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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

IMG_1392-0.JPGMusic can alter, or enhance, a particular mood or set of emotions that we might be feeling at a time.

For some, it is the music genre of preference that helps to change or enhance their moods.

For me, different music appeals at different times.

Dance music can sometimes draw me out of a negative mood, sometimes right up on my feet. It can amaze me how a faster, jovial beat can change the beat of my heart, creating a new adrenaline rush of hope and energy.

Praise music is what I turn to when I have spent too long naval gazing, pondering over the stuff of my life. When I sing the music of Crowder, Casting Crowns, Mandisa, Toby Mac, and Mercy Me my focus goes back to where it should be, my Life Giver.

Classic, instrumental, music is where I go when I just need to be still, when I need to calm my anxious heart, when I do not need words.

One such classic piece of music is Cello Suite No. 1. With the Prelude lasting barely over two minutes, Bach’s masterpiece can speak to my heart and soul like few human words ever could. There is a sense of peace that can rest in my soul from the first wordless sound to the final silence resonating in my heart. It is as though that piece of music can erase the noise of the train of life that we are all riding each day.

 

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Seriously, the above is my all time favorite Christmas Eve music. The lyrics speak of the majesty and the mystery of this night. And it is presented in a manner and style that is both lullabye and epic orchestral sound all in one. It can wind you down into sleep, and awaken your soul profoundly all at the same time.

Christmas Eve is just hours away. All of the material (and edible) preparations have been made for the big event. Now it is time to prepare my heart, my mind and my soul, so that I can be fully engaged in the event that this weekend represents.

There is so little that I could add to the message of Christmas, that this piece of music hasn’t already communicated.

All is well all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love’s light

Light has come into the world … into the darkness of the world that we know, to light our way.

Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia
All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

Go and tell … this is not a ‘Secret Santa’ gift, it is not just for you or me, it is for all, and it is for all who already know of this Christ to share this news … this good news.

All is well all is well
Lift up your voice and sing

Back to my hobby horse obsession (My Hobbyhorse Obsession-Revived) … sing!

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

All IS well.

Whether we are healthy, or sick.

Whether we have the life we dreamed, or not.

Whether we are just starting out, or coming to the end.

Whether we are rich, or poor.

Whether we struggle (don’t we ALL?), or not.

ALL IS WELL

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influence-sean-macentee

in-flu-ence (noun)
A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort:

What influences you?

Every day there are influencers (persons, places, things) that have an impact on how we think, how we act.

As young children, our parents or caregivers are the central influencers in our days. As we grow older we are faced with a much wider circle of people, places and things that grab our attention, make us think differently, and change how we decide, think and plan.

My summer has been one of recognizing the benefits of good influences on my days.

I spent the month of July working on renovations. First was the transformation of a small bedroom, previously occupied by our International student, into a cozy office for hubby. The next renovation was the transformation of a larger bedroom and bathroom. previously occupied by another International (and male) student, into a feminine space for our adult daughter.

The process of renovations meant that I was ‘stuck’ in one space for days at a time, as cleaning, patching, sanding, painting, and installing took place. To break the silence, I sought music.

Since I knew that my renovations were going to take many days (and, of course, they ended up taking many more days than I had planned) I was intentional with my choice of music … I chose a Christian music radio station to blast over the internet and into my ears.

There was a very real reason I chose as I did … I knew that what I would be hearing, for hours on end, would influence my thoughts.

Now I know that there are many (Christians) who would argue that Christian music is really bad quality (musically), and certainly is true some times. That said, anyone who has listened to any other genre of music would also have to admit that there are duds on every music channel (ever heard of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song? Over 56million YouTube views, and critics have called it the worst song in music history).

Years ago, while driving kids here and there, I realized that I was returning home feeling differently about hubby than I had when I left the house hours earlier. Then the words of a song (I do not remember the song, but it’s theme was similar to “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore”) playing on the radio came into my conscious state, and I realized that they were creating a dissatisfaction within me, in my relationship with my guy.

All of a sudden a little ‘ditty’  from my childhood started to play in my memory …

“Be careful little ears what you hear …”

It does not mean that I only listen to Christian or spiritual music, nor does it mean that I shun other music genres (although when it comes to country music … 😉 ). I love a great variety of music and artists. But, when I know I am going to be listening for a significant amount of time, I want to be careful what I hear … because it can be a powerful influencer on my days, and relationships, and thoughts.

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Today our first born turns twenty! Seriously, I am too young to have a twenty year old!

