Tag Archive: music


When I was about 12 years old I went with a friend over to her Aunt’s house, but before we went in my friend warned me that her Aunt was a “born again Christian.”

That phrase intrigued me, but I didn’t understand it.  What was clear was that “those people” were to be avoided and I needed to be very cautious around them.

I met her Aunt and she didn’t seem weird or different to me at all.  The only difference I saw was that she had a picture on her wall of Jesus Christ.  That’s it…

Prince of Peace

…but what I learned from that moment could have had eternally devastating consequences.

A couple years ago, going into the holiday season I had a pretty poor attitude actually.  I very much enjoy singing Christmas carols; don’t get me wrong the harmonies and chords put together are absolutely divine.  But at that time, I was being filled by and adored singing praise to my God through the heartfelt lyrics contemporary worship songs offered.  The thought of reverting back to those age-old and over-sung Christmas carols just irritated me.  But they are fun to sing so I figured I could put up with it for that month or so and very much looked forward to when we would go back to singing songs of real praise to our Lord.

Boy do I have a lot to learn…and Praise God for changing my heart and opening my ears!

One day I heard the carol “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

Hark! The herald angels sing.

How many times have I heard that song…in fact, how many times have I sung it?!!  But that time around …which I’m sure was about the 85,369th time… I heard a phrase I never heard or I guess I never paid attention to before:

“…born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.”

There it is!

The reason Christ came…to give us “second birth” or in other words, so we could be born again!!

Being a “born again Christian” is not something to avoid, it is something to achieve…for Goodness sake, we SING SONGS about it!!

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’   John 3:3-7 (NIV)

Had that phrase been explained to me back when I was 12 years old, my life could’ve been so different… and I might have avoided some very poor choices.  I obviously wasn’t ready to hear it then and thankfully God had other plans.  I certainly would not be the person I am today had I been saved at a younger age and as I look back now I can see all of the “born again Christians” God did use and continues to use to point me to Him and I praise Him for each one.

born again

Who is He using in your life?
Better yet, how is He using YOU?

 

Whenever I am asked that question, my answer is always Little Drummer Boy.

 

 

Even as a kid I loved that song, and it always seemed like I was one of the few who chose it.  I even remember people asking me why I liked it so much, and I never really had an answer.  I guess I liked how the songwriter incorporated the pa-rum-pum-pum-pum throughout the song…but otherwise I just didn’t know.

Today I heard the song again, and today God brought out the words;

“…then He smiled at me.”

 Whoa.

That’s it!  That’s exactly why I like it, and yet that’s exactly what I didn’t understand so many years ago…that relationship.

Jesus doesn’t want gifts, He wants our heart.

The little drummer boy literally gave Jesus all he had.  His heart when he played his drum and Jesus accepted it with a smile.

Oh, to have Jesus smile when I meet him face to face as we all will one day.  To hear him say;  

“Well done, good and faithful servant…”   Matthew 25:21 

 

Man, I wish I had a drum.

african drum hands

 

His Song

For any of you who know me…I can be somewhat of a procrastinator.  Sad truth…but still truth.  I have totally seen the power of God working in my life, and this particular plain old Thursday, wasn’t any different.

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”   Romans 12:11

But, I’ll start from the beginning…

(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning, March 28 1973, God created… well, Me.

My whole life, I have loved music.  ALWAYS.  As a kid I was always singing, and much to the chagrin of my Mom, Dad, and especially sister, it was mostly Annie songs…

“The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…”

Over,

and over,

and over,

and over … well, you get the idea.

Now, just TRY to get that song out of your head!

I was in choir at school, played the alto, bass & soprano saxophone in band, took organ lessons… and boy does that sure come in handy!  Mmm-hmmm, use it all the time!  (Sarcasm fully intended.)  I was in musicals, swing choir & vocal jazz in both high school and college, and loved every minute of it. It gave me great pleasure to perform…music just always satisfied me.

“equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”   Hebrews 13:21

When I came to know Christ in ’95, and I truly understood the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross in MY place, was when the music that so filled my soul, actually FILLED MY SOUL!! Now, instead of singing for my pleasure, I sing for God’s pleasure.  I can express myself and my love to Him through song — and I love that!!

“Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,”   Ephesians 5:19

Before following God’s call to attend the church in the community He placed us in, I served on the worship team at our old churches and received such blessing and joy from it.  Since we’ve begun attending Hillcrest, God has placed a longing in my heart to share my passion for music and to serve in the worship ministry there.

However in order to do that, God kept pestering me to contact either the Associate Pastor or the worship ministry leader. Well…like I mentioned earlier, I am a procrastinator, and every day I prayed that God would “push me” to contact one of those fellows.

I never did.

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”   Ephesians 4:28

Honestly, it was mostly because I didn’t want them to tell me I wasn’t good enough to be on the team, or they didn’t need me.  It’s much easier to not try out and long for it, than to put myself out there and have my dream crushed.

However, God has a way of making things happen whether we like it or not.  Several months into attending, one day after service God really was pushing me to go talk to the worship leader.  I made all the excuses not to – he was busy, I was busy, it was too late, we needed to go, etc…

So, I told God “NO!”

“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.”   Proverbs 26:3

Literally, at the very moment those words went through my head, God turned the worship leader to face me, making eye contact which pretty much seals the deal, and sent him in a bee-line DIRECTLY to me. I knew full well that God was sending him over, which touched me so much that I began to sob. Oh, and it wasn’t a tear or two it was shoulder-wrenching-snot-dripping sobs!!

When he finally reached me, I couldn’t even talk I was crying so hard!!  My husband and the worship leader just stood there dazed & confused, while looking at each other and back at me, simultaneously wondering “What the heck is her problem?” And with a shrug from my poor husband, the worship leader just looked at me sideways, asked if we needed anything, and graciously excused himself.

“serving the Lord with all humility and with tears…”   Acts 20:19a

Needless to say, I didn’t talk to him about worship and I went home defeated.

Over the next week God continued to gently suggest that I contact the Associate Pastor…but I made up all sorts of excuses not to.  Again, I told God “NO”…while still praying that He would “push me” to just suck it up and call…but I still didn’t.

Then it happened.  On just a plain old Thursday, I got home from running errands and there was a message from the Associate Pastor saying he had heard that I might be interested in being part of the worship team.

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”   Matthew 21:22

WHAAAAAAAT?!!!

Yeah, that was God…because CLEARLY I hadn’t said ANYTHING yet. Apparently He got tired of suggesting, and praise Him, made it VERY easy on me by working in the Associate Pastor’s heart to make it happen!! Oh Lord, thank you!! So, after I calmed down and stopped crying (this really has sort of become a theme with me since we started attending Hillcrest) I returned his call, set it up, and made plans to meet the following morning with he and the worship leader.

{gulp…}

God is so good.

My “audition” went well.  I absolutely love worshiping God in song, and that’s what I did with my brothers in Christ that morning.  It was amazing…and even if I wasn’t approved to serve on the worship team, I would give all my praise to God for how He works in my life, how incredibly wonderful He is, and I assure you I would most certainly continue to praise Him in worship with the congregation from the pews.

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:30

Thankfully, and for some crazy reason, God allowed those guys to momentarily lose all hearing or He allowed me to sound better than I am, because I was invited to join the team!!

Unbelievable.

It has been several years since that fateful moment that God worked so mightily to give me the desires of my heart, and I am still praising Him for allowing me to sing with such an amazing and talented worship team!

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”   Psalm 28:7

As for right now, I am cautiously awaiting the day God opens their ears to hear that I really can’t sing…and until then, I will continue to sing to the King!!

“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”   Psalm 104:33

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