What richness we have in worship music!  At our fingertips, powerful, purpose-driven contemporary songs and ballads; two decades' worth of Scripture choruses; plus centuries of hymns -- and for most of us on this site, the freedom to sing them openly.

But I am curious -- how do our songs work out in the field, during the greater part of the week when we work, eat, drink and sleep?  For instance, when I am facing a moral or ethical dilemma, "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God", will pop up and bother me, decades after I first heard it.  Perhaps you have songs that have a particularly high impact on your life -- they get into you, whether for encouragement to a higher plane of living, or just to bless you with a notice of God's presence and providence.

I've devised a little quiz to broach the subject.  You may answer any, all, or just think about answers; if you wish to post some, or expand with reasons or stories, feel free. 

1.  Name a song which has a strong impact on you outside of church, either at a specific time, or ongoing through life.

2.  When you gather with friends for fun, do you ever sing familiar songs together?

3.  What do you sing in the car when the radio/music-making device is off?

4.  Do you ever turn off your radio so you can sing?

5.  How about the supermarket aisle?  What do you hum?

6.  Do you secretly play old songs when your contemporary friends are not around?

7.  Do you secretly listen to and/or like contemporary songs?

8.  What songs enter your mind during stressful times?

9.  In church, do some songs cause you to flashback to moments of decision or times of stress, for reprocessing or coming-to-terms with an issue?

10.  Imagine you are old, in the hospital with little chance.  What song, with shaky voice, will you ask for.  (I myself imagine "Dancing Generation")

11.  OK, so they didn't know your song.  What songs do you want for your funeral?

12.  If you lived on a planet that had no wind, and you came to earth and saw tree branches moving, would it be scary, or exciting?

13.  What songs hit you when you wake up in the morning?

14.  Name three of your all-time favorite songs.

15.  Have you ever written a song that you still find yourself singing?

Enjoy!

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In general, good communication involves a common understanding of context material and associated thought.  If I merely quoted Vizzini, "never -- get involved with a land war...in Asia!"  it wouldn't mean much unless you have at least some knowledge of Asian topography, have read the history of battles in Asia, or served in Vietnam/Afghanistan, or learned who it was that Vizzini was quoting.

As I read the Isaiah and Jeremiah passages, the situation gains depth.  Jesus is not simply a "righteous angry man" striking out at corruption.  He also reminds us of that matters of truth, goodness and justice apply to all people -- even the "unclean" are welcome in God's true temple (Isaiah), and that truly amending one's ways is a truth that opposes the deception of devotion to a religious rite. 

Thank you for reminding us to dig deeper in God's Word.  I have just emerged from hunting for some trivial data on the Internet.  Having fended off numerous requests to join "clubs" and buy all sorts of things just to obtain a statistic of dubious eternal value, I was delighted to be able to open my Bible, turn to the quotes you cited, and be reminded of real values.

The Lord told us not to be afraid when they haul us up in front of a committee -- He will give us ability to speak what we should be saying (implied: instead of uh-uh-uh or some mealy-mouthed half-denial).  How?  Sure not by my own power, but by the Holy Spirit. 

People have been writing articles calling entire groups unregenerate for centuries.  At one church, our bass player was a Finney and a direct descendant.  He was one of the finest softball players I have ever known, yet a true gentleman (now there's a heretic if I ever saw one -- playing in front of women and children, wearing a SHORT-SLEEVED shirt).  He also wore a short-sleeved shirt IN CHURCH, and played truly amazing slap-bass (another invention of the devil, taking the true bass tones and splattering them around the sanctuary!)   Is there anything we can do?  Can we write to Congress to get their tax-exempt status revoked?

But I think that your dyspeptic note on witch-hunters illustrates the role of craven fear when the leaves begin to rustle on the windless planet.  Now I've been watching a bit of Star Trek -- every "anomaly" that comes up on their screens will result in a threat to the civilized universe, even before the commercial break.  In Roddenberry's world, which is humanistic, that is only natural.  But when God moves, we are wise to have discernment, just as Saul's former victims needed to gain discernment, and lose fear of God's new servant.

1) Son of the world, from Adrian Snell's The Passion (The original live version has some amazing guitar work).

2) Very seldom, but occasionally.

3) Nothing, really

4) I put on a CD so I can sing along sometimes.

6) Depends what you call old, but I'm not ashamed of anything I like.

9) We used Blessed Be for our daughters funeral, and that effectively made that song un-usable for us ever after.

10) The flippant side of me is inclined to suggest The Darkness 'One way ticket to hell and back', but in reality it might well be Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

12) Exciting. And if they could clap their hands then even better. ;-)

14) Jesus we enthrone you, Jesus name above all names my soul cries, Sharp Dressed Man (well, you did ask ;-)

3)  Silence can also be a beautiful fallow in our music-saturated lives.

11)  "Dancing Generation' was flippant as well;)  I would also probably long for something short and sweet and full of God's goodness.

14)  Jesus, Name Above all Names - also one of my favorites.  Now the last one -- you're sending me to YouTube, brother -- if I find it, I have a feeling it will be fun.

Sorry guys - for reasons I can't figure I have a love for unredeemed Texan redneck rock. Cheap sunglasses, Jesus just left Chicago (hey, at least Jesus got a mention!) waitin' for the bus, Viva Las Vegas, just got paid. :-)

At a friends last night the host asked if I liked Mumford and sons. ;-)

Jesus just left Chicago?  Being a lifelong White Sox fan, finally I have a logical explanation!

My brother-in-law told family friends I was a big Cliff Richard fan.      The  year before I had seen Dire Straits,Queen, Tina Turner, Chris Rea, Manfred Mans Earth Band, Foriegner, etc .  I had wanted to see Marillion and Peter Gabriel.   I went to their house on my birthday and they kept talking about Cliff. That was confusing

1 Do what you said (Eli) Never Knew (Rocket summer) Behind Blues Eyes (the Who) Wall of Death (Richard Thompson)  {just too many some noted below}

2 Open the Eyes of my heart, Johnny Be Goode, Blessed be Your Name, We bow our hearts

3 My new song/a cover that I’m learning. Currently: Good Man with a gun (mine arming teachers is a mad idea)/Devil’s Right Hand (Steve Earle)

4 haven’t put the radio on in years I find Radio in the UK mostly inane (dull/boring/corporate)

5 <joke> We got to get out of this place!</joke>

6 No my Contemporary friend like most songs (anyway we rock them up)

7 My daughters find it embarrassing that I like Rocket Summer and Relient K

8 “There must be more than this” and my own song “I will Rejoice” (based on Habakkuk)

9 Don’t really have an answer for this

10 For the moments I feel faint (Relient K ),  Heavens Strength (Quench)

11 “Be still for the presence of the Lord”, “Blessed be your name”,  “All I am” (Andy Flannagan) and my song: Death is Waiting

12 Depends how tired I was

13 Whatever I’ve been working on

14 only three, ok,  let stay outside of the range of standard fare :   Overnight ( Robb Johnson)   At the foot of the cross (One Hundred Hours)   Every Reason (Small Town Poets)  plus lots of songs by Colvin Quamby(One more week), Richard Thompson (“Beeswing” is a lesson in song writing), Eli, John Martyn, Roy Harper, the Who, Genesis, Queen, etc

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