Into Freedom

Some songs hurt too much to hear because someone I love has left their earthly body and gone to be with Jesus, and the song was special to them and to me. Memories fill in the spaces between the lyrics and blend with the sounds of the instruments, reaching out with silken tentacled arms that wrap around my throat and squeeze.

“Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison is at the top of the pain list for reasons of indescribable agony. I love it, but it is playing at a café where I am sitting and it is all I can do not to run outside and cry… yet, I am cemented to my chair with every note cutting into my soul.

I wonder if I am the only one so afflicted by songs heavily drenched with the spirit of someone beloved and missed.

This version by the Zac Brown Band especially tears my heart out. But I am going to be brave and listen, and know in the depths of my heart that I will again see my loved ones who died in Christ, better than before, singing, dancing, pain-free, sin-free, joyously free for eternity!

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Sweetest Song I Know

I can’t get enough of Armor Music Ministry’s a capella version of this song. Maybe you will like it, too.

“Sweetest Song I Know”

Verse:
I’ve heard them sing “He Paid The Price” and “Jesus Bore It All”
I’ve heard them sing  “I’m Coming Home” and “Hear The Master’s Call”
I’ve heard them sing the modern songs and songs of long ago
But, “Amazing Grace”, is the sweetest song I know

Chorus:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
No sweeter song could ever be found
And I’ve heard of a fountain filled with blood
But, Amazing Grace, is the sweetest song I know

Verse:
It was the song my mother sang in sweet and humble voice
Like music from the world above, it makes my soul rejoice
Those soothing words and melodies, like rippling waters flow
But, Amazing Grace, is the sweetest song I know

Chorus

Repeat chorus

(I dedicate this song to my friend, GeeDub. May it make him smile and dance.)

Dear Lady

No stairway built by man can assuredly carry us to God.

“Dear Lady can you hear the wind blow
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?”

The music of Led Zeppelin has moved me deeply since my early teens. I have, however, gone through years of trying not to love it, having assumed it to be “wrong” and “unGodly”. But it was what I felt I needed to do at that time.

Knowing that Led Zeppelin’s guitarist, Jimmy Page, bought the former castle of Satanist, Aleister Crowley, gave me an unpleasant self-righteous jolt that I shouldn’t associate myself with such people.

I don’t want to know about what Aleister Crowley believed or what he did. I read a bit about him and it was enough.

But who am I to say that anyone else’s evil is worse than my own? I myself was born as a sinner like the rest of mankind ever since Adam and Eve. I, like anyone else, had the choice to believe what I heard and read about Jesus or to refuse.

Who of us is without sin?  Who of us is without need for reconciliation with God?  Some make that reconciliation – which only happens through Christ. Some haven’t yet.  Many have died without it and that is eternally sad.

I pray that the remaining members who participated in the band called Led Zeppelin accept Christ, if they haven’t already. And who knows, maybe the drummer who already died believed in his heart, maybe even in his final moments like the thief on the cross next to my Lord, that God has raised Jesus from the dead. Maybe John “Bonzo” Bonham is with Him. Maybe he’s playing the drums before Him. Maybe he’s jamming with Him! He who created us and our ability to excel in our skills must surely be the master of all the arts! I believe I will find out someday.

Even the most pious-seeming song-writers may have deep, dark, hidden wickedness in their lives. As Scripture points out, all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Even if we seem to be pure and good and clean, our good works are not what reconcile us with God: it’s Jesus who does that, and all we need do is accept that fact.

Sometimes music is the only thing that comes close to soothing me.  If it takes the recordings of Led Zeppelin to cause even a fleeting smile within me when I’m in the depths of despair and heartache, well, it’s a medicine that at this point I feel safe to take, regardless of what is or isn’t in the lives of the humans who orchestrated it.

I’ll close with some music from someone else’s interpretation of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, which Led Zeppelin covered nicely, too. Here is Glenn Kaiser’s version. I like how he adds this:

“Jesus, He taught me how to walk
If I don’t walk what Jesus taught
Nobody’s fault but mine”

(This post is from a pile of drafts that has accumulated over the years. It was originally started in January of 2013. I have a few other posts to do with Led Zeppelin, which may eventually show up in this blog.)

 

Simplify

It feels good to have everything out of my room,

with brand new carpet in place.

I almost don’t want to put stuff back,

 I’m happy to play in an empty space.

I didn’t mean that to be poetic, but it worked out that way.

On a related note, the song “Simplify” by Wes King comes to mind.

Should have talked it over
Should have thought it through
I think I might have bit off
A little more than I could chew
Well, I have got to get out
From underneath this weight
Or it’s gonna kill me

But the shining of the silver
The glimmer of the gold
Kept giving me a fever
But left me feeling cold
I’m right back in the middle
And if I don’t come out soon
Come in and get me

‘Cause I keep slaying all these dragons
But more keep coming
And I keep praying for this fight to end

Uh, oh, here I go
Wading through a lot of stuff you know
Juggling it all while I’m balancing on a wire
Slow down, I have found
Seems that every time I turn around
Got one foot in the muck
And another foot in the mire
Well, I’m scaling down
Pulling back, got to try
To simplify

I put my golden ring on
Unseen I went down where
War and peace collided
Inside the dragon’s lair
When pleasure is your master
Convenience is your key
Your heart’s divided

Well, I keep weighing
All these options
More keep a coming
And I keep straying
From the way I’m told

Uh, oh, here I go
Wading through a lot of stuff you know
Juggling it all while I’m balancing on a wire
Slow down, I have found
Seems that every time I turn around
Got one foot in the muck
And another foot in the mire
Well, I’m scaling down
Pulling back, got to try
To simplify

Removed by Music

Do you ever imagine, while driving, that you might die suddenly in a motor vehicle accident, and the loud music to which you were listening is still blaring from the speakers when too-late rescuers find you? Then they look at your phone and review recent track history to see what song was playing when you crashed. That song gets played at your memorial and your loved ones cry.

