Aloha Friday Message – September 10, 2010 – SING!!

Psalm 8
NAB: 1 For the leader; “upon the gittith.” A psalm of David. 2 O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! You have set your majesty above the heavens! 3 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have drawn a defense against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger. 4 When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place– 5 What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? 6 Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor. 7 You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet: 8 All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field, 9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. 10 O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!

KJV: 1. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

This is another of those Psalms which we hear often, and many of us have memorized parts of it or even all of it. It’s a wonderful song. I don’t know with absolute certainty what a “gittith” is, but, based on several studies and commentaries I’ve come across, it’s kind of like a zither. “What’s a zither?” It’s like a small boxed harp with multiple strings that can be plucked or strummed. Zithers are ancient instruments, probably among the first multiple pitch instruments – an expansion of instruments with very few strings (1-6 perhaps) where the pitch was changed by pressing the string against part of the instrument. I can only imagine how beautiful these words must have sounded against such a delightful instrument – a gittith. It would be a joy to sing and play this – if only we knew the tune!

This Psalm was on the list for this week’s scripture. I didn’t know that until this morning when I consulted the list and saw it there. I mention that because for several days I have been thinking about the importance of scripture and music in my life, especially scriptural music – or musical scripture. Both make sense to me.

Since even before I could read, music and the Bible have been central, even dominant, influences in my life. My first experience in “public speaking” came at church when I was about 5 or 6. I was attending Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS), and one of the stories we heard was the story of Jonah. I already knew that story pretty well because my mom and dad read it to me many times. I told the story to my Bible School teacher and classmates, and somehow that led to the “opportunity” to retell it to a gazillion people at the end-of-DVBS program. I think my voice probably traveled no farther that the tips of my shoes that evening. I was terrified, and got my first lesson in being an introvert called upon to behave like an extrovert. But, I never stopped being a “Bible Student.”

During the same program we got to sing some of the songs we had learned in DVBS. Singing in a group was OK, because I could be semi-anonymous. I loved to sing – still do, in fact – and we even had some songs that had motions attached to the lyrics. One of those was “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.” I’m trying to teach that song to our Godchildren, Lily and Ryder. It goes like this (minus the melody and the motions).

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam to shine for him each day,
In every way try to please him at home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam! A sunbeam! Jesus wants me for a sunbeam!
A sunbeam! A sunbeam! I’ll be a sunbeam for him.

And to go along with the story of Jonah, there was this motion-fortified song:
Wide, wide as the ocean
High as the heavens above
Deep, deep as the deepest sea
Is my Savior’s Love.
I know I’m unworthy
Still I’m a child of his care;
For his word teaches me
And his love reaches me

Many of us also learned the song “Jesus Loves Me.”
Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

There are literally hundreds of additional verses contributed by many, many people over the years. I mentioned some of them in the AFC for February 1, 2008. You can find those and many, many more here: Jesus Loves Me

One Gospel Chorus I still sing is
The B-I-B-L-E.
Yes, that’s the book for me!
I love to read from the word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E!
(remember B.I.B.L.E. = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)

Another favorite was “Only To Be What He Wants Me To Be:”
Only to be what He wants me to be, every moment of every day;
yielded completely to Jesus alone, every step of this pilgrim way:
Just to be clay in the Potter’s hands,
ready to do what His Word commands;
only to be what He wants me to be, every moment of every day
(Norman J. Clayton).

In later years, there have been dozens and dozens of songs that have moved my spirit, lightened my heart, and fortified my faith. A recent example is “Abba, Father” by Carey Landry:
Abba O Abba Father
You are the potter
And we are the clay,
The work of your hands
Mould us mould us and
Fashion us,
Into the image,
Of Jesus your Son
Of Jesus your Son.
Father, may we be one in you,
May we be one in you,
As he is in you,
And you are in him
Glory, glory and praise to thee
Glory and praise to thee
Forever amen….
Forever amen….
Forever amen….

My love for Jesus is deeply rooted in my love for music and Bible study. Not surprisingly, my love for music and Bible study is deeply rooted in Jesus! These two enduring and foundational aspects of my life have influenced virtually everything I have ever done, and will continue to until the day I die. I hope when that day comes, anyone and everyone who remembers I was even here will sing their favorite hymn or gospel chorus at the top of their lungs with the entirety of the voice God gave them. I hope also that today each of you will “sing a song to last the whole day long. Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else but you. Just sing. Sing a song!”

Words and Music by Joe Raposo; performed by the Carpenters
Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things, not bad
Sing of happy, not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple
To last your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not good enough
for anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple
To last your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not good enough
for anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

If you know this one, sing it LOUD!!

Happy am I!
Jesus loves me!
He took my sins and he made me free
Now I’m singing
All sweet songs.
Hap-py am I!!

And also:

Why do I sing about Jesus?
Why is he precious to me?
He is my Lord and my Savior.
Dying, he set me free.

Remember, he who sings once prays twice!

Speaking of praying:
• For BW: Dealing with a very serious bone infection in hip and experiencing many delays in treatment. Pray for a swift resolution to this illness.
• For BA: Terminally ill and face-to-face with eternity. Pray for strength for him and for his family as they prepare for the inevitable. Ask that, together, they all come to peace with every aspect of his life and death.
• Pray for all the victims of debilitating diseases, and pray for their family, friends, and caregivers (including the healthcare workers).
• Please continue your prayerful support for PF as she works her way back to health.
• Remember the persons who are threatened by the huge fire near Boulder, Colorado. Pray also for the brave men and women who are fighting that fire that they may be safe; pray for the protection of the lives and property of the residents of that area.
• Pray for Pastor Terry Jones. Ask God to show him Luke 6:27-38. Ask Jesus to make Peace prevail regardless of what this man does or says tomorrow, September 11. (Please look up that passage and “beam it” to him as best you can.)
• We have been praying for a woman who came as a visitor to Kaua‘i and totally disappeared. Nola Rebecca “Becky” Thompson from Rancho San Margarita, California disappeared on or about August 28th. We are praying that she is able to return to us safe and unharmed.
• Thanks and praise to God for
o MG, still making a wonderful recovery after her chemo ended
o G&C, also in remission
o The heroic actions of our law-enforcement, fire-protection, emergency-medical, and armed-forces personnel who put their lives on the line 24/7 to protect, defend, rescue, and serve all of us. Remember to pray for them often.
• Beloved, please pray for Peace, and pray with great faith and fervor. Today, please sing to someone, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” In fact, find someone who can sing it with you as you as you sing it to God.

Finally, Beloved, I want you to know that you put a song in my heart! Will you sing along with me the song written by Henry Mancini and make popular by Perry Como? Check it out here I Love You (And Don’t You Forget It):

Yep. I love you, and don’t you forget it, but He loves you infinitely more, and that should be easy to remember. It is the melody of eternity sung by the celestial choir.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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