Music Appreciation

Music is a beautiful thing.

Everyone knows this. But I think too often we take it for granted.

As long as you veer away from the Top 40 (Let’s face it, the majority of the songs are about nothing more than sex and partying, and that’s not very ‘beautiful’)

I’m talking about the songs that give you chills, the melodies that make you want to either sway and curl into a ball underneath a big fluffy blanket. The lyrics that bring tears to your eyes.

It’s amazing that humans are creating these songs. Just a few minutes that bring up so many beautiful feelings that you don’t feel all the time.

I think my favorite genre is the cozy, rainy day, coffee shop type music. Not really a specific genre at all but I think you guys know what I’m talking about. Hozier, Bon Iver, Birdy, Ruth B, Jeff Buckley, Halsey, Simon and Garfunkel, Iron and Wine. Music like that.

I love that one song can mean so many different things to so many different people.

I think that writers, especially as a writer myself, get a special dose of this. You create these characters, all these little parts of yourself. Each one has a life and a backstory and history and heartbreak and certain songs just pertain to their life and their relationships and you can’t help but feel all their feelings because that’s you. That’s a piece of you on paper, or on a screen.

That’s the beautiful part. Even when it’s not your personal past music can move you.

I’m going to set some choreography on a friend and we chose Not About Angels by Birdy. I suggest you listen to it. It’s a haunting song.

I’m really excited. I know there’s a lot I can do with it.

So go play that one Spotify playlist that is perfection. Put on your favorite record. Just sit and listen for a minute. Let yourself be swept away by memories and enjoy it.

Here are a few of my suggestion from above:

Not About Angels- Birdy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj_VidtyaOc

Like Real People Do- Hozier : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrleydRwWms

Skinny Love- Bon Iver : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVGl8Spm1v8

Lost Boy- Ruth B : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO3ppTYwRYs

Hallelujah- Jeff Buckley : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4

Drive- Halsey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oI-BsWbIg4

Sound of Silence- Simon and Garfunkel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oI-BsWbIg4

Flightless Bird, American Mouth- Iron and Wine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZNGaMrwcE

 

Religious Tunage

“We’re going down to the river
Down to the river, down to the river to pray
Let’s get washed by the water
Washed by the water and rise up in amazing grace
Let’s go down, down, down to the river (You will leave changed)
Let’s go down, down, down to the river (Never the same)”

  • The River

“There’s a war between guilt and grace
And they’re fighting for a sacred space
But I’m living proof
Grace wins every time”

  • Grace Wins

“You are loved
If your heart’s in a thousand pieces
If you’re lost and you’re far from reason
Just look up; know you are loved
Just look up; and know you are loved
When it feels like something’s missing
If it hurts but you can’t find healing
Just look up, know you are loved
Just look up, know you are loved
Ooh”

  • You Are Loved

“So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held”

  • Just Be Held

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These are choruses from the four most popular Christian songs today. Really, they sound like one song if you string them together.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t absolutely hate Christian music.

But honestly….. They’re all the same.

God is there

He is with you.

You are loved.

No worries.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, Christian songs and shallow puddles of acoustic guitar and keyboards playing the same four chords in every song.

The Bible is deep. There is so much substance there. And so many old hymns portray that so beautifully.

But nowadays contemporary Christians music is like spoon-feeding a baby. Here is the bare bones of Christianity: Jesus loves you.

And of course, it’s true. But can’t you ever sing about anything that has to do with real life? I wanna hear the song about God helped you out of an abusive relationship. I want the grit of real life, the angst, the depression, the pressure.

NOT “I was going through all this hard crap but I was fine because God is with me.”

False.

No one is ever fine going through break ups, addictions, mental illness, death, depression. No one. It doesn’t matter how devout you are, how many times you go to your church during the week. It doesn’t matter who you study the Bible with or how you pray.

Saying that you are ok going through all of that is bullcrap.

You’re lying. You are lying to non-Christians about what faith means.

Faith doesn’t mean you are ok. Faith doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time.

Faith means you have somewhere to go to. Faith means there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Faith is not flowers. Faith is a coach while you struggle through an obstacle course. Faith is your best friend. Faith is not some prescription medicine you take to feel good about yourself.

