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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Love For Singing

My memories of singing in a youth choir goes back to as far as I can remember anything. Mama has told me many times about the first time I probably sang in the choir when I was only 3 or 4. She said I decided I wanted to get up there with the other kids to sing. After I got in front of the whole church everyone started to smile at "little Jennifer" and I imagine they were all saying "Awww! How cute!" I was so embarrassed that I pulled my dress up over my face not realizing I was showing my undergarments and stomach! As you can imagine, the "Aww!"s turned to laughter! Fortunately, that didn't stop me from singing!
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But the memories I always go back to are of the days we sang with Mrs. Carol. She and her family loved to sing and they did a pretty good job at it too. She always seemed to enjoy teaching us and chose fun songs that had a great message. Her husband, Bro. Timmy, would sometimes jump in on the choir practice and give us some advise . . . and a few threats! I'll never forget the time he told us that if we didn't smile while we were singing he was going to call on us to testify. That scared me to the point that I smiled bigger than anyone else in the whole youth group! But he didn't just leave us with that, he told us how important it was for us to smile and that if we smiled our singing would sound so much better.
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From then on I've always sang with a smile. I did it then because Bro. Timmy told me too, but now I do it because I love to sing! I've learned that it's not important that kids learn the different parts or they sound perfect. All God asks for is a joyful noise, not necessarily a perfect one.
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Now Bro. Timmy and Mrs. Carol are gone and I haven't found a youth choir that I enjoy as much as that one. But we are still singing. The love they placed in my heart (and hopefully my siblings') will last for a long time - hopefully forever.
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Recently God has shown me that it is now my responsibility to not just teach other children how to sing, but to give them a love to sing. This doesn't mean that I'm going to start a youth choir next week or even in the coming months, but some day God may give the the opportunity to do so. I've already started with my siblings, and I may be unconsciously planning seeds in other's hearts now by simply showing them how much I like to sing to my God.
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Through this God showed me that God doesn't always require you to serve him in a way that will take you out of your comfort zone. He gives us talents for a reason. My talent lies within making joyful noises to the LORD so I hope I can use it for Him in many ways!
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"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands! Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalms 100:1-2

2 comments:

Stephanie N. Macomber said...

I was thinking about those verses in Psalms trying to remember all of Psalms (100, right?) but couldn't get past verse three.

I'm so glad you have such a zeal for music. I love music, too-- it's a recent interest that started when I started going to church a couple of years ago. I think music is one of God's best gifts to us-- music, and sight (too see all the wonderful creations) and love-- besides salvation.

Lori said...

Hey Jennifer! The story of your first attempt at singing in front of the church was SO cute! :) I love singing too...but unfortunately I can only make that joyful noise you were talking about! LOL! But it doesn't stop me from making a lot of racket around the house! :) So what if I'm a little (a LOT) off key...the words of Scripture "Sing unto the Lord" and "Make a joyful noise" sound like commands to me...so I'll just keep singing. And sometimes that song in my heart just has to come out! :) Thanks for sharing this.