TIM HUGHES: WORSHIP AND HOPE

Timothy Hughes may be unknown to you unless you know modern worship music either as an active participant or contemplative listener. Those who have been blessed by this style of music may know well and even love his songs. His beautiful music does more than give pleasure — it gives hope and connects us with God.

British Tim Hughes has written songs that have led believers in worship all over our planet. “Here I Am to Worship,” “Happy Day,” “Beautiful One,” “Jesus Saves,” “At Your Name,” and “The Way” have won Dove Awards.

Here I Am to Worship” is even considered by some as the greatest modern worship anthem ever, and Hughes earned two Dove Awards while still in his twenties.

Tim Hughes, born July 23, 1977, celebrated another birthday last week yet is definitely still young in this blogger’s opinion. I am thankful that he blesses others with his talents and leadership activities.

A worship leader, a singer, a songwriter, and an Anglican priest, Tim also leads Worship Central, an international worship training and resource centre. Once the director of worship at a large Anglican church in London, he was later ordained as a minister in the Church of England and appointed Vicar of St. Luke’s in Birmingham in central England.

Tim’s heart, efforts, and music bless our world with hope, because he understands that he is here to worship Jesus Christ. He accepts Christ as the only One worthy of worship and leads us to join in a hopeful, worshipful, and life-changing experience.

HERE I AM TO WORSHIP

“Light of the World,
You stepped down into darkness,
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You,
Hope of a life spent with You.

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You’re my God.
You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

King of all days,
Oh so highly exalted,
Glorious in heaven above.
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor.

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You’re my God.

You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.
Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.
Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.”
(Timothy Hughes)

BEAUTIFUL ONE

“Wonderful, so wonderful is Your unfailing love.
Your cross has spoken mercy over me.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart could fully know
How glorious, how beautiful You are.

Beautiful One I love You.
Beautiful One I adore,
Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

Powerful, so powerful Your glory fills the skies.
Your mighty works displayed for all to see,
The beauty of Your majesty awakes my heart to sing.
How marvelous, how wonderful You are.

Beautiful One I love You,
Beautiful One I adore. Beautiful One I love You,
Beautiful One I adore, Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

Beautiful One I love You.
Beautiful One I adore,
Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

You’ve opened my heart to wonders anew.
You’ve captured my heart with this love,
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You, Jesus.

You’ve opened my eyes to wonders anew.
You’ve captured my heart with this love,
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You, Jesus.

And You’ve opened my eyes to wonders anew.
You’ve captured my heart with this love,
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You, Jesus.

Beautiful One I love You.
Beautiful One I adore,
Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
My soul, my soul must sing,
My soul, my soul must sing,
Beautiful One.

Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
Beautiful One.”
(T. H.)

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.” (Psalm 145:3)

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power….” (John 4:11)

FORTY-YEAR MILESTONE: WISDOM & HOPE

A forty-year birthday marks a milestone that I can hardly believe my son has reached. It does not mean that he is old or “over the hill” as some say — but perhaps it does indicate that his parents are!

How well I remember his birth as a time of joy, hope, thankfulness, and with prayers for him and his future. Having him as a son still fills me with the same feelings of joy, hope, and thankfulness. I continue to pray for him, his future, and his beautiful family with whom he is blessed.

So many prayers have been answered along his life’s journey so far. I have experienced exceeding parental pride through these 40 years. I have loved watching his gift of encouragement impact others. I have learned the value of wisdom for his life perhaps through recognizing its need in my own.

Proverbs, a book of Wisdom, is a good reference for living well. It offers wisdom for all generations — mine, my son’s, and his child’s. It offers hope that all of us need at every age of life.

Today my prayer is for my son to always know God’s  Wisdom and Hope. They are found in the Bible and can be easily instilled in the head by reading. They can only be deeply ingrained in the heart by God’s Holy Spirit. They are worth the sacrifice of time and study.

Happy birthday, my beloved son! May your life be full of Wisdom and Hope always!

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce;
So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
and the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.
By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies drip with dew.
My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
So they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck.
Then you will walk in your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”  (Proverbs 3: 1 – 24)

BIBLICAL WISDOM: BIRTHDAY HOPE

“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.” (General Douglas MacArthur at age seventy-eight)

As wise General MacArthur realized it is one’s  outlook more than one’s age that makes one old. Today is the birthday of my beloved. He has spent decades studying Biblical wisdom, and this is a good example the rest of us could follow. He maintains interest in this study; perhaps he will never grow “old.”

