Rescue For My Soul- Theology Paper

I recently had the privilege of writing a paper outlining the theology of Rescue for my Soul, a song on the upcoming Austin Stone Worship Kid’s album “Only Jesus.” I thought I’d share it with you here!

“I was alone out in the darkness, lost in the ocean of my sin
     day after day the waves crash over me
     Lord it’s your light that draws me in”

Humanity is broken. Pain, hate, and darkness are all too common as the knowledge of God seems absent from much of our world. The words of King David are as true today as they were millennia ago. 

“They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3


The Good News begins with a hard truth: we are sinners separated from a holy God. Our great dilemma is that God is good- and we are not. 

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” Ephesians 2:4-5

But God. Two words that are the gateway to understanding the Gospel. That while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That God loved us and redeemed us when we were running away from him. We were helpless.

The song “Rescue For My Soul” was written to reflect the journey of the prophet Jonah. As he sank to the bottom of the ocean, he was keenly aware of his helplessness, and his desperate need for a Rescuer. 

“The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head
at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.” Jonah 2:5-6


“I raise my hands to You for mercy. I need Your love that won’t let go
O God You’re reaching down, in You I’ve found
A rescue for my soul”

There is a Rescuer- Jesus, who has made a way for all mankind to return to God. Bearing the weight on our sin on the cross, he tore down every division standing in the way of community with God. In Christ, we can experience forgiveness, restoration, and newness of life. When God brought the wicked city of Ninevah to repentance, He gave us an example that no man is beyond His reach, and that the Spirit flows where He wills, bringing hope to even the most hopeless of us.

“I was a sinner until you found me. When I was broken, you made me whole.
When floods surround me, I need you Jesus.
You are the rescue for my soul.”
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Indonesia 2016

Indonesia 2016

Hey friends and family!

I’m writing not only to update you on how Laura, Norah, and I have been, but also to give you an update on some new opportunites God has given us to engage in missions, and to let you know how you can be involved!

Family Update

Laura, Norah and I are truly enjoying our new roles- myself as the worship and students pastor at Point Community Church in south Austin, and Laura as an RN on the med/surg floor at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. We’re also loving life in Buda! It’s been a season of change for us, but we’re overall very happy with it.

Norah is growing up faster than we ever expected. She’s getting more and more conversational and a lot more headstrong! She’s got her own personality, and she’s strong-willed and hilarious.

We have been incredibly blessed as a family to be part of Point Community Church, and one of our favorite things about this family is their emphasis on global missions. Point has an ongoing partnership with missionaries in Indonesia, and God has given Laura and I both the opportunity to travel to Indonesia for 10 days along with a team of men and women from our church.

What will we be doing?

Unlike a lot of short term mission trips, our journey to Indonesia will consist almost entirely of evangelism. Both in an urban context, as well as among villages that have almost no gospel witness, we’re going to spend over a week sharing the gospel as much as possible, and are prayerfully hoping to see many come to know Jesus.

Why Indonesia?

Indonesia is one of the most populous countries in the world, and the vast majority are Muslim. However, most of the Muslims in Indonesia are not radicalized, and thus more open to hearing the Good News. There are many areas with almost no gospel witness. However, in the areas where there are Christians, the Church experiences many difficulties and persecutions.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 11.26.06 AM

Statistic Taken from “Operation World”. Used by permission.

It will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Laura and I to experience and engage in overseas missions in a totally foreign context, as well as an opportunity to share Christ to the ends of the earth.

How Can You Be Involved?

The costs of this trip are prohibitive apart from the support of our family, friends, and faith community. We are asking you to support us in one of two ways:

  1. Prayer
  2. Financial Support

We need people to be praying. Praying for hearts to open to the message of Jesus, prayer for our team to not get sick, prayer for our travels, and for God to move in and through us. Also, that our entire team would be able to raise the funds necessary for this trip to happen.

Secondly, we’re asking you to consider supporting us financially. Our total costs for the trip will be around $4500 dollars. We’ve found plane tickets for just under $1k each, we will have expenses during the week of around the same amount, and lastly, it will cost at least $500 dollars for each of us to get the proper immunizations.

I know many of you reading this have already supported us a great deal in the past. There is no compulsion to give, only an opportunity to join with us as you feel led by Jesus. However, please pray about it! We trust the Lord will provide the funds, but He chooses to use people to do it!

If you want to give, you can go to http://pointaustin.org/giving/, and give online. There will be a budget line under “Howard Family” where you can direct your contribution.

We love you all. Thanks for everything – your friendship, prayers, and support.

 

The Howard family

What’s Next?

The goal of this residency has always been to prepare me for a life as a worship pastor. I have been discipled and trained by some of the most talented men and women I’ve ever met at the Austin Stone. I’ve had opportunities to lead, write songs, and pastor in ways I never expected two years ago.

Although the program is designed to be a full two years, from time to time residents have left early as the Lord opens doors for them to enter full time ministry.

Well, it turns out I’m going to be doing the same thing. I’m very excited to let everyone know that this Sunday, February 28th begins a new chapter for Laura, Norah, and I. I’ve accepted the position as Pastor of Worship and Students at Point Community Church in South Austin. It’s a young church plant, but it’s a vibrant and growing community of people that reflect the community of south Austin. It’s diverse, there are lots of families, and many meeting Jesus for the first time. I’m truly honored and excited to begin, and we’ve already been welcomed graciously by the lead pastors and their wives.

I know not only this opportunity, but the residency itself, would not have been possible without my supporters. To those who have supported me- your gifts not only allowed me to be trained up to be a better leader and pastor. They have also been a gift to Point Community Church, to allow me to grow and lead these people with greater faithfulness and vision.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sacrificing financially to allow Laura and I to pursue this. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for investing in the kingdom of God!

FYI- Support will stop being drawn as of February 29th. So anyone with recurring support, it will automatically stop!

Some Other Really Cool News

  1. KIDS Record

The KIDS record is just about done being recorded. It’s going to be called “Only Jesus,” and I’ll just say, I think I’m as proud of it as any other musical project I’ve ever been a part of. I’m not sure when they are releasing it, but I’ll keep you guys informed.

2.  We’ve moved!

Laura and I have been dreaming of buying a house for a while now. God graciously opened the door for us to buy a house in Buda, TX, conveniently about 2 minutes away from our best friends, and much closer to our new church. We could not be any happier about it! If you need our new address, go ahead and shoot me an email! IMG_5777

3. I’m going to let the blog die. Because it’s squarespace I’ve been paying for it. I’m going to move everything to a free wordpress site! It’s going to be at alexhowardatx.wordpress.com

Love you guys alot. I’ll still be blogging here from time to time!

Alex Howard