So you may have noticed that my blogging on this website has reached an all time low. One of the reasons for this is because I sort of shifted gears in my daily schedule. I offer the story for you now, not as an apology, but just to keep everyone (my readers) in the loop.
If you look at the categories to the right, you will see “An Expression of Grace” at the top of the list. All of my Christian blogs fall under that category, including of the posts in the “Love Is” series and the “Life Builders” series.
Maybe you knew this already, but what you might not know is how I fit that writing time into my day:
Matthew 6:33 – But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Several years ago, I made a conscious decision to make God’s work the first work I do each day. This is different from prayer, reading the Bible and praising Him. Those things are important, but I don’t see them as work. The decision was to find a way to give God my “first fruits” of the day.
Matthew 6:33 was part of the reason I decided to do this. Read what the Bible has to say about worrying about our worldly needs:
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Put these scriptures into the context of my life. Most people do not stop to consider what it is like to live a life of a professional, freelance musician. I do not receive a regular paycheck. Pearl and I don’t know, with 100% certainty, where our money will come from one week to the next.
It is a sobering reality we live with every day of our lives. And even though we have faith in our Heavenly Father to provide for us, and even though He has, indeed, done precisely that without fail, yet we are made keenly aware of how much we rely on His grace in our financial lives….because of the way that we make our living.
Look at what the scripture says. If you seek FIRST His kingdom and live a righteous life, God will provide for all of your earthly needs. Looking at it that way, the idea of doing His work first each day makes a lot of sense. I realize that I am applying an overly literal interpretation, but there is value in prioritizing this way. What you do first each day will always get done. That’s not just biblical, it’s common sense. By making ministry work the first work I do each day, I am making sure that it gets done.
So that’s where the Christian blog posts have been coming from. I was spending a little time each morning doing what I have always called “ministry work” – before I did any work work.
Well, about five months ago, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging me in a new direction. Instead of writing blogs on Christian topics, I was to invest that same time and effort into composing music for a while. And that’s why the blogging has slowed down so much lately. I’ve been spending my ministry time writing music, not blog posts.
And the reason I’m writing about it now is because I just finished the first ministry composition. It is a brass quintet piece, a theme and variations based on a short piano piece by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky called Morning Prayer.
The work consists of seven movements. The first is the theme which is very close to the original piece. Then the next five movements are variations, each variation featuring a different member of the quintet as a soloist. Then the last movement is a recapitulation of the original theme, but in much grander fashion.
It won’t be available for sale, just yet. I want us to record it first with the Texas brass, but I’m still looking for finances to help make that happen. We are hoping to do a CD of some of my sacred brass quintet works and this new Morning Prayer will most definitely be on that recording.
That said, now that the Morning Prayer is done, it’s time to write something else in the mornings. The new project is going to be music for a video. The video is derived from a new coloring book for adults that Pearl just finished. She has been working hard on a book she calls “Healing Patterns”. The idea is for people to use the act of coloring as a stress release while meditating on healing scriptures.
She created a video of one of the healing images from the book. It begins in black and white, like a regular coloring book, but then gradually fills with color throughout the video.
My next ministry music project is to create music that will complement the concept of the book. With lots of help from the Holy Spirit, I hope to create some trumpet music that has stress busting, healing qualities while at the same time complementing the images in the video.
So yeah, that’s going to be fun, but also a lot of work.