More About Music To Connect You To The Holy Spirit

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!



What Music Moves YOU!?

Years ago when I first really became a follower of Jesus I was sure I could make it easier by listening to “Christian” music.  That strategy didn’t last, though some songs have had a lasting impact.

What I’ve come to realize over the decades and especially recently is that what you (really, really!) want are songs that you find encouraging to your faith that you enjoy.  If the songs that your church plays in worship aren’t your favorite I strongly urge you to find the ones that are.  (Psst…it’s really ok if the same songs you hear in a worship service or mass aren’t your favorites – no matter what others may tell you.  There’s this thing that’s really real and it’s called grace.  That covers it.)

Because I desire more intimacy with God (whom I will refer to as the Holy Spirit for the rest of this post) I want to engage in behaviors that help me do that.  Music is one of the things that helps me become more intimate with the Holy Spirit.

In order to not get tired of this practice I want to “keep it fresh” by using music that I truly enjoy.  What I enjoy and what you enjoy may not be the same thing.

Also, some of your favorites may change as you find or remember other songs.

I’m sharing eight songs with you that I find helpful in directing my thoughts toward the Holy Spirit and what I’ve read in the bible.  I hope you find at least one that you enjoy, but there’s no requirement.  Maybe you’d prefer something like the Doobie Brothers’ “Jesus Is Just Alright With Me” or U2’s “40”.  That’s ok.  If you’re wondering about either one, check out Youtube.

Here’s my current list in no particular order:

1) Michael Row The Boat Ashore
2) In Moments Like These
3) Day By Day
4) The King of Glory
5) A Church Not Made With Hands – The Waterboys
6) Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
7) El Shaddai – Amy Grant
8) You Are My Hiding Place
More about these songs in my next post.  There’s one for you to enjoy below.
Be filled with wonder!



Stepping Out In Faith


Last week I had what I believe are life-changing experiences at a healing conference at Mott Auditorium in Pasadena and a revival at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. One really excellent thing is that I shared Jesus with a man named Alfonso. After spending nearly three hours with him we went our separate ways. During that time he accepted Jesus into his heart after we talked about Revelation 3:20:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” RSV

I am really enthusiastic and encouraged that God used me in that way. I’ll share more about my adventures in future posts.

I’ve awakened to new ideas for my life moving forward. I hope for your support and the support of people you know as I move forward with my family.

One idea I have is to use crowdfunding to build a business. Maybe you or a friend has thought about doing this. Hopefully by following my journey you can learn how to gain the support of others when you take a leap of faith.

I thought about starting a brand called Planet Granite in the ’90s, but I let circumstances get in the way.

NOW is different. Having lived more life, I feel a lot more prepared for NOW.

If you’re like me, you like clothing and gear with messages. I find that some messages can be really uplifting, encouraging, amusing or thought-provoking.

I’m creating anticipation by not sharing the name of my new brand right now, but I believe you’ll like it enough to support me through buying clothing or sharing links when you see it.

If you would like to help me in building a groundswell of support, please share this blog (and the future websites) with friends who are ok with receiving that from you.

That’s all I have to say for today!

Be filled with wonder!