Tag Archives: Peter Furler

When Life Piles Up Around Us

I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
Psalm 57:2, NLT*

In my life, this verse gives me hope. God hasn’t revealed a great purpose for me, like He did for David the shepherd boy to become king. Nonetheless, God has plans for my life—and for yours.

We’re each to live for His glory, and therefore it’s reasonable to pray that He be glorified through our lives and in (or despite) our circumstances.

I have a family. His purpose there? That I love, care for and support them.

A home? That requires care too.

A gift to write? I need to use it God’s way.

When you look at what He’s given you, does it feel overwhelming? Like there’s more to do than time to do it? Sometimes the pressures pile up and threaten an avalanche.

But God will fulfill His purpose despite the opposition—be it Saul’s soldiers chasing David, or my crowded schedule. Like David, I need to trust and pray—and act as led—not to cower, whimper and give up.

God who holds our time in Your hands, give us faith to believe Your promise to never leave us and to fulfill Your purpose for us. Grant us wisdom in how to spend our days and meet our responsibilities. Help us obey Your leading instead of going our own ways. Help us to focus and to serve You in all we do.

Peter Furler’s song, “Greater is He,” is a good encouragement song for those times we feel overwhelmed.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Life. God Promised.

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:1, NLT*

The life: Accepting Christ gives us more than eternal life with God when we die. It gives us new life in the here and now. It’s a spiritual rebirth, so we can grow in relationship with God. He hears our prayers and responds to us. As the Good Shepherd, He directs and protects us, and leads us into opportunities to serve Him, be they big or small.

The promise: Sometimes in worship we sing “I will never be the same,” but often we seem the same as we were before Christ. We’re not the same—we’re spiritually alive now—but sometimes it can hide pretty deep. After all, we’re works in progress and sometimes the old “stuff” surfaces.

This is the kicker for me today, this mention of the promise. God keeps His promises, but if we don’t believe them, we can’t receive them. (click to tweet that)

Through faith: It’s worth noting we can’t earn this new life by working harder or working smarter. We need to believe what God says. When we don’t feel any different, we can remind ourselves of His promises and pray “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24, NLT*)

God who saves us and gives us new life, You know our weakness and You know the plans You have for us—plans to give us a future and a hope. Help us trust You, Lord. Help us grow in You. Thank You for giving us new life.

New life through faith in Christ Jesus. What better song than “I’m Alive” by Peter Furler?

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.



This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.
1 Timothy 1:1, NLT* (emphasis mine)

Yes, sometimes I read backwards. It was verse 2 that nudged me last week, and now it’s verse 1.

Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. Let that steep a bit in your mind.


  • of new life – and of Heaven
  • that we’ll make it – sometimes life is hard
  • that we’ll conduct ourselves in ways that are pleasing to God
  • of healing and growth
  • of doing what He gives us to do: “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT*)
  • of glory – Christ’s glory (His character) shining through us

That’s a lot of hope, and some days we need it all.

God of grace and mercy, You are our strong tower and our hope. Increase our faith and help us seize hold of the hope You offer. Let us live in confidence in You, expecting to see Your work in our lives. Not as we might want to see it, but as You want to unfold it. For the sake of Your glory.

Peter Furler’s song, “Greater is He (Hope of Glory),” helps these thoughts stick with me.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


5 Links on Anxiety, Plus a Song

Replace anxiety with trust

Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. ~Philippians 4:6, CEB*

Here are some links I’ve found recently that can speak peace to anxiety:

From author Dan Walsh: Living and ‘Staying’ in Today, and The Slippery Slope of Anxious Thoughts.

From Roy Lessin at Meet Me in the Meadow: Fret-Buster 104 looks at some of the costs of anxiety.

Guest-posting at The Write Conversation, Reba J Hoffman shares 4 insights that can help us stop giving in to fear.

At A Word of Encouragement, Laura Hodges Poole talks about Life’s Dark Hallways.

And take time to listen to Peter Furler‘s song, Hold On

*Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Five Words that Bring Security

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
Psalm 23:1, NLT*

I’ve been working hard to apply the first part of this verse to my life, to get it deeply rooted and to let it change me. I believe it’s true, but life’s stresses have a way of seeming to weaken or disprove that truth.

The Lord is my shepherd.

Which Lord? The Lord. The one and only.

The Lord is my shepherd.

Who is my shepherd? The Lord. The almighty God of the universe.

The Lord is my shepherd.

There’s no room for doubt. He really is my shepherd. It’s fact.

The Lord is my shepherd.

Whose shepherd? Mine. Ours. His care is personal and individual.

