Music: Reckless Love

Reckless Love Cover

I have been a worship leader for several years.  I love music, but most of all I love lyrics.  Reckless Love has gotten a lot of love on the radio and in worship sets in the last few months.  Some people have said that it has become the next Oceans, and I can see where they are coming from.  I do believe that with all the radio play a song can lose some of it’s power.  This is why I think that Reckless Love by Cory Asbury is not one of those songs.

Reckless Love: The Lyrics

Verse 1
Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
Verse 2
When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
First of all, everyone can identify with the lyrics of this song.  I have had times in my life when I needed rescue because of the dumb choices I made.  The lyrics refer to Matthew 18:12-14 where Jesus says, “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”  We are all sheep and have moments where we need the good shepherd.  This is a message that everyone can identify with in some way.  The church needs songs like this right now.  The American church has become a nation of people who are hiding behind nice smiles and cute church clothes when our hearts are crying out for someone to see who we really are.  We all mess up.  We all have imperfections.  The church should be the place where we can say, “I just need Him.  I need His love.”  We all, at one time or another, have been the 1 he left the 99 to save.

Reckless Love: The Author’s Heart

I listen to Annie Down’s podcast as much as humanly possible because she is amazing.  She doesn’t know it yet, but one day we will be friends.  (Who knows?  It could happen.)  In March, Annie had Cory Asbury on her podcast “That Sounds Fun” to talk about the song, along with several other things.  On the podcast, he talks about the love of God and how nothing else matters.  He desires for his record to bring the peace of God that passes all understanding.  The record was a labor of love for him, not just another money making machine.  You can find that podcast here.  You can also see his passion for the lyrics here on Instagram.

In Worship

I love using songs in worship that sing words to God, not just about God.  I think when planning a worship set it is important to remember that the music portion of worship should point our hearts to scripture.  Music is only one part of worship.  Prayer, scripture, and music should all work toward the purpose of tuning our hearts to the message God has for us.  So, do I believe this song should be sung in every worship set because it speaks to our hearts?  No, I don’t.  I do believe that it is popular because the church needs the song.  I always think singing a song that people know and identify with is important to worship.

Worship Is More Than Just a Song

Worship more than just a song

I have a passion for worship.  God created me for worship leading through song.  I never feel closer to the Lord than when I am singing my guts out to Him.  My people know I have a song in my head from the moment I wake up until I close my eyes at night.  Worship is more than just a song we sing corporately on Sunday morning.  It is so much more than that and can be a major part of our Christian walk.

What is Worship?

Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Paul is saying here that worship is more than just going to church and singing a few songs.  God is the source of hope in my life.  The Creator of the universe loved me from the beginning and saw fit to make a way for me.  This knowledge alone compels me to follow Him and give Him my life.  Offering our lives to Him is the proper response to a powerful, all-knowing God, and He deserves nothing less.

Corporately and Privately

Jesus knew the value of corporate and private worship.  He was at the temple, he preached to large crowds, and he spent time alone with the Father.  The early church followed the lead of Jesus.  Acts 2:42 says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”  There is nothing like voices being lifted together in praise to a holy God.  Something special happens when God’s people pray and come together to hear His word.  I have learned that corporate worship times are richer and deeper when I spend private time in scripture, prayer, and praise.  Our private time with the Father makes it possible to “offer our bodies as a living sacrifice”.  There is no other way we will be prepared for the things this world is throwing our way.  We need to spend time in corporate and private worship.

A Battle Tactic

Ephesians 6:12-13 reminds us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”  I will be honest and say that the past year has been quite the battle.  I have experienced some pretty low moments, but because of my time in worship, I have experienced some sweet times with the Father.  Using worship as a battle tactic has dramatically changed my life.  I discovered in the midst of my deepest sorrows I could sing out to Him.   Now, when I feel defeated, I praise Him.  When I am afraid, I search through scripture for words of comfort.

We were created for worship.  It only makes sense for us to turn to Him in our times of deepest need.  What are the ways that you worship and connect to God?

Music: Wonderfully Made

From time to time, I want to talk about the music I am listening to that is really making an impact on my life.   I have to confess that I always have a song in my head, and from the day I was born I have loved everything about music.  I usually express myself through song better than with words.  Especially if I am speaking to someone face to face.  So, I am always looking for new artists or new sounds.  Because of my love for music, I listen to everything from classical music to rap so I can find something interesting.  Wonderfully Made has become my new favorite song.

What’s New

Wonderfully Made

The sounds that are making an impact on me right now are the musical stylings of one Ellie Holcomb!  The picture above is her newest album Red Sea Road.  It is not exactly new, in fact, it released in January of this year.  I just haven’t been able to stop listening!!  Listen to one of my favorites Wonderfully Made on YouTube here:

I can’t stop listening to this album for two reasons.  The first reason is that her voice is so very unique.  I love a good low timbre like my own voice.  It makes it easy for me to sing along with her in the car.  Yes, I am that girl singing at the stoplight.  If you see me just smile and wave.

Psalms the Music of the Bible

The next reason is that Ellie has a talent with words.  She is often taking scripture and putting it to music.  One of my most favorite songs on the album is called Wonderfully Made.  Here is a portion:

[Pre-Chorus] What if I saw me, the way that You see me?
What if I believed it was true?
What if I traded, this shame and self-hatred?
For a chance at believing You

[Chorus] You knit me together
In my mother’s womb
And You say that I’ve never been
Hidden from You
And You say that I’m wonderfully
Wonderfully made

The chorus comes from Psalms 139:13 – 14  “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Right now, the Lord has me in a season of growing and stretching.  Because of the season, He has me in I have learned that God is a patient Father.  He pursues our hearts more and more every day and He does this so that we can be in his complete protection.  We (I’m speaking for you too, is that ok?) need to ask ourselves the question, “What if  I saw myself the way that God sees me?” and “What if I believe that what He says is the truth?”  What happens if we trade shame and self-hatred for trust in the Father that loves us?

If you are interested in hearing more about Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb, Annie Downs (also a favorite of mine!) has a podcast episode where you can learn more.