As happens every summer, members of the worship team went on vacation. Unfortunately, one weekend I was the only instrumentalist and David was the only vocalist! Pastor Gary offered to sing with us.
The song list was posted. Usually, when I have to play alone, I stack the synth over the keyboard. I play strings with my left hand and piano with my right. But it takes several steps to change sounds on the synth.
At home, I practice on a keyboard set on the folded-down music stand of the piano. I pretended the piano was a keyboard bass.
For the service, I decided to set the keyboard on the top of the double stand and the synth on the bottom. It could be my “keyboard bass.”
I listened to the videos of each song and chose a sound based on the dominant instrument. I found a similar sound on the keyboard. I layered piano and strings for the first song, played only strings on the second, and switched to an electric piano on the third. I kept the bass line simple.
Pastor Monte announced that he would be preaching live in Fairfield on Sunday. (We normally watch the sermon on a large screen.) I looked to heaven and cried, “NO!!!” Our pastor has sung and played the piano all over the world. (I bought his Christmas CD for Mom.) He plays circles around me.
That night, I had a dream. Jesus was standing in the center of the platform with us. His hands were open and inviting but his face was tipped up. He was joining us and encouraging us to worship God, the Father. I felt at peace and stopped worrying.
David sang along as I practiced for the final time. He didn’t like the sound I chose for the second song. I had dropped the pick-up lines I normally played on the piano. I had to switch back.
But I had peace.
When I got to church, I went to the platform and looked at the spot where Jesus stood in my dream. I had peace.
We set up both keyboards and I couldn’t find the bass sound on the synth. It has 2000 sounds and 50+ buttons. The book didn’t help!
I pushed all of the numbered buttons. It was 15-20 different piano sounds. (Sigh.) I was ready to put it away but I saw David walking away from me down the hall. The synth is heavy and expensive. I don’t move it.
Then, I wondered: “What if I shut the voice button off and pushed the control button?”
That showed piano sounds but as I kept pushing it, or maybe it was the second section of buttons, I found different instruments: trumpet, violin, cello, and strings. The last button was a bass.
Each button is the first sound in a list. I didn’t care about finding the perfect bass!
As we practiced, the vocalist asked for more. More lead lines. More fills. I looked to heaven for more help! I could tell by their excitement that the vocalists could feel the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, I feel the Holy Spirit on my hands and I can’t play a wrong note! I relax and enjoy my fingers running along the keyboard. I hoped that would happen today.
No goosebumps. No tingly fingers. No feeling of someone else playing through my fingers.
But – I had peace.
They call it “peace that passes understanding.” It’s peace without fear or nervousness. It’s a peace that tells you to just play what you practiced.
At service time, I listened to the metronome on my phone for the correct tempo. I played the tempo on the bass for two measures for the vocalists. I played the introduction to the first song as Pastor Gary welcomed everyone. I don’t remember mistakes. I remember the peace. (Pastor Monte said it sounded good.)
Why did God give me a dream? It wasn’t because I am his favorite keyboardist. I was just one of the thousands who played in His churches all over the world. I am His bondservant. But God shows things to His bondservants.
Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bondservant John.”New American Standard Bible
God Showed John, the Bondservant
“…John, the ‘beloved disciple,’ Jesus’ best friend…He and his brother, James, the sons of Zebedee, were among the first disciples Jesus ever called to follow Him – tempestuous hotheads known as the ‘sons of thunder,’ willing to call fire down from heaven on a Samaritan village because they did not give Jesus an appropriate welcome. It’s fascinating to see how the love of God has shaped and tamed John’s heart over these many years.”
“…John was the disciple who laid his head on Jesus’ chest when they were reclining at a meal one night. I imagine being able to hear the heartbeat of God does something to you…truth is more caught than taught.”The Founder’s Bible,
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
Introductions to 2 John and 3 John
John wasn’t perfect. He was a bondservant. I kept seeing that term as I read through Revelation.
- We have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads, Revelation 7:3.
- Hurt only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads, Revelation 9:14.
- The time came to reward your bondservants, Revelation 11:18.
- He has avenged the blood of His bondservants, Revelation 19:2.
While We Were in Israel
After touring Jericho, Elle told us about the 150 kinds of flesh-eating birds that are currently living in Israel. The winds have changed. The birds cannot fly any further north. The Israelis are concerned because they don’t have enough food for them. Pastor Monte directed him to Revelation 19:21.
Revelation 19:21, “And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”New American Standard Bible
The pieces are falling into place for the battle of Armageddon. The birds are ready and hungry!
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