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Write Songs of Comfort - Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 24:4b When my children were small, it was often my privilege to comfort them when they would fall and scrape a knee or when they had just received discipline and gone through the steps of repentance. What I have discovered in ministry is that all people need comfort some time in their life. I ask the Lord for songs of comfort for those I am in relationship with or for those I am ministering to at large. Some of those songs are for those broken by life who need a means of crying out to God with their need for comfort. Some of those songs are for those who have gone through the steps of repentance and now need the reassurance that God loves them immensely and that everything really is going to be all right. Listen for such songs this week and then use those songs in ministry to those around you when possible. "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Comforter], that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth…” Jesus John 14:16-17a NASB

Write For Those Who Grieve or Face Death - Whether we like it or not, we will always encounter death in this life. As a song receiver, you have a very unique opportunity to minister to those who sorrow – to comfort them in their grief. There have been so many times in my own life when only a song could break through my pain…and in the many years I have been ministering now, I can attest to the reality that this is true so often in the lives of those I minister to who are going through a time of loss. God has sent us to bind up the broken-hearted and to comfort those who grieve. Some grieve the loss of friend or family member who has died. Some grieve the loss of a vision or a dream. Some sorrow over the loss of a relationship that comes with divorce, or a friend moving away, or from a disagreement with a close friend. Allow the Lord to awaken your sensitivity to those who grieve around you and receive songs of comfort for them…and then share those songs when the time is right. Be sensitive also to those who face death – whether their own or a close family member or friend – and receive songs that will ease them through the journey they are on. Fear is dealt a deathblow when we know we are not alone. Remind people that God is with them. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me… Psalm 23:4 NASB

Write as One Who Knows God’s Name - One of the ways we get to know someone is to first learn their name. Once we know someone’s name and begin to spend time with them, we begin to associate their attributes with their name. Spending time with the Lord is like that. He is Jehovah Shalom – Peace. He is Jehovah Jireh – Provider. He is Jehovah Tsidkenu – Righteousness. He is Jehovah Shammah – Present. He is Jehovah Rophe – Healer. He is Jehovah M’Kaddesh – Holy. He is Jehovah Rohi – Shepherd. He is Redeemer, Savior, King, and Lord. When we understand Who God is, we allow that knowing to permeate our writing. Meditate on the name of God today and allow His character to influence your creativity. He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Psalm 23:3b NASB

Write to Restore the Human Soul to God - What kind of song speaks most to your soul? Is it one that makes you happy? Is it a lyric that makes you sentimental or nostalgic? Is it an emotional melody that evokes a melancholy attitude? Is it a song that helps you express a feeling or a hurt that you have experienced? Is it a song that makes you feel that someone somewhere understands you and you don’t feel so alone? Or is it a song that simply encourages you to not give up? Jesus came to meet the needs of people. This week, let us do the same in our song-receiving as we focus on receiving a song that might help the listener find restoration for their soul. Mine the depths of your own experience and write from your own hurt or desperation. If you are in a good place emotionally, ask the Lord to help you feel what the hurting souls you encounter this week might be feeling. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you express a song that would lead the listener to the place of healing and restoration. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! He restores my soul… Psalm 23:3a NASB

Write the Deep Waters - I love to go to the ocean and gaze upon the vast expanse, imagining what lies on the other side, but the day I discovered the joy of SCUBA gave me an even greater perspective. While I love playing in the waves and find great joy in doing so, I never realized how limited that joy was. As soon as I dipped my head beneath the crystal clear waters surrounding Grand Cayman a whole new world was introduced to my senses. Vistas never before imagined sent my mind reeling with joy. Not only could I see a myriad of colorful coral and rock formations, I also became overwhelmed with the wonderful array of life I had never imagined so accessible. Before I went into the deep places, I knew logically that there was more life than I could see…but when I went deeper and opened my eyes to this whole other world, I experienced a deeper joy than I could ever have imagined possible. Our spiritual life is like that. We can be content with the shallow places and enjoy the waves, or we can plunge into the deeper places and discover a realm of life we had only heard of before. In your creative receiving this week, do not be content to merely dabble in the waves. Write and create in such a way as to lead others into the deep places of God’s nature and love. Do not be afraid of the deep places. The number one rule in SCUBA is simply ‘keep breathing’. It is no different when searching the depths of God’s creativity. Just keep breathing in His presence and enjoy the creative journey! He leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2b NASB Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. Psalm 42:7 NASB

Lead to Deep, Lush, Green Pastures in Your Writing - Now that you have an idea of whom you are receiving and writing for, what are the specific needs of that group? Taking a note from the Word of God, what are the areas of their souls that would do well to receive rest? Listen for songs this week that will lead those who hear or sing them to places of rest for their weary souls. A good shepherd leads his or her sheep to the green pastures they need…to places of sustenance and hope and assurance and freedom. Listen for the songs that will lead to rest and sustenance for a weary soul. Remember, a good shepherd leads by example…so go to that place of rest yourself…and feed deeply on the green pastures of the Lord’s presence. - He makes me lie down in green pastures… Psalm 23:2a NASB

Write Like a Shepherd - A good shepherd knows the condition of his flock. Have you determined who your flock is? Is your flock a small group of believers you meet with regularly? Is your flock your generation? Does your flock contain wounded people? Is your flock those who have been disillusioned by the church? Determine who your flock is then ask the Lord to lead you to the songs that will meet their specific needs. Listen for the songs no one else is hearing or singing. Listen for the songs that will communicate something that has not been communicated. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your specific flock and then be prepared to receive songs that will meet their specific needs. - The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 NASB

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Two Questions for Releasing Creativity - I approach song receiving (and all creativity for that matter) with relationship in mind. Relationship is life. Without relationship there is no life. If we are creating to bless God and minister to others, there is a way we can build relationship through our creativity. When I approach ministry to others I simply ask two questions. One: Lord, would you give me insight into the needs of this person or group of people I am about to minister to as I receive this song? Two: Lord, would you allow me to feel toward them what You feel toward them? If I can approach my creativity with the needs of others in mind and, at the same time, have the compassion of THE Creator toward them on my heart and mind, I believe the Lord will allow me to go to places creatively that will set the captive free and heal a broken heart or release a deep joy in the heart of the person I am trying to reach. Be relationship-minded as you create today. And be prepared to walk relationally with hurting people – an watch your creativity expand exponentially as you focus on the Lord and upon the needs of others. - The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:8-9 NASB

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