Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Feel Gratitude This #Easter Through Music #PrinceOfPeace

Music has always held a special place for me. That is why at various times I have become very determined to practice dance, violin, or piano. Never at the same time and never for long periods of time. I don't enjoy playing in public, but will if the need is desperate! I don't get paid for it, but the satisfaction is priceless when you are able to practice and perform something to the best of your ability! Last week I, along with my talented cellist and pianist friends, recorded a rendition of "The Lord Is My Shepherd", a free arrangement by Jenny Garlock.

I love this beautiful old hymn, words written around 1821 by James Montgomery, based on Psalm 23, and the music written around 1895 by Thomas Koschat. This unlikely collaboration made the song available to the public at around the turn of the 20th century. So when the opportunity to play the song with these awesome ladies came up, I took a fresh look at the song. Here are some of my favorite phrases within the song and what I got from them.
Image - Brent Borup, Artist
"Restores Me When Wandering" - We, like sheep, tend to wander if not led by our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, the Prince Of Peace. But He will always find us if we want Him to be our shepherd and try to find Him as well. We may be temporarily out of sight from Him, but if we cry to Him, He will hear our cries. He is the Good Shepherd!

"Redeems When Oppressed" - There are so many people who are going through horrible things. No one is exempt. But ultimately, the Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will redeem those who love Him and who will stand up and be counted. This life is so short--we are young one day and elderly the next. However, this life is not our only existence. Using our earthly collateral to make temporal gains is a risky business. We could be investing in heavenly stock, the one sure investment!

"Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear" - Why should I fear the designs of evil, when I have the ultimate guardian to help me? I need only to trust in Him and show my love for Him by keeping His commandments as best as I can. When I make mistakes, I can repent and keep trying!

"In the midst of affliction my table is spread. With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er." Even on the worst of days, I must remember how truly blessed I am and how much I owe to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ! I have been given the gift of life, I have been able to give the gift of life to my children, I have family, friends, a roof over my head, I am a citizen of a country where I have been given so many freedoms. I have food, water, shelter, and all the modern conveniences of the 21st century! The list goes on and on! We are very blessed. Is it really OK to gripe and complain after all of these amazing blessings?

The overall feeling that this song gives me is gratitude. The imagery for me is sitting by a peacefully flowing stream or river, with the clouds gently moving in the sky. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I will be feeling so grateful to the #PrinceOfPeace for all that He has done for me. I'm grateful that He rose again after taking on not only his own death but everyone's death and then conquering it by rising from a tomb! We don't ever have to look upon our deaths as a permanent thing!
"...whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day!"

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