As I stood there, singing songs of praise and worship to the Lord I love so dearly, I suddenly found myself speechless, unable to sing, unable to lift my hands and unable to breathe. Tears became my language, tears became my song, tears became my very breath as I desperately tried to turn away as each moment I was drawn in deeper.
My eyes caught a glimpse of what would ultimately wreck me and tear me apart inside. I was overwhelmed. I was changes and I was renewed.
From the corner of my eye, while the band was playing, the congregation singing and clapping, the fog and the lights blazing, I saw two women standing face to face with each other. The first women in the midst of worship simply held the hands of the women who was facing her while her back was to the stage. The women, whom I recognized as one of the interpreters for the deaf, gently swayed with the other women while she signed the song of praise into her hands.
Together the stood with their eyes closed and they worshipped. What I witnessed was the greatest worship leader I have ever seen leading a women who was blind and deaf into the presence of the King of Kings. And not only that, she lead me into the deepest moments of worship that I would ever experience up until this point in my life.
I was wrecked. I was flooded with the reality of how far we must go to reach people for Christ. I was a part of a congregation that day that did whatever it took to make sure no one left hungry, that all were able to receive the Word of God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The lengths that Christ went for us was again made a reality for me in that moment when I saw the length of what the body of Christ is called to do so that all can hear, see, touch and know the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was a precious moment that God allowed me to be a part of. It was my Hellen Keller 2017 moment. I will treasure it in my heart forever.
May we too be encouraged to go as far as it takes to make sure people have the means to receive the gospel and be drawn into worhip the Mighty King of Kings. May we be wrecked for Christ so that we can fall on our knees and worship Him like we never have before. May we not only hear and see, but may we also touch people with the gospel of Christ so that they will know.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Romans 10:14
I remember my first visit to Haiti in 2009. I was with a dedicated group of missionaries who already loved the country and it's people. Little did I know at the time that I would leave pieces of my heart there which would call me back and call me to prayer for all those that I met.
On our way to church that first week, I was informed that it was customary to give an offering. Well, the offering was someone sharing a word or song and I was "volunteered" to be the offering. I was nervous, I was scared. I didn't know why. Maybe the feeling of being completely overwhelmed by all I had seen over the past few days, being in a culture that was so different from mine, singing in what was, to the people of Haiti, a foreign language, to a people I did not know.....the fact was I was just plain terrified.
The trip to the church found me praying relentlessly for God to take my fear away. Out of nowhere, I spotted a truck and painted on it was this... JER 1:17. I knew that it was for me. So, when I arrived at the church I read the passage and this is what God had for me.
“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them." Jeremiah 1:17
Being a quite rebellious person by nature, God knows what I need to hear and how I need to hear it. I needed to be told..."DON'T BE SCARED OR I'LL SHOW YOU SCARED!"
I got the picture and God did what He always does through obedience. He used me for His glory.
Maybe you grew up in a family or with a parent (or maybe it's you) that used this line. "Don't cry or I'll give you a reason to cry!" Not saying it's the best line, but maybe, just maybe it's a bit biblical? The great thing is that God says it with perfect love SO THAT we will do the good thing that He commands us to do. He goes on to say that as we stand and speak without fear that He will make us strong, that the enemy will fight us, but NOT overcome us BECAUSE God will rescue us.
Now that is comfort to me. Comfort and encouragement to not be afraid (or else) knowing that God has my back. If He is for me who is against, tell me, WHO?....... NO ONE & NOTHING!!
So, my friends, today, I say to you (and me)......
“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:17-9
So these are a few of the titles that I carry, Worship Leader/Singer Songwriter/Public Speaker, and honestly I have very little clue about how to do any of them except that I know God has called me to glorify Him through these means.
My husband and I had a wonderful night sharing our testimony of God's healing in our marriage. I loved leading worship with my Celebrate Recovery family. I loved sharing a song of encouragement that I wrote and I loved standing next to my husband and telling our story. It all went well....really well....And I am always in shock when that happens. Let me explain that.....
As my husband and I talked on the way home, we both marveled at how there is really nothing that special about us, there is nothing extraordinary about my worship leading or our presentation when we give our testimony. Nothing, but the fact that we ask God to strip ourselves away and help us to present what we have without expectation and sit back and watch God's spirit move among His people.
As a worship leader and speaker there is, at times, a pressure to be on, having to be so spectacular and dynamic that you move people into an amazing experience of worship. What I KNOW to be true is that I have none of that.... all I have, by God's grace, is the ability to simply go before the Lord (with a microphone in hand and people watching me) and present what I have, as simple as it is, and leave it at that. Worship leading, singing, writing and speaking is simply an offering of being present, being honest, being transparent before the Lord SO THAT He can do what He does so perfectly.....Move the hearts of his people.
John the baptist had nothing great to offer physically (in fact, I'm sure people thought he was insane...and coincidentally there are times when people think I'm crazy too, but that's a different story), but He was present, submitting to the Father, testifying of the promise to come and the Spirit moved through him to prepare hearts.
The apostle Paul was spoken of like this.."For some say, 'His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.'" To which the apostles Paul says "such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present." II Corinthians 10:10
There was nothing spectacular about the Apostle Paul, yet I don't think anyone will argue the impact He had on the world and spreading the gospel.....so that had to be the power of God working through a humbled man present to be used by God.
This is what was said of Jesus..."He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire him." Isaiah 53:2. Jesus was simply present in the most powerful way. He, the perfect example of being present and submitting to the Father's will.
My encouragement from Christ is this. I don't have to be concerned with being spectacular, having the worlds best set, a full band, wearing just the right outfit to speak or worship lead in or a fog machine with amazing lighting (ok, the fog machine does hide wrinkles, just sayin...but, I'm not concerned). My concern is that I am humbly present before God, worshiping Him alone, speaking boldly the truth that He shares in His Word, trusting that as I put out my best and honest worship, that HE WILL show up and move the hearts of His people, because I am not the Holy Spirit, nor do I want to be.
Friends, I am NOTHING and I am happy with that. My prayer this night was that God would strip away everything that I am and the only thing left was only what resembled Christ.
God is faithful, God is amazing and He is amazing in and through us. That's the only reason people can look at us and say we are amazing, because of who is in us. "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" I John 4:4
May you be encouraged that God can and will use you no matter what. Come before Him and lay it all out and watch what He does with your offering and sacrifice. Sometimes you may be blessed to witness it, other times you may be blessed trusting that God is doing something EVEN IF you don't get to see it on this side of heaven.
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.