Colosians 3:16-17, NIV
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I got a Ukulele!
Recently, I was browsing through YouTube and searching for piano tutorials for popular worship songs. While I was browsing, I stumbled across the work of Dylan Laine on YouTube. I was immediately mesmerized by the small string instrument called a Ukulele that she was playing. Although I knew what a Ukulele was, I had never heard one played the way she did. When she played, it sounded almost like a harp!
I was enchanted. My mind immediately jumped to the Bible verse, “Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre (Psalm 33:2).”
I immediately began to research the Ukulele. I know that it’s not a harp, but I was surprised to discover the versatility of this little instrument. A friend shared with the work of the Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and another friend told me about a United Methodist Church with it’s own Ukulele Choir!
I knew I had to get my very own Ukulele. I did some research, and immediately purchased one as a belated birthday present to myself.
Do What You Love…
However, not everyone was supportive. I heard a lot of negative comments as well when I went public with my announcement that I was planning to learn a third instrument.
I’ve played the flute since middle school and I am an intermediate pianist. “Why don’t you just stick to what you know?” asked my one friend. “Nobody likes the Ukulele. Maybe they take it seriously in places like Hawaii, but here in Pennsylvania, it’s a joke instrument! Nobody wants to hear you play the Ukulele.”
This made me very sad. By this point, I had purchased my second Ukulele (my first one was only plastic, and my new Uke is made of mahogony). I had fallen in love with the sweet tones of the instrument, and when I held it against my chest to play, it felt as if it was purring against my heart heart like a cat. I loved to sit on the porch during the hot summer evenings, pretend I was at the beach, and practice simple chord progressions as my fingers got used to the new feeling of fretting a stringed instrument.
I wasn’t sure how to answer my friend, so I simply refused to give up. After about two weeks, I had finally managed to learn some simple chords and transfer between the chords at a moderate pace. My playing had improved so much that my husband no longer exiled me the porch to play, and I was allowed to play my Uke inside. (Up until this point, the buzzing the intonation had been so poor that my husband had strongly encouraged me to play outside.)
…and Praise The Lord!
My Jeff laughs at my little Uke (and so do some of my friends), but all jokes aside, exploring this instrument has taught me so much about chord progressions. Learning the Ukulele has also helped me so much when singing with our praise team. I can hear the chord changes a lot better — but I know I still have a lot to learn! If you like praise music, you should totally check out the Holy Harmony Praise group at Christ Community UMC. They did a super job this past Sunday!
I’m not sure how God will use my love of the Ukulele in the future, but I truly believe that if we use our gifts to praise God, that our Father will accept them as an offering of love. This week I am encouraged by St. Paul who writes, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).”
If you love to make music, then go make music and sing songs to God. If you love to write, then write stories that praise God’s Holy Name. If you are called to raise a family, then teach your children to Love the Lord. Whatever passion God has placed in your heart, I pray that you can find a constructive space and a joyous place to use it to bring honor to God’s name and fill the world with love.
Until Next Time,
This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Now, it’s your turn! What Scripture verse is inspiring you this week? Let me know in the comments below! I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday.
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope
Claudia @ By Claudia Moser