Pick Me Up and Turn Me Around (Psalm 107)

PLAY SONG “Pick Me Up” by Bill Hutzel and John D’Elia …
https://inspirationandhope.org/2019/07/18/pick-me-up-and-turn-me-around/

So often we fancy ourselves as secure and think we can go it all alone, but when God hides His face from us because we choose to go it on our own, our soul cries out to Him. “Lord, help me! Rescue me!” PICK ME UP AND TURN ME AROUND  (Psalm 107).

In Psalm 30 we see that David had a propensity for going it on his own for he said: “When all was well with me, I said, I will never be moved”.  And then in verses 7-11, it says that David asked for God’s mercy as he was shaken because God turned his face from him.  

In Isaiah 53:6 it says that each of us (and I will repeat for emphasis “each of us”) like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to go his own way. Each of us has left God’s paths to follow our own.

Like the psalmist, we too cry aloud to God for His mercy when we have gone astray. Is this your prayer? The following lyrics to the song “Pick Me Up” express the psalmist’s same sentiment of crying out to God for His mercy to set his captive free and shatter the steel doors of his heart that had kept him back from receiving God’s abundant blessings and safety.

Oh, stand by me
Oh, Lord, set me free
Oh I’ve been goin’ it on my own
Now it’s time for me to come home
Help me get my feet back on the ground.

Pick me up and turn me around,
Jesus make a change in my life,
Pick me up, don’t put me down, 
Jesus make a change in my life.

And He did!” it says in Psalm 107:13.  God’s constant love picked them up and turned them around! No longer were they bound in affliction, nor prisoners to their own pain or chained to their regrets. “God humbled us through our circumstances, watching as we stumbled, with no one there to pick us back up” (Psalm 107:12).  And so, I cried out to God and repented of my rebellion against His Word; for seeking the counsel of man over His wisdom; for wandering about with no true direction, filled with despair; bringing myself sorrow and suffering because of my sins. And it says that He turned my mourning into dancing and established my feet with joy on His firm foundation again. He shined his light through my darkness and set my captive free.

When reflecting upon the words of this song, will you remember with thankfulness all the times God brought you deliverance? Then, lift your hands and give thanks to God for his marvelous kindness and for his miracles of mercy, for He loves you!

Sing my praise to You alone,
Raise my voice up to Your throne,
My arms outstretched to Your delight,
Stars shimmering in Your reflected light.

If I’m up, or if I’m down,
Sing Hallelujah, we all bow down,
Let Your light, shine in me now,
Empower me with Your Spirit now.

Here’s why, says the psalmist David, that everyone should give all their praise and thanks to the Lord!
“He’s better than anyone could ever imagine.
Yes, He’s always so loving and kind, and it never ends!
So, go ahead— let everyone know it!
Tell the world how He broke through 
And delivered you from the power of darkness and
Has gathered us together from all over the world.
He has set us free to be His very own!”
(Psalm 107:1-3 TPT)

God’s mercy endures forever. For those who cry out to the Lord in their trouble, He answers them. He saves them out of their distresses and sets them free. When we cry out to God, He mercifully answers us because He loves us so. “This is comfort to the greatest sinners; if they can but find a praying heart, God will find a pitying heart, and rebels shall be received with all sweetness, if at length they return, though brought in by the cross.” (Trapp)

So lift your hands and give thanks to God for his marvelous kindness
and for his miracles of mercy for those he loves!
” (Psalm 107:15)

Prayer: For your glorious righteousness reaches up to the high heavens; No no one could ever be compared to you! Who is your equal, O God of marvels and wonders? And though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again! Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth! May you give me even more greatness than before and turn and comfort me again (Psalm 71:19-21). Yes Lord, help me get my feet back on the ground.

Copyright 2019 by Bill Hutzel

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God’s Love Endures

Composed by Bill Hutzel and John D’Elia

Although today’s society sends mixed messages regarding the meaning of love, there is a universally accepted goal for perfect love, and that is— Love is unconditional.  God’s love is an enduring love that is demonstrated even when we are unfaithful, unpredictable, unbelieving, and rebellious.

My song “Love Endures” is based on I Corinthians chapter 13. This chapter is often referred to as the Love Chapter.  Human love is supernatural when the union of our spirits are joined with His.  This kind of love is only possible by the grace of God who is perfect, for I am imperfect.

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

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We Cry Of / In Quiet Faithfulness

Composed by Bill Hutzel

By D’ELIA and HUTZEL

Arranged, produced, mixed and recorded by John D’Elia
Such Clay Productions

Video produced by Bill Hutzel

Performed by
Bill Hutzel, vocals, keyboards, and flute
John D’Elia, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, and drum machine

SONG SUMMARY
WE CRY OF

Here today and gone tomorrow, what does life all mean? “It is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever.”  And if life is meaningless, is not then death meaningless also?

