Spilled Perfume - Our Notes & Thoughts

Do Christians have to sing? 

Yes. Simple answer. Even if I'm not good at it? Yes. 

Chances are, if you subscribe to Livingston County Christian Musicians, you have some interest in music. Actually, chances are if you are human you have some interest in music. Music has spanned all cultures throughout time and has been the language of our emotions, the comfort to our souls and articulation of what we know and what we are unsure of. 

But today, right now, 2018, does God have a plan to use music in my life and in my sanctification process? If so, am I aware of what that is? Do I know what He wants me to do with my gifts?  Am I still to engage with music as a part of my Christian walk if I have limited musical gifts? 

Lets begin with the masses, God's people, those who are redeemed. ALL are to sing. Over 50 times, the Bible commands us to sing. We, of course, are to sing to God, but we are also to sing to each other. Ephesians 5:19 says "speak TO one another with songs." Someone is using songs to speak, while the one they are speaking to, listens. This is a God given directive. Personally, I love this! I would almost always prefer to hear a message through song (maybe that is why I love musicals!) 

Now, what to sing!!??  We have many options to choose from. There is no lack of songs to be sung. One of our hopes for this organization is to help point our community toward musicians who are gifted in writing songs that will be most beneficial to our community in providing music that will stir their affections for Jesus, reiterate sound theology and express the beauty of the Creator through skilled musicianship. Does this mean that unskilled musicians will still have a place in this experience? Absolutely!! ALL are to sing, remember? However, Biblically, there is a specific calling on skilled musicians, and the entire body of Christ will be blessed when they are exercising their unique gifting. It is a gifting given to them by Christ for His glory and the Body's edification. 

Remember in Samuel 16 when Saul was tormented by a "harmful spirit from God"? His advisors knew that a skilled musician would be a comfort to Saul. Not only did that end up being true, but this skilled musician was the catalyst for sending the harmful spirit away. Saul was "refreshed"! Do you ever feel the need to be refreshed!? Consider a skilled musician as a spiritual gift, given by God for you and for your refreshment. How good is our God!? He has provided for our refreshment! 

Skilled musicians were also called about to do literal battle....to lead the troops. As a skilled musician, this overwhelms me. And frankly frightens me. I would certainly make a case of Special Forces on the front lines, musicians in the rear. Ponder the implications of God's plan. Send the musicians ahead of all else? What must be happening in the unseen, yet clearly as real as the seen, world!? 

So then, should we support skilled musicianship? It seems as though the case can be made that we most definitely should- especially if we want to be refreshed, if we want to battle harmful spirits and if we want to prepare for any other type of spiritual warfare as the people of God.

We are most blessed when we find skilled musicians who share the passion we do for equipping the masses to SING! If you have never been to a Keith and Kristyn Getty concert, you are in for a night of just that - skilled musicians, passionate about all singing! We anticipate a night of the county wide Body of Christ joining together. Maybe before considering the above content we would have not been aware of what a night like this would be about, but now we know as we gather, harmful spirits will be lifted. Do you know someone tormented by them, someone who needs to be refreshed? Do you need this? Bring them. Come and Sing! Are you longing to see your friends, family and neighbors saved for eternity through the blood of Jesus? Are you willing to do spiritual warfare on their behalf? Are you willing to sing to dispel the evil one who wants to seek, kill and destroy? Come and sing! 

Why Does God Command Us to Sing? - Matt Chandler 
How Shall I Sing? - Keith and Kristyn Getty 

- Jenni Curtin

Giving voice, rhythm, and breath to the Word 

I have recently found an album of Psalms by Sandra McCracken that has given new light to the ancient churches repertoire of worship music. Colossians 3:16 says ‘Sing Psalms and let the word of Christ dwell in you.’ We know that singing does just that. Giving voice, rhythm, and breath to the Word plants it deep in our hearts. 

Here is an interview with Sandra McCracken that speaks more eloquently about the role the Psalms have played in her seasons of lament and how she would encourage the church to incorporate these Psalms and songs of lament into their corporate worship.

“It’s the most wonderful time…of the year!” No I don’t want more snow 

“It’s the most wonderful time…of the year!”  No I don’t want more snow.  But, I’ve always loved Easter.   God has orchestrated from the beginning of time that His creation would proclaim every year that death is dead and that life lives again! 
  
In a sense, it seems like we get Christmas wrong; all the glitz and glamour. Christmas comes in a hushed cloud of white as Christ enters the world discretely in a manger as a baby. Then Easter, the story is finished with a melting away of the cold and new life springing from the earth as our Savior walks from His grave!  Amazing! Glory! Triumph!  We walk through the horror of the cross with the hope and the taste for the resurrection.  We get to say to the world ‘death is dead and our Savoir reigns!”   Surely, this is the most wonderful time of the year! 
  
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LCCM is very excited to be hosting Andrew Peterson on April 14th. The concert will be at Cornerstone EPC in Brighton. He is a gifted writer... his lyrics and melody speak straight to my heart with honesty, truth and beauty. Please come and be blessed! 

