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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Patient Rests

I am always amazed that every time I get ready to play there is still always an anxiousness. I usually say I am nervous but is not really that, it is more of an anticipation of being able to express myself before Christ to others.

When those natural emotions come up that is where I can learn to be patient and rest in Christ. It does not matter how well I play but how well I have prepared my heart. I love reading the Psalms; especially since they are a lot of Davids worship songs. Once thing I noticed early on was the rests in the passages. SELAH.

David was a skilled musician as well as those that were in charge of worship in the day. They all spent time perfecting their craft. Yet with all of the practicing, when walking around the walls of Jericho they had to be silent until the perfect time. Resting and waiting for the signal to play. Being a musician does not always mean making sounds on an instrument. Sometimes silence is a greater note.

Learning to rest in Christ will not take away the anxious feelings I experience but it does allow them to be moved into an appropriate context. Worship is not about me or my playing but about surrender. About loving Christ in a way that others are encouraged to love Him also.

Silence can be golden when we learn to be silent before Christ. It makes it so much more fun when He cues you to come in! Especially when you can crank up the distortion and bang those strings!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Time Signatures

Life is so precious and how more so than a young child. I see such potential that is many times not developed simply because of indifference and selfishness. When we take the time and extra care it takes these children's lives and behaviors change right in front of us and many times very quickly.

This same type of time and care can be applied to anything; marriage, work, exercise, compassion, discipleship, music and anything else that is in our lives. Yet we allow our surroundings, environment, personal defeats and struggles be what sets the time signature of our lives. Everything runs in double time.

We have the ability to set our time signature that we live in simply because our Maker, Jesus Christ, is timeless and knows no bounds. Time was only created as a means of relation for us so that we may know the times and the seasons.
Genesis 1:14 (KJV)
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Take the time today to set the time signature for the song you will live out, even just for the measures you will play today. It will change your life and behavior right before your eyes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Technically Graced

How many times do you get ready to play an instrument or sing and everything seems to go wrong? Break a string, can't find your guitar picks, cables seem to stop working, direct boxes and sound systems flare up, batteries die, mics don't pick up...all right when you are ready to practice or perform.

It can be frustrating and really put a damper on why we worship in the first place, to bring joy to Christ and express our love for Him. In all the small inconveniences we run into, remember to stop...pray...and allow your spirit to be calmed and refocused on its purpose. In so doing, Christ showers grace on us even when we do not realize it at the moment.

I was truly blessed as a spectator tonight for a worship practice. The above took place but I was blessed because Christ let me see the hearts of those wanting to push through and worship.

It is good for each of us to step out of our normal routines and just be an observer.

Gods grace is sufficient for ALL things...even technical problems.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Practice Creativity

Patterns, scales, modes, tempo, articulation and concentration all lend to becoming a better musician. But can you practice creativity? I often am amazed at how easily creativity comes to some musicians. It just seems to flow so easily from them.

With me it takes more time as I get caught in the technical and tend to over think what I am doing. Anxious about becoming better and more talented get in the way of creating beautiful pieces of music. But I have found that I can practice being creative and not just by "jamming" or just hitting random notes and chords in the hopes something unique will come together in my mind, but I can practice creativity by just picturing myself how Christ looks at me.  Trust me, He was definitely creative when He created me! Or maybe that was His comic relief side!

Christ is so pleased with what He created. That is you and I. When I realize how pleased He is in how He has placed a song in my heart, it helps me to relax and be creative. To think and marvel. To listen. To appreciate simplicity. To build on knowledge.

To know that I am creative, simply because my Maker gave me that characteristic. He has given it to everyone, just many never find how and where to use it because we are too caught up in trying to make ourselves something we are not and into something He has not created us to be.

I use music to seek Christ. To communicate with Him. When I listen to Him speak that is when the best music comes alive and practice becomes creativity.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Hidden Orchestra

I was on my parents back porch playing my acoustic guitar today and was just amazed at how many things I could hear while I played that seemed to encourage me with what I played.

From the hummingbirds whirling about to the small birds dropping from the trees to get seed. The wind moving the tree leaves, the rocking of the porch swing, the sound of the golf carts coming and going.

Even at times just quiet when it did not seem to have any noise but me.

It is amazing how large of an orchestra Christ has created for us to enjoy if we would only listen.

Searching for 110

I have always thought that music was something from inside that Christ created as a way to communicate with everyone in a common form. Music seems to go across languages and cultures so easily.

I always hear so many musical sounds in my head that sometimes it is overwhelming. So many times it is when I am resting, but as soon as awake they are gone. Sometimes I will try to remember them by trying to recreate them on my guitar but it is usually futile.

What it has done for me is it has kept me in pursuit of the sounds I hear within. I know in some way it is how God made me to communicate with Him, I just have not found how to understand it. Maybe that is the problem, trying to understand. I usually tell people that I passionately want to know why did Christ make an "A" note at 110hz. Why does that always seem to be the chord I like the most? What is it that captures my attention?

I am amazed at how much color you can add or take away from an "A" note but it is still the same note. Is that the way I am supposed to be? No matter how much I try and change, add or take away from what I am perceived to be, I am still me.

I am just a note ringing out the way Christ made me to sound.
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