Where’s Your Heart?

Where is your heart?

Over the past several weeks, I’ve taken it upon myself to go through some old boxes full of letters and journals and stories that I’ve written. I’ll admit it freely–I am enamored with my own writing. I love that I write. I wish I were disciplined enough to write more often.

I was in search of my old poetry binder. I haven’t seen it in years. Truthfully, I had forgotten about it for quite some time. I’m not sure what brought it back to memory, but try as I may, I couldn’t remember where I had hidden the binder or what old poems I had tucked away inside. I recall one titled Sonata in D Major, but it went through so many revisions that any attempt at recreating it now would be futile. My only choice is to find the binder.

I wish I were more organized in my writing. But I digress.

I stumbled upon my Theology of Music journal, which blew my mind away. I haven’t penned anything there in a few years now. It struck me as I read through its pages that I have long-neglected something that resonates deeply within me. Why is that? What have I been so busy doing that I would let days fade away into weeks and months and years? There was a time not so far removed in my life when I believed that the Theology of Music was my niche. I didn’t know how I was going to pursue it, or why I was going to pursue it, or what I would do if I ever made any sense of it. I only knew that I felt compelled to ask questions and to pursue the answers in regards to music and how it related to God and our knowledge of Him. It burned within me like no desire I’ve known before or since.

So why have I neglected it? Why have I avoided the very thing that God has called me to? Where is my heart? Here is where she was when last I knew her:

one of the board musicians started a thread a couple weeks ago entitled the theology of music. the thread didn’t do much, as i recall, but it has gotten me thinking a lot about music lately. what is the theology of music? what is the role of music in the church? what does music have to do with god? what does god have to do with music? what does faith have to do with music? these aren’t questions i’m trying to answer; these are questions i’m trying to acknowledge. it would be easy to write a blog telling you what i think about these things. that’s not my goal, though. my goal is to keep asking questions…to ask more questions…to ask new questions…and to keep thinking about the questions and why they are important, if they are important at all. this is something i want to pursue in the future; not simply as thoughts and opinions, but as an area of study and a field of knowledge, and eventually, as a place of ministry in the church. i have no idea what that means. i have no idea what this will look like. i have no idea why it has suddenly become so important to me. perhaps it has been important all along, and i just never realized it. of course…i don’t think i’ve ever heard anyone use the phrase “theology of music” other than the fella here on tweb. i don’t know that it even exists, other than as an idea.

dated 11/09/05, reposted from my former blog

Where shall we find our heart’s desire? I do not know. I know only that I need to pursue this again. There’s my heart.

Pax Christi.

Semmie.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not; Thy compassions, they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see!
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Thomas Chisholm

Speaking of God’s faithfulness…

It is so easy to get wrapped up in our lives, in our troubles, in our finances, in our relationships, in our jobs, in our lack of these things, in ourselves! I admit, I am prone to recall the moments when I have felt most alone and unimportant in the world. But this is folly. I am learning once again–or still, perhaps–that it is in those moments when I feel the most alone that God is carrying me and working all things together for my good, for His glory.

It helps to take our focus off of ourselves now and again. If I cannot find one thing in my own life to praise God’s faithfulness, then I am learning to ask others what God is doing in their lives. I find the most remarkable thing–that rejoicing in what God is doing in the lives of those I love allows me to see more clearly His faithfulness, even when I don’t understand Him. So this is a call out to all of us: speak of God’s faithfulness.

Speak of God’s faithfulness! Call to remembrance all He has done. Let not your heart be burdened with the weight of worry, but take on the yoke of Christ–it is easy, and His burden is light.

If you haven’t shared with me in awhile what God is doing in your life, I would love to hear from you.

Pax Christi.

Semmie.

Dear CDs, part II

Dear CDs,

So…since I’m going through my old CDs, I thought it would be fun to make a list of songs that I didn’t expect to find!

  1. I’m Gonna Be (500 miles), The Proclaimers
  2. Mr. Tambourine Man, Bob Dylan
  3. I Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie & The Blowfish
  4. Cold Hearted Snake, Paula Abdul
  5. Parents Just Don’t Understand, Will Smith (“well…maybe i shouldn’t. yeah–of course, i should!”)
  6. That Thing You Do, The Wonders
  7. Story of a Girl, Third Eye Blind
  8. Grey Street, Dave Matthews
  9. Be a Pepper, The Dr. Pepper Song
  10. People in a Box, Farrell & Farrell

Pax Christi.

semmie.

Dear CDs

Dear CDs,

I forget how much I truly love you all (and by “all,” I mean “most of you”).

If you don’t know me well enough by now, I’ll tell you one thing that is almost always true: I am very intentional. If I act like I’m irritated with you, then I probably am; if I act like I’m thrilled to be with you, then I probably am; if I act like I’m impatient, then I probably am; if I act like I don’t want you to touch my piano, then I probably don’t; if I give you a tin of chocolate-covered pretzels, then I was singing prayers over you (I know that doesn’t make sense to any of you, but…trust me, it makes sense); if I have the television turned onto the Tiger game, then I’m watching the game; and if I’m not answering my phone, then I don’t want to talk. Nine times out of ten, I act intentionally.

It should be stated for the record, however, that those “one times out of ten” that I don’t act intentionally, I tend to make the biggest blunders. I really am quite scatter-brained, and when I screw up, I do a dandy of a job. But most of the time–at least from my perspective–I am intentional.

And music is no different. There is a reason I don’t listen to rap. There is a reason I listen to southern gospel. There is a reason I like 4Him but not Point of Grace (I miss you, 4Him). There is a reason I like PFR and Dimestore Prophets. And there is a reason I am so opposed to most of the newer CCM. There is a reason Rich Mullins was my hero. Songwriting is far more than rhyming and rearranging the three chords you know on your guitar. Songwriting is a gift, and it is a struggle. I don’t particularly enjoy songs (particularly Christian songs) that are easy-listening, make you “feel good” kind of stuff. If it’s going to make me feel good, it had better at least be musically or literarily whimsical. Either one suffices. But same-old, same-old, two verses, chorus, one-four-five progression, “Jesus” rhymes with “frees us,” songwriting just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. If it makes you feel good, then…by all means, enjoy it.

But for me? Music must be whimsical. Chris Rice caught me off-guard today. I was driving home and had only a handful of CDs with me, and one of them was his old Past the Edges album. I haven’t listened to Chris Rice in, oh, at least a year! Today, he caught me by surprise and with delight! Have you heard Smellin Coffee? Talk about whimsical! Musically, it couldn’t be more whimsical unless it were Cake (but don’t tell anyone that I listen to Cake; it’s Jenn’s fault).

So I am inspired. Tonight as I dip pretzels, I will pull out all of my old CDs and listen to them (well, not every single one of them, but definitely a couple). I’ll leave you with some Smellin Coffee:

I remember reading you’re the God who never sleeps

While I’ve been dreaming, you’ve been singing over me, yeah

Singing about my freedom, waking me up to hear your song

Now I can’t dance hard enough, cause yesterday is gone, gone, gone!

Love your CDs, people.

Pax Christi.

semmie.