There are no bells and whistles on this site yet - maybe someone will help me with that one of these days. But I wanted to get some thoughts down before I head for bed, because I know if I don't, I'll have to get up and do it later.
We just returned from a glorious evening in the foothills of the Rockies as 800 or so people who love the Lord gathered to sing hymns for approximately two hours. This is the third annual such gathering. It was begun by the choir director at our church, who also happens to be the president of a small family-owned company which makes lawn mowers. He loves the hymns of the church and had a dream of gathering others who do the same to just spend an evening glorifying God in this old-fashioned way. The company has a beautiful lawn (as it should since they make lawn mowers!), so we have met there for the last 3 years.
As I sat there singing these songs tonight, I realized that I know the words to almost every verse of every one - and we sang 24 songs, I believe. My thoughts went back to why music is so important in my life. I went back to when I was 5 years old and we lived in a little town in Arkansas. My brother, sister, and I would go into the hills to little country schools of very poor children with my folks, who were involved in Child Evangelism at the time. My siblings and I were 3, 4, and 5, and we would sing for them. When I was 7, I began piano lessons because our church was so small we didn't have a pianist. At age 8, I was playing for church, my little legs unable to reach the pedals - which was fine, since I didn't know how to use them anyway! Dad would pick out the songs and they would be part of my piano lesson each week.
As teens, my brother led a youth choir in our church and we would go out into small churches in Nebraska and sing - we weren't professional, but we sure had fun! I started playing the organ for church when I was 15 and have not been off of that bench since. When my kids were young, they didn't have anyone doing children's musicals, so I decided maybe I could do that for a couple of years, which turned into 5-6. What a lot of work and what a reward when it went well!
We still have a choir at our church, which my husband (who I will call DC henceforth) and I sing in and enjoy very much. Tomorrow my dad and I will sing a duet - he's 80. It's cool that it's Father's Day.
So tonight, all of that was going through my mind as I was praising God with my alto voice and thrilling to the words of those great hymns of the faith. So many of them have ministered to me as we have gone through the trials of our lives. Thank God for music!