Monday, November 30, 2009

Musical Monday

A couple of months ago, my friend Rich posted a link to a Gabe Dixon Band video on his Facebook profile. Regrettably, I didn't watch it for some time, but when I finally did, wow! What a treat! They're a piano trio and I highly recommend checking them out.

A few weeks ago we did All Will Be Well in church. I think it's a beautiful song (and it was a blast to play), but my favorite that I've heard so far is my choice for today. Maybe it's just because Jason and I were a long distance couple for so long in the days before cell phones and email and even cheap long distance, so I relate to those drives when I was tired because of school and didn't want to make the drive, but definitely wanted to be with my man. So even though the time is a bit longer than our drive was, here's "Five More Hours" by Gabe Dixon Band.

We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge,
About ten or twelve hours ago
Angel takes the wheel for me
When I'm too tired to drive alone
Mesmerized by highway lights, flying underneath
Angel don't stop.
Angel don't stop
Angel don't stop
Cause we've got to go
Angel don't stop
Angel don't stop
Angel don't, I'm almost home

I've got five more hours of highway
Five more hours to go
Five more hours of highway, till I'm in the place I know
Heaven only knows the time I've wasted
I'm so close now, I can almost taste it
Five more hours of highway, till I'm in the place I love

The countryside between us is fortunate indeed
To feel the love from me to you, and soul from you to me
I'm drifting off
I'm driving south
I'm a December birth

Angel don't stop.
Angel don't stop
Angel don't stop
Cause we've got to go
Angel don't stop
Angel don't stop
Angel don't, I'm almost home

I've got five more hours of highway
Five more hours to go
Five more hours of highway, till I'm in the place I know
Heaven only knows the time I've wasted
I'm so close now, I can almost taste it
Five more hours of highway, till I'm in the place I love

Oh Angel don't stop (Oh angel don't stop)
Oh Angel don't stop
Oh-Oh-Oh Cause I'm almost home

I've got five more hours of highway
Five more hours to go
Five more hours of highway, till I'm in the place I know
Heaven only knows the time I've wasted
I'm so close now, I can almost taste it
Five more hours of highway, till I'm in the place I love

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Origins Day

Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. There aren't a whole lot of songs celebrating natural selection and evolution, so I'm going to turn to the Johns yet again. This is from their latest DVD for kids, Here Comes Science. Enjoy My Brother the Ape!

Well, I got the invitation
That you sent to everyone
And I told you family picnics weren't exactly my idea of fun
You replied that everyone but me said they were going to come
Which is how you talked me into going to the reunion

When you said everyone, you really meant it

My brother the ape
My brother the ape

I received the photos you sent
And I don't regret that I went
Or the sight of everybody stiffly posing under one tent
But I don't feel I belong and I keep wanting to escape
And I fail to see the likeness between me and my brother the ape

They all kept saying (they all kept saying)
How much we look alike (how much we look alike)
I don't think that we look alike at all (I don't think that we look alike at all)

But I'll admit that I look more like a chimp
Than I look like my cousin the shrimp
Or my distant kin the lichens
Or the snowy egret or the moss
And I find it hard to recognize
Some relatives of ours
Like the rotifer, the sycamore
Iguanas and sea stars

My brother the ape
My brother the ape

They say you don't get (they say you don't get)
To choose your family (to choose your family)
But there's no other one to choose (but there's no other one to choose)

So that's why I'm writing this now
And you can tell my sister the cow
That I meant to thank her for the gorgonzola
And I'll allow that I've been acting like a stranger
But you guys are all so strange
Though I think of what I'm like
And I can see we're all the same

So this time next year, we'll meet at my place

My brother the ape
My brother the ape




Thursday, November 19, 2009

What is Worship?

There was some discussion with some friends a couple days ago on this post. We were talking about the various ways in which one can worship and I thought I'd expand on my thoughts a little bit.

I think the first thing that we need to do is to define worship. Looking at dictionary.com, the definition that caught my eye was this:
to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
I really love the idea of "adoring reverence." The picture I see in that definition is one that resonates with me deeply. So that leads to the question asked the other day, can we worship through lamentation?

I think that we can. I look at how I feel about my husband. I love him pretty much all the time. My mood doesn't really change that I love him. And honestly, sometimes I love him even more when I'm going through a difficult or painful situation. When people on the outside hurt me, it's good to know that I can turn to him for acceptance and love. Which, in turn, makes me love him all the more. And that tends to draw us closer to one another.

