Song Lists

House Of The Lord Devotional

Phil Wickham's House of the Lord is a celebration shouting out praise to our God who made a way for us. His presence and provision billow up and overflow from grateful hearts. When you experience His joy, or when you have been rescued and set free, it is hard not to shout out with joy from the mountaintops. Is there joy in your house? A joy that bubbles up, spills over, and leaves your world just right. Maybe you glimpse joy walking along a forest trail, watching your kids play outside, or having that first-morning cup of coffee. Possibly, it is sunsets, sunrises or walking along the beach that does it for you; the moments we feel like our most authentic selves and right there in the middle of this moment, we feel it - deep and steady as a heartbeat - joy. There's joy in the house of the LordThere's joy in the house of the Lord todayAnd we won't be quietWe shout out Your praise But, have you noticed that it doesn't take much to steal your joy? How quickly deep contentment like this can be snatched away? Slipping from your soul the moment you see "that" look from the store clerk and realize you forgot to lift your mask up to cover your nose. You know the look: the judgy eyes, furrowed brows, the look of deep disapproval. Sometimes joy is stolen in moments when family or friends comment or question your decisions, their words laced with sarcasm, passive aggression or explicit judgment. Ever disagreed with a friend and then been ghosted, unfollowed or blocked? And one of the biggest dangers lurks on social media platforms—conversation threads enticing responses and disrupting contentment and joy both for the reader and the ones who post. We don't even have to post a comment to be and feel disturbed by what we read. Joy, peace, and provision. In His house, there will be joy. In His house, we will experience peace. In His house, we will have all that we need. If there is joy in the House of the Lord, we should expect to experience it. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7, NIV) If we have confident assurance that our God is near, that He heals, and that He saves, why isn't joy plastered like wallpaper all over our social media platforms, filling our feeds? Because our lives are messy, complicated and we are easily prone to distraction and disappointment. The most common presenting issue in my counseling office is anxiety. Anxiety (fear) and joy rarely co-exist. The emotional marathon of 2020 left some of us depleted with a lingering sense of dread for the next hard thing. Maybe we are having trouble concentrating or feeling stuck and unsure how to get moving again. Some are not excited to re-engage socially when given the freedom to do so. Others report feeling aimless, like wandering through the day looking through a foggy window. With so many unknowns in the days ahead, hope for change is waning. There is a word to describe this -- it is called languishing. Someone described it to me like this: "It's been like hitting a dead end at every turn in a cornfield maze. In the beginning, it was a game, and we were set on winning and persevering. There was all this adrenaline to make it through and to overcome the obstacles. One dead-end isn't discouraging because you've only been in the maze for a short while, and you have a lot of energy to keep pressing through. But now, hitting one detour after another ... having to pivot and change directions has become tiresome. I want to stop playing and have someone rescue me. If I could shoot up some flares and have someone lift me to safety, I'd do that." The thought of experiencing life as a maze is so dark and heavy compared to the contagious joyful expression of praise in the "House of the Lord." What