Christian Music Appreciation: My Strength

Welcome back, my fellow faithful Christians, pursuers of our Lord and readers who love music. This is the latest edition of my ongoing Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series and today we will examine together the holiness and beauty of the worship song My Strength.

My Strength was performed live at EpicLife Church during a Sunday worship service in 2020 with Pastor Martha Munizzi leading the singing with their church music team (including her two very talented and anointed daughters). The video of the said performance is posted near the end of this article.

That being said, we can start looking at the official lyrics of My Strength and analyze them afterwards. Here are the lyrics for your reference and faith in the Lord…

Verse 1

My strength My strength

Oh, the joy of the Lord is

My strength My strength

Oh, the joy of the Lord is

My strength that is enough to overcome the world

Chorus

You’re the joy no one can take away

You’re the joy no one can take away

You’re the peace inside I can’t explain

You’re the strength I need you will always be

Verse 2

My strength my strength

Oh, the joy of the Lord is

My strength my strength

Oh, the joy of the Lord is

My strength that is enough to overcome the world

Bridge

Stronger stronger, I’m getting stronger

The joy of the Lord, it makes me stronger

Greater, greater, my God is greater

His power, His power it make me stronger

What is easy to point out here for analysis are the following lyrics that served as the first and second verses of the song: My strength My strength, Oh, the joy of the Lord is, My strength My strength, Oh, the joy of the Lord is, My strength that is enough to overcome the world.

So more than once, the joy of the Lord is our strength was expressed. It is about strength that is so abundant, it is enough to overcome the world. Overcome the world not in the political sense and certainly not in the militaristic sense. It is all about faith in the Lord that will heal people in our screwed-up world, restoring them to God’s original plan for each of them, blessing them, uplifting them from the darkness of the world and leading them to His kingdom. There is one notable holy scripture that easily comes to mind…

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)

Nehemiah 8:10 in the New King James Version (NKJV) emphasized the cultivating and promotion of the joy of the Lord among the people of God as a powerful source of spiritual strength. As Christians, we are meant to be strong, optimistic, fearless and aggressive since we are led by our faith in the Heavenly Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The joy of the Lord as our strength is a key part of our growing into Godliness. In fact, understanding and obeying scriptures in the Holy Bible (the Word of God) brings joy to our lives and orients us to acknowledge His hand in our success. This is something we can do to help all the unsaved and lost souls find their way back to the Lord. Now let’s take a look at Nehemiah 8:10 in two other translations…

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)

Then he said to them, “Go, eat the festival foods, drink the sweet drinks, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your refuge.”

Nehemiah 8:10 (NASB)

Nehemiah 8:10 in the New Living Translation (NLT) has the exact same nine last words as the same scripture in the New King James Version. In the North American Standard Bible (NASB) translation, the joy of the Lord is described as the Christian’s refuge, meaning a spiritual stronghold. Stronghold obviously reflects our strength in God.

In Nehemiah 8, Ezra (the associate of Nehemiah) read God’s Word to His people who suffered through severe consequence for their rejection of the Lord, rejection of His covenant and because they did not live in accordance to God’s law. Rebellion was also a defining value of the people Ezra read to. Still, God was willing to forgive the people and restore them. This was emphasized by what Ezra declared to them in Nehemiah 8:10, which ultimately lifted them up. They were told not to grieve as the joy of the Lord is their strength. Along with strength came restoration, forgiveness of sins, and a greater understanding of God’s will for them. The joy of the Lord provided people strength to reach for the provision of love and salvation from Him. Learn from the following scriptures…

Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12:3 (NKJV)

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephania 3:17 (NKJV)

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

Going back to the song, the lyrics used in verses 1 and 2 make sense and are indeed holy with their composition. The joy of our Lord is our strength and with it, we can spread His Word around the world, help Lord Jesus save the lost and unsaved souls, and free them all from the darkness of unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions, rituals and Satan.

Furthermore, other lines from the lyrics such as You’re the joy no one can take away, You’re the peace inside I can’t explain, You’re the strength I need you will always be and The joy of the Lord, it makes me stronger, Greater, greater, my God is greater, His power, His power it make me stronger seamlessly connect with the holy scriptures mentioned here.

Now that we know the truth about the joy of our Lord, here is one more holy scripture to help deepen your faith in Him.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (NKJV)

Going back to the song My Strength, I can declare that its lyrics are indeed holy and written in close attention to the Holy Bible. Musically, My Strength is a smooth yet motivating worship song and Pastor Martha Munizzi’s lead performance of it is indeed lively. It is such a good song, I would suggest to church leaders and ministry organizers reading this to consider have their church band play My Strength as an opening song during Sunday worship services.

