Tag Archives: Mark Hall

Worship Wednesday – East to West – Casting Crowns

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Did you ever play that game with your children or grandchildren when you asked, “Do you know how much I love you?” Then you stretched your arms out to the side as wide as you could…stretching, straining, reaching, responding out loud in a big voice, “THIS MUCH!”

One day, they will transfer that memory to the picture of the Cross and the unfathomable love of Jesus.

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The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed...The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.Psalm 103:6, 8-14

For a moment, let’s rest in this exquisite truth of who God is and what life is for us with Him.

Rest.

Rest from the punishing news cycle, the pull of need around us, the caught-shortness we feel in this protracted season of COVID. We are going to take our rest in Him right this moment.

Breathe in the love of God we find in Psalm 103. That great Psalm written by our elder brother King David – sinner and saved by the matchless grace of God. David knew what it was to live in sin and regret, and he knew the loving promise of God who cast away his sin “as far as the east is from the west”.

sky,wind direction,west,east,anemometer,weather vane,wal,sheet,metal,iron,stainless,patina,free pictures, free photos, free images, royalty free, free illustrations, public domainPhoto Credit: NeedPix

What a great truth we learn in this Psalm of David! Echoed throughout Scripture and brought to a crescendo in the life, death, and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. Read what David says further in the Psalm:

“…from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts.”Psalm 103:17-18

As we play with and pray for our children (or grandchildren), we don’t have to give in to worry about their future. Ours is to stay faithful to a faithful God. He has our grandchildren in His sight… and in His care.

Worship with me to Casting Crowns“East to West”:

Here I am, Lord, and I’m drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don’t want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I’ve never sinned
But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
‘Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I’m in
Today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
‘Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I know You’ve washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I’m not holding on to You, but You’re holding on to me
You’re holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don’t have to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
(Just how far, the east is from the west, just how far)
One scarred hand to the other
(You know just how far the east is from the west, just how far)
From one scarred hand to the other*

*Lyrics to “East to West” – Songwriter(s): Mark Hall, Bernie Herms, from the 2007 album “The Altar and the Door”

Casting Crowns Story Behind the Song East to West

YouTube Video – Matchless Grace of Jesus – Acapeldridge

YouTube Video – Matchless Grace of Jesus – The Cathedrals (a blast from the past)

What Does It Mean That God Has Removed Our Sins From Us “As Far As the East Is From the West” (Psalm 103:12)?

As Far as the East Is From the West – Kitchen Table Devotionals – Rita Macdonald

If You Don’t Have the Answer You Need – Wait – Just Be Held – and Let God Sing To You

Blog - Just Be Held - Psalm 46,1Photo Credit: LifeHopeandTruth.com

You know that experience of being face down, not knowing what to do, wet with sweat from wrestling with questions that seem not to have answers. Sometimes, I’m on my knees, praying. More than not, it’s laying across my bed, hot tears down my face or too weary to cry.

When we lived in North Africa and it was in the hottest part of summer, I would just lay stretched out on the marble floor, cool against my cheeks. Then there comes that moment in prayer…I know you know it…when, whether the answer comes or not, the peace comes. I roll over on my back. Looking up, and finally resting in God’s love and strength.

Whether I know what’s ahead or not, He knows and He wraps His arms around us and  infuses us with His strength, His confidence, His grace, His love.

It is enough for today.

Actually, at some point, we all have to make that decision, take the next step, fill in the check, or whatever it is that sends us to our knees. It’s huge for me that the decision pales in comparison to the relationship we have with God. That is what turns sorrow into joy…always.

Casting Crowns does this beautiful song, Just Be Held,  written by Bernie Herms and Matthew Joseph West. Lead singer, Mark Hall, tells an audience that they had sung that song for over a year when he finally realized it was a word from God TO HIM.

The lyrics follow, but one line, in particular, resonates today and makes my heart glad:

“Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held.”

Whatever your decision today or tomorrow, I hope you’ll be encouraged by the words and truth of this song – Just Be Held:

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

Lyrics & Story Behind the Song

YouTube Video – Just Be Held – Story Behind the Song

Casting Crowns & the Album Thrive

Blog - Just Be Held - Casting Crowns

 

Worship Wednesday – Thriving Through the Unknown Because of Who’s Known – Mark Hall of Casting Crowns

Blog - Mark Hall asking for prayer

But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God.” – Isaiah 43:1-3

Don’t you love it when a familiar Bible verse takes on new importance for what you’re going through right now? Or the lyrics of a song that’s been out for months, all of a sudden, resonates with just what you’re currently going through? As if you were reading/hearing it for the very first time? Just a few days ago, I heard the song “Thrive” by Casting Crowns and I thought it was a new release. Out a year already, and the lyrics just registered on this hearing.

Later that same day, the news came out that Mark Hall, Casting Crowns’ singer/songwriter, had been diagnosed with a mass on his kidney. He would be undergoing surgery on March 11 to remove the mass and determine whether or not it was cancer. It seems after hearing that news, “Thrive” has played on the air and in my head repeatedly.

Mark Hall is presently dealing with this terrible unknown, yet what is known to him is a loving, merciful, Healer God. Whatever uncertainty he faces, he faces it certain of a God who loves Him and calls him, not just to survive what he’s facing, but to thrive within it… What I know of Mark, he will…because of Who he knows.

“Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable
Love unstoppable, anything is possible.”

Blog - Casting Crowns - Mark Hall family

Pray for Mark, his family, his band and his church today…

and worship with me:

Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry

So living water flowing through
God, we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls with one desire

Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Into Your word, we’re digging deep
To know our Father’s heart
Into the world, we’re reaching out
To show them who You are

Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable
Love unstoppable, anything is possible*

Blog - Casting Crowns - Mark Hall

*LyricsThrive – written by Mark Hall and Matthew West, Casting Crowns

Christian Post article on Mark Hall’s Situation

YouTube Official Lyric video of Thrive

YouTube video of Thrive – live performance by Casting Crowns

Story Behind the Song Thrive

Just Be Held & Mark Hall’s Testimony a Year Ago Reflecting Where God Has Him Today – Held.

#PrayingforMark

Mark Hall Twitter page

Mark Hall’s Full Testimony

Casting Crowns Website

Photo Credit – Mark Hall asking for prayer

Photo Credit – Mark Hall Family

Photo Credit – Casting Crowns band