Monday, August 21, 2017

More Thoughts on--“Is All Music Created Equal?”—part 3


More Thoughts on--“Is All Music Created Equal?”—part 3

So, under the nihilism that postmodernism ultimately brings music educators are afraid to teach the concept of valuing music based on its quality as an artform. In many music education situations, in order that a music educator may act in a politically correct manner, he or she must give all music compositions in all styles a ‘trophy’ that is the same size regardless of whether these compositions are the work of a hack or a great composer; well thought out and developed musical works; or are trite, banal, or mundane musical compositions. 

There have been core values that have been a continuing thread throughout the development of great Western music over the centuries.  To toss these values aside in favor of the new philosophical position that all musical works are of equal quality is to sadly misunderstand the nature and value of music in Western culture and the core values of music education. 

Scripture for the Day

Proverbs 3:13, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”

Sunday, August 20, 2017

More Thoughts on--“Is All Music Created Equal?”—part 2


More Thoughts on--“Is All Music Created Equal?”—part 2



The Yale Seminar; the Julliard Repertory Project; and the Tanglewood Symposium were 20th century attempts to improve the quality of music studied.  All of these had a positive influence on the quality of music used in schools in the 20th century. However, the strong emphasis on studying pop music almost exclusively in some schools caused the quality of school music to decline in the last years of the 20th and now in the 21st century. 

The inclusion of world music by some schools has broadened music education by making students aware of other music traditions.  However, the study of other musics should not become a platform for Post-modernistic pluralism.  Hodges stated, “Contrarily, one of the difficulties with this position [postmodernism] is that if everything has value, nothing has value, a position which taken in the extreme leads to nihilism.” Donald Hodges, A Concise Survey of Music Philosophy by Donald Hodges, pp 228-29.  Nihilism is “the belief that traditional morals, ideas, beliefs, etc., have no worth or value.”  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nihilism The emphasis of the use of examples of world music should be on awareness rather than to foster pluralism in Western music philosophy or to try to follow post-modernism’s nihilistic agenda of the denial of core values in Western music.

Scripture for the Day

Luke 21:33, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

Saturday, August 19, 2017

More Thoughts on--“Is All Music Created Equal?”—part 1


More Thoughts on--“Is All Music Created Equal?”—part 1

I have written about this topic before but I would like to add some thoughts about this question.  David Elliott said, “…if everything counts, nothing counts.”  David Elliott, “Music Education Philosophy,” “Music education Philosophy” in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education,” Oxford University Press, 2011, p.68.  Most often when a Christian musician expresses this belief he or she is labeled a bigot; or that this musician is out of touch with reality; or has been hiding under a rock. It is encouraging that some of the major music philosophers are resisting the faulty notion that all music is of equal artistic value.

I have believed for some time that the belief in pluralism has fostered this notion.  The belief that there are no core values concerning music as an art form has caused a generation of music educators to believe that there is little or no reason to have students to study the serious classics as a major part of student’s music education.  The belief that there are no core music values caused the quality of music literature educators include in music education curriculums to decline in the late 20th century and even more so in this century.  Now banality reigns with much of ‘school music’ replacing high quality music. 

Scripture for the Day

Isaiah 28:10, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”


Friday, August 18, 2017

Perceiving the Words of Understanding


 Perceiving the Words of Understanding

Proverbs 1:2-4, “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.”

            There are a number of things that make it possible for the Christian musician “to perceive the words of understanding” mentioned by Solomon.  As a young man or woman the musician needs to acquire knowledge.  There are many institutions of higher learning where a young musician can acquire musical knowledge.  If a Christian youth desires to have his or her voice to be heard, that person must learn how to read, write and perform music.  Solomon declared that one must “know instruction”.  This is the prerequisite to having wisdom.  In order to have wisdom a musician must be willing to receive instruction. 

            Things to be learned are subtlety, justice, judgment, and equity all these are a must in order for the “young man” to be musically wise.  If there ever was a time when Christian musicians need to acquire the long list of attributes listed above, it is in this century.  The premium is being placed on talent rather than the thorough knowledge that these skills and qualities bring to the place of worship. 