Finally, in concluding this CMA, embedded below is the official church performance video of My Strength held at EpicLife Church in Florida with Pastor Martha Munizzi leading the song with their church band. It is a very fine performance and it should help you get motivated in worshiping the Lord. For your strong faith in the Lord, always remember to have fellowship with the Lord Himself in private, practice Christian habits (click here and here), get planted and stay planted in a local church, and always keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

What to watch today for Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you my readers and my fellow Christians! We honor and remember our Lord and Savior Jesus whose birth, life, sacrifice and resurrection remains highly significant to this day. It is during the Christmas season we should focus mainly on Lord Jesus and not allow ourselves to be distracted by the elements of this screwed-up world we live in. Christmas is all about Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else!

That being said, it is time for us all to take the opportunities of today to deepen our faith in the Lord and this is about what to watch this Christmas.

No, I am not talking about the venomous Hollywood movies that pretend to be about Christmas, nor those movies that used Christmas as a backdrop or a setting. In fact, I am not talking about movies at all.

What I am talking about are Christ-centered events and presentations that we can find online and easily access. For starters, we can warm up ourselves with the many Christmas musical performances by Hillsong Worship and a few from Planetshakers below.

Now we can focus on upcoming Christmas events. In fact, a few of them will happen today – December 24, hours from now to be precise! Let’s start with Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC) and its Christmas Eve service which will start live streaming via YouTube today at 2:45 PM Manila Time (5:45 PM in Australia). For the newcomers reading this, HopeUC is headed by the famous pastor Darlene Zschech and her husband Mark.

Next is the Christmas Eve service of Hillsong Church which will start live streaming via YouTube at 3PM Manila time (6PM in Australia) today. Expect to see Brian and Bobbie Houston.

Tomorrow, Hillsong Church will have its Christmas Day service. It will start live streaming via YouTube at 6:30 AM Manila time (9:30 AM in Australia).

Another Christmas Eve event you should pay attention to is Yugto, to be organized and presented by Church of God, World Missions Philippines. This special event will start streaming live via the megachurch’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel tonight at 10PM in the Philippines (1AM of December 25 in Australia).

Each of the scheduled Christmas special events of HopeUC, Hillsong and Church of God, World Missions Philippines will include teachings of the Word of God, musical presentations, prayers and other special activities that viewers can focus on and deepen their faith in Lord Jesus.

In ending this, posted below are YouTube videos of the recent Christmas-related events that you might have missed. Enjoy them and remember to take steps when you want to deepen your faith in the Lord. Merry Christmas to you all and remember to keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Christian Music Appreciation: Because of Who You Are

Hey everyone! Welcome to the latest edition of the Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series. Today I’m about to review another Christian worship song – Because of Who You Are.

Before reviewing, let me start that I’ve been following the Sunday worship sessions of EpicLife Church most of which were led by pastor Martha Munizzi whom I admire and followed. For the newcomers reading this, Martha Munizzi is an acclaimed music minister and a prominent figure of Christianity having led worship many times, sang a lot of songs leading people to the Lord, and became a speaker across the United States. She and her family – her husband Dan, son Nathan and daughters Danielle and Nicol – established EpicLife Church on January 2014 in the city of Winter Park, Florida.

Here’s the story behind EpicLife Church as published on its official website:

After 12 years of traveling in full time ministry, we felt called by God to establish a place where those seeking fulfillment in life feel like they belong. We set out to launch EpicLife Church in January 2014. we have a heart for those who have never set foot in church or maybe for those who have been hurt by church in the past. We desire to see you fall in love with Jesus, his church, and his people. we believe you belong in the local church. EpicLife church is a place where you can know god, find freedom, discover your purpose, and make a difference.

Going back to pastor Martha, she wrote and performed a whole lot of Christian songs. The one song of hers that I always love listening to is Because of Who You Are, which she wrote with her husband. The song was released many years ago on Martha’s album Say The Name. To this day, a lot of people claimed that Because of Who You Are is their favorite among Martha Munizzi’s songs. That song also helped the pastor earn two Dove Award nominations for Contemporary Gospel Recorded.

Now we can start looking at the lyrics of Because of Who You Are.

Because of who You are, I give You glory.

Because of who You are, I give You praise.

Because of who You are, I will lift my voice and say

Lord, I worship You because of who You are.

Lord, I worship You because of who You are.

Jehovah Jireh, my provider.

Jehovah Nissi, Lord, You reign in victory.

Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace

And I worship You because of who You are.

Because of who You are, I give You glory.

Because of who You are, I give You praise.

Because of who You are, I will lift my voice and say

Lord, I worship You because of who You are.

Lord, I worship You because of who You are.

Jehovah Jireh, my provider.

Jehovah Nissi, Lord, You reign in victory.

Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace

And I worship You because of who You are.

Jehovah Jireh, my provider.

Jehovah Nissi, Lord, You reign in victory.

Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace…

And I worship You

Worship You, worship You

Yeah, yeah.

And I worship You

Worship You, worship You

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I worship You because You’re holy, holy.

I worship You because holy is who You are.

