“This year give more than you have ever given and watch how you change..what you value, care about, your joy, satisfaction, and experiences with God. I promise you that what truly matters according to God will become more precious to you and your faith and peace and joy will be deeper than ever…regardless of the economy.”
Is there anything better than a cup of coffee from Ross’s Diner???
I must confess, I start looking forward to my cup the night before. Then when I get to work in the morning, it’s a struggle to make myself wait until 10:00 so I can walk over there & say hello to Maria, Joanie, & Emily. I think a really good cup of coffee nourishes the soul. Some people prefer the plush, trendy comforts of Starbucks and their grande, mocha, skinny, latte decafs. How many adjectives does it take? I prefer to walk into Ross’s, say hello to my friends, & order “a cup of coffee, please”.
“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the King” Psalm 45:1 NIV
Last night, I felt like I had been “anointed with the oil of joy”, like it says in Ps 45:7. That’s what happens when we worship God in spirit & in truth. So I must’ve been in a church service or a Bible study, right? No, actually it was band practice for Oak Leaf Church & I thought the room was going to explode as we went through the songs for next Sunday. It’s hard to describe how it feels to use my voice the way God intended, to lift up His name & glorify Him with a song from my heart. For so long, I used my voice for my own pleasure & my own benefit. I sang songs that didn’t really mean anything, for people that didn’t really care, & it was a waste.
I wonder what God thought about His wasted gift?
My dad was a huge UT fan, so naturally he hated UGA. Sometimes I try to imagine how he would’ve felt if he had left me a generous trust fund, in the hope that I would use it to go to his beloved alma mater. Then when I turned 18, what if I had rejected UT & decided to use his money to go to UGA!!! That would’ve been like a knife through his heart.
Well, that’s what I did to God. I took His precious gift, which He entrusted to me & I used it for the enemy. I used it for my own purposes & my own entertainment, & the devil was laughing the whole time. I used The Force for the dark side. I sold my birthright for some pork & beans. I went out & spent my inheritance on what I wanted & found myself eating pig slop. I traded my gold top Les Paul for a Squire Strat. Well, you get the idea…
So now I’m starting to see what it feels like to use my voice the way it was intended, & for the purpose it was created. As we all know, music is a powerful force. It can take us to places that can’t be reached otherwise…to very good places, or very bad. There are plenty of people who sing with amazing passion & energy for plenty of different reasons. But when we use our voices to worship our Creator, to shout to God with cries of joy, & to magnify His name with all our strength & all our breath, we experience a whole new level of expression & power. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! Sing praises to God, sing praises; forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever!
“The world does not bid you sing, but God does. Song is the sign of an unburdened heart; so sing your songs of love unbidden, ever rising higher & higher into a fuller concept of the greatest, grandest fact on the stage of time…God is Love”
I just got back home from Rock Eagle 4-H Camp & the FGBMFI annual Men’s Advance. I went with my buddy Roye & we stayed with some great guys in a cabin & enjoyed some challenging speakers & teaching. Other than listening to Roye snore all night & twitter with his phone, it was a great trip. One story I will share was from Will Hardy; it illustrated how it pleases God to give us the desires of our heart…
After a long afternoon cutting grass, his son came running out to “help” daddy with the clippings. At first he hesitated to accept his son’s “help”, but the little boy was so excited about it, he let him dive into the bag of clippings & do the best he could. Well, of course the little boy made a huge mess & the clippings were scattered over the entire yard, but his father stepped back & smiled. The grass clippings really didn’t matter, because he knew his son was only trying to make his daddy happy…
God is big enough to use our little messes for His purpose & His glory, as long as we strive to make Him happy.
Yeah, I’m old school…or maybe I’m just old? I still use my old Acid software from 1997 (version 1.0) to make loops for songs that need piano, or strings, or whatever. I know I should be using Reason or some other state of the art software, but I can’t help it. I like the old familiar stuff. I like to order the same thing when I go to my favorite restaurant. I still like my Motorola V188 cellphone. I still use an old Dell PC with Windows XP for all my music. When I was making the loop for a song we played at Oak Leaf Church this past week, I had to go back & forth to remove programs, files, etc…in order to make room on my C drive. I probably re-booted 3 or 4 times every time I started working on it. Whenever I finished a section, my computer would hickup or hesitate, so I would have to start over. Why don’t I upgrade? Why don’t I get a Mac, or a new i-phone? Why don’t I order something new at Village Porch or Ross’s? Because, I’m old school. I like the old familiar stuff. Let’s face it, every brand new gadget comes with it’s own set of problems.
When I finally finished that loop, & saved it on my mp3 player, I said a prayer before I pressed the save button. If there was the slightest hickup or hesitation, all my effort would go down the drain. So when I played the song, in it’s final form, with no glitches or problems, & I listened to the piano loop in perfect sync with the click track, it was a great feeling. It was a miracle, really. When we played the song Sunday morning, the loop worked to perfection (thanks to Kyle) & I was like a proud father, beaming over a simple piano pattern, his crude little work of art, his miracle.