CD Review: Revival (Karen Peck and New River)

KPNR Revival -coverLately, I have been listening to the latest CD from Karen Peck and New River, and it has been ministering to me more than any other. Nice arrangements and thoughtful lyrics make this a CD I’ve not gotten tired of yet although it came out last year.

Revival describes what many think of when revival is mentioned. “Red back hymnals, folding chairs, canvas tent in the open air,” etc.

Oh Hallelujah is a song of praise to our Savior. We have so much to praise Him for.

Finish Well is one of four songs on this recording co-written by Karen Peck Gooch. A very powerful song reminding us to finish well until the Savior finally calls us Home. It often brings me to tears, as this is the cry of my heart. I really want to Finish Well!

“If Everybody’s Going Through Something, I’d rather go through something with Him.” There is tremendous truth in that statement. Life is not easy. Jesus promised us that. At the same time, He told us He would never leave us or forsake us. Because of that, we can let Him handle the storms of life that come our way.

Joseph Habedank, Sue C. Smith, and Tony Wood wrote the uptempo Dancing Like Lazarus. When you meet Jesus, you will never be the same. You’ll be dancing like Lazarus when the grave clothes fell away.

Jesus, Remember Me is a prayer for Jesus to remember me in everything I do.

“I’ve Been Broken but I’ve been blessed.” How many of us can relate to that? It takes maturity to understand that God uses both brokenness and blessing in our lives, often at the same time.

Joy in My Heart is a song that was actually written in 1991 and recorded previously by the Hoppers and I’m sure other groups as well. I still love the song though. An uptempo song of … well … joy.

Jeff Hawes sings You Did It Anyway. Knowing the pain and heartache He would face on the cross and afterward, as people would continue to curse Him and mock His name, Jesus still chose death on the cross.

The CD ends with the uptempo I’m Saved. “Now I sing Hallelujah! I’ve been redeemed!”

Continuing to Learn to Walk in Faith

The last couple weeks have been hectic and a new dimension in learning to trust the Lord. My brother developed bronchitis, sinusitis, and an ear infection while we were in Washington a couple weeks ago. We ended up staying an extra day as the doctor said, if he flew too soon, he could burst his ear drums. God covered us, and we arrived home safely although our flight home was cancelled and we had to take a bus for the last leg of our journey.

Due to our change of plans, we now had one day to get ready for our trip to Canada. The last time I remember being that stressed was when I flew for the first time two years ago. This trip probably even had that beat. So many thoughts and worries going through my mind. I reminded myself that God opened the door for us to go, and He would work everything out but I could not make myself calm down. I prayed and quoted Scripture and fought the negative feeling I had until I drifted off to sleep about 4:30 a.m. Three hours later, my brother knocked on my door, surprised to find me still in bed. We had planned to leave at 8:00 but I was having a very hard time waking up. I finally dragged myself out of bed and did a mad-dash packing job.

As we headed out, I still couldn’t shake the fear that I’d forgotten something major, that we would get to the border just to be harassed and possibly returned to our own country or, at the very least, we wouldn’t be allowed to take our books in. A couple hours from the border, I finally began to feel a peace that I had not been able to feel previously. I knew God would take care of everything. Sure enough, although we were at the border for four hours, God gave us favor and we were able to go on our way. We had a blessed weekend, knowing we were right where God wanted us.

I don’t know why I still have times of doubt. I have seen God move so many mountains, perform so many miracles, and prove over and over again that He is faithful. Yet, humanly, there are still times I struggle. When I think of it, it’s not God that I doubt as much as it is myself but, even in that, I am learning that faithful is He who called me, and HE will do it! I am so grateful. In my strength, I couldn’t do anything right but, with God, I can do it. I pray my ears become more in tune with His voice so that I will be faithful in everything I do for His glory.

Everybody’s Going Through Something

“If everybody’s going through something, I’d rather go through something with Him.” I’m thinking about the truth of that statement from a song on Karen Peck and New River’s Revival CD. Jesus does not promise to take away the stresses of life if we follow Him but He has promised to walk through those stresses with us, and I am so grateful to Him for not failing to keep His promises.

I am also grateful for the Brothers and Sisters God has put in my life to encourage me when I begin to get discouraged. God did not create us to go through life alone but He told us to encourage each other, to lift up the downhearted. I pray I am faithful to do that.

Praise the Lord that He does not leave you when the going gets rough. Though all else may forsake, our Lord walks ever nearer holding our hand and carrying us when we are too weak to walk on our own. He is so faithful.

Joy Restored

“Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.” Oh, how I have prayed this so many times the past few years. This morning, as I listened to Karen Peck and New River and sang with them “Joy in My Heart,” I began praising God that He has answered my prayer. It was a long time coming but I am so grateful that God is not finished with me. As I near the end of my 40th year of life, I needed that confirmation.

The Christian life is a battle. The enemy wants you to be discouraged, defeated, and depressed while God wants you to be full of life, joy, and victory. It is vital that you not let the enemy win. I know it’s not always easy but a Christian does not have the option to quit. We must be faithful to the end.