That’s why Christian music pisses me off. It’s not real. It’s not what people struggle with. It’s so candy-coated.

Step it up, people. I would love some substance.

It’s Hip to Be Square

Yes, it’s hip to be square.

But for how long?

What if everyone decided to be square in order to be hip?

Then no one would be hip. Square would be the new hip.

The song would be titled ‘Square to be Hip’. Everyone would want to be hip because it’s square which replaced hip as square.

Plus, what’s so special about a square? Is it the only parallelogram that matters?

You should strive to be a trapezoid. Or a rhombus. Perhaps a dodecahedron.

Destroy the stereotype that it’s hip to be square. It’s hip to be any sort of parallelogram.

These random ramblings have been brought to you by Golden Boy and Wild Thing.

Anniversary Musings

You know that moment when you lock eyes with someone for the first time and you just… know?

There’s this shiver crawling in slow motion up your spine. Your mouth twitches into a smile. You find so many hidden things in those eyes.

And you want to know more about them.

It’s been two years since Golden Boy and I went on our first date. Of course, we didn’t know it was a date until he dropped me off. That’s when we decided it had been a date. He met my dad for pity’s sake.

That first date was the most nerve-wracking experience. The entire time we were desperate for non-awkward conversation. I kept staring at his hands, wondering if they were brave enough to hold mine on the first date. I swear we hardly looked at each other.

Two years later we can’t stop looking at each other.

I want to tell all you girls out there (and boys) that there is no problem WAITING. When Golden Boy and I started dating, we had already been friends for a year and we just had this feeling that things were going to work out. I don’t know about him, but I was positive that I could spend the rest of my life flirting with this man.

There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you are sure.

We have something so special, him and I. We are each other’s first and only relationship. First date. First kiss. First everything. And that is not something that is common these days. I’m so glad that he is getting all of me and that I am getting all of him. No one took any of me as theirs and kept it. I was able to tell him that I waited for him. And he waited for me.

There is nothing glorious about being a heartbreaker. There is nothing special about burning through boyfriends or girlfriends. Slow down. Wait to fall in love.

I was in love with my man long before we went on our first date. The great part is that love gets so much deeper with time. Every day I love him more.

I hope that everyone reading this gets that chance. It is the best feeling.

Have a fantastic day everyone.

Homeschooling Wins

I graduate this summer.

I’m 100% done with my school. Every credit is accounted for. I even got a head start on college. How did I get all this done?

Homeschooling.

No, it’s not suppressive and anti-social.

And we aren’t Amish…

Homeschooling has been a huge blessing on me and my family. It has allowed me to do things that public school wouldn’t, such as dance and taekwan-do classes during the day.

Homeschool also allowed me to get a 7-credit head start on college last semester.

My mother had the chance to personally see over my school and was able to approve of everything I learned.

Speaking of, I got to choose what I learned a lot of the time, especially when I got to high school. One semester I had a focus on archaeology. I got to study mythology. I learned about astronomy for a semester. I got to pick what science to do, what English to do, which foreign language I wanted to learn.

Homeschooling gave me time to write a book. (Or two and a half…)

Homeschool connected me with my boyfriend. If I had been public schooled, I never would’ve met Golden Boy since we met in a homeschoolers chemistry class. The thought of not having him in my life is physically painful.

I’m sure public school has it’s good points, like sporting teams and dances, but don’t tell me it’s more social. Sure, you may see a lot of people every day, but how many close friends do you have? I have four very close friends, not including Golden Boy, and a handful of other good friends, friends I can trust. I met the majority of them because of homeschool classes. It may be a different story for you, but I don’t hear about having that many close friends from people I know who are public school.

There’s less drama in homeschool! There’s no backstabbing, breakups, “She-said he-said” or any of that junk. It’s you, chilling at home, listening to music and taking an hour long lunch break.I mean, you have to deal with siblings, but you have to do that anyway.

(There’s also less drugs, underage drinking, and sleeping around)

I was able to get closer to my mom than  I would’ve if I was gone every day. I got to focus on my faith through my school. Apologia science is a wonderful thing.

