Stringed Instruments Go Way Back When

by | Jul 2, 2022 | Blogs | 0 comments

When you grow up with ten siblings, it’s mostly understood that many gifts you receive may soon become “public domain”. Loving brothers and sisters long to partake with you in your enjoyment of that shiny new toy; and maybe even hope that you may not cherish it so much, so that the “next-in-line” may get an opportunity to get their hands on it. That’s kind of what happened when my brother Timmy received a cheap archtop guitar on his 13th birthday. Actually, I think Timmy would’ve preferred a baseball bat or glove, but I was sure glad for him.

“WOW-D-DOW” as my dad used to say. A real guitar! It looked like pure joy had come to the Campbell’s house. The thing about any musical instrument though is that it must be played somewhat proficiently in order to be enjoyed – first by the player and then by their audience. The problem with this guitar was that it was a steel string guitar, and the action on it was very high which made it painful to play.

It was soon obvious that this guitar was going to require a significant investment of pain and determination to get it to sound good enough to bring any sense of entertaining satisfaction. I, being only twice removed from Timmy at age 11, certainly found many opportunities to test my willingness. I would have to suffer through the building up of calloused fingers, and develop the mental tenacity required to learn chord charts for folk songs that were going mainstream like: 500 Miles, Tom Dooley, If I had a Hammer, and best of all, House Of The Rising Sun.

The investment paid off and not long after I was able to play, and sing, and entertain my family and friends. Man, did I feel special. I thrived off of the selfish ambition of entertainment and the acceptance and praise I got for my “success” in music.  Little did I know that one day God would rescue me and use my gifts to glorify him in HIs Kingdom – the church – the “dearest place on earth”. 

Not long after God rescued me, I began to discover musical instruments in the bible – especially stringed instruments. I realized those saints in scripture were writing, playing, and singing songs centuries ago and that God was still calling us to do the same today. I began taking time to read scripture and put compelling lyrics to melodies hoping to glorify God in much the same way.

When my daughter Abby was barely two years old, her little nursery was about the only place I could use to quietly play my guitar early in the mornings.  It was there I discovered Psalm 57.  

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.
I will cry to God Most High…

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

I especially love these lines:

Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.

That inspires me to this day, to be up early and to awaken one of my Instruments to join me in making melody to the Savior. Anyhow, it took over 40 years to produce it, but “My Heart Is Steadfast” is the song I wrote “way back when…” I’d like to dedicate it to my beloved brother Timmy!


: )~



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