Prompted By Worship

Yesterday my husband led a congregation from his hometown in Worship.  I was privileged to be a part of that service.  Because it was truly beautiful worship. We were welcomed with such love and kindness.  Peace was felt within those walls.  Heaven came down and the chords that rolled off those ivories was simply stunning.

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Rocky will be the first to tell you that the music belongs to God.  It is a gift and he has always known this truth.  He has studied, taken lessons and practiced more hours than we would ever be able to count and it shows.  Clearly, it shows, but it is only because God has given the tools and provided the means for him to be good at what he does.

Last year he fulfilled a lifelong dream and graduated with his DMA in piano performance, and although he has the honor of having Doctor in front of his name now, it’s not a title he flaunts.  I will however, tell you about it because I am proud of him, but not just because he received his DMA.

I am proud of him because he is one of the most Christ-like people I know.  He is humble and kind to others.  He shares his gift from the heart.  He shared with me that as a young man, even before he became a Christian, he knew he wanted to use his music for God.  And he does.  He has used his music to minister to others in many churches, nursing homes and senior centers as well as weddings and funerals.  He has used his skill to teach others.

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When he plays it is like getting a glimpse into heaven.  I’ve seen how God uses his music to touch the lives of others. I’ve seen people moved to tears when he plays. I’ve seen faces light up when they hear a favorite song.  I’ve watched as families look to each other and nod their heads when a certain song is played. I’ve seen the comfort his music has brought to those suffering.  I’ve felt the presence of God move through a room full of people with such sweetness that you just wanted the doors of heaven to open.

I’ve also seen the generosity of others in supporting his ministry and it is truly humbling to know that they believe in what he is doing.  They recognize that he simply plays and allows God to have the glory.  Yesterday, after playing with such passion and beauty, he ended the time of worship with My Tribute.  As I listened to his fingers play the notes with such feeling, the words of the song, written by Andrae Crouch, came to mind and I couldn’t help but think what a fitting song to end with, because I know that Rocky knows that all the glory belongs to God.

The glory of God was evident in yesterday’s worship.  Many people mentioned it on the way out the door and over lunch.  For me, to sit in such a sweet space and to witness such beauty in worship and to see how God was using my husband to minister to us, was truly a wonderful awe-inspiring experience.

It reminded me, once again, of my sense of place in the world and how God is the author of where that place is.  Yesterday, it was in a church in a small town being ministered to by my husband and being reminded that it is all because of the blood of Jesus.  Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus. (click the link to hear him play)

Staring out over Cave Run Lake Sunday afternoon after the concert.
Staring out over Cave Run Lake Sunday afternoon after the concert.

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 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

Worshiping in Grace,

Teresa

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Favorite Revisited – 31:7

(If you’ve been here already, this post has now been updated with a link to music at the bottom of the post.  Enjoy!)

Last Monday when I posted the introductory post to the 31 Days of writing, I mentioned that on the weekends I would revisit one of my favorites and write about it on Mondays.  On day three’s Random Favorites I said that one of my favorite things was my husband’s hands when he plays the piano. I love to watch him play.  Every time I hear him play a concert I fall in love all over again.

This weekend, Sunday morning, He had a concert at a church in the next small town over from where we live.  His hometown.  He did a phenomenal job.   Several people told me they knew I must be proud of him.  Of course I am. I am proud of his talent, but I am more proud of the fact that he uses it for the Glory of God.  He knew when he was fifteen that he wanted to use his music for God.  And he always has given back.  Whether for a large crowd or small, paid or volunteer he gives his best. So Sunday I added another favorite memory of him playing piano to my collection.  And his hands?  Beautiful instruments proclaiming God’s grace and love.

Fact is, a lot of my favorite memories have to do with my husband playing the piano and they center around our falling in love.  The first time I met my him it was at a Youth Rally at one of our local churches when I was seventeen.  He played a very rousing rendition of Onward Christian Soldiers on the piano and I was mesmerized.  I think I fell in love with him that night.  My mother did too.  She claimed him (unbeknownst to him) right then for her future son-in-law.  At the time she thought it might be my sister who would nab him though, since my sister was more of a pianist than me (I was a lazy piano student).  What she didn’t realize is that I was the one who needed a pianist, but God knew. It all worked out as it should and a few years later I got the piano guy. As far as I know, my sister never wanted him – she was much too young. My mother’s gut was right though – he did become her son-in-law.

That evening after the rally, my (future) husband had a good time flirting with me, but he told me years later he thought my glasses were too big!  What did he know about fashion?  Anyway, a few years later we were in college and I stalked ran into him at the music building where I was pretty sure he would be.  I was with a friend and her mom.  We asked him to play for us and he obliged.  He made a big show of explaining the piece he was going to play – something about a gondola and a couple in love.  I’m pretty sure he was letting me know he was interested.  On the way back to the dorm my friend’s mom told me he was the guy I was going to Marry.  I’d already decided I was going to marry him.

A few days later we talked again and he eventually asked me out and we began dating.  Most of our dates consisted of him having dinner with my family and then serenading us at the piano.  Something about playing for his supper.

After a couple of years of dating we were married.  When we were first married there would be times that I’d feel like I had been punched in the gut and it would hit me that I was the lucky girl that caught the guy that everybody loved.  He chose me.  And when I watch his hands caress the notes I feel like the young girl in the gondola falling in love with her guy.  All over again.

If you want to hear him play – Rocky playing his arrangement of Danny Boy.  This song is on Tindeck.  If you can figure out how to download it you may do so with my permission.  However, if you use it in any way on your blog or another public forum you must link back to this post and properly credit the song as being the property of Rocky Hardymon.  Thanks.

Ah yes, relief - all went well - Prof called him later that evening  to say he had an A!  As if I was worried about that one!

Loving in Grace,

Teresa