amazing grace.

Amazing Grace. I'm a huge fan of song lyrics, and these are simply remarkable!

Last weekend, we took our high schoolers on a "Deeper Weekend" retreat to a plantation in Walterboro, and our speaker Friday night (the incredible Dr. Charles Hook) mentioned Amazing Grace, which spurred me to really look into the song. He told us that Amazing Grace is the most recognizable and most popular song ever written, among religious and secular music. The author of the song, John Newton, was in the royal navy, and eventually became a commander of a slave ship. He eventually gave his life to Christ and became an ordained minister, who obviously came to intensely regret his involvement in the slave market, and became an advocate for abolition. Dr. Hook told us that John Newton wrote what he wanted the inscription on his own grave to be, and it was this: "John Newton, Clerk. Once an infidel and libertine. A servant of slaves in Africa was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, PRESERVED, RESTORED, PARDONED, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy." I would say that it is surely Amazing Grace that can preserve, restore, and pardon us from our filth and sin.

The lyrics of Amazing Grace, particularly the first verse, are so true his story: He was a wretch selling slaves, blind to the truths of Jesus' grace, but was saved and his eyes were opened by our amazing God, to be a minister to share this grace he had worked to destroy.

I've been a Christian for years, and have grown up listening to this song, so it had become just another song to me. But it was so SO good to sit down and actually read these lyrics, and seek the truth in them again. They became real to me again. I hope you can do the same!

The video link at the bottom is one we watched this weekend, and I'm not gonna lie, it made me cry a little! The music is so beautiful, I don't see how anyone can hear music like this and not be moved. I especially got chills in the last verse, realizing that they're singing in the ruins of the Roman Colosseum, which was built almost two thousand years ago (about 80 AD). The structure is now falling down and obviously won't last into eternity, but hearing the words, knowing that we can sing this song TEN thousand years from now (not just two!), and still have "NO less days to sing God's praise" is astounding! Singing praises to God will last into eternity. We will be able to sing praises to Him forever, thanks to His Amazing Grace!

"Amazing Grace,
How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost,
But now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Twas grace that taught
My heart to fear
And grace, my fears relieved
How precious did
That grace appear,
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers
Toils and snares,
I have already come,
Tis grace hath brought
Me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

When we've been here
Ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days
To sing God's praise
Than when we first begun

Amazing Grace,
How Sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost,
But now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."

It wouldn't let me just embed the video on here, but i PROMISE it's worth watching! (There's a surprise after verse 3!) Watch it with the mindset that their stage has been there two thousand years. Watch it truly listening to the lyrics. Watch it knowing that we have received this Amazing Grace, from the God that created everything you see. I promise, it will make your day better. :)

Copy and paste this because the link isn't showing up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMVxzEueJ6A



Oh love. I don't know why I feel compelled to write tonight... maybe it's because I just finished (finally) watching the bachelor, or I'm smack dab in the middle of an OC marathon (Don't laugh). Or because I ran into two ex's in one day. NO I don't regret not being with them, or wish I was, etc..... but it still makes you think, you know?

I'm a big fan of love. No, I'm not in love with anyone, nor do I see myself being in love in the near future, but I have been in love before. Let's be honest, I haven't really fared well in the love department in the past few years, and have had one...a few too many broken hearts for my liking, but I'm still a fan of love. In hindsight, my last relationship turned out to be a train wreck from start to finish, and the one before that kinda ended before it even started. Long story. But at the end of the day, I can't deny that I have faith in love. I have faith that one day I'll be in it. I have faith that God designed love, He is Love, and He will give me love.

I was talking to my brilliant friend Reese tonight, and she was so encouraging. I was venting, and she advised me to "remember how fabulous you are...it can't do anything but pay off". Love can even come from great friends! She was full of insight and great advice... saying that all unanswered questions will eventually resurface, giving everything meaning. That reason is hard to trust in the moment, but essentially that hindsight really is 20/20. Which adds to the reason I believe in love. I believe that I'll one day figure it out. Call me naive, but I think I'm gonna get my fairy tale one day. Love is a great feeling... feeling loved is a great feeling. I can't wait until I find it, or am given it again.

So...being as I'm not in romantic love, I choose to surround myself with love. Love from my friends, and to my friends. Love from my family, and to my family. Love from my roommates, and to my roommates. Love from my church, and to my church. This list could go on forever. There's also love for people I don't know... but that's a whole 'nother subject.

My advice... choose love. love wins. even when you're single :)

And there's always 1 Corinthians 13. Truth of scripture is a beautiful thing...

"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate... So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. (v. 1, 3)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (vv. 4-8)

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (v. 13)