|See? I still have it!|
I am a recovering gold star junkie.
All through elementary school, I just had to have them.
And I had to be the one that got the gold star FIRST.
And I had to meet the requirements for maximum amount of gold stars... FIRST.
I memorized the Lord's Prayer in a week, so I could get all of the gold stars possible the first time instead of doing it verse by verse. Took everyone else four weeks.
I didn't eat any desserts for a month so that I could win the Healthy Heart challenge at school. Each time we turned in our points and they were below a number then we got a gold star. I won it.
I earned a hymn book with my name on it before anyone else by memorizing two or three hymns a week, singing them for our choir director, and relating all of the pertinent copyright information.
The Lord's prayer has come in handy a few times when everyone feels the need to say it together, or whenever someone brings up "how to pray" in church. I think that the dessert-less month might have scared me more than helped because I have spent the last year trying to "detox" myself from sugar.
But the hymns. Well, that's a different story.
The hymns are with me... all the time.
Mainly when I unload the dishwasher. Probably because that is when I remember my mom singing them. And when I say hymns, yes, I also mean songs by Jesus Culture or Chris Tomlin or Michael W. Smith. After all, the definition of a hymn is a song of praise or thanksgiving to God, and I'm purty sure that those songs qualify. Ha!
But, I'm specifically talking about the old school stuff...
Jesus Paid It All.Written on my heart as a child, those hymns ministered to me. Sure, gold stars might have motivated it. That, and my constant desire to want to make Mrs. Ware smile- our childhood children's choir leader... I can still picture her brilliant smile.
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
It Is Well.
There Is Power In The Blood.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.
When I Survey The Wonderous Cross.
As I learned more hymns as a kid, the more I wanted to learn. And the more my mind would revert to those scripturally-based hymns, the more I realized that I needed to learn more. Because I could remember them and their truth when no scripture would come to mind.
Even this past week as I attempted to fight off the cake balls that I made for my husband's birthday, I said "Oh God, I need your power right now" and what popped into my mind instantly, "There is power, power, wonder working power... in the blood... of the lamb. There is power, power, wonder working power, in the precious blood of the lamb!"
And as long as I was singing that song, I was able to resist those cake balls.
Music I learned as a child... purposefully taught to me by adults that knew the benefit... still ministers to me as an adult. Cause, sometimes music ministers when sometimes something else can't. I went to this Fusion thing at our church sometime last year and an executive for PraiseCharts named Debby Berry spoke (side note: she was uh.maz.ing. if you ever get a chance to hear her speak). And one of the things she said just stuck with me (and I can't find my notes so I might be a smidge off of exactly how she said it):
"Music transcends the mind and goes straight to the soul."And when I think back on the "soundtrack of my life", sure there are plenty of songs by people and bands like Lionel Richie, Whitney Houston, The New Kids On The Block, Michael Jackson, The Black Eye Peas, Beyonce, etc. But the songs that have played through my mind during those times of trial and success have been the hymns... the "God songs"... taught to me as a child.
Learn a hymn.
Teach a hymn.
Write a hymn.
Listen to a hymn.
Internalize a hymn.
BE a hymn... a song of praise or thanksgiving to God.
Rise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts. Psalms 21:13
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; celebrate his lovely name with music. Psalms 135:3
Be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. Ephesians 5:18-19
I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. Psalm 71:22-23