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He Who Dwells (Inspired by Psalm 91) 

Enjoy our photos of NZ in this video! They are either photos that we took, or taken by friends.

 

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, 
My God, in whom I trust!” 
3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper 
And from the deadly pestilence. 
4 He will cover you with His pinions, 
And under His wings you may seek refuge; 
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, 
Or of the arrow that flies by day; 
6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, 
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 
7 A thousand may fall at your side 
And ten thousand at your right hand, 
But it shall not approach you. 
8 You will only look on with your eyes 
And see the recompense of the wicked. 
9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge, 
Even the Most High, your dwelling place. 
10 No evil will befall you, 
Nor will any plague come near your tent. 

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, 
To guard you in all your ways. 
12 They will bear you up in their hands, 
That you do not strike your foot against a stone. 
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, 
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. 

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; 
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; 
I will be with him in trouble; 
I will rescue him and honor him. 
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him 
And let him see My Yeshua (salvation).

 

A Devastating Loss 

 
I was doing homework in the library at the University tonight, when I got a message that a former musician friend has passed away from cancer.  Friends - he only found out he had it... in JULY!  And now, he's gone.  I didn't even know he was sick.  I'm not on Facebook that often, so I didn't see he had been ill.  It is such a shock. 


But, we have this hope, you see: He is now in the shelter of the Most High God. He is no longer suffering.  The plague of cancer will *never* touch him, again.  In fact, death no longer has a grip on him -- he is with the Almighty, in the shadow of His wings!  My heart is *breaking* for his wife and children, tonight.  

Well, I was so distracted after I got the word that I couldn't study.  I packed up my books and went to the practice rooms in the Music Dept.  I no sooner opened my bible to Psalm 91 that a student was knocking on my door saying they were 'closing in 10 minutes at 10pm'.  So, I had 10 minutes to write something for Dave.  It's very short, but I have confidence he is no longer suffering, and in the Presence of our God. 


 
Lord, be with Karin and the children, tonight - give them comfort and peace.  
Even when our hearts are breaking, we will still trust You, Lord.  


 



 

Musical Devotion: Adon Olam (a Hymn) 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO HEAR THE DEVOTION

Who would know?  It was his master's wife, but no one was around.  He could get away with it. 

But, he chose to honor God, instead. 

7 And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” 8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge.9 He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. 11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. Genesis 39:7-12 

Lord of the Universe, I have no King but You... 

Everyone was doing it.  Even some Jews.  What was the big deal?  Bow, and you live.  Refuse, and you die.  Seems a simple choice to me. 

But, they chose to honor God, instead. 

10 Your Majesty has issued an order that as soon as the music starts, everyone is to bow down and worship the gold statue, 11 and that anyone who does not bow down and worship it is to be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 There are some Jews whom you put in charge of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who are disobeying Your Majesty's orders. They do not worship your god or bow down to the statue you set up.” 

13 At that, the king flew into a rage and ordered the three men to be brought before him. 14 He said to them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you refuse to worship my god and to bow down to the gold statue I have set up?15 Now then, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, oboes, lyres, zithers, harps, and all the other instruments, bow down and worship the statue. If you do not, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Do you think there is any god who can save you?” 

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered, “Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. 17 If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will.[a] 18 But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.”

Lord of the Universe, I have no King but You... 

Three simple words.  "I will convert".  After all, our lives will be spared.  The world will understand.  These men are savages -- all we need to do is renounce our faith in Jesus, and in His God - our God, Yahweh. We don't even need to actually believe in Allah -- just proclaim it, and we are free.

But, they chose to honor God, instead.

Lord of the Universe, we have no King but You....
 

This prayer, Adon Olam, is centuries old.  For thousands of years it has been a proclamation that our God is our Redeemer, our Refuge, our Rock, our Banner, our Supplier, our King.  It is my prayer that this song becomes dear to your heart, and may the last words upon our lips ever be...

Lord of the Universe, we have no King but You....​

Blessings & Shabbat Shalom,

Teresa


 

Musical Devotion: "In My Heart" by Eric Grover 

Musical Devotion: "In My Heart" by Eric Grover
Music arrangement by Teresa Thomas
(For my "what's happening in my life" personal update, click HERE!)

Greetings, Friends! 

Today's Musical Devotion is a song written by Eric Grover called "In My Heart"!  Before you worry and think I'm stealing someone else's song, I must tell you my arrangement's story!  Several years ago, Bob Kauflin of WorshipMatters.com had a contest. Contestants were to choose a previously published SGM Music song (we had a list of songs to choose from) and we were to write a new arrangement for our song pick.  The one caveat -- we had to keep the same melody for the song within the new arrangement!  I thought it sounded like a fun challenge, so I decided to enter the competition!  I chose the song "In My Heart", by Eric Grover.  It's a song that I find deeply personal, and have used it as a prayer on many occasions.

But, before I share my arrangement with you, I would love for you to hear Eric's originally recorded arrangement* of the song: "In My Heart".
  I have always loved this arrangement, as well as its celtic influence! (Click on the "play button" underneath the title of the song at the top of the page to hear the original recording!)

My arrangement is somewhat different.  I felt the song is deeply contemplative, so I strove to write an arrangement that captured the heart of the lyrics.  I hope you enjoy both arrangements!

