Worship Wednesday: Confident & Covered {Again}

I wrote about One Thing Remains on a Worship Wednesday last year. In case you’d like to read it, here’s that post: Worship Wednesday: Confident & Covered. Since we are singing this song on Sunday morning, my heart has been fixed on the lyrics again. Do you know the song? Listen along with the video as you read below. (If you are reading this in an email, you can listen to it here: One Thing Remains.)

The words confident and covered have stuck out to me since the first time I heard it.

Confident: having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something {by the power of His great love}. Full of conviction {of His great love}.

Covered: to have something put over, on top of, or in front of, especially in order to protect, hide, or close it {by the power of His great love}.

Insecurity and fear tear me apart some days. I let the enemy persuade me that I am weak and incapable, when God is trying to convince me that He’s got it… and He’s got me. I love how many times the phrase is repeated in this song: “Your love never fails. It never gives up. It never runs out on me.” We have to be reminded over and over again because we forget so easily.

When we forget, we lose our confidence. And we pull ourselves out from under our coverage. BUT…

His love never fails. It never gives up. It never runs out on me.

We need to let go of our controlling, fear-filled grip and just rest in the confidence that is God’s coverage. We can trust, full of conviction that His great love is in control of whatever is coming up in our lives. Our Creator’s great love is higher than any mountain we may face. It’s stronger than the power of the grave. And it’s CONSTANT in trial and change.

We can be confident in knowing that He’s never going to give up on us.

When we let go of our grip, we show trust in Him. When we trust His grip, we show love to Him. When we love our God purely, we worship Him. For real.

Do you live confidently, knowing that you are covered in God’s love?

This one thing remains…

In death, in life, I’m confident and covered by the power of Your great love. My debt is paid. There’s nothing that can separate my heart from Your great love. Your love never fails. It never gives up. It never runs out on me.

Praise the Lord!

 

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Worship Wednesday: Worshiping as a Mom

Being a mom is hard. It is amazing, but it is the hardest thing God has ever called me to do. Days come when life is a blur; and those days have been coming more frequently lately.

I’ve found myself angry and frustrated more than joyful and thankful.

So God is breaking me (yes again). He’s breaking away more of the little pieces that block His way into my heart.  I’m trying hard not to let Him. But at the same time, I’m trying to keep up the great-wife, great-mom, great-assistant, great-encourager face.

Then today I really stopped and thought about my life as a worshiper. Sure I can sing the songs. But does my life as a mom reflect what those songs are saying? Do I worship when I’m picking up that toy that I told him 5 times to pick up? Or when all 3 of them are screaming at me at the same time? Or when it feels like she just doesn’t even hear my voice? Or when the laundry never seems to end?

Being a mom is hard.

But here’s the thing: If I can’t worship in the day-to-day… if I can’t praise the Lord when my life is completely out of kilter… if I can’t appreciate the amazing gifts that God has given me… how can I stand on that stage and help lead others to a life of worship?

I must lead by example. As I worship my Creator God in the little things… in the day-to-day of life… then, and ONLY then, He will allow me to truly lead others.

How is your worship? And how often? Does it happen everyday, in the little things… or do you find yourself only worshiping on Sundays?

My challenge for you today is to go to the Psalms and just start reading. As you read the incredible lyrics penned by a fellow non-perfect-person, you will find that you can’t help but worship your Father! And then, be thankful for the little imperfections that God has blessed you with.

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Worship Wednesday: His Music

 

Something about the ocean brings out the creative in me.

And draws me closer to my Creator.

This is my spot. My favorite time-to-be-alone-and-regain-my-energy place in the world.

After my 2-mile run up the beach, I just sat down and breathed in the refreshing salty air. His air.

My running playlist is filled with some of my favorite worship-while-I-run songs… and those songs had been penetrating my mind and heart for the last 20 minutes or so. But when I sat back and let the cool sand filter through my fingers, I sensed that I was missing something. When I pulled out one of my earbuds, I knew.

