It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Terry MacAlmon worship song, so let’s put that right straight away, shall we?
Here’s a lovely number from Terry’s album ‘Visit Us‘. The song is called ‘Spirit Of The Lord’, and is very simple to sing. I’ll put the song up first and the lyrics, and then make a few observations on it.
Spirit of the Lord, fall on me And fill me with Your glory Spirit of the Lord, set me free And fill me with Your glory
Terry MacAlmon is not only a talented and anointed worship leader, but he’s probably the best worship pianist I have ever heard. His style is flexible and varied, resembling a cross between a classical concert pianist style and a lounge music style. But the technical aspect which many will not notice – because he does it so masterfully – is the accompaniment style, which Terry’s songs work particularly well with. What do I mean by this? Well, if you listen closely, you’ll hear that when people are singing, he keeps the piano simple, but in between each line of the lyrics, he carries the music along and leads the congregation into the next line with a musical (piano) flourish, bridge or interlude – even though it’s only a couple of seconds long. So, for example, ‘Spirit of the Lord, set me free’ – (di-da-dumm – di di) – ‘and fill me with Your glory’. I hope that makes sense; if not, listen to it again and pay particular attention to the music when people are not singing the lyrics; where the lines of the lyrics are linked together by music. That’s what I’m talking about, and that’s showcasing the real talent of accompanying people in their singing – it’s providing a strong rhythm and key lead so that the people feel confident to sing out and that they won’t be left ‘hanging’ or – the opposite – come in too early. Worship leading is not just about hearing the Spirit directing what He wants you to play, say or do next – or indeed not play, say or do – but it’s about making sure that the people in the congregation feel as confident and secure as possible in their singing. Believe it or not, many people find it hard to sing in public, and having a skilled accompanist on the lead instrument makes a huge positive difference to their worship experience.
What I particularly love about this track is Terry’s imaginative use of the piano during the accompaniment ‘links’. The musical phrases he uses – yes, they really are called ‘phrases’! – are varied and uplifting, and in fact I think this is one of his best tracks yet for showcasing this talent that he has.
This piece is being published on what would have been Fiona’s 54th birthday.
Over the seventeen months since I lost my wonderful wife Fiona to cancer, I have been comforted in my grief and sadness by many different people and activities. I have always found writing my blog to be a great therapy, as it allows me to crystallise my ideas, thoughts, feelings and discoveries on to ‘paper’ so that I can make sense of them, and also help others cope with their grief too in their own way. I have friends who are always there for me. I have flying, which is simply out of this world. I have my family, who have been a tremendous support. I have had my work, who have been really supportive too, and I love to lose myself in my work and go to deep concentration levels where everything else fades away and I don’t even hear people speaking to me. I have had the help of an amazing lady who was, until a few weeks ago, my grief counsellor from the local hospice. And most of all, overarching all of this, working through these channels, yes, but also comforting me directly, has been my friend Jesus.
Most of the time, particularly during that first year after losing Fiona, I felt a constant closeness to Jesus that I had never felt before. Sure, I have always been close to Him, but not like that. I felt as if He was wrapping me up in His Arms of Love. Much of the time, it literally felt like a soft, heavy, warm cloak being held around my shoulders. It’s because He knew exactly what I needed, and He met me at that point of need, as He always does.
Today I would like to share a song that expresses this particularly well, and it says everything I want to say to Him in gratitude for the way He looks after me. Here it is: Craig Musseau’s ‘Arms of Love‘, Vineyard (1991), sung here by Brian Doerksen. Fiona loved this song, and when we lived in Leeds, I used to play it in worship meetings a lot and it reminds me of those times. She’d have been so glad to know how much this song means to me now, being able to sing these grateful words from a place of total reality.
I sing a simple song of love
To my Saviour, to my Jesus
I’m grateful for the things You’ve done
My Loving Saviour
My Precious Jesus
My heart is glad that You’ve called me Your own
And there’s no place I’d rather be
Than in Your Arms of Love
In Your Arms of Love
Holding me still, holding me near
In Your Arms of Love
We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.
Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. (Ps 132:7-8 KJV)
Here’s a gorgeous song by Steven Fry, performed here by the brilliant Terry MacAlmon – ‘O the Glory of Your Presence’.
In the presence of God, in the glory of His Presence, the very air buzzes and sparkles. For those who have the eyes to see, the radiance of God’s Presence is real and tangible. In that Presence there is healing; there is forgiveness; there is reconciliation; there is peace and there is Love. There is simply nothing like being in God’s Presence.
There’s a lot of fakery involved in some worship services. Some people actually try to ‘duplicate’ the Presence of God with things like quiet background music, lots of hype, whipping up the crowd, that sort of thing. But that’s not even a poor substitute. The Presence of God is unmistakable; once you have tasted of that Presence, nothing else will ever do; nothing can take its place.
Have a listen to this lovely song; ask God to make Himself tangible to you as you listen, and as you lift up your heart to Him. Bask in His Presence. Bask there long after the music has stopped! This is not hype; this is not me trying to ‘whip up’ enthusiasm. I have never once done that in all my years of worship leading, although I have seen it being done (and it has a certain emetic effect on me!) No, this is simply a ‘vehicle’; an ‘aid’, to help your spirit rise up in worship, and God will respond, because He loves it. He loves the song and He loves you; He loves your worship and He loves it when you enjoy it too:
O the glory of Your presence We Your temple give You rev’rence So arise to Your rest And be blessed by our praise As we glory in Your embrace As Your presence now fills this place
Sadly, some people miss the point of the lyric, ‘So arise to Your rest’. Sometimes they even think that it can’t be written right, and they re-write the lyric from the third line as ‘Come and rise from your rest’ or similar, as if God has to get up off His behind and get into the music. But it’s not that at all. A simple examination of the context of the source verses in Psalm 132:7,8 shows that it’s about God coming intoHis resting place; His temple as it was back then, and along with His people. And [to] the ‘Ark of Thy Strength’; the Ark of the Covenant, which was supposed to represent God’s Presence. In other words, then, for God to come to the place where He belongs.
But in our time, we have the Holy Spirit within us; we are God’s Temple. We don’t need an Ark anymore. God’s resting place is with His people; (Ezek 37:27, Rev 21:3). Asking God to ‘arise to Your rest’ is simply asking Him to ‘inhabit the praises of His people’ (Ps 22:3 KJV); to come and take up His residence. Of course, He’s already there; the thing is that you become more aware of Him as you worship because you turn your spirit and your heart towards Him. And so we become aware of His power and His Presence. God is where He belongs; He has indeed come into His resting place.
I’ve always said that there’s no instrument quite like the piano. And it’s by far my favourite instrument to play.
And perhaps the most colossally brilliant pianist on the Christian scene at the moment is the amazing Terry MacAlmon. I love his style, I love his heart for worship, and I love his anointing and skill.
In this excellent demonstration of Terry’s ability, he plays the epic theme from the 1960 movie ‘Exodus’, original score by Ernest Gold. Note how he is offering what some would call a ‘secular’ score as an act of worship; some people wouldn’t be able to cope with that, but I personally have played secular pieces in worship; indeed I consider John Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song‘ to be one of the finest worship songs ever written. Segueing then into his own song, ‘You Deserve the Glory‘, which I have shared on my blog before.
Let your spirit be lifted by this magnificent music – ‘secular’ or not – and enter into the worship that Terry takes you into so easily. I’ve put the lyrics to ‘You Deserve the Glory‘ below the video so you can join in if you want to.
You deserve the glory And the honour Lord, we lift our hands in worship As we lift your Holy name
You deserve the glory And the honour Lord, we lift our hands in worship As we lift your Holy name
For You are great You do miracles so great There is no one else like You There is no one else like You
For You are great You do miracles so great There is no one else like You There is no one else like You
Today it’s a year since I lost my wonderful wife, Fiona.
How does one mark a whole year since we lost such an incredible lady?