do we have to shift in order to have more sustainable joy? At any given moment, you can respond in one of two ways: Either your authentic best self may show up, or your more compromised version of yourself may appear. Think of being overtired, hungry, distracted, or frustrated, and suddenly someone cuts you off in traffic or drops the entire carton of milk all over your paperwork sitting on the kitchen island. Sidestepping all grace, words and gestures fly from your body quickly without much thought. You react rather than reflect, and your compromised self shows up strong and powerful. Though the fig tree does not budand there are no grapes on the vines,though the olive crop failsand the fields produce no food,though there are no sheep in the penand no cattle in the stalls,yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will be joyful in God my Savior.(Habakkuk 3:17-19) Or maybe this is more you. Scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, you land upon a post from a "friend." It is outlandish, offensive and flies in complete contradiction to all your values. In fact, you can't imagine how you didn't know this "friend" felt this way. Thoughts rush in: "what an ignorant comment to make," and "how can they call themselves Christian?" or "how can they believe that garbage is true?" Think about the last time you read something online that annoyed you, rattled you with such intensity that you reacted and responded rashly, or maybe you just muddled it over and over for days after. And, we keep going back to check that post to see what new absurd comments are being made, further disturbing our thoughts and disrupting our sense of calm. Criticism, judgment, seeing myself as the expert, name-calling, and hiding behind anonymity. These joy-robbers, peace-stealers, and grace-dismantling thoughts lead us directly into disappointment, anxiety and impulsiveness. We react rather than reflect. Our behavior becomes quick and prickly. Our compromised selves have sharp edges and tend not to respond well to correction from others. Not surprisingly, you may find yourself irritable, distracted, and sensitive to criticism and judgment in this state. So what can we do when we find ourselves in a prickly, reactive, critical way? Take a social media break and tend to the garden of your heart. Resist the pull to respond. "Whatever momentary self-satisfaction we experience when we entertain it leaves behind darkness and a hardness of heart — like cement that begins to cure while we're standing in it up to our knees." (The Chosen Book Two: 40 Days with Jesus. Day 8 Love) Lift your eyes above your circumstances and reconnect with the Prince of Peace. Sing praise and worship, allowing His truth to wash over you. He heals, He saves, and He is still rolling away stones. He makes a way through every dark valley or risky mountain climb. He will give you what you need to face the tricky places you find yourself in. But His direction, leading, and heart will not be easy to hear or find if you have not attuned to Him. We grow close to those we spend the most time with, and intimacy is cultivated intentionally, mindfully and with consistency over time. We sing to the God who healsWe sing to the God who savesWe sing to the God who always makes a way Come back to the revelation that we are the house of the Lord. We are the body. We are not a building. We are a people. How we engage with the world reflects how deeply His presence has touched us. Tracey Dahl, M.A. is a writer and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in Langley, BC (Canada). She is married to Ryan Dahl (Founder of PraiseCharts) and the mother of four grown children. House Of The Lord was written by Phil Wickham and Jonathan Smith.

