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QUESTION: I absolutely love the “Desert Song” by Hillsong United. Does anybody know the story behind it? I was told that the lady who wrote it lost her baby the week before she wrote it. Does anybody have any more details? I want to know because I really think God sent me this song today when I really needed it. My sister is pregnant and the baby isn’t expected to live very long. I heard the song at church this morning for the first time and it made me cry. Then someone told me about the circumstances behind the writing of the song. Please let me know if you know any more. – Love2Sign251
ANSWER: Although many have wrongly attributed the writing to Brooke Fraser, the woman who actually wrote this most beautiful worship song is Jill McCloghry, also a member of Hillsong United.
In the following video interview below she personally describes the painful loss of her baby and her struggle with trusting God in the middle of distress, which led to the writing of the Desert Song.
Click on the video link below to view the entire interview of the making of the Desert Song:
In her own words, Jill recounts:
“About a week and a half before the recording, I went into labor… I was about six months pregnant with our first little boy, Max… had him at the hospital and he was only 23 weeks and five days old. So he was really little. But we had him and he was alive, and he was in the neonatal ICU, you know, where they were kind of taking care of him. And we basically spent a full day with him and we believed and we prayed that he would be okay, but we trusted that God was in control. And that night he died of, you know, just being too little basically. I actually remember sitting in a hospital right after everything happened and knowing that I needed to sing, that I needed to still do what I know I’m supposed to be doing and that I felt like that was just a victory for us. Right now, anyways, it’s just choosing to worship all the time; that’s what it is for me cause I don’t…I don’t always feel like it. Sometimes I don’t feel like singing to God, but [sigh] I know that my circumstance in the season doesn’t change and that God is still God. It doesn’t change what God’s called me to be or what He’s called me to do. He’s still on the throne in heaven, you know, and He still rules, and He still bigger than everything that I’m facing.
Co-singer Brooke Fraser also commented:
“For Jill and I to sing together on the night was such a privilege for me. Aside from her being an amazing worship leader and being anointed and carrying the authority that she does… Just as her friend and sister in Christ, I was so proud of her and aware of the weight of her singing that. And just feeling so…I mean it was, it was a real emotional moment and just also being aware that her standing there with her glorifying God in the midst of her loss and her tragedy, and that the devil lost what he was trying to achieve.”
Jill McCloghry added:
“Even when you say things that you know are true, but you might not necessarily fully understand it, I think that just being able to look at God and say things that are true of Him, and declare the word of God, and declare the promises of God which is that, when in the fire, and when I’m being refined, and when I’m in battle, and when the triumph isn’t here yet but it’s coming, I think that you look at God and say, “I know this is who You are…” and He does get bigger in your life. It takes over the things in you that feel so shattered. And it makes Him the focus, and it begins to put those things back together.”
Sarah M. Bosse concluded:
“Like Job, we must sing and praise through the pain. That’s REAL WORSHIP – it connects with REAL LIFE and raises up a trusting hand to the One who reaches down to save us from drowning. It acknowledges God in the midst of life and declares, “There is a GREATER REALITY and I live in and for that REALITY!” No one but the Christian has such a claim and right to hope in eternal life with the Saving God.”
Thanks to: http://answers.yahoo.com
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Desert Song – Click on link below to view full concert video by Hillsong United:
In this concert video Jill McCloghry begins by reading Psalm 66:1-20.
1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
2 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing the praises of your name.”[a]
5 Come and see what God has done,
his awesome deeds for mankind!
6 He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the waters on foot—
come, let us rejoice in him.
7 He rules forever by his power,
his eyes watch the nations—
let not the rebellious rise up against him.
8 Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
9 he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
and fulfill my vows to you—
14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
and an offering of rams;
I will offer bulls and goats.
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
Hello Brother Luis…I heard something today that I thought was interesting and I thought perhaps you might have heard something about it. I heard and saw evidence that Christopher Columbus was actually a Messianic Jew who hid his Jewish identity because of the inquisition. Do you know anything about that? – Donna, Missouri.
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Yes I do. In fact, I believe it is true. If it is, I am of Jewish ancestry since my ancestors migrated to Cuba from Spain. My last name is also of Jewish origin. During the voyages of Christopher Columbus, thousands of Spanish Jews escaped on Columbus’ ships. The Roman Catholic Inquisition in Spain was in full force – imprisoning, torturing, and killing Jews who refused to convert to Catholicism. I wrote a teaching message about this. You can click on the link below to read it.
Was Christopher Columbus Jewish?
