Tim Fisher is well known for his work in several different fields of musical endeavor. After receiving both a B.A. and an M.A. degree from Bob Jones University, he taught there on the music faculty for nine years. While a student and a faculty member, he spent his summers and weekends traveling to local churches ministering the Word of God in song. Tim has sung in well over one thousand churches all over the United States and in several foreign countries.
Presently he and his wife, Deborah, are involved with the ministry of Sacred Music Services. Deborah grew up in Finland as the child of missionaries, and received a B.A. and a M.A. in voice performance from BJU. Tim and Deborah are the parents of a daughter, Christina Elizabeth, born in April 1992, and are members of Faith Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, where Tim is serving on the pastoral staff as minister of music.
In 1998 Tim founded Sacred Music Services, an organization dedicated to providing sacred recordings for the home. In this capacity Tim uses his abilities as both an arranger and a producer to bring together a variety of groups, including a children’s choir, and a brass choir. Sacred Music Services has achieved a reputation for producing some of the finest traditional sacred recordings available today.
As a speaker Tim travels to churches, conferences, Christian colleges, and high schools to discuss the issues of Scripture and music. He is the author of The Battle For Christian Music (1992), a book that grew out of a need the author saw to address some of the musical issues in more detail. In the fall of 1999 he released a second book called Harmony At Home, addressing musical issues as they relate to home and individual worship. In 1994 Tim was instrumental in starting Discover Christian Music, a company which is dedicated to the distribution of a wide variety of conservative sacred recordings.
Tim brings a unique but biblical perspective to the often controversial subject of Christian music. His involvement as a teacher, singer, an arranger, a producer of more than seventy sacred recordings, and a student of the Bible gives him the background needed to address many different areas of musical concern today.
Music: Medicine For The Spirit
“There is probably no other cultural activity [as music]
which…reaches into shapes, and often controls so
Much of human behavior.”
-- Phillip Merriam (The anthropology of Music)
“the idea that music can affect your body and mind
certainly isn’t new…The key has always been to
find just the right kind of music for the just the right
Kind of effect.”
--Ostander and Shroeder (Super Learning)
“We know by experience that music has a secret and
Almost incredible power to move hearts.”
In I Samuel 16 we read the account of King Saul calling for a young musician named David who was to play a harp for him, and in verse 23 of that chapter we see that the music of the talented teenager had a immediate effect on the troubled king -- benefiting him mentally, physically, and spiritually. Is this coincidence? Was it a one time occurrence?
Earlier in I Samuel 16, the Bible tells us that when God allowed Saul to be troubled by evil spirits because of his disobedience, Saul’s closest advisors noticed the change in his countenance quite soon. These advisors offered the king some wise counsel: to contact a skillful musician. They told Saul that when the musician played for him that he would be well (vs.16). To no one’s surprise this is exactly what happened.
The Bible relates other examples of music being used to set certain moods--sometimes good music for righteous purposes, and sometimes bad music for evil purposes. The key thought here is that music does affect the listener. No one has ever disputed that point.
Muzak ® is a multi-million dollar industry that provides music for secular workplaces, public venues, and transportation vehicles. Many years ago they discovered the potential profit in providing music for the express purpose of setting a particular atmosphere. Time has proven them to be true. Sporting events would be nothing if it were not for the rousing marches and fight songs played by the bands. Fine restaurants carefully choose music to set an ambiance that will ease their customers and set a relaxing atmosphere conducive to good conversation.
Even the medical profession is expanding studies into the effect that music has on the listener. Music therapy, once considered to be an afterthought, is now gaining attention --both in the area of psychology and physical therapy. Could it be that society is just beginning to discover what the Bible has already verified for us?
Not too many years ago America was horrified when two young men in Littleton, Colorado killed several classmates and teachers in a macabre shooting spree at their local high school. In the aftermath of this tragedy it was discovered that the young men responsible for these murders had been feeding themselves a steady diet of “death rock,” the darkest and most evil musical offerings of today’s pop music. While it is true that the music did not directly provoke this gruesome undertaking, it can be said that the music provided an atmosphere for these young men that encouraged evil actions--actions which were a result of their evil thoughts.
When we are sick we do all that we can to get just the right medicine for our needs, and then we are sure to stick to our dosage schedule, knowing that repeated exposure to the right medicine is the cure for our disease. Maybe it is time for us to consider seeking some medicine for our spirits. How many times during the week do we live in frustration and stress. Society puts us in the shackles of schedules, finances and high job expectations--all of which contribute to anxiety and a troubled spirit. It is high time for us to step back from this rigid pace and give ourselves something to help our worried inner man. Allow me to offer you the cure of music.