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE 

View Andrew's recent video of his song "Is He Worthy?"

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Other Upcoming Event: 

CHILD OF THE PROMISE – Thanksgiving 2019 
  
Recommended Listening: 

  • Psalms – Sandra McCracken 
  • Psalm Songs, Vol. 1 – The Corner Room 
  • Psalm Live – Shane and Shane 

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Discussion: 

What is your favorite Psalm, Hymn or Spiritual song that has brought you closer to the Lord in an intimate way? Let us know on our Facebook page.

The Necessity of Art - Living in Story 

Christians from the very beginning have gathered around and told stories to each other. The stories of Abraham, Moses, Miriam, Mary Magdalen, Jesus, and Paul. 

We capture the hearts of children not with theology, but with great stories of how God defeated a giant with a boy and a slingshot. Our faith is defined by Godʼs redemption plan through Christ’s story - it is this beautiful narrative that is weaved together showing Godʼs people how much He loved them. It is a story of epic battles, romance, wondrous miracles, great tragedy, and plenty of mystery. The greatest story of all time written by the first storyteller! 

It has always been the Story and stories that have changed my heart. God broke into my heart through music at a very young age. And not only Christian music. I could see Him in everything was the true and good and beautiful. (Philippians 4:8) Through music, I was continually broken hearted for the world and overwhelmed by His love for me. 

Andrew Peterson a singer/songwriter and author that gives a great example of this. He tells his story to R.C. Sproulʼs congregation and describes seeing his friend in the movie ʻO Brother Where for Art Thou.ʼ He explained with a coy smile that every time he watched the movie, he looked for his friend and even paused the movie so he could show others that his friend was there. Andrew give evidence to how we as Christian’s experience story the same way. We can find Christ in the background of the movie, in the verse of a song, and in the hero of the book and we want to tell the world as He draws us to Himself - ʻLook! See! Hereʼs my friend! Can you see Him? Let me tell you His story.” 

But, these days as an adult I find that I am losing the ability to be overwhelmed as my focus is, primarily, application of scripture. My heart moves further away from the majesty of Christʼs story the more I try to apply a theology to my life. Of course, application is good and important to our walk as Christians, but the walking is slower for me when my head tries to lead the way. It is when I open my heart to the story of Miriam as she dances or cry out in sorrow with the Psalmist and share in Paulʼs love for the church that I become part of the story and my heart is moved. 

We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and body... perhaps it is our heartʼs job to convince the mind and not the other way around - so I look for stories. 

Andrew Peterson is a storyteller that does this for me. He tells stories with word and melody that pull me in. His latest album called “Resurrection Letters: Prologue” - tells the Lenten story to us in a deeply personal way. In this album, Andrew has reminded me that Christʼs journey to the cross is the greatest evidence that God is “Always Good” even though, like Peter, we may not have eyes to see. He paints a picture of Christ on the cross with a lamenting loop that helps me feel as the thief on the cross while Christ sings over us ʻforgive them for they know not what they do.” 

LCCM is thrilled to be welcoming Andrew Petersonʼs tour to Livingston County on April 14th! It will be a time to enter into the Kingdom story - a time to "re-story" ourselves the way only art can. Be encouraged to find a story that captivates your heart and spend time in it. Let us know what stories you love. What authors, musicians, and artists are moving you? We want to hear you say ʻLook! See this! Hereʼs my friend.” 

Tell stories, sing songs, inspire hearts and be fully alive in the great majesty of Christ.

Blessings,
Sarah

Dear Friends & LCCM Supporters 

It has been quite some time since we have been in contact. It has been a long fall for us, but a restorative one. 

As you know, we did not do a production in November 2017. In Lieu of Child of the Promise, Jenni had her knee replaced and we have both been spending a good amount of time resting, praying, studying and searching God for direction to move forward in His service in a bold way, but also in a way that would be best for us and our families. 

I delight to tell you something you already know - God is Good! He is SO good! 

So we begin a new to build a stronger foundation for an organization that will support, serve, and encourage a community not just from one church, but from all churches - the full body of Christ here in Livingston County. LCCM is committed to building this bridge between churches so that we may spur each other on and rejoice in true Gospel-centered fellowship with one another. 

Here are a few things you can expect: 

  1. Singing Opportunities - Pop up choirs and productions 
  2. Monthly Newsletter! We will be sending out a monthly e-newsletter with education, LCCM recommended listening, videos, and discussion. 
  3. Concerts! LCCM is committed to bringing in Christian Artists to Livingston County  and to provide our community with God honoring entertainment. 

Please subscribe to our newsletter here on the website

SAVE THE DATE and/or BUY Tickets Now! 

  • Andrew Peterson - April 14, 2018 at Cornerstone EPC Brighton, MI [BUY TICKETS
  • Child of the Promise - Thanksgiving Weekend 2018

Talk to you again soon!