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?

The Magic of Music {3.7.16}

I know, music really isn’t magic but it does seem to have the power to transport us, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s to another place and time, sometimes it’s an attitude or emotional change. At least in my life, music speaks to my heart and it speaks loudly.

When my children were toddlers, I took them to the Disney Magic Kingdom. We all had a great time but the one thing I remember (aside from how cute they were in their Mickey Mouse hats) is going on a boat ride through a tunnel while the song “It’s a Small World” played. I can’t hear that song even today without smiling. Something about it lifts my spirits no matter what. Can you ever hear the “hokey pokey” song without thinking of a roller rink? And for me, when I hear a John Philip Sousa marching song, I quickly get in step and think of picking up a baton and marching down the street in a parade (loved those days). When I want to spend quiet time with God, I often sing “In the Garden” to myself (I sound better that way – silently). I’m sure we all have memories tied to songs. It can bring to mind wonderful times, sad times and let’s be honest – sometimes we just like the beat. music notes

The other day I caught a bit of a TV show where Loretta Lynn was performing live. She sang one of the songs on an album recently released. I’m not sure of the title of the song but the chorus was: “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”. In the song she talks about Hezekiah and Jesus but mostly I remember that chorus. There is so much truth in that verse.

Just yesterday we traveled to two funeral homes for services. One was for an elderly relative who had lived a fairly long life and suffered greatly toward the end. It was a comfort to her immediate family that her suffering had ended. The other was for a young 10 year old boy. That is always much harder to understand. While he lived three years longer than expected, to us it still seems like his life was cut short. “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die” However, he had godly, loving parents who introduced him to God and he accepted the gift of salvation and was baptized. He was truly going home. Even though his life was filled with physical problems, doctors, hospitals, etc. he was a very happy child. What a precious smiling face he had and the smile went all the way up to his brown eyes.

While I thought of Loretta’s song in the physical sense, it has much more meaning in the spiritual sense, doesn’t it? We all want to go to heaven but do we really want to die? We are called to do just that – die to self and live for Christ. That’s not easy to do – in and of ourselves. But oh the freedom when we allow the power of God to transform us into His likeness. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, we have the privilege of coming into a personal relationship with God. That should make us sing for joy!

“Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise, He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and glory are in His sanctuary.”  Psalm 96:1-6

So, what song are you singing today? Is it a song of praise and joy for a God who loves you? Does it bring a smile to your face and joy into your heart? If not, ask Jesus into your heart. You will be singing a beautiful new song from here into eternity.

Let’s Sing!