Friday, October 26, 2007


October 26, 2007

We sarcastically referred to it as the dungeon and truly despised having to work there. It proved to be a far cry from the grandiose accommodations we had been led to believe would soon be ours. For years we had been promised a new concert hall, a brand new home for the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. As a cellist for the symphony I couldn’t wait to play in a first-rate, finally tuned auditorium. Indeed, all my fellow musicians were eagerly anticipating performing in a venue more worthy of our professional abilities. At long last we would be able to say goodbye to crowded, acoustically inferior school theaters and move into our own place, a beautifully designed music hall engineered for quality sound and equipped with everything we needed to become a world class symphony.
After years of anticipation the promise had finally become a reality and our initial concerts in our new home received enthusiastic reviews. But it wasn’t long before we learned the truth. Just because it was named “Symphony Hall” did not mean it was exclusively for the use of our orchestra. In order to pay for its construction the auditorium was made available to any other performing arts group that happened to be touring through town, which nearly always happened to be the case. And we, despite having the building named after us, were sent to the dungeon.
The dungeon became our rehearsal room. It was located beneath and behind the stage acoustically insulated from the auditorium and accessible by a long set of narrow, descending stairs. Except for a wooden floor the room was essentially a concrete box, the worst possible setting for achieving musical excellence. Even with acoustical tiles spaced liberally around the walls, rehearsals became a nightmare. At times the noise was deafening. Our ears would ring for hours following rehearsals. The brass and percussion sections were always too loud for that room and it was difficult if not impossible to hear your own instrument. Why should we bother striving to improve our artistry if no one could hear the difference? We could only guess at what the sound would be like when we were finally allowed on stage for our concerts.
After a few embarrassingly bungled concerts we began to learn that the only way to eventually achieve an acceptable performance on the stage was to carefully follow the direction of our conductor in the rehearsal room. Positioned in front of the orchestra on a podium that lifted him above the musicians, he alone was able to hear how it all fit together. By ignoring our own ears and following the baton of our conductor we could manage to achieve a result that, come concert time, would achieve a standing ovation and elicit rave reviews.
At first I admit my attitude about having to make music in such a room was less than stellar. Why bother to do your best when the results were spoiled, when the sound was ruined by our environment? But then I remembered a valuable lesson from my cello professor in college. In order to strengthen fingers, increase coordination, and improve musicianship, music students are given all types of scales and exercises to study. Practicing these is pure drudgery and most students do so with disdain. My cello professor insisted on having us perform these exercises for each other as musical works of art.
"Every note, no matter the piece, no matter the composer, no matter the setting, is a special gift," he would say repeatedly. "As a musician your gift in return is to take each note, each opportunity to play, and turn it into music. Think of every scale as a concerto, every exercise as a show piece. Every rehearsal is a performance!"
I have often been reminded of those words. They helped me survive my years in the dungeon, and they have also helped me survive many discouraging times in my life including some frustrating periods in my ministry. Every moment we live no matter what the setting, every task we are given no matter how seemingly insignificant or who we may be serving, is a gift from God. As His children our gift in return is to take each moment, each task, and make the most of it, turning it into something beautiful, a work of art, a virtuoso performance. "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." – Colossians 3:17.
Every rehearsal is a performance. But the reverse is also true; every performance is a rehearsal. As a symphony musician for eighteen years of my life, I played in hundreds of concerts, some good, some not so good, and some I'd give anything to do over correcting my mistakes. Being allowed a do-over in live music is, of course, impossible. But if we are determined to better ourselves we can always learn from every performance whether the critics rave or scowl. The same is also true in our Christian walk. We will not always please every critic and until we perfect traveling back in time I wouldn’t get my hopes up for being allowed a do-over. Learning from our experiences, however, especially our "bad reviews," is highly encouraged, and continually practicing our righteousness is a sure method of maturing in Christ. "...train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." – Timothy 4:7-8.
Let's face it, life on this planet can at times resemble dwelling in a dungeon. We are boxed in on every side by evil, imprisoned by sin, tortured by a continual nightmare of inferior performances by ourselves and others around us. Some players love to trumpet their accomplishments in a sustained fortissimo while our own achievements are obscured by the daily din of a world that has gone deaf to the voice of its Creator. The result is a cacophony of incongruous noise continuously bombarding our eardrums. At times it all seems to have been dreamed up by some mad composer. Amidst the ear-splitting chaos we may wonder if our own performance will ever make a difference to anyone. Why bother striving to improve our artistry if no one can hear us above the clamor?
In truth, the original purpose of this “symphony hall” known as planet earth has been drastically altered. Due to a bungled performance by the premier musicians who played in pristine surroundings on a perfect stage we have been shut out from a beautifully designed, flawlessly engineered auditorium and doomed to spend our earthly lives playing in an inferior rehearsal room. The promise of paradise has turned into a dungeon. But take heart my friends and have faith in the Master Conductor who hears every musician, every performance, every note, and is able to work it all together to achieve the perfect concert. It is impossible while struggling in the rehearsal room to imagine how it all fits together. But if we follow the Conductor’s baton, we know the results will be spectacular. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28.
Remember, fellow dungeon-dwellers, every rehearsal is a performance, and every performance here on this earth is a rehearsal for the greatest concert of all. One day we will be ushered out of this inferior, performance-limiting rehearsal room, take the stage in the greatest concert hall ever built, and play before the largest, most enthusiastic audience ever assembled. Only then will we fully realize the purpose for a lifetime spent in the rehearsal room. Only then will we finally experience the completed symphonic masterpiece our Lord has been rehearsing in bits and pieces with us since the beginning of creation. Until that day it is best if we keep our minds focused on the stage not on the dungeon, following the Master’s baton rather than trusting our own ears.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24.

