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)

To Be Known

“If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” Philippians 2:1-2

Connection, Intentionality, Gratefulness = we need each other, we have to step out in faith, and we need to choose to be grateful in every circumstance. When we choose to live this way we will be blameless, we cannot be put to shame. Well that sounds nice. Oh, but this requires sacrificial living? And not complaining? Or arguing? Or ….

“Surrender. And obey.” these are Jennie’s words on page 192. She goes on to say that if we want to know God’s will for our lives then this is what that looks like. How simple.

Connection, intentionality and gratefulness play such a big part of this surrender, this obedience. I have had difficulties with the connection part of this equation. I have a tendency to isolate myself, especially when I feel threatened or misunderstood. I will then look for ways to prove myself instead of seeking connection – asking for help (that’s easy, right?) or sharing my burdens. My bff once said I was a stuffer and she is right, I will stuff things instead of confess or share. This is not healthy. We need people, we need support and accountability and togetherness. Just this week I shared with two different people, my bff and a wise, discerning man of God. The result was pretty incredible, things I couldn’t see was seen by him and as he spoke truth I felt a wave of peace wash over me. I can’t even imagine how much longer I would be struggling had I stuffed instead of shared.

This connectedness spills over into intentionality and into gratefulness. “We were not built to live for ourselves” – Jennie. This whole complacency thing can be a battle. I must confess that at the beginning of the quarantine I was looking forward to sitting back and having time to do what I wanted to do. Now that didn’t work out too well because I had to (got to) watch my granddaughter the past two months which I wouldn’t trade for anything but in the back of my mind I was still wanting to use this time to do my own thing. The more “my” plans have been disrupted for better plans the more grateful I have become over the things the Lord has given me to do during this time.

Build your team of people – your community. Be intentional – step out in faith. Be grateful – live life surrendered and sold out to Jesus even if everything doesn’t go the way you planned, when hardships come. Our hope is in Jesus, it’s still all about Him.

Get Out of Your Head ~ Week 4

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

We are talking about more weapons to fight the enemies of our mind – connection, intentionality, and gratefulness. These weapons will help us step out of our comfort zones and to better understand the gifts God gives us in community, in service, and in gratefulness.

Week 4:

Philippians Bible Study

  • Complete Session 4 in the study guide
  • Watch Session 4: Weapons We Use – Part 2 (on Study Gateway)

GOOYH Book

  • Read Chapters 9, 10, 13, 14
  • Listen to ‘Made for This’ Podcast (Season 3) Episode 5: Isolation vs. Connection, Episode 7: Anxiety vs. Trust, and Episode 13: Victimhood vs. Gratitude, Episode 15: Complacency vs. Intentionality. *Feel free to listen to Episodes 6, 8, 14, 16 Episode 8:’Is God real?’ with Julie Manning is one of my favorites…I’ve listened to it twice and will listen to it again this week!

Keep pressing on ladies! It is worth it!

Spend some sweet time with Jesus this week! Try picking a passage of scripture and journaling or using the S.O.A.P. Method 🙂

Each letter in “SOAP” stands for one step of the process: ScriptureObservationApplication, and Prayer.

Behind the Music ~ Freedom

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

This CD came out of a love for the incarcerated and a desire to see them set free inside the razor wire.  Many men and women in prison feel they have no hope, that they are not worthy of love, that they cannot be forgiven.  This song is for them…to proclaim freedom to them, to show them that we, all of us, are equal in our sin and we all need Christ to set us free.

The above paragraph is written on the back of this single. Like I said, I wrote this song specifically with the incarcerated in mind but I know that so many outside of the razor wire are suffering inside man-made prisons. We all need freedom, freedom that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Galatians about the freedom they have against legalism. They were holding on to the law and tradition. And don’t we do the same thing? Hold on to the past, our failures, what we know? I chose Galatians 5:1 because I have looked into the eyes of so many of the incarcerated and have seen their struggle; struggle to forgive themselves, to hold on to their past, their addictions and my heart hurts for them. Christ has given us such a sweet and precious gift – Freedom from our sin! And a peace that comes with it when we completely surrender to Him.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14

The actually sitting down and writing this song was a longer process than the usual one day writing session. It started with a melody/rhythm in my head during a baptism service at Algoa Correctional Center. Lord only knows how I was able to remember that later on. My usual system is when a melody or word/phrase comes to mind I sing it into my phone or jot down the words in a note file on my phone. A few years ago I was at a song writing breakout session with Darlene Zschech at the National Worship Leader’s Conference and she was telling us that if something comes into your head in the middle of the night (because that happens all the time) then you have to write it down right then, you think you will remember it in the morning but you won’t. And boy, is she right! Except this time…I did. What’s funny though is the rhythm I used in the actual song is a completely different time signature, go figure.

I began this song in the Summer of 2017 and then laid it aside. I really wanted to be intentional in what I was saying and what God has to say to these precious souls in prisons. In December 2017, I wrote most of the rest of it and I actually sang it incomplete on New Year’s Eve at a church event. I finished it in January 2018. I added this improv instrumental, never playing it the same. I emailed the producer of my last album and asked him when I could come record the song. With a date set in February I knew I had to nail down that instrumental and the result is now so recognizable to the guys at Algoa that they air piano play along (it brings me a smile) or are disappointed if we are running out of time and I skip it. But the most amazing thing is hearing them sing this song with tears, shouts of victory, rejoicing in their freedom and declaring the Name of Jesus – the One who set them free. I wish you could hear them shouting “JESUS!” when I sing the line “call out His name” or hear a man proclaiming the greatness of God, who He is, and everyone exclaiming “hallelujah! Glory be to God!” during the instrumental. When you have experienced the kind of freedom these men and women behind the prison walls have…while they are confined…you praise the One who freed you.

Here are the lyrics and the original recording with just me and piano (all other instruments on the track are produced). I plan to put this song on my next album with a full band and some very special musicians.

Freedom

Verse 1
Do you long to be free?
Free from all your mistakes?
Shame and regret, your mind can’t forget
The cost of the prison you’ve made

Verse 2
You’re not too far away
From His saving grace
No sentence too long, your past or your wrongs
Can cancel the price that’s been paid

Chorus 1
Freedom
This freedom can be yours
Freedom from sin, free to begin
A new life given through Him

Verse 3
He will give you His peace
And He will make you new
Give Him your fears, your doubt and your tears
His mercy includes you

Verse 4
Oh there’s no other way
Lay down your guilt, your pain
The weight of your crime, is equal to mine
Just call on His Name

Chorus 2
Freedom
Christ-given freedom
Come and believe, Jesus receive
And you will be free

© 2018 Christy Hoagland (ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing)

I sent this CD single to every prison in Missouri (and a few to some prisons out of state) with a desire to share this gift of Christ-given Freedom with anyone who would listen. A bonus track shares the Gospel with scripture passages, the Gospel is for everyone, share it with someone today.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:6