I envision it occasionally. I did today while driving from my house to the store.

Here I sit in my car, finishing the coffee I brought from home, letting my phone charge a bit before dashing in for groceries, and writing a blog entry.

“More Than A Feeling” by Boston plays on my car’s stereo. I dug that one out to download recently as my teenaged son is learning to play guitar and I thought he might like its intro. He’s always throwing songs my way that move him, and they re-move me as they are mostly songs that originally moved me, too, at his age, and continue in their movement now.

But back to the thought of being removed from this body while music plays. If it had happened on my drive to town today, it would have occurred during one of these tunes:

1. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty

2. Put Another Log On The Fire by Tompall Glaser

3. Call Me The Breeze by Lynyrd Skynyrd

4. Travelin’ Shoes by Ruthie Foster

Then I parked and Starman by David Bowie came on. I could have been accidentally or purposely shot during that and have died as happily as during any of the previous songs.

Lady Gaga and some guy just sang “The Shallows” together, and now John Mayer is singing about how someone’s Body’s A Wonderland while his hands do the great things they do to a guitar.

Off I go to brave the grocery store. If I don’t make it out, pick some fine music to play in memory of me and enjoy the rest of your day.

Misophonia and fun sounds

Seeing how nobody is likely to read this, I feel free to say that I really enjoy listening to the likes of Sh*ttyflute and Rec0rder Mast3r from Youtube. I find those sounds to be fun and even hilarious. It is not uncommon for me to listen to them in my car when I’m driving alone, but it’s more fun with family members. Some of my kids join me in finding them funny. Some find them annoying and do all they can to make me stop.

I’m talking about covers of known songs that are done so crappily on recorders or “flutes”, they’re GOOD. At least, to my ears.

Yet I can’t handle the sounds of certain computer fans, the Nintendo Wii when it gets left on, the BluRay DVD player being left on, the high pitch of an old TV even after it’s shut off (I have had to unplug them to make the noise stop), and various other noises.

It’s called misophonia and I don’t know what to do about it.

I hear everything that I don’t want to hear. One way to block it out is with loud music, and that’s not always practical. Earplugs help, but then I can’t hear the things I need to hear. Walking alone in a forest is a great escape, but I can’t do that all day.

As I type this blog entry, a couple of my kids are in the living room with some “crappy flute” songs coming out of the TV. It is actually relaxing to me. Why is that? I don’t know.

Here’s a very short favorite: just the startup sound of Windows XP. What a random thing to cover. That cracks me up!


At Calvary

As I carried a cup of tea from the kitchen to my digital piano, gentle rays of sunset landed on my hymnal, beckoning me to take this photo. It seems to me that such moments are a fleeting taste of heaven, where the undying light of our Lord Jesus will illuminate all as we sing His praises so lovingly.

I began to play “At Calvary”, a hymn I have always rendered in a slow, gentle manner, but which until tonight had not worked through my fingertips in years. As I read the words I’d sung so many times, really read them, by the second verse I stopped playing, overcome by emotion. I took a sip of tea and read on, but couldn’t swallow for tears.

“It’s about me,” I thought. “Oh, how this song is about me. How did I not see this before?”

I thought about the hour I first believed, back in 1987, reliving my conversion from doomed sinner to saved saint. I finally swallowed my tea and thanked the Lord out loud. 

1. Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Refrain:

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

2. By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Refrain

3. Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Refrain

4. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

Refrain

An Obscure But Poignant Hymn

I saw these words on the facebook wall of a friend.  The words are meaningful to me.  I post them for quick reference and to share in case they bless others:

A mind at perfect peace with God!
Oh what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood
This, this indeed is peace!

By nature and by practice far
How very far from God!
Yet now by grace brought near to Him
Through faith in Jesus blood!

So near, so very near to God,
I cannot nearer be!
For in the person of His Son
I am as near as He!

So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be!
The love wherewith He loves the Son
Such is His love to me!

Why should I ever careful be,
Since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me might and day
And tells me Mine is thine!

 

God Of Wonders

Video

The first time I heard this song was on a warm summer’s evening here in our little cowboy town in BC, in a huge tent, played on acoustic guitar by a guy named Cam who was visiting from another city.  Others too, cracked out their guitars and jammed.  Anyone who knew the words sang along beautifully and with heart.

That was the church fellowship that I used to feel was like family.

Most of those people eventually turned their backs on me when I left the abusive ex, because of their misconceptions and misguided ideas, but God never will.  He knows the whole story.

Mummer’s Dance – by Loreena McKennitt

Video

(This post was originally written in my secret blog on January 1, 2013, but I wasn’t ready to share it at the time).

I heard this for the first time just now, in the background of a video called “The Wounded Healer”, about which I read in this thread on a fb group called Highly Sensitive Souls:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitives/permalink/10151224146327153/?comment_id=10151224151837153&notif_t=like

It is the first song to which I have been able to listen without feeling agony, in the past week or two… I don’t know how long. I’ve lost track of days. I am enveloped in darkness.

I do not feel happy. The whole tone of this song somehow fits as background music for the way I feel inside. Not the lyrics – just the sound.

I assume the lyrics to be something pagan, but I am putting my own meaning to them as MY Lord is THE Lord, and HE is the creator of all the things about which the song sings. I do not partake of pagan things, but rather I appreciate that which God has created.

Music and Lyrics by Loreena McKennitt

When in the Springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year

The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

“A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of Our Lord’s hand”

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again