Monday, March 3, 2008

Someone You Should Know!

The children are receiving their instruction for the recording.

I had the opportunity to ask Michelle some questions about her music and we will share them this month. Let's get started!

Jewel: Michelle, how did you come up with the different songs and what period of time did this happen?

Michelle: I came up with those songs in a 3-5 year period of time. Some stretched back from when I worked as a sixth grade teacher. "I'll Acknowledge You", was in 2002-03 school year. The others have been throughout the last few years. Many through a lot of tests and trials.

I remember writing "Singin' Praises to Your Name" based on Psalms 92 because at the time, someone or something was getting on my nerves. The Lord told me to start counting my blessings and quit complaing about the minor stuff...and then two months afterwards...he took my mom home to be with Him. That's when he told me to add 1 Thessalanians 5:18 "In everything give thanks" matter what happens there's always an element to thank God for even in the midst of the most treacherous of circumstances.

Minister Mario Jenkins leading "I'll Be Still".

The same is true for "I'll Be Still". I was wrestling with the future of my marriage, my son, finances--asking "shoud I do this or that" and the Lord was saying (in my own lingo--'chill & be still Michelle'--cux your little pint-sized peanut thoughts can't compare to my great mind).

"Celebrate" (which is also the video clip from 2/29, take a listen) was from when I was hired for a job at a college where God graced His unmerited favor in my life. Again, I was jut thinking of all His benefits and reflecting on His faithfulness...I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

Jewel: As you listen to the words of her songs you hear the Word of God brought to life through the music and it does something to encourage you when you facing your situations. Michelle uses the words of scripture in her songs in a fresh way. She allowed many of the youth to sing either solo's or to be a part of the song. This was also something great for them as well.

Michelle is a generous writer. Even though these are her songs, she is open to God to allow others to add to the creation . On the song, "I'll Be Still" the lead singer, Mario Jenkins also played a part by adding an additional line in the song. This song has become one of my favorites. We all can understand what Michelle mentioned about us wondering what to do in the midst of our own sitations. We need a reminder to "chill and be still" because God's ways are far above our understanding.

We will continue this interview with Michelle, so come back and read what else she as to say about her music.

Words of Encouragement

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. – John 14:26-28

What Jesus’ Gift Brings. Peace. Jesus in this 14th chapter of John is preparing his disciples for what is about to happen. He tells them he is going away and what he does it lets them know he is not leaving them alone and unprepared for their life ahead. Jesus comforts his disciples with the knowledge that they will see him again if they follow his ways.

He also comforts them by telling them the way to get to the blessings of eternal life with God and that is through Jesus. He lets his disciples know they can get to the Father through him because he is the way that God has prepared for all men to come to the Father.

Then Jesus promises them with the comforter. He tells them that even though he must go back to the Father, he is not leaving them alone. The difference is the world cannot see him or know him because they will not accept him to live in them. The comforter will only be shown to those that seek the Father through the Son. There was one that asked, why would you show us but not the world?

Jesus answers and says anyone that loves him will obey his teaching and the Father will come and make his home with them. But those that do not obey his teaching cannot see the Father. So after Jesus has comforted his disciples with what is to come, he again reminds them of what he is going to do.

These verses tell them that Jesus is sending the comforter so that they will have what they need. He will teach them all things, he will remind them of all that they have been taught and he will guide them. This promise then is topped off with the promise of godly peace. Jesus promises them peace not as the world gives but a peace that can only come from God. Jesus shows them in these verses how peace will be enacted through the Holy Spirit (comforter). Because the Holy Spirit will guide you, teach you and remind you of what you have been taught, it takes the worry from you on what to do and how to do it. You and I don’t have to worry about having ALL the answers for the “test”. Have you ever prepared for a test and you crammed trying to keep everything inside, but sometimes it just didn’t work out. Well we can go into our “test” without the stress of thinking we need to have all the answers remembered, because this test is different. The Holy Spirit’s job is to come alongside of us in the midst of our test and to bring back that which we know and then to teach us that which we do know. He is the one we go to for the answers. He has the correct answer key to every test; we just need to trust him.

This is why we can have peace and not be afraid in our life’s journey. I pray that we take the time today to thank God for his gift of peace. Let us thank him for the opportunity offered to us through the cross of peace. We can be still when the world around us is in unrest. We can find tranquility and calm when the pressure on our emotions would want to make us feel like a ship beaten by the heavy waves of the ocean. We can find that secret place, that sheltered place that only comes from our trust in God’s Spirit. He leaves us peace, peace that the world cannot give. The world cannot give this peace because the world does not know the Father and they have no part with him. Jesus gives us the peace through his gift of the cross. His gift to know the Father is given when we allow ourselves to know him.