Dear Friends,

I’m pretty predictable.  I don’t deviate from my usual patterns too often, but this morning I did.  I have a 2 1/2 mile drive to church in the morning.  Almost always I listen either to Colin Cowherd (sports talk) or “Morning Edition” (national public radio) on the way.  I don’t know what came over me, but this morning I punched in the button for classical music.  I listened to about 8 minutes of beautiful music.  No words.  Nothing to rile me up.  Just music.  And I got to work feeling great.

Music has that power.  Yesterday Helen and I were among the crowd (along with several of you) at Ste. Chapelle Winery listening to our own Tim Swanson and his “Flavors” band (including our own Jesse Andrews on trumpet).  It was over 100 degrees.  The shade was abundant and welcome, but it was still over 100 degrees. The music was so great though that we hardly noticed.  What a fun way to spend an afternoon!

As I write this, our office manager, Carol Ogren, has Christian music playing softly at her work station.  I can barely hear it, but what I do hear creates a work environment that helps my work and helps me remember for whom I am working.

It’s no accident that most of what we do at all three of our worship services is music.  We spend more time singing and listening to music than we spend talking and listening to words.  This is as it should be.  Music is one God’s greatest gifts to us.  There are 550 references to music in the Bible. Don’t know who said this, but I agree with it:  “For the common things of everyday, God gave man speech in the common way; for the deeper things men think and feel, God gave poets words to reveal; but for the heights and depths no words can reach, God gave man music, the soul’s own speech.”

As my dad lay dying, we played music for him.  He loved music.  One song that was playing just before he left us was sung by a choir of young women, the “Portland Symphonic Girl Choir”.  Both of our daughters sang in this choir.  The song was “Going Up Yonder”.  There was one line in particular that helped me and I will always believe it helped my dad:  “If anybody asks you where I’m going, where I’m going soon, I’m going up a yonder to be with my Lord.”

Thought you might want to listen to it.

Words are OK, but may music feed your soul this week.

In Christ,