Friday, January 14, 2011

The Smile Song

My cousin Julie is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Since she was a little girl, she has had a brain tumor. The doctors were able to stunt its growth and Julie was given the gift of 25 years. Unfortunately, because of the brain tumor, she got brain cancer. I witnessed my cousin suffer through endless days of chemo and therapy. All through the last couple years of suffering through her cancer, my cousin smiled. She loved Jesus more than anything.
Today, my cousin Julie died.
Today, my cousin was healed
Today, my cousin was given a perfect body.

Right now, my cousin is sitting in the arms of Jesus.

Below is a song that reminds me of Julie. It reminds me of her smile, her love for Jesus and her genuine faith.

"The Smile Song"
Author Unknown
Everyday in this world, there are people that I meet.
I walk up, shake their hand, and they see-
The kind of person that I am by the smile that I wear.

I am blessed by the smile Jesus gives me.

A smile, a smile to make this life worthwhile;
A smile, precious smile Jesus gives me.
And someday I know to Heaven I will go where I'll thank Jesus for the smile He gives me.

Jesus Christ died for you, and He really loves you too.
There's a way you can smile and be happy!
Won't you trust in Him today? He'll come in, come in to stay.
You'll be blessed by the smile Jesus gives you

After dying on the tree, out of love for you and me,
He rose up from the grave as He promised.
Now He sits in Heav'n above, and because of His great love,
We are blessed by the smile Jesus gives us.

Julie's smile affected alot of people. Your's can too.

In Christ and For His Kingdom,

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Truth Hurts

In some of my former posts I mentioned that I've been learning how to play the penny whistle. Well, today I made the most shocking, horrific, terrible discovery. I don't play it right!

(Okay, so maybe it wasn't quite that bad. It just felt like it at the moment.)

You see, my little brother got a penny whistle for Christmas (he's determined to play the bagpipes and we thought penny whistle would be a good start) and he wanted me to teach him how to play. I thought, "Great! This will be so fun!" So, I checked out some beginer books from the library and sat him down for lessons. I opened up to the second page of the book and there before my eyes it said, "Cover the top three tone holes with the first three fingers of the left hand." I stopped and read it again. I'm pretty sure that my mouth dropped open. I always covered the top three holes with my right hand! Don't ask me how I got this wrong. I was dumbstruck. I managed to teach my little brother the first couple of notes, but I felt so stupid I couldn't go on. All of this time and I had been playing it with the wrong hands!

So much for learning how to play guitar this year. It looks like I will be re-learning how to play the penny whistle.

It reminds me of a scene in one of my fovorite movies, "The Ultimate Gift." The main character's Grandfather, via the TV screen (he died) basically tells him that you will have to start at the begining more than once in your life. It builds your character and it helps you succceed. I think I have an idea of how he felt. It is no fun to discover that you need to retrain your brain to do the opposite of what you've been doing. Trust me, I've seen this struggle soooo many times being a piano teacher. Honestly, I can't play any of the songs I used to be really good at any more. Ugh!

Oh well, at least I can tell my little brother that I am learning right along with him. I'm sure God has some lesson that He wants me to learn from this. I only wish I would have learned it sooner.

In Christ and for His Kingdom,


Monday, January 3, 2011

The Train Whistle

Music is everywhere. It is part of life, that is, if you hear music the way I hear it. I can hear music in the wind, the water, and the birds. Music just seems to float about like a little gift from above. Sometimes however, music can be found in the strangest of places, it can be inspired by the oddest of sounds. We’ve been learning about trains and the railway. It’s funny how, when you’re least expecting it, you learn something new. So anyways, I’m learning about the Texas Archive Wars and about the first train to pull into Austin on Christmas day, when we start reading about train whistles. I think, “Cool, that’s interesting,” as I listen and try to remember all of the important people who invented train whistles. Then all-of-a-sudden, I hear, “When passing through the local station in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley, drivers soon began to play the first line of the folk song, ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’ on their loco horns….” (Wikipedia) What can I say, I like folk songs and when I hear something about a folk song, it tends to spark my interest. The article went on to talk about how the train drivers would play the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which was Morse code for victory, when driving through town. (You know the song; dun, dun, dun DU-N!) It was rather fun trying to imagine what it must have been like to lie in bed, trying to fall asleep when Beethoven’s Symphony is blasted out from a train whistle.

The article presented a train of thought, which I had not considered before. They called it, “The Melancholy Nature of Train Whistles,” but I prefer to call it, “The Musicality of Trains.” I had really never thought about train whistles having any correlation to music, but they sure do. Different train whistles make different sounds, which in turn, can provoke different feelings. Some whistles sound like their crying or wailing and inspire slow sad sounding songs like the folk song, “Five Hundred Miles”, while others have that energizing blast which gives us songs like, “The Gospel Railroad.” Both ways seem to have good results, in my opinion. It’s almost funny to think about the fact that some people heard a train whistle and thought of sadness and loneliness. They thought of having to say goodbye and of friends, while others thought of heroes like Casey Jones and of hard work. (I’m thinking of songs like, “The Ballad of Casey Jones,” and “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”)

I can hear both the sadness and the happiness in a train whistle, but I’m one of those people that prefers to hear the happiness. I really like songs like, "The Gospel Railroad,"
"This Train is Bound For Glory" and "Jesus Is Your Ticket To Heaven."
They hold in them that hopeful, driving sound that tells you , this train is headed to a destination and if you’re getting on, then get on! and hang on for the ride. There will be curves and twists and steep mountains to climb, “Hey, I never said it was a cruise liner,” but, this train is bound for glory! It’s a great picture. (Make sure you click on the songs and read the lyrics.)

So I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You’ll probably never hear the sound of a train whistle the same way again, at least, I won’t.

In Christ and For His Kingdom,