These gentlemen have won Favorite Artist of the Year for two years in a row, Favorite Trio for multiple years, and the individual members have won numerous awards as well. With this reputation, you would think the ticket prices would be rather high (well, not as high as many contemporary artists today, but still, for a family of nine, $15 can be a stretch). But, the concert was free, thanks to the church who held it. Big blessing for our family!
Our family, plus two friends, were blessed by the Booth Brothers-Ronnie Booth, Michael Booth, and Jim Brady-and their message. What Ben said to Ronnie later was true: "You guys are one of the most ministry minded groups that I have seen." Their message was clear-"God's Word is truth, there is a Heaven and a hell, there is a Savior, there is sin, there is nothing you can do without the Lord. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Their love for the Lord was evident and it was refreshing to visit with them afterwards. Sometimes, when we have attended other concerts, the artists performing do not even give you the time of day, and they call it ministry! It wasn't this way with the Booth Brothers, thankfully. The Booth Brothers were SO nice to Sam, Jayme, and Caleb, and the Lil' Adventurers loved it!
Anyways, enough said. Now it's time to get to the song of the month: "Just As I Am" by Jim Brady.
At the concert, I purchased Jim Brady's solo CD and have been blessed by it ever since. Jim wrote/co-wrote all the songs, and the lyrics of his songs are amazing. But my favorite really speaks to me and our family.
Some people have told us, "Live as you want. When you are a Christian, it doesn't matter how you live. God has saved you and that's all that matters. The Bible isn't relevant for today. God doesn't care how you live; He only cares about your heart" and so on and so forth.
In reading God's Word, we have not found a Biblical base for these opinions, or excuses, shall I say. Read Colossians 3, Galatians 5:16-26, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-11, 2 Timothy 2:22, the book of James, etc., etc. God DOES care about the heart, but He is most certainly concerned about the outward actions, words, and appearances as well. Salvation does not rely on works or how good you live, but as fruit shows that a tree is alive (Matthew 7:15-20), works also display the existence of faith.
In Jim Brady's song, "Just As I Am," the words clearly demonstrate this point. I love this line especially: "Oh, the way He's changing my heart proves He loves too much to leave me just as I am." Wow. That's the truth. The Bible says we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We come as we are, but we don't stay as we are.
Whew, it seems I have typed a lot, but when I examine my writing, I've barely scratched the surface of my thoughts and what God's Word says on this subject.
I had better be going. There are lawns to mow, dishes to wash, songs to practice, and a day to live, striving to be more like Christ and surrendering my all. Have a great, God-blessed day!
In His Love,
The Garms and friends Uli and Katie with Jim Brady
JUST AS I AM
by Jim Brady, Barry Weeks, and Tony Wood
Oh becoming more like Jesus feels like dying deep inside,
And I guess sometimes that’s truly what it is,
Cause He’s calling me to lay aside my selfishness and pride
So He can mold my heart and make it more like His.
And lately I’ve been seeing more each day
The wisdom and new wonders of His grace.
Just as I am, I ran to Him and mercy took me in;
Just as I am and He forgave my sin.
Oh the way He’s changing my heart proves
He loves me too much
To leave me just as I am.
O my heart is simply clay within the potter’s skillful hands
And even though the changes sometimes frighten me,
I want the truth of His words to keep shaping who I am
Cause I know He does all things perfectly.
So all my thoughts and all my attitudes,
They’re all His to change as He wants to.
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bids me come to Thee
Oh Lamb of God, I come.