Grace…it really is Amazing!

Teaching topic:  God’s amazing grace, the expression of His great love!

Photo of the interior of the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens (by Dea Minter Carey)

* GRACE GIVES,… out of the overflow of LAVISH LOVE!

Glimpses of grace come to us in all kinds of ways. We see the grace of God through His word, through an encouragement when we need it most, through the reminders of His love and mercy, and through the majesty and beauty of His creation, which is constantly sustained by His grace. We also see grace extended through the lives of others. We have been given lavish grace, and we have opportunities every day to extend this grace to others. In our lives, we all have stories of grace extended, grace recognized, grace blossoming, and grace overcoming darkness with light.

Sometimes we just don’t think about all of the manifestations of grace and may even take it for granted. We should think about grace, because we need to seek to extend God’s grace into the lives of people with whom we come into contact and into the world around us. The only way for us to extend the grace that we have been given by God is to do so intentionally. Grace is love that goes beyond. It is lavish love. It is not a mere exchange, requiring something in return. Grace gives when there is no promise of recompense. Grace reaches out through alienation and hurt. Grace heals, encourages, surprises us, and takes our breath away at the beauty of its motivation. For grace is pure. It is love that gives because it overflows, not because it is deserved or earned.  The best gift ever given, God’s only Son, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the lavish, loving grace of God.  Grace really IS amazing!

* GRACE EMBRACES….out of a longing for relationship

As Jesus has loved us, so are we to love one another. We must remember that we have already been given that which we do not deserve…the love and mercy of God through our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of the lavish gift of salvation that we must choose to lay aside that which is temporary and embrace that which is eternal. When we embrace and value the lives of fellow human beings, we are most like Christ. Though He clearly saw the sin and sorrow in every life He encountered, Jesus healed, blessed, encouraged, helped, taught, fed, raised, challenged, transformed, forgave, and loved all who came across His path. The desire for a relationship with us because of His great love for us was more important to Jesus than any condemnation of our unrighteousness or exaltation of His own righteousness.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:17

* GRACE SEES…what could be

Because grace is lavish love expressed through undeserved mercy, grace sees.
Grace sees what could be….in the hearts and lives of people.
Grace sees what could be….in our own hearts and lives….and our need for growth.
Grace sees what could be….in relationships.
Grace sees what could be….in attitudes.
Grace demonstrates love to us right where we are….and sees ahead to what God will do in our lives as we yield our will and our hearts to Him.

* GRACE KNOWS US…right where we are…and chooses to show us love and mercy.

Grace is a choice that God makes in every millisecond of time to continue to show mercy because of His great love for us. The world keeps on spinning because of Amazing Grace. Our hearts keep beating because of the amazing grace of God. He could choose immediate judgement, but instead He chooses grace. And, from the dawn of time, His plan was to meet our need for grace by taking our judgement upon Himself because of His great love. We didn’t have to deserve or earn the right to forgiveness and salvation. He loves, He provides, He forgives, He sanctifies, He heals, He makes all things new, He comforts, He blesses, He gives joy and life more abundant, and His mercies are new every morning…because He is love. His grace flows out of the overflow of His lavish love, and the flow is never-ending.

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:14 & 16

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:14 & 16

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Post written by C. Boyd

This post was first published as a page on our WorshipSound Music Blog at http://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/grace-notes/

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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30 Thankful Verses

Thankful hearts, rejoice! Here are thirty verses about giving thanks to God. There is one verse for each day of the month, with some brief devotional thoughts to inspire you.  (Topic for teaching:  thankfulness)

DAY ONE

“The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; His love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud.” II Chronicles 5:13

Jesus prayed that we (God’s people) would be one. When we come together as one to praise and thank Him, God’s presence is made known to us. Today, let us thank God, as the trumpeters and singers did, for His great love that endures forever.

DAY TWO

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

He is holy and righteous. Thank God today for His righteousness.

DAY THREE

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1 & 2

How are we supposed to give thanks to the Lord? This verse tells us that we should give thanks to God with our whole heart. A half-hearted thankfulness results from giving thanks out of a sense of duty, just because we know we should. However, when we spend some time thinking and meditating on all that God has done (His wonderful deeds), thankfulness is the natural overflow of our hearts in response to our great God. Spend some time thinking of His wonderful deeds, and thank Him with your whole heart!

DAY FOUR

“Blessed be the Lord! for He has heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 28:6 & 7

Thank the Lord today for being a God that we can trust. He has our best interests at heart. He gives His strength, protects us, and helps us.

DAY FIVE

“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.” Psalm 30:4

His saints… He has accepted us as we are, saved us, and is at work in our hearts to make us like Jesus. Thank God for His mercy in all of these things!

