Singing My Song

SINGING MY SONG UNTO THE LORD

Years ago I frequently picked up my grandson after school. One time he chattered away as I drove along.

“MiMi, you know what my favorite song is?”

“No, what is it, honey? Sing it for me.”

“I can’t sing it.” Then he started saying the words. So I started singing it back to him. I couldn’t see his face, since he was in a car seat in the backseat, but he asked, “MiMi! How do you know my song?”

“His song” was written in 1989, twelve years before he was born. We sang it in 1995 for the March for Jesus. By then, many churches were singing that song, Lord, I Lift Your Name On High. The CCLI organization records which songs  are sung by large congregations each week and ranks them according to usage. In the top 100, Lord, I Lift Your Name On High is still being sung today.

I consider myself a pioneer in praise and worship music. Back in about 1979, while shopping in a Christian bookstore, I found a songbook called Scripture In Songs, published in 1978. We had already been singing scripture choruses in our church, so I bought two. The organist and I asked if we could use these songs and that began my entry into the praise and worship movement.

I can worship God by singing in any style of music—country gospel, contemporary, blues, jazz,  high-and-holy hymns. I can worship God anywhere, anytime, in any situation, surrounded by other Christians or alone in my living room. I can sing to a tape, while playing the piano or autoharp, or singing acappellaw—without  instruments.

In Ephesians 5:19, Paul said, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Just give me a good song, as long as it is a song with Bible-inspired words and a singable melody. I am a singer, born to worship the Lord in song.

The Word of God

Mama had an answer for any situation that came up. She based everything on the Word of God, so every time something came up, she called on her vast resources of the scriptures and spoke out with the wisdom God had given her.

She said, “It’s always good to have lots of friends.” Then to make more friends, the word of God says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV.

Mama believed in having many friends. To do it, she always obeyed the scripture, and was friendly. She had friends in many different areas, such as in the church, at school, at work, in PTA and other clubs. She loved to say that she had belonged to every club in town.

Mother believed in the value of hard work. She lived by the scripture which says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatever she assigned us to do, she expected us to do it with everything within us. If we did the dishes, we were taught to do it correctly and well. If we took piano lessons, we were expected to practice until we could do each lesson well. Everything was to be done to the best of our ability, but she didn’t expect perfection, unless of course we were capable of perfection.

God spoke and the worlds were formed. He spoke every word into this world for a reason, for us, to bring us to Himself. He spoke the plan of salvation into existence and then told us all about it. He gave us the Word as the blueprint and the key.

We read in the Bible God’s word which says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved,” Romans 10:10.

God sent His word not only to lead us to Him, but also to enable us to live for Him. The Word of God is our foundation.

Championship Wrestling

When I was a kid, my dad and granddad used to watch wrestling on TV on the weekends. They got so caught up in it that they were practically lying in the floor, wrestling each other, before it was over. Then they spent hours discussing the fine points of the game.
My husband used to watch WCW Wrestling, world championship wrestling. I enjoyed the way those muscle-bound boys acted. And that is all it is–an act. Acrobatics, gymnastics, and drama. They practice the best way to land a punch to get the most effect out of it with the least amount of hurt. The whole thing is rigged from the beginning; they know who is supposed to win.
Our little girl was about 3 during that time when we watched wrestling so much. If you asked her who was her favorite wrestler, she would take the stance with both hands in fists on her hips, legs spread out, like a wrestler, and in a deep voice shout, “King Kong Bundy.” We just loved it, and had her “perform” for everyone.
Christians are in a wrestling match, too, but most don’t even know it. Eph 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against… the rulers of the darkness of this world.”
Satan hates your guts. He is out to get you. He hates everyone and he wants to see the entire human race destroyed. If it were not for the love and grace of God, we would all have been dead a long time ago.
Satan fights dirty. He kicks and gouges and bites. No timeouts. It is a “no holds barred free-for-all.” We are no match for the enemy, but he is no match for God. The only way we can win is to run to the winner–Jesus Christ.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 KJV.
The outcome of this wrestling match was rigged from the beginning. God wins, we win, Satan loses.

