Posts Tagged ‘Don Moen’

Psalm 63: A series of songs inspired by the psalm

October 7, 2014

The Verse of the Day for October 7, 2014 is found in Psalm 63:1 in the King James Version:

Psalm_63-1

Fifteen years ago I was inspired to compose lyrics that I later compiled in a collection of songs, many of which were based on various passages from the Bible. Most providentially, one of the first of such songs was inspired by Psalm 63. Here is an original song based on that psalm:

O Lord, You Are My God

(from Psalm 63)

O Lord, you are my God,

Early in the morning will I seek you,

Before the rising of the sun.

You are the God of all creation,

Faithful and true, the Holy One.

 

My soul thirsts for you alone,

My flesh longs for you.

In a dry and thirsty land,

Only you can satisfy the deepest longing of my soul.

 

My soul follows hard after you.

Your righteous right hand always upholds me.

I long to follow your command.

 

My soul thirsts for you alone,

My flesh longs for you.

In a dry and thirsty land,

Only you can satisfy the deepest longing of my soul.

Only you can satisfy the deepest longing of my soul.

Another song inspired by the David’s cry to Yahweh in Psalm 63 is written by Deanne Shallenberger and Michelle Glenn, performed by Deanne:

Not only is Psalm 63 the inspiration for these two songs, it is also the basis for “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee,” performed as a medley with “I’m Gonna Love You,” two classic praise and worship compositions of Don Moen of Hosanna! Music.

The Verse for the Day is taken from Psalm 63, the inspiration for the lyrics of three songs based on that magnificent Psalm of David.

You are stronger than you think you are

June 25, 2014

Psalm 73--26

The Devotional for June 25, 2014 is inspired, in part, by life-changing a message that I heard last night. I was moved to write this poem based on a teaching which began with a word from the Lord, who said, “You are stronger than you think you are.” That statement became the title of the following poem:

You are stronger than you think you are

You are stronger than you think you are, says the Lord your God.

Though you trust Him with your whole heart, some think of you as odd.

You not only survive but thrive: stronger, wiser, better.

As a living witness, your life is an open letter,

A testament in praise along the path that you have trod.

 

Provided for, protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

Released from bondage, you tear down any facade.

With the strength of the Lord you can shatter any fetter.

You are stronger than you think you are.

 

You have learned to obey and not to kick against the prod.

You seek to please the Lord and not to hear people applaud.

Just as God has forgiven you, you forgive each debtor.

You may be knocked down, but you rise as a real go-getter.

The Lord is the strength of your life, so says the Word of God,

You are stronger than you think you are.

 

Upon further reflection upon the message, I thought of Psalm 73:25-26:

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

The New Living Testament renders the passage in this way:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Along with the Psalmist, I also declare that “God is the strength of my heart,” in that verse 26 of Psalm 73 became the inspiration for the following scripture memory song:

God Is the Strength of My Heart

 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

 

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He’s the lifter, the lifter; He’s the lifter up of my head.

 

In thinking about the passage from Psalm 73, I also recall the opening verses of Psalm 27, my favorite psalm which I committed to memory as a youngster.

Psalm 27: 1-3

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

We also find another reference to “my heart “and “my flesh” in Psalm 16:8-10

8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Throughout the Psalms we find references that reveal that God will strengthen our hearts. Psalm 27 ends with this reminder:

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 31:24

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 84:2

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God

The classic Don Moen composition “God is the Strength of My Heart “closes the devotional and reinforces its message in a special way:

Isaiah 40:31–Renewed as eagles

June 23, 2014

Isaiah 40_31

Taken from the closing passage of Isaiah 40, the Verse of the Day for June 23, 2014, Isaiah 40:31, offers comfort and assurance revealed in Isaiah 40:28-31 (New Living Translation):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

The passage also brings to mind the closing verses of Psalm 27, my favorite Psalm:

Psalm 27:13-14

New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

These two related passages become the inspiration for the following song:

They That Wait Upon the Lord

(Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 27:13, 14)

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up with wings as an eagle.

They shall run and not be weary.

They shall walk and shall not faint.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

 

I had fainted unless I had believed

To see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait upon the Lord, and he shall strengthen your heart.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

 

There are times when you may feel your strength is almost gone.

Pressed and beset on every hand, you just can’t seem to carry on.

But at the point when your world seems to be torn apart,

That’s when the Lord comes through for you,

Your strength He promised to renew.

He will encourage your heart.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

 

At times it seems you are always climbing up an endless hill.

All the pressures and the trials of life have broken down your will.

Those about you seem to doubt you and say this is the end.

Don’t give up; try one more time.

Straight ahead is the finish line.

The Lord will give that second wind.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up with wings as an eagle.

They shall run and not be weary.

They shall walk and shall not faint.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

 

Eagles in the Scriptures:

Among the birds mentioned in the Bible, we find 34 references to eagles in the King James Version. One of my favorite passages connected with eagles speaks of protection and provision in speaking to the Children of Israel when they escaped from the bondage of Egypt:

Exodus 19:4

You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

Watching an eagle in flight is awe-inspiring, as Proverbs 30:18-19 proclaims:

There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Of course, one of the most recognized references to eagles occurs in the Verse of the Day from Isaiah 40:31. Lee in his blog “Birds of the Bible” examines “Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective” and provides fascinating commentary on “eagles” with references to Isaiah 40:31 and other scriptures, along with astounding photography of the growth stages of an eagle. Lee notes that the eagle spoken of in Scriptures is actually a golden eagle, indigenous to the Middle East and beyond, rather than the bald eagle which is found throughout North America.