And of troubled thoughts and lonely hearts “A troubled heart can be found in anyone, even the Christian. There are many reasons for one’s heart to be troubled — separation from or death of a loved one, unfaithfulness of a friend, a feeling of insecurity, a lack of understanding, personal problems, sin, etc. What is the Christian to do when his heart becomes troubled? He must look to Jesus and the comfort He can give”1.  

But “In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and HE ANSWERED ME” (Psalm 120:1).

BRIDGE BETWEEN WE CRY OF AND IN QUIET FAITHFULNESS

Took wings and went to heaven
Got saved, came back to earth

Although we really don’t take wings and go to heaven, and get saved and come back to earth, it is merely a figure of speech which shows one’s need to transcend our worldly life to a higher spiritual realm in which we meet Christ as our savior.  It is one’s faith in Christ that saves one from destruction and prepares us to live In Quiet Faithfulness.

IN QUIET FAITHFULNESS

In this song segment, God has become my refuge safe and sure, my staff and rod in trouble, need and stress. I am content, and in patience I endure.

I therefore thank my God and love and serve Him still.

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

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He’s Always Been Faithful

If it weren’t for Christ’s resurrection, the words to “He’s Always Been Faithful” would not be our anthem; would not be our song.

John 19:30

Jesus said “It is finished.” He then bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  What is meant by this is that Jesus finished what the Father had sent him to accomplish in this world.  He knew what would happen on the cross, yet He still sacrificed His life so that we could have eternal life.  Jesus could have called down legions of angels to set him free and spare him suffering, yet He didn’t.

HE’S ALWAYS BEEN FAITHFUL
Words and Music by Sara Groves

Vocals, Jamie Hutzel
Flute, Bill Hutzel
Acoustic 12-String guitar, John D’Elia
Piano, Karen Dann Sundquist

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

 

 

 

 

Amazing Grace

Produced, arranged, recorded,
and mixed by John D’Elia
Musicians:
John D’Elia, guitars, bass, percussion
Beth D’Elia, vocals
Bill Hutzel, solo flute

How profound to think that blessings often cause us to divert our attention away from God, and that troubles almost always make us look to God. Such were the troubles of John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace”.

Newton wrote the words to “Amazing Grace” from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his path in life  would be formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were “often put into motion by his willful and wanton disregard for all that is right and holy and which led him into a life plagued with despair, dangers at sea, abuse, public floggings, destitution, depression, near drownings and miraculous escapes. During those years Newton often entered into a state of spiritual awakening. Consequently those times were short-lived, and he invariably lapsed into a more wicked and loathsome direction.

One particular harrowing experience at sea was used of the Lord to cause young Newton to seriously consider his standing before a holy God. After being at sea for several months with a load of lumber, livestock and beeswax, the ship ran into a violent storm. So severe was the gale that the otherwise seaworthy vessel was in danger of sinking. When the livestock were washed overboard, the crew tied themselves to the ship to keep from being swept into the sea.

For four weeks, because of damage to the ship, the sailors despaired of life. Most of their waking hours were spent at the pumps to lighten the ship of water she had taken on. Rations were so low the men feared starvation. When they finally reached a port in Ireland, Newton began a sincere effort to become right with God.”[1]

John Newton, were it not for his troubles and despair, may never have come to write the song “Amazing Grace”.  The song “Amazing Grace” is Newton’s most famous hymn, and is the most popular spiritual song in the history of American music having been recorded more than 1000 times.

The song was first published in 1779, however, since then it has been associated with more than 20 different melodies including contemporary tunes such as from “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals composed in the early 1960’s. The hauntingly beautiful melody that we are most familiar with today, however, was published in 1835 from an early-American tune called “New Britain”, although you might not recognize it right-away unless you listen closely to the parts.  The second staff below is the melody that we are familiar with.

New_Britain_Southern_Harmony_Amazing_Grace

An 1847 publication of Southern Harmony, showing the title “New Britain” and shape note music. (Play song)

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear; and grace my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear; the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

Of the tens of thousands of times it has been performed, the instrumental style and expressive quality may change with each interpretation, but the message always remains the same; that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins we have committed, and that our souls can be delivered from despair through God’s Amazing Grace.

When we find it difficult to spiritually concentrate on God, and although troubles almost certainly always make us look to God, remember also to look to Him when you are enjoying His blessings because blessings tend to divert our attention away from God. “Narrow all your interests until your mind, heart and body focus on Him.”[2] “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22,WEB).

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

FOOTNOTES

[1] https://www.crossway.org/tracts/the-amazing-story-behind-amazing-grace-3033/

[2] Chambers, Oswald “My Utmost for His Highest”, January 27

Search Me O God

Search Me O God” song and video by Bill Hutzel

I had recently just become unemployed following the attack of 9/11, and was understandably anxious, desperately wanting to make sense of both the war on our country, and wanting to find gainful employment again. And so I became very introspective when things turned topsy-turvy on me.  I opened my Bible to Psalm 139 and the following verse spoke to me.  “Search me O God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be any hurtful way in me”.  It became my meditation.