Well, I can think of no better way to honour her memory than to post a number sung by our beautiful and supremely talented daughter, Ellie Rosie (that’s her stage-name).
Here’s a picture of Ellie singing at Fiona’s and my ‘wedding’, in December 2014, when we renewed our vows:
Fiona had an astonishing singing voice, and Ellie’s is equally astonishing. Here Ellie covers a beautiful song – Come to Jesus, by Chris Rice – which Ellie discovered on Hillary Scott’s album ‘Love Remains‘. I think this song sums up Fiona’s life perfectly, from her initial salvation, through all she experienced in her life, and right up to where she is now – ‘On Glory’s Side’. Fiona has indeed flown to Jesus and rests in His arms. And she would have loved this song.
Take it away, Ellie:
Weak and wounded sinner Lost and left to die Raise your head, for love is passing by Come to Jesus Come to Jesus Come to Jesus and live!
Now your burden’s lifted Carried far away Precious blood has washed away the stain, Sing to Jesus Sing to Jesus Sing to Jesus and live!
And like a newborn baby Don’t be afraid to crawl And remember when we walk Sometimes we fall, so Fall on Jesus Fall on Jesus Fall on Jesus and live!
Sometimes the way is lonely And steep and filled with pain So if your sky is dark and coursed with rain, Cry to Jesus Cry to Jesus Cry to Jesus and live!
When the love spills over And music fills the night And when you can’t contain your joy inside, Dance for Jesus Dance for Jesus Dance for Jesus and live!
With your final heartbeat Kiss the world goodbye Go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, Fly to Jesus Fly to Jesus Fly to Jesus and live! Fly to Jesus Fly to Jesus Fly to Jesus and live!
– ‘Come to Jesus’, by Chris Rice
Vocals, piano and keyboards by Ellie Rosie
Header picture is of Fiona in 1987, at the age of 23, not long after our first child, David, was born.
The heart of worship is to draw near to God; to see more of Him; to desire strongly His Presence, to kneel (literally or figuratively) before Him and tell Him how much we love Him.
It’s eleven months since we lost my lovely wife Fiona. And Fiona’s heart was always that of a worshipper. Worship was our way of life, staying close to God and singing His praises whenever the opportunity presented itself 🙂 As I said here, basically if there was any excuse for us to break into song, we’d be singing and making music in our hearts to Jesus.
As I have already shared in that article above, Fiona gave me this lovely Scripture from her favourite Bible translation, The Message – because she said it reminded her of me!:
“Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” (Eph 5:18-20 (Message))
And I love that – ‘Any excuse for a song….’ and that’s just what we were like together.
Fiona is, of course, now in that place where she can worship with the full, yet still increasing, knowledge of what God is really like. She is in His Dwelling Place – the place where He is – and likely worshipping her heart out. It’s what she did, and I have no doubt that it’s what she does. Worship is not only what keeps me going, but it’s what I believe Fiona has gone to. Have you any idea what a tremendous comfort that is to me in my bereavement?
And so, once again, the brilliant Terry MacAlmon comes to my aid. As I listen to this beautiful worship song, Dwelling Places, once again I am transported into God’s Presence. How lovely indeed is His Dwelling, because that’s where He is. So in a very real sense, as my heart rises up in worship with this song, I am worshipping with the angels and with Fiona in the Throne Room of Heaven. And there’s no place I’d rather be. Sitting at Jesus’s feet and basking in His Presence.
So, here’s the lovely song ‘Dwelling Places’, by Miriam Webster, sung by Terry MacAlmon, Shauna Chanda and Ruth Ann Johnson. Be blessed:
Lovely are Your dwelling places Thirsty I come after You Jesus, my joy, my reward Your love’s restoring my soul Now I’m Yours and You are mine And from my heart a song will rise
I love You, I love You, I love You I love You, I love You, I love You I love You, I love You, I love You And my heart will follow wholly after You
Jesus, there is none beside You Righteous, ruler of the earth Nations will come and bow down Name over all names I sing You praises And all that I can say to You is
I love You, I love You, I love You
I love You, I love You, I love You
I love You, I love You, I love You And my heart will follow wholly after You
St. Paul is one of my favourite Bible people. Like me, he was a recovering Pharisee; freed from the shackles of burdensome religion and released to fly in the huge, vast realm of the freedom of the Spirit.