DAY SIX

“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” Psalm 50:14

He has given sacrificially to us in every way, and He always keeps His promises. Thank God today for accepting your thankfulness as a sacrifice to Him, for the sacrifices He has made to you, and for His unchanging character as a keeper of promises.

DAY SEVEN

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

Thank God for the songs that allow you to praise His name and bring glory to Him through thanksgiving. Sing one of these songs to the Lord today.

DAY EIGHT

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; To show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1 & 2

Thankfulness is a good thing! From morning until night, give thanks for God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness today.

DAY NINE

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1 – 7a

He is a great God! Our God is the sovereign ruler and creator of all things! And yet, he regards us with tenderness, as the sheep of His hand. Thank God for His might and for His tenderness today.

DAY TEN

“Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.” Psalm 97:12

We can be called righteous only to the extent that His righteousness indwells our hearts. Thank God today for living within you.

DAY ELEVEN

“Make a joyful moise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come fefore His presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

The Lord is good! His mercy lasts forever! (He never tires of showing mercy!) His truth will prevail, even when it seems that the world is full of lies. Thank God today for these great truths about who He is.

DAY TWELVE

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:1 – 3

We can rejoice and give thanks because when we call upon the Lord, He hears us. When we seek Him, He responds. Before we knew we needed Him, He met our need. These are among the wondrous works of the Lord. Thank Him today for being a God who knows us and who wants to be known by us.

DAY THIRTEEN

“Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all His praise?” Psalm 106:1 & 2

Thank the Lord that His mighty acts are so numerous that no one can name them all. Thank Him for the ways that He is at work that we cannot see. The Lord is good! Show forth His praise today.

DAY FOURTEEN

“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!” Psalm 107:21 & 22

No matter who we are, where we’ve been, or what we’ve done, God’s love for us is steadfast. Thank God today for His wonderful, everlasting love.

DAY FIFTEEN

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 108:1 – 5

God’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds. It is beyond any faithfulness that we have ever known. God’s faithfulness is not dependant on perfection from us. He is faithful is spite of our sinfulness. Thank God for His faithfulness today and every day.

DAY SIXTEEN

“With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise Him in the midst of the throng.” Psalm 109:30

Where did the Psalmist give thanks and praise to God? ….in the midst of the throng. And how? …with his mouth. Thank God today, no matter where you are and who is there with you. Thank Him out loud!

DAY SEVENTEEN

“Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.” Psalm 111:1

Where else did the Psalmist give praise and thanks to the Lord? …in the company of the upright, in the congregation. You will never know how much your presence and the testimony of your praise may mean to the heart of another believer. Do not forsake the worship of God with your congregation. As iron sharpens iron, the faith of others increases our own faith, and your faith increases the faith of others. Thank God today for those who have been a spiritual influence in your life. Give Him praise with your whole heart, and remember to assemble with the saints in your congregation every time that you can be there.

DAY EIGHTEEN

“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God upon the lyre.” Psalm 147:7

Why are we told in scriptures so many times to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving? It’s because we matter to Him, and our praise matters to Him as well. We were created to bring Him glory. Thank God that you matter to Him, and that He considers you to be of such infinite value that your praise brings Him glory. Glorify Him with your praise and thanksgiving today.

DAY NINETEEN

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” Isaiah 12:4-5

To whom are we to make God’s name and His deeds known? …to the nations, and to all the world. Our God wants everyone to know Him. He values all people. He loves all people. Today, thank God for the fact that He has allowed you to be part of His great mission to make Himself known and to reach the hearts of people around the world.

DAY TWENTY

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” II Corinthian 4:15

Thank God for His wonderful, incredible grace, reaching out to us in spite of our sinfulness and covering our sin because of His great love.

DAY TWENTY ONE

“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:20

For what should we be thankful? …everything. This is the most difficult thing for us to do, but He is with us and is working all things together for our good. Give thanks for the hard places in your journey.

DAY TWENTY TWO

“Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God.” Phil. 4:6

Thank God today for the fact that we have the ability to talk to Him in prayer about anything. We are to come to Him without reservation. We do not need to worry. He hears our prayers and answers them in His wisdom.

DAY TWENTY THREE

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power, so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. Col 1:11 – 12

God continues to give! He gives strength through His glorious power, along with endurance and patience. He gives us an inheritance as His people. He allows us to live in the light of His glory and grace. Thank Him today, with joy!

DAY TWENTY FOUR

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

We don’t have to stay where we are in our walk with the Lord. He accepts us and loves us as we are, but He also continues His work in our hearts as we build our lives on Him. Thank God for His work in your heart and life. He will be faithful to complete it!

DAY TWENTY FIVE

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Thank God for His peace, and ask Him to help you allow His peace to rule in your heart no matter what circumstances surround you.

DAY TWENTY SIX

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:16 & 17

Thank the Lord for Christ our Savior! He has given His all for us, so may we live to bring Him glory!

