Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is music for anyway?

Believe it or not, I have struggled with the question above.  

When I was a child music was a call to dance, to dream, to escape to somewhere else for the duration of whatever album I (or my sisters) were listening to.  After Jesus found me, music became a way to adore Him.  I loved to sing about Him.  I learned to sing about Him in the youth choir at my church.  I learned about dynamics, tempo, and vibrato.  I learned that some people were very serious about music indeed.

Later, music became a way for me to communicate to Him... not only adoring Him by singing about Him, but realizing I could sing to Him.  This was an amazing discovery for me and a lesson that was unfortunately lost on me in my younger years.  Anyway, I became very passionate about singing to Him, about worshiping Him not only in voice and instrument but in any other way I could think of (or that someone else could think of!).  

I learned (sort of) to play the guitar.  I played and I sang and I taught and learned a lot about worship.  It didn't take very long to learn I wasn't a great musician.  Part of that comes from being surrounded by oh-so-very musical people.  People who are very skilled indeed in making music.  I tried to improve my musicality with lessons and seeking out various instruction.  In fact, my musicality did improve.  But I put away my guitar, and I didn't seek out opportunities to teach about worship so much anymore.  Instead I focused on my technique.... which, by-the-way, I was still convinced would assist me in doing great things for the Lord.... at some point.
I stopped singing songs with my children.

I did teach a worship class for our homeschool co-op, I sang on a worship team at church, but my guitar was collecting dust, and.... I didn't sing at home.  We didn't sing at home.  If you know me, that is a huge confession.

In thinking about it, I know now why that happened.  It's the same reason why I don't write as much as I would like to.  It's because I know that in someone's eyes..... whatever my expression is, is not going to measure up.  And maybe my own worst critic is me.

Now, how incredibly pathetic is that?  It's tragic and sad and a waste.

I wish not to be so wasteful.  Not that I am being wasteful of talent, for my talents are meager indeed, but I have wasted something far more precious.... worship.

By singing and writing and dancing and drawing and creating in anyway you can dream up, we are giving worship because we are doing what we were created to do.

 11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
       you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
       O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.  (Psalm 30)

 6 I will sing to the LORD,
       for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13)

 1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
       it is fitting for the upright to praise him. (Psalm 33)

 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
       sing praises to our King, sing praises. (Psalm 47)

4 All the earth bows down to you;
       they sing praise to you,
       they sing praise to your name."
       Selah  (Psalm 66)

 33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
       I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  (Psalm 104)

19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,  (Ephesians 5)

16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3)

 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
   "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
   be praise and honor and glory and power,
         for ever and ever!"  (Revelation 5)

I dusted off my guitar this morning.  As soon as I started strumming, the Audience of One drew in a congregation of three plus one puppy.  I couldn't remember all the chords and my rhythm was shaky at best.  Our voices didn't exactly come together as one heavenly choir.  Our pitch was iffy.  We sang about His awesomeness, we praised Him.  He was worshiped.

It was beautiful.  No one could convince me otherwise.

I learned an important lesson this morning, one I hope not to quickly forget....

and maybe that's what music is for.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The gifts #246-254

As my family and I seek to find our rhythm, as we have welcomed and bid farewell to many guests, as we have said 'yes' and are also learning how to say 'no',  as we learn what is too much and we see what is just we learn which reality to stretch our hope and strength, and faith around.....

I give thanks.

petting zoos

a child's discovery

the old man remembering his childhood

enduring friendship of these three....

                                                          and the memory of the one who has gone on...

the study of music

my little one's giving heart.... and that she wanted Grandma there

the odds and ends that make a life beautiful....

a heart that is heavy and full of hope....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Simple gifts. #222-245

In honor of Ann's trip to Guatemala and her sweet list of simple, basic gifts....

clean sheets
hot water


gas stove


rice cooker


mail service
grocery stores

cleaning supplies


holy experience