Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Not Exactly As I Had Planned, But Even So, Better...And With Some Time Left Over To Share It With A Few Others.

Not at all what I had planned, but all in all, a good day. A true cross section slice of the days around here. While I have the time and the inspiration to tell anyone who may be curious about it, I may as well get going on it. God enabled me to have a remarkable couple of days in spite of His changing my well laid plan. Always our good fortune when that happens. Please, let me tell you about it.

I had no water since yesterday afternoon. I rent a house and forty acres owned and plumbed by the contractor that built the 50 parcel mobile home park who's water system broke down yesterday. They turned the water on at 2pm and it took until 5:30pm to work its way up the hill to the last place on the line which mine is. In the meantime, my daughter was home from school today with either pink eye or the look alike virus with the painful eyes minus the pink. She didn't do to badly pain wise. She did decide it was important enough to make a wild concoction in the kitchen that spread wildly dirty dishes across the whole table with no water in sight to do any cleaning of the dishes or the floor. Then she had been dreaming of cracking a bunch of eggs pretending to be baking something. I finally let her get it out of her system today. I told her, yes, she could even crack an entire carton of them. She thought I meant both cartons. I had a flat of bacon in the fridge and with a bunch of cheese I made a huge favorite dish of mine while she fell back from exhaustion on the couch from her cold. It was scrambled bacon and eggs with cheddar cheese. I ate almost half of it myself. The water came trickling back slowly and I finally got everything cleaned up. The horses and the dog and the cats were happy to have a drink of water again. I even managed to get a shower after three days and it's now 10pm.

What made me feel particularly useful was cozying with my daughter for an entire Care Bear video tonight. There were so many other things calling me. I think she's beginning to see that she has a pretty special dad. I thank God continuously for that and allowing that to me. In the respect that she's getting pretty much most of the things a young girl needs from a parent. She came in on me in my bedroom/office/music studio when I had just laid out her crazy mom's latest communication from jail. Her mom is crazy as well as in jail. In jail for not abiding by the conditions of probation she recieved for illegally taking her daughter from her daughter's father. As for the crazy, naively this is something I had not realized until after she was pregnant with my daughter. We'd been together for 2 1/2 years before that happened, planning to get married, even with marriage certificate in hand at one point. Just after my daughter was concieved the subsequent stress brought out the fact that the mom had a serious reality disorder. Clinically a personality disorder. Which had it's roots far before the pregnancy. These things happen in this life. My daughter looked at the colorful drawings and messages from her mom, said, "oh, look at the stuff mom sent me", and then never looked back at it. At 7 1/2 years old she still remembers when mom took her from her dad, and other family and friends, because she was mad at dad. She lived in mom's van on and off for nine months while mom taught dad a lesson. She was only 18 months old when she didn't quite understand where good old dad was. The guy who took her everywhere he went.

So the daughter is getting a pretty good dose of what it's like to have a good dad. One that loves her like he loves Christ. Even if that's the husbands job, she's going to know what a good husband looks like when the time comes. And I do thank God almost everyday that I am not physically attracted to young girls. Many are, which I don't quite understand other than attributing it to genetics coupled with lack of self control. I'm a lucky dad and she's a lucky young lady. And she knows it. She's stuck with the cherished and dedicated God ordained leader of her family all day long on a lot of days and she knows it's good.

Therfore, not at all what I had planned for my day was able to come to be. She's sick again. We had both been sick for a week two weeks ago. Still barely over that one and now again. I'm fighting it and don't know if it'll get me yet.

Yesterday was a good day. I took all day and worked on "As With Gladness, Men of Old". Trying to get an acceptable fingerstyle guitar part down. I gave up playing the guitar almost altogether when I took up fiddle playing about 13 years ago. And then a year and a half ago I found no more time to play the fiddle. I returned to the piano after answering a call to be the substitute piano player at church. I hadn't played in 25 years. I found out that all the years of playing guitar and fiddle playing by ear gave me wild, crazy fingers on the piano, which I never dreamed I had, never happy to leave the melody alone. And an end all love for the hymns of the hymnal with their powerful messages about the word of God and the Lord Himself. I couldn't believe it. I don't think I'll be able to play all of them enough if I live to be 90 years old.

So I worked on "As With Gladness...", slowed it way down even from the slow tempo I settled on a few weeks ago when I tried to get some ideas down. It's no ordinary Christmas tune. The lyrics are truly extrodinary and the melody absolutely sets itself apart. And today, I finally put the electrical tape on the top two strings just right, in order to muffle their overpowering bass and still get a ledgible note out of them. I discovered the right place to put it and went through the whole tune one time and got a keeper. Not great but enough of a foundation on which to build the rest of the tune.

I also discovered that sitting down in my office chair, instead of standing up, and tilting my head straight back is the only way I can hit the notes I need to hit in the key of G. I still have the same problem of having to cry when I first hear the tune being done. I think that was helping to be in the way of getting some listenable vocal tracks down a few weeks ago. Certain parts of the body swell up when you cry. Even from joy. But the solution is a simple mind over matter thing(not always simple). Good emotions are a dime a dozen. Inspiration and encouragement from a godly message accompanied by music requires you to control your emotions and grow.

Not as much as I had hoped for these three days of freedom with my daughter in school and myself off from work. But somehow I am on track and all is well in my little place of preparation for the Kingdom to come. Monday I managed to finally get comfortable with the basis of an arrangement of "I Know Whom I have Believed". So now it's just a matter of learning how to play what I've decided what must be played. It's another special tune among many. My whole goal with these hymns is to let no one, young or old, be able to say, "Boy, there's an old hymn that I'm tired of". But instead want to say, " My goodness, now there's one we should sing more often". The hymns themselves make that easy to do.