The Lord is my shepherd.

He’s what? Our shepherd. Our good Shepherd. We have a basic understanding of a shepherd’s responsibilities. God has committed Himself to our care, and by His nature He will surpass our human definition.

I have a good shepherd.

I’ve been saying it a lot, reminding myself of the truth and putting my focus back on God and away from the stresses or negative feelings that swell when watched.

I say it when I’m happy. And when I’m sad, or anxious, or feeling spiritually heavy or alone. It won’t let me stay in self-pity or apathy or a sense of lack.

It works with other people too. If I’m concerned about someone, or if they’ve hurt me, there’s reassurance in whispering “The Lord is his/her shepherd too.”

God who is our Good Shepherd, forgive us for giving more weight to our feelings and circumstances than to Your word. Remind us of who You are, and anchor our spirits in Yourself. Thank You for Your grace and care, and help us to live by faith.

Here’s Peter Furler’s adaptation of Psalm 23. Not how King David would have played it, but I love it.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“It’s All in Your Head”

“It’s all in your head.” Doctors say this, maybe family too, and whether or not they intend it, you hear a dismissive tone. A put-down. A message that says “it’s your fault, you caused it, and it won’t go away until you decide to stop it.”

In all fairness, what a good doctor probably means is, “It’s outside my expertise to help you with something that’s generated in your mind.” The tone is probably genuine regret that s/he can’t help.

Let’s not get into the debate over whether it truly is generated in your mind. Doctors have been known to write off tangible physical responses to environmental and food sensitivities because the tests don’t show any proof. And other things actually are products of the mind.

The fact is, we’re still stuck with the problem until we get help. If a medical doctor can’t help, perhaps a naturopath or counsellor can—or a prayer warrior.

Today I’m thinking of the kind of thing that actually is all in the head: the lies or worldviews that we internalize and believe that limit and damage us. The garbage that needs taking out.

Cover of "Battlefield of the Mind: Winnin...

Cover via Amazon

For me some of that is self-pity, self-focus and just plain self. I found Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind a very effective removal tool, and I need to read it again.

It’s important to recognize the mental crud, agree with Jesus that it doesn’t belong there, and then cooperate with Him to replace it with wholesome, holy, healthy thoughts.

If it’s all in my head… that means it’s not a tangible disease or limitation. Real, but it doesn’t need a scalpel, drugs or a prosthesis to fix. It just needs realigning my mind to God and cooperating with Him.

I find that liberating and encouraging.

God bless Peter Furler for his song, “All in Your Head,” where I first heard the encouraging tone and the assurance that “it’s all in your head” means “nothing’s really holding you back” and I could push through the blockage.

Picks from 2011

I’m borrowing this idea from Laura Davis at Interviews and Reviews, and picking my favourites from what I’ve reviewed in 2011:


Most life-changing (tie, listed in order I read them):

Most fun:

Most laugh-inducing:

Best dramatic novel:

Most personally helpful writing how-to:


Favourite album of the year (tie, listed in order I heard them):

Not-Reviews: Two CDs I Can’t Stop Listening To

I had a wonderful, wonder-filled stretch of days last week but not a lot of reading time. Instead of speeding through the next book I’ll review, I thought I’d share two CDs from 2011 that mean a lot to me.

Saying Grace, by Geoff Moore

Geoff Moore sang “I Believe” and “Saying Grace” at the Nova Scotia stop on the “Evening with Steven Curtis Chapman and Friends” tour this spring. Buying a CD when you’ve just experienced a live performance is risky, as a couple of dusty cases in my stack will prove. But those two songs fit into my soul at first hearing like they’d been there all along.

This album is about love: God’s love for us and our love in response to Him. It’s about gratitude. And it celebrates living a full and simpler life. It’s one of the most soul-encouraging albums I own.

The music is light-to-moderate rock, or perhaps country-crossover. Every song on the album means a lot to me and if I tried to pick a favourite I’d list at least half of them. For a limited time, you can listen to the album on Geoff Moore’s website. Just click the player on the lower left of the screen.

Anyone who didn’t get a copy of the CD at one of the concerts is finally able to pre-order it now through Geoff Moore’s online store. Pre-orders get you an immediate digital download of the entire album, and an autographed CD when it releases at the end of August.


On Fire, by Peter Furler

Okay, anyone who’s a newsboys fan from the Peter Furler days has to get this album. The band is different, so don’t expect classic newsboys sound, but the sound is great.

The CD is filled with Peter Furler’s trademark energy and it’s a lot of fun. And among the clever lyrics, driving vocals and instrumentation are some deeper-meaning moments that encourage my spirit.

