The Saxophone Player: “His Spirit Cries Out”

I would like to share a song of the Lord, for the Lord—inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is The Saxophone Player, Doug Gregan.

I hope you are blessed! ❤

The Saxophone Player: “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”

www.youtube.com/watch

One of the churches that supports us as missionaries asked The Saxophone Player, my husband, to record a ministry update and saxophone solo. I thought you might like to hear his solo.

God bless you today!❤️

Sunday Worship: “Jesus Is My Lord”

This song soothes my spiritual aches and pains. No matter the cares and burdens I may have carried in with me, this song gently leads me into a place of worship. When I am worshiping Jesus, there is nothing else that matters in the world.

“Worshiping at the piano one day, this song started with the first stanza. The other two stanzas were added shortly thereafter. There are times when I sing this that I feel the Lord is so near. It is a very intimate declaration of Christ’s Lordship over my life.”
(Doug Gregan)

(Verse 1)
Lord, I love You
And I magnify Your name.
Lord, I praise You. Holy One, I know you reign.
When fear tries to overcome me
I will call upon Your name
And Your loving Holy Spirit will bring me peace.
’Cause, Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.

(Verse 2)
Great Redeemer,
Thank You for my debt You’ve paid.
Master, Savior, help me serve You all my days.
For I know that I was purchased with
The price that was Your Blood.
Help me take my cross and follow You each day.
’Cause, Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.

(Verse 3)
Hallelujah,
I’ve been finally set free.
Grace to glory, my God’s love is so great for me.
When I think of all the love
That Jesus has poured into my life,
I can only weep with silent, thankful joy.
’Cause, Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.
Jesus is my Lord.

 

“Jesus Is My Lord”
Words & Music by Doug Gregan
© LAMP Songs
Vocals and Keyboard, Doug Gregan

 

Jesus: Great Redeemer, Savior, and Friend.


*These songs are meant to be sung in congregations. They are registered with CCLI, however, we offer them to the Body of Christ free of charge—for the sake of congregations that cannot afford a CCLI license or SongSelect membership. So, if you hear a song you would like to share with your church, let us know. We will email you the lead sheet, guitar tabs, lyric sheet, and/or overhead master*. No charge. The performance of the song may never be sold (even as part of a fundraiser), but anyone may use them freely to the glory of God. (*If you lack printing capabilities, we will mail them to you.)

Every Tool in the Box

“Oh, no.”

I could hear from the tone of the Saxophone Player’s voice that something really bad had just happened. 

Doug was installing a new shower head we’d received for Christmas,  when the water pipe that pokes out from the shower wall broke off right into his hand. It didn’t unscrew off, mind you. It was sheared right at the point where the threading starts and it screws into another pipe.

This was not good.

Doug texted our son-in-law, and asked if he could check it out the next day. Tim’s a handy fellow, and conveniently lives in the upstairs apartment. So, the next afternoon Tim came down with a pair of pliers in hand. I was surprised he only had a pair of pliers. I imagined the tub wall would have to be opened to get to the rest of pipe, and said so to Tim.

Cheerfully, (he’s a pretty upbeat guy) he said, “Well, maybe not. If I can remove the rest of the pipe, we shouldn’t have to open up the wall.” He explained that he’d checked on the situation earlier, before leaving for work, but the pliers he had used didn’t do the trick. “Hopefully, this pair will work.”

I went back to what I was doing (making applesauce), while he did his thing. About a minute later, he calls out: “I got it!”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, thanks to my grandfather’s pliers.” He laid them down to show me. “I couldn’t find them this morning, but I had a feeling they would do the trick.”

There are lots of pliers in the world, and they all work just fine, but that particular pair was just what Tim needed for that particular job.

I don’t use pliers often, but I use other tools. We all do. Some tools we reach for everyday, and some maybe only once a year. However, even that tool you only use once a year, like the hacksaw that Doug uses to make a fresh cut on our Christmas tree, is irreplaceable. Nothing else can do what it does. 

