Posts Tagged Music

Be Still for the Presence of the Lord

It’s hard to find videos without visual distractions.  But this music is beautiful.

Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here
Come bow before him now
With reverence and fear
In him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here

Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendour he is crowned
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant king of light
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around

Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister his grace
No work to hard for him
In faith receive from him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place

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What they’re singing in Church

Couldn’t sleep last night so I went back to the Ragamuffin Blog and worked through Youtube videos of songs that  contemporary Christian worship leaders said were getting enthusiastic responses in their churches.   Finally I got a bit tired of the hype and the bands, the pretty background pictures and I must admit, of the noise and energy level.  Here’s something old and yet being revived.

Here is love, vast as the ocean
Lovingkindness as the flood
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days

On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast a gracious tide
Grace and love, like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love

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For Encouragement

Haven’t put any music on the blog for awhile but I was rabbit trailing this morning and listening to videos of currently popular worship music. Here’s one with words to encourage.  Old themes revisited.

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Southern Gospel in Red Deer

Last Saturday I had a chance to expand my knowledge.  Friends had extra tickets and invited me to spend the day with them at a Southern Gospel Music Convention at the Westerner.

This is not a genre that I normally listen to but the folks that asked me are “special,”  it was Saturday, and the venue was a five minute walk away, so I accepted their generous invitation – to the morning chapel, the afternoon showcase, and the evening extravaganza.

The evening show was a smorgasbord of  music groups and went from six until eleven p.m.  I discovered that the classic form of Southern Gospel Music was embodied by a male quartet, attired, somewhat to my surprise,  in conservative suits, white shirts and ties.  Button up that suit coat, and don’t put your hands in your pockets!  A typical music set included one slightly jazzed up classic hymn, one hand-clapping crowd-rouser variant of “I’ll Fly Away,”  a thoughtful piece centered  on the death of Christ, and one or two other songs defining the group’s distinctives but staying within a narrow range.  Patter included news about upcoming releases or projected tours, gentle jokes,  members joshing one another, and some references to faith. Accompaniment was heavy on piano, with a sprinkle of drums,  saxophones and even a harmonica.  I don’t remember guitars being a feature at all.

I enjoyed the music well enough, especially in live performance, but didn’t rush out to buy CD’s.

I think I was just as interested in the audience and it’s interaction with the musicians.  It was, I would estimate composed almost entirely of white, card-carrying Christians  aged fifty-five  and over with a mere smear sprinkle of grandchildren and occasional exception to prove the rule. These were aficionados.  Appreciation was shown by many, many, many, partial and full, standing ovations.  Clapping was reserved for audience participation and occasional lukewarm receptions.

At the intermission a lady was introduced to me as- a Real Southern Gospel Groupie, who knows all the scoop.  Cool- I was already functioning in anthropologist mode. Long live participant-observation and all that.

I asked her for her favourite groups. Booth Brothers and Triumphant both ranked high.

I also asked her, “What makes a good group?” I was expecting her to say something about vocal qualities,  harmony, style, lyrics.  However both she and my friend immediately agreed. ” A good group has something to talk to you about when you go to visit them at their tables in the display area.  They share their lives, and their conversation is real.”

We discussed the Hunter Family, a top Canadian contribution to this basically American scene- parents and five sons ranging from seventeen to their late twenties, fresh  from the Saskatchewan farm.  While appreciating why my friends ranked the “Booth Brothers” and “Triumphant” high I must admit I was rooting for the Hunters.  I approved their  Hockey Jerseys, blue jeans, and Monty Python skit.  I liked  the way their presentation departed from the standard. I warmed to their Canadian take.

I noticed that the Canadian groups were somehow not quite part of the club.  They didn’t come from Nashville or attend Southern Baptist churches. After the last set, when members of various bands had come up the group on stage to jam with  the final crowd-rouser one specifically made a point of  inviting “the Canadian groups” to come up and join them.  That invite seemed telling to me.

The Groupie I’d been introduced to said,  “I believe the Hunters are breaking up after this year. The boys want to branch out on their own and change their music style. They feel that here they are preaching to the converted and not reaching out to youth who don’t know Jesus.”  Couldn’t have put my reactions better.   If this convention was typical of the Canadian scene,  it would appear to be a music style  passionately followed by it’s aging devotees but not attracting new ones.

As a contributor to the Hunter’s own web-site put it,  “Southern Gospel isn’t exactly what teen-agers are packing on their ipods.”

So, may my friends continue to be able to enjoy this niche music for their lifetime, and to add to their CD collections. May they  find genuine conversations at the booths, and be blessed for sharing their passion with me.  And may the Hunter lads find  a new avenue to do more than preach to the choir.  May their music find its way to many ipods.

p.s Just found this Ytube clip for those of you as uninformed as I.  The group was not at the venue but they exhibit many of the classic symptoms.

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Magpie Song pick

(Same song, same singer, but with lyrics not worship video.)

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Until January 6th

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Christmas is a time of traditions, surely nothing unless “sex,” is so set about with customs designed to set the mood and make it happen.

I started thinking about this after reading a post on a blog I’ve been following.  Very evocative as he recalled a difficult time and a family tradition started then.

It encouraged me to comment back:

In our early years in Ghana we did not have a tree, though we did have a small one later that my mother-in-law brought out. It made it, fully decorated, to a couple of the High School Christmas pageants- and we stayed late because of the many who wanted a photograph taken in front of it. My foster son did not understand why something that lovely wasn’t also brought out to grace Easter.

But every year, treed or not, we set up our eminently packable Advent Wreath, and sang family carols around its light every evening of the season. To our children that is now far more central to Christmas than a decorated tree.

(We use purple candles for the wreath, other than the white one for the Christ child- a colour not always easily obtained. I had plenty in Ghana though, because once, in the early years when not much was available in stores I chanced into an establishment that had one long aisle given over to one kind of toilet paper, and another stocked entirely with boxes of purple tapers. Go figure. I immediately laid in a supply that lasted us for years.)

Every year, as we sang, one of the boys’ favourites was always:

So, I’m asking, “What makes Christmas happen for you?”

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