Music for Christmas 2021

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by Graham Mol

Every December I like to find a Christmas album to put on repeat. There is usually some new release from Christian artists around this time of year and often one can find some real gems. Last year my favourite album was Heaven Has Come which I wrote about in my blog: Music for Christmas 2020

This year instead of picking something newly released I went to find an album I’d heard about but had missed at the time, Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. The original was first released in 2004 and now has been re-recorded in 2019. 

The album presents a unique telling of the Christmas story through songs revealing the birth of Christ as it is foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament and brought to bear in the New Testament. I really love this as it helps convey the sense of anticipation that God’s people had as they awaited God’s promised Messiah.

The Christmas Nativity is not an isolated or separate story but part of the grand narrative of Scripture. The familiar tale of Christ’s birth becomes so much richer in meaning and significance when we see the bigger picture.

So I’d encourage you to have a listen to the album, and if possible listen to the whole thing in one go so that you get the sense of the story being told. Some of the songs stand out in particular. The moving “Deliver Us” conveys the heart cry of God’s people to be set free from slavery in Egypt which then is linked to our cry to being set free from slavery to sin.

The song “Labour of Love” paints an honest picture of the night of Christ’s birth, how difficult it must have been for Mary and Joseph to bring a child into the world all by themselves, in a dirty stable. And yet they were sustained by God’s grace.

There is also a song about Jesus’ genealogy. Yes, that’s right! I don’t think there’s even been a Christmas carol based purely on who begat who, but with the folksy country feel, Peterson pulls it off.

Here is a link to a playlist of the songs on Youtube:

Or you can find the song on your favourite streaming platform. Alternatively you can find the CD at a local CUM Books if you still like to enjoy your music “old school”!


God Bless


Continue ReadingMusic for Christmas 2021


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by Graham Mol

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:11-14)

The above passage of Scripture comes from Moses’ calling to be God’s representative to deliver His people from the oppression of Pharaoh and Egypt. God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush that although it was on fire was not consumed by the flames. This is an important moment, as Moses asks God what name should he give should the people ask who is this God of their fathers. The Lord’s response is full of meaning: I AM WHO I AM. The saying could also be translated as “I will be who I will be”.

Last week I shared with our Church executive a wonderful perspective I had come across on what it means that God simply describes Himself as I AM. In the short devotion I had watched, the pastor suggested that in saying I AM God is saying to us that He is not any particular I AM because each day we do not know which I AM we will need Him to be. On Monday it may be “I am your Provider” on Tuesday it may be “I am your Protector”. The wonderful truth is that whatever we need God to be, He is.

In Genesis 17:1 God says to Abraham: “I am God Almighty”. In Hebrew this is the phrase El-Shaddai which also can be translated as “The All-Sufficient One”. In other words, whatever we need, God is enough. For every “Who is..?” God’s answer is “I am.”

To take inspiration from the words of the song This is Amazing Grace:

Who is able to break the power of sin and darkness? I AM

Who is the One whose love is mighty and so much stronger? I AM

Who is the One who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder? Who is the One who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder? I AM

Who is the One who brings our chaos back into order and makes the orphans a son and daughter? I AM

Who is the One who rules the nations with truth and justice, shining like the sun in all of its brilliance? I AM

Whatever we need, whatever our situation, God is always enough. He is the great I AM. He always will be.


God Bless


Continue ReadingI AM


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by Graham Mol

On a hot and humid day like today there is nothing so refreshing as a glass of ice and water. Cool and delicious especially when you find yourself hot and sweaty. If you are lucky enough, a dip in the pool or a bowl of ice cream can also bring that refreshment. And if you can have all three, well, that’s a little piece of heaven amid in this heat!

Each of these things bring us refreshment, they make us less hot and tired. To be refreshed is also to have your strength and energy restored. When you’ve been working hard, running around getting things done, there is nothing like that short break to bring refreshment.

This concept of being refreshed is actually a Biblical one. In fact it is one of the oldest principles set down by God.

“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” (Exodus 31:15-17)

In taking our lead from God, the rhythm of work involves both working and resting. This is important both for our finite bodies, in both resting and sleeping in order to live, and for our souls. The cares, troubles, temptations and pitfalls of life can be wearying on our souls. We can find ourselves stumbling, dry and withered and so we need to receive much needed refreshment.

This refreshment can come through a number of ways. We can be refreshed by others (1 Corinthians 16:18; 2 Timothy 1:16, Philemon 1:7), finding quiet time to spend in the Lord’s presence (Psalm 23:2-3), reading God’s word (Psalm 19:7), directly from having a relationship with Jesus our Lord and Saviour (Matthew 11:28) and having the Holy Spirit poured into our lives (Isaiah 44:3; John 7:37-39).

Today as you refresh yourself with that cold glass of water, that bowl of ice cream or dip in the pool. Consider how the Lord refreshes your soul.

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Saviour
And life more abundant and free

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

God Bless


Continue ReadingRefreshed

Gentle Rain

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by Graham Mol

I love the sound of gentle rain. As I sit here typing up this blog post now that our load shedding block has passed (thanks Eskom!) I am delighted by the sound of rain falling. This kind of weather brings happy memories of my journey with the Lord. The drizzle reminds me of sitting on the porch of the mess hall at Heron Ridge where we were on a Church Family Camp. While the drizzle fell we each found a space to sit quietly to do our morning devotion before gathering inside to share in breakfast.

I also associate this kind of weather with the time I was in our Church youth group, meeting at our youth leader’s house for weekly fellowship. It must have been a rainy month and as a result when I think of this weather I think of the time we shared in God’s word, growing in wisdom and stature ourselves as we laughed, prayed and cried together.

There is a worship song that goes: “Mercy is falling, is falling, is falling. Mercy it falls as the sweet spring rain” The life giving rain that falls is often a reminder of God’s grace and provision. In the Old Testament we read of times that God brought drought as judgement against the wickedness of His people. The return of the rain would then signify His forgiveness and mercy.

In the book of Deuteronomy there is a song of Moses that begins this way:

Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
    hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain
    and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
    like abundant rain on tender plants. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

God’s word is like the fresh rain that brings nourishment and life to us. Whether we receive this word through our own devotional reading of the Bible, or through the community of others as we teach, love and support one another, it soaks into our souls bringing refreshment and newness of life.


God Bless


Continue ReadingGentle Rain