Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Concert Week

I am the accompanist for three choral groups, one Middle School and two High School groups. This week is "Concert Week"... we have our first performance of the year on Thursday night. This week is rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals and then performance day. Friday is OFF for me! This year I have two of my own kids in choral groups. One of them (my 16 year old son) is in the Madrigal choir and "gets to" wear a tuxedo! My daughter is in concert choir and will be decked out in a long black dress. If nothing else we'll sure look "smashing". I'm hoping the music will also go well. I plan to post a picture on here after it's all over.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Power of Words

I just saw the theme for the "Desiring God" conference... "The Power of Words and the Wonder of God". I'm intrigued by this. I have seen and see constantly the power of words. "The power of life and death is in the tongue" it says in Proverbs. James talks about the tongue being a "fire" and asks "who can tame it?".

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." But they do. They hurt us. They hurt our families. They hurt our ministries. And the hurt they cause can fester. Criticism from the body of Christ is not always constructive, and when it's not, it can emotionally kill us."

Careless words can and do hurt. They "pierce like a sword" it says in Proverbs. I have been "stabbed" a bunch of times and so have those I love. So it makes me want to be careful myself to "let no unwholesome word come out of my mouth" (from Ephesians 4:29). I don't want to be responsible for harm caused by my careless words. Someday I will give account for every one of those careless word spoken! (Matthew 12:36)

I don't say a lot to others (but my husband gets an "earful" at times.) I'm glad to be a more quiet person. At least I have time to think about what comes out of my mouth before I just blurt something out and later regret it. However... just because I don't SAY things doesn't mean I don't think them. So many things go through my mind that I'd LIKE to say but don't. This is God's mercy! Still.... I'm thinking them. Maybe it's fear or pride that keeps my mouth shut, or maybe sometimes it is knowing that if I were to really "speak my mind [heart]" then it could cause some real damage.

It comes down once again to the heart. Words come from the heart... "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks". But my heart still needs to be changed. Lord, change my heart!
"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing (acceptable) to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Teach Out of Your Failures"

I just found this on "Revive Our Hearts".

"Teach out of your failures. Teach out of what God has shown you where you did blow it, where you didn’t trust Him, what you learned through that, where God found you, about the addictions that you had, about the ways that you failed. Teach out of your life, and help those who are coming behind you to be guarded and protected in their steps. My life is so much richer today as I’m getting older because of older people who have poured into my life."

"Teach out of your failures"... how else can anyone learn except by finding out what doesn't work or where we've made mistakes. I can teach my kids things because I've "been there, done that" and know a little bit more than they do where to walk and how to do a few things. Same thing with teaching piano. Goodness... I've made so many (and continue to) mistakes. I can tell and show my students how NOT to do things and maybe show them a few things I've learned along the way to make better music.
May I learn to pour into others' lives the things I've learned "the hard way" and do so with grace, mercy, patience and love.

So... why did I start this anyway??

So now I'm writing my second "post" and wondering what in the world I've gotten into. Sometimes I do this... jump into something because it strikes my fancy, or I want to try something new. I'm not exactly sure why I started this. I was, in part, inspired by a friend of mine (see "The Reformed Mexican" blog). Starting up a blog, for me, is a little like jumping into the Pacific Ocean and not knowing how to swim and then realizing I've already drifted away from the shore. I guess I've got to learn how to swim or I'll drown! So, if I flounder - be patient. I'm learning.
So, I'm back to where I started. Why am I doing this? I just read (well, re-read) a post from "Worship Matters" about blogging to worship God. It seems to me that all I do should be to glorify God... even "blogging". So now my challenge is to do that here. The Westminster Confession says that "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever". I hope that something I write here will glorify God and that if anyone even reads this [stupid] thing, that they receive some kind of encouragement from it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Key to My Heart

I chose this title for a couple of reasons...

1) I'm a pianist and express my heart best while playing the piano (hence the name "keys"... you know, like piano keys). I'm not as good expressing myself verbally... I do much better in writing but if you want to know my heart, it comes out in the way I play.

2) In the Bible (book of Isaiah) is this: "The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high... He will be the sure foundation of your times (and boy do we need a sure foundation in these times!!), a rich store of wisdom and knowledge (and we also need tons of wisdom and knowledge); the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure." Isaiah 33:5-6
I'm a slow learner, but this is one thing I'm learning... fearing God, honoring Him, reverencing Him, living in awe and respect of Him, while at the same time knowing that He is GOOD and His love endures forever... fearing God is the key to having a happy heart, having a solid foundation and finding true wisdom and knowledge. The only way to truly know all this is to come into relationship with this great and awesome God through Jesus Christ! He really is the key!

So, there it is... my venture into blogging.