Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ 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.

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

 

 

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

 

Better Not To Know

I love the story behind these lyrics. Amy’s grandmother passed away in 1988 and left her some money. Instead of paying off debt she decided to invest in fruit trees to remember her grandmother. It took years to see the fruit on those trees – and in those years many things had changed in her life as well.  And that’s called life.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I can relate – sometimes it’s better not to know.  Great song!

Enjoy and God Bless

The Geese Know

You’ve all heard “when you see the Canadian geese flying south – then you know it’s winter”.  I’m just not sure I’ve witnessed this occurrence like I have this last week.  Ive seen movies about the geese flying south for years.  Even saw a documentary on them one year, but have never seen the phenomenon  up close and personal.

We were out on Thanksgiving day taking a walk on a nearby famous hiking and biking trail.  We heard a loud HONKING noise, looked up and there they were – about 25 of them flying in a V-formation and heading south.  We said to each other – “NOW we can know for sure that winter has officially begun”.  But today while getting ready for the day – I heard them outside my window and down the street.  Noisy little creatures, aren’t they?  And I thought to myself, I guess winter hasn’t come?  It’s sure COLD enough!CanadianGeeseFlyingInVFormation

What makes some of them leave and others stay?  I was recently reading an article about a town up north where the geese had already migrated and very early – like August 1st kind of early!  It is a mystery.  Maybe it was lack of food.  Maybe it was already too cold.  Maybe it was just pure instinct and you and I will never be able to predict it.  But the geese know.

God our Heavenly Father and creator of the universe – made those crazy noisy geese.  He created them with a built-in instinct for survival.  They who have nothing – can take care of their young and themselves.  They can fly up to 1,000 km in a single day.  They are content and happy wherever they land.  And they are resilient leaving early when it still is warm – or leaving when it’s so cold that my fingers and toes get numb when standing outside for too long.

If you are one of those who wonders if you matter, if you’re seen or if your needs will be met – take heart and remember the Canadian geese.  They do not store or gather and yet their Heavenly Father takes care of them.  How much more important are you than one of them?  Don’t you think God is able to supply all your needs?  (Taken from Matthew 6 – my own paraphrase)

So when you hear those geese up overhead you can be reassured that their creator is helping them get food and care for their young.  It should make you smile at the wonder of it.  At the great mystery.  All of creation turns and moves in their seasons and rightful order.  Birds fly south, trees shed their leaves, water freezes, the ground prepares for the cold chill.  And you and I – are here to observe the majesty of the creation – one more time.

God Bless

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Just a short note to wish everyone in my blogging world a very Happy Thanksgiving!  May the food that you eat today be eaten in true thanksgiving as you count you blessings and not your calories!

Today it is just Greg and me in the new town we moved to last month.  I am excited to make my good friend Deanna’s Sweet and Spicy Cornish Game Hens with Cornbread Stuffing recipe.  Here is a picture of how it should look when it is done :)

sweetWell I better get started!

What are you having today?

Take care and God Bless!

What is Life?

You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.

James 4:14   God’s Word Translation

 

Years ago we saw the movie “The Grinch” based on the beloved old story we all grew up reading and watching on TV.  This movie brought the animated characters to life.  But it was the beginning and ending of that Ron Howard movie that captured my attention.  It started off by showing millions of snowflakes falling to the ground, and then the camera zoomed in on just one of the many – closer and closer, until magically a whole city is revealed.  This teeny tiny little town on a teeny tiny snowflake, was the land of Who-ville.  At the end of the movie, the camera fades back after following the story to completion – showing again the very small town on a tiny little snowflake – one out of millions of snowflakes.  Mind blowing.  It was hard to wrap my brain around it.

Last week when watching one of our favorites, “The Big Bang Theory” – we saw an episode where Larry is explaining to Penny the holographic images he is working on.  He has her put on special glasses then shows her how objects appear to fly.   Then he brings a holographic 3 dimensional world spinning around and he says something like this to her, “we may all be just someone’s holographic world on another far away planet – it’s an interesting thought”.

I remember years ago having a discussion with my Dad on the subject of “seeing through a glass dimly” from 1 Corinthians 13 and how what we have always assumed was the “real thing” – may only be an illusion.  The real life is something we have not had a glimpse of – yet.  We may be the illusion – the holographic image – the existence that seems so grand, large, and profound.  But what if the things we thought and truly believed are wrong.  Not just wrong – but hugely exaggerated.  Our own importance – the things we do, what we think about and  spend our energy onwhat if we’re misguided and sadly off base?