But as I meditated, I thought, God does know my heart. Why would the psalmist ask Him to search his heart? Why would anyone ask God to search their heart? But I knew the answer. It was because God knew me better than I did, and God wanted to reveal the deepest parts of myself.  Do you have the courage to ask God to expose the depths of your heart, to see if there be any hurtful way in you?

The psalmist David earnestly wanted to know what was in his heart so that God would refine him as fire refines gold. It is a hard prayer to pray, although, for if we are honest with ourselves, many of us would rather not face our deepest canyons.

We run and we hide from God saying,
7 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?”

If I say 11”Surely the darkness will hide me”, it will not.

If I go up to the heavens, He is there; if I make my bed in the depths, He is there.

Should you, however, being purified by Christ who indwells you, take heed of the Holy Spirit’s tugging at your heart to govern your flesh, you will be changed. It is God’s desire that we earnestly seek Him, and that He search our heart so that He might prove us by His Word and reveal to us any hurtful way, and that He would root it out, for godliness is pleasing to Him, and in the end, profitable to us. Romans 8:6 says “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace”.

As I continued to meditate on this psalm, my prayer turned to asking God to guide me and extend His hand to me. My prayer turned into singing, and “the praise on my lips and the song in my heart” became a song that ran through my head to the words of the psalm. I jotted down the melody so as not to forget it. I later recorded it in October of 2013.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

May God’s search light break through the dark clouds that storms will doubtless bring. May His beacon light be your salvation, His strong light into your heart, that you may be guided to safety and spiritual well-being. And may the song in your heart and God’s praise continually be on your lips.

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

CREDITS
Composed by Bill Hutzel

Performed by The Throwbacks

Musicians
Bill Hutzel, Vocals and Flute
John D’Elia, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, tambourine

Recorded and produced by John D’Elia
SuchClay Productions
September 18, 2013

Video Produced by Bill Hutzel

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Pick Me Up

The song and video “Pick Me Up” was inspired by Psalm 30. So often we fancy ourselves as secure, and think we can go it all alone.  But when God hides His face from me because I choose to go it on my own, my soul cries out to Him to “Pick Me Up, and turn me around … Lord set me free, for I’ve been going it on my own, now it’s time for me to come home, Help me get my feet back on the ground.”

David too had a propensity for going it on his own for he said “When all was well with me, I said, I will never be moved”.   In Psalm 30:7-11 it says that David then asked for God’s mercy as he was shaken because God turned his face from him.  God being compassionate, then lifts David from his troubles, turns his crying into dancing, and establishes his feet with joy on God’s firm foundation again.

What Pick Me Up verses in the Bible are you reminded of? What pick me up life experiences can you share?

Song by Bill Hutzel and John D’Elia

Arranged, produced and recorded by John D’Elia
Such Clay Productions

Performed by The Throwbacks
Bill Hutzel, vocals, flute and keyboard
John D’Elia, electric and bass guitars

Prayer: Though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again! Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth! (Psalm 71:20). Lord, help me get my feet back on the ground.

Copyright 2014 by Bill Hutzel

When Christmas Hurts

by Gabrielle Ariana

Are you facing loss and grief during the holidays?  You are not alone. Many feel betrayed or lost during the Christmas holiday season, perhaps because a relationship you trusted and relied upon had ended, or perhaps someone you loved passed away. Pain and confusion visited you at your loss, and you were unable to summon up the strength to listen to or sing Christmas carols. Although many of your friends rejoiced in the season of merry and invited you to celebrate with them, you couldn’t.

And now another holiday is upon you, one that many of you will also not be able to summon up good cheer. You will retire early, oblivious to the banging of kitchen pots, fireworks, and joyous shouts, a kiss, a warm embrace. In just a few days from now, the clocks will turn 12 o’clock, welcoming in another New Year.

My heart aches for you; and I pray that you will find the fortitude to seek strength, not from the world, but from Christ who came to shed all of your tears. Give all of your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).

Perhaps the song “When Christmas Hurts” will lift your spirits; it was a song written for you. It is a song of peace, hope, and love, especially for those whose hearts are broken and who grieve.

Is there hope for hearts like these?
Look at the manger scene!
Jesus Christ was born for those
who are broken and alone.

When Christmas hurts and hearts break,
it doesn’t change the reason we still have to celebrate.
When there is pain and tears are shed,
it still is the birthday of that special, precious Babe.
When the heartache is more than you can bear, Christ is the answer to your prayer…
When Christmas hurts”. (excerpt from Gabrielle Ariana’s song “When Christmas Hurts”)

God is present with every tear shed, and you can count on Him to collect every one of your tears.  No matter what sorrow you face today, you can have confidence He cares (Psalm 56:8).

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

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