I had been missing the music by listening to my own. The seagulls talking, the waves crashing against themselves, the water trickling into the inlet with the tide, a family yelling to each other across the tidepools that someone needed to go potty.

 

It was all part of the artwork.

 

So I pulled out the other earbud and my worship heart was swept away. For a little while, any thoughts of my personal worship heart language or what I like about certain types of music drifted away. In fact, my thoughts of anything to do with our human concept of music disappeared. I was caught up in a moment of true personal worship.

Worship doesn’t just happen when I’m singing and playing my guitar. It doesn’t just happen when I’m in front of people. It doesn’t just happen when a certain song hits me the “right” way.

Worship happens better when God sings to me… when I get it… and when I join in His song with Him. When I take out my man-made plastic earbuds and listen to real life.

When everything we do becomes a moment to worship Him with His music, then it’s a 2-way conversation. And only then do we really understand the relationship and the purpose behind worship.

Opportunities are all around us… We’ve just got to listen. 

 

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Worship Wednesday: Free In His Presence

It was that time of year again. We were at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, and my heart was being refreshed in an incredible way. What an amazing experience to look out over a huge group of pastors & leaders and see nothing but connection with our Creator God happening in one place. I was overwhelmed at multiple times during the week.

On Wednesday night, God did a special work in my heart. We were in the middle of an extended worship time and I forgot where I was. I forgot who was around me. I forgot there was a band on the stage. All I knew was that I was free in God’s presence. I was singing as loudly as I could, hands raised, and just loving my Father.

What I realized when I opened my eyes was that most everyone in that place seemed to be experiencing the same thing. There was something special, something precious. Freedom.

So many times as believers, we worry about what people think during corporate worship times. We worry about what the people beside us are doing. We worry about what people will think if we raise our hands, if we demonstrate in a physical way what the Lord is doing in our hearts. This limits what the Holy Spirit wants to do IN and THROUGH us.

My challenge today, on the first Worship Wednesday I’ve posted in a while, is to not worry about “what others think” while you are in your corporate worship times. If you know what it means to worship, you are a worship leader, one who can be used to either usher others in to His presence… or to deter others from what the Lord has for them.

Let’s be vessels that draw others toward Christ… toward the God of the universe who created us… and who deserves our FREE worship.

Here’s an incredible song to help you as you draw close to Him today… Your Presence is Heaven (this is the song we were singing Wednesday night when my heart was completely overwhelmed in His presence):

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Worship Wednesday: Fragility vs. Ability

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted. Funny how vacation gets me into more of a creative place. For the trip down, I added a bunch of Caedmon’s Call tunes to my travel playlist. Caedmon’s is my favorite band of all time and several of the songs on the playlist have hit me in a new way this week. In fact, the next few posts will be centered around lessons from these songs.

Jar of Clay is the first. It’s an old one (and, in my opinion, from their best songwriting period). I’ve been noticing lately how much about my life is hard… unwilling to be softened by my Creator God. It’s not how I want to be, but for some reason the hard shell has gone back up again. When I left home for vacation this week, I was seeking some softening.

(If you are reading this in an email, you can listen to the song here: Jar of Clay.)

Here is the line from Jar of Clay that really got me:

My ability won’t get me very far, but my fragility is a testimony of who You are.

God calls us to be jars of clay, able to be softened as he mold us. He doesn’t want us to try to do life in our own strength, hardened to what adjustment He might need to make along the way. He wants us to allow His hands to mold every part, to shape us into the person He wants us to become. Fragility. That fragility is what He takes control of and creates the very best of who we could every hope to become. When we rely on our own ability, we will always come up short.

Always.

