WHY...

Barb Enjoys
Writing at IHOP

I love God, and I love telling others about Him. That’s why I write. Well, that, and I absolutely love to create characters and story worlds.

HOW...

Barb Chooses
Writing Topics

Ideas … ideas … ideas. Someday I seriously intend to settle down and write in one genre and only one genre … if God so leads.

WHAT...

Barb Loves to
Teach & Share

Novel writing is so relevant to our walks with God. Our stories begin with wounded, flawed characters who desperately need help.

Hallelujah Chorus
12/9/2016 12:49:00 AM BY Barb

    

Hallelujah Chorus

Is it even possible to hear the “Hallelujah Chorus” without being emotionally and spiritually moved? Such a glorious, triumphant work of art!

 

The “Hallelujah Chorus,” one song in the biblical musical drama titled the “Messiah,” was written by Charles Jennens (text) and George Frideric Handel (music) in 1741. After a bit of research, I’m convinced God has blessed the “Messiah” for the following reasons.

 

First and foremost, the work gives prominence to Christ. The lyrics are based on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In fact, when discussing the work with a friend in a letter, Jennens wrote: “I hope [Handel] will lay out his whole genius and skill upon it, that the composition may excel all his former compositions, as the subject excels every other subject. The subject is Messiah.”

In his unique way, according to the gifts God placed within him, Jennens was spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as he penned the lyrics. That is a good work.

And 1 Corinthians 9:8 says that “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” God did, indeed, bless Jennens’ good work.

Secondly, I believe the work was blessed because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Handel was a believer in Christ. After Handel’s death, one who knew him well wrote: “[Handel] was a relentless optimist whose faith in God sustained him through every difficulty.”

Once given the text, Handel secluded himself and completed the “Messiah” in 24 days. At one point, a servant entered Handel’s room and found him sobbing. Handel told the servant, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself seated on His throne, with His company of Angels.”

As he worked, Handel resided in the presence of the very King of Kings about whom the lyrics spoke, and God blessed his work.

Thirdly, the artists did all they did for God’s glory.

Colossians 3:16-17 instructs us to “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Jennens and Handel did exactly that. At the end of the written composition, Handel wrote the letters “SDG.” Soli Deo Gloria—To God alone the glory.

And finally, when Handel wrote the music to the “Messiah,” he was funded by a group of charities committed to helping the poor and imprisoned. With the “Messiah’s” successful performances, benefits set 142 indebted prisoners free.

In this way, the “Messiah” fulfilled the call given in Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

What a rich, win-win story! And the best part is that Christ is calling each one of us to a personal relationship with Him. His heart reaches out to the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, and the prisoner of darkness. It is not His will that any should perish (Matthew 18:14). He is offering us a better life … in Him.

Because of His great love, God gave His one and only Son—Jesus—that YOU might believe in Him and not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). Call out to Him now and receive His saving grace. And together, with the family of believers you have just joined, let’s lift our voices and shout:

“Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, reigns forever and ever!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy to the World
12/7/2016 10:16:00 PM BY Barb

Joy to the World!

In elementary school, the study of world is introduced in parts—from small to large. Primary students explore the world of self and family. Over the years, the lessons gradually broaden to include community, state, nation, and the world as a whole.

It makes sense, then, that as we consider welcoming the Christ Child into our world, we begin at home. In our own hearts. For the love of God can only shine forth into the world, at large, through the eyes of one individual at a time.

Joy to the World! The Lord is come. First to His chosen people—the Israelites. And then to the Gentile.

“For [Christ] Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility . . . His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace and in one body to reconcile them both to God through the cross” (Ephesians 2:14-16). We are truly one in Him … one in the bond of LOVE.

Joy to the World! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. The Lord came—He did His part. And now we decide whether or not to receive Him into our lives as Savior.

Let every heart prepare Him room. Once we receive Christ as Savior, we must make room for Him as Lord. And not just standing room only . . . As Lord, we must give Him precedence over everything else in our lives. 

And heaven and nature sing.  We have so much to be thankful for as we celebrate Christ’s birth. And we do not rejoice alone. For the angels above and nature around us join in as we proclaim the glories of Christ’s righteousness and the wonders of His love!