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Guest Blogger: Anthony Varesio (July 24, 2012)

July 24, 2012 0 comments

During our July and August Sunday morning worship gatherings, I will be preaching through selected Psalms, using that section of the Bible in order to help us connect in deeper ways to God. During that time, I will be using the NewLife blog as a platform for the people of our church the opportunity to share about particular songs that help them connect to God.

I remember sitting with my Grandpa on a Saturday night as we watched a grainy black & white TV with a stuttering and scratchy speaker. I would cuddle close to him, molding my little self around his potbelly as we enjoyed the likes of Lawrence Welk and his featured music. This was the age of the Big Bands, and I still love that sound today.

My love for, or attention to, music ended up non-existent as I outgrew Grandpa’s lap over the next seven or eight years. I mean, I recall much of the music around during those years but no real connection was there. It was just sound.

Then, when I came into adolescence, (yup, here it comes) I discovered Rock Music………..

I listened to artists who offered a less than peaceful sound and message; my life mirrored the same restlessness of my new music. As a Rush fan, I discovered the atheist author Ayn Rand who was the muse of many Rush musical themes and lyrics. The combination of Rush’s progressive and pulsing sound coupled with the lyrics inspired by the rebellious ranting of the ex-communist inventor of “Objectivism” and champion of individualism fostered my own brand of isolation, cynicism and discontent for the world. Other bands also contributed to my life’s soundtrack; most all had the same impact – it provoked a separatist mentality, ESPECIALLY from God. Some music was also downright dark and spiritually oppressive.

Now, before I start a “music riot”, I am NOT saying that rock music, or any one type of music is bad, in fact, I prefer Rock music! I have come to realize that it is not the style of music that makes it detrimental; it’s the “soul” and message of the music. Music and lyrics that promotes anxiousness, anger, rebellion, and hopelessness will instigate the same in your heart and soul.

Looking back, I am amazed at how powerful music was in my life. In 2002 I discovered Christian music. After a love affair with a tapestry of other music, such as classical, heavy metal, contemporary pop, and jazz, I found a musician who would forever reset the soundtrack of life, Jeremy Camp. He was captivating from the first note. His music and lyrics were uplifting, energizing and God centered. One song in particular mirrored where I was in my life. It gave me hope; it empathized; it directed my brew of feelings to a healthy reflection and meditation. Later on I would learn that Jeremy was dealing with the loss of his young wife to cancer and his recovery turn point. I also was recovering from a scarring life crisis. Jeremy’s song “I Still Believe” and the Christian music I listened to thereafter would instill praise, courage, and even deepen my relationship with God by helping me to open and express myself.

“I Still Believe” by Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
seem to pour from my heart
I’ve never felt so torn before
seems I don’t know where to start
but it’s now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
from every fingertip, washing away my pain

[Chorus:]
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don’t see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
with promises I still seem to bear
even when answers slowly unwind
it’s my heart I see You prepare
but its now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
from every finger tip, washing away my pain

[Chorus]

The only place I can go is into your arms
where I throw to you my feeble prayers
in brokenness I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know You are near

“Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines and harps?” (Genesis 31:27)

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