I Want To Make Music

I truly do want to praise the LORD throughout my life.

Because He has given me the ability to do so, I want to make music to praise Him.

My hope every day is in God.

He has always been faithful to me.

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Hallelujah! Praise the LORD, my soul!

I want to praise the LORD throughout my life. I want to make music to praise my God as long as I live.

Do not trust influential people, mortals who cannot help you.

When they breathe their last breath, they return to the ground. On that day their plans come to an end.

Blessed are those who receive help from the God of Jacob. Their hope rests on the LORD their God,

who made heaven, earth, the sea, and everything in them. The LORD remains faithful forever.

Psalm 146:1-6

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Praise Him With Strings

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes!
—Psalm 150:4

I recently bought a new guitar. 

I will sing and play. 

There will be times that I will sing praise songs and play. 

It is God that has allowed me to develop the skill to play the guitar. 

It is God who gave me a voice. 

Shouldn’t I want to praise Him with both?

Listen to My Voice

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It’s been a rainy afternoon—the kind that throws your sense of time off a bit because it looks like dusk at three o’clock.

My basset hound had the look about her that begged for a walk, so with leash in hand, we ventured outside.

A few feet into the yard, I became aware of the slightest sound of wind chimes delicately moving in the breeze.

Immediately, I was aware that it was quiet enough for my ears to acknowledge them.

With my mind in comparison mode, my thoughts quickly ran to an experience from just days ago.

I had been staying at a hotel near the ocean with friends for some much needed rest and calm.

The hotel had a very nice pool for its guests to enjoy, along with scheduled poolside events throughout the week.

Along with things like water games, hula hoop contests and making your own tie-dyed shirt, they also offered a game where those participating were given a card with numbers.

During that activity, everyone had to be very quiet to see if a number on their card was being announced.

On this particular occasion, my friends and I were not involved in the game.

Sitting almost at the edge of the pool deck, we were talking together when it happened—-

I noticed that the noise was gone.

Suddenly, everyone had stopped talking, listening only for the voice of the game announcer.

The significant thing to me–even then–was that I hadn’t even noticed that there WAS any noise, until it stopped.

I had grown used to the clutter of sounds around me, adapting my hearing to only selected conversation.

What would it take for me to really listen for God?

For all the noise to cease, listening only for His voice, like the delicate tones of wind chimes on a quiet, rainy day?

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My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

–John 10:27

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Humble and Repentant

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While I was driving home today, I was listening to music.

Even though it’s not Christmas anymore, I still listen to Christmas music sometimes.

“The Little Drummer Boy” came on.

The story is of a little boy who was orphaned when robbers came and broke into his home at night, taking the lives of his parents.

He alone escaped, along with some dear animals, one of which was a lamb.

Shortly before the intruders’ attack, the boy had been given a drum by his parents for his birthday.

He had that with him, as well.

Wandering the dessert and finding himself angry and bitter about his parents’ fate, he began to feel hatred toward all people.

Toward the end of the story, he finds himself in Bethlehem, with crowds everywhere, due to the census that had been proclaimed.

A speeding wagon accidentally hits his little lamb.

He is heartbroken, once again.

People are gathering around a certain place, looking at a mother and her newborn baby.

Gifts are being brought to the child.

The boy approaches, having nothing to give.

Quietly, he takes out his drum and begins to play.

His talent and his heart are all he has to give.

As he plays, the baby Jesus smiles at him.

Then, one of the three wise men who had also come bringing a gift, speaks to the boy.

He tells him that Jesus must have liked the boy’s gift best of all.

Hearing this, he sees that his little injured lamb is completely well.

At this point, so is the boy’s heart.

The song lyrics state,

“I have no gift to bring, pa rum pa pum pum
That’s fit to give our King…”

What gift does our King desire today?

What do you have to bring to Jesus?

If your talents and your heart are all you have to give, isn’t that what will make Him smile?

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My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
    you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.

—Psalm 51:17

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repentant heart

According to the Blessing

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There is a passage of scripture in the Old Testament that tells about the Festival of Tabernacles. Within that passage are these two verses:

Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed:  Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.

—Deuteronomy 16:16-17

The last part of verse seventeen speaks to me apart from this context.

The gifts that God has given us–our spiritual gifts and our talents—are to be given back as gifts or offerings to God.

If our spiritual gifts include teaching, then when we teach we are offering it to God.

If our talents include construction skills, when we are building a structure, our actions can be an offering, as well.

On Christmas morning, I drove to a local hospital by myself.

I had decided that since one of my talents is piano playing, I could play Christmas songs on a piano located in the lobby.

In some way, I hoped that the music would bring both comfort and cheer to those who were there.

As I played, many people came walking by.

Nurses and other hospital staff.

People with young children.

Senior citizens.

Young adults.

Family groups.

Everyone had a reason for being at the hospital on Christmas.

Several people made positive comments and smiled.

A young man found a seat in a waiting area, looking sober and thoughtful.

Was he worried?

Who did he love that was ill?

I played on.

Songs about the birth of Jesus.

Songs about Christmastime.

Because God had given me the blessing and ability to learn the skill of piano playing, I had piano playing to give to others on Christmas Day.

As I left to go home to my own family, I walked past a life-sized nativity scene outside the hospital.

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus long ago.

On this Christmas, my offering was one of music, given back to Him.

What gifts has God given to you?

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every man

Music from the Harp

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I received a surprise gift at Christmastime last year.

It was a large, hand crafted hammered dulcimer.

A beautiful harp-like instrument, with strings stretching across a wooden platform.

Played with almost weightless hammers of wood, the sound is light and percussive.

There are many types of musical instruments in the world.

As people develop new tastes from one point in history to the next, so the instruments can develop with them.

I wonder what the harp in biblical days would’ve sounded like?

Whatever the instrument we possess, we can use it in praise to God.

Sing your praise accompanied by music from the harp.  Let the cornets and trumpets shout! Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

–Psalm 98:5-6

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