When was the last time you rested? I mean really rested.

Now I’m not talking about sleeping more or watching more Netflix. I’m talking about what the Bible calls Sabbath rest. The kind of rest where we cease striving from all our work and simply rest in the Lord. Where we sit and meditate on his Word. Where we fall on our knees in prayer. Where we enjoy a good meal with our spouse and talk about what the Lord is teaching each of us. Where we enjoy a great cup of coffee along side a great book. Where we turn off our email and cell phones and go wrestle with our kids. This is the kind of rest I’m talking about. The question is, then, do you have this rhythm of rest in your life?

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Redeemed to redeem! #forthecity #ascc (at Austin Stone South Campus)

What a great night with this crew at the @darnellband Christmas dinner!

I always set out to write a Christmas song during this season and here is my attempt at a new one!

VS 1:
there’s a chill that’s in the air
the thrill of hope is here
tell your brother far and near
it is Christmas

lights are twinkling in the dark
glowing like a little spark
bringing joy to every heart
it is Christmas

CH:
’tis the season to be merry and bright
but remember why we gather
for our hope was born that silent night
‘tis Jesus Christ

VS 2:
gather round with family
and glad tidings to all bring
raise your voices merrily
it is Christmas

dawn your gowns of red and green
put the gifts beneath the tree
sing your carols joyfully
it is Christmas

CH:
’tis the season to be merry and bright
but remember why we gather
for our hope was born that silent night
‘tis Jesus Christ

VS 3:
by warm fire cuddle close
with the ones you love the most
lift your glass and raise a toast
it is Christmas

let’s go dashing through the snow
and kiss ‘neath the mistletoe
for our hearts they are a glow
it is Christmas

CH:
’tis the season to be merry and bright
but remember why we gather
for our hope was born that silent night
‘tis Jesus Christ

This is one of those songs that started out in one direction but completely changed. As I was writing the verses, they grew longer and longer, each verse building off the other. Eventually it took shape and here it is!

Vs 1
In chaos you came, to usher in peace to this weary world in need
You took on our flesh, and humbled yourself when you came in helpless babe
The angels announcing, to shepherds that night, as they sang the loudest praise
Glory in the highest, and peace on the earth, rejoice for your savior’s finally come!

Vs 2
You loved the unlovely, and dined with the poor, and the sick you came to heal
But some would deny you, and call you a fraud, as they picked up stones to kill
Despised and rejected, reviled and detested, by the ones you came to save
They yelled crucify him, demanded your life, and with a kiss you were betrayed

Vs 3
Your back bruised and bleeding, sharp nails pierced your hands, as they hung you on the cross
You said “it is finished” as you breathed your last breathe, the lamb of god was slain
The ground shook and trembled, and thunderclouds roared, as the curtain tore in two
The promised messiah, the hope of the world, was laid lifeless in the tomb

Vs 4:
The world stood in silence, your disciples and friends, wept and mourned their savior’s death
They sat lost and hopeless, for they assumed that their king, had entered eternal rest
But then on the third day the stone rolled away and you rose just like you said
The angels Rejoicing, declared he’s not here, Christ is risen from the dead

Ch:
Our sin is now pardoned, our debt you have paid, with your blood shed on the cross
The tomb is now empty, you conquered the grave, now you reign in heaven above

This songs written out of my fear of failure and desire to control. Too often it can paralyze me completely.

VS 1:
you’re always looking for the right sign
but when it shows its not the right time

you’re hoping something better comes along
and when it does you think it’s always wrong

VS 2:
you trust nobody, only trust your self
and when you fail the blames on someone else
your dreams they seem just like a fairy tale
but turn into a nightmare from hell

CH:
You’re paralyzed
You’re paralyzed
You’re paralyzed with fear

VS 3:
When everything starts to become clear
you wish that everyone would disappear
so you could go this life all alone
and never worry about being known

BR:
control’s an illusion that’s birthed out of fear
uncertainty tells us what we don’t want to hear
the feeling of failure paralyses the soul
only one things for certain, that we’re not in control

CH 2:
Don’t believe the lies
Don’t believe the lies
You have nothing to fear

Thursday was a very hard day for our church body as we lost a brother in Christ. In my mourning I was able to write this song of hope. Jesus is worth all the suffering we endure because he endured suffering for us.

A few years back I decided to set up a mic in my room and record a Christmas EP. So here it is for you completely FREE! I hope you enjoy them!

A few years back I decided to set up a mic in my room and record a Christmas EP. So here it is for you completely FREE! I hope you enjoy them!

Advent: Week 1 - Is Jesus the only way? Matt Blackwell live preaching!