As I thought about tools, and how thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted they are for their particular purpose, I started to think about us—you and me. We’re actually tools, too. We were thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted, too. And, the Master Craftsman who designed us created us for a very particular purpose. 

Stop and think about that.

Now, no analogy is perfect, but I think there’s a measure of truth here. The Word of God tells us that we are gifted by God with certain talents: something we can do. These aren’t always talents like we normally think of talents—performance talents. It might be a talent for bringing order to chaos. Or, maybe you can turn a carrot and an egg it into a tasty and beautiful birthday cake. Maybe, you aren’t a singer, but you can make the singer’s voice heard above the drums in a room filled with 1,000 people.

As many tools are in any toolbox or kitchen drawer, it’s still just a drop in the bucket of how many different talents God has gifted His creation—you and me. Whether we have several, or have trouble thinking of even one, I can promise you that God has given you a talent, and He means for you to use it for the very purpose He intended.

So, what’s your talent? Does something come to mind? If you’re like I used to be, you might feel too insecure to say what you think your talent is, and that’s OK. I would probably still have a hard time admitting out loud that I have a talent for doing anything more than making gravy, and when I was younger—and so much more insecure—that’s the only talent I thought I had to offer the Lord. I baked cookies for the homeless, I cooked for church suppers, and I took meals to the sick. I took the only talent I thought I had, and used it every chance I could. As I kept serving the Lord with the talent I had, and doing anything else for the Lord—including things I was definitely not talented at doing—I discovered and acquired other talents.

Now, a reasonable question right now might be, “How do I find out what my talents are, and what God’s purpose is for my talent?”

Well, this is my simple answer: first, start doing whatsoever your hand finds to do for the Lord.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)

That’s one reason we need to be in church. In church, there are so many opportunities to serve God. Some opportunities might not sound very appealing. Or, we might be tempted to say, “I don’t think I have a talent for that.” Yet, as we start doing whatsoever our hand finds to do, we start to discover there are some things we’re actually really good at, and really enjoy doing. That’s a good sign. Our leaders are going to recognize our talents, too. We might not think we’ve a talent for something, because we compare ourselves to others, but our leaders can be more objective.

Now, your next reasonable question might be: “How will I know God’s purpose for my talent?” That answer is even simpler that the last answer. The ultimate purpose for any talent is that it glorify God.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

Now, if we happen to attend a church that doesn’t have many opportunities, we can ask our pastor to help us find a local ministry that needs help. However, I suspect most pastors will have something for a willing person to do. We might start serving in just a small way, or in a way we really don’t think is using our talent (or that we are talented at doing), but that’s how God leads us to those works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Start doing something, and see what God does next. 

 

 

Singing in the Snow

I walked into my bedroom  yesterday and was surprised to hear someone singing in the distance. I opened the window and captured a bit of it. I was kind of amazed.

Then, last night, I learned the rest of the story. He told me how hard it had been to shovel the snow, because it was so wet and heavy. He said, “I only got through it, because I started to sing.”

Next time you’re facing a task that feels too hard to finish, try singing to the Lord. It worked for him! ❤

P.S. Poor guy had even more snow to shovel today. Winter is here!

It’s Not the Doing

How are you today?

My day started well enough, but as the minutes ticked by I began to feel pretty stressed-out. The thing that sent me over the top was the Saxophone Player’s text asking if I’d like to go to breakfast. Suddenly, my stress shot through the roof.

Well, that’s just not right! Going to breakfast with my husband should not make me stressed, but I was trying to order my day and that was not something I was making time for today. I knew this was wrong, though, so I stopped everything and turned my focus to the Lord.  If I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that an absence of peace is proof that I’ve been absent from His presence. No matter how much I might be doing for Him, it’s not the doing that brings peace. It’s the being.

So, I set my mind on Him. I turned on the next sermon on my YouTube playlist. When the sermon was over, I turned on my favorite Pandora channel. Since my hands like to be busy, I made a scripture graphic with one of my favorite peony photos—a gift from God.

