Monday, August 11, 2014

If I am

If I am financially well-off
If I am poor
If I am successful in my endeavors
If I fail on all my attempts
If I am well known
If I am a nobody
If I am wise
If I am foolish
What does any of it matter if I do not love?
Why do I strive and worry
Yet all I need to start with is
rest and turning to God
quietness and trust in God
Rest in my current situation
Rest in what I am
Rest in what God has allowed
Turning away from my selfishness
Turning away from my self-centeredness
Turning away from my grasping...
Quietness in all things
Quietness and stillness
Trusting, resting, being still.

However, if I do love, with word and deed then
I am blessed if I am financially well-off
I am blessed if I am poor
I am blessed if I am successful in my endeavors
I am blessed if I fail on all my attempts

Feature Presentation

We waited for the stars to come out like we were waiting for a feature presentation.  Except that this was real.  And the stars did not disappoint.  The multitude of hosts seemed to appear as if their part in a majestic play had just started.  More than we've ever seen (or perhaps ever known we've seen) before.  In the stillness was where the action was.  In the quietness was where the wonder lie.  It was quite a paradox and one that I was not easily comprehending.

In with the wonder came the revelation, as much of a sliver as it was, that the wonder and power of the universe is greater than anything my experience can wrap around.  I feel a little guilty finishing up my star gazing.  They are still there.  They are wondrous and demand attention.  And they deserve wondrous gazing and awe inspiring gaping.  Forgive me for tearing away.  Your majesty deserves so much more.  I'm grateful for astronomers and others who constantly look and gather information.  Yet so many of them have lost the wonder of what you are because they have rejected your Creator.  You are no more glorious than your Creator.  Yet in Him, you are more glorious than we know you to be.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It is hard to rest sometimes

These are interesting days for me.  There haven't been too many times in my life that I haven't done any music.  I've been doing music since the 2nd grade.  I did orchestra, symphonic band, marching band (because I had to!) and jazz band in school.  I led and helped lead worship in my 20's, 30's and 40's.  In my 40's I started playing cello and got involved in a local orchestra.  I haven't led worship for a little while.  I've felt like I needed to spend more time with my family.  And, the last two Pops Orchestra concerts, I've not played.  And, just as I typed that, I breathed a heaving sigh.  I like playing music.  There's something so powerful about it and it can express life's deepest longings and questions and fulfillments so well..  And I feel out of my element when I'm not playing at some level.  But, I've come to learn that music in itself is not where the real life is.  Music by itself is an empty shell.  If I miss out on real life, music is nothing but vanity.
So, I'm trying to stay in a hiatus for at least a little while.  I hope to discover my wife and children more.  I hope to discover my neighbor more, though not necessarily the person next door to me as any person I come into contact with.  So, I want to take this hiatus and allow it to do its work.  If I'm not so much in a rush to go to this practice or prepare for the next service or limber up my fingers or voice, hopefully I'll think about the more important things a little bit more.  Of course, I may spend some time writing a blog on what it's like.  :-)  But, seriously, it does seem that the busyness of life can cloud the important matters.  And the important matters are what give birth to song.  And in the end, the song is really our Creator and His goodness.
So why is it so hard to not get involved?  Is it because I'm afraid I'll become obsolete, forgotten, out of the loop, less important?  Yes, all of the above.  Of course, it won't really make me less important, I'll just feel that way.  And what if my being out of the loop causes me to lose opportunities?  Well, then I will be quite sad.  But, what can I do?  I need to not get so caught up in the machinery, and I need to see the humanness that is here and foster these relationships more.  If I pursue music and forget about the "solid" and real things, then my music is nothing but shallowness and empty sounds.  And if I pursue shallowness, then what does that make me?
So, here I sit.  It's a little painful to rest from the music stuff.  But, I must die to all selfish ambition and allow God and people to consume my life and thoughts more.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Please help me I don't know the way

I have Andrew Peterson's "Holy is the Lord" (Serve Hymn) in my head. It is resonating with me. Actually, it is echoing through my soul, except that the echoes aren't getting fainter, they're getting stronger. "Holy is the Lord, Holy is the Lord and the Lord I will obey. Please help me I don't know the way."

It's not so much that I haven't heard what I should do to live my life right. I have studied the Bible in depth and worn the pages out. I've listened to countless Christian messages and songs. But I look back on my life and my decisions and so often I see some essential part missing.  I know I need God's word, I need to trust in Jesus. In addition to all that, I need to walk with God daily.  I don't know how to do that. It's not something that can be taught to a person.

I think that prayer is lovely, "help me I don't know the way". It's saying to God that I need him to help me in my relationship with him. It's like a man saying to his wife, "I want to get to know you more - help me". If the woman will not allow the man to come more into her life,  to lead him to get to know her more with personal information and insights and open arms, then any words from others that might know the woman won't do what only the woman can do.  It can help, but it won't bring that intimacy that only the one in the relationship can offer.

But, even now, I feel like I've lost something by trying to explain it. The Lord is Holy - high above us. Our lives were created by him and for him. He is all good. Why is it that I don't know the way? Is it perhaps because I've made too many decisions based on selfishness and pride. I am sure that is a large part of it. Those decisions have been based on such shallowness.  Sigh.

Holy is the Lord. And the Lord I will obey. Please help me I don't know the way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My reasons for starting to blog

The mother of invention.

Ok, so I'm not inventing anything.  But, I was motivated to begin something new.  I was motivated to start a new blog because some of my comments on other blogs didn't appear.  I modified the DNS settings on my router (since I'm using a "blocking" dns server to protect my family, I wanted to make sure it wasn't blocking comments - but that's material for another blog in the future).  I modified security settings on my router.  Still nothing!  Well, at least I don't think anything happened.  I hope some poor chap's blog doesn't show up with 100 comments, pretty much saying the same thing, but altered slightly.

So, I've started a blog so I can test commenting on one without totally messing up someone else's.  I guess I also wanted a place to share my music besides for MySpace (which, I never uploaded my music, out of fear of I don't know what).  Facebook doesn't seem like a good place to share music.  It's a place to connect with friends, not a place to advertise.  Well, evidently, it IS a place to advertise, but a part-time musician probably shouldn't have a facebook page.  At least that's how I'm currently feeling.

But, then again, is a blog spot a place to share music?  Well, maybe not.  And since that wasn't conclusive, I didn't start a blog for that reason.  But testing.  Now that's a reason.  My wife wasn't able to comment on a great blog she just read.  How can I stand by and not be able to do something about that?  I mean, I tried everything I else I know - Google, router modifications, DNS modifications.  I did get one comment go post via my Android phone.  Could Comcast be blocked from commenting?  I don't know.  So, maybe testing wasn't an all conclusive reason for starting a blog.

I do want to be more creative.  I'm getting older, and my desire to make a difference - to encourage people like I am encouraged by other's creativity is a bit of a motivator.  I've created songs, mostly instrumental in scope, with a few different instruments, but writing, has caught my attention.  I almost don't want to write, because I know I don't have a gift for it like my wife, Melanie has.  But I will swallow my pride and write.

So, more than one reason to start a blog.  It seems rather like my life - jack of all trades and master of none.  But, I guess I don't have to have a masterful reason to start a blog.  Just a reason.  Or, a slew of them.  And perhaps that means that it's ok to have more than one pursuit and be a "jack of all trades".

Well, the hour is growing late.  I have work tomorrow morning and I want to spend time with my family before I head off to bed.  Perhaps I'll start testing my comments tomorrow.