Daily Archives: December 14, 2019

Learn the song

Tomorrow is our celebration of Christmas at Pensacola First Church of the Nazarene. I am blessed to be singing the song “His Name is Jesus.”

Getting this song ready has been a challenge for me. It seems that, until this week, I had let every possible distraction keep me from focusing on learning this song. Admittedly, the solo sounded ok when I sang it in the car (everything sounds good when you are singing alone in a car!). But, on Wednesday, at our dress rehearsal, I messed up the song so badly that we did it again, and IT WAS EVEN WORSE!! I knew it was all my fault, but I still whined about other things that weren’t really to blame.

I have been singing since I learned to talk. I have a decent choir voice and I love to read music. It is a joy to sing. And, when Poppa had a heart procedure a few years ago and lost the ability to swallow for awhile, I realized anew how beneficial singing is. It keeps my throat muscles working hard. It forces me to breath deeply and to exercise my core. (I hide the results under a very non-healthy indulgence in chocolate chip cookies!). And, the scripture says that singing can be praise. (“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).)

Yesterday, I figured out the song I am to sing tomorrow morning. For me, there is the technical part of learning a song — the words, the notes, the rhythm. That part can be challenging, but is pretty simple with lots of focused practice. And, I practiced the song a lot. But, there is a second component to learning a song — the soul of the song. This takes time and attention and prayer.

For instance, I have been blessed to be able to sing our National Anthem many times. I don’t get creative with this song. My belief is that it should be sung as written, as the writer intended it and as people know it. But, getting the tune, words and rhythm right is only part of singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” I want to see the bombs bursting in air in my mind and try to imagine the joy and pride at seeing our flag still flying at dawn after the battle of the night.

I love the song “O Holy Night” and I love the voice of a particular singer. But, I cannot tolerate hearing that particular artist sing “O Holy Night.” Their life and words don’t reflect a heart that beats the joy of the gift from God on that holy night.

So, why couldn’t I sing my solo at practice on Wednesday?

It is simple. I hadn’t done all of the work that needed to be done and I was listening to everything else but the song.

It’s a frequent temptation to fall into this trap. We wonder why Christmas morning isn’t special, but we haven’t spent the time thinking about and loving the people around us; and then on that special morning we only listen to the words we hear with our ears and not the hugs and the smiles we hear with our hearts.

Or, we have the party at work. It seems to be the dullest event ever! But, have we pushed so hard to get work done so that we can “enjoy” the event and are we continually stopping co-workers for “just a minute” to talk about “one last” item of business? Have we failed to pay attention to their sweet stories about kids and grandkids or are we thinking about our drive home?

Take the time to learn the meaning of the song, to notice your loved ones, to hear the heartbeat of the Christmas story. It will cause your soul to sing.


Jill (just one of God’s kids)

Ps. Want to “hear” how it goes? At 10:30 am tomorrow,stop by Pensacola First Church of the Nazarene (3475 Pine Forest Road, Cantonment,FL) or catch us anytime on Facebook live (“First Church of the Nazarene, Pensacola, FL”.)


A little bruise

Earlier today someone noticed the bruise on my upper arm. It is small but has some pretty intense coloring. There is a good reason for it.

A few years ago my doctor suggested I get the shingles vaccine. I did and all was great. Then, this year I learned that there was an updated version of the vaccine. Monday, I got the first of the two injections for this updated vaccine. Our pharmacist gave me the shot and did a great job. Our insurance paid for it and I was good to go.

But, this week’s shot left a bump and a bruise that will be around for a few days. And, the first night after the shot, I thought I was sleeping on something hard (maybe an ear bud?). My arm was sore and the doggone shot was the cause of my pain.

Poppa has had the shingles as have several of our friends. I had chicken pox as a kid, so there is a chance that I could get an outbreak some day. Two shots is a great price to avoid the shingles!

Sometimes pain and inconvenience are worth the outcome.

Let’s remember that lesson as we gear up for the week before Christmas.

⁃ Stuck in traffic? Remember the joy of seeing that little one in their school or church program, or your comfy living room/recliner/bed that is waiting for you at home, or the amazing food at your favorite restaurant.

⁃ Tired of listening to that person complain? Remember that you are helping a powerless person feel important, or their rant might teach you something new, or that the conversation might give you an idea for your next “we gather together” blog. 😊

⁃ Weary of shopping? Be thankful that people are looking forward to seeing you, or that the clerk at the cash register really needs your smile and pleasant word today, or that you are helping the economy grow – one dollar at a time!

Bruises usually are short lived but, in this case, the inconvenience, the bump, the pain are a good price for the benefits received.


Jill (just one of God’s kids)