This is not a New Year’s resolution. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a clean slate… a fresh start… January one… just as much as the next person. But this particular resolution has been six years in the making, and if I must put a date on it, it would be November 24th, 2008. So I can’t really call that a New Year’s resolution. This is it: for six years, I have been resolving to make an album. A musical album, consisting of songs I have written. In 2009 it is going to happen.
Santa didn’t leave all my recording equipment and software under the tree, but that is okay. It has been some years since I depended on him to make my dreams come true. I am taking steps to equip my own studio. This album is going to contain no less than nine original Christmas songs (some of which you have already heard here on the blog in their rough form). I am working on new arrangements and writing new songs. I am securing just the right voices, and even a couple of amazing instrumentalists.
There is a part of me that would like to say, if I can just make the CD, then I will have achieved my goal, even if I don’t sell a single one. But that would not be truthful. These recordings are going to be as amazing as I can possibly make them, and I am going to market them in a serious way. That is my resolution. I am throwing my hat into the ring.
As I have begun this process, I have realized certain things about my music. Here is a startling one: every good song I have ever written has simply poured out in about five minutes flat! That is a very humbling realization. To receive that kind of inspiration, I have to be a more worthy person. My scripture study and prayer has to be more earnest…more fervent. It occurs to me that if I am really going to accomplish this daunting task, I have to prepare in a very unique way: I have to keep Christmas for an entire year. The tree has to go. The smallest spark, and mine would go up like Chevy Chase’s tree in “Christmas Vacation.” The reindeer…the Santas… they will all be packed away on January 2nd, just like every other year. But Christmas must stay. How do I go about keeping Christmas? Performing acts of service is part of it. A certain feeling toward others is part of it. I had some ideas, but last night a phone call from a close friend brought it all crystal clear for me. It comes down to one thing: Charity.
I think I may have found a New Year’s Resolution after all. What follows is my personal theme for 2009. It is the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. In case you are an auditory learner, I have added one of my favorite hymns. It is just me, on the piano…nothing fancy. I can’t put any songs up for awhile, because I will be working on new arrangements and recordings. But don’t worry, I’ll be making it up to you with a really amazing CD in a few months. So listen...What are you going to do in 2009?
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
1 THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away,
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.