            The word biyn (995) translated perceive in the second verse AV means to separate mentally.  If the young musician is going to make in this perverse world, he or she must be able to be able to perceive the words of understanding  (biynah 998).  These two Hebrew words have very close affinity  I believe a good commentary on their meaning here is found in  Ephesians 5:6, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”


Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Beginning of Knowledge


The Beginning of Knowledge 

            Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Yirah (3374) means, among other things, reverence or a moral fear of God.  What God thinks about me matters.    What I think of God matters too because it will directly affect my respect and trust of Him.   When things are going well for me, I might like to think of God as sort of my buddy, but when the going gets rough, I find myself in need of a strong and powerful God.  When my earthly friends are nowhere to be seen, I find myself needing a God who is able to meet my serious need.   
            When I have problems that are much too difficult for me to solve, I need a big, wise, wonderful God to come to my aid.  Isaiah put it like this, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”( Isaiah 6:1)  When He was in trouble he did not look for a folksy and indulgent God but rather an exalted Holy God!   I do not know about you, but I need a God whose train fills the temple about every day.  Therefore, I plan to visualize my God as High and lifted up. 

Song for the Day Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty by Reginald Heber 

Thought for the Day  If I want to always be able to trust God, I must conceptualize Him as the Almighty rather than my buddy.   

Prayer for the Day
My dear heavenly Father I want to always see You as the Almighty God who spoke the world into existence. Help me to have a right concept of who You are and what you are capable of doing. I know that the beginning of knowledge is knowing You and Your will. Please help me to understand more and more about You each day,  This I am praying .  Amen.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Righteous is the Main Thing


Righteous is the Main Thing

            Proverbs28:5 -6, “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.  Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.”  It is a strange thought to some Christian musicians that wicked men and women do not understand God’s judgment.  Because God does not exact judgment at the end of each day, some musicians are duped by Satan into believing that sinners have it better in this life than Christians. 

            God’s Word attests to the fact that it is better to be righteous and poor than to be rich and perverse.  The reader should remember that I did not make this comparison but rather it was the inspired Word of God.  Rich people do not have to be perverse, but riches can buy many opportunities to experience perversion.  The Christian musician that does not possess much of this world’s goods should be advised of two things.  First, the righteous should concentrate on being righteous and second, should not fret over those who are perverse and also possibly rich.  The Christians responsibility is to walk carefully before God and his or her fellow man.  God will bring judgment on the wicked whether or not they understand that He will. 

Quote for the Day

 1Timothy 6:5-6 “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Remember to concentrate on being content every day.  That is the only way that you can keep the main thing the main thing.



Song for the Day   “I’D Rather Have Jesus”  by Rhea F. Miller

Prayer for the Day

My precious Lord I want my life, my heart, and my actions to be pleasing in Your sight.  Help me to always be a good and faithful musical servant.  I know that it is not my might or power or worldly wisdom that my life will be pleasing unto You.  Help me to have the wisdom to ask You for Your wisdom.  Help me throughout this year to seek your will for my daily walk. Help me to concentrate on being righteous.  This I am asking in Your wise and wonderful name.  Amen.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

“I Am Helped”


“I Am Helped”   

Psalm 12:7 states, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” 

       The psalmist David expressed that his shield is the self-existent eternal God who is.  He also acknowledged that he received his strength from Jehovah.  Sometimes church musicians only think of the struggles of public music ministry.  They forget to remember and say “I am helped”.  They also often forget just who it is that has helped them.  Practice the presence of God”.  When we receive help in our musicing unto God we need to practice saying out loud “Thank You Lord for helping me”.   It will help you and Satan will not like it because he will know that you have your head on straight. 

       The psalmist David acknowledged that God helped him and, since Jehovah was working in his life, he said, “My heart greatly rejoiceth”.  Do you rejoice when God helps you in your musicing?  Do you greatly rejoice?  Do you really praise God like David with your “song’?  Do not forget that if you need God’s help today, God is just as interested in helping you as he was David in ancient Israel.

Prayer for the Day  

Lord You know what is best for my life.   When something continually perplexes me, I want You to solve it as soon as I bring it to you.  Help me to be aware that You working in my life even when I do not understand why this trial has come into my life.  Help me to believe that Your grace is sufficient for me at this time.  This I am praying in Your name.  Amen.   

Song for the Day “Make Me a Servant” by K. Willard.   

