Learning the Old Songs

When I was going through a divorce back in 1974 and desperate for God, I attended church one Sunday morning. As I walked through the door, one of my friends from work motioned for me to sit by her. As far as she knew, I hadn’t ever gone to church, so I knew she was surprised and questioning.

I shared her hymnal when we stood for congregational singing and sang each song, barely looking at the words. After the service was dismissed, she told me how glad she was that I had come that morning and then she said, “I just have one question. Why do you know all the words to the songs?” I was caught. I had been trying so hard not to be that little girl who was raised in church, but in times of trouble, the words to the songs came back to me.

Start singing Amazing Grace in a crowded bar and before long, you will have every drunk in the place crying in their beer. They learned that song in Sunday School or Vacation Bible school, taken by a grandmother or aunt that wanted them to experience the songs and stories of the Bible. it is the most recorded song of all time.

But now we have a new generation who don’t know the words of the hymns by heart. Many of this generation have never been in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school. They don’t know the words to Amazing Grace or Blessed Assurance or Onward Christian Soldiers.

I love the new music that is being used in most churches, including ours. The songs with the Word of God in them resonate and burn themselves into our hearts. I love to sing songs that cause me to look to the Lord and worship Him, but time will only tell if those songs become the classics which are sung around the world in every language. A classic must be singable, without words and music to go by.

We won’t have to try to memorize them; we will sing them by heart, because the true classic song speaks to our hearts.

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Missing Piece

 My family got me a bread machine. Breadmaking is now fast and easy; well, faster and easier than breadmaking used to be.

Mother combined the yeast and water, then mixed it with the flour and other ingredients. Next she kneaded the bread, taking one side of the lump of dough and folding it over the other, time after time. The longer she kneaded, the better the bread would be. Then she would cover it with a clean cloth and set it aside usually on the top of the stove, where the
pilot light provided just enough heat for the dough to rise. An hour later, when the dough had risen to double its size, she punched the dough down, kneaded it a little more, pinched it off into rolls, which she placed on a greased cookie sheet to rise the second time and baked till a lovely brown.

There was no one who ever turned down her rolls and cinnamon rolls. 25 years as a cook in the school cafeteria made her one of the best bread bakers in town.

Ok, so my bread is not as good as mom’s, but it is good. I got my bread machine out to make bread recently. I opened my package of bread mix, put the water in the bottom of the machine’s bowl, the flour on top of that and the yeast on top of that. I started the machine and then went about my day,  cleaning house. I came back about 30 minutes later to check on the bread and found that the machine was running but nothing was happening. There was no bread that day. It was a flop.

When I took the dough out, cleaned it all up and investigated, I discovered that there was a little plastic paddle missing from the bottom of the dough bowl. That piece stirs and kneads the dough. Without it, there  will be no bread. My $50 bread machine is worthless without that piece. I called the bread machine company and they sent me a new paddle free of
charge.

Maybe you are like that little plastic paddle–small, inexpensive, not very important looking. You may think that you don’t
matter. If you miss church this Sunday, no one will even notice. You think, “They have so many other people that they will never miss me,” but the truth is that every person has value and importance in the plan of God.

I Corinthians 12:27 says “Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.”

You might be the important little plastic paddle in God’s breadmaker.

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