Praise is Rising

Last night at our rehearsal we learnt Hosanna (Praise is rising – off the CD Everlasting God, written by Brenton Brown and Paul Baloche). We sang it at our national conference in March and other worship leaders have told me it was hitting a chord in their churches. We really found that for us last night and I look forward to see how it goes on Sunday.

There are plenty of reviews but here’s one to start you off.

The lyrics of the song begin with:

“Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You
We turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You
We long for You

When we see You
We find strength to face the day
In Your presence
All our fears are washed away, washed away…”

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Podcasts, I’m lovin’ them

At the end of last year, some good friends gave me a mp3 player as I was heading off on a long flight. It's abosolutely been the best present. I use it all the time and I'm loving the whole wide world of podcasts! So I drag myself up for early morning walks in the middle of winter in Melbourne, fighting through the fog, the darkness and the frosty conditions, but then I flick through my podcast selection and it's not so tough.

Recently I've been listening to Dallas Willard, NT Wright, Todd Hunter, and Eugene Peterson who are speaking about spiritual formation and mission. (you'll find it here).

I have particularly enjoyed the fact that these men have such a different way of saying the same thing so that it becomes an amplified theme. I am so grateful to the many voices and lives who continue to put a language to the things of the Kingdom among us.

Dallas Willard talks about knowledge and intimacy. He says in one podcast:

"Knowledge in the Bible is always interactive relationship, not head knowledge. Always. When Jesus says in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” That you would have interactive relationship.

The prophet says to Israel on behalf of God, “you only have I known of all the nations of the earth". He doesn’t mean that He didn’t know about the others, but it meant that they were the only ones that He had entered into interactive covenant relationship. That’s knowledge. We often call it intimacy.

That is, it takes the form of an increase in the degree to which our lives are dominated by grace (God acting in our life) and knowledge (interactive relationship with God). When we grow, what we see is an increasing presence of grace in everything we do.

Grace, remember, means that God is acting in your life to accomplish what you can’t do on your own. So as you grow more and more of your activity involves God acting with you. Gradually the transformation that takes place is one that leads to us acting naturally and routinely the things that Jesus Himself would do because we have been changed inside. 

It’s not learning to do the right things.  It’s becoming a different kind of person who will do different things."

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