I like to have a plan. I like rules, I like deadlines, I like knowing exactly what is expected of me. Yep, I am a rule follower (in most instances).
I think my sway to that side came because I spent so much of my life breaking the rules, that now, I see the benefit in simply doing what I am told. Don't get me wrong, I can be stubborn and walk my own way when it suits me, but over all, rules and guidelines make me feel safe and productive.
The other thing that I like is the Word of God, the freedom in brings, it's power over the law and it's pathway to freedom... totally opposite of the rule keeper that I am. It's Grace.
As I sit and take time reading and praying the Word of God over my life, I enjoy the regiment of daily reading as given to me through one of the many apps that I use. Sometimes, as it did today, it gave me 5 passages to read and I fully planed on reading them all, but I couldn't. I simply could not adhere to the plan. Not because of rebellion, but because of freedom.
I had planned to read the first 5 chapters of Job, but after the first chapter, I simply could not go on. I was frozen. Yes, frozen in a chapter that I have read before....many times. Yet, still, there I was frozen in the reality of what I just read and I could process no more.
I found myself asking the question.."Is this guy for real?"..."did this really happen?" and already knowing the answer, hearing my spirit confirm what I already knew to be true. Yes, this is real, Yes, this happened and Yes, I want you to learn from it.
You see, in the first chapter of Job, Satan is allowed, by God, to stretch out his hand against the Lord's faithful servant, Job. And stretch it out, he does. Job in a moments time looses his oxen, donkeys, servants, sheep, camels and his children. Three different survivors from the three different incidents all arrived one after the other to break the news to Job.
I have to imagine if that was me receiving this news, I would be in a state of shock and disbelief. But, what does Job do? He tore his robe, shaved his head and fell down and worshipped God!
WHAT? Where is the fist shaking, where is the "This is not fair, God!" Where is the yelling at God that He got it wrong? No, Job fell down and worshipped God and said "Naked, I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
And there I was frozen. Frozen as I tried to imagine what my response would be. I hear so many times people saying, "It's ok to be angry with God, He can handle it. You can yell at Him, He's God, He's tough." Yet, this example of a man who lost all of his possessions and his own children...Yes, his children, was to fall down and worship God and bless His name acknowledging that it was all given and ultimately all allowed to be taken away by the hand of God. And to that, Job then blesses His Holy name.
May I, as I walk through life, through trial and heart wrenching loss, through times when things do not go according to my plan or expectations, be prepared to fall down and worship. And as I fall, may I bless the name of the Lord, His holy name.
I have always loved singing this song, but as I grow closer to the Lord, with each and every breath, the more powerful this song becomes to me. Will you sing along with me as we prepare for that time when we too may have to fall down and worship Him as His outstretched arm returns what He has so graciously given to us on loan unto Himself.
You can listen below or you can buy the whole album on my site.
Blessed Be The Name of The Lord!
There I was, knees on the floor in a crowded room, singing (crying) out to God. The band played on and those in attendance continued to worship, yet somehow I found myself disconnected from the stage and intimately connected to the song of the spirit. The song that I sang as I worshiped the Lord.
Has that ever happened to you? One minute your up, standing with your peeps, and the next minute you are overwhelmed by the gravity and power of the words that you are singing and you find yourself down on your knees before the Lord (Physically or emotionally.)
That is where I found myself. I don't exactly really remember the moment when I decided to walk off the stage, but I do remember this... I remember the voice in my spirit saying "We don't need you to usher in the Holy spirit. We don't even need you to stand on this stage, so get off!" (The Lord always has to be very direct with me...I'm pretty stubborn.)
So, off I went to stand with the congregation, to worship with them and not AT them. Off I went as God simply took the spotlight off of me to refocus our eyes, all of our eyes, on what really mattered. You see what the congregation, what I, at that moment really needed wasn't someone standing in front of them, what we all needed was a sweet intimacy with no distractions as we, all together, in one voice, cried out to him to "Flood this place and fill the atmosphere..to be overwhelmed by his presence."
There is a tender place that we stand in the work of God. A place of acknowledging that we are not necessarily needed, yet we still answer the call to be used. God doesn't need me to sing on a microphone and stand in front of people, but you know what, He sure does use me for his glory as I say "Yes, Lord, I will sing."
Even as the call is answered, there are the moments, when God reminds me that He is fine with out me and we can stop hogging the stage. And, at the same time, He delights in using me... you, to shine a light on what matters, His glory.
May we stand in that most holy, intimate and beautiful place of being used by God because we say "Yes" to Him, not because He can't do it without us, but because He loves us and wants to do it with and through us.
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
Some days I am surprised at which words in the Bible jump out at me. I shouldn't be, but there I was with these two verses from my reading lingering with me throughout the day. Why? I didn't know.....But God!
My day started off pretty well. I went in to work for a couple hours, had a coffee date with a friend and spent some sweet time on my devotions and some beautiful readings from the book of Genesis. And of all that I read, these are the verses that tugged at my heart.
“Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel (who is Jacob) rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.” ~ Genesis 48:1-2
What I didn't know, is that by the time evening came, I too would be ill, fighting off my allergies and having difficulty breathing, along with extreme fatigue and weariness of body.
Yet, even with illness creeping at my door, I had things to do. I was scheduled to lead worship that evening at a Celebrate Recovery program. I did my sound check with my voice nearing a whisper and quite gravely by the end of my rehearsal time. But God....
When the gathering began and the worship music started, we all leaped in together and I got to see God do a miracle. As I began to simply pour my heart out to Him, I felt my voice become stronger than ever, my spirit rose, my fatigue vanished, my breathing improved and my weariness ceased. I got to see Him take it all away. The Worship of the one true God, took my pain away.
Then the Lord reminded me WHY He had me ponder those verses all day. It wasn't just for me. It was for all of us in that place who needed to be reminded to Worship it out. Yes, I was tired when I started, but just as Jacob, upon hearing the good news rallied up his strength, I too, would rally up my strength to worship the one who is worthy and watch my spirit rise to speak His name.
And that is what worship does. It revives! When we are tired, we worship. When we are hurt, we worship. When we grow weary, we worship. When we feel sick of life struggles, we worship.
May we be quick in our struggles to sit up, rally all our strength and speak Worship as we fix our eyes an the author and perfecter of our faith.
I love you in the Lord, Mia
I am Really looking forward to sharing at a youth worship workshop tomorrow.
The Topic: A Lifestyle of Worship...It is good for me to teach, because it's then that I learn and I am reminded. Through teaching I grow and I get to pour into the next generation of musical worship leaders.
So here is my session in a nutshell......
LIFESTYLE: a manner of living that reflects the person's values and attitudes
WORSHIP: extravagant admiration; adoration....the act of showing respect and love...extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem...ascribing worth...
My days should be reflective of that which I admire and adore most extravagantly. Reflective of what I ascribe the most worth in my life and I am wholly devoted to...A daily lifestyle.
Danger comes with I ascribe worth to the wrong thing and adoration ( intense regard and love; fervent devotion.) becomes idolization (to love or admire someone-that is not worthy of such honor very much or too much.)
The only thing worth ascribing such a great adoration, admiration, devotion and extravagant love is God through his son Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we strive to live a daily life of worship, we are better able to lead others in worship.
Gonna be a good night!
Makes me want to sing the new song on my CD that was released today.
"Offering of Praise" by Holland Davis
Let me Life be an offering of praise//An offering of praise to you
To live my days by the power of your grace//The power of Your grace in me
All the days of my life//Giving praise day and night
With my hands lifted high//singing praise
With my heart filled with joy//and my voice shouting out
I'm forgiven and now//singing praise
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.