A lot of the songs are loud rock, best played with the windows open and the sound cranked, and I’m sure I hear Super Mario-esque music in one of them. There are quieter, worshipful songs too. I love what he does with “Psalm 23”.

Every song on the album makes me smile and sing along, and again it’s too hard to pick an overall favourite. “I’m Alive” is my faith anthem, “Faster and Louder” has my vote for most fun, and “All in Your Head” called me back to writing fiction.

You can read a proper review of On Fire [p. 26] and an interview with Peter Furler [p. 20] in the July/August issue of Christian Musician Magazine. His closing thoughts on gratitude and perseverance encouraged me. The album is available through iTunes or from your preferred music store or provider.

[CDs from my personal library. If you buy On Fire through the above iTunes link, it benefits Peter Furler, not me. So go for it!]

Being Still, and Knowing

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10, NIV*

I came home from Write! Canada with snippets of two verses echoing in my spirit: “Seek Him first” and “Be still, and know that I am God”. [Isn’t that why everyone goes to a writing conference? To get closer to God?]

“Be still” called me this morning for devotions, because my tension was rising.

This quote from Psalm 46 is one of my long-time favourites, but I didn’t remember noticing the context: fear and danger, and how the Lord is a strong refuge and protection. It’s declaring “God is the biggest”.

For us today, as well as physical danger I think this “Be still” addresses our frenetic pace, anxiety, mental clutter. Even our scattered thoughts.

Be still. And know. That I am God.

For ourselves, and for those around us. My Bible has this note for Psalm 46:10:

…rest in the security of God’s will. Learn to live in this rest. In the calmness of spirit it will give, your soul will reflect, as in a mirror, the beauty of the Lord and the tumult of men’s lives will be calmed in your presence, as your tumults have been calmed in His presence.” (Hanna Whitall Smith, in God is Enough, taken from a quote in the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan, 1990)

I want to be a calming influence, grounded in Him. I think He wants to make me that way. Clearly, He’s not intimidated by big jobs. I’m glad. I’ve lived in mental turmoil and I’ve tasted His peace. Peace is better.

God who is our Good Shepherd, teach me to live at rest in Your will. Help me see and praise You for the gifts of Your hand. And help me be open to share your peace with those who need it. Your grace is undeserved and it gives us life.

This isn’t a “be still” song in the quiet sense, but it stills my spirit before God as I look at who He is and what He’s done for me. Something brand new from Peter Furler (formerly of newsboys fame): “I’m Alive.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

CD Review: Born Again, by the newsboys

Born Again, by the newsboys (Inpop Records, 2010)

You know how when you love an album there’s always the fear that the next one won’t hit that same sweet spot? Either the artist(s) or you will have gone in a different direction? Or maybe that one album was a fluke connection with you?

I loved In The Hands of God. I bonded with the music on that album, and it blessed me spiritually in so many ways. I knew it wasn’t a one-time connection with the newsboys’ music, though, because some of their previous songs have reached me the same way.

Along comes Born Again, not only a new album but featuring a new lead, Michael Tait. And although I’d understood that former lead Peter Furler was going to stay part of the writing team, I don’t see much evidence of it this time around.

Thanks to some clever marketing strategy from the band, fans had plenty of opportunities to hear some of the new tracks far enough in advance of the album release that we had a good feel of what to anticipate.

I jumped at the chance to pre-order the CD, thus scoring some track downloads back in the spring. And the single, “Born Again,” had a lot of airplay.

After a lot of time listening to the full CD (including the digital-only bonus songs I had to download separately), I’m ready to add my comments to the mix.

Short version: love it.

Longer version: may still love In the Hands of God a bit more, but that’s just me.

Born Again has it all. Musically the songs range from the driving beat of the title track and “One Shot” to the gentler rhythm of “Running to You” and “I’ll Be”. There’s even some rap in the redone “Jesus Freak”.

And the lyrics that pull it all together. The songs are singable; some are fun and some are healing, and there’s an amazing amount of Scriptural truth. It may not be straight from an official version of the Bible, but it’s there in songs like “Escape” and “Build Us Back”.

Some of the lyrics I couldn’t get, and even with the lyric sheet I have questions. (What does “now you’re in the in-low” mean?)

Michael Tait’s voice gives a way different sound than Peter Furler’s, yet the overall feel of the music is the same and still great. Newsboys, new or old, have my vote for favourite band. To learn more about them, visit the newsboys’ website. You can listen to sample tracks at the newsboys’ MySpace page or the newsboys’ Facebook page.

With Born Again, I’m glad “the boys are back for a second act”.