Several years ago, I was teaching Lord, I Want to Know You, by Kay Arthur. It’s a fantastic jewel of a study on several of the names of God. The premise of the study is that by knowing His name(s) we are more in touch with God’s nature, His character, and His attributes. It’s true. By doing this study, you learn much about it to apply in your life. This study has really come in handy in my own life even more lately.
As a result of going through this study, I have become a name dropper. I drop His names while praying to Him. I do not think He minds at all. By doing this, I am recalling what I know of Him from how He defines Himself in the Bible.
Anyway, while we were studying this in 2005, Valentine’s Day was approaching and I wanted to bless the ladies with a gift. There were a lot of women on the roll for this study and I knew I couldn’t afford a gift of more than $1 each. So, because I like music, I decided to compile a list of songs that had the various names of God in the lyrics or songs that magnified one of His many attributes in some way or had something to do with His name or Him knowing ours. The list was all about God. The songs represented a variety of artists and styles. Once I compiled the list I decided to burn a cd for each lady. I designed the label with a cute heart (that kind of looked like a strawberry with a bloom) and I began printing labels and burning cds. It took days to get them all done. I loved every minute of it.
The day came to give the ladies their gifts and I was beside myself with excitement. I distributed them and the group was as excited to receive as I had been to give. At the conclusion of the class, they prayed for me. I was leaving that afternoon for some more leader training at Precept Ministries.
Once I got to the training and began to settle into my class, we had lessons and we had homework. We had discussion of our lessons and application was/is a key point to leading a fruitful discussion. So, as we were listening and sharing, one student raised her hand with a point of application. Her point related to the lesson. Sadly, I cannot tell you what the Bible passage was we were discussing. I CAN tell you, however, her application point because I got so convicted I was afraid I would have to leave and come home and confiscate the cds I had just given out as a gift. I think that’s the reason I forgot the passage we were discussing in that moment.
My new friend’s point was that we in the church are robbing musicians in ministry (or not) by taking copies of their songs and burning them to cds to distribute to one or two (or 90, in my case). She didn’t even comment on what I thought was “bad”. Nope. She didn’t say, “taking them, burning them, and selling them.” She just commented on the simple and “innocent” practice of burning selections and passing them along as robbing the artists of their livelihood. Ouch. I was guilty of doing that very thing.
Upon returning to Bible study the next week, I shared with the group the whole conversation and my conviction. I proceeded to tell them I thought they should probably return them to me, but that I wasn’t going to force them. No one returned their copy. They had grown attached to them in the week’s time and were learning many of the names via music they had been studying. It was a learning tool and a tool of ministry and worship to them.
What a quandary. I let it go. Lesson learned. I haven’t done it since. I think about it, though.
So, one who still listens to it and is still in Bible study brought it up last week and the class, most of whom had never heard of the strawberry cd much less received one of their own, decided they would like a copy. Rather than do something I have been convicted is not good, I promised instead, to put the list on the blog and they could access the songs, buy them, and download them to iTunes to burn on their own.
Here’s the list from February 2005’s Lord, I Want to Know You cd:
1. It is Good – Alicia Williamson
2. Show Me Your Ways – Alicia Williamson
3. Holy is Your Name – Bebo Norman with Caedmon’s Call
4. He’s Been Faithful – the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
5. God is in Control – Twila Paris
6. Holy is the Lord – Andrew Peterson
7. El Shaddai – Amy Grant
8. Mighty is the Name of the Lord – Sandi Patty
9. Redeemer – Nicole C. Mullen
10. I Long for You – Jonathan and Lisa Moore
11. More Than Enough – the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
12. You Are My Refuge – Cheri Kaeggy
13. Blessed Be the Name of the Lord – Don Moen
14. Wonderful, Merciful Savior – Susan Ashton
15. He Knows My Name – Tommy Walker
16. All That Matters is Knowing You – Jonathan and Lisa Moore
17. The Majesty and Glory of Your Name – Sandi Patty
I have repented of my cd burning fax paus. I pray none on this list come after me to pay them for their songs I used in burning these cds. I pray the Feds will not take me to jail. I pray I haven’t made a mistake putting this out there on the world-wide web.
Here’s the last remaining copy. I use it for my own use. I will not give this one away. I will not make a copy. I have ducked out of the way so my image is not shown…just in case I’m on the Most Wanted list…
As an aside, this cd got the nickname, “The Strawberry CD,” thanks to a friend who has two cute little boys. When she brought home this cd five years ago, one of the sons commented about the “strawberry” on it. He, for the longest time, wanted his mom to play the strawberry cd every night as part of his bedtime ritual. I checked with her just the other day to find out if it’s still part of the nighttime ritual and she assures me it is.
I ask you, what kind of person would I be to go to this child’s home and insist his mother give me back the cd that helps little children get ready for bed and dream sweet dreams!?
It goes to show you that God can take something I stupidly did and still use it as was originally intended, for His glory!