Music.....it evokes emotion-we celebrate with it, we mourn with it, we dance to it, we sing with it. It penetrates the innermost parts of our beings and brings forth many different emotions.
Music will transport us. A song will carry you back years, to former days, as you recall where you were when you first heard a song, what you were doing, the significance of that song in your life.
Music will make you move. A song will make you tap your foot, clap your hands, shake your hips and sometimes shout out loud! It is powerful.
Music will educate. It will teach us about different time periods....the renaissance, reformation, classical periods, the 20's, the 30's, the 50's! It will give us a foundation from which to expand our minds and draw from history from all over the world.
Music will entertain. For years, music to me was entertainment. I have always loved music (except when I had to play the clarinet for 3 years-thanks mom! She truly just wanted to give me a musical background to draw from and for that I thank her. I did learn how to read music, but as soon as she said I could quit-I did!) But music was entertainment. If I liked the beat, or the words, I listened to it. And even now, if I am in a store and a song comes on from my past, I am back in that moment, that time-transported to the 80's listening to Denise Williams sing "Let's Hear it for the Boy." I remember dying to get that song on a 45 and I would listen to it over and over and dance in my room belting it from the top of my lungs. Or songs from the BeeGees, Billy Joel, The Police, REM, Whitney Houston etc..swept away into time I would go. But back then, music never called me to action. It didn't make me think outside myself (because I was being entertained), it didn't bring me to my knees.
About 5-6 years ago, I remember driving with Ben, about 5 1/2, and Seth, around 3ish, and I probably had Luke at that time, just an infant, we were out running errands and I was listening to the Dixie Chicks...I was belting it out, tapping the steering wheel and as I was coming down a hill (I remember exactly where I was) I remember turning in my seat and hearing Ben sing right along with the song. Now the words in the song aren't bad, but I was instantly struck. You know how our children often say (or even we said as children), "I just like the beat, I don't listen to the words!" Well, in that instant, I knew my small child was "listening to the words."
I was convicted in my spirit, deep within, regarding my responsiblity with my children. God spoke so gently to my spirit about being an example to my children and protecting their ears. About giving them more of HIM, even when I was driving in my car. I often say to my children, "what goes in our minds, never comes out...it is always there....be careful about what you put in." And He spoke to me-that He wanted my mind to be fixed on Him. My music selections, from that time on began slowly changing. That is one of the attributes that is so beautiful about the Holy Spirit. He speaks to our hearts....and meets with us in divine moments. When He speaks, you don't feel condemned, you don't feel guilt-those things don't come from our Father. You feel safety and peace. The trick is to obey, when you hear Him speaking. That topic we can save for another day!
I was opened up to a whole new world of music. Music that began bringing about action.
"And He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord."
David is singing unto the Lord. He is in a time of horrible distress. The new song in his heart is trusting in God and turning to him for strength. Praising God amidst the frustration and trial. The Lord's salvation brings David to his knees in praise of His King.
He was called to action. Worship.
God desires our worship and praise-everyday. He deserves it. It is rightly His. And not just when life is good and runs smoothly....anyone can praise Him on those days. But He desires our worship and praise in the difficult times. I know how hard that is.
Six years ago, when I was 20 weeks pregnant with our fourth child, my husband and I found out that our son, had a fatal, genetic condition called Trisomy 18. This condition is referred to by doctors as "incompatible with life." Can you imagine hearing those words about your child? My world began spinning out of control. In the days following his diagnosis, I retreated to my bed where I pulled the covers over my head and tried to just stay asleep. I wanted so badly to wake up and see it was all a really horrible nightmare. In those days, my husband would come into our room, sit on the side of the bed and read to me from the Psalms. The songs of praise to Our King!! My husband was hurting just as badly as I, but he was able to praise our God and Father, to worship HIM, whose love for us doesn't go away in the trials. To thank Him for Joshua, our son, even if Joshua would be with us for a short time. But just to worship Him.
God brought me to my knees during that week of mourning my son and his future. Mourning what as a mom, I would never experience with my son. You know what I did during some of those days. I listened to a CD given to me by my church family. Music. A "Comfort CD" as it was entitled. Each song, praised God for His faithfulness in the midst of trials, pain, disease, and death and each song was selected by a family or person who was or had experienced pain. Their testimonies were written in the CD cover. I would listen to the songs about God and I got immersed in the words. And then, after a couple days, I opened my Bible and searched it for His truths. It was a hard week. Probably the hardest week of my entire life. Because during that week, God taught me how to praise him and worship him in everything. And when I laid down my plans, and my desires and ultimately, my son at the feet of Jesus...trusting Him with my son and our future, God "put a new song in my mouth." Don't get me wrong....the 4 1/2 months that followed leading up to Joshua's birth and then almost 4 months later, before his death......oh, that road was difficult and I waivered, I fell down, I mourned, I cried-but I praised God for His faithfulness. I was called to action.
"Oh, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker. For He is our God. And we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand."
When you enter my home these days, or tag along with me in the car, or come running with me....what you will hear are songs of praise. The world of Christian music is huge. And God has imparted so many gifts to these people who sing His praises, and there are so many styles of Christian music......rap, hip hop, pop-style, hymns, alternative rock, rock etc....You'll hear it all within our walls. My 11 and 9 year old...they are bopping around the house to TobyMac, Matthew West, Sanctus Real and Building 429, as my husband works around the house he'll be praising alongside Newsboys and me.....well-you get a variety, some of which is on my blog-but right now I praise alongside Kathleen Carnali. Her words to our Father bring me to my knees in worship.
If you enter my home on any given day, you'll