I didn’t have “time” for any of these luxuries today, but nothing on my scary, monstrous list of things I need to do—and things I’ve failed to do—matters as much as having the peace of God reigning in my heart. I’m no use to the Lord, if I’m sweating and straining to make things happen. Finishing everything on that list won’t bring me God’s peace. Having everything put away on my “desk” might bring a sense of accomplishment, but it cannot bring God’s peace. Only deciding to make time to be in His presence will restore my soul to a right place of resting in Him. And, that’s all I want. I accepted a long time ago that I’m a total failure as a human, but I don’t want to be a failure as a child of God. I don’t want to fail to love Him and glorify Him. He keeps my hands busy, but He does that for my sake. For His sake, He asks me to just sit with Him and know Him and rest.

He asks us all the same thing. My friend, if the pressures of the day are growing, choking your peace and joy in the Lord, I hope you will stop and sit with Him. Just leave all that there is to do, all that is pressing on you, and just be with Him. We delight in doing, but He delights in us, and in our just being with Him.

Isa263 meme

God bless you today. I pray “His peace that passes understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:7).

Now, I am off to a late breakfast date with my patient husband. ❤

*I felt inspired to change the pronouns. I hope no one is offended.

Sunday Worship

This song soothes my spiritual aches and pains. No matter the cares and burdens I may have carried in with me, this song gently leads me into a place of worship. When I am worshiping Jesus, there is nothing else that matters in the world.

“Worshipping at the piano one day, this song started with the first stanza. The other two stanzas were at it shortly there after. There are times when I sing this that I feel the Lord is so near. It is a very intimate declaration of Christ’s Lordship over my life.” (Doug Gregan)

“Jesus Is My Lord”
Words & Music by Doug Gregan
© LAMP Songs
Vocals and Keyboard, Doug Gregan

Jesus: Great Redeemer, Savior, and Friend.


*These songs are meant to be sung in congregations. They are registered with CCLI, however, we offer them to the Body of Christ free of charge—for the sake of congregations that cannot afford a CCLI license or SongSelect membership. So, if you hear a song you would like to share with your church, let us know. We will email you the lead sheet, guitar tabs, lyric sheet, and/or overhead master*. No charge. The performance of the song may never be sold (even as part of a fundraiser), but anyone may use them freely to the glory of God. (*If you lack printing capabilities, we will mail them to you.)

Sunday Worship

We recorded this in 2002. It is a demo we had to make for technical and copyright purposes. The quality on this particular recording is pretty good, but they aren’t all.

All together, there are 28 songs. The songs are registered with CCLI, however, we offer them to the Body of Christ ourselves—for the sake of congregations that cannot afford a CCLI license or SongSelect membership. So, if you hear a song you would like to share with your church, let us know. We can email you the lead sheet, guitar tabs, lyric sheet, and/or overhead master*. No charge. (That’s why we became a publishing company.) So long as the song or the performance of the song is never sold (even as part of a fundraiser), anyone may use it freely to the glory of God.

We used to have all of this on a website, but the web host suddenly called it quits. We are slowly working to build a new website, but in the meanwhile we will share them via social media. Feel free to share them, too.

Doug has been writing a little bit about the genesis of each song, and this is what he wrote about “You Chose Me.”

“Of all the songs the Lord has blessed me with, this one is the most powerful and complete for me. From the music to the lyrics, the song was penned by the Lord. It began with an email from Caroline, who shared a wonderful truth that the Lord had revealed to her. The truth was that despite everything in our daily life, regardless of success or failure, Jesus’ love for us never stops and He chooses us with the same deep love and compassion He had for us when He went to Calvary. When I read her email, the idea that He chooses me blossomed immediately into this song. In just over an hour it was essentially finished. I pray that it would minister to you the repentance and peace that I believe the Lord intended.”

