Friday, September 29, 2006

It's a Blogs Life.

What a big friendly smile?

My daughter is off to an overnight at her friends and I am left with some time on my hands. I've been waiting for the chance after a hectic busy season to update my blog with my year older and wiser me. Isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to grow wiser.

My goals were to become a better musician, a better workman in the service of God and Christ, lead my daughter through her seventh year of life, stay out of debt, and minimize my day job to the maximization of those ends. It worked out. I was able to accomplish covering all the bases and be only a little further in debt than I was a year ago.

I study the bible, write lyrics and make up tunes. I have a long modest musical experience to draw from, having played the trumpet and most stringed instruments modestly well, but primarily have a good ear with a not so bad musical memory. I like my music to dance along and my slow tunes to waltz slowly and graciously being very light on their toes, and kicking high up in the air. So I'm not everybody's church pianist. But I've fallen hopelessly in love with the hymnal and its huge library of inspirational music. In fact I've just decided what I'm going to tell people I play on the piano instead of gospel music. I will tell curiosity seekers that I play inspirational music. Music meant to inspire you to dance and reflect heartily on God while enjoying His gift to us of music. I'm sure I will play secular music again at some point, afterall, that's how I discovered and developed the gift that I can now use to serve God, all of that Irish fiddle playing, but I just can't envision when secular music would draw my attention back at this point. Not with all of the inspirational fiddle tunes to be played on the piano. So anyway, that is what I spend my spare time at and I've finally entered the phase where I can begin to share it with others. I bought a home recording studio-from-a box, they call them these days. Pictured below:

Below the recording unit and under the half inch thick instruction manual is not a phone book but the
reference guide "Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies" upon which I pin my guarded optimism.

The sobering news to quickly return everyone back to the state of anticipatory dread is that I have to learn how to work it now, and that is going very slowly. This piece of equipment will easily satisfy my needs of being able to create a recording that demonsrates that, with a good producer, the music will sound great...or perhaps, will sound still beyond help. But I now have the equipment to enable me to either make the music fly or flop as I may. God has made it completely accessible for me now to serve Him musically in some fashion and have it on the record in cd form to boot. Just not very soon.

That is why I won't be doing much lengthy blogging. Because the thousand some hours I put in last year learning to play fluently by ear in the keys of E flat, A flat, F, G, C, D, A, didn't entirely get it done. Even aided by the fact that I refuse to play any tune in D flat.

Some good news is that the 'cut and paste' electonical technology of today is greatly improving my chances at becoming brilliant sounding, but the fact that I'd like to also take my act ouside of the safety of my bedroom, is going to add another thousand hours onto the end of my practice schedule. But I do think, with a few more thousand hours of practice I'll be able to survive the public without the 'trap doors and mirrors'. At the very least I think I'll be able to accomplish being a tolerable sounding church pianist.

One thing I must stop doing is getting in these time consuming debates with athiests and other marginal characters, albeit a tremendous learning and growing experience. I've used up considerable hours in the past week trying to show a group of flamboyant athiests the error of their ways. It can be a challenging area to serve the Lord in up to the point where you've said what's needed to be said. I've often thought of what a great opportunity blogging with athiests would be to serve the Lord. I just don't know how effective I can be. I'll post it shortly in my reference blog just so you can be sure of what an oddball I am. If it ever ends.

So hello! and thanks for checking up on me. If you are anyone in my sidebar (if you can find it, I've tried everything to get it back in place and have given up) or if you are any number of other great brothers and sisters in the Lord I've met while blogging then please continue to teach me as you have been doing. Help me learn more about the knowledge and wisdom of God's word and let me help you learn anything I am be able to which God has gifted me with any additional insight towards. What a fabulous year of growth in and from the Lord it has been for me, which you can tell from my sidebar if you can find it. Much more profitable fellowship with you to come while we celebrate and praise God together, and while we serve each other and the Lord, in study and deedful service.

Together with you in Christ,

Todd Saunders



Blaurock said...

God Bless You richly in every way Todd! Thanks for the pictures. I have a 6 (almost 7)year old girl named Charis. They are so beautiful, and precious treasures from our Father. May yours be held in His great and powerful love always.
It sounds like music is a deep joy for you. There are few enjoyments in life that can reach in that deep. Rhonda and I can't wait for the music in heaven.

Could your last picture on the April post "Soon" be what is throwing off your side-bar? If you delete (or minimize) that one picture, the format may return to normal. That's my guess. I've done that very thing in the past, and had to re-size my pictures in order to keep things straight.

In joy through His Blood, and in His Spirit,

Todd said...

Thanks so much for coming over and visiting Joseph.

You certainly diagnosed the problem with my sidebar. I can't thank you enough for the help.

I'm very fortunate, my daughter has taken to loving the Lord and seems to understand why it makes sense to love Him just a little bit more than she loves dad. Though I doubt she can invision yet how anyone can love her more than dad. They are treasures, and I feel very blessed with the precious task of a child and the opportunity it presents, for her and myself.

Yes, it was a good thing when my bible church came up needing a substitute piano player. Finally, it worked out very well and I can serve my church and others by emphasizing all of the wonderful library of inspirational music contained in the traditional hymnal. And I can even add a few complimentary notes and rythmns that the composer may have deemed permissable if they'd lived through some of the musical influences that came after they were gone. So music does have quite an impact on me as it does you. And the fact that one can work some of the truth and beauty of scripture into music is just a huge opportunity the Lord has provided.

So again, may more and more see the light of God through your earnest teaching and service Joe. And thanks for taking the time to stop by with your encouraging words.

In undeserved joy from Him,

jeff said...

Speaking on behalf of your church, we always nejoy hearing what you've done with the latest hymns. I think your talent adds a lot and I apologize for not being able to lead singing better for you!

jeff said...

"nejoy" is fairly similar to "enjoy"

Todd said...

I see you sort of spazed on the word 'enjoy'. I can't help but think that your mind sort of twitched, remembering the concert pianist (Doebler) who visited our church last spring, and thinking about what might have been....

Thanks for the opportunity to play and enjoy the hymns in the company of others.

Bhedr said...

what a refreshing outlook on life. Your words are inspiring so I know this musical venture will be as well. Cute kid by the way.

That looks like a fun system.
I play guitar.

Aheists and just plain old 'ists in particular can be hard to work on:-)

Todd said...

Hey, thanks for wandering by Brian.

I love to wind up over at your blog late at night after a busy day for some of your good spiritual reflections by the way, and not get caught up in a debate that I can't quit debating in my sleep. The debating is excellent for exercising and expanding ones knowledge and understanding of scripture, and fellowship, if you can avoid the ordinary conversational pitfalls and stay focused, but then I suppose there's the off-line application of it all that needs to be a part of it too that is also a challenge to find time for. So I'm glad your out there with your very seasoned reflections Brian.

Bhedr said...

Well its nice to have you as a friend that considers my input to be of some value and encouragement to your walk with God. In reality we are all just passing on what God is showing a waiter offering up a fine meal delivered by the cook...or should I say THEE COOK who Is the Lord.

I never know when you are going to I may wander by once every so often, but its well worth the visit.

Yeah those debates can keep you awake at night but they have also helped me learn some things both spiritually and ethically...but I am still learning.

Bhedr said...

BTW, It was good to meet you and come to know the face behind the name. Perhaps we will meet one day...but you live way out west and the only time I ever got close was when I was driving Over the Road.

Todd said...

Anytime I get out by Virginia I'm going to make it a priority to look you up.

Bhedr said...

Great buddy. You make sure to contact me then. Look forward to it.

Todd said...

You got it Brian.