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God Songs

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Thursday, 21 July 2005

Tonight at 10:30 Alex reminded me (why is he still awake, anyway?) that I need to return the movies/game that we rented which were due back before midnight tonight.

Thanks Alex!

I'm a world class procrastinator and don't ask me why I seem to be able to accomplish my whole to-do list in one day...the day AFTER the deadline.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for late fees?  Maybe I just like a good adrenaline rush and Chuck will not let me sky-dive anymore.  Besides, darn it, I perform better when I'm pushed to the wall!  So I do mean it when I say "Thanks, Alex;" you saved us the late fees tonight.

I got the videos returned and actually relished the 20 minutes of peace that I had in the van to listen, without interruption, to my music.

In the van CD changer are 6 selections:  2 Worship CDs and 1 Natalie Merchant (Ophelia) and 3 count 'em 3 Carly Simon CDs.  I absolutely LOVE Carly Simon.

The Worship Together CDs are a set that we ordered off the TV because Alex wanted them.  I don't think they're entirely bad, but I really find it hard to appreciate much of the music labeled "Contemporary Christian."  In my opinion, the lyrics are trite and sophomoric and the performance often calls more attention to the artist than to God.  Don't get me wrong, I love worship music that exudes the emotion that inspired the song.  Take, for instance, Horatio Spafford's "It is Well With My Soul;" he wrote the words to this song after hearing that his 4 daughters had been lost in a ship-wreck.  He had just lost his only son the year before:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrow like sea-billows roll
Whatever the lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul!


The boys call them "God Songs" and although I praise God for their sincere hearts, when they ask me "Mommy, is that a God Song," and it actually happens to be Carly's "Our Affair" or "Big Dumb Guy" I obediently press "1" on the control panel and change to Worship CD #1. 

Sometimes, though, I'll tell the boys "Yes, it is a God Song," even though it isn't a "worship" CD.  There are so many secular lyrics that are full of more heart-renting, soul-searching, gut-wrenching, crying-out-to-God than most labeled "Worship" or "Praise." 

Following are just 2 of the many, many songs that, to me, capture the passion of true worship:

One of my all-time-favorite songs is Carly Simon's "Touched By The Sun," from the 1994 recording "Letters Never Sent" (Arista).  It may not be what Carly intended, but when I sing this song, I sing "sun" as "Son."

If you want to be brave
And reach for the top of the sky
And the farthest point on the horizon
Do you know who you'll meet there
Great soldiers and seafarers, artists and dreamers
Who need to be close, close to the light
They need to be in danger of burning by fire
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun.

Often I want to walk
The safe side of the street
And lull myself to sleep
And dull my pain
But deep down inside I know
I've got to learn from the greats,
Earn my right to be living
Let my wings of desire
Soar over the night
I need to let them say
"she must have been mad"
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun


I also love the Indigo Girls’ music.  One of my favorite songs is “The Wood Song” from their CD "Swamp Ophelia," 1994.  Yes!  Indigo Girls!  If you’re cringing in your self-righteous boots, here’s breaking news:  God loves gay people, too.

This is just an excerpt from the song:

No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all out understanding
Watching closely over the journey
Yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
Although we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride
But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far
But the question drowns in its futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride

I believe James 1:17, that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from God.  These artists have good gifts.  I see God in their songs.

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