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Monday
Jun172013

The Psalms Project

As mentioned in a previous post, I began setting the Psalms to music shortly after we began memorizing a Psalm a month at church. Some of the songs were easy to set to music, while others posed specific challenges, either due to meter and rhyme scheme, structure, or the awareness of that specific Psalm already set to music.  For example, Psalm 23, has a famous setting, often sung for weddings and at church, and Keith Green had his own version in the late 80's.  So, I really wanted to be able to sing that one with an original melody and thankfully I was able to come up with an interesting chord progression that fit with the sections of the song.

Singing of the Psalms has been very therapeutic for me, and I am reminded of how easy it is to memorize large portions of scripture when it is set to music.  There have been many times over the last 9 months that songs from the musicals were looping through my thoughts, and I was able to "change the station" by beginning to sing a Psalm. Other times I've awoken in the middle of the night with one of them humming in the background of my dreams. There have also been the occasions where I have been in a stressful situation and there the melodies and words were to bring strength and comfort to my soul.  One of the dearest discoveries of this project has been the last two lines of the Psalms that I have studied.  So often we reflect on the first part since that is what gets read first and repeated over and over when we are memorizing.  As I was working on timing, chord changes, and format, I began to notice the last sentence of the song and reflect on those words.

Psalm 1; The Lord knows the way of the righteous

Psalm 2: Blessed are all those who put their trust in you

Psalm 3: Salvation belongs to the Lord, your blessing is upon your people.

Psalm 4: For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety

and Psalm 23: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD, forever.

 

There's another verse that says, "Let the word of GOD dwell richly in your heart."

So the reason that the Psalms have been therapeutic is that in singing them, I have been able to reflect on the words, the promises, the hope woven into the fabric of each line, that GOD cares, HE sees me, He's watching over me, and HE has a hope and a future planned for me.  And with that reflection, the word began to dwell richly in my heart and I can see and feel HIS love melting away the heart of stone, the fear of the unknown, the need to be in control of my future, my desire for my way and how I think that should look, and my tendency to get a glimpse of what GOD is doing, and then run with it without letting it come to pass in HIS time.

In looking at me, my soul, and how GOD created me, I have finally been able to acknowledge what are the activities that bring joy to my heart and allow me to be most satisfied in HIM that HE might be most glorified in me.  I finally was able to verbalize my desire to make a living playing music so that I could run the cafe and eventually the kitchen restaurant on the side without having to draw a salary or worry about it being profitable. Looking at my calendar for the next 6 weeks and the activities I've had the last few days, I see that desire being fulfilled and joy floods my soul.  There's a difference in my heart and in my well-being, a new sensation, one that comes from viewing life and circumstances from a place of contentment instead of anxiousness.

In looking at Psalm 23 in my bible, I see notes from 9 years ago, in which I have the first 2 verses circled and a comment "yes, Lord" written on the side with the date.  This indicates that I was agreeing with the scripture and wanting to see it in my life.  I think in '04 my soul was being restored from the bruises and scars of childhood.  Now, that restoration is going deeper in that I am breathing deeply of HIS love and feeling a contentment that I have not experienced.   I can truly, honestly say that "the LORD IS my shepherd; I shall not want." 

No, I haven't arrived.  Yes, there are things I want to do and see. Yes, there are still things in my life that I wrestle against. Yes, there are quite a few details that have not been sorted out, and I can't "see" how or when they will come to pass.  But, I know they will. I know that GOD is working in me to do and to will for HIS good pleasure. So, I wrestle in HIS strength, because HE's with me, not in mine.  So, no, it's not the contentment that comes from a job well done, or accomplishing something. That's not the kind of contentment I'm experiencing.  It's the absence of dissatisfaction, replaced by serenity, and the firm conviction that God is a good GOD and has a hope and a future planned for me. Jeremiah 29:11  It's the living awareness of the truth in the words of the song, "All I have needed, thy hands have provided, Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, to me."  I can wait because HE has shown Himself faithful and true. I can trust because HE's trustworthy. I can be at peace because..

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, All the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD, forever."

 

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References (8)

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  • Response
    Lovely Web page, Stick to the wonderful job. Thank you!
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    Fantastic Web page, Carry on the great work. Thank you so much!
  • Response
    Response: terry bandy
    Esther Tyree's My Music Ventures - My Music Blog - The Psalms Project
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    Response: Frank Dellaglio
    Esther Tyree's My Music Ventures - My Music Blog - The Psalms Project
  • Response
    Response: Frank Dellaglio
    Esther Tyree's My Music Ventures - My Music Blog - The Psalms Project
  • Response
    Response: xovilichter
    Esther Tyree's My Music Ventures - My Music Blog - The Psalms Project
  • Response
    Esther Tyree's My Music Ventures - My Music Blog - The Psalms Project
  • Response
    Response: website
    Esther Tyree

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