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Songs of the Heart

As most of us know, the Book of Psalms in the Bible were written as Songs, and not just songs that made it on the weekly top 40, but songs that were designed to Worship and to share our deepest emotions from the innermost part of our being.  So many times we can somehow say more with the same words in a song than if they are merely spoken.  Recently I have been reminded that there was singing when God created the the dawn of our earthly world and the surrounding universe there was music!  How wonderful!

Like many people, I can look back over my life and find music that I listened to at each phase.  When I hear those songs I often have an emotion attached to it, the music can bring back a specific memory or an emotion that might not otherwise come to mind.  And why is it that I can remember all the words to a song that I sang in Jr. High, but if you ask me what I did a couple of weeks ago I might not remember?  I believe it is because music is truly a divine gift.  Just imagine, it is something that God loved to do even before he created Adam.  The Bible tells us that the Angels love to sing but it also tells us that song is not simply just for humans and angels.

Rev 5:13
"Then I heard every creature (emphasis is mine) in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power,  forever and ever!"

When I came home from Bible Study a couple weeks ago I posted something on Facebook about this verse and one of my friends from High School mentioned that he might get a little freaked out at the thought of a singing cockroach.  His comment made me laugh but as I contemplated singing bugs, slugs, and all sorts of things; I just marveled at the thought that even the rocks will cry out!  Every single thing on our earth was created by God and if I let my thoughts fly without boundaries it makes sense somehow that everything would praise He who created it!  If you've ever taken Biology class in school you know that even a simple plant was created with complex structures all working perfectly together....and that even goes for plants that we identify as 'weeds'.  Everything was created with a divine purpose.
I love the idea of worshiping in song, and to me, this is one of the most personal and connected ways to worship.  My son and I like to attend a Christian music festival in the summers called Spirit West Coast - Monterey, and each year we make it, I have a brand new experience.  My first year at our favorite festival was the most impact-full for me, I remember the first evening like it was yesterday.  It was dark out, the sky was black with a generous spatter of stars across the sky and as the mist settled into the area, and the lights from the stage were filling up the sky above.  Thousands of people who didn't know each other were standing together all singing the same song raising their hands in worship.  There were so many people singing that you could sing your heart out and no one could distinguish your voice from the voice of the whole crowd.  At one point I was so overcome with emotion and as I paused I just stood there in awe of the sound of thousands of voices singing together, it was as if we sang with one voice.  I got goose bumps and tears of abundant joy ran down me cheeks.  I just closed my eyes and let the sweetness of that moment sink in.  Even though I didn't know any of those people, I was struck by the fact that we all knew the same song, we were all praising the same God, and I remember thinking right then that it would be the best time ever for Jesus to return and take us all home....I was ready!

Whether I am standing in a crowd of thousands, at my church, or singing in my car, it is all worship to me.  I'm so thankful that our God loves music and that He has given me a love for it as well.  I always knew that music spoke to my soul in a deeper way than mere words but when I had the realization that music struck my God in a similar way I found myself thankful that He shared such a wonderful gift with me.  It makes me smile to think that God knows exactly how I feel when I hear a song that I love and sing it out, or when I quietly listen to a song that moves me beyond God not only knows, but he created the very thing that gives me so much pleasure.  As Beth Moore said (this is my own paraphrase from memory), "I can't wait to get to Heaven to hear the song that Jesus will sing to His Father as He worships at His feet!"  I can't even fathom what that tune will be......Rap?  Nah! (Sorry, I couldn't help offense to Rap fans!)

Next time you are singing your favorite worship song....imagine it being sung by a choir of angels as your backup singers.  And if you don't have a favorite one,I would encourage you to find one and sing it often!  A good song can make your heart sing even when life's road gets a little bumpy.   There is an old saying in business which is 'fake it until you make it' and I think that this is an area where you can apply this principle.  When you feel sad or grumpy, start praising God for being so you sing the words (even if your emotions don't 'feel' it at first) it will become harder and harder not to shift your mood into one of thankful praise.  You may not forget about all your worries, but you might just find that they don't seem so bad in light of remembering just who created you and how much He loves you!  Try it for yourself and see what you think.

God Bless and Happy Singing!

Here are the lyrics to a song by The David Crowder Band that reminds me of that sweet night in Monterey, CA (and I was privileged to see him perform this song live that weekend!  He has the best hair ever!):

Open Skies
Praise Him under open skies
Everything breathing praising God
In the company of all who love the King
I will dance, I will sing
It could be heavenly
Turn the music loud, lift my voice and shout
From where I am
From where I've been
He's been there with me
He's built a monument
His very people
So let his people
Sing, sing, sing

And it's so wonderful
Just to be here now

Praise Him under open skies
Everything breathing praising God
In the company
Of all who love the King

Praise Him under open skies
Everything breathing praising God
In the company of all who love the King
Let us dance, let us sing
It could be heavenly
Turn the music loud and sing

Lift your voice to heaven
Lift up your head and sing
To the One who gave his love
This is our offering
Lift your voice to heaven
Lift up your head and sing
To the One who gave His son
Here our lives we bring

From wherever you are
Wherever you've been
He's been there
So let his people sing

And it's so wonderful to be here now
Wherever you are wherever you've been
He's been there

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