I’ve turned into my parents (sort of). When I was a young sapling, I could never understand why my mother did not comprehend my tastes in music. Once for my birthday, she bought me a tape of a popular group. It was a “best guess” on her part but she missed the mark. Nevertheless, it was definitely the thought that I reflect on now. I love her deeply for her effort. Folks that were much older than myself joked about the music my generation liked. In my simple mind I “lumped” them into the box labeled Generation Gap. Now I’m older and I understand something. My taste in music had been cemented into my formative mind years ago. I resist all the new stuff and cling to the styles I grew up with. Emotional links to music further cemented a style that appeals to my mind. As an example: There was this popular song that was playing on the radio when my wife was “in love” with me. If I hear that song I remember her. Then there was that song that was playing on the radio when my wife was falling “out of love” with me. If I hear that song and it hits me at a weak moment, I get depressed over my loss of her. I’m just being honest about myself here: Even in church I “resist” the new stuff. I don’t care if the words are perfect; it’s the style I resist. I resist it even to the point where I cannot join in with the corporate voice. I feel terrible about it. On the way to church I sing to the Lord. In the hallways of the church I sing to the Lord. In Wal-Mart I sing (to myself) praise songs all the time. Sometimes if you are one isle over and you listen carefully you can just barely hear “Amazing Grace” or “I love to tell the story”. In my heart I have my favorite songs playing on an endless loop. Instruments are not really required. When I join the congregation, my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth and I am ashamed of myself. When I realize this and how this may look to others, I make an attempt to force the songs out. Then as I examine my actions I realize that I might be trying to please men and my tongue is again stuck to the roof of my mouth. So I ask the Lord if I am being disobedient and then I ask him to help me understand the war in my mind. I think that the sanctuary should not a place for the “war in my mind” to be at it’s most effective. I am troubled by this. When a fellow Christian comes to visit me, I like to find an opportunity to pick up my guitar and sing amazing grace. It’s intimate, it’s simple, and I never force it. I frequently ask for permission. It’s spontaneous and agreed with. I get a real blessing from it and because it’s not a “show” the other person feels relaxed and can worship with me. We are sort of, “with one mind”. I’ve actually “timed” my arrival to a church where there are people I love, so that I arrive at the end of the music. All the time asking God to forgive me for it and help me understand this war in my mind. I can’t do this all the time, because (I think) it would send a terrible message to them. So I stay away from them all together and visit now and then. When I do visit them, I have to endure the music just to have the reward of the fellowship that happens after the service is over. It is then I wish singing would sort of spontaneously break out. I miss them. This is a post to a bulletin board but I steer every word to the Throne of Grace also. Wrong or right in any aspect, I am before Him about it. It’s a real struggle and I am grateful for such a great counselor, such a great “listener”. This is my confidence, hope, and my peace. That He cares for His church. Dave.