Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Sing!

I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (Psalm 104:33)

I read the preceeding passage today during my quiet time and was reminded of how far I've come. At this point in my life there is not much I would rather do then worship God through song. I love it!

But as I read that passage and resonated with the words I was reminded of a time in my youth that this was not the case. I remember exactly where I was sitting in the church service when it happened. My friend JJ was sitting in front of me and noticed that I was not singing. Assuming that I was not singing because I didn't have a hymnal, she gave me hers. Here was my brillant comment: "Oh, no thanks. I don't sing."

What?!

God forgive me for ever being at a place in my life that I didn't feel compelled to sing of your greatness. I promise to make up for lost time. I will sing praise to my God as long as I live!

15 comments:

Jen said...

If we still used hymnals, I'd try that quote on a few of our own!
What do we say to those who don't sing when we use a screen? Do we ask them "would you like to borrow my reading glasses?"
I too have gone through the growing phase, but it saddens me to see people who have been "Christians" all their lives and still don't sing praises to our Lord!

Sandi said...

Oh my, can you remember why you didn't want to sing/ and how old you were?

Mike said...

some people are not vocal in their praise of God, does that mean that they are not worshiping him? i don't believe that praising God has to be a vocal act. It is easy for some to praise with singing.

Lonnie said...

Kevin said I can sing “Felize Navaidad” during or Christmas Eve service

Chad Doerr said...

I'm not sure how I feel about that Mike. I guess I can only speak from personal experience. I have to sing and I guess it's hard for me to understand why some people don't. For me, when I was younger and didn't sing, it wasn't because I was worshiping God and just couldn't get it out. I now realize that I wasn't worshiping.

I realize that worship is not limited to singing. That's a big mistake. But to think that one can be passionate about Jesus and not burst out in song every once in a while seems a bit odd to me.

Evan said...

I'm not much of a singer. It's not that I don't enjoy music, but I'm just not into singing all that much. I enjoy hearing good singers, and I do participate in singing myself, but it's not something I get thrilled about doing.

However, I still do it, because it almost always gives me a deeper appreciation for God. So yes, music is a wonderful avenue by which we give praise and worship to God.

That said, I don't think it's accurate to paint a non-singer as a non-worshiper or as being non-genuine (not saying you did this, Chad). Read in-depth the New Testament's 27 books, and you see that the early church paid FAR LESS attention to music than does the 21st century church.

I hope people do sing to God. It is a genuine outlet of praise and worship! After all, music is the "universal language."

However, I believe there are FAR BETTER expressions of worship--ones that require FAR MORE than just one's voice, and ones that provide a more accurate reading of a person's heart:

* Giving God at least 10% of your income. Sing to and about God all you want, but let's see what you're giving to Him ("in keeping with your income")--then we'll know what He really means to you (where your treasure is, there is your HEART also).

* Regular prayer. I've heard it said, "If the 21st century church would put as much emphasis on prayer as we do music, the gates of Hell really wouldn't prevail against us."

* Fasting. Again, much more said about fasting in the New Testament than there is music. Any time something critical was going on, the early Christians fasted (and prayed along with that).

Again, if a person enjoys singing, that's great! I think it's something all Christians need to do with some sense of regularity. Without question, it can move us closer to God in tremendous ways.

But singing takes a MAJOR BACK SEAT to some other forms of worship (teaching & preaching, study of God's word, giving, Lord's Supper, prayer, fasting).

Mike said...

I do see where you are coming from Chad. I love to sing to God. But I do know some people who praise God through listening to the music and others singing. I am just cautious to say that we must sing to praise God. If that is the case then hearing/speaking impaired people would not be able to praise God. I am convinced that many of our churches have done a disservice to the idea of Christian worship by over-emphasizing singing and under-emphasizing other forms of worship: dance, art, meditation, prayer, to name a few.

Anonymous said...

Chad,
I stumbled accross your myspace account while randomly checking out different people from Loveland.
Your blog is very well written and deeply personal. I respect the fact that you are so open about your life and thoughts.
My brother in law died in a motorcycle accident in 2000 and I imediately moved in with my sister to help her out. I remember that year well as the series of first holidays came around without my brother in law. It was extremely tough on her, but I did notice she got better and stronger with each day/holiday. It can be a long road at times but it is a road that you will someday be able to walk away from, and start down a new path. I wish you well.
Kurt Davis

Sandi said...

I'm with you Chad, singing WORSHIP and PRAISE to the Lord is something I do while doing other chores, and is HOW THE LORD MADE "ME" It's in your genes.

