the mind of Christ. By focusing on the things in Philippians 4:8-9, especially whatever is true, we can get free from lies and anxieties. Keep fighting, be honest about the lies you believe and hold fiercely to the truths God gives us.

Week 6

Philippians Bible Study:

  • Watch Session 6 Video: A Mind Like Christ
  • Complete Session 6 in the study guide

GOOYH Book

  • Read Chapters 16
  • Listen to ‘Made for This’ Podcast (Season 3) Episode 20: A Mind Set Free and Bonus Episode: We Need Each Other, extras Bonus: You Can Persevere in Hard Things with Jill Briscoe

https://www.jennieallen.com/podcast