We Believe: Day 1 – Who Are You Listening To?

If you have not heard this awesome album, you can listen to it here, or at http://transmission.virb.com/webelieve.

Have you ever ridden on public transportation before? Or attended a sports game? Or visited an elementary school? If you have, what do all of these venues have in common?

Did you guess it? Noise, sound, voices…

We Believe (album cover)Like each of those locations, our world is full of competing voices. Brands shouting their messaging at you. The media trying to fit you into one mold or the other. People over you trying to make you into them. It is deafening, confusing, maddening, overwhelming… it is…

There are times when I need to see a clear vision. I need to hear a defined voice. I want to follow reliable direction. I crave guidance from a trusted source.

It’s how we hear Your voice, when the world’s so crazy loud
It’s how we make the choice, to seek You above the crowd

Doctrine #1 of The Salvation Army is the inspiration of the track “The Word.” The doctrine says simply that the Word of God is the place where we should find our start. It should provide the clear vision. God’s Word has a defined voice. The Scriptures give reliable direction.

The Bible can give us the guidance we so desperately need!

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalms 119:105 NIV)

In addition to the Word of God, where are other places we can go for help?

Soli Deo Gloria!

This devotional material is based on the album, We Believe, by Atlanta-based band, transMission. This material is being presented as additional throughout-provoking material. It is not meant to be doctrinal material. Quoting from the band itself: “Instead think of these songs as the frame which supports the art itself. The illustration to the sermon. “We Believe” is the illustration. The Doctrines are the sermon.” If you would like to listen to the tracks, they are found here, http://transmission.virb.com/webelieve.
Thanks for reading!

God Notes: Motif

God Notes: Motif

The Meaning of Life

From: “theme, predominant feature,” 1848, from French motif “dominant idea, theme”

Meaning: In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition.

“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.” – Viktor E. Frankl

What is the theme of your life? Is there a recurring motif that you can hear over and over again? For some of us, our families are our theme, or work, or our church. And, while all of these are not bad, they are not the best. Let's listen to the lesson from His word today…

Today’s Lesson:

Deuteronomy 6:4-6 NIV – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

The Lord God should be the theme of our lives. Whether we are home or at work, it should be about God. Whether we are alone or with a group of people, it should be about God. Whether we are still in school or working or for some of us, both, it should be about God. God should be the central theme of our lives.

Some questions for you to think about:

  • What is the meaning of my life? Who is the meaning of my life?
  • Do I truly love God with all of my heart, soul, and strength?
  • What makes me special or important? What did God do in me that He didn't do in anyone else?

Prayer:

Dear God:

I want You to be the main theme of my life. You give me meaning. You give me life. Write on my heart with Your love.

Amen

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Thoughts from Oklahoma: “Above the Skies”

When I arrived home from Oklahoma, some of the images still went through my mind and heart. Out of those images and the experiences, a song came out!

Above the Skies

2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes

Verse 1

I look outside my window

See the hopeless faces staring

They’re looking for a place to go.

And when your life gets shaken,

Everything you know is taken

That just leaves one last thing to know…

Chorus

And I know, I know this life has trouble

Pressing down on my tomorrow

But, I know my God’s above the skies!

And I know, I know through all this yearning

More about Your grace I’m learning

But, I know my God’s above the skies!

Above the skies, above the skies!

Verse 2

I see an Army waiting

Lives are changing, God’s creating

Hope out into this world in need.

From every corner moving

Hands and feet of Christ are loving

To His loud voice is all they heed.

Chorus

The recording is awful but it gives you an idea! You can click here to listen to it or post this in your browser: https://www.dropbox.com/s/18ui4ktw73z3sgs/Above%20the%20Skies%20%282013%20Oklahoma%20Tornadoes%29.m4a

All Natural

It is another beautiful day here at Camp Grandview! I have to confess: I am not a person who spends a lot of time in nature. But, when I am, I am reminded of the meticulous nature of God. When you see the design of a tree or the bend of a hill, it is impossible not to see the beauty that God has made for ME, and for the rest of you!

