I’m very much a music person. I love good music and spend lots of time every day listening and reflecting. As I write this blog soft praise and worship music plays in the background. Betty, too, has been involved in music all her life. In fact, when I saw her the first time, she was a 20-year old brunette singing praise music in a church choir with a sweet smile on her face. Our three children, Tom, Beth and Sharon also at an early age developed a strong taste for music and were involved in solos, duets, quartets as well as many musical presentations. Music was certainly in their DNA.
I was just a kid when worship music impacted me. I used to sit in front of the little 12 inch black and white T.V. and watch the Billy Graham Crusades with Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea providing the music. That old hymn of the faith, Blessed Assurance thundered out over the airwaves from that 900-voice crusade choir that made chill bumps run up and down my spine. Then listening to Ethel Waters sing, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” melted my heart. It was at the end when the choir and massive crowd sung Just as I Am that brought tears to my young eyes when multitudes came to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. The seeds of the Gospel were sown in my young heart during those early days.
I lived through the Christian music wars of the 1980’s-90’s. The change of the culture from traditional to contemporary music. At first, I was a part of the problem (a stick in the mud) of not accepting background or as we referred to it, “canned music.” My late teens and early 20’s kids sat me down one day and said, Dad, some of these Contemporary Christian artists loves Jesus just as much and maybe more than we do. They have a right to create music as they view scripture and their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a sobering thought; however, I took their advice, read some of these modern-day artist’s testimonies, listened to their music, watched their bands closely and something began to stir in my heart. The Holy Spirit began to touch my heart through their songs. Their words were so Biblically sound and real. They sung about real-life situations and how Jesus was the answer to the problems we face in our journey of life.
Today, I consider myself a balanced music person. I love the old songs like Blessed Assurance, It is well with My Soul, How Great Thou Art, I Surrender All and At Calvary. Many of the words of these old songs have been developed into a contemporary format. However, I am a strong, contemporary praise and worship person and regularly listen to Bart Bartlett (Mercy Me), Lauren Daigle, Hill Song, Casting Crowns, Charles Billingsley, Need to Breathe, Toby Mac, Mandisa and I still love Gaither Southern Gospel.
At this point in my life my very favorite praise and worship song is Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship. I am captivated and motivated to lift my arms in praise as I listen to these very Biblically sound promises written in this song………. I am reminded with the assurance of being a child of God, loved, chosen, not forsaken, being included, being free, receiving grace, being ransomed from the slavery of sin and having a place in my Father’s House. Praise God I am free.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1(NIV)
Just thought I would share those thoughts.