Shareworthy: Why are so many Christians Depressed?

Really awesome post on the trial of depression among Christians (and anyone for that
matter!).

Unshakable Hope

Depression, even among Christians, seems to be rampant today; it’s as if some kind of emotional black plague has crept into the Church.

I read several blog posts and articles every day, but last week was strange; virtually every day I found myself reading posts and articles written by or about Christians battling depression. But by far the most heart-wrenching news of last week (regarding the impact of depression on Christians) wasn’t found on a blog or in a news article; it was a phone call from a close friend telling us about a friend that had committed suicide.

The young man that committed suicide was named Jordan and he was a very talented artist and musician and, more importantly, he was a Christian. (You can see one of his music videos hereand his testimony video here). From what he says in the testimony video, Jordan had battled…

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Songs & Scripture: “After All (Holy)” (David Crowder, Mark Waldrop, Matt Maher, Mike Dodson)

Stars, and the glow over the Halemaumau crater...
Stars, and the glow over the Halemaumau crater of the Kilauea volcano on Big Island, Hawaii (Photo credit: LoveBigIsland)

David Crowder Band has put out some pretty awesome worship songs, but when I was listening to this one on the radio, I almost pulled my car over it was so good and I couldn’t help but praise God.

The lyrics are so poetic that often it’s hard to find a verse exactly quoted, but nevertheless very biblical, so I’ve included verses that are related to the lyrics or further prove their point for this Songs & Scripture post.

After All (Holy)
CCLI# 6191221
Writers: David Crowder, Mark Waldrop, Matt Maher, Mike Dodson

I can’t comprehend your infinitely beautiful and perfect love (Isaiah 61:10, Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16John 15:3)
Oh I’ve dreamed dreams of majesty as brilliant as a billion stars (1 Chronicles 16:23-27, Psalm 8:3-4)
But they’re never bright enough after all (Isaiah 60:19)

You are Holy
Oh Holy
Holy, Holy, Holy (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8)

I will sing a song for you my God with everything I have in me (Psalm 108:1)
But it’s never loud enough after all

You are Holy
Oh Holy
Holy, Holy, Holy

Heaven and earth are full, full of your glory, glory (Psalm 19:1-4, Isaiah 6:3Ezekiel 43:2Romans 1:19-20)
My soul it overflows full of your glory, your glory (2 Corinthians 4:6, Colossians 1:27)
Oh blessed is he who reigns, full of your glory, your glory (John 12:13Acts 7:55-56, Hebrews 1:1-4)
My cup, it can’t contain all of your glory, your glory (Psalm 23:5)
Hosanna we are found after all you are (Philippians 3:8-9Colossians 3:3)

Holy
Oh Holy
Holy, Holy, Holy

I can’t comprehend
You’re infinitely beautiful

With love,

Lauren

Songs & Scripture: “Only You Can Satisfy” (Caleb Clements, Todd Proctor)

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee..”

–Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo from 396-430 A.D.

For today’s Song & Scripture post, I’ve chosen “Only you can Satisfy”, which somehow perfectly expresses our brother Augustine’s famous line from his Confessions. Some close friends introduced me to this song through their small group. And actually, they produced the lyric video on Youtube seen below featuring a rendition of the song by Travis Ryan:

I hope you are blessed through the music and the Scriptures that show the lyrics we sing are true!

Only You Can Satisfy
Written by Caleb Clements & Todd Proctor
CCLI #5149432

In all of my life Iʼm searching
For what can be only found in You (Jeremiah 29:13Matthew 11:29)
Only You can satisfy (Psalm 63:1-5Psalm 145:16Isaiah 55:1-3, Jeremiah 31:25John 4:13-14, John 6:35John 7:37-38)
Iʼve seen what the world can offer (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18Ecclesiastes 5:10-12Haggai 1:6, John 6:67-691 John 2:15-17)
In all that can sway me I have found (1 Corinthians 3:18-20Colossians 2:8)
Only You can satisfy, only You can satisfy

To live for Christ, I first must die (Matthew 16:24, Luke 14:27Galatians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:24)
To all the rivals in my life (Jonah 2:8 NIVMatthew 6:24, 1 John 5:21 NLT)

Only You can satisfy
Only You can satisfy
In everything I have in You (Colossians 1:27)
I find, You satisfy

In all that now lies forsaken* (Matthew 10:37-39)
Nothing can match Your love for me (John 15:13, Romans 8:37-39)
Only You can satisfy
Forever my heart awakened (Ezekiel 36:26)
To worship the One who sets me free (Romans 6:22, Galatians 5:1)
Only You can satisfy, only You can satisfy

*I interpreted this line meaning nothing we are called to give up or forsake in this life can compare to God’s love for us and the hope we have, which is why I picked those verses from Matthew. 

Only Jesus can fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts. He wants a personal relationship with us! Weird. Crazy. Are we hungry/thirsty/desperate for Him today? Or are we trying to fill up on the wrong stuff?

With love,

Lauren

Shareworthy: “That’s My King!”

There are few words I could add to this video that would not ruin the words belted out by Dr. Lockridge from his “Seven Way King” sermon and hammered home with the skillful typography used here. There is really nothing more I have to say, except, that’s MY King!

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16, ESV)

Songs & Scripture: “Love the Lord” (Lincoln Brewster)

What is the greatest commandment in the Bible? How would you sum it all up? Old and New Testament, what does God require of us? Go!

