I wrote this lyric after an amazing time of worship. I had just read Psalm 17:8 where David says, “Keep me as the apple of your eye…” It’s an incredible thing to know that, no matter what, God loves us beyond anything we have ever known. As it declares in Ephesians, “…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
Download or play: [audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/You-Love-Me.mp3|titles=You Love Me|artists=Ben Ward]
You Love Me
I’m the apple of Your eye
You love me
I’m the object of Your desire
So when I feel ashamed
Full of doubt and blame
I’ll remember You don’t change
You love me
I tend to feel unwanted
I tend to hurt sometimes
Overwhelmed by darkened clouds
With tarnish on the silver lining
I like to play the victim
Hide behind the pain
Smiling on my face
Or frozen, unbending
You look beyond my tantrums
Meet my questions
With one answer
I read this article recently by indie music entrepreneur Derek Sivers. It’s about a lecture he went to where the idea of the story – the rise and fall of drama – is illustrated and explained. He talks about how we love stories because the pendulum swings so wildly from misery to exceeding joy. Drama is exciting. The problem, he infers from the lecture, is that everybody wants their lives to be like this. But, in reality, our lives are mostly mundane and, well, boring. He gives this as the reason why people start fights and create drama; so we can live more of the stories we love so much.
I disagree with his conclusion.
My father-in-law has been Olivia’s and my pastor since we were married. One of my favorite things that he says about a life following Jesus is that it is a great adventure (not to quote old school Steven Curtis Chapman or anything). It’s true. When the Holy Spirit is in you, you live a life that is not even imaginable without Him. You do things that make the world (and even many Christians) go, “Huh?”
Like I shared last week, sometimes you’re just living everyday life and God drops someone in your way, changing all your plans.
Sometimes He tells you to give someone a call, or a hug, or money. Sometimes He tells you to move across the country, or the world. He’s always working in people’s lives. He’s always orchestrating His plans and He wants to use you. He wants to use me.
Sign me up.
Because I don’t want a storyless life. I want to know God and I want to see Him move in amazing, supernatural ways in unbelievable places with fascinating people.
This week, I’ve got a wonderful worship song that I hope you’ll enjoy. I love doing it in this slow, contemplative way. I could sing it for hours! (thanks Harold Greene). It was written by Kathryn Scott from the Vineyard in Ireland (we’re getting intenational here).
Download here. Play here:[audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/Hungry.mp3|titles=Hungry|artists=Ben Ward]
New song this week written with one of my favorite people in the world, Anje Dowler, and Katie Dean. It’s got a “James Taylor Moment” in the middle where the key goes up and I have to move the capo in a split second. Watch for it :).
Download here. Play here: [audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/Fight-in-Me.mp3|titles=Fight in Me|artists=Ben Ward]
Fight In Me
Ben Ward, Anje Dowler, Katie Dean
You’re the cigarette I’m not smoking
You’re the whiskey I’m not pouring
Anymore….Why can’t I close the door
You’re the hit I’m not taking
You’re the judgment I’m not making
It’s not over yet…Too hard to forget
I’ve got more needs
Than the comfort you bring
You hold my hand
But you’re not holding on to me
I’ve got some doubts
But I’m feeling my way out
In the end I believe
There’s still a fight in me
Maybe I fall too quickly
Maybe I’m my own worst enemy
It’s so easy…You never leave me
I’ll overcome where I’ve come from
Undo the damage I’ve done
I only played for a couple years, but I think back on that time with a lot of fondness. Maybe because the practices was so incredibly grueling. I know that seems weird…you are sure that you are going to die right there on the field from pure exhaustion…I remember being so thirsty that I would suck on my sweat soaked jersey. But you don’t die, you get a water break and nasty garden-hose-pvc-pipe water tastes like Evian. The feeling afterward of having accomplished something is nothing short of exhilarating.
So, back to football movies…
I watched The Express recently and was reminded of something that I want to be a part of my life now: The head coach in the movie (Dennis Quaid) talks about how they can beat the other teams by being more prepared — by the quality they produce.
In my songwriting I want to keep pushing through until I have a song that is the absolute best it can be. There is a part of music that is intangible and you can’t control, but the part I have responsibility for, I want to be exceptional.
In my singing and guitar/keys playing I want to play the best parts possible for me. I don’t want to just play chords…I want to write parts that I have to practice! (I can’t believe I’m writing this down…) It doesn’t have to be complicated, just right. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most beautiful. But I don’t want to just settle for something because it’s just good enough.
In my relationship with God I want to press on and experience all that He has for me. I don’t want to just get by and know that I’m a Christian. I want to know more of Him. I want to see and hear things I can’t even imagine. I want Him to use me to do great things. What He designates as great — not necessarily what the world thinks is significant. I want to see Him move and touch people and shower them with grace and mercy like He has throughout history…I want to be a part of great stories that people tell years from now.