Here is an excerpt: “I recently came across the following article on the Spanish website http://www.Semana.com. This reliable editorial details the latest revelations on the true ancestry of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón) and the primary motivation behind the discovery of The Americas. It further confirms my own Jewish ancestry that dates back to the migration of Spanish Jews to the island of Cuba and Hispaniola on board the voyages of Columbus. Here are some highlights of these recent revelations…”
Keep in mind that I don’t like to use the term “Messianic Jew.” This term is a modern invention of the Messianic movement. I prefer to simply call them “Jewish believers,” since God’s Word rebukes sectarianism (i.e. denominational labels) which divide the Body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 1:12-13)
“What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
I encourage you to do your own study on these subjects and ask the Holy Spirit to give you further revelation.
Blessings in Messiah,
Pastor Luis Yosefus
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
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Thank you so much for your feedback. I think this is a fascinating find.
I recently started writing a Christian Blog myself. Right now I am going through a study on First Corinthians. Go to:
– Donna, Missouri
“I have a very important question for you. We recently moved to Springfield Missouri and a man has visited us from the Church of Christ. He claims that the Bible says that we are not saved until we are baptized in water. I have always understood that we are saved when we believe, and that we are only baptized because it is to be our first act of obedience as a Christian. He stands on the verse that says: “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). I am standing on the verse that we are “saved by grace through faith, not by works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). What are your thoughts?
I responded to her as follows:
“You are absolutely right: We are saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-10). Water baptism does not wash away sin – only the blood of Jesus can take away our sins. The Church of Christ, and other such denominations teach the false doctrine known as ‘Baptismal Regeneration’ (i.e. that a person is not truly saved unless they are water baptized). The Bible never supports this notion; neither did the apostles or early Christian church. This man-made doctrine was introduced in the Church many hundreds of years later and has created much debate among believers.”
Tragically, after almost two thousand years of Christian history, there is a vast amount of religious confusion (Babel) among the various Christian sects on this important subject. One Christian denomination believes one thing, while another believes something else; some churches fully immerse the believer, while others merely “sprinkle” the forehead. The average follower can be easily confused and exasperated – not knowing what the truth really is, and even doubting their own salvation.
Water baptism after conversion is simply an outward display (symbolism) of the spiritual cleansing that has occurred inwardly – inside of us when we have repented of our sins and accepted Christ [Messiah] as our Savior and Lord. It also provides us the opportunity to publicly testify of our new faith in Christ. The correct method of baptism is by full immersion as exampled by John the Baptizer and Jesus our Lord.
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
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The simple answer to the question is, “Yes!” Jesus was indeed a Jewish “teacher” of God’s Law and “Master” or spiritual leader over those who followed Him as His disciples. That’s what Rabbi means – a teacher or master.
A Rabbi in early first century Judaism and Christianity was very similar to what we call a “Pastor” or “Preacher” today. The title “Reverend” that is commonly in use today was never permitted in the early church, since it was considered blasphemous to call any man Reverend (which means to be revered). God alone is to be worshipped and revered.
Years ago, when I was first ordained as a minister of the gospel I was given the title “Reverend Luis.” I used this religious title for a brief time not knowing any better. I must confess that being addressed as “Reverend” inflated my ego a little bit and I enjoyed the false sense that I was somehow better than others, on a higher spiritual level than other Christians. But as I grew older (and hopefully wiser), I saw the arrogance of such a preposterous title. I humbled myself before God and asked for His forgiveness. Afterwards I discontinued using the title Reverend or allowing anyone to address me in such a manner. I prefer to be called Pastor or Shepherd or Teacher of God’s flock, under the authority of the Great Shepherd Himself – Jesus the Messiah.
In Jesus’ case, however, he was more than just a Rabbi or Teacher. He was the only begotten Son of God, the long awaited Messiah of Israel, and Redeemer of all mankind. To say that Jesus was simply a good teacher or godly prophet is to minimize His spiritual authority and ignore His divine attributes.
Today for the sake of brevity, we will focus on His role as a Jewish Rabbi who was anointed of God to correctly teach God’s people about the Kingdom of heaven. As we seek to further understand the Jewish roots of our Christian faith, we must realize that Jesus was not only sent by God the Father to die for the remission of our sins, but also to dispel many false religious doctrines and traditions that had perverted the worship of Yahovah God. Judaism, 2000 years ago (as well as today) had been contaminated by thousands of man-made traditions that had made the Word of God void.
In Mark 7:6-9, Jesus rebuked some of the Rabbis and religious leaders of His day for being hypocrites and only honoring God with their lips and not their hearts.
“He answered and said to them, Well has Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do. And he said to them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.”
They had substituted outward acts such as washing of hands, cups, pots, and brazen vessels, for the more important attitudes of inner holiness. Outwardly, these religious leaders appeared righteous, but inwardly they had no real love for God. Sound familiar?
Many of the Jewish Rabbis and teachers of the Law were guilty of placing man-made traditions above or before God’s written Word. The same problem exists within the Christian churches today. Man-made or denominational doctrines have also superseded the Word of God. Jesus the Rabbi would again rebuke many of the religious shephereds (Christian pastors and preachers) today for being hypocrites and following the traditions of men instead of Gods Word.