“All nature sings, and round me rings | The music of the spheres”

Soli Deo Gloria!

My Week at Conservatory 2011

I have spent this past week at the 2011 Kimball Music Conservatory at beautiful Camp Grandview, nestled in the North Georgia mountains.

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This is our Divisional Music Director, Daniel Meeks.

This week I have led the Bible class, conducted the Kimball band, taught a composition class, planned a night program, and led vespers every evening.

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It has been a very good week, but I do miss Storm and the kids! I will be back in Albany next week!

fugue (god.notes)

A fugue is a composition written for three to six voices. Beginning with the exposition, each voice enters at different times, creating counterpoint with one another.

A fugue is a complicated piece of music to write and to perform.  While they can be played by a soloist, the best fugues are played by multiple performers on instruments or voices.

There is generally a main theme called a subject.  After it is played in the first “voice”, the next “voice” picks up the theme while the first “voice” has accompanying material.  “Voice” after “voice” plays the main theme while the others are playing various accompanying material.  It takes a group of “voices” to perform a fugue.

1 John 1:3 NLT – We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

We were designed to be in fellowship with each other and to work together.  The above verse tells us that we are also designed to be in fellowship with God.  We are to be in fellowship with God and his Son.  God states the main theme and our job is to echo that theme.  After we present the subject, others around us pick up the theme and express it in their own ways.

Questions for you:

  1. Who do I fellowship with?
  2. Why do I fellowship with them?
  3. Based on my circle, am I developing the right “subjects” in my life?

God, may you always be the “subject” in which I develop my life.  Help me to find people that follow You to be in fellowship with.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria!

fugue (god.notes teaching docs)

fugue (god.notes)

anacrusis (god.notes)

Today, we are going to talk about what an anacrusis is and what it does.  Just in case you were wondering, anacrusis is not the name of a city in Southern California.

The pick-up note

An anacrusis is a pick-up note.  There are instances in music and poetry when, to complete or start a musical phrase, it is essential to begin before the downbeat.  Wikipedia also reminds us that “a piece of music beginning with an anacrusis will also end before the last beat of the last bar, in order to keep the number of bars in the entire piece at a whole number.”

Joshua 1:8 NLT says “Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.”

God’s word says that we should start and end with His instruction every day, and all the times in between.  We should “pick-up” each day with the Father and also have Him to balance out the other side.  This is not just good advice, but a completely different way of living.  How many times do we wake up with our problems or go to sleep with out worries?  God wants us to make Him and His word our priority.

Some questions for you today:

  1. How do I “lead into” my day?
  2. What is or about whom am I thinking in the morning and evening?
  3. How does God create balance in my life?
  4. What do I need to get rid and  have God lead off my life?

Dear God, may you be my first thought and my last thought each and every day.  May you be the “pick-up” in my life that sets the tone for the rest of my day.  Amen

At the end of every god.notes is a handout that you can use to share this with OTHERS!

anacrusis (god.notes) handout

anacrusis teaching doc

Facebook Christian or Twitter Christian?

Before I start, huge props out to my friend, Rob Reardon, at http://rob-reardon.blogspot.com for the inspiration!

 Are you a Facebook Christian or a Twitter Christian?  Are you a friend of God or do you follow Him?

I have a lot of friends on Facebook.  Once you accept someone as friend, they see what you are doing and you see what they are doing.  Twitter is  a little different.  I follow people who do not follow me.  This means I can see what they post, but they do not see what I am posting.

I always seem to think of things in terms of music.  “I Am a Friend of God”  by Israel Houghton says, “I am a friend of God.  He calls me friend.”  One of the truest pleasures for Christians is that we have a friend in the Almighty.  John 15:4 (NLT) says, “You are my friends if you do what I command.”  We can be God’s friend and enjoy all of the advantages of that close relationship.  From the other side, S. Sundar Singh writes, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”  While friendship with God is amazing, growth and transformation come from following Him.  “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.'”  This verse found in Matthew 16:24 shows us that following Jesus will not be easy or without sacrifice, but the rewards are amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be a friend of God!  But…Christians must ultimately be a follower of God!