May Memories: “Spirit and the Bride”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. Maybe you’re an Overcomer who’s seen it on Facebook, or maybe you’ve never heard of Overcomers and are now wishing you’d been one of us! Hopefully this has given you a taste of what it was like, and I’ve saved my favourite song for last.

When Jesus met with His followers after He had risen from the dead, He breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Now we can be filled with His Spirit until He comes again or we go to be with Him in heaven:
We long for the day
When we will see Your face;
We long to be with You – come quickly,
And breathe on us until You come

If we ever had any kind of Overcomers reunion (which I would love, by the way), you can be sure I’d be singing this song with all my heart.

May Memories: “I Will Worship You”

This is another where I was fooled by the title. I always called it “My God is Faithful”, but it’s “I Will Worship You”. The line I’ve found most practical would be:
My God is Ruler over all that is. I remember thinking of that line when I trod on some litter and a couple of angry insects flew up out of it. They wouldn’t have the power to sting me unless God allowed it.

This really is a beautiful song, and I’d like it at my funeral. You know when people come in and there’s music playing? I want it to be this:
And when my life’s complete, I’ll place my crown at Your feet,
And I will worship You on bended knee

May Memories: “Salvation Belongs to our God”

This is another song we sing in church, but it’s funny because at my current church, we only sing the chorus! The chorus starts:
Be to our God, for ever and ever.

What? What do we want to be to our God forever and ever? It flows on from the end of the verse:
Praise and glory, wisdom and thanks,
Honour and power and strength
Be to our God, for ever and ever

So it makes no sense to just sing the chorus; we should really sing all of it.

May Memories: “There is a Higher Throne”

Overcomers usually met every week at the church I went to, but for a few years, we had an annual weekend away. The group-leaders invited friends from their church in Scotland and its affiliate churches in England and Wales. There would have been around thirty of us, half I knew and half I didn’t. We’d go to a basic retreat centre – shared rooms; no en suite; nothing like the places I’d stay in nowadays. Now when I go on holiday, I like to have a room of my own because it’s nice to just take some time out if things feel too much, but there was none of that. As a blind person, everything was unfamiliar and if I needed anything, I had to ask. It was unsettling and going to the conferences made me very nervous, but I still went because sometimes in the meetings, you could really feel God’s presence. I knew they were special times and I didn’t want to miss out.

At one of these conferences, we sang this song and afterwards, it went very quiet. The Scotsman who was leading the meeting had been inspired. I remember him calling another man up to the front of the room, and dictating some lyrics as he typed into the laptop. The atmosphere was electric, and I listened closely as he rewrote the first half of the chorus. The original chorus starts:
Hear heaven’s voices sing;
Their thunderous anthem rings
Through emerald courts, and sapphire skies,
Their praises rise

His extra chorus, which we immediately sang, went like this:
And now our voices sing;
Our grateful anthem rings
Through earthly courts, and clouded skies,
Our praises rise

I liked that. We may not have reached the splendour of the heavenly city yet, but even where we are, our praise can still go up to God. Maybe it means more to Him because our circumstances are less than ideal. I’m not sure the extra chorus is still sung anywhere, but I hope it is.

May Memories: “You are the King of Glory”

This is a song that always comes into my head after I read John 6:66-69. Jesus had just said some things that were difficult for His followers to wrap their heads around. Some walked away and no longer followed Him, but Peter said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”, as quoted in this song:
You have the words of eternal life;
You are Jesus Christ the Lord

May Memories: “You are my King (Amazing Love)”

The word that comes to mind for this song is affirmation. Please don’t misunderstand me; I know that as Christians we’re Christ’s ambassadors, so it matters greatly what people think of Jesus when they look at us and the way we live our lives, but it doesn’t really matter what people think of us. When we sing: I’m forgiven; I’m accepted; Your Spirit is within me … we’re singing truth over ourselves. Those things won’t change, whatever other people think.

May Memories: “I Will Bless the Lord forever (Made me Glad)”

I’ll be honest. This song is one I struggle to sing in full:
I will bless the Lord forever,
I will trust Him at all times;
He has delivered me from all fear,
He has set my feet upon a rock

Anyone who read about the concerns I had before I went to South Africa will know that I’m fearful at times, so I don’t have a problem singing He can, instead of He has. Sometimes I fear; sometimes I fall short of living the way God wants me to. That’s not an excuse so I can continue to do wrong; it’s just a fact.

Romans 3:23-27 talks about how we all fall short of God’s glorious standard, but that’s where Jesus comes in. We can own up when we fall short, ask for His forgiveness, and allow God to make us more like Him. Then we can boast about our ever-present help in time of need.