“God is a singing God,” “In Zephaniah, 3:17, it says he rejoices over us with singing. Because we have a singing God, we are made in his image, so we are to be singing people.”
I think I have been singing almost all of my life. My mom tells the story of me standing on the large brick hearth of the fireplace every day with a hairbrush as my microphone and I would sing at the top of my lungs. I remember I loved to go to church and sit in the old wooden pews next to my family and sing. I have always been a fan of harmony and for some reason harmony notes came so easily for me. I remember one time, someone telling me, sing the right note, which meant, sing the melody, but for me, the challenge of singing harmony created such joy for me. I love to listen to people sing and hear all the differences in each person’s voice. It amazes me how God created us all in His image, but with so many differences down to the way our vocal cords make sounds.
In these days of social distancing, I have been making a few singing videos to post online in hopes to encourage people, but also because it’s a gift I have been given. I now have a personal YouTube channel, and a quick search of YouTube and Rhon Carter will find it very quickly. Singing is such a unique way to express yourself and God designed itthat way because as we read in scripture, we have a singing God!
Singing is unique because it uses a certain tone and frequency to unite us. Only in singing can a group of more than one be in total aural unity. The rhythm and the tone allow for complete musical unity. It’s a wonderful thing to hear people speak in unison but singing brings the voices together so much more beautifully.
Singing connects us because it brings out the whole self. It uses the physical, the mental and spiritual parts of a person and unites them to share in a wonderful way. It’s been said that when people sing the same note, that their physical vocal cords are vibrating at the same rate to create that certain note. It also ties us together in the same thought. When you add the melody, the harmony and the lyric, you get an amazing God created sound that was a special gift to each of us.
Let’s all continue to be unified in our singing because we serve a singing God.
Hold fast to the Lord your God.
As many of you know I enjoy boating and water sports. I used to love to ride a tube behind the boat, but as I have gotten older, the tube riding has come to a halt. I can’t hang on like I use to could. I remember riding the tube and holding on for dear life. I think the older I have gotten, the worse my grip has become, and as I hear, it’s going to get worse.
I was watching a movie the other night and the sailors were on a boat going through a storm and the captain kept yelling, “Hold Fast, don’t let go” as the men were holding on to the ropes for the sails. It was torcher watching those men hang on and the water and the wave battering them and all the people helping them. The storms of life can throw you around and beat you up, but we have a Savior that tells us to Hold Fast! Don’t’ give up, the more violent the storm, the more strength we need to give to holding on.
God uses all things in our life to make use rely on Him more. My pastor says that pressures in life will either make you better or bitter. I pray each day that I will be better.
In Joshua 23, Joshua was the man God had used the bring the Israelites into the Promised Land. After years of hardship, pain and faithful service, Joshua’s life was coming to an end. He was an old man and death was knocking on his door. He gathered the people together one last time to say goodbye, but in that moment, he said “Hold fast to the Lord your God.”
What does this mean? We need to stay focused on the task at hand. Do not get distracted. Follow the Lord, no matter the cost. It’s amazing how quick I can become distracted in life. The amazing thing is when I get distracted, and come back to the Lord, He is still there. He is waiting patiently for me right at the point I got distracted. He allows me to repent and return. He gives me complete forgiveness each time through the blood from the cross.
So, no matter where you are today, HOLD FAST, not matter what storms may be around you at this time.
Is applause appropriate for worship?
This week, I have been thinking about the differing opinions from people about worship. Worship is such a personal thing, but its context is different when we consider cooperate worship. It seems “applause” is one of top three things people often discuss with me. “Volume” is definitely at the top of the list, but I don’t have time to go there today.
Let’s think about applause. What is it?
Merriam-Webster says it is “approval publicly expressed” and I agree.
“Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with sons of joy! God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.”
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn- shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.”
So, how should we respond? I think a hearty “amen” or applause can accomplish the following:
Christians engage in singing to the Lord, (Colossians 3:16) and make melody to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19). I believe when we applaud, we can make the case that it is unto the Lord. We can clap when someone sings, we can clap when someone is baptized, we can clap when someone dedicates their children to the Lord, and we can clap for someone who joins the church.
We would all agree that we don’t want worship to become a performance, but I believe there are many biblical references of using our whole bodies: mind, heart, soul, head, hands, feet, voices and our lips to worship.
When we applaud, we are joining the body of Christ in the work of adoration, praise, and worship. Applauding is a response and testimony to the Spirits work in our lives.
I am the Worship & Music Catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.