Music. I said it.

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You want to start a possible firestorm in a conversation?  Mention the word “music.”  Even writing about this causes me to cringe a bit.  There is much debate about the kind of music being used today in our churches.  May I kindly offer the following?

Often the cry is heard, “We don’t sing the old hymns in our church anymore,” or “I sure miss the old hymns,” or “These old hymns will die if we don’t sing them in church.”  No matter whether that is the case or not, may I ask, as I was reminded recently, “Do you sing hymns at home?”

The best place to learn the great hymns of the faith is at home.  Sing them at supper.  Sing them in the car.  Sing them around the fire pit.  Sing them during your family devotions.  Sing them on the way to church.  Sing them while holding your child in your arms.  Sing them while washing dishes.  Sing them at family gatherings.

On any given Sunday, a congregation may sing around 30 minutes. How many opportunities do you have at home each week?  Take advantage of those hours to disciple and worship with your family and guests.  Make your home a house of praise! I have a hunch your worship time on Sunday will be more Godward-focused and heart-expressed.

Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people (Psalm 9:1).

I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 13:6).

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name (Psalm 18:36).

Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy (Psalm 33:3).

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:18).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).

Thank the Lord He created music!  Sing!!

The Ministry of Music

Yesterday, not too long after arriving in the patient’s cardiac ICU room, he was telling me about his love of ministering in a local nursing home and using music to bring a smile to otherwise lonely people.  As he told me his story, his own countenance brightened.  I can only imagine him singing and leading those dear folks in song, especially the ones about heaven!

Many times over the years, Denise and I have had the joy of ministering by the bedside of a dear loved one or precious church member in the hospital or their home.  In recent years, we have often ended our visit by singing a hymn or gospel song.  I remember once, a dear lady who was in the ER struggling to get her breath, and we began to sing very softly, “When peace like a river attendeth my way.  When sorrows like sea billows roll . . . .”  Later on we sang, “We have a heavenly Father above.  With eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love.  He really cares when your head is bowed low. . . . “ As we moved through those songs and on to others, there was a certain calmness that came over the room.

In the midst of their battles with cancer, my parents loved to hear the songs of the redeemed.  We often played a CD of invitation hymns that ministered to my dad’s soul in a very special way.  For my mom, a dear family in our church provided an iPod for her to listen to the piano music of Rudy Atwood as well as some of her other favorites.  In the wee morning hours, sometimes, there would be Mom fixing her ear buds so she hear the songs of grace and promise.  That was new fangled gadget for her! J

Today, this week, be a blessing to a downcast, hurting soul.  Give them a CD or an iTunes card.  When you stand to sing in church, do so joyfully so the folks around who may need encouragement will be uplifted as you sing from your heart to the Lord!

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;[a]

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Ephesians 5:19 – Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

When God Is Near

Praise God For Music!

How grateful I am that God created music!  Since I can remember, music has been a big part of my family.  My mom was an excellent pianist having played since she was six years old and learned the style of Rudy Atwood.  My dad sang, which was a chore to him.  I will say that he learned to play the radio quite well. 🙂   I played the trumpet and treble clef baritone in the band, and my wife played the clarinet. My oldest daughter plays the piano and my youngest daughter is multi-gifted as she can play several  instruments.

Music has been a strong guiding force and source of encouragement as well as “setting the atmosphere” in our lives many times.  Music has shown up in so many venues of our life such as in the car, at church, around the table, at a concert, while washing the car, driving through the countryside, on a date, on the back deck, running early in the morning, etc.  Music has touched us in so many ways from excitement, tears, raising a hand or two accompanied with a shout of praise, exhortation, foot tappin’, and on and on.

Due to a year of many trials in all “shapes and sizes” (James 1:2), music has found a common resting place in our hearts to encourage, edify and strengthen us.  Here’s one song that I often hear as I run.  It is one that folks in our church have found to be a “song in the night.”  Let the words minister to you today, and thank God for music!

I’ll Never Forsake You

Job 35:10  But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night.

Psalm 32:7  You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalm 119:54  Your statutes have been my songs In the house of my pilgrimage.