April 11, 2016

A Soundtrack for Your Life

A co-worker and I were comparing notes about our husbands' similar, eclectic music tastes when she told me that her son, who is in grade school, enjoys the same music as her husband. As I was imagining Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" streaming through the boy's earbuds, she said, "He was born with a soundtrack for his life."

Music is important for the church, as well. We have been born again with a soundtrack for our lives. God, our Father, has gifted us with music and made it part of our worship. "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God." Psalm 40:3

In my adult life, I have been blessed with musicians in my church. Most of them have been well-trained and very talented. Some of them have been members or regular attendees who sang along with us from the pews. A few were professional church musicians who played instruments or led the choir and orchestra. Some taught children in our music academy and, therefore, enlarged our orchestra. Others visited our church to give concerts of songs they arranged or composed.

Here are a few musicians who have recordings that make up the soundtrack of my life. You will notice that I am partial to traditional hymns played on the piano.

Timothy Shaw, an award-winning composer, was our church's music director for a few years. He is accomplished on the piano. His music career includes professional roles as an educator, music engraver and more. Shaw's website allows you to listen to his recordings, look at music scores and find out how to commission new music. CDBaby.com sells his three albums of hymns in CD or MP3, MP3-320, and FLAC formats.

Another composer, performer and recording artist is James Ward. He visited my church many years ago. He is the man behind the alternate tune for "Rock of Ages" (page 500, Trinity Hymnal). This arrangement is one of the congregation's top 10 favorite hymns. Ward is a full time music director at New City Fellowship (PCA), Chattanooga, Tennessee. His recordings and sheet music are available on his website's Music Shop. See iTunes and Amazon for other formats.

Gail Smith also visited my church. She is a composer/arranger of sacred piano music and a music educator. In addition, Smith was the pianist at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She offers CDs and many books on her website as well as information about concerts, workshops and lectures.

In addition to the artists I mentioned, my husband (the one with the eclectic musical taste) plays other Christian CDs and MP3s by people I have never met. What is on your play list? Please tell us about the music that encourages you to worship God.

10 comments:

  1. A recent favorite is A Mighty Fortress: A Legacy of Hymns, at dhp.org. Classics are the series by Joni, John MacArthur, and the Wolgemuths: What Wondrous Love is This, O Worship the King, and When Morning Gilds the Skies. (There is also a children's version of this series.) When I was single, these were my Sunday CDs, to make Sunday more special. Another instrumental piano CD I like is Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Be Still (available from Revive Our Hearts). We also enjoy Together for the Gospel Live I.

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  2. http://heartpublications.com/music.html

    Our family loves the music from The Pettit Team (an evangelistic team, who no longer travels together because they've moved to other ministries). I think weve collected all their Cds (some vocal and some instrumental). Their music has always blessed me and turned my heart to worship. Their CDs can still be purchased through Heart Publications (link above). There are samples available. I recommend sampling the songs on "Before You Now." They have an Irish sound with mandolin, violin, guitar, and penny whistle. Beautiful words and voices too.

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    1. Joeandkris513, I do like the Celtic sound of the instrumental portion. Thanks for telling us what you like.
      Patsy

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  3. I'm slowly, slowly memorizing the book of James using The Indelible Project's word-for-word version. Even when I'm not playing it on my iPod, it is stuck in my head. Which I guess is exactly what I'm going for! http://www.indelibleproject.com/

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    1. Megan, I wish I had such a memorization aid when I was trying to learn the first chapter of James many years ago. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. I would love recommendations for hymn CDs with vocals so that our family can do a better job of memorizing hymns. I have a few that are too "choral" and difficult for my children to understand the words. Any suggestions?

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    1. Joni Erickson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth have a series of CDs with books called "Hymns for a Kids Heart" that I have used with my own children and also with groups of children at a children's Bible club. The arrangements are clear and simple.

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    2. Thank you Megan! (Sorry for the repeat posts.)

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