Archive for June, 2016

Music Prayer

Thank you for the music all around us.

Each morning we hear it from the moment we open our ears;

the low notes of wind around the eaves

the whoosh of water as it comes from the tap

the glug glug as it drains

the throaty whistle of the boiling kettle

the metallic tap of the spoon against the cup

the jazz percussion of our feet on the steps.

The sounds of our day,

so familiar we hardly pay attention.

Thank you for the ability to hear.

Thank you for the sounds of life

the chatter of the squirrel

the deep purr of  a cat

the sharp calls of a blue jay

the sound of someone we love laughing.

Give us wisdom to enter this day with good sounds,

tones and pitches and words that affirm, encourage, cherish,

our sounds affecting the world in a positive way.

We pray for all who sing a sad song today;

the grieving, the lonely, the lost.

We pray especially for those who have lost their voice

and feel silenced or oppressed.

There are many singing freedom songs around our world,

and so today we pray for the safety of these singers.

Give their song the strength to convince and convert,

the power to ward off war.

There are too many war songs,

we don’t want to hear another one.

Thank you for your songs, love songs, which we are invited to sing.

Thank you for all the parts you’ve made for the song;

soprano, alto, tenor, bass.

Thank you for the children’s part and the senior’s part,

thank you for the youth part and the part for middle agers,

thank you for the crazy baby descant

that we all love to hear.

You are the Great Composer .

We long to be composed each day in your image,

singing your elegant score truly, clearly,

following your rhythm by heart,

finding our voice in your beautiful world.

Hearing you in the music of life.

This is our prayer.

Amen.

God inspires musicians to compose words and music that can tell others about His love, His faithfulness, His forgiveness and the ultimate sacrifice he gave for us. Words and music which  can touch the hearts and souls of the listener and bring them to kneel before God.

It really is God’s music we play, so make sure we play it for the right reasons.

For those of you who consider yourselves to be musicians, do you pray before you play, that God will help you proclaim His message through your music?

It can easy to get distracted as you prepare for a concert or show, and dare I say it, even for worship, but it is important that we make sure that whenever we use our God given musical talents, our focus and our purpose remain firmly on God.

I came across a musician’s prayer which you may find helpful:

The Musician’s Prayer by Anonymous

Oh Lord, please bless this music that it might glorify your name. May the talent that you have bestowed upon me be used only to serve you.

Let this music be a witness to your majesty and love, and remind us that you are always watching, and listening, from your throne above.

May your presence and beauty be found in every note, and may the words that are sung reach the hearts of your people so they will draw closer to you.

May your Spirit guide us through every measure so that we might be the instruments of your peace, and proclaim your glory with glad voices.

Amen

Music has the ability to lift our spirits and bring us closer to God, but is it just the music that touches our hearts or is there more to it than that?

musicYou can get the best musicians in the world to play a piece of music which means nothing to them and they’ll play it note perfect, but will it convey the story and the message behind the music?

Sometimes it might, but I’d suggest that when playing christian music, the true message behind the music will cannot truly be conveyed by the musicians unless they themselves have a real relationship with God. Only then can the full message and the emotions related to God’s sacrifice and love for us, really be portrayed by the musician.

Music is simply a series notes which together can evoke images and emotions held deep within us. When it is music that’s been inspired by God, it can stir our hearts and bring us closer to God. So listen to God’s music, but open your heart, and let God stir your emotions.

In the last few week I’ve found myself listening to the song Through It All – The music and words always evoke huge emotion for me, as God always seems so close to me when I hear it:

Though the future seems uncertain

Though the fear erodes my peace

Though the circumstance seems hopeless

And the doubting will not cease

I will claim what He has promised

For my heart must recognise

Mine is not to question

But keep focused on the prize.

 

Through it all I choose to serve the saviour

Through it all I claim Christ as my friend

Through it all my faith will never waver

Till He calls me home or comes again

 

This path now set before me

Is not my route of choice

Yet I must keep moving forward

Listening to His still small voice

This step along this journey

He reminds me I’m His own

And through the cold dark loneliness

I’m aware I’m not alone

 

Through it all I choose to serve the saviour

Through it all I claim Christ as my friend

Through it all my faith will never waver

Till He calls me home or comes again

Are you looking for simple ways to encourage your heart and nourish your soul?

In the last while I’ve given you some ideas which will hopefully inspire you to implement them in your own life, and over the coming weeks I’ll share some others with you.