I cried during the song, “Finish Well” and prayed again for God’s help to do exactly that. Sometimes I feel so weak but, in my weakness, He is strong. That is not a cliche; it is truth. And I am so grateful.

No matter what you are going through, don’t lose heart. Jesus loves you. He cares. He still has a plan for your life. Stay close to Him. No matter how busy you are, don’t neglect time with Him. Ask Him to speak to you. You may not hear His voice immediately but the more you draw near and fervently seek His face, the more you will begin to see Him and feel His presence and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves you.

Take it from one who knows. I don’t deserve His love and His grace but He loves me just the same. I am so grateful. He has never left me or forsaken me, and I know He never will. I know He won’t forsake you either. He truly is faithful who called you, and He will complete the work He has begun in you … just like He is doing in me.

How Could You Say No

This is the song I’ve been focusing on this Easter. I think even the hardest heart would have a hard time walking away from the reality of what Christ went through for us and at least not think about saying Yes to Him. I watched Jesus of Nazareth last night but I didn’t watch the crucifixion. Instead, I closed my eyes and imagined in my mine’s eye the pain that must have went through Jesus’ body with every blow of that cruel hammer. Yet every day, people go about life as if He doesn’t exist. That must pain Him even more.

I pray that, for those of us who know Him, we never fail to show our love for Him and let Him know how grateful we are for His sacrifice. As we do, we can sing wholeheartedly, “Glorious morning! Jesus has risen!!!”

Forgiveness

Such an important topic but one that I don’t hear many sermons on. In Jesus’ final moments on the cross, He cried out, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they do.” He told His disciples, “If you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses.” As He taught His disciples to pray, He included the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Forgiveness is not optional.

I think all of us would admit that we have had much to be forgiven for in our lives. Yet, when others wrong us, we are quick to retaliate and want to see them pay. This is not the example Jesus gave us. He told us to turn the other cheek, to do good to those who hate us, and to pray for those who despitefully use us. This is what sets us apart from the world.

Christianity is not for wimps. It is a strong person who can walk away from someone who has slandered them or done them wrong in some way and yet, instead of retaliating, stop and pray for that same person. It’s not easy but it is pleasing to our Father.

If there is someone in your life that you have not been able to forgive, ask God daily to help you. Pray for that person. This in itself can help to soften your heart. Forgiveness does not mean letting your guard down and acting as if nothing has happened but it does mean refusing to hate the person or to return evil for evil. Without God, this is impossible but I believe God will give you the strength you need if you cry out to Him on a daily basis. After all, that was His example.

Pat Barker to Leave Mark Trammell Quartet

  • April 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm in

I am one of those who was saddened to hear about Pat Barker leaving The Mark Trammell Quartet in a few weeks but I am old enough to realize that, to everything, there is a season. Although I do not like change, I do know that change is rarely as bad as I think it will be. God has a plan. I wish Pat the best and hope to see him singing again one day. Please keep The Mark Trammell Quartet in your prayers as they try to find a replacement for Brother Pat.

Going Through God’s School

Life has been hectic lately. The ministry I work for is in the throes of convention season which means I have been on the road since March 1. I now have a couple weeks at home before we hit the road again. Although exhausting, it’s a blessing to be able to serve the Lord full time.

Recently, I have also started a couple other ventures to earn some extra income. Humanly, I am really eager to get some business but I know God’s timing is perfect. If I’m following Him, He will give me the business I need.

I have learned a lot about faith and patience these last few years but a student of God never graduates. I am constantly learning how to hear God’s voice, to be patient with others, to walk in love and humility. The apostle Paul summed it up best when he said, “Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). I pray that each day finds me becoming more and more like Jesus. May I never stop learning but continually seek His face, listening for His voice so that I become the daughter He desires me to be.

Reflections on 1 Peter 4:3-6

“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, parties, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:3-6).

I like 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul is talking to the church in Corinth, going down the list of people who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Then he says, “And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (vs. 11).

No one was born saved. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But God …. Thankfully, He is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. He continues to show us grace and mercy and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As God continues to clean you up, to convict you of sin that is keeping you from the ultimate communion with Him, don’t be like pigs who return to the mire. Allow Him to continue to wash you whiter than snow so that you can spend eternity with Him. Although sin may be pleasurable for a season, it is not worth missing the life God has in store for those who serve Him.

Reflections on 1 Peter 4:1-2

“For as much then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2).

Many think that Christians don’t or should not suffer but I beg to differ. After all, our dear Savior suffered who knew no sin. How much more should we suffer who are full of sin apart from Him.

We are bought with a price. When we come to Christ, we acknowledge that we are no longer our own but we desire Him to live in us and take over every part of our lives. As we do that, we become more willing to suffer and be tested however He wills because we know that the trying of our faith produces patience (James 1:3).

I am so grateful for a God who loved me so much He sent His only Son to suffer a cruel death so that I can have fellowship with Him. As I go through each day, I am striving to keep the Cross in my mind’s eye. Jesus did not die to give me a life of selfishness and ease. He desires my wholehearted service and obedience. How can I give Him any less?

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