Tag Archive: worship


Steal my show!

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

Isn’t it amazing how God tries to get our attention?  I was looking for the iPad this morning to use while I ran.  That is the ONLY way to do it, I tell you!!  It’s so much easier to face treadmill torture when I’m able to distract myself with a show on Netflix.  But this morning the iPad was gone.  It wasn’t charging…wasn’t in it’s place and because I had gotten up a little later, I didn’t have the time to look for it.

So I grabbed my phone and my earbuds and headed downstairs to do my running to music.

God moved that iPad.

 

Have you ever had Him grab hold of your heart through a song??

I.LOVE.THAT!

Although it’s much more thrilling when you’re standing on a large rubber belt strapped around a set of motorized pulleys and gears moving at break-neck speeds!treadmill

Ok, I’ll come clean; it’s not so break-neck…only 6 mph, but it still makes things very exciting when God uses the dropped beat and swirling rhythms pulsing through the earbuds to literally take your breath away.

I felt every word of tobyMac‘s song “Steal My Show” this morning.

 

 

I want that.

I want to give God center stage in my life’s production.  I long for Him to be the director, playwrite, choreographer, costume designer and ticketing agent.

To allow Him to use me in any way He wants.  To place the people in my life He wants me to minister to.  To release my grip, take a step back, watch Him work and be ok whatever the outcome.

God used tobyMac’s words to land squarely on my chest to knock me off balance.

If you wanna steal my show, I’ll sit back and watch you go
If you got somethin’ to say, go on and take it away
Need you to steal my show, can’t wait to watch you go-o-o-o
So take it away…

For it’s when we’re knocked off balance that He can be seen.

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”   2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Oh God, give me the words to say and the steps to take.  I give you control…my hands are outstretched and open.  Please use me.  Show me how to behave, teach me Your ways, allow me to see You at all times and trust You in every moment.

worship

Read: 1 Chronicles 16:37-43, 2 Samuel 6:20-23, 2 Samuel 8:15-18/1 Chronicles 18:14-17, 2 Samuel 9, 2 Samuel 7/1 Chronicles 17

The Daily Bible doesn’t provide commentary for today’s reading and so I want to share what has touched me the past couple days.

David is a worshiper.  He praises God when he’s down, when he’s failing, when his life’s at stake, when he’s provided for, when he’s protected and especially when things are set right…as seen in yesterday’s reading when the ark of the covenant finally returns to Jerusalem.

david dancing

David’s heart is poetry and music.  He worships God with his whole being and his whole body…and his wife Michal is offended by it:

“How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”   2 Samuel 6:20

But God intends for us to worship Him fully…in every moment of our day, through every aspect of our lives, upon every fiber of our being.  That’s exactly what David did and I believe God punishes Michal for rebuking him.  (v. 23)

God gave us a spirit that praises Him and David gets that.  He sets up the first official worship team (1 Chronicles 15:16-24)…which is true to my heart… a team which consists of singers, instrument players and a worship leader who are to only serve God through music!!

Sweet.

I cannot wait for heaven.  To sing with all the redeemed to our precious Savior, forever more.

 

 

 

 

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

I cry…

I sing on the worship team at my AMAZING church.  I am blessed that God placed me on, allows me to be part of, and am able to sing praises to Him through that ministry.  However, I tend to get emotional when I sing.  Ok, that’s not true, I get emotional always.  In fact I have a running joke with my pastor that if he would just stop talking about Jesus, I’d be all good.

So…seeing as how this Sunday is Easter Sunday, and because sermons tend to be about Jesus on Easter Sunday, I am seriously considering tear duct removal.  Especially during the worship set.  We will be singing a new song:  “Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him With Many Crowns.”  Oh my word, I have YET to make it through without making that horrific-scrunched-up-overt-your-eyes-this-is-going-to-get-ugly cry face.

Just yesterday I was talking to a friend about that song, asking her to pray for strength to get through it, and she responded with: 

“I listened to the CD a lot last night, and had it on YouTube this morning.  And yes, LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that song!!!  I can see why you shed a few tears…but then again…it’s YOU.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!  Honestly, all joking aside… I WISH I could get that choked up over Jesus’ love for me.  I’m SOOO THANKFUL for what He’s done in my life, but I never had the life changing ‘Ah Ha’ moment.  Maybe it’s because I was saved at such a young age…?  Anyway, I wish I had your heart.”

I wrote a story about that exact thing a while ago now… wondering why more people don’t get choked up.  My daughter, Sydney, at the time told me, “it’s probably because you remember who you used to be and where you came from.”  (Yeah, talk about insight from a 9 year old!)

That’s definitely part of it.  I PRAY for a testimony like my friend’s for all of my kids.  I long for them to live a Psalm 119 life – without regret and to know and walk closely with Christ their entire life.  I do know I wouldn’t be who I am today, had I understood His sacrifice early on.

I have heard it said, “it is easier for a child to perceive and receive spiritual truth than an adult to do so.”  That’s where my tears come from… the fact that I could’ve missed it.

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”   Romans 2:5

I was like so many… I loved myself so much that I didn’t care about God, didn’t want Him in my life, and didn’t think I needed Him.  I am so grateful that God called, allowed me to hear and understand Him, and especially that He waited patiently and continued to call!

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”   2 Peter 3:9

My friend does have a heart like mine…she has just had it longer.

I Cry God

Why don’t more people cry at church?  Especially those who know Jesus personally?

I can’t get through a song, much less a sermon about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for me, without a tear.

Ok, that’s an under-exaggeration. 

I lose it when I think about what Jesus has saved me from.  I don’t just shed a tear or two, I sob.  And it’s not like those fortunate souls who look all beautiful; tears glistening down their cheeks and a grateful smile on their face…

No, I look more like the elephant man; face deformed and puckered up, chin wobbly, body shaking, long trailing mascara tears resting in pools under my eyes, silvery unbreakable strings of snot…

and not a tissue in sight.

People so often embrace me and lovingly ask if I’m ok, if I need anything, wondering what I’m struggling with and how they can help.

Oh what they don’t understand is that I am truly a mess and so unworthy…

“…you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”   Revelation 3:17b

 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;”   Isaiah 64:6a

Each one of those messy, slimy, dirty tears are in grateful adoration of the One who sees past the mascara stains, past the ignorance of my childhood, past the selfishness I harbor…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick…”   Jeremiah 17:9

“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”   Romans 3:12

Oh for the love that my God has displayed for me…

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”   Romans 8:32

For the joy that is so readily available and easily given…

“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”   Jeremiah 31:13b

For the peace He so desperately wants us to enjoy…

“… we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Romans 5:1b

For the forgiveness He wants each of us to feel…

“He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.”   Micah 7:18b

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9

Those messy tears of mine are because I know my Jesus loves me.  I know the muck He pulled me out of and continually goes back to drag me out time and time again. 

 “How many kings stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts?

To romance a world that has torn all apart?

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?”

                                                       –“How Many Kings” by Christian Artist Downhere

Only ONE.

I know the unbelievable and horrific suffering Christ took in my place, and although I may look like a sloppy mess, my soul cries out in admiration and delight.  I NEVER want to take that gift for granted…

…and my God sees it as beautiful.

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