OH -- I can't remember at all what I placed in the contest, but I think I placed in the Top 5! (I absolutely hate contests - I did this for the challenge - not to win!)  Here is my version of the song, and probably one the greatest blessings was receiving a very nice compliment of my arrangement by Eric himself in the Youtube comments.  

So I present to you my arrangement of "In My Heart", by Eric Grover.  I hope you enjoy it!  


If you have enjoyed my song and would like to subscribe to my Musical Devotion mailing, click here!


 

Musical Devotion: Scripture Songs: "Romans 13: 11, 12" 

Hello Friends!
  *Click Here To See My Musical Devotion!

This is my Musical Devotion for this week, inspired by Romans 13:11,12 and a beautiful Steinway Grand piano I had the most wonderful opportunity to play on Thursday night.  It was such a treat -- I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I enjoyed playing it! 

I love Elliott's commentary which notes "The time during which the Messiah is absent from His people is compared to Night. He is the sun, whose coming converts it to Day.”  It's with this thought that this verse means so much to me.  We are so very close to the Lord's return, and this whole passage in Romans pleads with us to love one another and live in purity as we await His return.  Beloved, our redemption draweth nigh! 

(This song is a little different in that I added some harmonies.  Truthfully, there is a full orchestra and choir, as well…I just can't figure out a way to share it with you inside my head!)  This song is a free download on my Music page.  If you haven't subscribed to my Musical Devotions, I'd love to invite you!  Thanks for supporting me and for all your wonderful and kind comments -- they are greatly appreciated!

 

Romans 13:11, 12 by Teresa Thomas


This is a Free Song Download at:  www.TeresaThomasMusic.com

 

Musical Devotion: Psalm Songs - "Wings" (Ps. 55 & 91) 

Greetings!

Today's Musical Devotion is part of my 'Psalm Songs' series.  Last week, I shared that I love to put music to unknown hymns, and I love to write music for the Psalms as well.  Today's song is inspired from Psalm 55, written by King David, and Psalm 91 (which I highly suspect was written by David, though we don't know for sure.)   I do find it rather amusing that the fierce, courageous, bold little David that took on Goliath is the same David that writes the words, "If I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and find rest"! 

The Psalms are full with instruction, history, prophecy, praise and encouragement.  I have held onto them in my darkest moments, and shouted them with the loudest praises.  I hope you will find them to be as much a blessing as I have.

This is a live performance recording -- I did not have the ability to adjust volume of instruments, etc.  It's available as a Free Download on my Music page. Enjoy!


Musical Devotion: Hymns By Her - 'Rest in Jesus' by James G Deck 

Greetings, Friends!

I'm sorry I haven't posted to my website for quite a while -- my website has actually been "down" for several months, but is now back. And so am I.  :-)   Since I last posted, our family has moved twice -- we relocated from the hustle and bustle of the Washington, DC area to the beautiful, peaceful mountains and valleys of Central Virginia.  Our two oldest kids are now attending Liberty University, and Michael and I are working there full-time. We really love it  -- and we love being near the kids, though we don't get to see them very often because they live on campus and are always busy!

SO, we have purchased an off-grid cabin, tucked away in the forests of Goode, VA.  The cabin is 950 sq ft, runs off solar panels for electricity, is heated with our wood stove, and we get our water twice a week from a friend's well until Michael finishes the water system (unless we move to NZ first…which has been my dream since 2008!)  I have a 1920's 'Magic Chef' oven/stove, which I absolutely love, and we inherited with the house the former owner's Maremma sheepdog "Maccabee".  He's about 150 lbs and adores me!

Because it's nearly impossible to regulate temperature (and because there is just NO room), I had to leave my piano with wonderful friends, temporarily.  But, all is not lost!  To continue writing, I will occasionally sneak away into the University's Music Department "practice rooms".  (The rooms run on my time -- they're open till 1am!)  It's there that I lay bare my soul before my God, and let Him wash me with His word and Spirit.  And I spend hours…and hours…lost in worshiping Him.

Well, yet again someone asked me recently if I have any "new songs".  The answer is always yes -- but I don't really know how to share them with you.  It was in these  practice rooms last week that I decided I would just bring you with me there…and make "raw recordings" of whatever I'm working on when I'm 'with my God' and a piano'.  So, I pulled out my not-so-smart phone, and pressed "record".  

Please note -- these are RAW recordings.  The audio is not going to be great.  I sing off -pitch occasionally.  I hit wrong notes on the piano.  I forget the words sometimes.  It's live performance, but it's also live worship….I am hoping the imperfections will not become a distraction.  :-)

This is a free download on my "Music" page if you want this on your iPod! Please feel free to share it with your church's worship pastor/choir director.  I am hoping to return to NZ  in November to lead worship again for the annual Celebrate Messiah, NZ Simcha conference, and if I'm able to pull it off, I'd love to host a "Hymn Sing" in Motueka where James G. Deck is buried, where we would have a time of worship and I'll sing the arrangements for his hymns that I've written.  So, keep that in prayer  -- that I can work that out!

So, now I bring to you my new segment, "'Hymns By Her' -- Rest in Jesus, by James G. Deck; Music and arrangement by me!  I hope you are blessed by his hymn as much as I am.  Please be sure to leave me comments below, and thank you for supporting my music!