Sunday, September 25, 2011

Psalm 119:1-8 Aleph NKJV

Psalm 119 will cause you to fall in love with the Bible.

What's the Point?

I would like to take some text space to answer two questions: "Why Psalmples" and "How?" I'll save the first question for a later post, but I'd like to share with how I got started writing music.

I haven't previously told this to many people, but this whole process was birthed in my heart when I was between 12 and 15. I was a regular church-goer, but had no relationship with the Lord what-so-ever. I played trombone in the church choir, but couldn't sing a note nor could I even tell you how to hold a guitar, much less play one. But during church, we would have these times when we would sing from the Psalms - it was all A Capella, very traditional - and certainly not anything I'd ever listen to of my own decision... but I remember at that young age thinking "someone should take those and make songs out of them." And what I meant by "songs" was contemporary music with those words as lyrics. I somehow knew that those were once songs, and they should be again. Never did I think it would be me!

As I grew, I moved out on my own, and in an apartment, a trombone is not well received by neighbors (although it is in my opinion the most beautiful instrument next to the human voice). I had bought an acoustic guitar which sat in my closet for a couple of years, and then one day I heard a song that so captivated me that I had to learn how to play it. I went online and found the tabs, learned the chords, and played that one song over and over for about 6 to 8 months. It was the only song I knew! Naturally I learned more chords, and more songs. I discovered I had this ability to take words that other people had written and put them to music... but I didn't really pursue it in any way. Just as it came to me, and as a creative outlet - a hobby.

Then at the age of 26, I had a life changing Encounter with Jesus Christ. I experienced the reality of my sins being forgiven, and He empowered me to break free from past addictions. I discovered that He had a plan for my life, including who He intended me to marry, and at that moment I made a commitment that I would find out His plan and follow it. I wanted - and still do want - His absolute best for my life.

It was about 9 months later that I was studying the Bible and I discovered something that amazed me. Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the whole Bible, was all about the Bible. It is all self-referential, about how amazing the Word of God is. And not only that, I learned that it is what is called acrostic, meaning that the first letter of each line is in order. So the first 8 verses start with the letter A, the next 8 start with B, the next 8 with C, and so on (in Hebrew, of course, not English.) I thought "Wow... this is the alphabet song! It was written so that little children could memorize it!" I decided to do just that. Every opportunity I had, I read it, wrote it, and recited it from memory. I went to visit my family 8 hours away, and as I drove I shut off the my radio and just recited it over and over and over. I was doing great! I had about 40 verses solid. With only 136 to go!

That's when it happened. I remember distinctly sitting in my car in a Target parking lot, waiting for a friend, and all of a sudden it just bubbled out of me... "Blessed are... the undefiled in the way..." as a song. I thought "wow, that was cool..." I kept singing it over and over. I got home and picked up my guitar. In an hour or two, I had the whole section "Aleph" of Psalm 119 written, and I knew I was going to set the whole Psalm to music. It took about two years for me to write, but I have done just that.

And with that, I will segue into the next post, which is Aleph, the Psalm that started it all. I'll share "why psalmples" in the near future.

Psalm 13 NKJV

Psalm 13 - What a great turnaround. I think anyone who has followed the Lord for any period of time has felt like David did at the beginning - "Lord! Where are You?!" But how quickly he turns around is remarkable! Two verses of despair, two verses of crying out, then all of a sudden he is trusting, rejoicing in his heart, and singing to the Lord! 

What a comeback! Let's not take more than 4 verses to do the same!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Psalm 92 NKJV

I have to be honest - I love this Psalm. There is something in my heart that sings along with my voice when I sing "it is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your Name..." What is amazing to me is that it is something that can only be experienced... the warmth in my heart, the touch of God that I feel when I give thanks to the Lord... it's like trying to describe a sunset.

I wish that you experience what I do when you hear this Psalm.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Psalm 87 NKJV

Most, if not all, of what I've posted thus far is stuff I've written over the last few years. Some of what I've written lately - I love it so much I'm not ready to share it with the world yet. But Psalm 87 came to me while I was working on another Psalm. I happened to glance at it on the page, and the music just came! I wrote it on Monday 9/12/11. So I'd like to share some fresh oil!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Psalm 63 NKJV

There is an interesting principle in the Scripture about seeking God early. Jesus got up many hours before daylight to pray. Abraham got up early the day he left to sacrifice Isaac. David rose early to take the supplies to his brothers on the battle field. 

I think one way to look at it is - God is a "morning person." Right - of course we can come to him day or night, any time. But there's something about putting Him first that... it's just right, isn't it? Wouldn't it be awesome to get up an hour earlier than you normally do to spend some time with the Lord? I would love that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Psalm 115

Psalm 115 - my first posting of this lost quality as I was translating it to different file types. So here's another shot!

What a great Psalm!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Psalm 016

Psalm 16 is here! You can download the mp3 from the link above or watch online with lyrics here!

I've been working on automating the posting process... my script takes two files: the music (as a wav) and the lyrics (as an srt) and does the following:

1. Creates an mp3 of the wav (and adds id3 information)
2. Creates an avi with a black jpg and the mp3
3. Creates the flv from the avi and the subtitle file
4. Uploads to youtube via a python script "youtube-upload"