I will definitely be homeschooling my future children, as long as it’s still legal. Making homeschool illegal is really such a stupid idea. The government is just afraid because the majority of homeschooling families are Christian, conservative, or both and they don’t want either group in America anymore. So I pray for the future of homeschool, especially since public school has gone SO far downhill.

Are you homeschooled, or were in the past? What are your experiences with homeschooling?

Flipping Tables

One of my favorite parts of the Bible: when Jesus got angry.

I’m actually going to start with  John 2:1-11, which is  Jesus turning water into wine. That was his first miracle. Also look at John 7:6.

An important point is that Jesus knew when He was supposed to do things. He said it wasn’t His time to perform his first miracle. That being said, I don’t really know why he did it if it wasn’t His time, but He must’ve had a reason.

Yay, now it’s time for flipping tables! Read John 2:12-25. It’s awesome. It makes me happy.

Jesus went and cleansed the Temple because a bunch of idiots were turning it into a business. Jesus walked in, saw all this happening, and made a whip.

He made a whip.

He didn’t walk through calmly saying “You really shouldn’t be doing this, friends, but if you feel like it’s the way you were born, or if you just love everyone, it’s ok.”

No. He went through driving people out with a whip and flipping their money changing tables over. He yelled at them to get out because His father’s temple was not a place of business. He had some really awesome righteous anger.

Jesus was not meek. He was not always gentle and kind. I do not know why people paint him that way. He took action, he was aggressive, he was physical..

One of the verses says something about zeal for his Father’s house consuming Him. The Greek word for zeal translates into jealousy. He was jealous for His father’s house because it was not what it was meant to be. It had become taken over by the world. It was no longer a place of reverence. People were changing money and selling doves.

This brings me to a concern about today’s mega churches. A lot of the times they have coffee shops, stores, something. They are selling things in their church, and I don’t know how they justify that.

I think it’s ok if it’s a fundraiser, but if people are getting paid to work it or it pays for a pastor’s salary or something, it’s a business and it’s wrong. It’s just plain disrespectful.

One more point to draw from His actions was that he spoke out against what they were doing wrong, not against them as people. He didn’t attack anyone personally. I strive to do that in my blog and I think I do a decent job of it. I speak out against sin without involving a certain people group as best I can.

If you look from Jesus CONVERTING water to wine and then CLEANSING the Temple right after, you see what He does in us. After we convert, we are cleansed, we are renewed. Jesus has wonderful power, let Him work it in you.

Judgement

I’m tired of getting called judgmental by judgmental people who don’t admit that they’re judging me.

Because when you call me judgmental, you are, in fact, judging me.

Now, I never said that I never judge people. Here’s the reality people; we all judge. Yes, you judge people too. Every last one of us make judgments about people and events.

I try not to judge people, and I thought I had been doing a pretty good job about only judging the sin on my blog post, but when I slip up, it’s not really your job to call me out, because that my dear friends is called hypocrisy.

Again, I’m not saying that I’m never hypocritical, but try to think through it before you call me judgmental. I’m trying my best not to be. Are you when you call me out on my every failure?

On a different note, we’re supposed to judge fellow Christians and try and make them aware of their sins. That’s what I’m trying to do. We need to be more careful when we talk to non-believers, and that’s something I need to work on, but I’m blogging mostly to believers and mostly believers comment.

Read these verses in context:

Hebrews 3:12-13

John 7:24

John 8:16

I Corinthians 5:12

1 Corinthians 6:2

Galatians 5:26- 6:2

Ephesians 4:25

Colossians 2:8

Before you throw it at me, Romans 14:13 needs to be read in context. It is talking about different levels of maturity in faith, and how you should not judge if one’s faith is slightly different than yours, not whether or not you should judge sin or make him aware of it. Please, please, please read all the verses in context so they are not abused. You can’t just pick and choose.

Also, Paul, who was not blameless like Christ, spoke out against sin to the churches. He was not silent. He straight up told them what they were doing wrong.

In short, we have been called to judge sin. That is what I am doing. Judging the sin, not the sinner. If you have any reason why that is not Biblical, please tell me, but don’t talk about “feelings” and ignore what the Bible says.