Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Thoughts on God’ Category

Reflections of the Resurrection

Today I heard a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”.  The lyrics had been changed to reflect a more “Christian” version.

I have always been a little troubled by the original lyrics by Leonard Cohen.  They are a little provocative and edgy – which I guess was the point of why he wrote them.  But for someone like me who was raised in the church, there was always something missing from them, much as I liked the music.

As I reflect on Easter weekend, the death and resurrection of our Lord, it is with a certain somber sweetness.  There never are enough adequate words each year as we celebrate new life in Christ.  For this reason, music has always been an outlet of expression.  Songs like “Hosanna”, “Agnus Dei” and “The Wonderful Cross”  sung by Michael W. Smith have special meaning.  A meaning that takes me back several years when the staff of our church went to a late night premier of “The Passion of the Christ”.  It was the following morning in the shower when I was listening to “The Wonderful Cross” that I could not stop sobbing because the meaning was so poignantly clear.  

The longer I have lived, the more I am lulled to sleep by repetition, rhetoric and yes, even the same Bible verses over and over again.  But when music is added to the equation, something special happens for me.  I want things to be fresh and new and I look for ways to have that happen in  my own life.

Recently we have become a part of a local church body.  Youth and seniors.  New and old.  Depth of experience and fresh uncharted territory.  All in an attempt to forge forward and yet have things remain the same to find a different and yet a new way to tell the story.  Over and over again.  It’s all about the empty cross, the empty grave and the resurrection.  Nothing much else matters.  Not style or tradition, not repetition or change.  People come and go – but the message remains constant.  This is what the church is about.  We don’t just “do” church.  We live it and find that personal place where change happens deep within.

But if you, like me – find yourself reflecting in the same manner as previous years -  find songs like the ones I mentioned above and watch the video I have posted below.  This is fresh and new.  Same story and message.  Different lyrics and music.  All in an effort to challenge, and change us from the inside out.  May we never be lulled to sleep and take for granted the wonder, the miracle of new birth and everlasting life that was bought with a very high price.

Happy Resurrection to all of you!

God Bless

Lyrics belong to Kelly Mooney.  Her story and the song are below:

Lyrics To Hallelujah by Kelly Mooney
Adapted to the music of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah
A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said did you forget me Father did you?
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
He hung His head and prepared to die
Then lifted His face up to the sky
Said I am coming home now Father to you
A reed which held His final sip
Was gently lifted to his lips
He drank His last and gave His soul to glory
Hallelujah x4
The soldier who had used his sword
To pierce the body of our Lord
Said truly this is Jesus Christ our Savior
He looked with fear upon his sword
Then turned to face his Christ and Lord
Fell to his knees crying Hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
Took from his head the thorny crown
And wrapped him in a linen gown
And laid him down to rest inside the tomb
The holes in his hands, his feet and side
Now in our hearts we know he died
To save us from ourselves oh hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
Three days went by again they came
To move the stone to bless the slain
With oil and spice anointing hallelujah
But as they went to move the stone
They saw that they were not alone
But Jesus Christ has risen Hallelujah
Hallelujah x4
Hallelujah x4
All right reserved by Leonard Cohen and Kelley Mooney.

The Beauty Of Music

Today I came across this beautiful poem written by John Piper.  (John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books).  Part of its beauty is the music, design and cinematography.   I was swept away into his story and was captured emotionally by the incredible word pictures.  But I know I would not have felt this as intensely had it not been for the music.

This is especially true in my favorite movies.  Where would we be without the underscore music to carry us to the important, poignant or intense parts of the film?  I remember feeling this way many times over the years when it cam to TV drama too.  Anyone ever have a teary moment over “Little house on the prairie”, “The Walton’s” or “Touched by an Angel”?  It probably wasn’t the writing as much as the music.  Every good show has music to give it that extra boost.  And to achieve the much sought after emotional bonding.

I think you will love this poem – watch it all the way through and ponder on the words.  Just Beautiful.

 

God Bless

Belong

This song by Chris Rice came on my Pandora Radio station today while I was getting ready for the day.  I’ve heard it before but this time it really grabbed me.  So much so I just knew I had to find it and post it.

I hope it speaks to you today.

God Bless

Words and Music by Chris Rice

Fading memories ignored
I crawl across the forest floor
Pool reflects an orphan child
Dirty, lost, alone and wild
Fatherless and nameless still
Fallen heart and broken, will
there ever be a place where I belong

I cower ‘neath the monster trees
And try to stand on tired feet
But gravity knocks me to the ground
Where I give up, and tears roll down
I claw the dust and beg the end
Curse the day that I began
to hope there’d be a place where I belong

I hear a sound I recognize
You lift my chin and seek my eyes
Song of love You sing to me
I ache to sing it back to Thee
“Father Love prepares a place
Brother Jesus leads the way
Follow to the place where you belong!”

How did I miss this wondrous song?
The forest sang it all along
“River rinses all your shame
Father offers you His name
Father Love prepares a home
Brother Jesus leads you on
Follow to the place where you belong!”

