The Organist with One Arm

This morning I was sitting in Church when the music started.

This means that the priest is coming into the Church and the Mass is starting.

I never usually notice the music.

It provides a beautiful backdrop to the worship, but because it does not change much it is not something my mind wanders towards.

Today as the music was playing, I noticed the organist had a cast on her left arm.

She was playing with only her right hand.

Immediately, I started to notice the music.

I noticed that it sounded exactly the same. No note was missed. Everything was perfect.

For some reason, because she was only using one hand, it made me appreciate the music so much more.

 

I think this holds true to life in many ways.

Individuals that conquer through the struggle and still continue to use their gifts and talents are extremely admirable.

The one-arm organist proved a point today.

No matter the struggle, if you are using your gifts for the glory of God, nothing can stop you.

The harder the struggle the greater the final product.

Friends, I encourage you to look at the struggle placed before you today. Use your gifts anyway regardless of what you face.

Be like the one-armed organist who, even with a cast on, continued to use her gift for God’s glory.

 

Advertisements

Victim to the Beat

How many of you enjoy jamming out with your friends in the car?

It is the best.

Sunroof open, windows down, smiles all around.

If you are like me you catch yourself singing along to songs you don’t know how you know.

The words just seem to slip out.

A few days ago I was going to the gym with my two younger brothers who are in high school.

They put on a song, and I soon realized I am behind on all the new music.

Since I had not heard the song before,  I made sure to really listen to the words.

The beat was amazing, but the words were awful. Profane. Demeaning. And just outright awful.

But the beat was amazing.

This is not to call out my brothers. We are exactly alike in our morals and values. This story proves that it is so easy to neglect the words and enjoy the beat.

Want to know something wild?

39 out of 50 “United States Top 50” on Spotify are listed as Explicit. 

I am not one to say that a few curse words are an issue.

I know plenty of loving people that use a few curse words here and there.

When I stub my toe you betcha I might become a sailor for a second.

But the stories in the songs, the way in which the words are used, the way in which (mostly women) are talked about is just outright uncalled for.

Yet, people keep on dancing.

The songs keep growing in popularity.

The people that are being attacked in the lyrics are dancing to the songs!

I don’t get it. 

This music situation relates a lot to our lives.

We sin because the beat feels right.

We fall victim to sin because it is an easy road that is appealing to the senses.

The way we are able to counter this is to LISTEN.

Listen carefully to what the world is trying to tell you and make the decision to unplug when necessary.

Friends, don’t fall victim to the beat. 

Be strong in virtue and don’t compromise.

And because of this.

You will make your own music.

Why I Am Afraid of Guitars

In my last post I talked about how a single person can change your life for the better.

In just seconds, by a simple word or action, you become filled with hope.

Well, while it is great to hear about the positive consequences of our actions, I believe it is important to recognize the negatives.

I am sure you all can think of a time someone said something to you that you will never forget. Bullied in some way. Even just a few words. Talked down to. Laughed at.

I got one. Let me share it with you.

When I was about 10 years old, I really wanted to play the guitar. It looked freaking awesome. I loved the sound of the strings, and the fact that I could create something. Guitarists were badass. Plus, maybe I could use this skill in the future with the ladies haha.  After a few lessons with different teachers, I found a teacher who seemed really cool. He was always doing awesome riffs when he taught me. I was so excited.

pexels-photo-167446.jpeg

After a few lessons, I started to get the hang of it. Slowly and surely I memorized chords. I knew what strumming meant. My fingers were getting calloused.

Over the course of the year, I took lessons. However, I was also busy being a kid. I loved playing outside with my siblings and cousins. I loved drawing. I was involved at after school programs. So, some days I chose to do something else and not practice.

I vividly remember one day walking into my lesson knowing I had not practiced much at all. I was really nervous about it.

After I made my way through some song, my guitar teacher grabbed my song book. He took his pencil and drew a clown. Implying that this is who I was because I was playing so stupid. All I felt was complete inadequacy.

I brushed it off, but I know it deeply hurt me. Looking back now, I know why I lost my interest in guitar. Looking back now, I know that whenever I try to pick it up again and fail I immediately quit. Subconsciously, I associate the instrument with being inadequate.

That single action, from a person I admired, snatched my hope.

So, what are we to do with these moments? Moments that have caused us pain and developed in us an unnecessary fear response?

  1. We must reflect on them in order to recognize them.
  2. We must conquer them.

Over the last few weeks, I have been playing the ukulele. This summer I am going to dust off my guitar.

Inside me, there is a lot of fear and doubt.

Doubt that I don’t really even like playing it.

But, that is the biggest of all the lies.

We are so gifted at making up reasons to not succeed, to not initiate change, to not try.

In order to conquer your past, you must refuse.

Yes, utterly refuse. 

To listen to your flesh’s desire for inaction.

Act. Act now. Face your past. Face your future. Be uncomfortable. Feel the mental burn.

Reflect on why you do the things you do, and why you don’t do the things you don’t do.

 

Together, we will use the difficult moments of the past to create a stronger world.

 

So, go on. Play your music. Let the whole world hear your sound.

pexels-photo-316163.jpeg

God is my DJ

Life is a rave. 

God is my DJ.

Love is the music. 

Imagine this scenario. You are in your car. The summer sun and breeze has found its way through your open windows. You are jamming out.  All of a sudden their is a lull in the music. Then out of nowhere the beat drops.

 You go crazy.

The friend next to you is waving their arms all around. Wishing you could do the same, you throw on your shades and bob your head up and down. Life is good. Music is good. Friendship is good.

Life is a rave.

I know, especially with all the troubles in our world, it is hard to be thankful and appreciative.  It is tough to see the fun of life when we are blinded by the sorrow. We must remember that everyday we have the ability to wake up and dance with the world. We have the power to celebrate the goodness that is God’s creation. We can forget our worries in worship as we listen to the music of my Creator.

God is my DJ.

The best part about the rave of life is that we know the DJ.  It is not some high school DJ trying to make it big who only plays Katy Perry songs. No. This DJ can do no wrong. He plays all the best songs at the best times.

What happens if the beat drop was the whole song? Just two/three minutes of the beat dropping? Would it not lose its awesomeness? In life, their will be moments where the beat is not dropping. It will be hard. Things will not be going according to your plan. You will NOT want to dance. However, we must remember that God is our DJ. He has the perfect set list.

Love is the music.

Music connects us. Dancing and singing along in a car makes us feel united. Love is the music of life. Through love and service to the world we can hear the music from Heaven. Each time we look into the eyes of our neighbor. Each time we listen to the fears of our friends. Each time we hold hands in prayer. The music of love is blasting from the radio.

Friends, I encourage you to smile today and dance. You are 
currently at the best dance party ever created.