Bill, a child of God rehearsing for the concert

Saturday, October 20, 2007


October 19, 2007

A mid-winter thaw had mercifully provided my brothers and me the opportunity to escape the boring confines of our small Idaho home and explore the brown, barren, and dormant landscape of our back yard. With months of pent-up, house-bound energy we traversed every square inch of our briefly recovered freedom relishing our expanded universe and thoroughly enjoying our premature prison break. A leafless patch of twisted raspberry vines revealed a treasure of lost and forgotten toys, wayward playthings abandoned over the summer when they became hidden amidst the thick foliage and sharp thorns. Various balls, miniature army-men, and rusted toy trucks were now in plain sight and easily retrieved with the help of some well placed swings with a broom handle. Along with a few faded and badly weathered toys, our salvage expedition also netted something new, a small, dirty-white ball of cotton. The broom handle had inadvertently knocked it from its perch high atop one of the lifeless vines.
"It's a cocoon!" shouted one of my brothers as we all studied the furry package with youthful amazement. "I wonder what's inside. Maybe it's a butterfly. Wow, let's go show dad." Awash in childish wonder we took our newly discovered treasure to dad.
"Can we keep it, daddy?" we all asked unable to contain our excitement.
With dad's help we found an empty Mason jar, placed the cocoon inside along with a few twigs, screwed on the lid, and poked some holes in the metal cap using a nail and a hammer. "Whatever it is," explained dad, "it will need air to breathe."
For weeks our morning routine included carefully examining the jar to see if any changes were apparent. We could only imagine what was taking place inside that cocoon. What would eventually emerge? Our curiosity made the wait almost unbearable. Finally one morning we awoke to discover a gorgeous white moth sitting on a twig beside the opened cocoon. But now that the mystery was revealed what should we do with it? How could we keep this beautiful creature contained in such a small place?
"This moth was not meant to be imprisoned in this jar," said dad. "God created it to fly, to find other moths, and to make baby caterpillars that will, in turn, spin their own cocoons and continue the cycle of life. Leaving it in the jar would prevent it from fulfilling God's purpose for its existence. We have to let it go."
Sadly, we took the jar back outside and stood by the raspberry patch now budding to life with the warmth of spring. With great ceremony we unscrewed the lid and let the moth go free. For several minutes we watched in awe and wonder as it soared and fluttered about in its new found freedom. As we watched this miracle of nature we began to realize how wrong we were to keep it cooped up in a jar. Dad was right; God created it to fly.
It was a simple, childhood lesson in life, one I’m sure most of us learned and long ago filed away somewhere deep in our memory banks. But it has been a lesson largely forgotten; a lesson which applies to another living organism we tend to keep enclosed for our own enjoyment. Upon discovering this amazing creature we quickly incarcerate it in our manmade containers, shut it up securely to make sure the creature is well controlled, and keep careful watch over it to see what might emerge. Like a cocoon in a jar we have imprisoned the body of Christ, the Church, in our own culture and tradition. Upon showing our tightly held treasure to God we have asked with childish wonder, "Can we keep it, Daddy?"
Over the centuries God has sent us many reformers to try and break His Church free from its restraints, but we have branded them as heretics and tossed them aside. In desperation He has helped us poke holes in the lid of our "jar" so He could breathe His Spirit into the Church for revival. But we have persisted in encasing this fragile creature in our own stained glass prisons, our own ideas of worship, our own management structures, and our own culture. How could we keep this beautiful creation contained in such a small place? Do we truly comprehend the power, beauty, and awesome potential that lies "cocooned" inside the Church?
I firmly believe a new era is dawning upon the Church in this country. The long lifeless winter of apathy and spiritual regression in our culture is coming to an end. Even now the soil is thawing and spring is budding out across this land. With the smell of revival already wafting through the air I believe God is urging us to remove the lid of our own cultural understanding of the Church and allow His Spirit to split open our cocoons of immaturity. After all, God created us, the body of Christ, to fly—to join with other Christians; to bear the fruit of new believers, new ministries, and new churches who will, in turn, grow and mature and bear fruit. Leaving the Church inside the jar will prevent it from fulfilling God's purpose for its existence. We have to let it go!
