Hymnal, Psalms, and Smokey Mountain Music

Blogember 11:Β 3 albums you would take in a deserted island.

The Bible says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord..” (Ephesians 5:19) Since I am picky and do not have any favorite albums, I’m going to do this instead..

1. Hymnal

Our church hymnal has 538 hymns, and certain selections from scripture. Slowly, but surely, I am going through the hymnal and learning the different hymns. A lot of the hymns contain scripture, which is a bonus!

Hymns are just awesome. I absolutely adore (most of) them. I find most hymns have such powerful stories behind them, i.e. “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go“, “Abide With Me“, Fanny Crosby, etc.

Most days I find that a certain hymn will press on my heart. I’ll wake up with it on my mind, and soon on my tongue. The hymn may not persist throughout the day; it may change to another, according to the circumstances. It seems they come right when I need them. (Almost like scripture does.) This is convenient, since I try to sing a hymn during my morning quiet time.

Hymns improve my day dramatically. It keeps my focus on the Lord, reminding me of heavenly things. When I’m going through hard times, dull times, busy times..there’s a hymn that will shift my focus back to God.

Recently I was going through an old list of songs that I had saved on my phone with the purpose of looking into them more. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why I did this, but I had saved a very depressing “break up” song. Just listening to the first 30 seconds made me feel like I was dying and falling into a black hole. I stopped, deleted it, and thought, “How can women subject themselves to such things?” I then realized that there was I time where I did that very thing. But having fed myself a good diet of hymns and spiritual songs, I have lost the taste to wallow in self-pity. (Thank the Lord.)

I’m not trying to harshly judge, or look down upon, those who do listen to that sort of music. (Nor am I insinuating that anything BUT hymns and spiritual songs are wrong.) I do feel sorry if that’s their main diet, though. That’s just no way to live.

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

2. Psalms

Today I posted a status on my personal profile on Facebook about the sermon my Dad taught on Sunday.

“Yesterday, Dad’s sermon was on Psalm 1. During the introduction, he explained that the Psalms were songs, and that we may just learn them and sing them to worship God in heaven.

For a while now I thought that it would be really neat to have a Bible that had a small hymnal in the back, with a few select hymns of the faith.

However, when Dad was preaching yesterday, it dawned on me that my Bible did have a hymnal; right smack in the middle of it. The hymns in our hymnal are “inspiring”, but not the inspired word of God.

Funny to think I had my desire this whole time. LOL

I just thought it was a funny revelation of mine.”

I would either take a Bible, the book of Psalms, or a Psaltery with me.

I have only recently fallen in love with the Psalms. I can’t really explain why I never cared for them in the past, but I actually dreaded the thought of reading them. They bored me. I suppose I just didn’t have an understanding, or couldn’t really relate to any of them. I much preferred Proverbs over the Psalms. A couple weeks ago, however, that changed.

Every morning, right when I wake up, I open my Bible and turn to a Psalm. I read it, meditate on it, and pray. Often, I’ll pray the Psalm itself. I have yet to perfect this routine, but they say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. πŸ˜‰ It starts my day off just right; I love it. This morning I was unusually happy after doing so, and was even laughing over the smallest things. The word being “cheerful”, I suppose? I am not a morning person, so that’s pretty significant!

As I read through the Psalms now, I highlight and mark those that I have touched me. If it’s of some importance on a particular day, I’ll write the date down next to it. I appreciate this habit, for now I’ll run into passages with a marked date and think, “The Lord helped me that day.” Praise God. It’s a good reminder for me, and allows me to reflect my life in a edifying manner.

I’m so glad the Lord showed me the beauty and importance of the Psalms. I don’t think I can live without them now.

3. Smokey Mountain Music

Alright, so this may be one of my least spiritual additions to this list, but honesty is the best policy, I say! LOL

I love me some Smokey Mountain music. The best cleanin’ music around, next to bluegrass. I love the different Appalachian instruments; the cheery, busy tune; and the silent story the song is telling. A friend of mine introduced me to the music, but now I feel that it’s in my blood to listen! (My Grandmother may object; she’s the genealogist in our family.)

Normally I listen to “Smokey Mountain Hymns”, but through Pandora it will play music related to it, so it’s now always hymns. I’m not a legalist, however, so I’m okay with it. πŸ˜‰ Some of my favorite tunes are “Ashokan Farewell”, “Wildwood Flower”, and one other that I cannot recall and may edit in once I think of it. (Quality blogging.)

I have yet to really warm up to classical music, so I like the think that Smokey Mountain is the step right before that. I will have my moments where I’ll play classical, but honestly I find it too “busy” to listen to for long periods of time. I’m not going to try to explain that statement when I just said a few paragraphs up that I like Smokey Mountain music because it has a busy tune. (Quality blogging. #2)

Oh, and for future reference, I plan on playing some Smokey Mountain music at my wedding. πŸ˜‰

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”
Psalm 95:1-3

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