Written By Larry Shaw
“Finally, fellow Christ followers, what so ever things are true, what so ever things are honest, what so ever things are just, what so ever things are pure, what so ever things are lovely, what so ever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”
I was so blessed by Ryan’s first blog because music has always played a huge role in my life. Each of us is on a unique journey in Christ. And God shows different things to us at different times, & in unique ways. The important thing is to be “listening” when He does speak. Here is the story of how I “heard“ from God on the subject of music.
Before I was brought into a relationship with Jesus, I had led a fairly sheltered life. Though all I “heard” at the time were secular lyrics, most of it was tame even for those days. One example that comes to mind is “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago. I didn’t even listen to the edgier artists of my day.
I knew I needed Jesus desperately, when He entered into my life when I was 19. I could sense that God wanted to build me up in my faith in as many ways as possible. He had shown me the power of the written word in combination with music; a power that could either build me up or tear me down- or perhaps there were neutral words that would be ok? But God wanted what was best for my growth, so He began showing me Christian artists that sang about our lives in Christ. He also showed me that there were plenty of Christian artists that I could enjoy from a musical standpoint as well.
Two of these groups were “Truth” which was a 15 to 20 piece band including approximately 8 singers. Truth combined new tunes with vocal harmonies & lots of extras like a great brass section & a “hot” rhythm section. The other group I loved was called “Regeneration”, which was an a capella group with a dozen or so members that sang sophisticated harmonies with jazz, blues, & Southern Gospel influences.
There were other groups as well, but my point is that I had no trouble finding Christian artists that I thought were good musically, that had distinctly Christian lyrics. As a side note, I did graduate from Liberty University with a degree in Music Education, so while I am in no way an expert in music, I may have some concept of the difference between good music, & well, not so good music.
While music itself could make a good blog subject, the lyrics of music is where I’m trying to focus for this blog, and I think, for my next blog, since this one has really only given you a picture of my journey & I haven’t really been able to get into the context of my main verse which has really helped me keep what I hope is a godly perspective on this subject.
Perhaps we can ponder that verse this time and in the days ahead, look into how we can apply it in our music choices.
Larry Shaw. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Blogger