What are Musical Devotions?

Many of you have read or even own a Devotional -- a book containing daily readings with inspiring reflections on scripture that help us get through just... one…more…day!!  What I like to do is take devotions and put them to song, thus transforming them into a "Musical Devotion"!  I would love to share these "live worship recordings" with you, and hope you will subscribe! 

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28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

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).

 

Cross of Christ - 'Approaching Violet' song 

Cross of Christ by Teresa Thomas

[Click the photo to play the song]

Many years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of playing in a Christian rock band called "Approaching Violet"!  We had such a wonderful time writing songs together.  This is one of my songs from that time -- it was a treat finding the CD in a box while packing to move!

Approaching Violet:  Terry Butler (drums); Len Sitnick (bass); Richard Day (guitar); me - piano/vocals

 

Cross of Christ

Oh Cross of Christ,

Love's sweetest face

For there my sin, He dared embrace

And there in death and agony

my Savior bled and died for me

 

'Father, forgive'...Love's sweetest words

Each dying breath such grace for me

O Love of God, how rich, how pure...

Because of Calvary

 

 

 

 

Spirit Of The Living God  

Click on the photo to hear the song!

Many, many years ago I wrote a song called "Spirit Of The Living God". It was a desperate plea from a desperate heart!  It meant a lot to me at the time -- a constant prayer to the God of my life.  I remember playing it one Sunday at church with my worship team.  It was such a treat having a whole band join in!  And then...... I lost it!  I lost the words, chords....everything!  So many times over the years I wondered where in the world I put it, and dreaded the thought of never finding it again. I could only remember bits and pieces of it -- it was horrible not being able to remember!  I did remember we recorded it during rehearsal one evening, but I had no idea where that recording would be.  It was so long ago that it could even have been recorded on a cassette!

Well, lo and behold, guess what happened today?  I FOUND IT!  Yes, while going through boxes I'm putting into storage, I found a box full of "memorabelia" that I needed to sort.  Tucked away inside a folder was my long, lost song.  So, before I lost it again, I decided to record it and share it with you!

It has literally been almost 20 years since I've sung this song. There are parts of it I don't even remember (as you'll quickly hear, as I'm fumbling around toward the end, hitting wrong notes and trying to eek something out that sounds remotely like the original melody!)   I hope you enjoy this raw recording.  You can find the "play" button at the bottom of this post, under the lyrics.

Though the song was written many years ago, it is still a prayer as earnest as ever:  Spirit of the Living God, write Your name upon my heart; for there's no other way, I have no hope for change without your saving grace!

Blessings,

 

 

LYRICS:

Spirit of the Living God
Write Your name upon my heart
For there's no other way,
I have no hope for change
Without Your saving Grace

Spirit of my God, my Lord,
There's something about You I long for
I want to breathe You in,
Come fill my life again
May Your presence be my guide

Holy Spirit, Spirit of my God here I stand
Broken and in need, I am
Asking, I need You to touch me
How I feel it, 
Deep down in the depths of my soul
There is no where else I can go
Desperate, I need you to fill me


Spirit of my God, my King
Take this broken offering
Burn it with Your fire, 
Become my one desire
Be the air I breathe

Holy Spirit, Spirit of my God here I stand
Broken and in need, I am
Asking, I need You to touch me
How I feel it,
Deep down int he depths of my soul
There is no where else I can go
Desperate, I need you to fill me
Restore me, protect me
and hold me, Lord, heal me....

Holy Spirit, Spirit of my body, my soul
There is no where else I can go
How I need you to fill me
Spirit of my Living God

/
  1. Spirit Of The Living God

Jesus Is Coming Back! (Yeah, right.) 

Click to Hear the Musical Devotion

Click to hear the Musical Devotion "Teshuvah"

We've all heard it before;  Jesus is coming again!  And then you hear the mockers:  "Yeah, right. Yada yada yada.  We've been hearing that for 2000 years."  

