Striving for excellence means pushing past frustration

Day 27 :: Some daysIt’s pretty common knowledge that music is one of the most powerful tools God has given us for for ministry. It stands to reason then that music ministries are the Devil’s favorite target. And, like anything else you try to do in excellence to God, when you’re trying to go to another level is when the enemy begins to attack even more. Perfecting music ministry can be a lot of hard work. Long rehearsals filled with repetition after repetition as choirs, praise teams and groups strive to perfect their harmonies and sound so that God may get the glory.

In a previous blog I gave you scriptures that support the fact that God honors this work. Scripture always speaks highly of skilled musicians and singers. But sometimes it doesn’t come easy. Often it’s the most simple of things too, isn’t it? One little part that you just can’t get down, or one little line that somebody keeps forgetting; something that any other day would be easy for this group. But tonight. This song. It won’t come together. And it’s times like these that we forget what we’re doing all this for in the first place. We get weary. Tempers flare. Arguments take place sometimes. And inevitably someone will question why it’s even all that important.
How do you keep going? How do you push past this? What do you do when you’re stuck on a song, it’s not coming together and everyone is getting angry and frustrated.

1. Stop and pray. Join hands and just begin to pray as a group. Ask God to bind the spirit of division of strife. Pray for unity. Ask Him to move self out of the way. Pray genuinely and not with malice or strife in your hearts. Honesty and truly worship God. A negative spirit has a hard time surviving in this environment. Try going back to the song afterwards, when hearts and minds are in a better state.

2. If it’s harmony that’s causing the problem, try singing the difficult passage a cappella. Often singing the harmony without music helps your singers hear all of the parts blending together. It can really help some singers make sense of their part and understand why it is what it is.

3. If it’s lyrics talk about the subject of the song. Connect with it’s message. Talk about different lines or passages and ask members what it means to them . Moving forward, get into the habit of NOT using lyric sheets unless it’s absolutely necessary. Lyric sheets can be more of a hindrance than a help. They cause your brain to be “lazy, so-to-speak. There’s no need to memorize something as long as the words are in front of you.

4. If all else fails, table the song until another rehearsal. Sometimes getting away from a song gives members a chance to renew their hearts and minds and come back refreshed and with a new attitude about the song.

Whatever you do, continue to strive to give God the best your music ministry has to offer. Often that does mean you have to push past tricks of the enemy like discontent, frustration and anger. Time after time though, those music ministries that do are rewarded with God’s favor and anointing.

Grateful

universal thank you noteToday I’ll be spending time with relatives to celebrate Thanksgiving. Aunts, uncles, cousins and offsprings will all come together to break bread, laugh and enjoy each other. It’s such a beautiful thing and I really look forward to it.

The night before though, I sat in my couch in my apartment writing this blog on my cell phone, alone. You see just 3 years ago I finalized the divorce papers and dissolved a 16 year marriage. I walked away from everything I had spent most of my life building and working and fighting for-my home-so that my ex-wife and kids wouldn’t have to be uprooted from the only home they had ever known.

Sounds like a sad story,I know. And yet I write you with a heart full of gratitude. Because through it all God has been faithful and given me favor. God has blessed my ex-wife and I to have a healthy, respectful and friendly relationship with each other.

I have unrestricted access to my boys and spend every other weekend with them. They are healthy and well adjusted young men who love us both equally and are proud of their parents for how we handled everything.

This year God placed my business on a new path that is in line with the calling He gave me. Since taking the old company website down, changing the company name and completely changing its direction and focus, I am now more fulfilled in my work than I’ve ever been.

Not only am I doing the work I believe God created me to do, but it’s touching people on a much bigger scale than I ever dreamed. I’m thankful that I get to meet, interact with and serve people like you and help you take your your ministry to the next level as I continue to seek to go higher myself.

And so even though I’m alone now after 16 years of living with a family around all the time, I feel like I’ve gained an even bigger family. And that family continues to grow.
And so as my family member I’d like to wish you a special happy Thanksgiving. May God bless you and yours richly today and in the coming year.