“Father Love prepares a place
Brother Jesus leads the way
Follow to the place where you belong
Follow to the place where you belong!”

Copyright © 2010 ChristianLyricsOnline.com
All Rights Reserved.

Something Bigger

images

Seattle is my home town – at least it has been since I’ve been 8 years old.  Even though I lived somewhere else for about 15 years after I was married, it was still my real home.  Ever since 1995 we have settled in the shadow of Seattle – and now most recently we moved but are still just 2 1/2 hours away – east of the mountains.  

Winning the Super Bowl reminds me that we all love to belong to something bigger than ourselves.  Whether we live there or not – we all love that sense of importance we feel from a big event and we tend to gravitate toward people who are like-minded. Nothing brings a city and region together like winning the Super Bowl!

Watching the game this past Sunday filled me with a sense of pride.  Not so much that I was ever a die-hard Seahawks fan – or even a football fan until this year – but it was that feeling that we are all in this together – that feeling of something bigger.  Part of a winning team!  No one can dispute how well our team played – and that there are such great role models on the team – many of whom are Christians and speak out about their faith in God.  Ordinary people – with incredible athletic gifting – rising to the top of the sport.  Better than any reality music show.

As a part of God’s kingdom – we all can feel like we belong to something bigger.  Even if we are not a pro athlete or musician.  We are all given special abilities and gifts to affect those around us.  Think about it!  Only you can be that special person to those around you.  You alone have the God-given ability to influence and direct.  You are special.  You are unique.  And if you are not already – you can belong to something bigger than just yourself.  The God of the whole universe!  His kingdom and plan!  You can have a real cause and purpose.  I believe that if you ask – you can discover just what that is.  For some people it is a process of going through life day-to-day just being constant and faithful to your family.  For others you are meant to be on a bigger stage touching more people at once and sharing your example.  But no matter what that special bent in your own personal life and personality – know that you are something unique and special to God.  In Psalm 139:14 we read:

 

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

You were fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are a part of something special.  Special to God.  A part of His something bigger.

Take it in and believe.  Embrace the something bigger today.

 

God Bless

 

 

How Big Is God?

I have always had a fascination with time and space. Mysteries of the universe boggle my tiny brain. The last couple of nights Greg and I have been watching some really awesome explanations of some of those mysteries concerning time and distance.   And even though it is still hard to wrap my brain around the ENORMOUS distances between planets, stars and even solar systems – this video will at least attempt to help explain.  If you are fascinated by the cosmos and ever wondered just how big God is – you really need to watch this.  The first 5 or so minutes will blow your mind!  Keep in mind that he is describing distance at light speed – not as fast (or slow) as we can travel in a rocket.

 

Enjoy and God Bless

 

It’s Nice To Know

I have been saddened by some recent events surrounding social media.  You may have seen some things too.  Maybe you smile when you see these controversial things and say “YES!  Finally someone agrees with me!”  Or maybe you are more like me – and it makes you uncomfortable and even sad.

There is not one thing in particular in which I am referring.  It’s more about the spirit in which people go to make their opinion known.  Those who know better – or at least should.

As a Christian I am fully aware that everything that comes out of my mouth and everything written down – or passed along carries a heavy weight.  I represent the King of Kings.  His opinions, character, integrity, love, grace, forgiveness and yes – the other cheek.

Am I always aware when I have crossed that invisible line of being right – and yet at the same time – being judgmental?  No.  Not always.

Do I always admit when I’m wrong?  No.  I like being right.  But at what cost?

So when my husband received something forwarded to him in an email yesterday – it troubled me.  It was from someone we respect and look up to.  At first glance it had all the “rightness” that all of us calling ourselves “Christians” feel justified to pass along and pat ourselves on the back to say – “Wow – can you believe how wrong they are – and how right WE are?”    But the more I pondered it and chewed on it – actually for most of the night last night – it did not feel very good.

So you can imagine how wonderful it felt when Greg received an apology from this same person passing along this forwarded email.  He said “I felt convicted and had to apology – even write an email to this person whom the email is about and apologize for forwarding it”

It may not be a big deal – it’s not even anything that will change much.  But for me it was HUGE.  True conviction.  Unsolicited.  Unsung.  Insignificant.   Except – that it was.  It is a lesson for me.  To think first, be slow to react out of opinion and “rightness”.  To be open, ready to admit I’m wrong – when so often I am.  I am humbled that there are still men and women of true character – not afraid to look foolish in order to bring relationship.

And more than anything else in this day – it’s just so nice to know.

God Bless

 

Letter To Younger Self

 

letters1

Today I came across an article about an eleven year old girl who died.  Among her things was a letter written to her “future self” to be opened in the year 2023.  Because her mother was curious about the letter she decided to open it, read it and publish it for all to see.  An invasion of privacy?  I’m not sure.  But the letter was so encouraging and uplifting – it is easy to forgive whatever motive the mother had.  I read it and smiled.  It is much the same kind of letter that I would have written to myself when I was eleven.  Curious about the future, and wanting some kind of assurance that life, things, people and opportunities would not change who I was and who I would become – seems like the kind of letter I would write.  And so would you.

