Not too long after my last post about music and the Holy Spirit someone close to me asked me to make the modern equivalent of a mix tape for her. Because I’ve known her for her entire life I’m going to see what I can do.
BUT, what is ideal is for you to find your own music. It’s great to check out stuff I mention and maybe some of that will have an big impact for you. In fact, I think I’ll start adding a tune to most posts so it’s a little bit more convenient for you. You will have to see how each piece of music works for you.
Each one of us is unique. My experiences make some music more impactful for me. The eight songs I mentioned previously have a history for me.
“You Are My Hiding Place” is a song from my time at Westminster Presbyterian Church In Escondido in the 1980’s. I was in a great high school group, the Sonseekers, for most of my senior year and the beginning of my college career. We sang songs every week and continued singing when we graduated to the college group, Hesedians. I had a wonderful college group experience and over the years I have come to realize how rare that is.
Around that same time I liked the new music of the late ’70s and early ’80s, especially what we now call alternative. I loved U2 and saw them debut on David Letterman singing “I Will Follow” before VCRs were in widespread use. I’ll share more about that song in a future post. I wasn’t a big fan of Amy Grant and shared that in a presentation on U2 in my History of Jazz and Rock ‘N’ Roll[!] class at Palomar College. That was until she released “El Shaddai” and it was a big and wonderful surprise. I had never heard this name for God before. As far as I’m concerned, if that were the only song she ever released it would have been enough to put her in whatever appropriate Hall of Fame she fits in.
“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum is another I’ll share more about another time. There were more songs that mentioned God on secular radio in the late ’60s and early ’70s than there would be later. That guitar will wake you up as you start the day. “A Church Not Made With Hands” reminds me of words like 2 Corinthians 5:1 which you can read by clicking on the verse. Also, it really soars with their signature sound.
“The King of Glory” and “Day By Day” are songs I remember from the early 1970s when our family attended St. John’s Catholic Church in Encinitas. The first was primarily sung on Palm Sunday and the second was from the musical “Godspell”. There’s a sweet/silly video of “The King of Glory” if you search it and the words “Stephen Colbert” on Youtube.
I think I first heard “In Moments Like These” at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, but my wife says she’s not familiar with it so maybe not. I really like the third time that you sing the words “I love you Lord” where the emphasis is on the word “you”.
Last, but certainly not least is “Michael Row The Boat Ashore”. This song was originally sung by slaves in the 1800s and Pete Seeger shared it with audiences early in his career. It’s almost always sung with audience participation. This song reminds me of the Christians and others involved in social change in the 1960s. If you really listen to and think about the words you can hear stuff that’s worth remembering your entire life.
Here’s a video of U2’s 40, which is based on Psalm 40:
Be filled with wonder!