When it comes to banana bread, there is one particular recipe that stands out from the rest. It is sooo delicious and you can’t go wrong. Continue reading “Valerie’s Banana Bread”
So here’s the question: what is the purpose of music? First answer: to listen to! Obviously, if music was never listened to, there would be no use for it. But I think the question is more like, why does it benefit (or degrade) us spiritually, physically, and emotionally? That question, however, is quite broad, as music styles range from my personal favorite, choir and orchestra, to gospel, bluegrass, country, jazz, rock, and many others. The effects of these different styles can vary greatly, so I will focus in on Christian music; music that is dedicated to the glory and honor of our Heavenly Father. It’s not my purpose to rant about what styles I think that includes or excludes, but rather leave it to you to decide in your own heart what music you feel truly pleases God.
When we create music, it should be for:
- The glory and honor of our Lord, Jesus Christ
- The furtherance of His Kingdom
- The edification of the Saints.
Performance should be secondary. Not because it’s wrong to perform well, but because when there is too strong an emphasis on performance, the music loses its message. In my post on The Greatest Audience, I describe further how the greatest audience truly is Jesus Christ because he is bigger than any other audience we could ever have. Yes, God loves music well done. But He loves even more, when it is done to Him.
If this is what creating music should look like, than shouldn’t that be the purpose of listening to it as well?
So why does music speak to us even if it is a piece with no words? Simply put, it’s because music is spiritual communication. It is the only language that all human beings can understand.
So let’s put all this into a condensed list.
The purpose of Godly music is:
- To honor and glorify God
- To edify the saints
- To convey a message that can’t be spoken
- To shine a brilliant light to those around us in the world.
Isn’t that cool?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
There’s an awful lot that goes into being a skilled musician… practice, practice, and more practice. Plus, there are the lessons that have to be counted in as well. Sometimes we musicians come to that desperate point where we feel that we will either determinedly keep on practicing and become skilled with that instrument (or voice), or trash the whole idea right then and there. Sometimes for me, the trashcan seems terribly tempting. Sound familiar? But wait! Before you choose to give up, there’s a bonus to being a musician! Creating music (in general) is scientifically proven to have a lot of benefits. Here is a cool little diagram originally shared by Sheet Music Plus on Google +.
Sound too amazing? Well then, good. Keep it up and good luck! 😉
My Grandpa Yoder was a dwarf. When he was a child, he was an adorable little Amish boy, with a little grin that would warm any heart. I’m sure if I could have known him personally, I would have been so absolutely proud that he was my grandpa (and I am), but I didn’t; he passed on to be with Jesus after a battle with skin cancer before my parents had met.So this Christmas, I drew a picture of him as a little boy for my Grandma Yoder. It was lots of fun, although I was pushed for time.
And yes, this is the fifth little boy that I’ve drawn in the past year with no little girls… say it’s about time I draw a girl? It’s next in line!
A little note: Don’t you dare tell me my grandpa was a “midget”, that feels like such a derogatory expression for the wonderful dwarfs that I’m privileged to be related to!
We’re here folks! 2017 has finally rolled around, and the new year is laid before us like a blank canvas ready to be painted. Okay, yeah, so I’m artist… but I think it is a pretty good representation of the new year. Huh?
So what do you think your canvas will look like by the end of 2017? A smeared blob, an average level portrait, or a beautiful masterpiece?
Actually, it’s a more important question to ask yourself than you might first think because the attitude with which we face this crazy thing called life makes a HUGE difference! Writing a list of goals is great, but how well has it worked for you? If you are a person like me, you make list and then proceed with a halfhearted attempt and fail only halfway through January. Why? Because you probably don’t have your heart in it.
Life is something we only go through once. When it’s over, we get no second chance. We can’t go back and change something, no matter how much we long to do so. So instead of allowing this to be another mediocre year, let’s all join force to make this year truly beautiful.
You don’t have to do huge things from the start. Remember that sometimes, a little goes a long way; in fact, sometimes farther than we could ever imagine ourselves. If the heart is in it, that is where great things start.
It’s not about you.
If you are living for your own benefit, your canvas will become more smeared and messy than ever before. Having an outward, heavenward focused mind and lifestyle, while sometimes crazy, is the most satisfying way you could ever live. Seriously. It is something I have been learning over the past while that has made such a huge difference on my life. Not only does this mean others before yourself, but an attitude of thankfulness, helpfulness, and really, when it comes down to the very core of it all, self-sacrifice. Ouch! A painful nerve I know! But this is what love towards others in its purest form looks like. It’s what Jesus demonstrated to us, when He came as a helpless babe, grew up, was tempted and outcast, and then literally bore all the grief, sorrows, and sins of the world on the cross so that we might be FREE. The biggest burden ever. And that is what a truly others-focused life looks like!
Ask God for help.
In the art world, you will never create a masterpiece without learning from a good teacher what the best tools and techniques are. Same way with life. We can’t make our canvas beautiful if we aren’t learning from the Greatest Teacher Himself. Learn from Him. Study the design of other pictures He has helped create (other godly people’s lives), and learn all you can from His Word. Talk to Him and listen to Him speak to you. I can’t stress these things enough, for they are the foundation on which a truly worthwhile life, is built.
So will you join the force?
I encourage you to focus your heart on the things that really matter the most. In the life of a Christian this means learning to live out and be the person that Christ wants you to be. Will you join me and hundreds of others in this crazy adventure? Strive for the best, and with God at your side, you won’t fall short of His plan!