Well, it looked like nothing was going to go right that day. Our main concern was that the weather was conspiring against us. Weather reports had been predicting heavy snow mixed with freezing rain. Hopefully it would hold off until after we were back home. In addition, the car was acting just a little bit troublesome; it wasn't sure it wanted to start. Nevertheless, we headed out at the appointed time and God sent his angels to watch over us all the way there and back.

What am I talking about? Well, we had a wonderful thing happen to us just before Christmas. Our son and daughter-in-law took us to the opera in Cincinnati, Ohio, about 80 miles south of us.

Now I have to tell you I have never considered myself to be much of a fan of opera, but then my only exposure to it has been on the television and all the opera has all been in a language I couldn't understand. So, I had a certain amount of trepidation about the whole thing, yet also a little bit of excitement at going to the theater again. Our kids took us to see The Phantom of the Opera and our lives have been different since that night.

No, I'm not trying to say it was a "spiritual experience" in the religious sense or anything like that, but I believe that our spirits were touched just a little and lifted a whole lot. Since that night, the music has been restored in our house. What do I mean? Well, a couple of things.

First, Melody's twin sister gave us the CD of the sound track, so we have been playing that quite a bit. Second, I bought the DVD movie version for Melody as a Christmas gift and she has already watched it a couple of times.

Melody loves the songs and I enjoy them almost as much as she does. What I really love, however, is that she is singing the songs! Melody has a beautiful soprano voice and has sung in a couple of different a cappella groups in the past. After hearing her sing recently, I realize that we haven't been doing much singing in our house lately. She has had some difficulties with her voice that has prevented her from singing like she once did, and I have had a few struggles myself, but it seems to me that we have gotten out of the habit of rejoicing in song like we once did.

When our kids were younger, we sang all of the time. We would sing in the car, sing at home, rejoice, praise God, and in general, let our spirits be lifted by God's gift of song. In our 30's & 40's we sang in a gospel quartet and sang constantly. In more recent years, we just sang for the joy of it — around our house, with tapes and records or just by ourselves. Lately, we have stopped singing.

What about you? How much singing do you do? I know you may have a lousy voice, but how much singing do you do in your heart as well as out loud? Have you been having a difficult time this year? You are definitely not alone! The world is full of people who are suffering and struggling, too. Maybe they need to hear your voice lifted up to lift them up.

How much singing do you do?
Our niece, Amanda, is mentally challenged. She is 29 years old, but mentally somewhere about a three year old. Amanda can't understand a lot of what goes on around her, which limits her participation in a number of things. But do you know what she rejoices in? Singing! She loves to come to our worship services and sing at the top of her lungs. Her mom is always telling her, "Not quite so loud." She doesn't know many of the words, but she surely knows how to make "a joyful noise to the Lord." Those who know her smile with pleasure when we hear her singing. This makes me wonder what it would be like to see the grin that splits the face of God to hear one of his creations so enthusiastically trying to sing his praises.

Paul wrote to the churches of Ephesus and Asia Minor encouraging them to sing:

Communicate to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give him thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20 ERV)

I think now may be the time to get out the old recordings of church hymns and gospel quartets and have a sing along. How about you? May God put a song in our hearts!