So when you come to God to worship, are you hardened… relying on your own ability? Or do you come to Him as one who is soft and ready to be shaped? My prayer is that we will all allow our hard shells to crack, to fall away, so that God can take hold of what’s inside and shape it into what He desires. When we allow our fragility to be taken over by His unlimited ability, it gives testimony of who He is… and that’s why we’re on this earth anyway.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-11

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Worship Wednesday: Like An Avalanche

 

Beautiful God laying Your majesty aside. You reached out in love to show me life. Lifted from darkness into light.

Yes.

This is my most recent I-can’t-stop-listening-to-it song. Like An Avalanche by Hillsong United.

King for a slave, trading your righteousness for shame… despite all my PRIDE and FOOLISH WAYS. Caught in Your infinite embrace.

Praise God.

And I find myself here on my knees again, caught up in grace like an avalanche. Nothing compares to this love, love, love… burning in my heart.

Each time I sing through this song, my heart literally feels an outpouring of God’s grace. It’s one of those songs that He uses in my vulnerable moments. I love that He knows me so deeply that he sends lyrics and chords that just get inside… that take over my mind and heart to teach me in a new way that He is truly all I need.

Grace.

Take my life, take all that I am. With all that I am, I will love You.

Take my heart, take all that I have. Jesus, how I adore You.

Yes.

You can listen below. Think about the lyrics as you listen, and sing to your beautiful God who reached out in love to show you life. Let His love and grace hit you like an avalanche. Allow your heart, mind, and spirit to draw close to Jesus as you worship. (If you are reading this in an email, you can listen to the song here: Like An Avalanche.

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Worship Wednesday: My Delight Is In You

Of all the incredible worship music that came from Passion 2013, this one may just be my favorite. I love Christy Nockels’ voice, and I also love it when songwriters combine new stuff with old stuff. My Delight Is In You w/ Refiner’s Fire is a song all about finding the peace God brings when we delight in Him, when we let Him refine us, when we ask Him to draw us close, when we choose to be holy and set apart.

I’m thankful that at any given time, I can turn my delight to its rightful place and allow His love and refining fire to cleanse me and make me whole. Grateful for His purifying touch that is available to all who seek it. Humbled to be called as one set apart for Him.

As you go about your Worship Wednesday, I hope the lyrics in this song come back to your mind often. Listen carefully below, jot down the lyrics that God is speaking directly to you, and keep those precious words with you all day. Allow your heart, mind, and spirit to draw close to Jesus as you worship. (If you are viewing this in an email, click here to listen: My Delight Is In You.)

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Worship Wednesday: Captivate Us

I’ve been captivated by a lot lately. Mostly by me.

Drawing my attention lately have been things and people that, yet again, I allow to try to fill that hole… the hole that can only be filled by the One who deserves our captivation.

I’ve been doing a lot FOR God. Being captivated by things FOR Him. We can get so caught up in trying to do what it takes to draw others to Him that we forget how much we need to draw to Him ourselves.

I love Pandora. It brings me songs I’ve never heard. And as normally happens when I run, God gave me a song today. He showed me what He wants from me. He showed me in a new way what true worship should look like. (I love it when He does that!) All the stuff is just stuff. To truly worship, I must forget about all of that and just focus on Him. I must be genuinely captivated by His presence… the song calls Him to “devastate us with His presence.” Beautiful.

So goes as we lead worship. We draw to Him through the week, then we allow His presence to continue to consume us as we attempt to provide an environment that leads others to do the same. It can’t be about what we do or don’t do. It can’t be about the transitions. It can’t be about the stuff. It has to be about a genuine connection between each one of us individually and our Creator God. We cannot lead others to a connection that we do not deeply possess ourselves.

I’m thankful for today. Thankful for how God reveals Himself to me. Thankful for the gift of worship. Thankful that I get to do it. Thankful that I get to be a part of leading you all to find a true connection with Him. Because He is the one connection that creates harmony in all of our other connections.

So, I’ve talked about the song. Here it is…. Captivate Us by Watermark. Breathe these amazing lyrics as a prayer and find yourself completely captivated by Jesus.

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