But, it's true.  

But, that's not the focus of this devotion.  What is the focus is what we're supposed to do beforehand:  Repent!  The Hebrew month of Elul is a time of "Teshuvah", or "Repentance" (Hebrew: literally "return", pronounced "tshuva" or "teshuva".  (It's actually similar to the Christian season of "Lent", except there is no abstinence from chocolate or coffee, praise God.)  It is a 40-day period God himself put on His calendar (His calendar is my calendar) -  a time for us to search our hearts.  And, where our heart, mind, soul or strength has failed: Teshuvah.   

Why did He call us to "Teshuvah" during Elul?  What follows Elul? 

Immediately following Elul is what's known as the Feast of Trumpets! This is also known as "Rosh Hashana" - but, the biblical name is Yom Teruah (The "Day of Blowing").  When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled the first four "Spring" Jewish Feasts. These celebrations went from 'thousands of years of rehearsals' to an actual fulfillment -- a reality.  He became our Passover Lamb and Unleavened Bread; He rose from the dead on First Fruits; He issued forth His Holy Spirit on Shavuot (which the Church knows as Pentecost).  

The "Fall" Feasts have yet to be fulfilled, but will soon be! The first of the Fall Feasts happens to be Yom Teruah - the Feast of Trumpets.  We know Jesus fulfills these Feasts in order, so the next Feast to be fulfilled - become a reality - will be the this feast.  Here are a couple of interesting facts about the Feast of Trumpets that you might not know:  

No Man Knows The Day Or Hour It Begins. The feast begins when two witnesses site the New Moon, in Israel, and it lasts for two days. (I can't help but wonder if the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation will be the two who site the new moon in the year this Feast is fulfilled!)  All the Feasts began at sundown with a Full Moon, except this one - the only one which begins with a New Moon - which is completely dark.  The Feast "announcement" changes  every year - thus it was known in Jesus day by the phrase “no man can know the day or hour”.  So, when Jesus tells us "no man knows the day or hour", He is actually telling us a clue to when it occurs.  (Flashback to my son watching Blue's Clues - a clue, a clue!)   We don't know the year or day, but we can know to look for it when "no man knows the day or hour" - Yom Teruah! 

The Last Trump: This Feast consists of the shofar (trumpet) being blown a total of 100 times, with the last blast known as "The Last Trump".  Paul, in speaking of the gathering together of the Body of Christ, says: 1 Cor. 15:51-52: Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.  Thess. 4:16-17: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord.”  Where these events fall on the Timeline is not the point. The point is: Yom Teruah is very clearly the next feast to be fulfilled, when we will be with the Lord.  There is much debate on the timing of the these events.  I'm not getting into that here because I want to focus on the reason why God might have placed this time of Teshuvah where He did on His calendar.  

Which brings me back to my devotion! 

Let's assume this is the year that the Archangel sounds the heavenly shofar on Yom Teruah and gathers the saints of God!  Where is your heart? Are you ready?  Would you really want to stand before His Majesty, not having done everything you could to love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength up to the very moment of His appearing? Is there anything in your life that you [do, go, listen to, watch] that not only needs to be confessed as sin, but is also something you must turn away from, and return to Him?! The Hebrew month of Elul is a gift! We still have time. The Last Trump has yet to sound, but might, soon!  He is at the door! Will you be ready?  Teshuvah

[In our world, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah celebration begins world-wide at Sundown on on a specific date each year, to make it possible for Jews worldwide to celebrate at the same time. (It was difficult before cell phones and internet to get the word out that the moon had been cited!)  The date for that corporate celebration this year is scheduled to begin at sundown on Sept. 20.  However, as mentioned above, it does not "technically" begin until two witnesses in Israel actually site the New Moon.]

(This song was recorded during a worship service for Yom Teruah back in 2013.  Hope you enjoy it!)  

-Teresa

 

Musical Devotion: "Who Do You Say I Am?"  