As her birthday was approaching, my mind has been occupied with thoughts of what to ‘get’ her for her special day. She is on the East Coast, and I on the West, and so whatever I was to get had to be light (and therefore cheap) to send in the mail.

I also was thinking about how we often give the gifts to others, that we wish to be given to us. So, I pondered what my daughter has given me over the years, and that was the key to one of her gifts. Every year she makes a CD of music I love (or music she thinks I should love) for me, and it is simply a perfect gift for me. I love the mystery of hearing what songs she chooses for me, and it is the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

And so, this is my CD to her.

The first song I can remember sharing with you would be Jesus Loves Me. It is the song that each of you kids learned, and hearing that innocent, joyful singing of such profound truth is what I pray is permanently imprinted into your mind, and onto your heart.

Thanks also to Robert Munch, and his book by the same name as the song; love you forever . It was a book that we shared snuggling in bed in the mornings, over mac and cheese, at lunchtime, or at the end of the day, with the scent of Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo drifting through the air.

We cannot forget those YEARS of watching many various musical movies, the most memorable would have to be Follow Your Heart from Thumbelina. Oh how the songs of that movie played over and over in my head, day after day, and week after week. Having just listened to it again, I am reminded that it’s message was and is still a good one!

The preteen years continued with the musicals, but none could compare with Anne of Green Gables to give us “lots of scope for the imagination.” But not every song was from a musical … Oh how I remember the song that gave us all “a funny feeling” by that group called Jump 5, Spinnin’ Around. Your dad even drove you two hours from home to attend a concert … now that’s love (and beautiful memories I am sure)!

Into your teen years, the musicals continued, with The Sound of Music being a favorite, and within it’s soundtrack, what teen girl would not want to sing along to Sixteen Going on Seventeen? I think it was sung as much by me as you!

But your teen years were not only about classic movies! A favorite for years was that James Blunt classic, You’re Beautiful. I, who never win anything, was even so lucky to win two tickets to his concert, and off we went, together (one of my favorite memories of us two). This song, I would say was the theme song for you and I during those later teen years. One of my best memories (of parental embarrassment for the laughter of my child) was standing on our front lawn singing it to you, from the top of my lungs. And, my dear, you know only too well that my public singing should be relegated to large crowds only.

And this would not be complete with the Criminal Minds Theme our TV show still (well, when I can stay awake to watch it). That show has provided the foundation of so many great conversations. And of course, the one we do not share, but when I hear it I think of you (and your best friend), Dancing With The Stars.

The most recent addition to our musical history together relates to this season you are now in, and the adventure you are now on. The message of As It Seems is the same as it was a few weeks ago, maybe with even more significance …

There are so many more, and I’ve included a few at the bottom, you know the stories behind them all. These, my adult daughter, are from the Soundtrack of our life together … I think we make beautiful music.

You’re beautiful, it’s true!

Mom

What a Wonderful World

God So Loved

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Titanic Theme

The Hockey Song

Gilmore Girls

Just the Way You Are

Human

On the Floor

The Best Day

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It has been some time since I shared a worship song that I am enjoying, but this one has been marinating in my heart and soul for quite a while now.

I first heard it while visiting at my oldest daughter’s church.

It was singable from my first exposure to it (and that, to me, is a good sign … I hate having to sing a song, corporately, that forced me to think about the tune before I open my mouth … just sayin’). It starts out a mix of lullaby and mystical, with a gradual building. It comes to completion as almost a march.

When I got a hold of the lyrics, I was even more pleased. The lyrics of this song are an opportunity for intimate, one to one, worship, within the corporate context. It is a love song to our Redeemer who conquered death, acknowledging His position above ours and the honor due to Him.

This song is, I believe, an original to the local band, Revolution Band, whose home of worship is Christian Life Assembly in Langley, BC. It is definitely worth a listen, in my opinion.

A few months back, my daughter came home with a CD of original songs from the church band, and lo and behold, there was ‘my’ song! So now I can hear it whenever I like, without having to go to YouTube (and the quality is so much better).

It is called “The Call.”

