12.19.2012

Our God is Awesome: Voices of Hope

Yesterday our local Kiwanis Club, which Brandon is a member of, had a wonderful Christmas concert that was open to the public at the First United Methodist Church of Forsyth.
 The choir that sang was no ordinary choir. 
You read that right-these are women in prison who audition and must pass various musical and behavioral tests to be a part of this amazing choir.
They are incredible. Please consider donating or purchasing one of their cd's.
I filmed these videos using my iPhone and I was surprised at how well they turned out all things considered.
 I cried through the entire concert because so many thoughts were running through my head.
I cried because I wondered what they had done to get there.
I cried as I wondered how they are able to lift up and glorify the Lord unabashedly, then I realized it's because He has forgiven each one of them who has repented.
Isn't He merciful?! His love knows no bounds.
I cried because the same God who saved me from condemnation for my own personal "big sin" in my life is the same God who freed these women from condemnation, too.
I cried as they sang Christmas carols knowing they will likely never get to have a normal Christmas again.
I cried thinking about the weight they each carry knowing that it's because of their own doing that they are imprisoned, and then I cried because by listening to them sing to and for the Lord it's obvious that He has lifted that weight from them.
I cried thinking about the sisterhood they share with each other and how they are now family. 
I cried as one lady in particular sang "A Rose in Bethlehem" because all the locals knew that she was "the woman" who killed her own baby and left it in the streets in Macon over 20 years ago.
I cried thinking about what a testimony these women have.
The truth is that Satan is the only thing that can truly imprison us, physically and spiritually.
God can free us even if we are physically behind bars.
The ONLY thing these women are doing when they are outside of prison is singing for the Lord.
What if our only interaction with the outside world was singing to the Lord in front of a crowd?
Can you imagine not even being able to really look out the bus window when you live in a prison?
They actually have a CD that's available to purchase. They are $15 and all proceeds support the women's ministry as well as the Children's Center in Metro State Prison.
I think the main thing this reminded me of is that we are ALL sinners, and while I fully believe in justice, everyone is fighting their own battles and our God is awesome.
He is awesome enough to use each of their voices to glorify Him and serve as a witness to others in His name.
We don't have to be perfect to share His Word. It's impossible. We were born sinners.
He is awesome enough to forgive and redeem even in the darkest of places, such as prisons.
I can't fathom how easy it would be to guilt yourself sick if you committed such a heinous crime to land yourself in prison. I imagine I would want to die.
But, God has sent loving people to share the Gospel with these people and help them to realize that regardless of your situation and where you are, you have a voice that can be used for His glory.
Am I using my voice? Are you using your voice?
I hope you were as blessed by this as I was.

13 comments:

  1. Aww. I tried to watch the videos & it says they're all private. :(

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    1. Oops!! I just changed the settings, so they should all be public now! Let me know if they're not! Thanks! :)

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    2. These are great! Thanks for posting them.

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  2. This gave me chills. I believe that the Lord will use various methods to bring us to Him, with some seeming {to us} more extreme than others. I'm not sure of the verse ... but the sweetest victory is those who are lost coming to the Lord. Beautiful! Thanks for posting!

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    1. I do, too, Beth. Yes, that is the perfect verse. I just can't stop thinking about it, so I decided to share it. It took me about an eon to load the videos for some reason, but I finally figured it out! I'm glad you enjoyed it. xoxo

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  3. This is amazing. What beautiful voices they have. I would have been crying right there with you. Do you knwo where I could buy a cd?

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

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    1. Isn't it?! When you click the link in the first paragraph it tells you where to purchase it, but I clicked on it and it didn't have a place to buy it, so I'm going to have to do some more digging around on this. I'll let you know if I can figure out where since the link is inaccurate. I'm sorry! I'll keep you posted! xoxo

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  4. This gave me chills. What an incredible ministry! I love how God can take any situation and bring glory to Himself through it. Such proof of His grace.

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    1. SO incredible!! You are so right, Suzanne! Thank you for your wise words and for commenting! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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  5. GA. woman's prison choir sound awesome. Lets praise God for all he has done.

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  6. Hey Cherish. I just watched this and read your comments. Its never too late or early to be in the spirit of Christmas, is it? Thank you for your work, putting this together, its awesome! Your insight into these women's lives is so true. Their purpose is being fulfilled by being broken before Him and praising Him for lifting them up again to His higher purpose. In the eyes of man these women would be looked down on for their crimes, but through their Faith and His Grace they can be celebrated, not for what they have done, but for what He has done. Thank You Jesus! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Phil!! You wrote the most beautiful words in your comment-THANK YOU for your spiritual insight and for your sincerity. You could not have said it better. It is never too late. What you said about them fulfilling their purpose by being broken before Him is it in a nutshell. I'm so glad and honored that you took the time to comment on this post because I believe that so many others will gain insight and be blessed by your words. I want you to know how much of a blessing it has been to watch you and Meg grow in your faith over the past 5 years. It blows me away and makes me tear up just thinking about it. We are blessed to call you brothers and sisters in Christ and we are so grateful he placed your families in our lives and made us best friends. My cup is full. We love you all so much.

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