So what does that mean and what will a “free church” look like? I’m not sure we have the full picture yet. But I believe the past few days have given me a glimpse of where the Spirit is taking us in this new, unbounded, expanded universe of experiencing Church outside the jar. Allow me to share briefly from my personal itinerary.
Late last week I met with Carlos, the cook from a restaurant where we have a simple church gathering, and his brother, Ernesto. Together we purchased a few bags of groceries and headed to the home of a young Hispanic widow in a nearby community. The woman’s husband had drunk himself to death several months ago leaving her behind to care for three young children. Since she speaks almost no English she is obviously having a difficult time making ends meet. With Carlos as our interpreter we ministered to this needy family sharing what we had—food, prayers, and the love of Jesus. They now know there is a Father in Heaven who loves them more than they can possibly imagine, a Father who also has other children close by who are aware of their needs and are willing to help. We left with an open door to return and perhaps plant a church in this new outpost of the kingdom.
Last Sunday evening we had our own gathering in our home, our original foray into the concept of “simple church.” This group has recently sent out a church planting team which has, in turn, given birth to three other churches. Tuesday evening found us down at a local coffee shop praying and sharing Jesus with the waitresses and other workers. This gathering is where we met Carlos, the cook, who is leading us to other families in need of our ministry. Wednesday evening we were back at our home hosting a gathering of church planters who are seeking how to plant “simple churches” around the East Bay area. The Holy Spirit is actually the facilitator and trainer for this meeting as we share how He has been leading us in our individual ministries. We pray for one another and encourage each other to follow the Lord into the harvest listening to Him and obeying what we hear.
On Thursday evening my wife, Babs, and I met with Carlos’ extended family in their home in San Pablo, a small suburb about thirty miles north of our hometown. This was the first gathering of a new house church and another open door into the Hispanic community. The night was filled with music and laughter as we played our guitars and sang songs from two different cultures. We are learning that prayer transcends every ethnicity and binds together people from vastly different backgrounds. We brought with us several rebuilt computers which were donated to us to share with needy families. Carlos is connected to many other families who are in need and will help us distribute these computers to those who could truly use them.
Then on Friday evening Babs and I traveled a few minutes north to the community of San Ramon to meet with Kevin and Kylie Goh, new friends of ours from Singapore, and a few of their friends. This is the second time we have gathered together here for church and the spiritual atmosphere has greatly intensified. People are beginning to share openly about their various needs and the Lord’s presence was obvious. The evening was capped by a season of powerful, Spirit-directed prayer.
What is it that is taking place in each of these gatherings? We have listened to the Father’s call, kicked our way out of our cocoon, and allowed Him to remove the lid from our “jar.” The Spirit has breathed life into His Church and the body of Christ has been set free. Now we are able to fly out into the harvest field, join with the Spirit, and give birth to new ministries, just as we were created to do.
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:46-47. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free..." – Galatians 5:1. "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" – Isaiah 43:18-19. "Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." – Matthew 9:17.
I invite you to join me in asking Christ to remove the lids from our “jars.” Our old man-made containers have imprisoned us for far too long. We have to let go of His Church. It is time to kick our way out of our cocoons and allow the Lord to set us free. Together, let's watch in awe and wonder as the Spirit enables us to soar in our new found freedom, to become what we were meant to be all along—a high-flying, Spirit-directed, ministry-birthing, soul-saving, rapidly reproducing organism filled with the breath of the Almighty and free to follow the Lord wherever He leads.