DAY TWENTY SEVEN

“Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God–which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. I Thessalonians 2:13

Thank God for the power of his Word, which continues to work in us, and for Jesus the living Word, who has been the physical incarnation and demonstration of the Word

DAY TWENTY EIGHT

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18

We belong to Christ Jesus! He has saved us, and God holds us in the hollow of His hand. How can we fail to be thankful?

DAY TWENTY NINE

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” I Timothy 2:1

Thank God for the people in your life…all of the people! And, when God brings a name or face across your path, thank Him for this person and ask God to help them.

DAY THIRTY

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28

Thank God for His eternal Kingdom and His ultimate victory. With our thankfulness, we offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence for Him and awe because of who He is and what He has done. Thank Him for being who He is.

WORTHY OF OUR THANKSGIVING

For all of time, God has been the same. He has always been worthy of praise and thanksgiving, and He always will be. Our grateful hearts on earth foreshadow the thankfulness of the great multitude in Heaven. Give thanks to Him every day! Amen.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multititude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, ” Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 7:9 – 12

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This thankfulness guide could certainly be used in the month of November as many people focus on thanksgiving to God. However, it can be used at any time! Everyday, we have 10,000 reasons to thank God and give Him praise!

Note: The verses used in this post were copied from BibleCC, the Online Parallel Bible at http://bible.cc/
The verses were found using the following search terms: ‘thank’, ‘thanks’, ‘thankful’, ‘thankfulness’, ‘thanksgiving’, ‘give thanks’, and ‘giving thanks’. In each case, the Bible translation which seems to convey the meaning of the verse most clearly was used, so the verses represent various Bible translations. There were other verses in which the thankful terms also appeared. However, many of the verses in Psalms were very similar to verses already chosen. Other verses were part of a narrative and would have sounded incomplete when used out of context. The 30 verses chosen were just the best representation of verses about the subject of being thankful or giving thanks.

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These scriptures were compiled and the devotional thoughts were added by C. A. Boyd

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Disappointment…and Grace

All of us experience disappointments in life. These can be relatively minor circumstances, disappointments that turn out to be merely a misunderstanding, devastating choices that lead to major life upheavals, or even heart-breaking betrayals of trust. I believe that every disappointment has the potential to change us in some way. If we can learn to respond with grace to the disappointments that come our way, they can lead to growth and perhaps to eventual reconciliation where there is a need for that. Many times, situations have consequences that reach far into the future, but that just makes it even more important to respond in a way that prevents bitterness from taking root and leaves an open door for God’s grace to bring good out of the pain of disappointment.

There are several types of disappointment that we need to consider. First, there is what I’ll call a Circumstantial Disappointment. Secondly, there are Relational Disappointments. Third, we will deal with Regretful Disappointments. Finally, we can sometimes feel disappointment with God when the answers to prayer are long in coming or seem not to be coming at all. We’ll call that Spiritual Disappointment. There are some general truths for dealing with all kinds of disappointment and some specific considerations for different types of disappointment.

Some people feel that the best way to avoid disappointment is by choosing not to expect too much. I remember not long ago hearing some dialogue in which an individual took issue with the phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up.” I don’t recall the source of the dialogue in question, but it may have been in a movie. The response to being told, “Don’t get your hopes up!” went something like this: “Why not? Why wouldn’t I want my hopes to be up? That’s a very good place for hopes to be. Why would I want to hope for less?” There’s a lot of truth in that. While our expectations in life should be a lot broader than hopes for more of everything good in our own lives (and should include hopefulness for our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, our community, our state, our country, and even the world as a whole, hoping for much more than just material blessings and ‘happiness’), it’s certainly much better to be hopeful than hopeless. Yes, we will sometimes be disappointed; but it’s still worthwhile to live hopefully. Hopes can bond the hearts of people, give individuals something to look forward to, give us a reason to keep working and trying and overcoming, and speak to the world around us with a message that the life of Christ within brings us “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.” (lyrics from the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”)

The first key to dealing with disappointment is to hold on to hope. Our hopefulness is an indication of trust in God. When we know in the very depths of our souls that God is good and has our best interests on His heart, we can trust that whatever circumstance comes our way, God will use it to bring about good in our lives and in His Kingdom. So, the first and most important key to dealing with disappointment is a choice. We must choose to live hopefully. We must choose to reject the negative thoughts that enter our mind when we have been disappointed. Thoughts like “No one really cares about me” and “nothing ever works out in my life” are counter productive and depressing. To counter these kinds of thoughts, you may have to sit down and make some lists. Make a list of everyone who has been kind to you and demonstrated caring. Make a list of the blessings in your life. Make a list of the times when things have worked out well for you, and include times when something that seemed negative at first eventually turned into a positive. Seeing these truths written in black and white can do a lot to help you choose hope.