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Promises Devotional

We've been on stand-by for the birth of our first grandchild for what feels like forever. As her due date came and went, the waiting game began. She received her eviction notice but seemed particularly content in her womb. Anticipation of her arrival intensified every day that first week in April. Pondering and praying one morning, I heard myself whisper, "I love her already". We do love her already. We have seen more ultrasound photos of her sweet little hands, feet and pouty little lips than all her aunt and uncles' in utero pictures combined! We love her already. Finally, on the evening of April 12, with one text, we learned she arrived! Listening to our firstborn son describe the birth of his first while hearing her precious newborn cries in the background is a moment we won't soon forget. Our son and daughter-in-law planned for a home water birth with the support and expertise of midwives. They had a plan!! The thing we newly-minted grandparents know all too well is that we can't plan for everything. The baby came fast and furious, opting to forego midwifery's arrival and instead make her appearance before any help had arrived. Our granddaughter made her entrance into her Daddy's waiting embrace on the bathroom floor of their home. Two parents already in love with their daughter caught her and welcomed her into their family. So much is happening in our hearts. We are delighted that the baby arrived safely, shocked that they delivered her on their own, and in awe of these waves of love and affection moving through our hearts and minds. We loved her already. That word "already" implies a great deal, before a specified or implied past, present, or future time. "Already" happens before she masters anything; before she shows that unique achievement before she meets any goals or reaches any milestones, we loved her before any past, present, or future accomplishments. Our granddaughter doesn't know how to "do" anything to earn our affection, we love her already. Babies intuitively know how to take in our love. It is hardwired into them to reach for and cry for affection. They respond to our gaze, and they are calmed by our hummed hushes. Responsive, loving caregivers provide comfort to babies when they are in distress, and children learn to trust their parent's safety and love. Holding my granddaughter, watching her eyes move towards her daddy's voice, my heart bursts; she knows her daddy's tone and affection. She is drawn already to his expressions of love for her. As I sit, feeling the depth of this love billowing up inside me, a steadying hush settles me. I have this thought: His love is greater. We gathered, admiring our little one. She showed no discomfort with our adoration. She wriggled, startled when we shifted her from one family member to the other, but she was deeply content held in our affection. Someone whispers: "I love her already." We all smile in agreement. We do. We love her already. We loved her before, but now the love is immeasurably magnified with a "presence" we can see, touch and kiss. Again, this thought: His love is greater. Yes, greater, deeper, more profound, more enduring, His love is greater. Can you take it in? Can you linger and receive this enduring love that God has for you? Our life experiences distort our receptive capacities. Our attachment systems, hardwired in at birth, are disrupted by disappointment, unmet needs, losses, grief; all the hard stuff of relationships. Over time some of us may close off their receptive capacities staying protected and hidden. Closing our hearts from others creates a false sense of safety, but we remain distant and disconnected from others. We might find it challenging to receive human affection or love, dismiss our need for it, or shift to people-pleasing to earn love and affection. These distortions in our receptive capacity to take in love and affection show up in our human connections and will undoubtedly appear in our relationship with God. Consider your own receptive affective capacity to take in human affection: When someone says to you: "You sang beautifully this morning," or "This meal is delicious." Do you bat that compliment back so quickly, you startle the giver? We mumble things like, "It was ok," or "I don't know, it was a bit overcooked." How uncomfortable do you feel? Imagine sitting for a moment in the discomfort of someone's affection for you, when you have heard heartfelt messages of appreciation like these: I admire you.I respect you.You are gifted.You bring such joy into my life.I love spending time with you.You are funny.I love you. Shake off the false humility that wants to pass back these words and allow yourself time to take them in and notice what happens inside. Allow yourself to be touched, moved, and loved. Then, you can take it a step further. His love for you is greater. His love for you is passed, present and future -- it is already. Without you doing a thing. Nothing right, nothing wrong, nothing outstanding. His love is "already" for you. We are invited to experience His love. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3: 19-21, NLT) His love. His love is greater than the billowing up, indescribable warmth spreading through my chest as I hold my granddaughter. His love is greater than the joy escaping through my breath mixed into the tears streaming down my face when I heard her first cries over the phone.His love is greater. Don't miss it. The totality of God's love for us, already matured. It won't grow or deepen. We don't have to be alarmed by this -- His affections won't become more evident, deepen or shift because His love for us is at the greatest depth we could ever hope or imagine. He loves us already. His love isn't dependent on "getting to know us." He isn't the grandparent waiting to hold a newborn grandchild. He knows us. He fully knows us. Our past, present, and future selves are known. And He loves with more depth, breadth, and presence than our minds can comprehend. Be held in the Father's love for you. Close your eyes and drink that in. You are fully known. God knows all the places and parts of you, the ones you share and the ones you hide, and He loves you. Go deeper into Christ's love. "This song has honestly been a reminder for me that God is everything we'll ever need. My prayer is that everyone who listens to this is reminded of the Father's heart toward us and that He loves to take care of us." (Naomi Raine, Maverick City, JFH) Tracey Dahl, M.A. is a writer and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in Langley, BC (Canada). She is married to Ryan Dahl (Founder of PraiseCharts) and the mother of four grown children. Promises was written by Dante Bowe, Aaron Moses, Joe L. Barnes, Keila Marin, Lemuel Marin, and Phillip Carrington Gaines, and recorded by Maverick City.

