Do you remember 9-year-old Brian I posted about a couple of days ago? He’d waited so long for a sponsor … Well, someone has sponsored him! If it was one of you, thank you!
Well, here we are at the end of this series. Thank you if you’ve stuck with me throughout. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and the length of the posts has been about right, but if you’ve got any ideas on how I could do another 31 Days series differently, please comment.
Proverbs 31:30 says: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised”, and in her latest devotional, Gwen Smith hits the spot when she says: “True beauty begins when we hold tightly to the truth of God and allow the truth of God to hold tightly to us.” When a woman pours very expensive perfume on Jesus, one translation words His response this way: “She has done a beautiful thing to Me. … Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matthew 26:10, 13).
You will have gathered by now that I like story-songs, and this tells the story of the woman with the perfume. Gwen has written quite a few songs, but this was the one that impressed me from the first time I heard it, and I thought it would be a nice end to the series. Let’s go into November, and the rest of our lives, looking for opportunities to do something meaningful for Jesus.
So, today’s is a song by the Talley Trio again, and they’ve got the distinction of being the most-featured artist in this series. For anyone who remembers “Broken World” on day 3 and is wondering: “Are the Talleys and the Talley Trio one and the same?” yes, they are the same people: Roger and Debra Talley and their daughter Lauren were the Talley Trio, then Lauren married Brian Alvey and they became The Talleys. To bring your son-in-law into the singing group and make him an honorary Talley, I think is a really nice ‘Welcome to the family’. I enjoyed this interview with Lauren. She’d be all right at my flat: We could have a pizza night, and I could make sweet tea if she liked it strong!
This again is one I’d love to sing one day. It’s a bit of an odd title; should really be called “No Orphans of God” if you ask me, but the words are lovely, and all those clever key-changes!
Well, thanks to Sue’s comment yesterday, I’m now following Brian May on Twitter. Who would have thought? It’s nice to keep track of what he’s up to. I was also looking on Compassion’s website just now, and found a little boy called Brian. If I could take on more sponsorships, I think I’d sponsor him. There’s no mention of a father in his home, which is so sad … I can’t sponsor him though. Would one of you like to?
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From the very beginning of my 31 Days of Song, I knew this group had to be included. When it comes to favourite male singers, Mac Powell from Third Day would be up there on my list, and I love his accent.
It’s nearly the end of October, so I could have picked something off their “Christmas Offerings” album. I could have gone for a worship-song, like “Your Love o Lord” or “Offering”. Or how about a story-song, like “I Need a Miracle” (about God stepping in at the last moment)? No, even with all those choices, it really had to be this one. Originally “Just to be with You”, they rerecorded it and called it “Love-Song”, and that’s what it is – a love-song to us from the Lord who was no mountain-climber but walked the hill to Calvary, who never swum oceans but He walked on the water. Just to be with us, He’s done everything.
It’s a very long time since I’ve written a letter to you, but I write because I was struggling all yesterday afternoon. You see, 28 October is a very special day for me. One of the reasons it’s special is that in 1998 I came to Birmingham, sat listening to you and your band in the first-ever sound-check I’d been to, and then met you backstage. I wanted to tell all my readers about this wonderful day – how Mum had phoned the Queen Fan Club to ask for a happy-birthday message from you to me on tape, and they said: “Would you like to meet him instead?” Silly question, so a few weeks before my birthday, the big day came.
When we arrived, you and the band were running late (does that always happen in rock music?) so we sat in a café for a bit, but I was in no state to eat anything. You were my hero and your songs had been part of my life for so many years. Finally it was time to go back through the stage-door and wait for the sound-check. I felt as though I could jump up and down, nod my head and wave my arms around all at once; I think it might have caused some concern if I had.
The sound-check got underway and I strained my ears to listen as you talked to the band, only to hear a voice next to me shout: “I wish I’d brought a packet of crisps! I’m hungry.”
There were quite a crowd to meet you that night – Mum and me, competition-winners, previous competition-winners, even Anita Dobson’s friend’s grandson and his guest! The eight of us wouldn’t fit in your dressing-room, so you threw the male band-members out of theirs to give us more space. Before putting the spotlight on yourself, you took the time to ask us all why we’d come. You offered to sign as many autographs as we liked, and let us ask you questions. Of course I couldn’t think of any, but I was just happy to listen. Someone asked what your song “Wilderness” was about, and you sat deep in thought. I’m not sure you really knew the answer.
Some of us gave you presents to open. I knew from one of my Queen videos that your favourite drink was Guinness, so I bought you two bottles, and one of Boots’ tacky Christmas gifts they were selling that year – a plastic Guinness glass full of chocolates, but you seemed to like it. Then we all talked to you individually as you signed our autographs. About eighteen months before, when the Queen Fan Club held their convention, I’d had my photo taken holding your red special guitar and you’d signed that for me. I had also talked to you on a radio phone-in just for a minute or so, so as you sat facing me that night (with no shoes on I found out later), you said: “I’m glad we got to meet at last.” You were glad to meet me? I couldn’t help thinking you were the star, and you had got it the wrong way round. You gave me two hugs: One was a head-on-your-shoulder-type hug, and you told me I was very sweet.