Precious promises for you!

Secondly, it is essential for us as Christians to look to scripture for help when we are dealing with disappointment. Study the ways that Biblical characters such as Joseph dealt with disappointment and even betrayal. Read the Psalms. Here, you will find a desperate longing for God, and sometimes the broken-hearted pleas for God’s deliverance from trials. No matter what the circumstance, the writers of the Psalms turned to God as their source of help and hope. Another helpful thing to do is to fill your mind with the promises of God. If you don’t have a little book of God’s promises from scripture, buy one and keep it on your nightstand.

Or, go to websites such as these:

God’s promises arranged by topic: http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/promises.html
Daily scripture promise blog: http://www.365promises.com/
God’s promises in every book of the Bible: http://bible.org/article/selected-promises-god-each-book-bible
John Piper’s sermon on the promises of God: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/all-the-promises-of-god-are-yes-in-christ

New International Version (©1984) “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
II Corinthians 1:20

Romans, Chapter 5, NIV
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And web rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but wec also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

(Scripture references above are copied from the Online Parallel Bible) http://bible.cc/

SPECIFIC TYPES OF DISAPPOINTMENT

Circumstantial disappointment

All of us face times in life when circumstances change in a way that we did not expect or that seems less desirable than what we had hoped. These kind of circumstantial disappointments may involve something that didn’t happen as you had hoped. Or, they may involve something that happened which seems contrary to everything you had hoped. Sometimes these disappointments lead to eventually letting go of one dream for your life and grabbing hold of God’s promises and His new dream for you. Circumstances will happen to disappoint us all, and each time we must choose to look at the positives in the situation. The reactions we have to the disappointment of our hopes can range from mild irritation (having to re-arrange your schedule because a flight was cancelled, for example) to feeling absolutely devastated (the sale of your home fell through, or you were laid off, or you didn’t get admitted to the University of your choice). No matter how strong our reaction may be, each disappointment results in the following choices:

1. Choosing to continue to dwell on what has been lost even though nothing can be done about it OR eventually choosing to let it go and move on.

2. Choosing to give up on a hope or dream OR seeking God’s direction about whether to allow Him to give you a new dream or to persevere in seeking this hope but perhaps through another avenue.

3. Choosing to become bitter about what has been denied OR allowing God to use disappointment to refine our character.

4. Choosing to become stuck in the past and our unfulfilled hope OR moving forward with trust and faith in God, knowing that He will work all things (even this disappointment) for our good.

5. Feeling hopeless OR allowing God to restore our hope as time passes and the mental and spiritual adjustment is made not only to the reality that the disappointment has occurred, but to the possiblities of the future!

There is a grieving process with any disappointment, and it is necessary. After all, it takes time to re-adjust your thinking to a new reality. However, we must always be seeking God as the Source of our comfort, our transformation to the likeness of Christ, and ultimately, our hope. God wants us to be honest with Him in prayer. He knows we are devastated and disappointed, but He wants us to talk to Him about it. His Spirit can only minister peace in a situation that has been turned over to Him. A new dream can only be given when we choose to allow Him to turn our disappointment into possibilities that we’d never imagined. Give yourself the grace of seeing each day as a new beginning, full of possibilities and promise as you release the disappointments of the past and surrender each moment to the Lord. The reality of your disappointment can become a stepping stone to newness in your life and even to a reality more joyful or profound than anything you could have dreamed. Hold on to your relationship with God through the grieving and adjustment period, and hold on to hope!

Relational Disappointment

Relational disappointment can be the most devastating type of disappointment. Someone has let us down or even intentionally hurt us…often in a BIG way. Broken hearts result from relational disappointment. Here, we are not only dealing with our feelings about what has happened. We are also dealing with the ongoing relationship. When we have been badly hurt, anger is often our response. However, the expression of anger can cause even more relational difficulty. It’s good to keep in mind some considerations of the other person and the relationship you have to them. As you work through the process of dealing with the disappointment and hurt that you feel, you can choose to show grace by valuing the person and the relationship more than your right to be angry and hurt. Although the grieving and adjustment process for relational disappointment is the same as for any other type, the feelings and the potential relational consequences involved require careful consideration of a few additional factors.

First, remember that you, too, have at times disappointed someone. None of us can perfectly meet the needs of another person. We will all make mistakes, forget something important, or fail to handle a situation appropriately from time to time. We all will have times when we need to apologize for disappointing someone else (as well as times when we need to forgive someone for disappointing us).

