Category Archives: Song

And can it be – Phatfish

Here’s a new tune (well…it’s two years old, but it’s new to me….compared to the words, the tune is new anyway…) for ‘And can it be’. To my mind the original tune is a belter, but most of us (especially blokes) get a bit confused what we should sing in the last couple of lines. I’ve only listened to this version twice, but am looking forward to getting to know it better.

Phatfish have dispensed with the traditional second verse, with its talk of the ‘firstborn seraph’ (I don’t know if that was their reason…). I’ve posted the lyrics below so you can hum along meaningfully.

On this recording, I particularly like the way they portray the dungeon ‘filling with light’ musically, and the contrast between the more reflective feel in first couple of verses with the more solid, uplifting final verse.

1. And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior’s blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

2. He left his Father’s throne above
(so free, so infinite his grace!),
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

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Before the throne of God above

Don’t know how well this arrangement would go down at most of our church gatherings here at FBC, but perhaps it might work at your place, otherwise I hope it’ll help you celebrate the assurance we can have in Jesus wherever you are now!

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tells me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace,
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high

from Grace Alone, released 14 August 2012

Words by Charitie Lees Bancroft, Alternate Words and Music by Vikki Cook
Arrangement by The Modern Post

There’s a whole load more music from Mars Hill here.

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I love Shai Linne for his solid theology, his dedication to his artform, and his commitment to living as a disciple of Jesus as part of his local church (just read this update on his blog to see what makes him tick). He’s released several albums through Lamp Mode and contributed to most of other releases too.
It’s still just about nearly Easter time, so the song I want to talk about today is one of the first songs of his that I heard:
‘Jesus is alive’ is from his 2008 album ‘The Atonement’. My first reaction to it was that I loved the verses, but was slightly put off by the chorus – for every time he says that Jesus is alive, Shai lists a load of people who are dead. Is the song taunting those people? If we played it to our kids, would the message that sticks with them be that loads of people are dead? Really the song is pointing out how pointless our infatuation with celebrity and fame is:

The spotlight is on today’s icons.
In a thousand years, nobody will care – their light’s gone.
But at that time, Christ will still shine bright.
He’s not in the limelight – He IS the limelight….

What we should really care about is Jesus’ fame. But the song doesn’t end there. Shai Linne is a theologian at heart, and he spells out loads of the good things that are true because Jesus is alive. But first, he shows us how sure we can be that Jesus really is risen:
…the issue is
The risen Christ was seen by 500 eye-witnesses.
Imagine 500 people in a court of law,
Each of them taking the stand and reporting what they saw…
 Having given us that powerful image, I love it that he goes on to say ‘But it’s still by faith that we trust and praise the Son.’ There is overwhelming evidence for the historical truth of the resurrection which anyone can look into, but at the end of the day it’s a matter of faith. What counts is whether you’re willing to trust in Jesus completely.
Verse three is probably my favourite part of the track –  it celebrates what life is like now for Jesus’ people because he is alive. The best bit is when the phrases get shorter and cut across the rhythm. Here’s what it’s like to live with the Spirit’s resurrection power in us – it makes me want to remember the so I can join in when I listen and remind myself every day:
United with Christ, we reside in his light,
Abide in his might, keep in stride as we fight,
The pride in our life, the lies and the spite,
We strive to be wise as he guides us through the night,
He’ll chide and he’ll slice – recognise what is right,
His brightness inside lights our eyes, and it’s tight…
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God’s invisible qualities

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Romans 1 verse 20

Some people like to claim that there’s no proof for God. It’s certainly true that there’s no absolute proof that there’s no God. This verse explains why we look at creation and ask ‘is there something bigger than us?’ We get a sense of God’s eternal power and divine nature as we see the beauty and complexity of the universe. Our hearts might want to deny his existence so that we can live however we want, but the evidence points to the existence of a powerful, eternal designer.

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Apart from me there is no God

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
    apart from me there is no God.

Isaiah 44 verse 6

This is a heavy verse – pretty controversial in our days as it was then. It hits right to the heart of the lie that says that there are many Gods and we need to choose the one that suits us. Is he mega-arrogant? If you’ve made the universe, and are the only one who pre-existed it, you get to say “apart from me there is no God”. But he’s not just unique and bigger than us, he is also a redeemer, he saves. His redeemed people live with him as their king.

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All scripture is God breathed!

So… here goes.

I wrote and recorded this song a couple of years ago. I’ve been trying to make a better recording to post up, but I just can’t capture what I had in this recording – so we’ll have to put up with it for now at least.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3 verses 16-17

Amazing words – obviously I didn’t write them. Every single word of the bible was breathed out by God – it has his authority and power. Every single word is useful to us. Having God’s word means the Christian is throroughly equipped for every good work. Unless it’s closed and on a shelf. Get it stuck in your head and stored in your heart!

Peace out.


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