Joel Bridges' personal blog

Christian Music

Thomas’ Song

I was strumming some chords with one of my students & I decided it would be good for him to write some lyrics to go with it, so he came up with some really good words, starting with “When the light of the Son comes shining down”.  I asked if he meant “sun” or “Son” & he said “Let’s make it a church song”…

Thomas asked me, “Are you a Baptist?”  so I said, “I’m non-denominational”

He said, “So you’re Methodist…that’s almost like a Christian, right?”

 
When the light of the Son comes shining down on the precious land
then the world worships the one who died to save us from our sins
The Prince of peace is coming back to the new world He once knew
 
I was very impressed with this, but now we needed a chorus or a bridge to go with the verse.  I thought some minor chords would be a nice contrast, so I asked Thomas if he could come up with some more lyrics.  He decided Satan would be appropriate for the minor chords & Jesus for the major chords.  It sounds like he’s going to be a great songwriter…
 
Then there are some who don’t want to follow the way of the Light, and they stand in the way of the rays of the Light.
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It’s Your Song

We believe the songs are yours

We receive them from you Lord

It’s your word that leads us

It’s your love that frees us

It’s your light that guides us

It’s your song

Now I don’t know what tomorrow holds

I may be high, I may be low

But I believe you promised

you’d never leave me hopeless

And I believe whatever happens

it’s your song

It’s the way you show me

It’s the way you hold me

It’s the way you love me

It’s your song


Ok, I confess…

I would love to be on a tour bus with Roye, Brad, Dean, & Darrell, traveling around the countryside, playing churches & festivals & such.
Roye would fight Dean & Darrell for the top bunk (I would have the master suite in the back) & Brad would drive.  We wouldn’t be gone too long, just 15-20 weekends per year, play a gig, then get back on the bus & travel to the next town.  We would sit around the table on the bus, late at night, play games, make chocolate chip cookies, laugh & pray & sing & be silly.  Our families would come along, we would play our songs, the music would be annointed, & Roye would get up to speak & thousands of people would be touched by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If Will Hardy is right, & we can dream big dreams, that’s what I would dream.

Free to be me

Sun Feb 26, 2011  WRC West Paulding…morning services

Steve V & Brad C played acoustics, Jon on drums, Jason on keys, Derrick B & Jody D on guitar: The Time Has Come, Your Love Never Fails, Inside Out.  When Roye & I arrived @ 7 am, Derrick said we were replacing a song with one I had never heard  before, but any jitters I might’ve had disappeared when I inserted my ear buds.  The mix coming from the Avioms was CD quality.  I felt like a caveman experiencing some strange new enlightenment.  The bass guitar & kick drum were so thick & tight, I almost cried.  When we played Inside Out, the keyboard swelled, the drums & bass came in like a heart beat pounding in my chest, it sounded like Hillsong was playing.  The JBL line arrays hung above the stage.  4 OAP double-18 cabs lined the floor.  And if that wasn’t close enough to heaven, the volunteers were like angels swooping in to assist your every need.  When Brad needed help with his acoustic guitar, they were there to patch his cables, change his battery, wisp the hair out of his eyes, every possible act of service & assistance was eagerly administered.  Surely this must be what heaven is like.   

Then, we came back Sun night & it was beautiful.  I was exhausted from the night before.  I only got 2 hours of sleep.  I told Roye if it was God’s will for us to be there, He would make a way.  Well, He parted the Red Sea & made a way for Kathy & Abbie to come.  At every turn, in the morning & again that night…the sound, the spirit, the comfort level, the message, the people, & the look in Abbie’s eyes, it felt like God was confirming Himself.
Oak Leaf does not allow children in the adult services, so this was Abbie’s first official adult worship service.  I wish I had taken photos or video, because it was a perfect example on how to worship.  She was clapping, singing, lifting her hands & having an amazing experience in front of her grateful parents. 

Worship Like a Child

As I was driving down the road, I popped in an old CD & started to sing along.  I noticed Abbie in the backseat, singing right along with me, not knowing a single word.  She had never heard the song before, but she could tell I was excited about it, so she was happy to join in for the pure enjoyment.  Her words were unintelligible & her pitch wasn’t exactly right, but in her father’s eyes, it was beautiful.  It made me so proud to see her singing from her heart, just to make me happy. 

As a part-time worship leader, I’m always looking for ways to encourage people to join in worship.  Sometimes we may not know a song, or prefer something different, but it’s still possible to enjoy the music & join in worship.  If I’m excited about the song & I’m singing from my heart, it doesn’t matter if I don’t know the words or the melody, it will be beautiful in my Father’s eyes… & it will be contagious.


Spirit of the Living God


Angel or Devil?

Two voices are always battling inside my head…

One voice says I should give up my childish dreams of playing music & grow up.  I should abandon my selfish desires, crucify my flesh & allow God to use me however He sees fit.  My aspirations hinder God’s plan for my life.

The other voice says I have been gifted by God to play music & I should use His gift to glorify Him. God planted that dream in my heart & I should pursue it with passion. The joy & fulfillment it brings affirm that God is pleased with my music.

This has been a recurring theme in my life.  When I was 10, I wanted to be Spiderman & fly around Cartersville from building to building.  My mom even made a suit for me.  She encouraged me to dream.  When I graduated high school & it was time to go to University of TN, I decided it was God’s will for me to stay home & play music with my band.  My dad was disappointed, but he encouraged me to follow my dream.  When I was in college, the voices were still battling, telling me I was selfishly following my own desires, & it was time to abandon my silly dreams & live a life of total submission to God’s will.  For a time, I quit listening to secular music completely.  I was convinced that playing music was the wrong path for me. 

Even now, I still hear both voices & they are still at war.  But if I follow my parent’s example when my own daughter wants to follow her dream, it becomes clear what God wants for me.  He is my inspiration, He gave me the gift, & He wants me to dream…

And yet, just like Abraham, I have to be willing to sacrifice the things that are closest to me, if God requires it.  I must offer up my own desires & pleasures, just like Jesus did.

 Oswald Chambers says  “If you select your own spot to be planted, you will prove yourself to be an unproductive, empty pod.  However, if you allow God to plant you, you will “bear much fruit” ( John 15:8  ).
 
This passage in The Message explains it well, if you substitute “music” for “food” 
 
   Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.     If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don’t you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!

    God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

    So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

   Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.   Romans 14:13-23