“You’ve called us into light. You’ve filled us with your truth
This life is all we have, and we it live for you
We’re walking now in grace, it’s your name by which we’re saved
Jesus died and rose again, giving victory over death
Every knee will bow, every tongue confess
You are Lord, you are Lord
Together we rejoice, in this love we don’t deserve
Taking on your call, to point the wayward home
Every knee will bow, every tongue confess
You are Lord, you are Lord
Let our hearts now sing of the coming king, Jesus you are Lord
Let our hearts now sing of the coming king, Jesus you are Lord
Let your word alone Earth and heaven formed, Jesus you are Lord
Let the least and lost, you are grace and truth, Jesus you are Lord
With your death you rose overcame the grave, Jesus you are Lord
He who was and is, and who is to come, Jesus you are Lord”

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The Piano Man

As I write this I am being serenaded by the piano man … and I am not talking Billy Joel. Our Chinese son, who is sixteen, humorous, gentle and kind (and who makes a mean soup) also plays piano.

Every day, shortly after returning from school, he sits at our piano and tickles the ivories (and ebonies too … who doesn’t remember that song from the eighties? Good ol’ Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were tickled green(bucks) by that number one hit … but, I digress), and all of the stress of my day fades away.

He is currently playing Yiruma’s “River Flows in You” right now. It is a song with lullaby qualities that make me feel as though I haven’t a care in the world (it is also known as the ‘people’s choice’ for the song to be “Bella’s Lullaby” for the Twilight movie). He also frequently plays Mozart’s Sonata K545, and I feel as though I am on the set of the filming of Pride and Prejudice with the hilarity of poor Jane’s dysfunctional family flitting all around.

I remember the first day, after he moved in, that I realized that China’s got talent. I was making tea in the kitchen when the most beautiful music was playing in my living room. After a few minutes, I realized that I heard a mistake (it must have been a big mistake for me to hear it) in the music that I had thought must be coming from a stereo. I wandered into the living room to see our new son by another mother sitting at our dusty piano, playing in a manner that said he knew what he was doing.

I dropped to the sofa, and tried to pick my chin up from where it had dropped on the floor. All I could think was, ‘we are getting paid to be serenaded by this talented young man? How did we get so lucky?’ So I sat there, surrounded by musical beauty that fed my soul. And when he was done, I thanked him with a standing ovation. He was aghast that I could have heard anything good from his unpracticed fingers.

Music … that was what we were sharing.

Perspective … that was what we were not sharing.

His perspective came from his expectations that he could only be good if he was of the quality of a concert pianist. My perspective came from my lack of expectations upon my afternoon. He surprised me pleasantly. He only surprised himself if he was flawless. He expected perfection. I expected nothing, and was delighted with the music he made.

I still think he makes great music. And I still think that my perspective is the right one … because I (the hearer) heard and more than that, received his gift … imperfect, unpolished, but gift wrapped nonetheless. And I received gladly.

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The content of music is something I can be downright Nazi-like about. Until our kids are in Middle School, and ask to, they are not encouraged to listen to radio. And it’s not just the song lyrics that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up straight … it’s the advertising, and the R-rated host comments that really make me blush, with children in the vehicle.

Once they desire to hear more of the music of their generation, I give them a task. They need to find the lyrics of the song, and check them out to see if I would okay them … most of the time, their own perusing eliminates their asking me about the song. But, when the lyrics have passed their eyes, they print the lyrics, and show me. Mom (aka Music Führer) then looks them over, with my kid, and we discuss any questionable content, together. Usually the questionable content is more to do with what is implied rather than the overt (ie. I HATE whining, and songs about women being used, and songs about men being put down).

Now, don’t go all gaga over this … there is very little that I nix. I am a lover of a huge variety of music from Christian, to Rock, to  Instrumental, to Jazz, to Pop, to Indie, and, yes even a little … gulp Country. I am just NOT a lover of having my ears violated, or of having my kids think I condone that auditory violation.

In reality, it is a rare thing for ol’ Mom Führer to actually poo poo a song of their choice. I also put my money where my discerning mouth is. So as to encourage Huey, Dewey and Louie to not grow up thinking that I believe that all music of a certain genre is bad, or everything produced by a certain musician/group is bad, I not only allow them to buy what is okay or good, but I pay for it. From our family, iTunes has made a butt load of bucks. You see I figure there are some CD’s that have questionable content, but some of it is okay, so, this way our kids have had the freedom to have the okay or good, without the negative or bad … and to honor them for respecting my music rules, they get music at MY cost.

This is an arrangement that has worked well for our family. But the best part of it is when recently, my fourteen year old was listening to  music with me, in the car. And I say to her, “I LOVE this song” (as I’m doing my ‘car dance’). And she replies, “Mom, do you know what the lyrics of that song are?” I am thrilled to have them teach me a thing or two, and to point out when I am not practicing what I preach! To me, that is the best!

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