 I will add that I knew what I was sending him was going to become a song. It’s the only time the Holy Spirit has used me as a “collaborator” in his songwriting. 

“You Chose Me”
Words by Doug Gregan
Music by Doug Gregan
Vocals and Keyboard, Doug Gregan

Christ the Lord is risen today!

 

*If you don’t have printing capabilities, we will mail them to you.

Saturday Evening Post, 4/6/19

It’s an early Spring for us here in New England, and today was a beautiful day. The whole week, really, has been lovely. I am still hoping for one more snow day, but I’m also thinking about how much I want to get into the garden. Our schedule tempts us not to garden at all, but Lucy loves it. I mentioned planting pumpkins, and she got so excited. Hopefully, this week we can get some seeds in the ground.

We celebrated a birthday recently. Lucy is the officially candle blowing assistant.

 

We discovered a new toy. Have you heard of water beads? They’re a fun sensory toy I discovered online. I was able to get Lucy some a few weeks ago. They make for an inexpensive activity that she finds very soothing. They’re very Montessori, offering lots of opportunity to pour and scoop and sort. There are endless applications. We’re just starting.

2019-03-21 14.30.53

 

The kids bought some playground equipment for the babies last week, and they’ve been a big hit. Isaac is still learning to go down the slide—he’s so funny. It was a very windy day, and that’s what you hear Lucy saying, “It’s so windy!”

 

Doug raked some leaf piles this week, and Lucy discovered the joy of frolicking in them.

FlyingInTheLeaves

 

Lucy is tall enough now to stand on a step stool at the sink, and it’s become one of her favorite things. She is exploring what makes a good drinking vessel.  She’s also acquired an apron of her own.

 

I managed to capture Isaac’s infectious laugh on his birthday a few weeks ago. He’s such a charmer.

 

Time with our grandbabies is like oxygen for us. Doug’s new schedule has limited his time with them, but we’re working on that. First things first.

Starting the New Year

If working hard means getting a good start to the new year, then I think Doug and I have a lot to look forward to in 2019.

We took a working vacation over Christmas and the New Year, which meant we worked at home only, no outside appointments. We stayed up late, and slept as long as possible.

We also hosted an Open House for ministry volunteers, which was a lot of fun.

Doug did throw his back out after Christmas, but I knew it was coming. The week before he had been doing a lot of lifting and moving, and I kept hearing him say, “There’s something funny going on with my back.” I also caught a head cold, but if it stays in my head, it won’t be too bad.

It’s going to be interesting this year, because we are rolling into 2019 with so much already in place. Normally, we spend January seeking the Lord for His course of action, His plan for the ministry. Well, He set the course for us before 2018 ended; we just have to keep doing what we were doing. So, we have a running start. I like it!

You know, I was thinking about the highlights of 2018 the other day. Isaac, our grandson, was definitely a highlight. How God moved in my heart was a highlight. Doug and I arrived at a new place of goodness in our marriage this past year, and that was a highlight.* It was almost like we remembered we were friends. Maybe, working together frustrates friendship. I think it might. And, HopeMail has been a very big highlight, too. I love how that is coming along.

However, my greatest highlight of 2018 is something I wanted to do all year long. I actually did work on it throughout the year, but it wasn’t until just before Christmas that all the pieces fell into place. It may not seem like a big deal, and you will wonder why it took so long, but I managed to finally finish our spare room, making it a place where the grandbabies can hangout and Doug can play his piano.

And, when those two things come together, well, my heart is pretty full.

I am very thankful the Lord did not despair of me in 2018. His kindness overwhelms me. He does love us like a Father, and we know that because He doesn’t love us any less when we’re ornery. It’s almost like He loves us louder, to make sure that in our blindness we don’t lose our way.

* I would feel dishonest if I did not add that I’ve been repeatedly cranky with him the past couple weeks, which is disappointing for me. I’ve had to apologize a lot. I want to blame my thyroid, but I think it’s more likely just ugly sin.