This last week we mourned the life of 16-year-old Teagan McGinnis who was killed in a car accident.  Who can make any sense of this?  If you are like me – you have struggled with it, even while realizing that God is still God.  Even good people die.  Death at any age is no respecter of persons.  And yet…if the Bible is really true – then the verse at the top brings great hope.  If you are like me, and no doubt the family members of Teagan, hope brings comfort, helps to lessen the sting of loss and even begins to bring clarity to the great mystery of death.  Not only death – but what is beyond death.

If our life here is a “mist” here today and gone tomorrow – then we do have that great hope!  Our real life begins after we die.  The many things we plan for, struggle to buy, takes years to cultivate and think are so important – if they are really just a “breath” of time – just IMAGINE what is in store for us beyond this life.  This beautiful life that God made for us – complete with family to love us, friends to sustain us, health and purpose, laughter, tears, joys, music, scenery that takes our breath away, babies, puppies and the many other unexplainable wonderful things that happen every day – and over a lifetime,  if God took that much time on this temporary mist of a life - that is here today and gone tomorrow – how much more will He take care of you when life is denied?  When we lose something or someone?  When we struggle with health, age, troubles, love and finances?

For those of us who understand these things – we understand that for those of us who have a faith in Jesus Christ – there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God – and each other.  Even in death.

That is my hope.  That is your hope.  For every motherless child, for every parent who has lost a child, for all those alone and suffering – it can be your hope too.  And someday, like Teagan – we will have the eyes to really see.  We will start living our life.  After this one is done – and we will mourn no more.

God Bless

Learning Curves

We moved last Tuesday in what seemed like an endless whirl of exhaustion and lack of focus for DAYS!  Not only did we prepare our home that we own in Renton, WA for new renters by cleaning and painting, but we also moved to a different city.  We planned, packed, rented a moving truck and spent two nights with just our mattress on the first floor to better clean and organize.  By the time we got the truck, loaded it up and made sure everything was in pristine condition behind us, we hardly knew our own names.

Moving is not for the faint-hearted.  In fact, I do not recommend it for everyone.  It takes enormous amounts of strength, endurance and quick recovery.  So much easier to do when we were in our 30′s and 40′s.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this exhausted in my whole life.

fall3

And so we arrived last Tuesday to a beautiful little home, with new paint and carpeting.  And we hurried to get things unloaded and unpacked.  Because we are brand new property managers here, we had to quickly learn how to do that.  We will be learning it for a long time.  Rent had to be collected, new applications for residence taken, a new lease signed for a home in our community – all in a week’s worth of time.  Then there’s a software program to learn, hours to set, phones to be answered deposits to be made and files to be set up.

I feel as though we have been preparing for this new learning curve for a long time.  Having our own businesses from our home taught us many of the things that could not have been learned any other way.  Setting ones own hours, priorities and ways to organize an office – we already had learned long ago from just living day-to-day.

And we will continue to learn it.  If you want to follow our journey with property management – we have a page on Facebook.  Just type in “Union Gap West” and you’ll find us :)

Life is a journey – and if you are open to it, many strange and wonderful new learning curves.

God Bless

November

I came across this very special song by Christopher Cross.  His word pictures are thought provoking, simple and identifiable.  He writes about real life, real stories, and by observing life around him.

This song is about a “November” in a couple’s life.  The time when love is at the eleventh hour and before the final curtain.  Is it a heartache so deep it cannot be repaired?  The lyrics do not say for sure.  Is it a season of reflection and renewal?  Maybe.  A couple who have lost their way?  Yes – I think so.  An older couple dealing with illness or loss?  Maybe.  Sadness and pain seems to always be associated with rain, cold and dark.  November.  But is it the end?  I hope not.

This is dedicated to all of you out there who are hopeless romantics.  Who refuse to give up.  Who are fighters.  Who choose to see this time in their marriage and their life as a November.  And like all Novembers – it will pass.  The sun will come out again.  Things will warm up.  Spring is just around the corner for you.

Here is this wonderful song – Enjoy!

God Bless

 

“November”

Moth on the windowpane
Could be alive or dead
You across the room lost in your head
All that’s left is the storm outside
Water beating stone
And we hang in a web of stillness all our own
Two hearts
Bundled to the cold
Closed eyes
Watching love grow old
Dear friend
Can it really be November
Season of goodbye under an angry topaz sky
Neap tide and a waning moon gone mad
Like a song I heard as a little boy
That I did not understand
But somehow I knew it was sad
Two hearts
Bundled to the cold
Closed eyes
Watching love grow old
Dear friend
Can it really be November
Time wills
Oh and time kills
Bare trees won’t remember
Two hearts
In the failing light
No blame
Doing what seems right
But the rain won’t stop
Can it really be…

Writer(s): Robert Alvah Meurer, Christopher C. Cross

Copyright: Maraju Music, Malaprop Music

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