Secondly, we need to realize that what seems a big failure or disappointment may have been out of someone’s control or may have resulted from a miscommunication of some type. Here, I will give an example of something that occurred at one of the churches where Travis had served. There was a person who was a part-time employee in Music Ministry at the church, and this individual had been serving for a number of years. Travis was new at the church and was still learning how things were done. Procedures and policies very widely from church to church, and that fact would be brought home in this situation. At the church Travis had left prior to coming to this new church, the Personnel Committee had always taken care of farewells and thank yous to those who were leaving a paid position in the church. However, when this person was no longer employed by the church, nothing was done by that committee. By the time that Travis realized that things were handled differently at the new church, the former employee was already very upset and feeling unappreciated. Though he tried to correct the mistake he’d made by assuming procedures were similar, the attempts were rejected by the former employee. Travis would have liked to have had the opportunity to show appreciation properly; but because of a misunderstanding and the resulting disappointment, that never happened as it should have.

Many times, relational disappointments do result from some sort of misunderstanding. When there seems to have been a mess up or a large oversight that affects you, try not to automatically assume the worst and get all upset without knowing the facts. There may be reasons why things happened as they did of which you are unaware. Sometimes, knowing what happened can help and can even save a relationship. Therefore, we all need to give each other the grace of refusing to jump to conclusions. If you can talk to the person or persons who were involved in whatever led to your disappointment and tell them, “I really felt… (disappointed, betrayed, unappreciated…fill in the blank) because….” (Keep it short and mention only one or two main factors, without detail. Hopefully, this can come across without condemnation or anger.) Then, ask for clarification, “I didn’t want to assume anything without giving you the opportunity to explain, so can you tell me what happened?” Give the person some time to think and consider a response. Just sit and wait without saying anything further. It could be that there are real reasons for the way things happened that you never knew about. The problem could even have resulted from something that you did or said that the other person did not know how to handle. The truth could immediately make you feel better. If so, you may have prevented permanent damage to a relationship by seeking understanding. Or, the truthful answer could hurt at first. It may be that the truth is a mirror, reflecting an area in your own life where some change needs to take place or just an outright failure or oversight by the other party. Either way, these kinds of hurtful truths can be stepping stones to growth and to better understanding eventually if we keep the door of relationship open and work to have better understanding and resolve problems. Regardless of the steps that need to be taken, forgiveness is always appropriate. Even if something happened that was totally wrong, forgiveness will ultimately set you free from bitterness and from living in the past. Ask God to give you an open heart to any changes that you need to make and grace for the other person, just as you have been shown grace and mercy.

When you think that you have someone figured out and that you are disappointed in who they are, remember that there may be many things that you do not know about this person or about their life. Some of your asumptions may be totally wrong. Give others the grace of forgiveness and a second chance. You may be making yourself totally miserable by harboring negative feelings that are not even based upon fact. Pray for this person, and allow God to work in them and in you. You may be surprised at what He will do!

If a relationship proves to be totally unhealthy, seek counsel about what to do. No one has to stay in an abusive situation. You cannot change another person. Change can only come when the other person desires to change, and a lot of changes require God’s help.

Regretful disappointment

Sometimes, our lives can become filled with regret if we dwell on past mistakes or on what we wish we had done in a situation. These things are truly beyond our control. They are in the past. What matters is how we live NOW and what we do to make things better NOW. Give yourself the grace of letting go. Learn from past mistakes, fix what you can, and then remember Paul’s testimony and advice:

“It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus.” – Phillippians 3;12 – 14 (International Standard Version)

The Serenity Prayer can also be helpful.

Spiritual disappointment

Spiritual disappointment can be extremely difficult. As Christians, we know that God is good and that He is able to do anything and to meet our needs. We feel that we should be content to trust His wisdom about the when and the how. We often don’t feel that we can even talk to other Christians about our disappointment. This kind of scenario can lead to feeling totally alone, as though one is abandoned by God but can’t talk about it because to do so would only lead to rejection from other believers who may want to comfort you but who actually fear the pain and loss you have experienced and want you to repeat phrases like “God is so good!’ or “His timing is perfect” for your good and for their comfort. The Book of Job is about just such a struggle. It’s a battle for Job between what he knows he should feel and what other believers are telling him to feel versus how he actually does feel. At the beginning of the time of trial for Job, God expresses confidence in the faith of Job. And yet, even for a mature believer, there is a process of sorting through thoughts, grieving loss, and finding that your faith still holds true. Job wants to know why. He knows that he has done nothing wrong to provoke God’s judgement in the form of the calamity that has come upon his household, and yet He acknowledges that God is sovereign over all. God Himself speaks with Job, and the truths that come out of this conversation are that God does not have to reveal His reasons to us and yet, He wants us to come to Him with our questions. There is no way that we could fully understand the interactions of every human heart and every circumstance as God does. We don’t have the infinite understanding to fathom God’s reasoning, but God gives us the mercy and grace to allow us to question Him, to ask why, and to express our pain, our deep grief, our disappointment, and even our anger. After we have asked out questions and cried out our pain, peace comes only when we finally choose to trust. It is a process, and that process is part of the healing and growth. So, the ultimate message about spiritual disappointment is that it will come to everyone, that we must take it to Him, and that He will teach and comfort us through the pain.