I've been having so much luck finishing an arrangement of the beautiful hymn, "He Hideth My Soul", that it looks like I'll have that one to share real soon.

This is My father's world is one that I started to play fairly regularly about a year ago. It was a nice tune and it was in E flat. E flat is a difficult key with many good tunes from the hymnal played in it. My hymnal anyway. Fairest Lord Jesus, Holy Holy Holy, All Creatures of Our God and King. About a year ago I was telling a customer of mine who is a very devoted Christian woman that I work at Christian inspirational music in my spare time when she requested that, when I get my recording equipment this winter, I make her a recording of This is My Father's World for her to sing along with. Then I didn't hear from her for a long time. When she called a few weeks ago I was so excited that the recorder and my playing had finally come together and so I would immediately make her a copy and bring it along when I went to trim her horses. Problem was I hadn't really been working on it. So I sat down the day before I was to see her and made a recording of it to meet the deadline I had set. I was as much learning how to use the recorder as I was figuring out how the arrangement wanted to sound. But here it is if you'd care to listen to it. http://toddsaunders.us/livemusic.html. It's really very rough but is primarily meant to mark a valuable milestone in my plan to help serve God's plan. When you reach the website just click on This Is My Father's World.

Beyond everything, I did some comment exploration on some ideas I am lead to believe are valuable in helping to manage some of the ages old theological fractures of the church, by trying to get to some of the root causes of this believer enabled object of so much heartbreak within the church. Yes, I've concluded that I'm oversensitive to it but that nonetheless there is a great deal of sensitivity towards it which has been asked of us by the Lord. A post on some observations on labels among Christians and their potential to get in the way, by my good friend and inspiring brother in Christ Brian Hedrick. https://www2.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19707504&postID=5701756458559092817

So I truly had a day of so much less than I had hoped for yet so much more than I could have asked for. It's late now. I have to wake up in the morning and see whether or not my body is going to give in to this cold. Looking forward to more of this conversation.


Bhedr said...

A very edifying post brother. It is sad that this day and age one must have to defend himself as father in behaviour toward their child. My wife actually had to go to court as a witness for a child in her class in defense of the father who was very wonderful. The mother got custody though and she lives in the drug world. The man is torn up inside and now he has limited visitation. His rights were better prior to court and the judge advised the mother not to allow him to babysit as this would reflect bad on her as in the past she used him as a babysitter to go do what she wanted. Such a sad situation. My wife is torn up about it. He is a really good Dad.

These theological debates are something as well as music debates. I had a little one over at Steve Camps. I am trying to be sensitive to everything, but above all it is so good to see you have a thirst for hymns. I really think that is something reflective in our cravings for the coming kingdom and a calling away for our true home where do darkness abides yet I don't like to sound sanctimonious towards the pop culture because I do have similar impulses they just don't seem to feed me like those hymns do. Blessed are those that recognize the joyful sound. Were probably not so much differant from one another in are sensitivities either, but God has helped me in this past year. My brother once told me I had a weakness in this area and always felt a need to be right. So thankful for his sanctification in my life and your friendship.

May the Lord continue to bless you as a father with that dear child you have. We had a good blessed and fun work day today with the kids. What joy our children are. The Lord is building bridges in my oldest sons life. I still covet your prayers brother.

So good to see you post. I never know when you post, but I try to come by at least once a weak in anticipation even if it may be another month from now:-)

Todd said...

Thanks for making it over here Brian. I'm looking forward to seeing the discussion over at Steve Camp's blog. In my opinion there is a lot you can teach people who are of his view, if you can get them to see through their theological baggage that is.

As I get closer to getting these hymns and a few originals professionally recorded, I'll feel a little more relaxed about posting them on my blog to share with my brothers and sisters in the faith. Afterall, sharing the excitment of being in Christ is what it's all for. They are all going to have a modern flavor but hopefully something fresh and playful that highlights each one as being inexhaustably useful in honorably singing psalms and the Word to one another in praise and thankfulness to God. So hopefully it won't be too long before I can show you what I'm talking about.

And yes, it's heartbreaking to see when the courts do a miserable job at mediating. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don't. Big difference between judges.

Just three weeks ago when I had the flu I was able to find the time to work on that website of mine. It is the information age and I figure it's a worthwhile thing to do in my case. Not in everyones. But it's the opportunity to, first, exchange information with friends, and second, as in this blog, to show others how weak I am, and have been, but how strong I've become in Christ, simply through striving to conform my life to His Word and image, through the encouragement of His scriptural counsel,love, promises, and unsurpassing knowledge and wisdom. It sort of took me by surprise awhile ago, the depths and riches of it all that is, and so I'm ready to go now. Not just walk it but live it. Hallelujah! And Brian I can tell you have likewise had your flame fanned back into a bright light by the beauty of the revealed grace of God through His Son Christ. What an emmense blessing to be given in spite of our undeserving natures.

And yes, thanks for asking, I'll continue to pray that your oldest boy continues to grow amidst the influence of God's power and teaching which abounds in your home. Nice job. And my best hopes are with you concerning your wife and her father.

Dawn said...

Todd, it's great that your daughter has such a good daddy. I think it is great that you are chronicling your thoughts and experiences for posterity. Your daughter will surely enjoy it when she is older.

Todd said...

Hey, Dawn, yeah, thanks for taking that the way I intended. Not self-proclaming to be a special dad but rather just highlighting the fact that it can happen and hopefully happens often. The Lord has given men a measure of strength and leadership and a mandate to share it with his children and wife. And I'm pretty quick to note that in many cases the women are forced to take that role due to the deficiency or lack of their mate, and can do an admirable job. Maybe not as planned but surely as needed. And, I wasn't sure at the onset, but did find out in fact, that men can and should be very motherly(?) if the need arises. I think it's just called getting the parenting job done. Thanks for visiting.