Power, Strength and ella-minnow-pee

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith. (Romans 1:16 RSV)

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. (John 1:12 RSV)

The blood that gives me strength from day to day,
It will never lose its power.  – Andrae Crouch

Stevie Wonder, Yolanda Adams, Tata Vega, and CeCe Winans at Andrae's memorial service.

Stevie Wonder, Yolanda Adams, Tata Vega, and CeCe Winans at Andrae’s memorial service.

It just seemed right to finish out the week with Andrae. I want to take you through a process of discovery that occurred to me this morning as I remembered one of his songs.

This lyric I quoted yesterday from one of his earliest songs has been rolling around in my head for the last two days; today being no exception, as I woke up with this tune on my mind. That, by the way, is part of the power of music that weds itself to words and helps you remember. Come on now, how many of you still rely on the little alphabet song you learned in kindergarten to get you through the alphabet when you are looking up a word in the dictionary or going through the files in your desk that you put in alphabetical order. That’s why the “l,m,n,o,p” part of the alphabet will forever be run together in our minds like “ella-minnow-pee,” because of that little song.

That’s the power of music — to remember. And somehow, when I woke up this morning, the “It will never lose its power” part of Andrae’s song was playing in my head, but I couldn’t remember the line before it. So I went back and sang it in my head. I remembered it reaching to the highest mountain and the lowest valley, and suddenly it popped into place: “The blood that gives me strength from day to day…” And because I had to work for it, that made me much more aware of that line.

“The blood that gives me strength from day to day…”

Now that’s practical. It’s not something abstract about the blood. I mean, it could have been the blood that washes me clean. That’s a concept in a lot of hymns. But that’s a concept — something I can know in my mind and heart; it’s not as tangible as strength. The blood Andrae is singing about gives me strength. I can feel strength. I can use strength. I can apply strength. And I need strength “from day to day.”

Someone said that Andrae’s lyrics were tangible and transferrable. That’s certainly true about these.

One more thing: I got to thinking about power and came up with the two verses quoted above. There’s the power that saves me (Romans 1:16), and the power that makes me a child of God (John 1:12). Now that’s powerful. That’s power to make me into a new person. A different person. This is power that changes me from the inside.

How much are you sick of your old self? As much as I am of mine? This is power that has already changed you and me on the inside. It’s power I can access because it’s who I am now. I am a child of God. How does a child of God act? What does a child of God do? I can find out by faith. I can do this. It’s a strength I can have already in me that I can act on day by day. I already am what God wants me to be. I can act on that today. That’s power. This is not me trying to be something I am not; it is me realizing who I am, and being that new person by faith. I am a child of God.

Let’s live up to the people that we are today by faith.

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One Response to Power, Strength and ella-minnow-pee

  1. Becky says:

    Thank you, thank you. Tim and I are old fans of Andrae, too! Just what I needed today. This song and It Won’t Be Long have been running in the back of my mind–maybe I should move them to the front!

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