Thought for the Day  

We are often ashamed of our areas of weakness.   God uses these “thorns” to cause us to realize that we need Him.




Monday, August 14, 2017

Singing to the Rock of Our Salvation-part 2 


Singing to the Rock of Our Salvation-part 2  

       Because we joy in the presence of the LORD, we shout aloud the praises of the self-existent, eternal God who is.  We enhance our praise music by singing with instrumental accompaniment.  Because Jehovah is worthy of praise, we lift up our hands in avowal to the triune God. 

       Chief musician, is your heart full of mighty praises to our wonderful Lord?  If not, remember that God is the Rock of your salvation.  As you remember who He is and what He has done, and what he is capable of doing, you can actually come into His presence with praiseful musicing. 

            Every Christian musician must present all his or her musical offerings to God with humility and honesty of heart. They must be presented with humility because no one is worthy of God’s grace, mercy, and love. They must be presented with honesty—because no one wants to be like those mentioned in Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”

Thought for the Day

Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

Song for the Day 



Prayer for the Day  

I want to thank You Lord that You are my strength and shield.  Thank You for helping me in my spiritual walk with You from day to day.  I also want to thank You Lord for giving me special help with my musicing this very week!  Help me to not forget that is You that have brought truth and joy to my life.  I want to take time right now to say “Thank You, thank You, thank You.”  Now Satan knows exactly where I stand today!  These things I pray in Your Strong and mighty and wonderful name.  Amen.   


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Singing to the Rock of Our Salvation-part 1   


Singing to the Rock of Our Salvation-part 1   

Psalm 95:1-2 states, “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”  (NIV)

       Why do we sing unto the Lord?  We sing because our hearts are joyful.  We are so excited about Jesus the Rock of our salvation that we shout aloud because of the thanksgiving and praise that wells up in our hearts.  Because of this joy we come before His presence with thanksgiving.

       What does it mean to extol the Lord with our musicing?  The word ruwa (7321) which is justly translated extol in the NIV means to shout aloud or to music with great strength.  It does not connote noise making as the AV would suggest.   The word todah (3034) which is translated thanksgiving means literally to extend the hands in worship. The words music and song in the NIV and psalms are derived from the Hebrew word zamiyr (2158) means to accompany a song with instrumental music.  So when we extol God with our musicing we sing with great strength songs accompanied with musical instruments. 

Song for the Day “Spirit of the Living God” by Daniel Iverson   

Thought for the Day

If you really want to “practice the presence of God” in your life, you might try meditating on the Decalogue “day and night”.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Lord I am coming before You with a heart that desires to worship You.  I am lifting my hands and my heart to You.  I am asking that all the vocal and instrumental music that I present to You to bring honor and glory to Your name.  I am returning to You all my strength and all my musicing abilities.  Please accept them as my willing offering to You.  This I am asking.  Amen.




Saturday, August 12, 2017

Such as Taught to Sing Praise


Such as Taught to Sing Praise

            There is a very interesting Scripture verse in 2Chronicles 23:13, “And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise….”  I do I not know how many times I have read this verse, but it stood out to me the other day as I was carefully reading the twenty-third chapter.

            Among those who were worshiping was a classification of Levite musicians whose occupational specialty was teaching others to sing praise to YHVH.  Maybe the reason that there are so many musicians who present God with musical offerings that are less than excellent and certainly not appropriate for public worship is that no one in their church fellowship has ever bothered to teach them how to sing praises unto our awesome and holy heavenly Father.  Those of you who are teaching little children to sing praise songs and choruses are doing the future church a great service.  Others may not understand the importance of what you are doing, but God thought it was important to make specific mention of it in His inspired Word.

Thought for the Day

Christian fellowships need many more Christian musicians who will take the time and effort to teach young Christians how to music unto God.

Song for the Day “Praise Him, all ye Little Children” anonymous

Prayer for the day

Precious Lord, I am asking you to pour out a special blessing on all of Your musical servants who teach little children to praise You.  Where ever these special music servants are today, please surround them with Your love and grace and help them to reach out to You and receive your anointing and power for this special musical service to You.  Lift them up before you and make them aware of your understanding and love for the musical ministry they perform.  Help them to raise up generations of Christians who will “know the joyful sound” and will know how to music unto you in this century.  This I am asking in Your Great and awesome name.  Amen.