I don't think it should be any different in the church context. We hurt. We're hurt by others, we're hurt by circumstances, we're hurt by our own bad choices. And in the midst of that hurt, we should know that we can turn to God. Sadly, modern worship music hasn't offered much in the way of tools to express that hurt in a corporate setting. I think we're sometimes a bit afraid to offer that part of ourselves up. We hear folks who talk about depression with a "just snap out of it" attitude and as a result, we're afraid to share our own pain with one another. Unfortunately, this can leave us feeling even more isolated and cut off, both from one another, but ultimately from God.

In my opinion, any tools that we can use to express the full range of human emotion in church can only increase our ability to be authentic with one another and with God. And I believe that is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christian Enough?

A friend of mine from church recently posted a blog specifically about secular music used in church. I thought he had some really good thoughts, and I wanted to use what he said as a bit of a jumping off point for some of my own.

Ever since first finding out that there was some push-back from the Christian community about "Christian rock" back in the day, I've never quite understood the uneasy relationship that the Church seems to have with art in general and music specifically. As a musician (or at least as a wanna' be musician!), music has always been sort of its own entity. I certainly enjoy listening to music written specifically for the Christian audience (my Musical Monday selections should attest to that), but I've been moved by music of all kind, not simply "Christian" music. There is an aesthetic to art that, in my mind, can often transcend the more obvious or even intended meaning.

So why should one perform or not perform "secular" music in a Christian service? I think there can be a couple of reasons. The first (and probably most shallow, in my mind) is to do it because it's familiar and comfortable to a non-believer who may attend. Walking into a church can be fairly intimidating, and if you walk in and hear the band playing a Coldplay or Dave Matthews tune, it might make you feel at least a bit more at home. I certainly don't see this as an automatic negative thing. Getting butts in the seats is good -- how else can they hear your message? I'm only saying that it's not my favorite reason (in part because I don't necessarily think that a Sunday morning service is necessarily "for" the non-believer, but that's another post!).

The reason that I much prefer is that I believe art has in it an inherent ability to bring praise. Truly good art is generally able to stir a response from someone. If one chooses to direct those emotions toward the object of their desire, any song can become a worship song. When we're in love with someone, every song on the radio is about your love. When we feel sad, we tend to hear sadness in whatever is on our music player at the time. Joy, anger, sorrow, elation, love -- we tend to find those emotions in the music that we listen to, regardless of the composer or song writer's intent. Why then would our church service be exempt from that?

One of my most favorite David Crowder Band songs is Intoxicating from Illuminate. There is no direct reference to God or Jesus in this song, yet this song stirs in me a strong love and desire to worship. It has an abandon about it that absolutely rocks my world. I can't imagine removing it as a worship song because Crowder used the pronoun "you" rather than the object's name. Two weeks ago, Scott Simons came and sang at our church. He's not a Christian artist, and his music isn't specifically Christian. One of the songs that he sang for us was Keep On. Again, no references to God or Jesus. But in the context of our church service, what is to keep the meaning of the song from being a reference to Hebrews 12:1? What is to stop us from thanking God for the strength to keep on when things are difficult? And really, even if your mind doesn't go directly to God, I simply don't see anything anti-God about persevering through difficulties.

Ultimately, I genuinely believe that we must each make a decision every day to worship God. No matter what we're doing, that choice is before us. I believe that when we go to a worship service, our goal should be to seek to worship. And I don't think it flies to cast blame anywhere but on ourselves when we choose not to do that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Catch up time again!

I'm sorry for abandoning this blog for so long. I keep thinking that I need to update it, but have not had very much to write about. So I'll at least get you caught up on the minutia around our house. At least that will have me writing something!

I've started a new campaign with West. I absolutely hated working for Citi. It had nothing to do with West, I just was not a fit for that skill. When you think the company that you're supporting is just awful, it's hard to offer good customer service. I was offered another skill, so I'm doing that now. I much prefer this. I'm working for XM radio now, and much prefer it. The call volume is much lower on this skill, so I'm stuck at my desk for hours at a time with not much to do, but on the plus side, I can get some knitting done for Christmas. That's always a good thing!

In other news, Jason switched to midnight shift a few weeks ago. That's been a pretty major adjustment for us. The kids still get to see him a good bit (though he's still working on getting his days and nights flipped, so some evenings after dinner, he'll grab an extra nap), but the two of us are on wholly different sleep schedules now, and that's weird. Even when I worked til midnight at Aegis, he usually waited up for me so we could go to bed together. Generally if either of us is gone, we just stay up until we're completely wiped out and then collapse. Since that's not so much an option anymore, I'm just trying to learn to sleep alone. Needless to say, I live for Fridays and Saturdays when we get to go to bed together. But with school starting up for Jason in January, this really is the best schedule. We do still get some family time and it provides him with time to go to classes and to study. Since he's wanted to do this for as long as we've been married (go back to school, that is), I absolutely support this switch. But I admit, I do still miss snuggling up with him when I head to my room.

