At the Reformation Day Faire, we were privledged with meeting and listening to Nathan Clark George. I had never heard his music before and it was wonderful! He has so many wonderful songs, many of which were taken from the Psalms.
He did a concert on Friday night, and then on Saturday afternoon he gave a more casual workshop. He gave us lots of info on music, namely guitars in church. I found it to be extremely helpful.
One thing that really hit home for me was when a lady asked him how it is, that when he plays, Christ is reflected and not just himself. What he said was something so simple and yet so profound.
He said that when he gets up there he already knows he's not the greatest and that so-and-so is better than him. He doesn't have to become that other person in order for God to use him. You don't have to be as good as so-and-so, you just have to do what God calls you to do. This was so good for me to hear because I tend to make playing at the same par as other people a very high priority. Not to say that we shouldn't strive to be better, but that if our main focus is being as good as the other person we will have a hard time bringing glory to God. How true!
He also talked a lot about using guitars in church which can be a touchy subject. He went through and explained how playing the guitar in church is different than how you might play it at other times. He gave us examples of how you don't need excesive, ever count strumming for hymns, but rather just some lite, on the first beat strums. I think it was really good for all the guitar players to hear. (I can't decide if I fall into that category yet since I haven't practiced guitar in a couple months.)
Someone also asked about solos in church and I really liked his answer. He said that he tends to keep most of the music congregational, but he does allow some solos because frankly if you over-rule solos then the whole congregation should be preaching on Sunday mornings because every pastor does a solo when he stands to preach. I never thought of that. At the same time, he said we still need to be cautious with that because we don't want it to become showy.
Anyways, as far as hymn music goes, he has some great songs. You can click here to listen to clips from his cd's. I really enjoy his psalms. They are so good and I love that they are taken from scripture. Some favorite songs of mine were:
"You Make Me Smile"
That song has got to be one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard. He wrote it for his wife and I just love it! There are only a few "love songs" that I really enjoy being that I'm not "in love" so to speak, but this one is now my favorite.
"The Lord Will Provide"
Song about a chicken hawk and the Lord providing, need I say more? It is hillarious!
"I Will Rejoice"
This one touched my heart in a way that I can't describe simply because it is a prayer that I have had to pray many times over. Rejoicing in the trials of life is a hard thing, but God will and does carry you through.
More pictures to come later, but I had to put this one up for some friends. I started this dress last Monday and had to finish it by Wednesday, which was quite difficult because it had more hand stitching than I have ever had to do on a dress. It could almost pass for a Christmasy sort of dress. The trick now will be finding somewhere else to wear it to.