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

Who You Are

“I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13

Forgetting the past…piece of cake, right? How many times have I dwelt on my past mistakes, hurts, and more before remembering who God is and what He has in store for me? It’s hard to let go of those past things if we don’t confess them. The last 2%. Jennie has been talking about sharing that last 2% that we hold back because we don’t really want to be known. Because we are afraid. BUT, Romans 8:1… “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!” This is how we can share the last 2%. And sharing will set us free. The lies in your head crumble in light of the truth, God’s truth! I loved the scriptures in Chapter 15 and on the Session 3 video about what God says about Himself and about us, me, you.

I am who I AM. Exodus 3:14

I am the beginning and the end. I am the first, and I am the last. Revelation 22:13

I am light; in me there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together. Isaiah 48:13

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5

I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16

I am he who blots out your transgressions. I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25

To all who receive Me, who believe in My name, I give the right to become children of God. John 1:12

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

My Spirit is within you. Ezekiel 36:27

I will not leave you. Deuteronomy 31:8

I will equip you for every good work I’ve planned. Hebrews 13:21

I gave you a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

I will build my church through you, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

I will comfort you as you wait. Isaiah 66:13

I will remind you this is all real. John 14:26

I am on my way. Revelation 3:11

My steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 138:8

In just a little while… I am coming and I will take you to the place where I am. Hebrews 10:37, John 14:3

You will inherit the earth. Psalm 25:13

You will be with Me. I will wipe every tear from your eyes, and death will be no more. Behold, I am making all things new. Revelation 21:3-5

My kingdom is coming. My will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

Hide these truths, these promises in your heart and when the spiral starts snuff out the lies with the truth.

Get Out of Your Head ~ Week 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

This week we will leave the past behind and press on toward what we’re running toward, a new way to live, a mind like Christ!

Week 5:

Philippians Bible Study

  • Complete Session 5 in the study guide
  • Watch Session 5: A New Way to Live (on Study Gateway)

GOOYH Book

  • Read Chapter 15
  • Listen to ‘Made for This’ Podcast (Season 3) Episode 18: What does it Really Mean to Meditate on Truth with Dr. Paul Tripp and Bonus Episode: Stop Hiding Your Gifts with Jo Saxton (Extras: 17)

Behind the Music ~ Once Again

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

This song was (mostly) written in the Fall of 2018. I’m sure you’ve heard, read the scripture regarding the Lord putting a new song in our mouths. I was seeking a new song and the Lord says He will put a new song in our mouth 🙂 This new song, taken from Psalm 40, is a song of praise and a plea to use me and the songs He gives for His Glory. The hope is that people will put their trust in the Lord and give Him praise!

This is a completely different style of song, somewhat folksy? I sang it only a couple of times at Algoa Correctional Center then set it aside. It seemed like it needed a bit more work before I could lead it again and so it was left undone for quite awhile. I added verse 3 just a couple weeks ago and although it isn’t recorded yet, I sang it on one of our FB Live events. The video is below. Rejoice with me, sing a new song, praise our God! He is worthy!

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3

“I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! Psalm 40:10-11

“Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!” Psalm 40:13

“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” Psalm 40:16-17

Once Again

Verse 1
I cried out for You, You inclined Your ear
I waited for You, You drew me near
May many trust You, see You, Lord, and fear

Verse 2
You set my feet upon the rock, made me secure
You gave me mercy, Your steadfast love preserves
When my heart fails me, You help me to believe

Chorus 1
Oh, Lord, put a new song in my mouth
Take my life, oh, and use it to proclaim
Your fame, Your wondrous Name
Who You are, once again, once again

Verse 3
Behold the Lord our God, He will deliver you
Declare Him to the world, don’t hide Him from their view
Speak of His faithfulness, His love, this Good News

Bridge
I am poor and needy, take my life completely
I am poor and needy, take my life completely
Take my life completely, use it for Your Glory
Take my life completely, use it for Your Glory

Chorus 2
Oh, Lord, put a new song in my mouth
Take my life, oh, and use it to proclaim
Oh, Lord, put a new song in my mouth
Take my life, oh, and use it to proclaim
Your fame, Your wondrous Name
Who You are, once again, once again

Verse 4
May all who seek You, be glad and rejoice
Love your salvation, say Great is the Lord!

Tag
Once again, once again, once again

©Christy Hoagland (ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing)