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

make music

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

Whatever You Do

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Rabbits hop.

Eagles soar.

I play the piano….

If I am anywhere near a piano, I usually have the urge to play it.

In my opinion, any piano in my vicinity is simply silent, waiting for me to tell it what to say.

As I sit in front of the keys, many times my fingers relay a message of praise to God.

The strings and hammers respond with complete obedience and a melodious hymn vibrates from their midst.

Those who hear may or may not recognize the sounds as being an offering, yet God knows every note I play as it pairs with the strings of my heart.

I have a voice.

It is simply silent, waiting for me to tell it what to say.

Will my words be those of praise?

Will they encourage others?

Will they show God’s love?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

—1 Corinthians 10:31

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eat or drink

Be Glorified

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In the last few months, I have been challenged to actively be a part of things, be a visible presence (which is the opposite of hiding who I am) and to be a person who shows courage.

That’s quite the challenge, isn’t it?

Although I could look back through the years and make mental check marks beside the events I participated in, the times I was “visible” and the courage I was displaying, I would have to be honest about the rest—

Those times that I didn’t participate, the times I was truly hiding, even if I was the only one who knew it,

and, of course, the times that I was anything but courageous.

About three weeks ago, I got through this challenge in a small, almost insignificant way.

Later, I became aware of just how significant it had been.

One of our sons was having surgery at a local hospital.

While waiting to hear that he was out of recovery, news came that there was a complication.

Nothing huge, but he was going to have to stay there for an extended time.

I had been praying for him.

Not far from where I was sitting stood a grand piano.

Silently, it only gave the memory of music to those that passed by.

A thought came to my mind.

I argued with the thought for a second or two, struggling with just a twinge of non-participation and the need to hide.

Walking over to the desk where my son had been admitted, I calmly asked if I could play the piano.

Given permission, I sat down and played one song after another for perhaps a half hour.

Hospital employees, along with people visiting for one reason or another, came walking by during the impromptu concert.

When I was finished, I stood up, noticing a brass plaque adorning the piano.

I believe it read, “To the Glory of God.”

A doctor’s name, along with that of his wife, was engraved there, identifying them as the ones who had given the piano to the hospital.

As I began to walk away from it, a man rushed up to me.

He had been friends with the doctor who had given the piano.

The doctor was no longer living, but his wife was.

While I had been playing, this man called the doctor’s wife and told her that someone was playing the piano they had given!

Others came up to speak with me, happy to have heard the music.

I may never know of the comfort God may have given to someone who heard the sounds of the hammers striking the strings, creating the familiar hymns for those that passed.

I can imagine that the doctor’s wife would have been happy that the instrument she had given was in use.

I can also imagine the musically silent atmosphere on the first floor of the hospital that day if I had not taken that first step toward the desk, refusing to hide in my waiting room chair.

Since the ability I have to play the piano was given to me by God, I truly do want to honor Him with my playing.

To do so, I must actually step up to the piano and begin—

to the glory of God.

 

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God;  whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

—1 Peter 4: 10-11

 

gift