So here’s today’s suggestion:

Walk in a waltz                                                                                                                                                

 

I’m sure we’ve all heard it said many times that music can evoke lots of varying emotions in us. It was therefore with this in mind that I was reading a number of articles recently when I came across a report that suggested that there is a lot of evidence that indicates a waltz tempo is one of the happiest musical rhythms.

A waltz tempo is a one-two-three, one-two-three rhythm, so try walking in this rhythm as it may well put a bounce in your step, and brighten your day!

waltz-time

 

When things don’t go well for us, or we we’re not seeing the results or outcomes we want, maybe we need to review who or what is at the root of what’s gone wrong.

It’s nothing new that we ourselves are often the reason for things going wrong in our lives, it happened a long time ago too…

judas

So before you go blaming everyone and everything around you for things that have gone wrong, have a look at yourself and ensure your life has been transformed by God, or nothing will change!

 

Sometime through all the busyness of our hectic lives, we simply need to rest…

rest

 

I’ve heard it said many times that we’re all the same but different, which seems a complete contradiction doesn’t it?

So how are we the same? We are all human, we all have our faults and flaws, and we are all God’s children.

And how are we different? We are all God’s children, but he made each of us individually with our own personality and our own image.

Over the last few days I’ve talked of situations where people are excluded just because they are different in some way. God doesn’t exclude anyone because they are different because we are all His children. We therefore must respect and love one another despite our differences – I know that’s not always easy as some people do and say things that make it very difficult to love them. However despite the difficulties, we must do all we can to love one another regardless of nationality, religion, colour, beliefs, opinions or any other differences.

God loves us despite our many flaws, so we should do the same…love one another despite our differences.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I just want to stop, sit down and just have 10 – 15 minutes to talk to someone without either of us looking at our watches, being interrupted by someone else, or looking about for someone else we’ve been meaning to talk to.

Maybe it’s just because we’re all rushing about so much these days we no longer feel comfortable doing “nothing” for even a few minutes. Maybe we need to forget about all the things we need to do, all the things we’ve meant to do, and simply consider those around you…Are they ok?…do they need someone to talk to?…do they need someone to listen to them?

Stop and look around you at the people in your life, not just those you are particularly close to but those who are maybe on the outskirts of your “inner circle” and make time for them as we all need to make time for one another, otherwise how do people know we care?

Trust-takes-years-to-build

Have you seen the film “Meet the Parents“?

The film focuses on Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his Pam Byrnes (his girlfriend) as they go to her parents house, where he plans to propose. However meeting her parents doesn’t go quite as smoothly as Stiller had hoped as her ex-FBI father (played by Robert De Niro) takes an instant dislike to Stiller.

This dislike of Stiller, causes De Niro to exclude him from what he calls his “circle of trust”, which basically includes all his close family and friends, and they alone are the ones who get included in special events, and hear about information that’s not commonly available about those in the “circle of trust”.

Circle-of-Trust

The film Meet the Parents, focuses on an amusing attempt to gain the trust of a soon to be family member, but sadly in real life, being outside the “circle of trust” of those you considerate to be friends, can be far from amusing for those on the outside. In fact it will make the “outsider” feel even more of an outsider, making them feel unwanted and alone.

Maybe inadvertently, maybe intentionally, when individuals are singled out for exclusion from events/discussions it can cause them great pain and upset. Many can find it difficult to interact/mix with others, particularly if they are on their own, so being excluded exacerbates their feelings of failure and inability to socialise with others, which in turn makes it more difficult to mix with others…and so one thing exacerbates the other leaving them further from being part of that inner circle, that “circle of trust”.

Who’s in your “circle of trust”? Are you inadvertently excluding one or more people from your “circle of trust”? Have you considered what impact that is having on them?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be invisible?

Playing pranks on your friends and family or listening in on meetings or conversations that you weren’t meant to hear, or maybe gaining an advantage from getting some insider knowledge about something prior to an event or exam…

All sounds good doesn’t it, but would there be a downside to being invisible?

Ever heard the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”?

My gut feeling would be that while initially it might be great to be invisible, but it wouldn’t take long before being forgotten. i.e. Out of sight, out of mind.

Just as I’ve mentioned in a couple of recent blog posts, Missing and Missed, it is important that everyone feels needed, and are missed when they fail to attend something for whatever reason. So don’t let people fall out of your life because they are out of sight and therefore out of mind.

out-of-sight-out-of-mind