Little Strawberries

Granddad had a strawberry patch in his backyard when I was a kid. He grew Stilwell strawberries, the kind they grow in Stilwell, Ok., The Strawberry Capitol of the World. Mom had a berry patch, but those were never as good as Granddad’s berries. Granddad had a secret to growing the best strawberries, a secret that he didn’t pass on to us. I think it was the manure.

When I was about 7, I remember picking berries just for fun, and thinking, “The sweetest berries are the smallest ones.” I loved to search for the hidden ones, lifting each leaf, and squatting down to see it. The big ones that lay on top of the leaves didn’t seem to me to be as sweet.

Then when I found that one little perfectly ripe strawberry it was gone in an instant, in one bite.

The strawberries we buy at the store are nice, but a little bland. They are big and showy, plump, good color. You expect the sweet strawberry taste, but it tastes just barely enough like a strawberry to make it edible. Life is like that sometimes. The sweetest things are the hidden things that you have to search for, the small things that try to stay hidden from sight.

Holding a sleeping child in your arms.

Singing at the top of your voice on Easter morn, “Up from the grave He arose!”

Turning the first page of a new book.

Making the last stitch on a knitted scarf.

Popping the first ripe cherry tomato into your mouth, unwashed, straight from the garden, on a warm summer morning.

Snapping the asparagus stems off in the garden, then eating one raw before you make it to the kitchen.

Spreading the comforter over the bed so it looks presentable.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 the Bible says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

It’s the little things that make my life so rich.

Easter Songs

Easter has always been my favorite holiday, I guess, because it was so meaningful to me. Easter is all about the Lord Jesus who died but rose again from the grave to live forever.
If you ask people what they remember most from their childhood about Easter, many will say hunting Easter eggs, or decorating Easter eggs. They might say they always remember getting an Easter basket, or dressing up in a new outfit and new shoes to go to church. Maybe they will remember the big Easter dinner their mother cooked and having all the family around the table.
If you ask me, I would say, I remember the songs. “Up from the grave He arose.” Or maybe “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” And then the old hymn, “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today.” What about “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross?” And this one, “Christ the Lord is risen today, hallelujah.” “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe…” What about this comparatively new song that is now one of our favorites? “Because He lives I can face tomorrow.”
These songs have a place in our heart and have stood the test of time because they speak to our hearts and they are Biblically correct.
Music had always been very important to me. I sang from the time I was a little girl, sang in chorus in junior high and high school, and still sing in church. I took piano lessons from third grade through my senior year and one year in college. My life has always involved music of one kind or another.
Music was important to Jesus too. The night of Jesus’ betrayal when He shared the Passover meal with His disciples, the Bible says, And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.Mark 14:26 NKJV.
 
Jesus was a singer too.

Abundance of Things

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to simplify.
 
Lately I have been trying really hard to get rid of stuff.  It is an ongoing battle, a struggle to keep what is necessary and let go of things that I don’t need, don’t love, that don’t fit, and don’t make me smile when I look at them.
 
I have a closet full of clothes, drawers full of stuff, cabinets full, pantry full, linen closet full. I have books and magazines everywhere– in bookshelves, in the bathroom, on the coffee table. I have 5 sets of dishes, 3 sets still packed away from our move fifteen years ago.
 
When I unpacked my winter things last fall, most didn’t fit, some never did. Most are outdated and a few in need of repair. The struggle right now is to mix and match the clothes I can wear so I can make it through this season without spending money on clothes.
 
One thing I have had to buy this winter is shoes. A woman must have shoes. I have lots of shoes, some of which don’t fit and never have but they are so cute.  Some of them need to be discarded but I might wear them in the garden this spring.
 
Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” Luke 12:15 NKJV.
 
My possessions do not determine who I am. My life is more than the  name brand of clothing I wear and the kind of purse I carry.
 
Have you ever thought that hoarding stuff is a form of greed or covetousness? Yes, that was a staggering thought to me too. I guess it is time to start giving more of it away.
 
No wonder Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.