Now, what I am proposing here is not a substitute for a relationship with God--that would be foolish indeed. If a men does not know Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior, there is nothing that can safeguard that man’s soul from eternal damnation and punishment. Only through faith in Christ can we find freedom from sin and the peace that accompanies it. Scripture comfort us with the promise that Christ will keep us in perfect peace when we keep our minds fixed on Him “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee .” Isaiah 26:3
But oftentimes Christians do experience the stress, anxiety and care of the world around them. Their spirits are troubled and restless. It is during these times that they should turn to the Lord in prayer and learn how to trust in Him. But, there is something that we could add-- something that would give us an environment of hope and healing: uplifting sacred music. Let me discuss some of the wonderful things that this medicine can do for our spirits.
First, Sacred Music glorifies God. We read in Psalm50:23 that “Whoso offered praise, glorifieth me [God].” God gave us music to bring Him pleasure. He gave us voices to honor him, and our submission to His desire will bring Him glory. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). There is no room for selfish indulgence in this command. “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever” should be the ultimate goal of our existence.
As stewards we are responsible to carry out this sacred task and not to allow Satan to rob us of what God has promised. Therefore, we must carefully choose the music we permit into our lives, not only in public worship but in the home as well. Satan’s counterfeits enthrall and captivate our minds, offering us substitute pleasure inferior to God’s best for us. God intends to bless us through music; Satan turns the blessing into a curse.
Second, Sacred Music instructs us. There is no greater teaching or motivational device than music. Human culture has consistently validated this claim. Plato said, “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” Hitler, as many other totalitarian dictators have done, used music extensively to spread his Nazi ideals to a generation of German young people. Advertisers spend almost as much money on the sound tracks of commercials as they do on the commercials themselves-- knowing that the catchy jingle often reaps great financial rewards in terms of sales.
How many of us remember Scripture verses, books of the Bible and names of the disciples because of simple choruses we learned a young children? Does anyone leave church humming the sermon? Music is an extremely important tool in aiding instruction.
Third, hymn singing encourages us. If we would begin to spend time meditating on the words of great hymns and gospel songs, we would begin to be encouraged as we rehearse in our minds about our great God and His love for us. Proper music will get our minds off our own troubles and direct our attention to Christ.
As we study the history of sacred music, we understand the varied emotions that songwriters expressed in their music. We see the Lord lifted up in all His glory. We hear thankfulness expressed for God’s unending grace.
Take the music of the Bible, for instance--and we are speaking here of the Psalms. We listen to psalmists exalt the Lord in highest praise. But we also hear them bring their complaints before the Lord. Sometimes they are tired from the attacks of their enemies. Sometimes they lament that the world seems to be better off than they are. Sometimes they seem weary in their Christian walk. Yet these Psalms end in rejoicing over God’s goodness and mercy. We face the very same trials and temptations. Can we learn to respond as these songwriters did and praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy?
As we listen to the Psalms of other songs about similar circumstances, we are encouraged. Christians have always drawn from the great hymn literature in times of need. William Cowper, an
18th century English hymn writer, began one of his hymns with the following line:
Sometimes a light surprises a Christian while
It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings.
The Lord has promised to use His Word to comfort us in time of need. When we listen to Biblical music, we allow the Holy Spirit another opportunity to speak to our hearts through His Word. The more songs we listen to and learn, the more opportunities we give the Holy Spirit to work. How many times in daily life does a circumstance bring to our mind a secular pop or rock song that we learned when we were kids? If we are honest, it is often. How much better to replace the world’s influence on our minds with the influence of the Word of God?
Finally, Sacred Music prepares us. In heaven music will be a part of eternal activity. The new song of the redeemed will echo in heaven throughout all ages as we sing, “…Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” (Revelation 5:9)
Since praising the Lord in song will occupy our time through eternity, it becomes one of the few “heavenly activities” that we can engage in now. Someone has said, “Nobody dreams of music in hell, and no one conceives of heaven without it.”
Come we that love the Lord,
and let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
and thus surround the throne
Then let our songs abound
and every tear be dry;
Were marching through Emmanuel’s ground,
to fairer Worlds on high.
From “Come We That Love The Lord” by Isaac Watts
Music is the medicine for the soul. It is my desire that all Christians experience the joy and blessing of sacred music, and that is why I have dedicated my life to it. There is an abundance of good sacred music available to us today-- we need only to look or it.
Don’t settle for the cheap/rock sound of the world’s music, even if it is presented with sacred words. The music will still create an atmosphere of stress and dissonance. Seek for recordings that advance a higher standard, with music that uplifts the souls instead of offering some cheap, sensual substitute.
Those who may have questions or interest in Tim’s recordings or future meetings may write :
Sacred Music Services - P.O. Box 17072 - Greenville - SC, 29606 or call 1-800-767-4326 or visitwww.smsrecordings.com
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