The reason for my struggle is that I couldn’t think of one of your songs to include in today’s post. Now, as a Christian, so many have lyrics that contradict my beliefs. I mean, “Another World” is a lovely song, but I don’t believe we throw the dice and they set the path for our lives. So many of your songs are like that – ok except for the odd line or two, but try not to let that upset you, because are songs really all-important? For you, there must have been countless days like 28 October 1998, and countless people you’ve shown great kindness to. Your impact is what really matters. If you’ll offer more than a song to God and to others, that’s the most precious treasure of all.
I think it’s unlikely you’ll read this blog, but I’ve written the letter anyway. Thank you for so many great memories, and I’m praying for you.
I’ve been reading Song of Solomon this week. For anyone who hasn’t read it, it’s an absolutely lovely book in the Bible. When I read it, I think of the man (the lover) as Jesus, and the woman (the beloved) as the bride of Christ – the church, which I’m a part of. When you look at the man’s words and see them as Jesus talking to His church, well … let me show you what I mean.
“My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and there is nothing at all wrong with you” – Song of Solomon 4:7. It blows me away to think that God sees me that way, and He does: Because Jesus died and took my punishment, God looks at me through that lens and sees me as flawless.
“There may be sixty queens and eighty slave women and so many girls you cannot count them, but there is only one like my dove, my perfect one” – Song of Solomon 6:8-9.
“I belong to my lover, and he desires only me” – Song of Solomon 7:10.
“So I was to him, as one who brings happiness” – Song of Solomon 8:10. That last one is one of my favourites. We may not always get it right, but what we’re designed for is to bring contentment to our Bridegroom, and we can do that now and for eternity.
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I hope those verses have blessed you as much as they have me. This song talks about God’s favour too – that when someone comes back to Him searching for forgiveness, He looks at them and calls them His son.
I don’t know whether Kim Hill will ever read this, but I must apologise to her if she does because when I first heard her voice, I didn’t know whether she was a man or a woman! And the name Kim wasn’t much of a giveaway either. Again with her it was difficult to choose a song, but this one was in my head this morning – one I’ve always liked.
Do you sometimes think it’s silly to follow your dreams because something’s bound to happen to derail them? Well, this is an invitation to ignore those fears and just live the best you can. There’s a quote one of my friends has on her Facebook profile. I don’t know where it came from, but we both love it. “Be realistic … demand the impossible.”
Can you believe it’s the last Friday in October already? Yep, 2 months to Christmas. I hope you’re enjoying this series. Are there any songs I haven’t written about that you think I should?
I want to say hello to Edie and Ruth this week, who are co-writing a 31 Days series on less and more. I must confess I haven’t read all their posts, but just thought it was such a cool idea to co-write a series. I’d love it if another blogger wanted to do that with me next year.
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If any of you have been reading this blog since March, you might remember I posted about a Francesca Battistelli song. In the comments I said I’d love to sing one of her songs one day, and Kim told me I should do it. Well, Kim, now I have.
We had a fundraising event for our local food bank and I was asked to sing. It says in the Bible that angels are ministering spirits, sent to help those who’ll follow Jesus (Hebrews 1:14). I sang this as a tribute to our volunteers and the way they come alongside/minister to clients in their time of need. God talks about us laying down our lives for others and gives us the strength to do it. Who’s come alongside you and supported you lately?
Amy from Moms’ Toolbox is making her way slowly through the book of Exodus at the moment, and guess what chapter we’re up to now? The one about baby Moses, so I read it this morning. Do you remember she encourages us to SOAP? Well, these were my thoughts:
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Scriptures: Exodus 2:10 – “The king’s daughter named him Moses, because she had pulled him out of the water”, 22 – “Moses named him Gershom, because Moses was a stranger in a land that was not his own”.
Observation: Hebrew names have significance.
Application: My name means princess and it’s lovely to be a daughter of the King. Jesus has a new name to be kept between Him and us (Revelation 2:17), so that even if our names don’t have significance on earth, they will in heaven. I always imagined this new name to be one that summarises who we are and how we as a person have overcome, because no one else could fully know that except us and the Lord.
Prayer: Thank You that You care about the details of our lives, even our names. I like the thought of You watching over us to give us a new name. Help me to be faithful, so that I can have a new name that honours You. Amen.
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There was a Michael Card song that seemed really appropriate after thinking about that verse from Revelation. From his “Unveiled Hope” album, this is “To the Overcomers”.
In the school assembly today, we told the kids about Moses, and the way the story was written picked up on something I’d never thought of before – how Miriam must have felt when she saw the Egyptian princess had found her baby brother. All Hebrew baby boys were to be killed! Miriam’s heart must have been in her mouth; she probably couldn’t bear to watch, but as the story said, God was watching. The baby wasn’t killed because the princess took one look at his crying face and her heart melted. That princess, whether she acknowledged it or not, was made in the image of God and His compassion shone through her as she took pity on baby Moses.
Much later, when Moses was eighty years old and trying to leave Egypt with his people, Pharaoh had several visits from him, but his heart didn’t melt. Softening and hardening of heart – both orchestrated by God. When things seem out-of-control, know that God has a special plan for your life and is watching over you. His love is amazing.