Click the photo to hear today's Musical Devotion song, "You Are Lord"


Matthew 16 opens with the Pharisees and Sadducees demanding a sign from Jesus.  In other words, they are saying, “Who are you?!  Give us a sign telling us who you are!  If you are really the Messiah…PROVE IT.” 

They didn’t want to know who He was out of admiration for Him, or a heart of worship toward Him.  They had hearts of stone, and despised Him.   

Jesus, knowing their hearts (as He knows ours) responds saying: 
 

An evil and adulterous generation
seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”
So he left them and departed."
Matthew 16:4 (ESV Strong's) 

 

The Sign of Jonah  

Of course, when we hear the phrase, "the sign of Jonah", I immediately think of all the sermons I’ve heard over the years connecting the “similarities” of Jonah being "in the belly of a whale for three days", and Jesus being "in the belly of the earth" for three days.  But, I think there is more to this!   

Next, the gospel records that the disciples and Jesus “reach the other side”.  Jesus is still thinking over what just happened previously, and warns the disciples to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees”.   (There is greater detail of this encounter in Luke's gospel.)

And then we move on - in Matthew 16:13 Jesus is now asking his disciples, “Who do people say that I am”…..and the famous question…. “Who do YOU say I am?”  The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to know if He was Messiah -- what did they think?

And of course, we all know the famous answer from Peter, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”.  

But, don't miss what Jesus says here: 

"Blessed are you, Simon Peter…SON OF JONAH….
for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you…..” 

 

Why does this matter?   

John 1:42 (ESV Strong's) He brought him [Peter] to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John.
You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). 

John 21:15 (ESV Strong's) When they had finished breakfast,
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 

John 21:17 (ESV Strong's) He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

Peter’s father’s name was John, not Jonah.  Jesus is obviously and clearly connecting what Peter just said to the sign that the Pharisees and Sadducees were looking for — that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!  

The commentaries don’t reference the fact that Peter’s father’s name changed in this verse - I’ve checked.  One commentary tried to connect the Hebrew word for Jonah (Yoneh) to be a form of the name John (Yochanan) in Hebrew.  Nice try.  There are ZERO examples of where the name Jonah is used interchangeably with the name John, in Hebrew, or English.  There is nothing in Jewish history that connects the name Jonah to John.  They are completely different names.  Jonah means “dove” in Hebrew, and Yochanan means “Yahweh is Gracious”.    

Peter didn’t need a sign. He knew who Jesus was because of his relationship with Jesus.  He loved him, ate with him, watched Him heal the sick and feed the poor.  He adored Him.  He didn't need a sign to know Who Jesus was. 

Could that be the sign of Jonah? 

Not needing Jesus to prove Himself just to appease petty unbelief?  Knowing Who He is because you have walked with Him, talked with Him...heard His still small voice? 

I don't need a sign.  Do you?

Who do I say He is?

~Click the photo to hear the song "You Are Lord" by Teresa Thomas~

 

Bright Morning Star of heaven, Shine
as we behold Your glory!
Angelic Host declare Your Name
The Worlds bow down before Thee

And every tongue shall now confess
That You are Lord, our righteousness
Oh Jesus, my salvation
You are Lord

Every mystery revealed
Your face I now can savour
For your blood that flowed for me
Is still a fount of endless favour

And every tongue shall now confess
You are Lord, our righteousness
Oh Jesus, my salvation
You are Lord

You are 
You are my Saviour
You are my Lord
Prince of Peace
Wonderful Savior
Everlasting Father
You are God

Oh Jesus, my salvation
You are Lord


 

 


Today's Musical Devotion is a song I wrote and recorded several years ago called "You Are Lord" and is available as a download for a donation of any amount.  It is featured on my friend Chris Monahan's CD, "Simply I Come".  I was so delighted to have Pastor Zach Jones sing with me on this song -- I hope you enjoyed it!