I love music.  Rock and roll music.  Really loud rock and roll music.

If you could have seen me in my college days, you’d probably have gathered this fact rather quickly, with my super-cool jean jacket covered with buttons and pins (some of them even signed!) by my favorite bands.  You might have appreciated my super-special mullet (hold the snickering…)–close-cropped and spiked on the top, long and flowing (and permed!) down past my shoulders in the back.  I even had two wailing guitar heroes for roommates (the real kind, not the virtual Playstation variety…).  It was all part of my rock and roll music scene, you see.

Well, my music scene has changed a little these days (the jean jacket doesn’t fit plus the hair is gone on top…if only I still had the perm…) but I keep trying to educate my three little girls about what good music sounds like.  So we have listening sessions together.

I play a little early U2, the 77’s or Vigilantes of Love for them and then they play the Beverly Hills Chihuahua soundtrack for me.  Isn’t it great?

Needless to say, I’m always looking for new music to share at these listening parties (anything to drown out High School Musical 3…).  So one of my favorite day-off hobbies is frequenting re-sale shops and digging through the discarded and abandoned cd’s to find some forgotten musical treasure.  A few weeks ago, I found a gem.  The nondescript black promo cd was by a Christian band called needtobreathe, which I’d heard of but never really paid much attention to.  So I grabbed it, put it in my shopping basket and took it home for a listen.  And after that first spin, I’ve been playing it over and over in my car ever since–especially the first song, “Don’t Wait for Daylight”…

Don’t wait for daylight…Sing out, sing out — your voice is all you have.  Sing out, sing out — it’s up to you.   Sing out sing out…I know you will.

Besides being just a great anthemic rock song, the chorus affirms this reality as a follower of Christ and a member of Blanchard Alliance Church:  my everyday work is to use my voice to testify to a living Spirit of  Christ with me on His mission to save to the whole world.  This fall at Blanchard, we’ve heard encouraging stories of everyday people raising their voice for Christ to declare his praises and trust Him in the light and in the dark, whether it’s the Showalters watching God provide unexpected resources for their Beyond pledge or the Wallings hearing God and obeying by moving forward on the potential adoption of four Ukrainian teenagers all at once .

I’m also excited to see us moving further into extending the love of Christ to every man, woman and child in our 2.5 mile radius, finding creative ways to partner with other churches and Christians all over DuPage County to love people who might make us uncomfortable–no strings attached.   But I’m also aware that, as I have God-given opportunity to share my story as I serve, I’m called to speak for Christ and tell of His love to the people God’s brought me to.  So here’s some opportunities I’ve been working on.  I have verbally told the staff at Johnson School that I’m (as a Warrenville pastor, along with other Christians all over Warrenville) there to serve them as Jesus served me. I will pray with my neighbor when God prompts me to (I haven’t yet…).  I will be present and hospitable on Halloween night when my whole neighborhood and more comes to my door.  How will I tell of Jesus then?

Yet the truth is using our voice to sing can be really painful and difficult sometimes…  When we’re out of work.  When our kids make poor choices.  When our marriages hurt.  When nothing inspires us anymore.  When God’s Spirit feels far away and we feel alone in the dark.

A guy named Ethan (and echoed by needtobreathe…) says this to me (and all of us) in Psalm 89:

“Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it!  I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.  I’ll never quit telling the story of your love…”  (The Message)

So give the needtobreathe track “Don’t Wait for Daylight” a listen–I’ve linked it to on the sidebar of my blog.  And sing out for Jesus today — your voice is all you have, right where you arein the light and in the dark. Let’s tell the people around us where our love comes from.