Turning to God in our disappointment and being honest with Him in prayer is the third key for dealing with disappointment. In earlier paragraphs, I had stated that the other two keys are choosing to live hopefully, based upon your knowledge of God’s goodness and your desire to have a positive outlook, and then turning to scripture for help in coping with disappointment. So, my friends, choose hope! Seek answers in God’s word, and turn to Him with all of your questions and hurts as you work through the process of moving forward in your life after you have been disappointed. These three keys to coming through a disappointment and moving forward without bitterness are not a ‘quick fix’. There is no easy answer and no quick solution. Allow yourself the grace of processing all that has happened and thinking through what this means for the future. God wants to bring possibility and promise out of this situation for you. He wants to heal your heart and give you new hope. He wants to communicate His love for you and renew your confidence in His goodness. Blessings to you in the journey!

* A SONG FOR YOU * Here’s a link to a song that may be helpful to you: http://soundcloud.com/travis-l-boyd/god-is-faithful-satb-choral

* HERE’S A BONUS *
Check out this excellent teaching about disappointment by TV host, author, and speaker Michelle McKinney Hammond on the 700 Club’s “Voices of Hope” series (segment #2) about facing life issues.  Here’s the link to the series.  (You will have to select and click on the Segment #2 link to see the video with the teaching about disappointment.): http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/voiceofhope/

Interestingly, in the 700 club interview that allows her to explain her teaching on disappointment, Ms. Hammond also speaks of the need for demonstrating grace when facing disappointment, saying, “Don’t expect divinity from humanity.  Have grace for people, and place your expectations on God.”  Additionally, she also speaks of trusting God through the disappointment (as in our blog article), but she does state some of her teaching in some unique ways that will be helpful to anyone who is seeking additional insights to learn the lessons of disappointment while holding on to faith, preserving relationships, and dealing with pain.  Listen near the end of the interview for your assignment, when Ms. Hammond speaks of God’s plan in the disappointment and our corresponding job as the steward of the experience.

Here is a link to information about her book called How to Get Past Disappointment;
(
Note: I have not read the book, but I am recommending it based upon hearing the teaching in the above link, which is a portion of what is contained in the book. – C. A. Boyd)
Book info: http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Past-Disappointment-Finding/dp/0736937862

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>This post was written by C. A. Boyd
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>><><><>Do you know Jesus?The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.

http://www.boydbrainmusic.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus

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You Are Greatly Loved!

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts throught the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Romans 5:1 – 5

Teaching topic:  The Awesome and Infinite Love of God

There are so many ways that the immense and immeasurable love of God is manifested to us, His deeply loved ones. He has written His love for us into His creation, and He has chosen again and again to show us mercy and grace because of His powerful, perfect, and almighty love.

Here are some ABC reminders of the many ways that God has demonstrated His love to us.

{ A } God’s love accepts us just as we are. When we are ready to see our own sinfulness and come to Him for forgiveness and salvation, God is always ready to receive us. We don’t have to clean ourselves up first or get ourselves right. He takes care of that after we have come to Him. The invitation to come to Him for salvation and forgiveness has no other conditions. It is the beginning point of our walk with the Lord and our journey towards becoming like Christ.

{ B } God’s love blesses our lives in countless ways. Every good gift is from Him. (James 1:17)

{ C } God’s love covers our sin with His mercy through the blood of Jesus. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed in the one to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1 & 2
(Note: the sin is covered by God only as we confess it and ask for His forgiveness, as in verse 1a)

{ D } God’s love delights in fellowship with us. He is never unavailable. He is God with Us, Emmanuel.

( E ) God’s love is everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God’s love for us will never change or grow cold.

( F ) God’s love is forgiving. He is rich in mercy. As the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” expresses, He is “ever giving and forgiving.”

( G ) God’s love is generous. Because He loves, He gave the most precious gift ever given…His only Son.

“We love, because He first loved us.” I John 3:19

( H ) God’s love is holy. There is no impure thought or motivation within the heart of God. His love is the most pure and holy of all loves.

( I ) God’s love is immortal. The Bible says that God is love. And, since God will never die, His love (that is the basic character of who God is and the fundamental motivation for all that He does) will never die. Our mortal loved ones may leave us for a time on Earth, but God’s love has always been, constantly is, and will always be. It is who He is.

( J ) God’s love is a jealous love. He wants to be first in our hearts. To some, that may sound out of character for our merciful and loving God; but He is the one who made us and knows us best. He knows that our lives will be complete, abundant, full of joy, and our full potential will be realized only as we love Him first.

