Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reflections on "Lifesong" by Casting Crowns

Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
Now joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight
May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to you

Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifesong sing to you
I want to sign your name
To the end of this day
Lord led my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you

Anyone who has seen me in a worship setting where most people have their hands held high during praise songs will tell you that I don't raise my hands high.  I never have.  I don't know why.  I think it's more of a physical discomfort issue than anything else.  My skinny arms holding up my six-foot wingspan gets uncomfortable quickly.  But who cares… That's not the point of this song.

Here's what I see that I can relate to in this first couple of verses:

I sing in vain tonight, "May the words I say and the things I do make my lifesong sing and bring a smile to You, LORD.  Let my lifesong sing to you!  Let my lifesong sing to you!  I want to sign your name to the end of this day that my Lord led my heart and my heart was true.  Let my lifesong sing to you!"

It's the "in vain" part that's always in front of me.  "In vain" means "failing to have or unlikely to have the intended or desired result."  In other words, I try to do and say what's right in all situations but I can't seem to pull it off.  At the end of the day, I know I've failed or fallen short in some way.

There is an answer to this issue but before I mention it, let me point out that, even with this answer, I will still get in my own way and fail and fall short from time to time.  Failing and falling short will be greatly reduced but never eliminated from my life once I have made the following declaration as an ongoing prayer:

"Lord I give my life to You as a living sacrifice to reach a world in need and to be your hands and feet.  So may the words I say and the things I do make my lifesong sing and bring a smile to you.  Let my lifesong sing to you! Let my lifesong sing to you!  I want to sign your name to the end of this day that You, my Lord, led my heart and my heart was true!  Let my lifesong sing to you!  Hallelujah, Hallelujah let my lifesong sing to you!"

This prayer, on this side of the pearly gates, will never happen in absolute definite totality.  Our human (sin) nature simply won't allow that.  Here's Biblical proof of this from Paul himself:

Romans 7:15-20 
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 

Philippians 3:12  
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. New Living Translation (NLT)  

In my current ministry to and with the good people of "Emerald City" and the neighboring bridge communities, I can personalize the above statement as follows:

"Lord I give my life to You as a living sacrifice to reach their world in need and to be your hands and feet.  So may the words I say as I see them prepare their injections and light their pipes and leave for their evening of "dates" and the things I do in all of my interactions with these men and women who are created in Your image make my lifesong sing and bring a smile to you.  Let my lifesong sing to you in such a way that they see more of you and less of me!  I want to sign your name to the end of this day that You, my Lord, led my heart and my heart was true!  Hallelujah, Hallelujah let my lifesong sing to You!"  In Jesus' Holy Name. Amen
                                                                                                                                                                   

Here are the uninterrupted lyrics:

Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
Now joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight
May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to you

Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifesong sing to you
I want to sign your name
To the end of this day
Lord led my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you

Lord, I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be your hands and feet
So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to you

Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifesong sing to you
I want to sign your name
To the end of this day
Lord led my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you

Hallelujah, Hallelujah let my lifesong sing to you
Hallelujah, Hallelujah let my lifesong sing to you
Hallelujah, Hallelujah let my lifesong sing to you

Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifesong sing to you
I want to sign your name
To the end of this day
Lord led my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you

Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifesong sing to you
I want to sign your name
To the end of this day
Lord led my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you


Written by John Mark Hall • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Here it is on YouTube:


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