While I was trying to find a decent portrait of Paul for the header image for this piece, I found that, without exception, he has been depicted as a serious, even miserable-looking, old gronk. Not a single smile anywhere! Well, I tell you what, I don’t believe he was like that at all, at least not once he had met Jesus. It seems then that for many centuries (given the age of some of those pictures I found!) that people have thought of Paul as being a stuffy fuddy-duddy theologian who sat alone in a dark room, scribing dull, dusty letters full of law and restrictions. But nothing could be further from the truth! Remember, Paul was freed from his former life of slavery to the Law, and in Philippians 3:8 he says that he has lost all the former things – all the ‘religious’ things he tried to do to please God – and indeed considers them as dung (the Greek word ‘Copros’ is correctly translated as such in the KJV). Indeed, Paul was the Apostle of Grace; so far removed from legalism that, to him, he considered himself dead to the old ‘Law of sin and death’, and also declared to other believers that this was the case for them too (Rom 6:2; Rom 6:11)
So, then, I think that Paul’s writings have been read from the wrong point of view for so long. If people are going to read this stuff with the mindset of dour, dry religion, then of course they are going to come out with the dull, miserable conclusion. But I think that actually Paul was writing from the angle of overwhelming joy and fizzing, bubbling, effervescent Life; indeed Life in all its fulness! Here’s why I think so.
Firstly, may I suggest you try reading the first chapter of his letter to the Ephesians? Here’s a link to it if you need it (it opens in a new tab). Paul’s exuberance in that passage is immense; he throws around huge dollops of it in his proclamation – maybe even his shouting (if he’d written it on a computer it most likely would have been on CAPS LOCK!) of the Good News; his heart is simply bursting with it and it seems like he can’t contain himself. In fact, he can’t! His description of Christ’s blessings and God’s generosity flows unchecked, and you can almost hear him laughing with the sheer joy of it as he writes (or maybe dictates) the letter. What a breath of fresh air! He’s simply fizzing with it – hence my use of the term ‘effervescence’ in my title; the word simply means ‘fizzing’.
His letter to the Romans is a great example of a case in point. In the midst of his chain of logic in that letter, there is an underlying current of great joy and liberty as he tells his beloved brethren in Rome just how huge, how great and how wide is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think that Paul’s letters are best read with the assumption that there is huge joy just beneath the surface of his writing. Perhaps if you assume he’s nearly laughing with every stroke of his pen, you will get a flavour of what he is feeling and where he’s coming from as he writes!
His effervescent joy in his letter to the Romans peaks in chapter 8. Beginning with the incredible good news,
‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life has set us free from the Law of sin and death…’ (Rom 8:1,2, he goes on with some more incredible, glorious truth:
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Rom 8:11);
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children…” (Rom 8:16);
“For the creation was subjected to frustration…in hope [eager expectation] that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom 8:20,21) [clarification mine];
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28);
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom 8:31-34) [emphases mine]
Of course, many Christians look at phrases like, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:12,13) and try to make up Rules about things. In other words, to try to live up to their calling by ‘doing’; keeping Rules, in order to be acceptable to God. But a) in its context and b) in terms of Paul’s ex-Pharisee background, this is not what it means at all. I mean, Paul has already established that the Law and the flesh work together to produce death. In this context, living by the flesh means that people try to be righteous through their own efforts, in other words, by trying to keep the Law. As if, in the middle of an exuberant chapter on freedom and lack of condemnation, Paul, the archetypical ex-legalist, is going to suddenly drop in a bunch of Rules? By no means! He’s already dealt with the Rules earlier in his letter. We have already established that the Law leads only to frustration and death; death meaning a complete lack of the Life that Jesus calls us to; the Life in the Spirit. That Life automatically enables us to put away the things of the flesh precisely because we are living by the Spirit.
