A Concert to Refresh My Memory

This past Friday, I had the joy of being able to take in a concert with my wonderful Bride, Holly. It was actually her birthday present (Birthday was 2/13). We had already been planning on attending a Children Desiring God Conference in Chattanooga on Saturday. When I was trying to figure out what to get her for her birthday, I stumbled across Steven Curtis Chapman's website and saw that his tour was in Chattanooga that Friday evening.

Holly and I love SCC. I told Holly before that he "gets it." There are some artists that don't get it, but he does without a doubt. He understands that life is not really life unless it is lived for the glory of God through treasuring Christ above and in all things and sharing that treasure with others.

The concert was wonderful and we had a great time. He began the concert fairly tamed by going back over some of his older material. It was a great and needed reminder. You see, God saved me in 1997. That year was the year that SCC released his "Greatest Hits" CD. And so this CD was one of the first forms of Christian music I listened to as a new believer. These songs have deep meaning to me. As I sat there listening to these songs, I could not help but feel somewhat overwhelmed at the grace of God that He has lavished on me in Jesus Christ. As I listened to these songs, it was if God, through His Spirit spoke to me and said, "Philip, do you remember? Do you remember when you first heard these songs? Philip, this was when I saved you. This was when I took your heart of stone out and replaced it with a heart of flesh that loves me and treasures me above all things!" I needed that reminder and will always remember it. I hope that you can think back to a point in your life and remember the same thing: "This is when God saved me!"

A few days later now and I listen to those same songs that brought back such wonderful memories and I think about how God has made those songs so real to me in my walk with him. When I first sung them, I had so much to learn of this new life with Christ. But now looking back over how He has shaped me and formed me these 11 years, I have learned the truth of those songs so much clearer and am still learning.

  • "Not Home Yet"--No matter the highs or the lows in our walk with Christ we must always remember that this world is not our home. We must remember that our citizenship is in heaven.
  • "The Great Adventure"--I will never hear this song and not have the mental image of Jeff and Tricia walking down the aisle to this song after just committing their lives together in marriage. But now, after 11 years of walking with Christ--it is The Great Adventure
  • "For the Sake of the Call"--We must truly abandon all things to follow Christ and to make Him known throughout the world.
  • "I Will Be Here"--I never knew that when I first sung those words that one day I would hear them as I stood in front of my Bride, Holly, committing our lives together to Christ. To be completely honest though, the whole time the song was playing we were both trying to get the wedding ring on my finger which was near to impossible since my hands were so swollen. It is such a grace from God to know the committment we have to each other that no matter what, we will always be here for one another, till death parts us. I love you Holly, and I will always be here for you.
  • "No Better Place"--There truly is no better life to live then the road that leads to heaven.
  • "Hiding Place" and "His Strength Is Perfect"--You only learn the truth of these songs and the Scriptures that gave birth to them by living through the hard times--the times of suffering through things like Crohns and your first baby being taken by God after only being aware of his/her existence for one week or your second baby girl having surgery to remove part of her lung at three months of age and wondering if your third baby girl will have Down Syndrome or watching your mom suffer through so much or your Grandfather's ministry coming to an end or wondering how can you keep being faithful in the face of ridicule and "persecution" for standing on the Word of God.
  • "The Walk"--Bottom line is: Are you walking and living like Jesus has commanded. By their fruits, you shall know them.

I have learned so much since 1997 and have so much to learn and because of God's grace in saving me I will spend eternity plumbing the depths of God's riches in Christ as he unfolds and reveals more of his glory to me and every believer forever and ever.

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