Throughout the Bible, we see people singing praises to the Lord. We also see people being commanded to worship the Lord through song. In the last 15-20 years, we have seen worship music in churches take a dramatic turn. While old fashion hymns are still a large part of worship in some churches, it seems that contemporary worship music has become the dominant form of music in most churches today.
For some, worship is the part of the church service when individuals feel closest to God. But why should it end there and be confined to a sanctuary ? In Hebrews, we are commanded to continually
praise the Lord through song. In today’s society, it should be very easy for us to always have some Christian music on hand that we can worship with. Whether you have an iPhone, an iPod, a Zune, a MP3 player, a cell phone that plays music, or a portable CD player (do people still use those?), you have the opportunity to listen to Christian music virtually all the time.
It can be hard, however, to start listening to contemporary Christian music if you are not used to it. Maybe you don’t know any of the bands. Perhaps you don’t know the words to the songs. Or maybe you have no clue what kinds of contemporary Christian music are out there and no idea about what you might like.
Fortunately, there are resources readily available that can help you get started. There are websites out (like Ministry and Media
and Extreme Youth
) there that can help you identify specific Christian artists that have a similar sound to what you usually listen to. For example, if you like the smooth melodies of John Mayer, you should check out Andrew Peterson or Switchfoot. If you like to rock out to Lincoln Park, you should check out Pax 217, EDL, Pillar, or Skillet. A couple of Christian alternatives to the Black Eyed Peas would be 1 Way or Group 1 Crew.
Since we are called to continually praise the Lord, let us soak
in music that will glorify him. Music is a great way to worship no matter where we are, and a great tool to remind us of where our focus should be. "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name."
(Hebrews 13:15 NIV)
I can’t dance. Seriously…it is painful to watch. Remember that scene in Hitch where Will Smith tries to teach Kevin James how to dance? Yeah, I wish I could dance as well as Kevin James. If everyone danced like me, everybody would have rooted for John Lithgow in Footloose.
Luckily, everyone does not dance like me. That is why I don’t dance in public. I don’t want to make a fool of myself. That, and my wife won’t let me.
Believe it or not, I ran into a similar situation in the book of 2 Samuel the other day. When the ark of the Lord finally arrived in the City of David, King David was so excited that he threw a party. He went out in the street, gave away some bread and some desserts, and as they say where I’m from, he cut a rug. And apparently he wasn’t fully clothed...it got a little weird.
When he went back in the house, he abruptly found out that his wife had been watching from the window. She quickly let him know that she did not approve of his behavior, and that his attire and performance were not very kingly. His response blew my mind.
David replied to Michal, "In God's presence I'll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God's people, over Israel. Oh yes, I'll dance to God's glory—more recklessly even than this. And as far as I'm concerned...I'll gladly look like a fool. (2 Samuel 6:21-22a The Message)
David did not care how people viewed him because of his worship. He was willing to do anything for God, no matter how it reflected on himself.
I wish we were more like that. We don’t like to hang out with outcasts because people may think we are weird. We don’t stand up for our beliefs because we are afraid of being excluded. We don’t fully express our love and obedience because we are too worried about fitting in.
David had it right, as he so often did. We should be willing to be outcasts to reach the outcasts, give up our statuses in society to seek justice, and ignore the funny looks to worship as we feel led. God is unbelievable, and it is about time we started acting like it.
I listen to Christian radio quite a bit. In fact, K-Love and Air-1 have been assigned multiple preset buttons on different stations in my wife’s car in case the signal starts to fade. Either that, or she is subtly discouraging my budding rap career. To be completely honest, I feel like any song that starts to pick up momentum gets drastically overplayed. I suppose that is not all that different from secular radio, but I believe it causes many songs that could have an impact to be overlooked.
“What If” was a song on Nichole Nordeman’s Brave album that came out in 2005. It had some relative popularity, and I felt like I heard it fairly often for a few months. However, due to some other very popular albums that came out shortly thereafter, it was quickly pushed to the background. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve heard this song in three or four years.
However, I still think about the lyrics of the song often. The song talks about asking yourself questions about what you believe, specifically about Jesus. The chorus goes something like this:
“But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?
What if it's love?”
Being a math guy, I tend to think about things in a logical kind of way. So I find myself constantly asking the question, “what if I’m wrong?” so I can weigh the consequences before taking a risk. The majority of the time I am wrong and I want to be sure that my mistake won’t get me fired, killed, or kicked out of my house. However, none of those consequences even compare to the impact being wrong about my faith would have. So obviously, I have spent some time thinking about this.
I know Jesus Christ is real, and He is the Son of God. I have experienced His presence on so many occasions and my relationship with Him has changed my life. However, I still have to wonder what happens if I am wrong.
If I continue my life as planned and I am dedicated to serving God in every aspect of my life, what will the results look like? Hopefully, I will keep getting better at following the teachings of the Bible. I will find ways to encourage, love, and serve everyone around me. I plan to tell other people about my relationship with Jesus in hopes that they will get to know Him as well. I want to be as much like Jesus as possible.
What if I’m wrong? Well, it will seem like I have dedicated my life to becoming a better person and helping other people for no real tangible reward after I die. I may have also led others to do so. So the only result of me living a Christian lifestyle that could even be argued as negative is that I missed out on doing more things for myself while I was alive. I was not selfish enough.
You know what? If I’m wrong about who Jesus is and the absolute worst result is that I was not selfish enough, I’m perfectly okay with that. That is a risk I am more than willing to take.
Now, I am not really into “fire insurance” evangelism. Being a Christian is about so much more than a fear of hell. However, if I was not a Christian and the results of my “what if I’m wrong?” analysis showed eternal consequences, that would be enough for me to take a deeper look into Christianity.
What about you? Are you comfortable with the risk associated with deciding to follow Christ? If you are not a Christian, have you thought about what the results of your decision will be? What if you’re wrong?
Auto-tune is an audio processor for altering voices to better match the instrumental track in song recordings. It is fairly common in recording studios where actual music albums are made. However, its most recent fame has come in the form of turning quotes from or about certain individuals into catchy songs. They are usually fairly humorous, and unfortunately pretty darn catchy.
Recently, one came out about Tim Tebow. It’s called “All He Does is Win,” based on sports analyst Skip Bayless’ comments about the Bronco quarterback on ESPN First Take. That got me thinking. I’m pretty sure that if Tim Tebow could compose his own auto-tune ditty, it wouldn’t have a ton to do with football.
If I were to guess, I would think that his song would focus more on how the Lord has blessed him, and how his heart desires to bless others and let them know how great God is. That seems to be his focus when he speaks about his life anyway. He always takes the attention he is given and redirects it to God, his family, and his teammates. Hmmm…focusing your life on the Lord and other people. It seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before.
So what would your auto-tune song be called? What would be the common themes? Would it be about your accomplishments and the things you are really good at? Or would it focus on the things that are really most important in your life?
While I would hope my auto-tune would be called “In Jesus Name I Pray ” or “Let Me Help You With That,” I’m pretty sure it would be more like “We Need More Ketchup Please” or “I’ll Get to it Later.” I’m still young, though. There is still hope for my song…I hope.
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out a couple of my favorite auto-tune videos below. Hopefully that will help decide what yours should be about. Please comment below and let me know.