Drone to the Lord or Shout to the Lord?

Psalm 63:7
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

Today I attended early church, yes people, Hildy went to early church!  I attended with a friend who is a morning person (let me insert a quick sidebar here that my ears were so happy because he can sing, he can really sing!) and out of the kindness of my heart I agreed to attend the early, traditional service if only we could stay for the contemporary singing at the beginning the later service, a request to which my friend agreed out of the kindness of his heart.

I have a staid, boring Lutheran background- dead of faith, dead of life, dead of relationship.  Music at Sunday services was liturgical or out of a hymnal.  Boring!  So imagine my delight to discover praise and worship during my college’s daily chapel services!  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  I was converted.  I only want to sing hymns at Easter and Christmas, that’s it.  Fast forward a decade or two and I find myself with a friend who grew up (I am assuming) with praise and worship music and upon stepping into adulthood has set those praise and worship songs aside and developed a preference for, gasp, hymns!

I should confess that I don’t hate hymns and in fact have decided that I actually like them, well, some of them.  I confess also that I hate the repetition of worship songs ad nauseam.  When I attend church with my mother, she doesn’t get sick but instead she whistles when she tires of the repetition, thus adding an additional, pleasant musical element to the worship time while still making clear to all around her that it is time to move on worship team, time to move on.

I tell you all of this to get to this fabulous joke sent to me today.  How perfect is this? (Obtained from Crosswalk.com You Make Me Laugh newsletter.)

Hymns vs. Choruses

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the farmer, “it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

“Praise choruses?” said his wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re OK. They are sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked his wife.

The farmer said, “Well, it’s like this – If I were to say to you “Martha, the cows are in the corn”‘ – well, that would be a hymn. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

Martha, Martha, Martha,
the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows
the white cows,
the black and white cows,
are in the corn,
are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise chorus.”

The next weekend, his nephew, a young, new Christian from the city came to visit and attended the local church of the small town. He went home and his mother asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the young man, “it was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.”

“Hymns?” asked his mother. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re OK. They are sort of like regular songs, only different,” said the young man.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked his mother.

The young man said, “Well, it’s like this – If I were to say to you ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn’ – well, that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense
Hearkenest they in God’s sun or His rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to the bright shining day by and by
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animals make my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.’

Then if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.

The Great Comedian in the Sky

One of my favorite things about God is His sense of humor- it’s a beaut!  All you have to do is take a look around your life and see all the funny creatures, people and situations with which we are surrounded.  I imagine my favorite pastime in heaven will be hanging out with Jesus and some of my most beloved ones having a good chuckle, some hearty giggles- all of us laughing till we cry, pee our pants, and ache from the sheer pleasure of laughing together.  I am in full agreement with Jane Austen’s fictional character Elizabeth Bennet when she said. “I do so love to laugh.”

I’ve been doing some wistful thinking lately- you know the kind were reality is light years away but somewhere inside is a little part of yourself that wants the wistful thought to be a reality, if not an absolute.  Just the other day, shortly after having a paragraph of these thoughts,  God used a phone call to make it abundantly, tragically apparent how silly these thoughts were and for a moment reality left me bereft, but then I saw the comedy of error.  I laughed and thanked God that He chose a gentle loving way to show me how comically out of touch my thinking was.  I love that God made me laugh instead of cry.  God is good all the time…all the time God is good.

Musical Genius

I am not a music whore.  I don’t live for the next great artist, song or album.  That said I enjoy music, most types of music.  Leave out twangy country, angry rap and destructive death metal and I am good!

I find that I go back to the same “comfort music” again and again.  In fact, I do this so much that I forever ruin wonderful songs.  I ruin them because I listen them to death, they get stuck in my head for days, and then I can never again listen to them without them becoming enslaved in my thoughts.  I was told a surefire way to remove  songs that are stuck on mental replay is to hum the theme to The Smurfs cartoon and, surprisingly, this frequently works, but not always.  In the most recent example I can cite I was forced to endure Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape for an entire weekend.  I hear those woo hoo’s in my nightmares now!

