What Makes Us Sing?

Send to Kindle

by Ada Brownell

Music is one of my first memories.

My older siblings and finally, Mama and Daddy, gave their lives to Christ shortly after I was born. They had recently escaped the Kansas droughts, the Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression and moved to a 10-acre irrigated farm in Fruita, Colorado.

The eighth child, I rode in Mama’s womb as the family traveled over Colorado’s mountains in a dilapidated truck piled with their belonging. A hole in the middle of their “stuff” provided space for my older siblings to ride.

I’m sure my oldest brother, Virgil, had his harmonica and there might have been a beat-up guitar or a ukulele. But music didn’t explode in our family until God sent a Christian friend to each one of my older siblings and they invited them to church. The pastor already urged the congregation to pray for a large family moving to town, and we were that family. One by one the older siblings accepted Christ as Savior, and eventually my parents and we younger ones became born again.

Every day I heard singing in harmony. My four sisters sang as they did the dishes, swept and mopped floors, and helped Mama prepare meals.

Music usually indicates joy, and joy and laughter filled our house despite our poverty.

I loved church music, too. Oh, how the congregation in the packed in the little church in Fruita could sing! They sang “Joy Unspeakable,” “Like a Mighty Sea” (as a child I called it The Broom Song), “Love Lifted Me,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “He Hideth My Soul,” and numerous other songs of peace, testimony, worship, joy;  invitation, the about the Second Coming, dedication, salvation.

One pianist played by note, but another used all the keys on the piano making heavenly, happy sounds ring through our hearts.

I decided I wanted to play the piano like that when I grew up.

Recently I did research in the Bible on the beginnings of music. I discovered musical instruments go back as far as Genesis and Adam and Eve. Where the couple’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are listed we’re told, “And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ” (Genesis 4:21).

I wonder if the word “Jubilant” was penned after him. Jubilant means “showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant.”

The next verse names Zillah, one of Adam and Eve’s great-granddaughters. She bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he made trumpets as well as tools.

Quite a lot of difference between what the Bible says and what the textbook claimed about the beginning of music when I was in college. “A monkey came down out of tree and made an instrument,” the book said, and I laughed. Whoever heard a monkey sing?

Music is used in worship to the only true God who created the heavens and the earth in the beginning.

When David was chosen to take his rightful place as God’s anointed king, David not only went after the ark but worked diligently to re-establish the form of worship among the people that David knew was true worship. That included joyful music and singing.

David wrote, “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with the psaltery and harp, praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:3-6).

So they sang, played their instruments and praised the Lord all the way as they carried the Ark home.

What joy we have in Christ, and what a privilege to make music and worship Him!


Ada BrownellAda Brownell’s latest novel is Peach Blossom Rancher, released by Elk Lake Publishing on Aug. 1, 2016.  A handsome young man inherits a ranch in ruin and a brilliant doctor is confined to an insane asylum because of one seizure. Yet their lives intersect.

When Ada sat down to write the novel, she drew from her experiences growing up in Colorado’s Peach Country. But she also used some of what she learned about the mentally ill and their historical care on her job as a journalist for The Pueblo Chieftain. She covered the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, a former asylum, for seven years,

Ada’s other books include Confessions of a Pentecostal, a story of her spiritual journey and listed by The Library Thing among the top-10 books on Pentecostalism.

After she lost a daughter to cancer, she wrote Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the eternal, a book of evidence that you’re more than a body. The book grew out of what the author learned on the medical beat and scripture.

She is the author of four other books.

Her Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

Her blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

Peach Blossom Rancher

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *