The Power of Music {5.17.18}

Music. It’s powerful, isn’t it? It has the power to transport us back in time to a memory of a person or place. When I hear the Beach Boys for instance, I’m immediately transported to summer, windows down in the car and singing along. When I hear Christmas music I’m thinking of the love of God and time with family in a warm cozy house or caroling in the snow. power of musicEighties music reminds me of our children growing up and having fun at the lake or pool. Marching band music takes me back to my school years and marching in parades in our small town. 

I have been thinking about music since last night when I was honored to attend our grandson’s first band concert. I was so impressed with that 6th grade band. They sounded great and it was evident that they love their band director and he loves them. He made music enjoyable and fun for them while at the same time demanding and receiving their respect and attention. It was a glorious time.

I enjoy music so much! I enjoy hearing people sing and play. I also love to sing along but unfortunately for those around me, I do not have the gift of voice. I am one of those mentioned in the Bible that makes a joyful noise (at least it comes out of my heart joyful – not sure it is a joy to those who hear it).  Thankfully, people at church are kind and I sound a lot better with others around me singing in tune. In my car, the radio gives me great accompaniment.

Songs and musical instruments are not necessary to enjoy music though. Music is all around us. We can simply go outside and listen to the birds. They sing a joyful song and always seem thankful for their existence. Even doves in their cooing have a sound that is soothing to the soul.

It seems to me that music has the power to change our moods. It has the power to bring joy, love, happiness, sadness or even anxiety and anger. Just like what we read gets into our minds and hearts, what we listen to does as well. Are the words we are receiving uplifting and positive or hurtful and negative? I’m not saying we shouldn’t allow sadness or grief to enter our lives or even that we should shy from sad songs. What I am saying though is that we should all be very careful what we allow to dwell and linger in our hearts and minds.

After all, music comes from God. praise in musicThroughout the Old Testament we see how important music was to God. He took great care to share His directions about musicians. Songs and sounds from musical instruments lifted to God in praise were a delight to Him. They still are. Even after this life, heaven will be filled with our praises to God! So, why not start now? Among all the other music God has given us to enjoy, let’s make it a priority to honor and praise Him.

Ephesians 5:19-20 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I’m going to turn no the radio and sing along. Anyone want to join me?

Power Couple {10.6.17}

POWER. Some have it. Some think they have it. Some want it. Some abuse it. Some use it wisely.

WISDOM. That’s the key ingredient needed when you have been given power. Wisdom comes from God.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been studying the book of Esther. It’s quite an intriguing story (true story I might add).  I’ve been thinking about Esther and how she not only pushed the envelope, she pushed it all the way out of the box. Let’s take a look at her bold actions and statements as we view the marriage of King Xerxes and Queen Esther – the power couple.

Queen Esther: She had been brought with many, many other young girls to be prepared to be presented to the king. Of all the girls presented, she was the one King Xerxes chose as queen. Even so, she could not come into the King’s presence unless summoned. To go to him on her own could mean her immediate death. The only exception would be if the king granted her favor by extending his gold scepter to her. Then her life would be spared. I know…this sounds crazy in our world today here in the United States but, that was the culture. Even today if we traveled much outside of our country, we would find similar things that would seem bizarre to us. The thing was, the king was the ruler. If he gave you an order or asked you a question, you better hop to it, queen or not.

King Xerxes: He had the power. He didn’t always use it wisely. He was swayed by others. He gave power to those who used it with evil intent. He seemed quite shallow at times. His actions made me think that he was living in his own little world and didn’t realize much about what was happening around him. He had the power of life or death in his hands and could use it at will. Others were at his mercy. But even though all of these things appear true, we see glimpses of his kindness and compassion.power couple

Here are some things that just amaze me about this power couple’s marriage story:

Esther’s boldness and courage. First of all, she did go before the king without being summoned. Not only that but when he asked her what was wrong, she didn’t answer him. Instead, she put him off by inviting him to a banquet later that day and said she would answer him then. So, at the banquet, the king asked her once again and once again, she put him off. This time until the next day. She said she would tell him if he would come to a banquet tomorrow. That next day she finally told him what was troubling her and made her request (to spare her life and the lives of her people). There is SO MUCH to this story. I hope you take a look at it again or for the first time. But, when I think about it – she not only went into the king’s presence when she could have been killed just for that. She also refused to answer him. Not once, but twice. That’s either bold courage or foolishness.

King Xerxes kindness and compassion. He certainly wasn’t always kind or compassionate. In previous chapters of the book of Esther, we find him proud and easily led. But, in this part of their story, he looks upon Esther with kindness and grants her favor. First of all, he doesn’t have her killed for daring to come to him uninvited. Then when he asked her a question, she refused to answer but put him off instead, not only once, but twice! Still I can just feel the kindness and care he has for her dripping off the pages. He seemed really concerned about her needs or wishes. It wasn’t “all about him” this time. It was about her.

So, it makes you wonder doesn’t it? What changed Esther, the young innocent girl to the bold and courageous Queen Esther? What changed the prideful and self-indulgent King Xerxes into the compassionate husband? The key is found in Esther 4:15-17. The key is GOD – fasting and praying to GOD, the only one who can change hearts and situations. He can turn what we see as our worst nightmare into our greatest triumph. He can change a heart of stone into a compassionate heart of flesh. He can turn a coward into a brave warrior. Simply – GOD can!

The next time you feel like God is leading you to something, be brave dear friend. If God calls us to something, He will provide. We can count on it because we can count on Him. I pray for the giving and receiving of blessings for you today.