Music runs the gamut of all emotions making it easy to find music to match your mood or to coax you into a different mood.  Since I love laughing it seems apropos that some of my favorite songs make me laugh out loud, or at least smirk a little!  Songs like Banjo Boy, from Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband; Gimme Three Steps, from Lynard Skynyrd; Mood Rings, from Reliant K, The Spiderman Theme brilliantly performed by Michael Buble; The Barenaked Ladies singing If I Had a Million Dollars; Chris Rice singing the Cartoon Song; or Carmen poking fun at soap operas in the Soap Song.

What I love love love is finding just one phrase from a song that is completely, totally,  outstandingly brilliant!  It jumps right out and grabs me by the, well, by the something or other.  Here are some of my favorites in a quiz format-  see how many of the songs you know.  Don’t worry, I’ll throw in some easy ones!

1.    My Maserati does 185, I lost my license, now I don’t drive.

2.    ‘Cause every time I see your bubbly face I get the tingles in a silly place.  It starts in my toes, and I crinkle my nose, where ever it goes I always know that you make me smile.

3.    Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

4.    Lately I’ve been running on faith
What else can a poor boy do?
But my world will be right
When love comes over you

5.    When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom
Just like a wavin’ flag

6.    Every gambler knows that the secret to surviving
Is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

7.    I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye

8.    You’re the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your peaches wanna shake your tree

9.    If beauty is all in the eye of the beholder then I
wish you could see the love for you that lives in me

10. Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care”?

11. While peace like a river runs into the setting sun, mercy painting the sky

12. I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes.
And the wonder of it all is that you just don’t realize how much I love you

13. My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.  My God, My Savior has ransomed me.  And like a flood His mercy reigns, unending love amazing grace.

14. Born alone, die alone and I’m just sittin’ here by the phone waiting for the Lord to send my callin’.

15. Who can say if your love grows,
As your heart chose?
Only time…

16.  Lazarus……….Jesus?
Lazarus, COME FORTH, I command you, Come forth

 NO PEEKING!  ANSWERS BELOW! (Each song title is a link to a YouTube video for the song and the number following is the time stamp location of the key phrase in the video.)

1.    Joe Walsh, Life’s Been Good  1:54

2.    Colbie Caillat, Bubbly  :23

3.    Eagles, Desperado 1:13

4.    Eric Clapton, Runnin’ on Faith :35

5.    K’Naan, Wavin’ Flag #1 1:12, Wavin’ Flag #2 1:00

6.    Kenny Rogers, The Gambler 1:18

7.    David Grey, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye 1:42

8.    Steve Miller Band, The Joker 1:12

9.    Geoff Moore, If You Could See What I See :37

10. Pink, Glitter in the Air :48

11. Nouveaux, Simply Beautiful :54

12. Eric Clapton, You Look Wonderful Tonight 2:05

13. Chris Tomlin, Amazing Grace 1:15

14.  Everlast, Saving Grace 1:16

15.  Enya, Only Time :24

16.  Carman, Lazarus 5:18

So, how’d you do?  Aww, who cares, it was fun anyway, wasn’t it?

Auntie Laughs at Abbi

Job 8:21

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting.

My niece Abbi is a joy from start to finish.  I didn’t know anything about this girl until 4 1/2 years ago; now I cannot imagine life with out her.  Isn’t it funny how people step into your life and take over?abbi-_1.JPG

A couple of months ago my sister, Sunshine, made a mistake saying Abbi’s name.  Normally Shiney takes the long route and includes Abbi’s middle name-  Abbi Mary Peterson.  This day Shiney’s tongue got twisted around itself which caused her to call the girl Abbi Pary Meterson.  We laughed til we cried, and poor Abbi has a new nickname, for life most likely.  Abbi Pary Meterson is almost all I call her now.  As we were exiting church recently I called out to Abbi, “Abbi Pary Meterson, please wait!”  Abbi stopped, turned around to me, her eyes squinted into the sun, blond hair whipping, a fierce look on her face and said, “I AM NOT PETER MEDICINE!”  I about fell over laughing. Poor girl is traumatized for life by her weird Auntie ridiculing her! Oh, such joy found in such small places…