Bill, a child of God, outside the jar

Saturday, October 13, 2007


October 12, 2007

"Trisha! Let me in!" My scream was accompanied by a rather intense knocking on the door. Alright, I admit it. It was a stupid thing to do. Yet, regrettably, it wasn’t the first time it had happened and likely wouldn’t be the last.
I was standing outside the front door to our home, a locked front door that is. Where were my keys? No, I had not lost them. I knew exactly where they were. They were resting comfortably in the ignition of my car, the doors of which also happened to be locked. And yes, the motor was running. Locking my keys in my car was an all-too-frequent occurrence with me at the time. But in defense of my intelligence I will submit in evidence the fact that my ancient mini-van’s warning device for such predicaments had not functioned properly for years. When the fog of forgetfulness separated me from my keys I usually called the AAA and within an hour would be happily reunited with my brass trinkets.
Unlike previous occasions, this particularly day my absent mindedness had fortunately happened in front of my own house. I was standing a few feet away from all the comforts and conveniences of home, including a spare set of car keys. The good news: My daughter, who was still living at home at the time, had not yet left for work. The bad news: She was not responding to the doorbell. At 8:30 in the morning she was obviously still asleep in her upstairs bedroom.
I remember thinking optimistically that if I knocked loudly enough on the door she could be awakened. For several minutes I alternated between ringing the doorbell and knocking. At first I was having a good time blending chimes and percussion in a symphony of rhythmic bliss. It didn't take long, however, for growing frustration to trigger an adrenalin-induced pounding that shook the entire house and threatened to awaken the dead. Dogs began to bark, neighbors peered cautiously through their curtains, mothers grabbed their children and dove for cover, but no one came to the door. Amazingly, Trisha still was not responding. I guessed she had fallen to sleep with the earplugs from her “ipod” still firmly affixed to both ears.
Growing more desperate by the minute I walked around to the rear of our house hoping for some inspiration on how to rouse my daughter. I thought about throwing rocks at her bedroom window but was afraid of breaking the glass. Then I spotted the perfect missile, a rotting lemon which had fallen from our lemon tree weeks earlier. With careful aim I let fly a perfect strike. SPLAT! For a few seconds the spoiled fruit stuck to the window then slowly slid down the glass and fell upon the kitchen bay window below. I had succeeded in making a delightfully disturbing noise as well as an impressive, sticky, smelly mess on two windows. But I still had not managed to elicit any visible response from Trisha.
Once again I returned to banging on the front door, this time even more wildly than before, accompanying the pounding by shouting Trisha's name at the top of my lungs. Eventually, the door opened to reveal an extremely upset, bitterly complaining daughter clad only in a towel and dripping water all over the entryway. Trisha had not been in her bedroom asleep as I had suspected but was in her bathroom taking a shower peacefully oblivious to all the commotion. When she finally heard the raucous pounding on the door followed shortly by the thud on her bedroom window, she became convinced she was about to be attacked by some crazed killer. After all, in most horror movies doesn’t the beautiful female victim fall prey to the insidious, evil villain while taking a shower?
Turning off the water and reaching for her phone she decided to call 911 hoping the police would arrive in time to save her life. Only after she heard me call her name and knew it was her dad, and only after her fear of my reprisal overcame her anger at having her shower interrupted in such a frightening way, would she open the front door and let me in.