( K ) God’s love is kind. He has our best interests at heart. As the lyrics from the chorus to the song, “Trust His Heart” (recorded by both Babbie Mason and Cynthia Clawson) tell us so beautifully: “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So, when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

( L ) God’s love is long-suffering (patient even when it is painful to be so). He allows the world to continue even though our sorrows bring him grief and our sin breaks his heart. His desire is to allow us more time to come to faith in Him, even in this fallen world. He sees beyond the present pain to the joy and victory that is to come and continues to show mercy.

( M ) God’s love is merciful. Perhaps a better spelling for the word would be mercyfull! Because God’s love for us is infinite in its fullness and in its capacity to forgive, God delights in showing us mercy. His mercies are new every morning!

( N ) God’s love is near. He is near to all who call upon His name. We don’t to wait for someday to know the love of the Lord. He is here. He is near.

( O ) God’s love is the origin of all true love. We love because He first loved us and created us with the capacity to give and receive love.

( P ) God’s love is powerful! His love has the power to transform lives, heal hearts, and purify souls.

( Q ) God’s love has both…quality and quantity! The quality of his love has a purity that goes beyond anything we experience on earth. And, as for quantitiy, there is always, abundantly, more of God’s love…enough to fill our hearts for eternity!

( R ) God’s love is redemptive. He will redeem every experience, every pain, every rejection, every loss, and every heart that says “Yes!” to His “Come Just as You Are” invitation.

“For God so loved…”

( S ) God’s love is saving love. In the words of Dottie Rambo, “He looked beyond my fault, and saw my need.” Because of His great love for us, God met our need for holiness, for relationship with Him, for abundant life, for purpose, for salvation. He sent Jesus as our Savior and allowed the ultimate sacrifice of Christ to become a substitutionary payment for the wages of our sin.

( T ) God’s love is true. We may wonder about the constancy of others, but God’s love is unaltered by time or circumstances. There is nothing that can separate us from the true love of God.

( U ) God’s love is understanding. There are those in our lives who may love us but not completely understand us. God, on the other hand, understands us better than we understand ourselves; and the best part is that He loves us anyway!

( V ) God’s love is victorious! The Latin phrase, “Amor vincit omni,” means “Love conquers all.” Our earthly loves are sometimes lasting in spite of obstacles, but we are inevitably separated by the enemy of death. God’s love has conquered sin, hell, and death! His love is victorious over all and will ultimately allow us to share in this victory.

( W ) God’s love is welcoming. We are the prodigals, captivated by our own desires, undertaking risky and ill-advised paths through life to get to the destination we think we want, using other people to get our way, living as if there is no tomorrow, breaking the Father’s heart with our sin and self-destructive ways. He is the ever-loving Father, waiting and praying for our return, continually watching for a sign that we are on our way home, ready to run to us and embrace us in all of our filth when He sees that we are ready to return, restoring our lives and our status as His own children, ready to celebrate and to give us every good gift!

( X ) God’s love is eXtravagant. He always goes far beyond in everything he does for us. He could have made us an earthly home that would have sustained us without all of the beauty and majesty that he has put into His creation. The colors, the shapes, the textures, the variety of species…in every facet of life…birds, trees, fish, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, insects, flowers, grasses, leafy plants, crustaceans, mammals, food-bearing plants, shrubs, vines, and even microscopic creatures…it’s amazing! Every idea that we think we have came from Him first. Drinking straws? Butterflies have a built in tube for drinking nectar. The wheel? Have you ever seen a tumbleweed in the wind? The internal combustion engine? Our sun and every other star. Machines and factories? Our bodies are a machine. They are designed so that we can do work and accomplish tasks. A robotic arm has joints that allow it to bend and move in ways that we take for granted. Airplanes? Obvious. Electicity? What about lightning and the electical impulses in brains and our nervous system. Computers? Our human brains are amazingly capable in storing information and in reasoning that goes far beyond what any machine can do. What about identification technologies that quickly calculate all the relationships between the swirls of a fingerprint, the structure of a face, or the identifying points in an eye? We are that individual, each one the Master Artist’s masterpiece. None of these individual characteristics unique to every person could have come from evolution or natural selection. Did our ancestors select each other for mating based upon such miniscule identifiers? Such a thought is preposterous. No, each of us is formed by God in the womb as a totally unique and individual creation. Do we carry some genectic traits? Of course. God planned it that way. As the founder of the family, he wants us to be connected to those who are related closely to us. And yet, there is nothing in genetics that could explain the artist’s signature that is found in our fingerprints. What about salvation? He didn’t just send us a do-it-yourself guide. He sent Himself, gave Himself, and sacrificed Himself in the person of God the Son, Jesus Christ. Every moment His love and mercy allows us to live is a gift far beyond what His holiness and justice would require, were it not for God’s eXtravagant grace.