However…

Much of what I see floating around the internet (and especially celebrities) is a letter to their “younger self”.  The kind of letter you would write if you could somehow transport yourself back in time, 20, 30, 40 years – or even longer.  If somehow we had time travel at our disposal and could magically appear to ourselves, like “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox.

But let’s be reasonable.  Much like the younger versions of Marty McFly’s mother and father in that same movie – who were not very open to glimpses of truth and wisdom from the future – probably neither would we.  I do see it as an interesting topic, however and would love to stay here a little longer.  Would my younger self have listened to me at this mature age?  Especially if I seemed to posses knowledge that only a “future” me would know about?  Would it them be clear to my younger self that I was trustworthy and knew what I was talking about?  I’m not sure.

And since events in our life – choices we make determine our natural course and make us who we are maybe the only answer to this is – let it be.

As I pondered this – a thought occurred to me.  God knows our past, present and future and chooses not to tell us about it.  He could.  But He does not.  He does not try to influence our decisions, but asks us to trust Him when we feel Him speaking to us in times of great darkness, sorrow pain and loss.  I’ve come to the conclusion that He knows all those decisions we make, good and bad will shape us into the man or woman we are today.  Oh He could give away some of the secrets of timing, people and choices – but He does not.  There is a lesson in this.  And I don’t want it to be lost on me  especially when I cry out to Him, “WHY???????”  Ultimately I would have to admit that even though some of those stupid choices I have made over the years were painful, humiliating and MAN I wish I could have a DO OVER!!  But this is not how life works.

So if I had the chance – like God to go back and whisper some things to my younger self – I would not.  I would stand and observe.  And be thankful.  And let things run their natural course.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.   Jeremiah 29:11

That is good enough for me.  He knows – and gives a glimpse into my future – plans for welfare and not for evil – hope and a future.

Be encouraged today.  The choices you have made, situations you have found yourself in – good and bad have given you character and maturity.  And God knew all along.

 

God Bless

I Wish

I have posted this video before – but I ran across it again today and it seems fitting. I love how real Cindy is – how appropriate her lyrics and how cute she is even when she misses some of the words – it doesn’t even throw her off!

This is for all my friends struggling and recovering from cancer – all those who have lost someone they love – and for all those who like me are searching for answers to unanswered questions of life. My prayer is that you will realize that the love of God is deep and wide – big enough for all these questions, problems, sickness and even death.  And that you may know that you are not alone.

God Bless

Furious

This morning we visited a local church.  This was the first song of the morning – and it made a lasting impression on me, I could not shake the lyric all through the morning session.  I knew I had to find it and post it.  I pray it will speak to you and bless you as well as you continue through your day.

 

God Bless

 

Furious:
By Jeremy Riddle

Nothing can tear us from
The grip of His mighty love
We’ve only glimpsed, His vast affection
Heard whispers of, His heart and passion
It’s pouring out…

His love is deep, His love is wide
And it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong
It is furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild
And it’s waking hearts to life

The Father loves and sends His son
The Son lays down His life for all
He lavishes His love upon us
He calls us now, His sons and daughters
He’s reaching out…

… and its waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life

Courage

enhanced-buzz-7499-1382729142-22We recently saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” based on the true events surrounding the making of the movie “Mary Poppins”.  After we saw the movie I googled the author of the book Mary Poppins and was fascinated.  While I’m sure her story is supposed to be the main focus of this movie, I found myself very keyed in to the story of Walt Disney himself.  To wait twenty years to get permission for the rights for this special book, as a promise to his young daughter – takes tenacity, patience and yes, courage.

The author, P.L. Travers was shown as difficult, picky and snobbish.  She insisted on every session being recorded so there would be no misunderstanding of exactly what she wanted.  She blocked many of the creative moves of Disney’s writers and musicians, and it was a very slow process to get her to agree to the movie.

Walt Disney, portrayed by a very talented Tom Hanks – was a man of high ideals, quick mind and tons of creativity.  He was also used to getting his way.  But he knew what he wanted and he could see it completed in his mind years before it was ever a hit musical.

I love dreamers.  It takes courage – real courage to look defeat in the face and hear “NO” said over and over again, yet not falter in either belief or commitment.  Disney was a dreamer.  Not just the kind to dream his life away with nothing to show for it.  But a man of principle and blind faith in dreams coming true.  I want to be that kind of dreamer.  With that kind of courage.  To see beyond my present circumstances in life.  To know that there is something better for all those friends and family of mine who are struggling with health, hopelessness or grief.  Enough faith to never doubt again.

This is my prayer: “Lord shine your light in this dark world and the deep dark crevices of my mind.  Help me to see beyond with childlike faith.  To believe and stand firm.  When life throws me a few curves and I am tempted to doubt, have self-pity and give in to negative – give me YOUR strength to have courage and stand tall.  Even through the storms of life, even when everyone makes light of my dreams or says NO over and over – help me to keep hanging on to the dreams that are from you.  To know when to hold on and when to let go – and the courage to know the difference.”  (with apologies to the serenity prayer)

Amen and God Bless

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