And, for me, the culmination of the whole chapter is in vv. 35-39:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35-39)
This is to me the ultimate in security. I have written before on the subject of ‘Once saved, always saved‘. But to me this is the icing on the cake, and I can’t emphasise this enough:
Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ!
Nothing, nothing, nothing. Nothing you do or don’t do; nothing you say, nothing you believe, not death, not life, not arguments, not sin, not good nor evil, not anything in the past, present or future. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. You are eternally, completely saved, for ever, in life and in death and everything in between. The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it like this:
“Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25 (KJV) )
‘Save to the uttermost’, I feel, expresses it somewhat more emphatically than the NIV’s ‘Save completely’. ‘To the uttermost’ means that there is no degree more to which we can be saved!
Saved from what? Saved from a pointless existence, saved from the fruitless toil of life, saved from a life of sin, saved from all judgement (Jn 5:24), saved for Heaven, saved and made whole (that is the meaning of the Greek word ‘sōzō’, the word we most commonly translate as ‘salvation’), saved for Jesus to live His life through us by His Spirit. I tell you, this is all good news! There is no bad news at all in the Gospel. Can God make something containing darkness? No! In Him there is no darkness at all! (1Jn1:5) No, the Gospel is 100% Good News. There’s so much more to this than what I can write here, but you can begin for yourself by reading, maybe again and again until it becomes a part of you, Romans Chapter 8.
Wow! You just need to take a deep breath after reading this, don’t you? No wonder Paul was so exuberant! This is Life, and Life in all its fulness! (Jn 10:10)
So, your take-home message is this:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? … I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35, 38-39)
Tell you what. In order better to help you to get that Scripture into your head, I’ll treat you to a lovely, but catchy, rendition of that Scripture. It’s ‘Who Shall Separate Us‘, from the Harvestime tape ‘Worthy is the Lamb‘
Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress,
Shall persecution, or famine or nakedness?
Or peril or sword
From the Love of our Lord?
I make no apology for including yet another Terry MacAlmon song on my blog, nor indeed for it being another number in which Shauna Chanda doubles the brilliance of the piece by leading with her amazing voice and obvious love for Jesus.
This one’s called ‘Praise Him‘, by Lynn DeShazo. As usual, let the song lift you as you agree with the singers (Terry MacAlmon, Shauna Chanda and Ruth Ann Johnson) and, indeed, praise Jesus for all His goodness towards you.
Praise Him, Praise Him Praise Him, Praise Him
We have assembled to praise the One we love We join the chorus of the angels up above, oh yes… They sing hosannas and praises to our King So we lift our voices all together now and sing
Praise You, Praise You Praise You, Praise You
We are Your children, we’re here just to seek Your face Lord we come boldly before Your throne of Grace To love and worship You, and listen to Your voice You are our Father, and how our hearts rejoice
Praise You, Praise You Praise You, Praise You
We love You, We love You We love You, We love You
I love seeing the worship responses of the different people in the congregation. Some are actively singing with their hands lifted up. Some just standing and not singing, but just receiving. Some just sitting quietly listening, one couple sitting close together and just soaking in the worship. No self-consciousness at all, in fact; they are just concentrating on Jesus, each in their own way worshipping their Lord. This is simply beautiful, and it’s at times like that that I realise how much of an honour it is to have the privilege of leading precious people like these in their worship. This is beautiful worship, with beautiful music, to our beautiful Saviour.
Just like how there’s nothing like a full orchestra for scoring cinema/movie music, there really is no instrument like the piano for leading worship. Of course, being a pianist, I would say that, but really it’s so expressive and versatile. You just can’t beat it.
And one of the best worship pianists around is Terry MacAlmon. Some months ago, I majored on the worship themes of Heaven, using a lot of his music, and this post goes on from that.
So, here’s the classic hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy!, written by Reginald Heber and with the tune Nicea by John B. Dykes, but played by Terry in his inimitable style. This song also is themed on the worship of Heaven; let it lift you up, along with Terry’s enthusiasm, tremendous playing, and obvious anointing 🙂
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity.