Jesus indeed was the greatest Rabbi that has ever lived! If we are to practice an authentic form of Christianity, Jesus the Messiah, our Savior and Lord of our lives, must have the final word over everything that we accept as truth, and practice.
If you’re not sure if your church or denomination is teaching the absolute truth according to the Old and New Testament Bible, go to Rabbi Jesus. Pray and ask Him to show you the way. Rabbi Jesus declare in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one can come to God the Father except through Me.” AMEN.
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
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Ask Rabbi Jesus – Free Book Offer
With your donation – large or small – in support of Real Jesus Ministries, we will send you a free copy of Pastor Luis Yosefus’ book, “Ask Rabbi Jesus.”
The roots of Christianity run deep into Jewish soil. Regrettably, most Christians are uninformed about our rich Hebraic heritage and how the principles of Hebrew thought influenced the teachings of the apostles and the early Church. This book will offer you fresh insights into the teachings of Rabbi Jesus and deepen your own understanding of the Holy Bible.
To order your free copy, click here to make your donation.
The following article was reprinted from www.GotQuestions.org
I believe it contains some very useful information that will expose new light on today’s current trend among the Protestant churches to introduce a “mixture” of foreign religious philosophies or pagan practices with Christianity.
Some examples of Syncretism might include “Christian Yoga”, “Christian Psychology”, “The Ecumenical Movement” (the false teaching that all religions lead to God), and the general incorporation of New Age occult teachings and practices into the church.
As the article states, “Religious Syncretism is not compatible with true Christianity… syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture.”
Beware of so many Christian churches today that have fallen away from the true Christian faith by following the doctrines of men and demons. “Now the [Holy} Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” – 1 Timothy 4:1.
Please pray for spiritual discernment to know truth vs. error, and be courageous enough to “come out” from among them and be separate, says the LORD (2 Corinthians 2:17).
We speak the truth in love,
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
Question: “What is religious syncretism?”
Answer: Syncretism, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is “the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief.” This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion, and usually results in a new teaching or belief system. Obviously, this cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity.
Religious syncretism often takes place when foreign beliefs are introduced to an indigenous belief system and the teachings are blended. The new, heterogeneous religion then takes a shape of its own. This has been seen most clearly in Roman Catholic missionary history. Take, for example, the Roman Catholic Church’s proselytizing of animistic South America. Threatened with the fear of death, natives were baptized into the church by the tens of thousands without any preaching of the Gospel whatsoever. Former temples were razed, with Catholic shrines and chapels built on the same spot. Natives were allowed to substitute praying to saints instead of gods of water, earth and air, and replaced their former idols with new images of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, the animistic religion the natives had formerly practiced was never fully replaced—it was adapted into Catholic teachings, and this new belief system was allowed to flourish.
More recently, religious syncretism can be seen in such religious systems as the New Age, Hinduism, Unitarianism, and Christian Science. These religions are a blending of multiple different belief systems, and are continually evolving as the philosophies of mankind rise and fall in popularity.
Therein lies the problem, for syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture. The Bible makes it very clear what true religion is. Think on just a few things stated in Scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37); “Jesus replied, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6); “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31-32); and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Religious syncretism is simply not compatible with true Christianity. In fact, any modification to biblical law and principle for the sake of a “better” religion is heresy (Revelation 22:18-19).
Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other gods by Ravi Zacharias.
The Bible doesn’t give us an exact date, but He could not have been born in December. Most likely Jesus was born in September. The Christmas holiday celebrated annually on December 25th was an invention of the Roman Catholic Church around the fourth century A.D. and has no biblical support whatsoever. Furthermore, Jesus only commanded us to memorialize His sacrificial death – not His birth. December 25th was originally the celebration of the pagan sun god’s birthday which the Roman church deceptively changed to Christ’s birthday instead.
Later in history, the Protestant Church continued this unholy invention of the Roman Catholic Church and “Christ-Mass”, or “Christmas” became an established holiday to this day. If you study the history of Christmas further you’ll also be shocked to discover that the decoration of Christmas trees with silver and gold ornaments, mistletoe, Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, and many other such customs all have sinister origins and have no place in the Christian Church.
Since Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Israel, the days are too cold in December for shepherds to be out in the fields at night keeping watch over their flocks.
“…and she [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son [Jesus]. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” – Luke 2:7-8
Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights, began at Sundown on December 7th of this year. Although not one of the original Seven Feasts instituted by Yahovah God, it is a holiday which my family and I prefer to celebrate as a substitute for Christmas. It has no pagan connection and gifts are also exchanged after (or during) the eight days of Hanukkah. As born-again Christians, my family and grandchildren prefer observing Hanukkah better than celebrating Christmas, since we are not participating in any pagan traditions that will offend God.
For further study of the pagan origins of Christmas, click here to order our free booklet, “The Seven Biblical Feasts.”
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES