Better Than A Hallelujah

The song I have on my heart today is “Better Than A Hallelujah” by Amy Grant (2010).  This is a song that I believe only those who have “hit bottom” and faced their own shortcomings, been broken till there’s nothing left, or otherwise seen the lowest of lows in their lives, can fully understand and relate to.  I love the beauty of this song, because it speaks of the moment when a human heart cries out to God in desperation, and God answers.   The message I got from this song is:  Our heartfelt cries in the depth of our pains and our plea for help are precious to God, and perhaps He loves hearing them more than the “Hallelujahs.”    I believe this is true because God delights in the opportunity to enter into an intimate relationship with us by walking along side us, and helping us pick up the broken pieces and turning them into something beautiful.

Some people either hide in shame at their failure, or run away from God in fear, because they have a misconception that God is angry with them.  But in reality,  He just wants to scoop them up in a big hug, and help them heal and be victorious over their life circumstances.    He longs to hear us cry out to Him and invite Him into whatever mess we’re in.   I know this truth from my own life experiences.   He’s very good at cleaning up messes and mending broken hearts.  I wouldn’t be here today if He wasn’t.

So don’t be ashamed or fearful.  Call out to Him.  Come cry on His shoulders.  After all, you are His child and He delights to hear from you.

Better Than A Hallelujah (By Amy Grant)

God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves a drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what’s been done,
The silence when the words won’t come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Repeat Chorus


Welcome to the Future, MLK, Jr and Abe Lincoln.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I’m reminded of Brad Paisley’s song “Welcome to the Future,” particularly the 3rd verse.  If they could see it, I’m pretty sure that Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Abraham Lincoln would be very pleased how their effort to bring equality for all mankind has been continued by others after they were gone.  I’m proud to be living in a country that upholds the ideal of equality for all.  There are, of course, people who want to raise one group higher than others, but at least here in America, there are people who share Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream, and will champion the cause (and how wonderful it is that we have the freedom in this country to do so).  Though we have a long way to go still, I am encouraged by the progress we’ve achieved so far, and hope the trend will continue at even faster pace, and spread all over the globe.

I love this video because it shows kids of all races dreaming of great achievement for themselves that would have been impossible without the “equal opportunity for all” that has come about as a result of all that has transpired in the past 150 years or so. To all the men and women who risked all they had, including their lives, to bring equality for all, I give you a big heartfelt thanks. Thank you for inspiring us to dream of a better future!

Welcome to the Future
Word and music by Brad Paisley

When I was ten years old
I remember thinking how cool it would be
When we were going on an eight-hour drive
If I could just watch TV
And I’d have given anything
To have my own Pac-Man game at home
I used to have to get a ride down to the arcade
Now I’ve got it on my phone

Chorus:
Hey, glory, glory, hallelujah
Welcome to the future

My grandpa was in World War 2
He fought against the Japanese
He wrote a hundred letters to my grandma
Mailed them from his base in the Philippines
I wish they could see this now
The world they saved has changed you know
‘Cause I was on a video chat this morning
With a company in Tokyo

Chorus:
Hey, everyday’s a revolution
Welcome to the future

Hey, look around it’s all so clear
Hey, wherever we were going, well we’re here
Hey, so many things I never thought I’d see
Happening right in front of me

I had a friend in school
Running back on the football team
They burned a cross in his front yard
For asking out the homecoming queen
I thought about him today
And everybody who’d seen what he’d seen
From a woman on a bus
To a man with a dream

Chorus:
Hey, wake up Martin Luther
Welcome to the future
Hey, glory, glory, hallelujah
Welcome to the future


To Sir With Love

Today’s song is from a classic movie that I just recently watched again to pass the time while recovering from the flu.  The song title is “To Sir With Love,” same as the movie title.  I was too young to appreciate the movie back in 1967 when it first came out (but I loved the song when I heard it on the radio).   I first saw the movie when it was playing on TV sometime in the late 70’s, when I was a teenager and could appreciate it more.   I remember thinking then how nice it would be if all teachers were like Mr. Mark Thackeray.    Now, watching the movie over 30 years later, after being a homeschooling mom for 20 years with 3 out of 6 children grown and graduated, I was surprised to realize that over the years and through many changes, I have become a teacher like Mr. Thackeray to my own kids!   I guess this movie planted a seed in me way back in the 70’s for the kind of teacher I was to become.

In reflecting back to the teachers in my life, the ones that made the most difference were the ones who cared more than just teaching me the academics.  They cared about me as a person, and to this day, I still remember fondly the encouragement I had received from them.   So, for the wonderful teachers everywhere who take the time to help the students discover themselves and show them a better way of life, I dedicate this song to Sir (and M’am) with love!

To Sir With Love (As performed by Lulu in the released single)

Those schoolgirl days
Of telling tales and biting nails are gone
But in my mind
I know they will still live on and on
But how do you thank someone
who has taken you from crayons to perfume
It isn’t easy but I’ll try

If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky
in letters that would soar a thousand feet high
To Sir with love.

The time has come
For closing books and long last looks must end
And as I leave
I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong
and weak from strong
That’s a lot to learn.
What, what can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start
but I would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir with love.

(Note: The following verse is in the movie version of the song, but omitted from the released single version of the song.)

Those awkward years have hurried by, why did they fly away?
Why is it Sir, children grow up to be people one day?
What takes the place of climbing trees and dirty knees in the world outside?
What is there for you I could buy?

If you wanted the world I’d surround it with a wall,
I’d scrawl these words with letters ten feet tall,
“TO SIR WTIH LOVE”


The Breath You Take

Another year has gone by, and now it’s 2011.   I still recall back when I was a teenager how the year 2000 seemed so far away, and now we’re more than a decade beyond that.  One thing for sure, time seems to be going by faster and faster as I get older.   More and more, I understand the value of slowing down and cherishing the moments of life as it happens, because once gone, those moments won’t come back again.   Today, the song “The Breath You Take” by George Strait (from 2009) really struck a chord with me.   I have found it to be true that it’s not the breath you take, but the moments that take your breath away, that make life worth living.   Looking back, it is those moments that take my breath away that I remember and cherish the most.   And so, I want to live the rest of my life at as slow a pace as I can, taking the time to respond to the people around me, and do those little things that lead to the memorable moments.

The Breath You Take By George Strait

He looks up from second base dad’s up in the stands
He saw the hit, the run, the slide there ain’t no bigger fan
In the parking lot after the game he said
“Dad I thought you had a plane to catch”
He smiled and said “Yeah son I did”

Chours
Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
Try’n to win the race
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away

Fast forward fifteen years
And a thousand miles away
Boy’s built a life he’s got a wife
And a baby due today
He hears a voice saying “I made it son
He said “I told you dad you didn’t have to come”
He smiles and says ”Yeah I know you did”

Chours

Just like it took my breath when she was born
Just like it took my breath away when dad took his last that morn

Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
If ya don’t slow down the pace
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away