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Jireh Devotional

I was soaking in Maverick City Music / Elevation Worship's song Jireh this weekend and I feel stretched. At the first phrase, my chest tightened, and a lump of emotion rose in my throat catching my breath -- I'll never be more loved than I am right now. Do I believe that when I have Him, I have everything? Do I believe that He is enough? It's more than you ask, think or imagineAccording to His power, it's working in usIt's more than enough Walking the dog with this song speaking to my heart, I realized the words hit me hard because of how sickly contradictory the world can feel right now. I haven't noticed the boldness of others trusting in God's provision, or witnessed courage and confidence in the face of calamity. Maybe it is my job, or my social media platforms? Maybe it is just situational with our current circumstances? But what seems to be more visible is a message like this: don't trust anyone; protect yourself, be on guard! Some hold firm to the belief that those in authority are out to get them, so be cautious and don't believe what they say. Extreme responses and conspiracy theories pop up on every social platform. They are all too familiar. Be vigilant ... be wary — question everything. We tend towards cognitive bias; a confirmation bias based on overvaluing the information confirming our already-established beliefs and expectations. Our preferences can be rigid, leaving us immovable and unwilling to engage our curiosity to consider alternative perspectives. Interactions quickly deteriorate if our primary goal in communication is to hear we are right. The evidence of this is everywhere. Navigating around the cesspool of opinions feels dangerous. When I manage to offer the grace or understanding or lay down my expectations and face someone's disapproval without blowing my top or losing my mind or wits, I look for a reward. I want someone to notice and say, "Good job, I saw you didn't fight back,...good for you for taking the higher road!" or, "Hey, well done for showing so much patience!" Honestly, please give me a gold star or a button to wear because loving difficult people is exhausting. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5, NIV) I will tell you something I have learned about myself: my love is shakeable, circumstantial, and dependent on how I feel. I gravitate towards those who are easy to love and find myself avoiding the people who are difficult to love. There, I said it! I avoid difficult people. I am not proud of the way I hide, but I am so aware of my need for Jesus when I make this explicit. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV) We can't love our critics without Jesus. Look around you. Read those political threads. Witness the virus debate, the vaccine dialogue, and the COVID conversations: our love is fickle. Our love goes up in flames when our opinions or perspectives feel attacked. We justify our cruel, critical commentary, becoming instant experts because we disagree. Allow this thought to reach your soul. God loves that difficult family member, that defensive person online, and that government official you find offensive or out of touch. And if in the moment, you cannot show up with love, step aside and get out of His way. Forever, always and more than enough. He responds with perfect love. Our God sees the issues with perfect clarity, and we do not. His viewpoint, perspective, and wisdom are above all our circumstances. Nothing written, spoken, or even implied comes as a surprise to Him. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3, NIV) Yes, sometimes it can be hard to trust people. Friends, family, co-workers will disappoint us, let us down, and fall short. You will bump into difficult people who stretch you, test your patience and hurt your feelings. I hope this doesn't come as a surprise to you, but there will be moments that YOU are the difficult person. When we feel threatened by someone's response or judged unfairly, try lingering longer in His love. Be reflective, not reactive. His love is enough. He has chosen you. No one can stand in the way. No words spoken over you or to you can dismantle the heart of His message about you. He loves you. When we can take this in and allow our hearts to be changed by His love, our responses to others then changes, too. This song has honestly been a reminder for me that God is everything we'll ever need. My prayer and hope is that everyone who listens to this is reminded of the Father's heart toward us and that He loves to take care of us. (Naomi Raine of Maverick City) Thank you Jesus for your love that your love is more than I could fathom or imagine — it doesn't change; it does not depend on how we react or feel. Thank you, Jesus, that I'm already loved. That it is forever and always more than enough. Maybe if I stay close to God's way of loving me, I will get a taste of how I can love others better. After all, I do believe that is part of His plan. Tracey Dahl, M.A. is a writer and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in Langley, BC (Canada). She is married to Ryan Dahl (Founder of PraiseCharts) and the mother of four grown children. Jireh was written by Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, Chandler Moore, and Naomi Raine. Jireh was recorded by Maverick City and Elevation Worship.

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