Jeff Conte offers a moving rendition of “Wings as Eagles,” based on Isaiah 40:28-31 with a video clip of an eagle in flight.

This video played during Bald Eagle Watch Month reminds us of the awesome beauty and majesty of some of God‘s most amazing creations: eagles.

Don Moen also offers “As Eagles,” a song of encouragement based on the closing passage from Isaiah 40:28-21

My portion forever

March 1, 2014

Psalm 73--25The Verse of the Day for March 1, 2014 is found in Psalm 73:25-26:

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

The New Living Testament renders the passage in this way:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Along with the Psalmist, I also declare that “God is the strength of my heart,” in that verse 26 of Psalm 73 became the inspiration for the following scripture memory song:

God Is the Strength of My Heart

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He’s the lifter, the lifter, He’s the lifter up of my head.

In thinking about the passage from Psalm 73, I also recall the opening verses of Psalm 27, my favorite psalm which I committed to memory as a youngster.

Psalm 27:1-3

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

We also find another reference to “my heart “and “my flesh” in Psalm 16:8-10

8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Throughout the Psalms we find references that reveal that God will strengthen our hearts. Psalm 27 ends with this reminder:

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 31:24 tells us:

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 84:2 makes known

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God

Josh Bayne captures the heart of the Psalm 73:25-26 in the song “My Portion Forever”:

The classic Don Moen composition “God is the Strength of My Heart” reinforces the message in a special way:

 

On the way to doing the will of God, God will make a way.

October 10, 2013

As I grew up, the church was an important part of my life. I recall that the speeches made by the three top-ranking students in my high school graduating class focused on the home, the church and the school. These three institutions were within a three-block radius in the neighborhood where I grew up in Gary, Indiana during its golden days back in the 1950s. During this time, I remember one of the vivid descriptions of God, who was said to be “a way maker, who can make a way out of no way.” As I matured in the Lord, endeavoring to demonstrate my commitment to God and His Word, I found out firsthand on countless occasions that the description was more than mere cliché but a reality.

In our efforts to walk with the Lord as we seek to do His will, we all encounter challenges and difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. The Bible reminds us of God’s unfailing power and strength to turn a seemingly impossible situation into a triumphant victory. Isaiah 43:19 declares what God is able to do:

Isaiah_43-19

This particular verse and the tragic death of his nephew became the inspiration for one of Don Moen’s signature musical compositions, “God Will Make a Way,” offered here by Hosanna! Music.

Another contemporary gospel song by Shirley Caesar echoes the same unchanging truth:  “God Will Make a Way”

The reality of God’s faithfulness brought to mind the poem “Hand upon the Plow,” offering several examples from the Bible to illustrate that “The Lord will make a way somehow….”

Hand upon the Plow                                                     

 Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand

to the plow and looks back [to the things behind

is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:62

 

 “Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!”

–Black Spiritual

 

When life ain’t like it suppose to be,

Right then and there it occurs to me

Folks been in fixes worse than me,

Right in the Bible where I see:

The Lord will make a way somehow.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

 

Pharaoh said, “Kill each Hebrew boy,”

But Moses’ Ma was full of joy

Cause Pharaoh’s daughter raised her boy.

The Lord will make a way somehow.

 

The lions looked so lean and thin

When they throwed Daniel in the den,

But Old Man Daniel didn’t bend.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

 

When Jesus died, God paid the cost

And at that time all seem like lost,

But God planned ahead for Pentecost.

The Lord will make a way somehow.

 

Paul and Silas didn’t rant and wail

When they throwed both of them in jail.

They called on God, and He didn’t fail.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

 

When troubles start to buggin you

Remember, there’s just one thing to do:

Look to God and He’ll see you through.

What he did for them, He’ll do for you.

 

The Lord will make a way somehow.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

 

One of the inspirations for the poem is the line from the spiritual “Keep  Your Hand on the Plow,”  performed in the inimitable manner of the Queen of Gospel music of the 20th Century, Mahalia Jackson, who offers this inspiring rendition:

The poem and the accompanying musical reminders all reinforce the message that as we strive to live for God, that on the way to doing the will of God, God will make a way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 63: Two songs inspired by the psalm

October 7, 2013

Early this morning, October 7, 2013, I just happened to start my day looking at the lyrics to some of the songs that composed fourteen years ago when I was first inspired to compile a collection of songs, many of which were based on various passages from the Bible. One of the first of such songs was inspired by Psalm 63. Most providentially, the Verse of the Day for October 7, 2013 is Psalm 63:1 in the King James Version:

Psalm_63-1

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Here is the song based on that psalm:

O Lord, You Are My God

(from Psalm 63)

 

O Lord, you are my God,

Early in the morning will I seek you,

Before the rising of the sun.

You are the God of all creation,

Faithful and true, the Holy One.

 

My soul thirsts for you alone,

My flesh longs for you.

In a dry and thirsty land,

Only you can satisfy the deepest longing of my soul.

 

My soul follows hard after you.

Your righteous right hand always upholds me.

I long to follow your command.

 

My soul thirsts for you alone,

My flesh longs for you.

In a dry and thirsty land,

Only you can satisfy the deepest longing of my soul.

Only you can satisfy the deepest longing of my soul.

 

Not only is Psalm 63 the inspiration for that song that I composed, it is also the basis for “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee” performed as a medley with “I’m Gonna Love You,” two classic praise and worship compositions of Don Moen of Hosanna! Music.

I begin this beautiful day, a magnificent Monday, by reading Psalm 63 and reading lyrics based on that passage and listening to another song inspired by this Psalm of David.