Take Your Place in Line

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

In the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles, chapter 16, just after the ark of the covenant was restored in Israel, King David gave to Asaph and his fellow musicians a song of thanks to the Lord. Maybe Asaph helped write the music, maybe the musicians simply performed what was given them by David, but in any case it’s a beautiful psalm of praise.

Verse 34 says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”

This phrase, “Give thanks to…” is repeated over and over in the life of Israel. Continue reading “Take Your Place in Line”

Follow the Gold

Ever have money thrown at you? Israel did, as they left Egypt…

Exodus 12:35-36 (ESV) 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

I’m sure the clothing helped as they went into the desert.

The silver and gold, however, what became of that?

What becomes of the gifts the Lord has given you? How do you steward over the things God has graciously placed in your hands? Not just money – your time, your personality, your art?

It’s probably bad enough that for most of us, our gut reaction to the things we have or the artists we are, is that it’s ours, and we do with these things as we please.

But sometimes it gets worse.

Continue reading “Follow the Gold”

Abundance and The Voice

Stephen R. Covey helped bring consciousness to the concept of Abundance and Scarcity in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Regarding Scarcity, Covey said, “The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production.  They also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the successes of other people – even, and sometimes especially, members of their own family or close friends and associates.  It’s almost as if something is being taken from them when someone else receives special recognition or windfall gain or has remarkable success or achievement.

Although they may verbally express happiness for others’ success, inwardly they are eating their hearts out.  Their sense of worth comes from being compared, and someone else’s success, to some degree, means their failure.”

In contrast, here are Covey’s thoughts on Abundance, “The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security.  It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody.  It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making.  It opens possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity. Continue reading “Abundance and The Voice”

Chord Progressions, Melodies, and Mountains

Melodies are what make songs pop. Melodies give life and vibrancy. Melody make music memorable.

This could be seen as bad news for chord progressions. Melody (and its intimate friend harmony) are the glitz and glamour of song-writing.

Chord progressions, though, should not be taken for granted. They form the structure on which melody plays. Notes without a chord progression underneath are just melody. With a chord progression, they’re a song. Continue reading “Chord Progressions, Melodies, and Mountains”