Happy birthday, Dear! May you always have HOPE. Below are some verses especially pertinent to one who is accumulating years and wisdom. I am thankful that God and His Word never change despite radical changes in our world. I am also thankful to share your golden years and God’s blessings.

“For You are my HOPE; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You…. But as for me, I will HOPE continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation. For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul, which You have redeemed.”  (Psalm 71: 5, 6, 14 – 19, 23)

“They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green,”  (Psalm 92: 14)

“The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair.”
(Proverbs 20: 29)

“Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you.”  (Isaiah 46: 4)

PHILIPPIANS 4: PEACE AND HOPE

If there is one thing we want today it is PEACE. We need it — and we need HOPE. Everywhere on the planet people seek peace.

Peace is more than the circumstance of our surroundings. It is a condition of the heart. So many desire it, yet so few seem to have found it. Is peace too far out of reach? Is it meant to be elusive?

What does the Bible say about peace? Perhaps it is not as complicated as one may think. I have found that this Holy Book is usually straight-forward in its instruction.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
(Philippians 4:8, 9)

Maybe peace is simply focusing on “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute… any excellence… anything worthy of praise… dwell on these things…. and the God of peace will be with you.”

Does it sound too simplistic? I am certain that if one has found the God of Peace, then one can know peace. Rather than seek peace perhaps one should seek the God of Peace.

I have hope and confidence that the Bible is true. If it says knowing God of the Bible brings peace, then I believe it. This is a matter of faith, but there is more. I have experienced its truth. I know the God of peace; I know His peace.

When I focus on the God of Peace I am filled with His peace. This practice gives me hope. He gives me hope enough to face this difficult world. Even through these uncertain and unprecedented times He has proven faithful. In future trials to come there is no reason to doubt His Word.

For peace I shall continue to trust God. For all good things I shall do the same. Of course that means I must do what He says. As a wise old hymn says… “Trust and Obey.”

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:4-7)

Philippians 4 happens to be one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It gives me HOPE. It tells me how to have PEACE, His peace, the only real lasting peace.

Can I do what it says? It reminds me of the way that I can. “I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

It assures me of the outcome. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

With a grateful heart of devotion and hope I will close. “Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”  (Philippians 4:20)

INDEPENDENCE DAY: PATRIOTISM & HOPE

Tomorrow — July 4th — is like any other day on most of the planet, but in the USA it is recognized as Independence Day. In pre-pandemic times celebrations would be held with many crowds gathered for special patriotic events.

On July 4, 1776, the status of 13 British colonies with taxation but no representation under the oppressive rule of King George III  changed significantly to the “United States of America.” Brave signers of the Declaration of Independence risked everything for freedom.

Requiring more than a document with signatures, a war was unavoidable between seemingly unimportant colonies and a powerful world force. The war would last 7 years and cost thousands of American lives, but with Providential help the USA emerged victor to become a light on a hill.

The new nation had one thing that led amateur soldiers to triumph over the threat to their freedom, their families, and their fortunes. Their very lives hung in the balance. They had patriotism, and that one essential thing gave them hope to carry on.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, patriotism is “love for or devotion to one’s country.” For about 250 years America has been home to many patriotic individuals. I am thankful that many Americans have patriotism today.

Patriotism is still greatly needed to maintain the Judeo-Christian heritage and national life gained and held by Founding Fathers. Has too much patriotism been lost? Has the light been extinguished? I think there is little doubt that it has dimmed and burns less brightly than it once did.

Whether celebrating jointly or separately patriotic music can be a part of our 4th of July. I recommend adding the songs below to your playlist. I am glad that recorded music is not quarantined.

As long as patriotism exists, I am hopeful for “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” I admit that this is not reality now, but I prefer to be hopeful rather than hopeless.

Together may we heed an Old Testament verse that says, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

When God’s words are followed, then we may have real hope that can impact not just our nation but our planet. Tomorrow may we celebrate safely, fly our American flags, enjoy our music, show our patriotism, be hopeful, and pray. May we thank God everyday for our land of the free and our home of the brave.

 

PATRIOTIC SONGS:

THE PATRIOTIC MEDLEY
(Bates, Howe, Berlin)
I WILL STAND”  (Allegiance Trio)
IN GOD WE STILL TRUST”  (Diamond Rio)
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”  (Gary Moore)
MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA
(Weldon Kennedy)
AMERICA”  (Chris Tomlin)
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL” (Katharine Bates)
“GOD BLESS AMERICA”  (Irving Berlin)

PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”