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shutterstock_97990253_200x150.jpg 1. HOW FAR IS HEAVEN.  Our analytical data shows that the first two Albums: God is with You and I Call to You, have been listened to the most during the past few years.  We feel, however, that our other songs  were also composed out of prayerful reflection and meditation on Scriptures. Starting with this blog and those that follow, I will introduce single songs from each album for your consideration.  Today, I attempt to address the age old question at the end of our earthly existence:"How far is heaven from the earth, when the bells forever toll?": Do we believe in the afterlife? Do we believe in heaven?  Do we believe in God?  Do we believe that love lives on?  For those of us who are given the gift of faith:  do we live our lives as a way of "praising" Him by carrying our crosses in this life and do we follow in His footsteps to "New Life"? 


shutterstock_43000195_500x334_200x134.jpg 2. DO YOU LOVE ME. This song was inspired by the passage from Jn.21:15-19, recounting one of Jesus' appearances to his disciples after he rose from the dead.  St. Peter was asked several times whether he "loves" Jesus enough to be entrusted with the tasks of  "feeding his lambs," "tending his sheep" and "feeding his sheep."  All of us have been and will be asked this same question throughout our lives.  As Christians, we have to be born again of water and spirit.  We show our love for Jesus by a life based on Faith, Hope and Love.  The answer to the question: "Do You Love Me?" is a continuous "Yes" when we die and rise with this same God, who loves us into being and remains with us "till the end" of time.        


shutterstock_48068413_500x300_200x120.jpg 3. MY SINS SURROUND ME. This song is a cry to the Lord for mercy.  There are times in our lives, when we are overwhelmed by the knowledge that "nothing is right" and by ourselves, we are helpless.  We ask for mercy and forgiveness.  The Lord is ever ready to do so, but we are reminded that as members of a community of believers, we must forgive others and not judge them unfairly.  We are all sinners, who long to hear our Savior's words:  "My child, your sins are forgiven."


shutterstock_45183997_200x207.jpg 4. PRAY FOR DELIVERANCE. The lyrics of this song remind us of the "end of time," as well as the Advent Season.  We are reminded of the importance of prayer, as well the need to be watchful in our lives.  We pray for guidance, we pray so that our hearts will be strengthened with faith, hope, and love.  With God's grace, we hope to live a blameless , holy life by accepting "His Truth that will set us free."  Above all, we pray that we will be delivered into his hands at the end of our earthly existence.


5.  GIFTS FROM GOD. This song tells us that our life, and its wonderful attributes, are gifts from God.  The gift of Faith was given to us at Baptism:  we are confirmed in the Holy Spirit and sent forth to spread the Good News of Salvation.  We are to serve the sick, the poor and others with love and humility.  We gather to share, to remember, and be strengthened by the "Giver of Gifts."  We are reminded to give "without counting the cost," since, by doing so, we give away the gifts we have been given.

shutterstock_120779581_200x214.jpg 6.  WHITER THAN SNOW.  This song is based on Psalm 51, Matthew 25 and John 8.  It is a call from Jesus to all of us.  He invites us to return to Him.  At one point or another, we have experienced the "straying" from his love, the sadness of being in the "wilderness" far from his grace.  Our asking to be washed clean is but a response to His invitation.  We will not stumble in the dark when we walk with Jesus, who is "The Light of the World."  We are parts of the human family, our desire to be "washed clean" is to be accompanied by our sharing of material and  spiritual blessings with others.

shutterstock_38392951_200x200.jpg 7.  COMING ON THE CLOUDS.  The lyrics of this song are taken from the three Synoptic Gospels of Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 21, as well as Revelation 1, 3, 20 and 22.  They address the End of Time and are appropriate for religious services during Advent.  I think it is also very fitting that we turn our minds and hearts to God, when we encounter "trials and tribulations" in our daily lives.  The cry for forgiveness and guidance from the Lord Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, should be our frequent petition.  Blessed indeed are those who "bow down and pray."  We ask the Lord to come to us with his deliverance and redeeming love.


8.  GUARDIAN ANGELS.  The belief in the existence of angels is based on both the Old (Exodus 23:20-21a; Psalm 91: 11) and New Testaments  (Matthew 6: 25-32; 18:3,10; Luke 2:14; 18: 17).  The Roman Catholics also have a special devotion to the Guardian Angels whom we believe to have been appointed to guide and guard each of us through our earthly lives .  The angels' tasks on earth are to serve, to announce, to be our companion, and to lift us up when we "stumble and fall from grace."  The lyrics and melody of this song are joyful and gives one a sense of hope and connection to heaven.




9. REVELATION.  The song is based on Matthew 24: 21 & 30, as well as on Revelation 22:20.  While these Scripture verses remind us of the "End Time" and are appropriate for Church Services during Advent.  I think, as individuals, we can and need to call on the Lord Jesus and invite Him to come into our lives much more frequently.  We want Him to be our Guide when we are young and are looking for direction. We call on Him when we are old for Him to be our Strength.  We call on Him when darkness threatens our way, and when other influences try to lead us astray.  We call on Him as we "walk the way of the cross," because it is only by Him and with Him that we are able to live a LIFE of LOVE and SACRIFICE, as we head toward heaven.

 shutterstock_171845_200x305.jpg10.  WE SHALL ALWAYS OVERCOME.  This song is appropriate for any Church Service Commemorating Jesus' s Baptism toward the end of the Christmas Liturgical Season when Jesus was to begin his Public Ministry.  The lyrics of the song are Scripture-based and explain the reasons for His "coming into the world":  He came to preach the Good NEWS of the Kingdom to come, He came to save the Lost by laying down his life for them, and He is the Father's Beloved Son.  We are reminded of His eventual Return.  The time and date of this return are not known and we are to live a life of Faith, Hope and Love while waiting for Him.  By doing so, we will overcome the difficulties and challenges of this present life.

shutterstock_138052157_222x125.jpg 11. RISING TO A NEW DAWN.  The primary themes of this song are:  Being born to a New Life with Christ through Baptism and the Transfiguration of Jesus during which his Face was shining "like the sun."  This Transfiguration foretells our future rising of the body and soul. This is done through the Death and Rising of Jesus.  He loved us (his friends) to the point of death.  While we look forward to the "New Dawn of Heaven," as long as this life lasts, we live and pray, until God's will is done and his Kingdom comes.

 shutterstock_28742404_200x130.jpg12. INTO HIS HANDS.  Verse 6a of Psalm 31:  "Into your hands I commend my spirit" was prayed by Jesus Christ at the Crucifixion (Luke 23:46) was the inspiration for this song.  Through Jesus ' Death and Resurrection, we receive the gift of Faith through the life-giving waters of Baptism.  Through the hands of God, of Jesus, we also receive the gifts of Love and Life on this earth.  As followers of Jesus - who is the First and the Last - we will return to Him at the end of life to Rest in his Loving Hands.  May Faith, Hope and Love be our guides during this heavenward journey.

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