Thursday, July 17, 2008

Piano Lessons

I grew up with a piano in my home. I grew up with a piano that was played a lot in my home. I had never contemplated life without access to one until I went off to college, where I had to trek to the MSC to a practice room if I wanted some quiet time to play. Since then, I've been without, playing when I can, with a stretch of violin lessons right after college in an effort to learn something a little more portable. Not quite the same, but fun anyway!

I'm now in a home of my own, and until this weekend, I hadn't realized just how much more that would make my house a home. Don't get me wrong--my house has been a home all along, but it seems more complete somehow now that I can sit down and reclaim a part of me that has been suppressed for many years at this point.

(My mother is probably reading this right now and saying, "And you fought me tooth and nail over those lessons. I told you so." It's true kids. Listen to your parents.)

Anyway, now that I have a piano of my very own, I am rediscovering something that has all but gone the way of the dinosaur--the Baptist hymnal. What beautiful words and melodies fill that book. The pages are laden with poetic truths of Jesus and his beauty, revere for the power of God working in the life of but simple people, and wisdom to seek Him with all your heart. One of my favorites is the first one I ever played for hymn festival (you played a hymn for a judge--kind of a competition, but really you just compete against yourself. And you got a ribbon!)

A discussion in my Sunday school class this past weekend really drove this home to me on reading God's word for just simple practicality of living a life that is pleasing to the Father, rather than dissecting for the purpose of theology only. I hope their beautiful simplicity will inspire you today as well.

Wonderful Words of Life
by Philip P. Bliss

Sing them over again to me
Wonderful Words of Life
Let me more of their beauty see
Wonderful Words of Life

Words of life and beauty
Teach me faith and duty

Beautiful words, wonderful words
Wonderful words of life
Beautiful words, wonderful words
Wonderful words of life.


  1. I took lessons for a little bit growing up, but gave it up b/c I never wanted to practice! Now I wish I had learned and have even thought of taking lessons again, but just never worked up the nerve to do it
    . Maybe you and me need to spend some time in front of your piano with that hymnal book. :)

  2. Good words! Consider this too: Dissecting God's Word "just for the simple practicality of living a life that is pleasing to the Father" is in fact "doing theology." Churches have sort of muffed up on making this point. Even so, doing just what you say you want to do with the Word is in fact doing theology (in fact, that is doing theology more than a lot of what I deal with at the seminary . . .). You deserve pat on the back for doing something that we all should be doing more of everyday. :)

    p.s. didn't know you played the piano . . . when can we expect to see you play, hmmm!?!?!?! :)

  3. Thank you both for your comments. I doubt you will see me performing in public ever!

    You made a good point, Bryan, that living out God's Word is, in effect living theology--at least I think that's what you meant. (Actually the conversation in SS got started with a discussion on having to take Greek at seminary, if I remember correctly, so it's interesting that you mention your studies too!)


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