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May 6, 2020 at 10:55 am #4271officeKeymaster
Noticings…May 6, 2020
I accepted a challenge. It’s not very taxing, and it’s kind of fun. The challenge is to post on Facebook 10 albums in 10 days that are personally significant for you, with no explanation. I liked that it wasn’t just about naming your 10 favourite albums, because then you might get into taste, and comparison, and all that stuff. An album can be remarkably significant for you and still not be one of your favourite pieces of music. Such is the case with the album I posted today, and I wanted to share the significance of it with you.
The album is called “Change Your World” by contemporary Christian musician Michael W. Smith. Back in the early 1990s I had only heard of Michael because of his top 10 hit called “A Place in This World.” Great song. I heard that he had a follow up album out so I went to my local record store to buy it. They didn’t have it. Neither did their competitor across the mall. So I asked the salesperson. They said he was more of a Christian artist, so maybe I should try the Christian bookstore.
Honestly, I had heard about such stores but had never been in one. I thought they were only for hard-core evangelical, conservative Christians, and I knew I wasn’t one of those. But I wanted that album, so with trepidation I ventured in. I confess that I was uneasy going in, half expecting to be accosted with a “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal saviour?” test as a condition of entrance. (I wasn’t, and I’d answer that question with great flare and nuance now, but then, despite being a lifelong follower of Jesus, I was a stranger in a strange land.)
Back to Michael’s album. They had it. And they also had all these other albums from Christian artists that I had never heard of before. And, this is the best thing; they had a listening station so you could sample everything! Some of it was really awful musically, some of it was trying way too hard, some of it sounded like Jesus was their boyfriend, but some of it, no, to be fair quite a lot of it, was really, really good. I found a few titles I liked and I took the plunge and bought them.
And thus began my love of contemporary praise music, and more important than that, it opened up a whole new level of depth in my Christian faith. That music didn’t sound like our hymn books. It sounded more like my heart music.
And the next thing I know I’m writing songs about my faith.
And the next thing I know I’m singing those songs in a bunch of churches.
And the next thing I know I’m studying theology.
And the next thing I know I’m ordained.
Was this all because of a Michael W. Smith album called “Change Your World?” No. Of course not. It was dozens of little pieces (and people!) that all converged. But walking into that store that day certainly did change my world. You never know what might happen when you follow a nudge, and follow your heart, and say yes. God calls us in all sorts of ways. It’s up to us to notice.
Thank you for the response to the Request for MasksThree of the agencies that our people of Faith support throughout the year were in need of masks.
On behalf of Bethesda House, Denise House and the Back Door Mission, I want to say a huge “thank you” to Marilyn Whitefield, Cynthia Doyle and Josie Doyle for creating 74 absolutely beautiful fabric masks. I delivered them today and the staff at these agencies were SO pleased and grateful to receive them. Having made several myself, I know how time consuming they are to make, so thank you very, very much! You have made a significant contribution to keeping people safe! ~ Sheila Ellis, CWIDShalom,
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