Fiona and I always shared an irreverent sense of humour. And, despite having lost her, my sense of humour is still just as wacky 🙂 Our outlook on life has always been free and flippant! Because we were (and are) both completely secure in our relationship with Father, we felt free to make jokes about our faith, sometimes to the consternation of other churchy types who were nearby – although to be fair, we didn’t usually use that type of humour in the presence of those who would not understand, because it would have made them uncomfortable. I sometimes think that people are afraid of God, despite 1 John 4:18, which speaks about perfect love driving out fear… sadly, then, there are many Christians – and people from other faiths too – who declare that ‘God has a sense of humour’, but whose ensuing fake laughter usually belies that belief. Lolz.
But not Fiona and I. We were wacky all the way, in ways I won’t share here because, well, I suppose you had to be there…
Now, here’s another worship song from our youth – El Shaddai, sung by the legendary Christian artist Amy Grant. And, for us, this song has a wacky story behind it. We first saw this song in the Dales Bible Week songbook for the 1985 Dales Week, entitled ‘Enthroned on High‘. But we didn’t actually hear the song at that time.
The ‘foreign’ words in the song are just some of the Hebrew names for God, and because of the sense of humour Fiona and I shared, and in the way that we always made irreverent jokes about absolutely everything, we decided for definite that the song was put in that Dales songbook in order to enable people who didn’t ‘speak in tongues’ to sing something that sounded foreign enough to pass as ‘tongues’. Some won’t find that funny. We thought it was bloody hilarious. And this is the first time I have made that public knowledge 😉
And then we heard the song a couple of years later on a worship tape, if I recall correctly, and we loved it immediately.
I’ve put it in Fiona’s series on my blog, because it reminds me so much of the time we had together, the worship we shared, Fiona’s wacky sense of humour that complemented mine so well, and the great times we had singing it together, with me on piano and Fiona’s tremendous vocals. She was a lady of great talent and, over the months, I have sorely missed her pure, wonderful singing voice, and her gentle spirit coming through in her music.
And the song is indeed beautiful, and is well worth hearing. Released in 1982 on Amy Grant’s breakthrough album ‘Age to Age‘, this song was one of the numbers that made her famous. Here it is, with its lovely arrangement, great dynamics and excellent chord emphases along with Amy’s brilliant talent.
El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonia, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the Name. El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkhamkha na Adonai, We will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai. Through Your love and through the ram, You saved the son of Abraham; Through the power of your hand, Turned the sea into dry land To the outcast on her knees, You were the God Who really sees, And by Your might, You set Your children free El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonia, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the Name El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkhamkha na Adonai, We will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai. Through the years You made it clear, That the time of Christ was near, Though the people couldn’t see What Messiah ought to be Though Your word contained the plan, They just could not understand Your most awesome work was done Through the frailty of Your Son El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the Name El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkhamkha na Adonai, I will praise You ’til I die, El Shaddai El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the Name El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkhamkha na Adonai, I will praise You ’til I die El Shaddai.
– Michael Card/John W. Thompson
I’ll also relate another humorous story about this song. Fiona and I were once in our Church in Leeds when there was a guest lady who’d come in to perform an expressive dance, and she did it to El Shaddai. And she did it really well; it was very moving and expressive and spiritual and all that. Right up to the point where she slipped and did a spectacular comedy-accident fall, through the drum kit if I remember correctly, to the accompaniment of crashing cymbals et al. She was ok, but boy was it funny, and Fiona’s irreverent sense of humour came to the fore and I’m convinced she only narrowly avoided serious internal injury due to her attempts to suppress her laughter. I know it sounds bad to laugh at that sort of thing, but the young dancer was fine, as was the drum kit, and it was even funnier because of all the knights in shining armour who gallantly leapt to the young lady’s rescue, almost causing a further accident in their haste to render assistance.
And to the lady’s complete credit, she got straight back up again and carried on with the dance, bless her 🙂
Anyway, there we go. A lovely song with lots of happy and funny memories for me. Fiona loved it 🙂