Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | September 2, 2014

God’s love pouring into music

Today’s post is part of a series on “How we can use God’s gifts”. This series is meant to be a reminder and a celebration of different people using their unique gifts for God’s glory.

The guest writer for today’s blog post is Susan Garretson Kriz.

What gift that God gave you have you had the opportunity to use to serve Him and/or others?

I have the gift of music which I’ve used in a church setting for over 30 years.  I’ve also taught music which, as any teaching should be in my opinion, has helped me help others become better people or at least think about how they can be.
How does it make you feel when you get to use your gift?  

When I can really express the words in a song, especially in church, I feel I may be connecting with others and may be helping promote some spiritual healing.  I always hope to be a vessel of God’s love to pour out into my music.  When I focus on the text, I am uniting with the composer or, if the words are directly from the Bible, I express the word of God and hopefully share a message of TRUTH with those listening. Doing music has always made me feel I am doing what I am supposed to be doing!

What are some examples of ways you’ve been able to use this gift?

When I teach my choir, congregation or students a song, I try to focus on the message of the song.  In church this makes my gift a Ministry.  In a school setting, teaching kids to express a song shows them how to “be real” and connect with those listening.  I’ve had to learn to know myself so I can help others do the same so they can learn to give more genuine performances.

Is there a Bible verse that comes to mind when you think about the gifts God gave you?

Galatians- gifts/fruits of the spirit (don’t have exact verse right now); Prayer of St. Francis (written by St. Francis:  “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,” etc.)

What ideas can you share for how others can use gifts like yours?

If you have the gift of music, remember that your job is always to express the words of a song, no matter how “good” or “bad” you sound.  If you are playing instrumental music, you should aim to know what the composer wants to express.  I think the arts are meant to inspire and help people connect with emotions.  Emotions are part of the human condition and can be confusing, so maybe the arts exist as a way for people to understand one another and transcend the human condition.

Any final thoughts on using our gifts to honor God and to serve others?

The quote, “Music is well-said to be the speech of angels” attributed to Thomas Carlyle (whom I know nothing about) comes to mind.  When I had the experiences of participating in a large choir or orchestra in college, I always felt like, “This is how heaven must be” because so many people were working together to make a huge, beautiful sound, and I always wished the world could be like that.  Sounds idealistic and child-like, but God wants us to have a child-like faith!  To me, music is always a prayer.  I used to get caught up in the performance aspect of music, but once I grew into my role as a Music Minister, proclaiming God’s Word and Jesus’ message of love became number one.



  1. Thanks for your beautiful testimony. Susan Brese

  2. I agree with Susan that the words are so important. I used to not even notice the words when I would sing when I was younger. It was all about the music, the blend, the sound. I’ve learned as I get older that the words have the biggest impact. Sometimes they are so important, I get chocked up! Not the best when you are trying to sing, but as you said, its about the emotions as well. Thanks for your blog.

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