thousands of lives…

Today we’re publishing the sheet music to Liz Baddaley’s song I want to touch a thousand lives (Make me more like Jesus) – you can download it together with the mp3, chord sheet and story behind the song in the general justice section on our songs page. It’s a fitting day to do this because it leads us to remember Janet Hosier, one of the inspirational saints whose stories we shared and celebrated in morning worship today for All Saints’ Day.

saintly washing line - low res

Our saintly washing line was filled in just a few minutes with inspirational Christians who have helped inspire, challenge and shape our walks…. famous, known to us personally, alive today and alive many centuries ago…

They all reflect different aspects of Jesus – pointing to him, and together – reflecting his body.

All of them – except the one hovering above the others – are flawed, but togther they form a mosaic of truth and revelation that leads us to the one who is flawless.

Sharing their stories, and how ours have been impacted by them was a powerful time of testimony and worship.

Jesus changes lives! And we love celebrating the stories of the individuals and the thousands who have experienced his grace and have made it known to us and others.

Here’s an extract from Janet’s, taken from the Story and Purpose behind I want to touch a thousand lives, which explains why and how Liz came to know her, and to write the song which is dedicated to her:

“‘This song was written out of grief on the day I processed the death of one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.

“When she died, appropriately on Valentine’s day in 2008, my friend Debbie called me with the news. Quite simply I was devastated – I needed to do something. I left work early, came home, and wrote this song.

“It isn’t a lament though, it’s a celebration of her legacy – a desire to grow into a woman of faith like she was.

“Janet remains one of the strongest inspirations in my life. I doubt she ever knew quite how remarkable she was, or just how many people’s lives she touched.

“Together with Sheila Meaning, Janet founded Watford New Hope Trust after deciding to take the words of Isaiah 58 – “take the homeless poor into your homes” – literally.

She was remarkable for a number of reasons.

“The first was that she was really quite ordinary – a middle-aged housewife who lived in Watford. But she became extraordinary when she allowed the power of the gospel to challenge her to love like Jesus – sacrificially, whole-heartedly and graciously.

“The second was that the extraordinary work that she and Sheila pioneered and championed united so many churches in the area to come together and reach out in unity.

“The third was just how gracious she was. She was one of the few Christians I have met who could literally alter the atmosphere of a room simply by walking into it – she carried such an incredible sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence.

And the fruits of the Spirit poured out of her – love, peace, a quiet joy – working alongside her was the most incredible thing, especially because she was so gracious and quick to praise and affirm.

“There were literally hundreds of people at her funeral – many of them homeless or formerly homeless people that she, and the Trust, had helped.

They spoke of her as embodying love. I sat and cried through the whole service. To me too she embodied love.

But she also embodied hope – if we give our lives to God, truly we can change the world.

“I think if I could only sing one song for the rest of my life this might be the one I’d pick. Just because it expresses what I want my life to be about, and most importantly, who I want it to be about.

“I want to live a life of worship which makes people see Jesus in me – and for him to be remembered when I’m gone.

I want to touch lives because I want to be like him… because this is worshipping him.

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