Once I apologized to Trisha, hosed the rotten lemon juice off the windows, and began to get over my embarrassment at making a fool of myself in front of my neighbors, I began to wonder if our heavenly Father ever gets this frustrated trying to get His children's attention. Everyday He attempts to communicate with us in many different ways, yet all too often His cries for dialogue go unanswered. He calls to us in brilliant sunshine and driving rain, in mountain grandeurs and canyon majesties, in desert solitude and ocean vastness, in towering redwoods and dainty daffodils. He speaks of His creative genius and awesome power, and He assures us He has the ability to handle any of life’s problems no matter how difficult they may seem from our human perspective. But do we respond in admiration, worship and praise?
Through His written word He encourages us, instructs us, corrects us and tells us of His love. But how often do we avail ourselves of the Almighty’s voice by reading and studying and listening to what He has to say? Through His “still small voice” God whispers love and counsel to our spirits, but are we ever quiet and alert enough to hear Him? With caring voices from people in His Church our Father guides us through the challenges of our daily walk. But, like Trisha, are we often someplace else out of reach, out of touch, out of earshot, distracted by the daily deluge of worldly sounds, afraid of hearing what the Lord may want to say? Perhaps, desperate to awaken us to His cries, our Father will occasionally lob a rotten lemon in our direction, a sticky, foul-smelling circumstance that leaves our life in a mess. "Can you hear me now?" But rather than listen to His pleading do we just get upset and complain bitterly to God?
What if our Lord is also desperately trying to communicate with His Church yet we, like Trisha, are too engrossed in other pursuits (like doing church) to hear? He may have a special word of encouragement He wants us to deliver to a sister suffering in an abusive relationship, but His voice is muffled by the sounds of arguing coming from the finance committee over how to pay for the new building expansion. He may have given a new song of praise to a gifted individual yet the glorious music remains silenced by a lack of opportunity in the midst of a well-rehearsed, pre-programmed, highly controlled song service. He may be screaming to us that a certain ailing brother needs us to lay our hands on him and pray for healing. Instead we use our hands to cover our ears convincing ourselves that such ministry is best done by the professional clergy. He may be pounding on the door of our heart urging us to go and visit a neighbor who is contemplating suicide, yet we are too busy to answer since we are on our way to church and don’t want to be late.
What excuses will we make for being so dull of hearing? “I’m sorry Lord, but everyone else seems to be talking and your voice is so quiet I’m afraid I couldn’t hear you.” “I’m sorry Lord, but I was so exhausted after last night’s committee meeting I guess I just fell asleep.” “I’m sorry Lord, but I wasn’t sure who was knocking. You know you can’t be too careful these days.” On average about one million people are leaving the evangelical church in this country every year. Do you suppose God is trying to tell us something? “Can you hear me now?”
In Scripture Jesus often tells His audience, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." – Matthew 11:15. The implication is that many of us don't have ears to hear. But those who do will never lack for divine fellowship or direction in life, and their ministries will seldom fail to bear fruit. "...the sheep listen to his voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out...He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice." – John 10:3-4. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27.
In case you hadn't noticed, someone is knocking on your front door, and no, it isn’t a crazed killer. In a verse of Scripture usually quoted for the benefit of unbelievers, Jesus is actually speaking to the Church. "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..." – Revelation 3:20. He seems to be rather persistent. I advise we answer before He starts to throw things.