We are all unique individual fruits of the vine, & OK.

If anyone has ever attended one of your wonderful services, he will be fortunate to see the praise, worship, prayer.

I challenge Evan to read in depth and count the numbers of times in all of the bible singing praises to our Lord!!

Anonymous said...

Chris Jones says:

I agree with everyone, and I disagree with everyone! I agree with Evan that worship is SO much more than words and that tithing, and other acts of sacrifice mean much more to God than empty words. But I also see a ton of stuff about music in the OT. I see David, who had a heart like God's own heart, singing and dancing. I know that there are people who sing without giving their heart. There are also people who give for status. People who serve for recognition. People who fast to be seen as holy.

The bottom line in my mind is this: If you love God, you will be lead to tithe when you are taught, you will be lead to fast, to serve, and to sing. I am as unmusical a person as there is. You could put me in the same class as the speech impaired when it comes to singing. But there are times when I can't NOT SING. I have to. There are also times that I have to give financially because I am moved to do so, there are times I fast and serve all out of worship. I think it is a mistake to lessen the act of singing below other acts of worship. God said in the Psalms: Sing to me a new song.

Songs are important to God, just like every other form of worship.

Lonnie said...

Those are some really good thoughts and insights to some deep questions. But I belive that the chicken did come before the egg.

Sandi said...

That was awesome Chris!

Chad you are such a passionate man, and can only DO WHAT YOU KNOW/FEEL.

I believe that when you were young and going to church you were going through the motions, but didn't KNOW the LORD, JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR, as you know HIM now. (so therefore, how could you sing to someone you didn't really know, and that is what you were apologizing for, "you were not singing praises of his greatness back then" How many of us have humbled ourselves to ask for forgiveness for actions of our young childhood. Thanks for the reminder!!

Great topic. Isn't it amazing how so many different opinions are teaching us to LIVE, LOVE FOR THE LORD!

I constantly sing 'HOW GREAT THOW ART"!

Evan said...

Chris, you need to run for political office :). Just kidding. I appreciate your insight and heart for God.

To clarify my position, again, I wholeheartedly believe in the power of song. And I wholeheartedly believe music and praise are avenues by which we worship and give glory to God. One cannot read the Bible's longest book (Psalms) without recognizing this. Chris hit it on the head when he quoted, "Sing to the Lord a new song." Singing is something all Christians need to be doing, regardless of life's circumstances. Again, a glance at David's beautiful arrangements in Psalms indicates just that.

However, I believe, as Mike has said, that the church has placed too high an emphasis on singing, while neglecting other forms of worship--the kind that I believe give far greater an indication of an individual's heart.

If a person has truly given their heart to God, that will surely come out in their singing. But it should also be evident by what they give, by how much time is spent w/ God in prayer, by how much a person studies God's word, etc.

If we are modeling the modern church after the 1st century church, then we should be emphasizing what the 1st century church emphasized. And as I read the historical account of the first church (particularly Acts), I see more emphasis placed on giving, preaching & teaching, fasting, & fellowship.

That's not to say they didn't sing--they surely did. I would be ignorant to claim otherwise. It's just that singing did not receive the emphasis as those other areas.

I guess my conclusion would be best put this way. For the 1st century Christians, their hearts were full of Christ. And that was evidenced by their generosity, their prayer lives, their commitment to the teaching & study of God's word, and the often-ignored discipline of fasting.

Likewise, when our hearts are full of Christ, it will be evidenced in EVERY FACET of life--not just singing. A person can sing their heart out to God, but if such a person is giving less to Him in other areas (giving, prayer, study, fasting), then I think it's fair to question the condition of their heart.

Sandi said...

AS THE SONG SAYS "EPHESIANS 6:18 SAYS, KEEP ON PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT"
\
"I" BELIEVE THE 4TH CHAPTER OF EPHESIANS SAYS IT ALL!

WHEN I WAS A "NEWBORN CHRISTIAN" THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST BOOKS THAT MADE ME "FEEL" THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING BORN!!!! SO, THE WHOLE BOOK OF EPHESIANS IS VERY SPECIAL TO "ME"

keith said...

I LOVE to sing and loudly when I worship.

So when you come into Antioch's first service, you will see me probably on the left hand side, 3rd or 4th row, singing loudly.

Don't sit in front of me because I cannot sing a lick. I sing so bad that the dogs won't even howl.

But I love to do it and pray that God is listening with a different set of ears than what we are given.