( Y ) God’s love yearns for what is best. He has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He will not rest until he has accomplished this. He who began a good work (in us and in His kingdom purposes) will be faithful to complete it.

( Z ) God’s love is zealous for us. He never loses His zeal for our salvation and sanctification; and He will accoomplish our ultimate glorification as we come to live forever with Him and are complete in Him, becoming like Christ in purity.

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This post was written by Cynthia Boyd and was inspired by the awesome and limitless love of God, with the help of the prompting provided by the message of the Valentine used as the illustration for this post.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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Extending God’s Grace in Your Family and Beyond

How can we extend the lavish grace that we have been given by God to our families, to our Christian brothers and sisters, and to others who don’t know Him?

Here are some ABC’s of extending grace:

Assume the best in the lives of others, allowing them the grace of your trust that God is at work in their lives.

Bend when possible, demonstrating your desire to extend the freedom of grace in a way that is loving, beneficial, and responsible.

Compromise on the small details of life when love is the consideration more important than having everything done as you like.

Delight in joyful news, knowing that God rejoices with us when we rejoice!

Encourage the hearts of others so that they may come to understand that the wonderful love of God was expressed as He created them!

Friendship begins with a genuine interest in others, just as God cares about every detail in our lives and even knows the number of hairs upon our heads.

Greet people with a smile, remembering about each person that they are God’s unique creation and communicating clearly your joy in seeing them.

Help when you can, pray while you help, and keep praying when you can’t help in any other way.

Invite input for a special family time or outing with friends.  Others may surprise you with their creative ideas, allowing you to invest in building relationships in new ways.

Just be patient!  God isn’t finished me. and He isn’t finished with you yet, either!  Grace is lavish love expressed through mercy and willingness to sacrifice.

Know when to listen and when to speak.  Sometimes we express God’s grace by taking the time to understand the hearts of others.

Love one another, as Christ has loved you.

Make others feel welcome and valued!  God demonstrates our worth through the ultimate grace gift of salvation in Christ.

Now is the time to pray for your neighbors, friends, family, people in the news, co-workers, and brothers and sisters in Christ…whenever they are brought to your mind for any reason.

Open hearts can give and receive love freely!  Help others to feel that their hearts are safe in your presence so that they will be open to the message of God’s love and grace. 

Put aside preferences!  People are always more important than our preferences! Preferences (or what we think is best) in areas of clothing, music, behavior, etc. are NOT the gospel of Christ.  We may associate these expectations with the Christian life in our own minds; but these things that we enjoy or that make us feel comfortable are often just part of our life experience, traditions, or the way the we were raised.  They bring back memories of family times or worship and fellowship times that were personally meaningful.  However, right now is what matters!  If we want the Kingdom of God to come to pass in this world and want future generations to know the Lord, we must be open enough to make people feel welcome even if circumstances are not as comfortable for us.

Question to ask before you speak:  “Will what I am about to say build up the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God?”

Rejoice when God is at work in the lives of people!   We cannot be skeptics concerning decisions to follow Christ or follow Him in any area of life.  The first thought in our minds when someone says ‘yes’ to God’s invitation should not be.  “I wonder how long it will last.”  We must instead be encouragers and also pray for new believers.  If we are given the opportunity, we can also be directly involved in helping to disciple new believers.

Seek the Kingdom of God first!  Leave self behind every morning for a natural outflow of grace extended to your fellow human beings!

Treat the hearts of children with tenderness.  They will more readily respond to God’s love and grace if they have seen the evidence of it in the lives of God’s people.

Understand that we are all at different points in our journey.  Grace lets go of expectations and meets us where we are.

Value the person MORE than any outward manifestations (clothing, appearance, social awkwardness, position, intelligence, special needs, behavior, rudeness, or moral failures).  That’s what Jesus does for us!

Walk in love.  Random acts of kindness are not random when done in the name of Jesus.  He has brought this person across your path.  It is not up to us to make judgements about whether others deserve kindness. Rather, we are to be vessels that God can use to share His lovingkindness with others.

eXpect the Lord to touch hearts, and pray for those around you (even people that you do not know).  Rather than becoming annoyed or upset about someone who is living an immoral lifestyle, pray for him or her!

Yesterday is gone…forgive!  We are to forgive others with the same grace that has been shown to us

Zip your lip….bite it if you have to!   Resolve to speak words of kindness and uphold the dignity of all people as unique creations of Almighty God.  Let Him work on their problems and their hearts!  He’s got the master plan and the power to change lives!

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
— II Corinthians 4:15

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(These ABC’s are far from elementary.  I’ll be working on them for the rest of my life!   The more we know,…the more we grow!)
This post was written by C. A. Boyd.   It was originally published on our primary blog, which addresses the subjects of life, ministry, worship, music, and discipleship.  You’ll find many other posts on our original blog which are not on this blog at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.boydbrainmusic.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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