Bill, a child of God, ears open

Friday, October 05, 2007


October 5, 2007

"What are we doing here?" "Why are we wasting our time, talents and energy in this place?" "What possible good can come of this?"
We didn't give voice to such thoughts but I'm certain these questions filled our minds as we placed our music in order, tuned up our instruments, and prepared to play. After all we were under contract and any job, no matter how demeaning, meant another paycheck.
The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, with whom I labored as a cellist for eighteen years, would at times be divided into smaller groups in order to reach different audiences. A small ensemble might be used as a “pit” orchestra to accompany an opera or a ballet, while other groups would be sent into local schools, senior centers, or churches to perform in more intimate settings. On this particular day about 20 string players had gathered in an elementary school to play a children's concert. Normally such work was a welcomed change from our high-brow, white-tie-and-tails concerts at Symphony Hall. Children comprised our most enthusiastic audiences and it was highly enjoyable and normally very satisfying for us to have the opportunity to expose them to the world of classical music. They are usually easily impressed and eager to learn. But such would not be the case today; this was no ordinary school. This performance took place in an institution for developmentally disabled children.
When the musicians were all tuned, in place, and ready to play, the school’s attendants began to usher in our audience one or two children at a time. Most were in wheelchairs restrained to their seats with padded straps. Many also had various limbs tied down and several even had restraints on their heads, all to limit the constant, uncontrollable motion that plagued these unfortunate children. We watched in silent amazement as these kids shook and convulsed, shrieked and babbled, cried and drooled. The scene was deeply disturbing; the noise, deafening.
Once again the questions flooded our minds. "What are we doing here?” “What possible good can come from this performance?” "Why play to an audience that cannot begin to appreciate or understand what we are doing?”
Our conductor stepped to the front and introduced himself and the orchestra. He had to shout in order to be heard above the din of an inattentive audience lost in their own confused world. A smattering of polite applause rose from some exhausted looking, yet loving, adult caregivers. At least there would be a few people who might appreciate our music; that is, if they were able to hear us.
The conductor announced the first piece, turned to face the orchestra, and gave the downbeat. Instantly the room was filled with the sweet sounds of Mozart. Eager to get our minds off these children, we immersed ourselves in the music. So we didn't notice it at first. We were not aware of the wondrous transformation taking place in the audience. Only after playing for a few minutes did we begin to realize what was happening. The shrieking and babbling had quieted. The shaking and convulsions had subsided. Peace reigned in the midst of chaos. The uncontrollable was controlled, not by padded restraints, but by the power of rhythm and melody.
When the first piece was finished, noise and confusion once again ruled the day. But during the performance of each successive number the musical miracle recurred. We had come there to perform before a very unique audience, but God had graciously granted us front-row seating for a performance of His own. It is an indescribable blessing to experience your own talents and abilities being used to bring healing to others.
We returned to this school several more times, but not nearly enough to suit us. And never again did we question our purpose in being there. I suspect most of us would have played to that audience even if there were no paycheck involved. How disturbing and frustrating it is that the effects of our music were only temporary! How tragic it is that these children were so seldom able to enjoy this miraculous cure!
I wonder if that's what we look like to God—lives handicapped by sin, our aimless actions serving no useful purpose, our voices speaking senseless babble, our pitiful souls restrained by worldly desires, troubled and tormented, noisy and confused, unyielding and uncontrollable, spiritually disabled? It would be easy for God to give up on us, to cancel the concert. Why waste time and energy on such useless creatures? Why play to an audience that can't appreciate or understand what you're trying to do? But such thoughts never enter His mind. Even the spiritually disabled, even those caught up in their own diseased world, are precious in His sight.
After we are ushered into His presence by loving caregivers, or simply by His private invitation, He takes His place as the Conductor, turns to the "Musician" (the Holy Spirit), and gives the downbeat. Instantly our hearts are filled with the sweet sounds of His Word and the performance of His love, and a wondrous transformation begins to take place. Aimless actions fall in line with His purpose. Senseless babble becomes a testimony to His truth. Troubles subside, disabilities are healed, conflicts are resolved, trials are forgotten, sins are forgiven. Peace reigns in the midst of chaos and the uncontrollable is controlled, not by our own restraints, but by the power of the Holy Spirit and the rhythm and melody of God's Word in concert with His love.
When we don't hear such "music," noise and confusion rule our lives. How often does the Conductor have to shout above the din in our hectic lives? But when we listen, when we are controlled by the "Musician" and His "music," the amazing miracle recurs.
"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." - Ro. 8:6.
How disturbing and frustrating it is that the effects of this performance are temporary, relying on our continual presence with the “Musician” and our ability to “hear” the music! How tragic it is that we so seldom avail ourselves of this miraculous cure, especially since the "Musician" is always tuned and ready to perform.
He's waiting for us between the pages of God's Word, urging us to read, listen, and allow the "music" to flow into and out of our lives. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16.
He’s waiting for us to open up our ears any time, day or night, and listen to a personal, individual concert He has prepared just for us. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27.
He’s waiting for us in the gatherings of our fellow music lovers, whether in small ensembles or large, where hearts are in tune with the Conductor and His music flows freely. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25.
What an indescribable blessing it is to experience our own talents and abilities being used to bring healing to others! What a thrill it is to hear a concert God has prepared just for us through His Word, through His “still small voice,” or from fellow music lovers! What a joy it is to be granted front-row seating for one of our Conductor’s miraculous performances! How awe-inspiring it is to have our out-of-control lives stilled by His precious music!
"Be still and know that I am God." – Psalm 46:10.
What blessed “musical therapy!”

Bill, a child of God and fellow music lover