Fortunately, Jesus answered this question for us, thanks to a slippery lawyer and a genuinely curious scribe:

And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40, ESV)

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:28-34, ESV)

I love that both were recorded for our sake– both the man who wanted to trick Jesus and the man who really wanted to know from the Son of God what exactly God thought. But where is he getting this? Did Jesus pluck this out of the air? No; and every Jew would

The Nash Papyrus, containing the 10 Commandments & beginning of the Shema prayer. Discovered in 1902, it is estimated to date to 100-150 B.C.

have known exactly where he got this, as it was a part of the Shema, a prayer said at least twice a day by devout Jews to this day:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, ESV)

Interestingly, Jesus added one thing: did you catch it? Jesus added on the word “mind” from the original Deuteronomy text.  Upping the ante, as usual.

By the way, Jesus saying “love your neighbor as yourself” wasn’t just a summary of many commandments alone, either:

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18, ESV)

This song for today’s Songs & Scripture post, “Love the Lord” by Lincoln Brewster is basically a repetition of the Greatest Commandment, and therefore does not need my usual breakdown of verses and cross references, hence why I’ve included them all on the page.

Love the Lord your God
With all your heart
With all your soul
With all your mind
And with all your strength

With all your heart
With all your soul
With all your mind
And with all your strength

I will serve the Lord
With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
And with all my strength

With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
And with all my strength

I will love You Lord
With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
And with all my strength

I will love You
And I will serve You
And I will praise You
For all my days yeah
And I will love You
I will love You
Yes, I will love You

Of course, we could never love God enough. Even without our other sins piling up, we can never love Him how He deserves and requires. Thanks be to God that He loved us first!:

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10, ESV)

We are all in need of Jesus’ blood as payment for our debt, and He provided that and His Holy Spirit to enable us to love Him the way this commandment talks about:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17, ESV)

And that, my friends, is the good news.

With love,

Lauren

Shareworthy: “Having the Right Perspective”

See the post that inspired this entry here: Having the Right Perspective.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13, ESV)

I’ve been incredibly humbled and incredibly encouraged by this man who does battle daily with ALS with Jesus at his side.  Although he has not been able to walk or talk since 1997, Bill’s blog, entitled “Unshakeable Hope” is one of the most powerfully worded I’ve ever come across.

My great uncle had ALS and passed away several years ago with it.  Occasionally I wonder if I will inherit some auto-immune or neuro disease in the future (it’s probably the nurse in me), and how I will handle it. I pray that whatever trials God sends my way, I will be able to minister to others and make Jesus look beautiful through them the way Bill has.

With love,

Lauren

Songs & Scripture: “Your Great Name” (Krissy Nordhoff, Michael Neale)

Photo credit: http://lordjesussaves.wordpress.com/

This song won worship song of the year in 2012. Krissy Nordhoff was the writer of the verses and Michael Neale wrote the chorus and finished the song. Nordhoff states that she was inspired to write it after the death of a child in her home church, and was reading Psalm 136 and struck by the repetition of “His love endures forever.” Although that verse is not used directly in the song, the repetition of “at the sound of Your great name” drives home Jesus’ sovereignty and power. (You can read the full story behind the song here.)

The central Scripture for the song is very clearly found in Philippians 2:9-11:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, ESV)

Natalie Grant has also made this song famous recently, but I love Krissy Nordhoff’s voice and original version:

Your Great Name

Verse 1:
Lost are saved, find their way (Luke 19:10)
at the sound of Your great name (Philippians 2:9-11)
All condemned feel no shame (Romans 8:1)
at the sound of Your great name
Every fear has no place (Isaiah 41:10, Lamentations 3:55-571 John 4:18)
at the sound of Your great name
The enemy, he has to leave (Mark 16:17, Acts 16:18James 4:7)
at the sound of Your great name 

Chorus:
Jesus, worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us (Revelation 5:12)
Son of God and man, (Matthew 9:6, John 3:16, Mark 14:61-62, Acts 7:561 John 5:5)
You are high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:152:13, Philippians 2:9)
And all the world will praise Your great name (Psalm 115:1, Philippians 2:10-11)

Verse 2:
All the weak find their strength (Romans 8:262 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:13)
at the sound of Your great name
Hungry souls receive grace (John 6:35Acts 2:38, Romans 5:15)
at the sound of Your great name
The fatherless find their place (Psalm 68:5, 2 Corinthians 6:18)
at the sound of Your great name
The sick are healed, the dead are raised (Matthew 9:3511:4-6, 19:2, Mark 1:23-34, Mark 1:40-41, Mark 2:5-12, Mark 5:21-43, Mark 7:32-37, Mark 8:23-25, Mark 10:52,  Acts 3:6, 3:164:10)
At the sound of Your great name

Bridge:
Redeemer, (Job 19:25, Galatians 3:13)
my Healer, (Psalm 103:3Psalm 147:3, 1 Peter 2:24)
Lord Almighty, (Revelation 1:8, 4:811:15-1719:621:22)
Defender, (1 John 2:1)
my Savior, (John 3:16-17Acts 4:12, 13:23, Titus 2:13)
You are my King (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 15:3, 17:14)

Sing the name of Jesus
We worship the name of Jesus
We bow before Jesus (Philippians 2:10)
There is no other name but Jesus (Acts 4:12)

In a culture that has turned our Savior’s name into a curse word, I think we Christians in the west have often even shied away from saying the name “Jesus.” But I love this song because it reminds us that there is no higher name!

May the Lord Jesus bless you all!

With love,

Lauren