Let Everything that has Breath Praise the Lord!
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” – Psalm 150:6
Our late dad, although he never played an instrument, had such a gift for sound, creating music, and keeping people entertained on the dance floor. My dad’s name was Jhonny (Johannes.) As a hobby, he became a DJ, playing music at weddings, dinner parties and other events. “Long Johns Disco” was the name of his business. My brother, Don, and my dad were like two peas in a pod. We were woken to the sounds of the “Jonathan Rudman Show” each Sunday morning. The men in our house were definitely the radio stations “most frequent callers.” They entered competitions which they almost always won. “Name that song in 3 seconds” was probably one of their favorites.
After the unexpected loss of our father, my brother began exploring his love for music through instruments. He beat on anything he could find as he learned how to play the drums. His leg never stopped moving under the dinner table as he was working on the “kick drum.” Pencils became drum sticks, the floor, his kick drum, plastic containers and the kitchen counters were hi-hats, cymbals and snares. Our comments of “you’re making a noise” never stopped my brother from pursuing his desire to learn.
A particular story from roughly 15 years ago still resonates in my heart. Uncle Wynand, a friend of my father’s, came by our home with a guitar. He told my brother that he could have the guitar, on one condition… that he paid him R1 ($0.076) for it. Seems like an odd request, but he had reasoning. Uncle Wynand believed that we take better care of things that cost us. My brother cared for that guitar like gold. He played it till his fingers blistered. He took it everywhere he went, as if a little child’s safety blanket. His love for music continued to grow as did his talents with musical instruments.
As teens, Don and I would walk to church. One particular day, my brother, with his guitar in hand, was approached by a man who possibly lived on the streets or in very terrible conditions. The man asked my brother if he could play his guitar. To my brother’s surprise, the man could play better than anyone he had met. Without hesitation my brother gifted the man with the guitar with no uncertainty that the Lord had prompted him. Don met up with the youth/worship leader that evening, excited to share the story of what the Lord had prompted him to do. With that, the worship leader shared how God had prompted him earlier that day to give his personal guitar to my brother, not knowing why, until that very moment. Within weeks, the Lord had prompted another person to bless our worship leader with a guitar… Each guitar better than the one they had previously owned. Obedience.
But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ – Jeremiah 7:23
Through much grace, patience, and perseverance, Don taught me how to play guitar. One of my fondest memories as a teenager, which grew into adulthood, is worshiping with my brother through music and song. I’ll never forget the day he took me to buy my first guitar. We drove to Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa, 45 minutes from my home city, and found a beautiful Takamine guitar. “She” was perfect. Ever heard of people naming their instruments? I did. “Jozie.” Jozie is a Hebrew name meaning: “God will increase.” As I played, I prayed: “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!” – 1 Chronicles 4:10
I began leading worship at my home church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, at age 19. By age 24, God opened the door to worship with fellow believers in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, and at age 26 God provided opportunity to worship in various schools, churches, recovery support groups, and retirement homes right here in the United States of America.
Little did I know that life with “Jozie” would take an interesting turn. During my third month of time in Zambia, God sent a team from Grace Klein Community to serve at Kwathu Children’s Home for approximately ten days. One of the team members had a natural gift for music and I felt the Lord prompt me to pray for him. With that, the Lord very clearly told me to give him my guitar. Honestly, after resigning from my job in South Africa, selling my car, and giving away “all” my belongings, I couldn’t give away the “only” thing I had left.
I wrestled with God for a good while. Nine months later I found myself on Alabama soil, the same continent, country and state as the person God told me to bless with “my” guitar. Funny how the Lord works. At this point, my guitar was still in Zambia awaiting my “return,” and I was holding on, with both hands. Conviction led me to tell the person that I needed to give them “my” guitar, and when “she” finally arrived in the states, I handed “her” over with such a peace, only from the Lord, knowing that walking in obedience to His voice would be as sweet smelling incense to the Lord. “Jozie” was never truly mine to begin with. I just needed to let go and let God.
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” – Psalm 24:1
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Over the past two years friends have graciously loaned me their guitars to use while I quietly shared my desires with the Lord for a guitar of my own.
Recently, Bailey Brothers Music Company hosted a presentation, at their store on Hwy 280, promoting a $500 gift card giveaway to one lucky winner. Even though my name wasn’t drawn, God had something up His sleeve. We ran into an old friend of the family. A few days later this friend texted to say he’d like to contribute towards a guitar to be used as God leads, and with that, another friend heard God tell him to contribute as well. God provided for a beautiful Taylor guitar, one that I believe will be played by the hands of many fellow believers in worship to our daddy King. Isn’t He just wonderful?
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
Join me in delighting in the Lord, trusting His desires for our lives and realizing again and again that the sweetest desires of our hearts are the very ones HE gives us. Let everything that have breath praise the Lord!!