Music Freak, Jesus Freak, Eclectic at Best

Monday, January 7, 2013
What is your favorite song that gives you energy?

Music is a HUGE motivator and inspiration to me. Melodies, harmonies, and lyrics speak to me on a level that little else does.

I have music to clean to (not that I listen to it often enough), music to exercise to, music to walk to, music to run to, music to lift me up when I’m feeling down, music that I listen to when I’m down and feel like wallowing in it, music I listen to when my relationship with Christ is in tune and clearly focused, and music I listen to when our relationship is off-key and unfocused.

Yep. You could say my life is like a giant play list.

I’ve often said a person could quickly state things about me based on the people I follow on Twitter. There are a few very distinct groups of people: Christian people (blatantly, sold out Christian people), authors, and educators.

Yes, those three groups sum up my Twitter feed. You might see that and think, BORING! And, you might be right, but I don’t think you are!

On the other hand, I’ve often been concerned that someone might get a hold of my play lists. I’m afraid they wouldn’t be able to put in any neat little categories…no organized boxes with labels…it’s absolute chaos!

I listen to pretty much every genre of music that exists. I don’t love them all, but there’s pretty much a song or two that I love in each of them!

Being a Christian, I don’t always appreciate the topics, tones, or themes tossed around, but I do often find myself connecting with many musical things outside the boundaries of my faith. I try to be very selective in front of others, especially my own kids. As a family, we primarily only listen to Contemporary Christian, but occasionally we listen to secular mainstream.

Sometimes I make a mistake in my choice of secular mainstream and sometimes my kids make a mistake in their choice.

For example, a few years ago I had no idea what my students were talking about when it came to lyrics in our figurative language unit. So I decided I needed to make it a point to get up-to-date on current mainstream music. I logged on to a website that played top hits for free and hit play.

I had to leave to go pick up my youngest child a few songs in, but I just left it playing and hustled out the door. When I came in a few minutes later my eldest met me at the door.

“You just got me in trouble and you need to tell dad that was YOUR music with all the ‘f’ words!”

“What? I wasn’t listening to music with bad words!”

“Yes! When you left (insert title I’ve forgotten) came on. Just as it got to the chorus dad came in from work. He refuses to believe that you were listening to music like that, and I’m in trouble for listening to unapproved music while no one was home.”

Um, oops!

My husband told me that song was terrible. Unbelievably terrible. He works in an environment of working men…if he says it’s bad…it’s bad.

It took some talking to actually convince him it was me listening to music like that.

Fast forward to a just few weeks ago. We were in the car headed to church and my kids start singing and whistling. It takes me a minute to catch what they’re singing, but when I do I almost come unglued.

“You absolutely may NOT sing, or whistle, that song! It’s totally inappropriate! Especially for on our way to church!”

My oldest, a freshman, “Mom, it has one cuss word if any in it. It’s a pretty clean song.”

My youngest, an eighth grader, whistling along, “And it’s very catchy!!! What’s so bad about it?”

I turn and look at them. “I don’t care if it has cuss words in it or not! You’ve both been studying figurative language in lyrics. That song’s a metaphor. A very inappropriate metaphor for you to be singing about! I don’t want to hear it anymore!”

I look at my husband. “That song’s about what I think it’s about, isn’t it?”

Turns out he’s never heard the “whistle” song, so he didn’t know. I’m right, though. I thought the song was catchy the first time I heard it too, until I realized what it was about!

My play lists are as eclectic as this post. I have hymns, Southern gospel, Contemporary Christian, Negro Spirituals, Rap, 80’s Rock, Pop, Country, Classical, and a sprinkling of just about anything else out there at my finger tips. Depending on the mood and situation, well, it all gives me energy, or at least feeds my energy.

While this hasn’t been an overly “religious” post, I don’t believe I have reason to ever get in a music rut. Why?

Scripture actually says I shouldn’t. Well, at least that’s the way I interpret it.

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Psalm 96:1

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him victory. Psalm 98:1

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. Psalm 149:1

Music, especially praises to God, should never grow stagnant! They should always be fresh and new. Just as His mercies are new every morning, so also should be my song!

Enjoy a little crazy Jesus music courtesy of the Newsboys. This song, done by DC Talk, was one of two songs used to introduce me to Contemporary Christian music by some college-aged Christians who weren’t raised in the same denomination as myself. I was incredibly uncomfortable, embarrassed, and little afraid that they might not really be Christians. Turns out I was the one wrong. Crank it up, friends!


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