Listening To October

Today, one of my favorite songs.  Perfect for this week.

Press Play, and listen, with a few of my suggestions below.

  • Much of this song is instrumental.  The pictures above don’t really matter, but the music does.
  • As you listen, take a few deep breaths, and picture your concerns, your possessions, your obstacles as if they were leaves, falling down from a tree.
  •  Here are the lyrics Bono sings:
    • October

      And the trees are stripped bare

      Of all they wear

      What do I care?

      October

      And kingdoms rise

      And kingdoms fall

      But you go on and on

  • As the song concludes, remind yourself what (who) is most important and eternal in your life, and rededicate yourself to God through prayer.
  • Now go and have a glorious October.

—————————————————-
Wow.  I really needed that today.

U2?

Have a great week,

Mitch

 

Lord, make me an instrument.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” — The Prayer of Saint Francis.

“Lord, make me an instrument.”  — Me.

Guess what:

For the next hour, you have the ability to play (beautifully, I might add) any musical instrument you can get your hands on.

Go!

Let’s all go to the High School band/orchestra room and see what kind of music we can make!

What would you pick up first?

First, I’d pick up the trombone. My dad plays, and I could never produce an actual musical note on that thing. I’d puff and blow and the best I could ever produce was a sort of “pbbbbbbttttt” sound.

But not today. Today I break into a little “When the Saints Go Marching In”, complete with all kinds of slides and slurs. Fun!

Next, I pick up an electric guitar, propped up in a corner by the jazz band instruments. I can already play a little guitar. I know the basic chords. But I never learned to really strum, or finesse, let alone play a solo.

Today is different. Today I play Hendrix’s version of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

I play so loudly people are leaning their heads into the room and “shushing” me.  Today, I ignore them. I’m not interested in that kind of feedback.  I’m interested in this kind:  *Squeeeaal*

Then I switch gears. I pick up an oboe and let loose a gentle haunting melody. I rush over to the cello and improvise some brooding vigorous rhythm.

I pick up the piccolo. Hardly the instrument of choice for a big guy like me, but I play a little of the descant for “Stars and Stripes” just for the fun of it.

What instruments would you like to play?

Maybe you stopped piano lessons in 3rd grade. Today you can play like Liberace.

Maybe you only sing in the shower. Today you’re a diva.

Maybe you struggled with “Mary had a little lamb” on the viola. Today you’re first chair!

It’s a wonderful fantasy, isn’t it? To be a virtuoso on all things musical.

Well, as you and I are rushing around the band room, trying out instruments, God is leaning against the wall, smiling. This is the sound of life, after all. The music  of co-creation. You, and I, and God, collaborating. God loves this.

 

You see, to God, we are the instruments.

God is the creative spirit. Our lives make the music. We are the instruments.

Don’t worry about hitting every note. Don’t worry about staying in tune.

Sure, it would be fun to be that musically proficient, but God finds joy in all kinds of noise.

So buy a $1 harmonica. Pound on your steering wheel. Dig that high school flute out of the closet. Strum your guitar that’s missing 2 strings. Put your lips together and whistle.

Whatever comes out, comes out of you. That’s good enough.

Whatever comes from your heart…

is music to God’s ears.

Have a great week,

Mitch

P.S. What instrument have you always wanted to play? Leave a comment.

 

 

originally published in 2012

TIMELESS

timeless-ian-barber

Want to hear something weird?

The next “Weekly Devotion” you get from me will originate from a new location.

Yep, I’m moving to a new church.

This Sunday is my last one here.

*sigh*

Here’s what happens to me every time I have to say goodbye:

I lapse into an unsettled, melancholy awareness of time’s slow destruction of the present.

Let me translate that for you:  I fear change.

I fear change because you can’t go back.

Because it seems so final.

The idea of somehow dis-connecting and moving on seems really painful.

And as excited as I am about the future, I’ve been feeling some of that “melancholy” this week.

. . .

But then yesterday, this happened:

Somebody had the idea that, at my farewell reception next Sunday, we should have a reunion of sorts.

A reunion of the founding members of our contemporary worship service, from back in the 90’s.

The 5 of us have not been all together in the same room for about 15 years.

Those were great days back then.

We were creative and passionate and generated a lot of energy for the church.

And while I’ve stayed in touch with them all (heck I’m married to one of them), we’ve never tried to all reconnect musically.

That is, until yesterday, when we got together to practice.

We’d picked out some of our favorite old songs, and set up on the stage to practice.

We kicked off the first song.

Instinctively, we reverted to our old parts.

And there they were:  The same tight harmonies and chord changes.

It was nearly flawless.

We all just stared at each other, grinning.

It was as if the intervening 15 years had never happened!

. . .

No, that wasn’t it.

The passage of time was clearly present.

There were more lines on our faces.

We’d all been through big life changes since we’d last been together,

but we shared something yesterday that I hope to never forget:

Things are always changing,

but the Love of God,

and the connection of true friends,

and the harmony between kindred spirits,

is TIMELESS.

 

Thank you, First Church Lawrence, for your love and support!

 

Mitch

harmony

 

 

 

 

 

Lord, make me an instrument.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” — The Prayer of Saint Francis.

“Lord, make me an instrument.”  — Me.

Guess what:

For the next hour, you have the ability to play (beautifully, I might add) any musical instrument you can get your hands on.

Go!

Let’s all go to the High School band/orchestra room and see what kind of music we can make!

What would you pick up first?

First, I’d pick up the trombone. My dad plays, and I could never produce an actual musical note on that thing. I’d puff and blow and the best I could ever produce was a sort of “pbbbbbbttttt” sound.

But not today. Today I break into a little “When the Saints Go Marching In”, complete with all kinds of slides and slurs. Fun!

Next, I pick up an electric guitar, propped up in a corner by the jazz band instruments. I can already play a little guitar. I know the basic chords. But I never learned to really strum, or finesse, let alone play a solo.

Today is different. Today I play Hendrix’s version of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

I play so loudly people are leaning their heads into the room and “shushing” me.  Today, I ignore them. I’m not interested in that kind of feedback.  I’m interested in this kind:  *Squeeeaal*

Then I switch gears. I pick up an oboe and let loose a gentle haunting melody. I rush over to the cello and improvise some brooding vigorous rhythm.

I pick up the piccolo. Hardly the instrument of choice for a big guy like me, but I play a little of the descant for “Stars and Stripes” just for the fun of it.

What instruments would you like to play?

Maybe you stopped piano lessons in 3rd grade. Today you can play like Liberace.

Maybe you only sing in the shower. Today you’re a diva.

Maybe you struggled with “Mary had a little lamb” on the viola. Today you’re first chair!

It’s a wonderful fantasy, isn’t it? To be a virtuoso on all things musical.

Well, as you and I are rushing around the band room, trying out instruments, God is leaning against the wall, smiling. This is the sound of life, after all. The music  of co-creation. You, and I, and God, collaborating. God loves this.

You see, to God, we are the instruments.

God is the creative spirit. Our lives make the music. We are the instruments.

Don’t worry about hitting every note. Don’t worry about staying in tune.

Sure, it would be fun to be that musically proficient, but God finds joy in all kinds of noise.

So buy a $1 harmonica. Pound on your steering wheel. Dig that high school flute out of the closet. Strum your guitar that’s missing 2 strings. Put your lips together and whistle.

Whatever comes out, comes out of you. That’s good enough.

Whatever comes from your heart…

is music to God’s ears.

Have a great week,

Mitch

P.S. What instrument have you always wanted to play? Leave a comment.