I worship You because You’re worthy, worthy.

I worship You because worthy is who You are.

I worship You because You’re mighty, mighty.

I worship You because mighty is who You are.

Worship You, worship You.

(And I worship You because of who)

Lord, I worship You because of who You are.

Lord, I worship You because of who You are.

The first part to analyze here are the following lines: Because of who You are, I give You glory. Because of who You are, I give You praise. Because of who You are, I will lift my voice and say Lord, I worship You because of who You are. Worship is clearly emphasized in those lines and it is no surprise at all that we as the creations of God are destined to praise Him, thank Him and honor Him eternally for He created us and the world we live in. This truth led me to post below the following scriptures from the Holy Bible that relate easily with the posted lines from the lyrics.

For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity. Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful. Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts! Let every activity of your lives and every word that comes from your lips be drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. And bring your constant praise to God the Father because of what Christ has done for you!

Colossians 3: 14-17 (TPT)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving! Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God. And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.

Psalm 95: 1-7 (NKJV)

Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Psalm 29: 2 (NKJV)

The next lines to examine are as follows: Jehovah Jireh, my provider. Jehovah Nissi, Lord, You reign in victory. Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace. Jehovah Jireh is the reference to God who is our eternal source and the main provider. Our Heavenly Father makes the provision when He sees the need, and He clearly is aware of our needs. Let’s take a look at the scripture below recalling the time when Abraham’s faith was tested by God who ordered him to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering on one of the mountains in Moriah.

But the Angel of the LORD called to Him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.”

And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

Genesis 22: 11-14 (NKJV)

As our source and provider (Jehovah Jireh), God saved the promised son Isaac from being a sacrifice and He preserved His promise to make him a great nation. The Lord also acted faithfully in response to the faith Abraham had in His provision. Furthermore, there is an additional reference in Hebrews 11: 17-19. As such, we Christians must always remember that it is not the economy that is our source for it is only the Lord who is our definite source.

Moving forward, Jehovah Nissi refers to the Lord as the banner and Moses’ acknowledgment of God’s presence. The specific scripture below.

And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner;

Exodus 17: 15 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, a banner is the pole-like standard beneath which armies or communities rallied. When the banner is lifted up, it calls the people together to meet, or to follow instructions or to unite to battle. With regards to the altar established by Moses, it is his recognition of God’s presence as well as the way to honor Him as the giver of the victory over the Amalekites. As such, the Jehovah Nissi reference in the song correctly acknowledges the victory that the Children of God can always look forward to for as long as they faithfully follow Him and maintain personal relationships with Him.

The other reference from the song, Jehovah Shalom, relates to one of several names for God in connection to peace. The first to use the reference was Gideon who witnessed the appearance of an angel of the Lord. Holy scripture below…

So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Judges 6: 24 (NKJV)

“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

John 14: 27 (TPT)

The-LORD-Is-Peace literally means Yahweh Shalom. With regards to Gideon, he gained a new sense of security in his relationship with God and is effectively expressed by the word shalom, meaning peace, wholeness, security, friendship and prosperity. Speaking of peace, Lord Jesus Himself made clear that peace from Him is perfect and He left it as a gift to those who believe in Him. The reference of Jehovah Shalom in the song makes perfect sense for us Christians.

The next line from the lyrics: I worship You because You’re holy, holy. God, who is all-powerful, just, gentle and loving, is undeniably holy. He loves us so much, He sent to us His begotten Son Lord Jesus to redeem humanity. Below are the following scriptures (a few of many, take note) that confirm His holiness.

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”

Leviticus 19: 1-2 (NKJV)

Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. For Scripture says: “You are to be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1: 15-16 (TPT)

And one called out to another, saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, Commander of Angel Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Isaiah 6: 3 (TPT)

For I am the LORD your God. You shall consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.

Leviticus 11: 44-47 (NKJV)

The last line from the lyrics to analyze is this: I worship You because You’re worthy, worthy. That line strongly relates to the following scriptures below…

You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.

Revelations 4: 11 (NKJV)

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

Psalm 145: 3 (NKJV)

So there you have it! Because of Who You Are is indeed a very holy song. It was written by pastor Martha Munizzi and her husband with direct influences from the Holy Bible which itself is the ultimate authority of Christianity for it is the Word of God. There is no denying that the Munizzis were anointed to compose the song and make an impact on leading people to the Lord and helping them deepen their faith in Him.

Apart from being holy, Because of Who You Are is also a very beautiful song to listen to and it is easily a very worthy song to play to fellow Christians during Sunday worship church services. Ask yourself: have your church musicians played Because of Who You Are on Sundays lately?

In ending this CMA, embedded below is the YouTube video of Because of Who You Are. Listen to it, enjoy it and always praise and honor the Lord. Let pastor Martha (whose voice is always beautiful) and the song lead you to Him.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved  and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com