The kids are doing well. The boys have both been sick. A minor fever and some nasal junk, but it's a day or so of uncomfy, then it's over. I'm hoping that the girls avoid it, but in a house as small as ours with as many people, it's unlikely. Fortunately, it's not much of a bug, so no major worries. We're still waiting for the three youngest to get the H1N1 vax. Deborah got hers a few days ago without incident. I believe at this point, we're waiting for the manufacturers to get it shipped here, though I admit that I was surprised that the elementary schools didn't get the first batch instead of the middle school.

I'm super excited about this weekend. David Crowder Band is coming to our church on Sunday night. It should be a fantastic concert. I really enjoy the newest album (honestly, I love pretty much everything they've ever done), and the one concert I saw a few years ago was really fantastic. This show sold out and I'm expecting it to be a great crowd.

Even better though, my best friend Julia is coming in for the concert! Hooray! We haven't seen each other since July, so I'm thrilled to get to visit with her for a day. I'm playing in church this weekend, so I'm hoping that she'll get there in time to go to church. After that, we're planning to go out to lunch at Fujiyama's (I'm looking forward to that, as I haven't been to this steakhouse yet). Then just hang out either at my house or her hotel until the concert. Then I think we're going to grab breakfast on Monday morning after I get Deborah off to school. I'm so looking forward to seeing her. We talk on the phone now and then (her teaching makes just shooting the bull a bit more difficult these days), but nothing is like hanging out in real life!

This weekend Megan and I are doing our annual craft show. I'm looking forward to that as well. This year I've put all of my eggs in the "wristies" basket. Here's hoping it pays off!

That should bring you up to date on us for now. Hope everyone is having a lovely fall!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Musical Monday


I've been thinking about my roots a bit this weekend, most likely given the fact that in addition to Halloween, this was reformation Sunday at most Lutheran churches.

And while the obvious choice for the Monday following the celebration of the reformation, I'm going a different way. One of my favorite hymns growing up was a rarely heard one called "Earth and All Stars." It was in the NEW hymnbook, so we rarely sang it (we were strictly a red The Lutheran Hymnal church), but I remember always enjoying the occasions that we sang that hymn. They were generally joyful times that included lots of extras, like multiple choirs sings, handbells playing, and occasionally the church "orchestra" playing. It was almost always a service that I was looking forward to with much anticipation.

Looking at these lyrics again, they just make me well up. So often we see certain things as belonging in church and other things as belonging outside of church. We see people who are "professional" Christians (pastors, speakers, musicians) and then look at our job as a computer support person or parent or doctor or whatever and wonder how we can serve God in that. I love how this hymn speaks so clearly to how everything (everything!) can praise God. As you go about your day, doing whatever it is you do, I encourage you to seek ways to work for the glory of God. Be blessed!

1. Earth and all stars, loud rushing planets
Sing to the Lord a new song
Loud victory, loud shouting army
Sing to the Lord a new song
He has done marvelous things
I too will praise Him with a new song

2. Hail, wind and rain, loud blowing snowstorm
Sing to the Lord a new song
Flowers and trees, loud rustling leaves
Sing to the Lord a new song
He has done marvelous things
I too will praise Him with a new song

3. Trumpets and pipes, loud clashing cymbals
Sing to the Lord a new song
Harp, lute and lyre, loud humming cellos,
Sing to the Lord a new song
He has done marvelous things
I too will praise Him with a new song

4. Engines and steel, loud pounding hammers
Sing to the Lord a new song
Limestone and beams, loud building workers
Sing to the Lord a new song
He has done marvelous things
I too will praise Him with a new song

5. Classrooms and labs, loud boiling test tubes
Sing to the Lord a new song
Athlete and band, loud cheering people
Sing to the Lord a new song
He has done marvelous things
I too will praise Him with a new song

6. Knowledge and truth, loud sounding wisdom
Sing to the Lord a new song
Daughter and son, loud praying members
Sing to the Lord a new song
He has done marvelous things
I too will praise Him with a new song.

Photobucket
Apothica carries great cosmetic brands including Oscar Blandi hair care! Check out their amazing products!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Search This Blog

Photobucket
Photobucket

Visit My BlogFrog Community!
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

My photo
I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
Blog Design by Eight Days Designs