Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interface, lifestyle of worship

This past weekend Highland Church had the great blessing of hosting Interface, an amazing band from Ft. Myers, FL.  This team is not only amazing because their music is of high caliber and quality, but because their lives exude worship to the Lord.  From the moment they introduced themselves to me, I could feel the love of God that fills their hearts.  Their words, actions and attitudes reflect the love of Christ and let everyone know their worship to the Lord is genuine and continuous on and off stage.


What a great example of worshiping God.  The musical worship Interface creates grows out of the rest of their lives.  That’s what God wants from each of us, isn’t it?  He doesn’t want to only receive worship through our singing and clapping and raising hands on a Sunday morning, but to receive worship from our everyday interactions.  He wants us to be worshipping Him by showing His love to the world around us through our words, actions and attitudes.  When we truly live our worship to Him, our Sunday mornings become the celebration and culmination of the rest of the worship that’s been going on for the week.  That’s what I was able to see with Interface.  They lived worship to God and their musical worship on Sunday grew out of the lifestyle of worship they have.  Who do you know that lives the example of a lifestyle of worship?  How can we become better at worshipping through our words, actions and attitudes, our lifestyles?


It’s my prayer that we will be able to live that lifestyle of worship.  That our worship together on Sundays will become something extraordinary because it will grow out of the worship we’ve been living all week.


Something to keep thinking about.  If you guys have any thoughts on this please share them with me.  I want to be able to understand this concept of a lifestyle of worship even more.  Let’s think about this and live it out together.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I’m sitting here at my desk trying to hold back tears right now.  Do you know the reason?  I am listening to the new David Crowder*Band cd and my heart is so full of admiration and adoration of the great Lord and Savior we serve, of His incredible beauty, grace and the privilege it is to serve Him and be used by Him to help our world out of the sickness of sin even while we still struggle against it ourselves.  What amazing grace.  God is good and I am so pleased that He has blessed individuals with the ability to take the most profound truth and knowledge and experiences and put them into art in novels like Ted Dekker’s The Circle Trilogy or into music like David Crowder*Band with Remedy.  Wow, this is beautiful.  I love you Jesus!


What an awesome experience to be part of a team. I’m so happy we’re about team ministry at Highland! I’m a part of some incredible teams here. Our pastoral team, the worship planning team, the children’s leadership team. I have skills and knowledge to offer to each group, but I certainly do not know how to do it on my own. But I’m not supposed to. That’s part of the beauty of the way God’s created us! We’re not supposed to be able to do it on our own. We can’t do it without God and He’s made it so that we can’t do it without one another either.

God’s placed you on different teams so that you don’t have to do it alone. The team of your marriage, your family, your ministry, Highland Church, the Kingdom of God! All of these are great opportunities for you to experience the great joy of being part of a team. Being part of something that is greater than yourself. Being part of accomplishing something far greater, above and beyond what you could possibly do on your own. What an astounding God we serve that He would create us each with gifts to be used in tandem with the gifts of teammates! Synergy is a beautiful truth. The results of our efforts are multiplied when we work together as God has intended. So see your abilities, what you can offer to the team, but don’t let your vision stop there! See what your team can accomplish as you place your efforts, skills and knowledge together!

God, help us all to recognize our significance in our teams and to recognize the beauty of teamwork and synergy! Thank you Jesus!

You don’t have to do it on your own. You aren’t supposed to. You're not expected to. Enjoy the beauty and amazing experience of teamwork.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Melancholic Piano

At my parents’ home there is a terribly out of tune piano. It used to belong to my grandmother and she gave it to my family sometime around my eighth birthday… within my existing memory it’s only been tuned or looked at once since. I’m visiting my parents’ right now and when I sat down at it this morning with some worship music I struck the first chord and a small shudder went through me. Not like our grand at Highland with it’s rich, full, in tune… most of the time in tune, sound that I’ve grown accustomed to playing. The notes were sorely flat and a slightly melancholy, but I kept playing and by the time I reached the third song God’s love swept through me, not in spite of the dissonant chords, but because of them. Somehow they had turned to something beautiful in my ears and the melody I was playing reached into my soul and touched a deep joy. With tears in my eyes I continued to play, letting the slightly melancholy but incredibly joyful music fill my heart and I realized this might very well be the way we sound to God.

Our lives are most of the time not perfectly tuned to His will, but we worship Him anyways. We allow Him to play His perfect and beautiful song through our lives and that to Him is the most beautiful sound there could ever be. I think it’s when we are struggling to do our best to hit those notes that He is filled with the most joy because He knows we are loving Him. He sees that we want to sing His song, to be His instrument. Just like the melancholic piano at my parents’ house filled my heart with incredible joy and was beautiful to me, our song, even in the midst of trial and struggle and the feeling of failure, is a sweet, sweet sound in God’s ear that resonates in His heart through His love for us.

Today, sing to the King. Even if your life is madly out of tune. Fill His heart today with joy because you choose to sing His song to Him and let Him sing His song through you. You will be blessed by it too.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Living Worship

What’s your type of life worship? There’s a quote from the movie Chariots of Fire stating, “When I run, I feel [God’s] pleasure.” When I ask the opening question I’m not asking about musical style. Instead I want you to think about the God given abilities and desires in your life. When you do these things, you know you are using your God given ability. Something you love. Something you do and feel God’s pleasure well up inside of you.

For me it is not running. When I run I do not feel God’s pleasure. I was not created to run. However, it was running… or watching running rather that got me on this line of thought. Last weekend I got to watch the SPASH boys cross country Intrasquad Race. I saw many people whom God created to run. He’s given them that gift. Certainly the guys running have to work hard to use their gift excellently, but I think a lot of them love to run. Bizarre, I know, but that’s how God has created them.

Everyone has a life worship gift. Maybe yours, like mine, is not running. But then what is it that you do and feel God’s pleasure? I know some people who were born to organize. When they get out their sharpies and filing folders and plastic tubs and label makers they feel God’s pleasure well up inside of them. I know some people who have an uncanny ability to fix things. When they work on a broken piece of machinery or pipe or fixture and figure out how to fix it they feel God’s pleasure well up inside of them. I know people who are gifted with numbers and feel God’s pleasure when they are doing accounting work. I know people who are gifted with a love for chemistry and feel God’s pleasure when working in the lab. I know people who are gifted with hospitality and feel God’s pleasure when preparing their homes and meals for visitors.

So, what is it that God has given you? What skill, talent or ability has God placed in you to worship Him in regular, everyday life?

Look at those abilities, thank God for them and then use them! Using your God given abilities is personal worship to God. So go ahead, clean, account, organize, fix, teach, learn, listen, play tennis, run! Worship!


Friday, August 24, 2007

The Circle Trilogy

I’ve just finished reading the last book in Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy.  I love it when people use the gifts God has given them to help others know and love God more.  All three books in this set, Red, White and Black give incredibly thought provoking and vivid depictions of God’s love.  What an incredible, loving God we serve!  Even when we can’t recognize it or perceive it, His love is all around us and He is adoring us.  The only reason we love Him or are able to love Him is because He first loved us.  Profound, our love for Him is a reaction to the love we receive from Him.  He has made that step, called us, chosen us, fought for us, is hurt by us and still loves us and delights in our love for Him.  I mean He’s thrilled by our love for Him!!!  He is more astounding than we can ever understand and He adores us.  Amazing.

I enjoy art e.g. visual art, drama, dance, music, prose, poetry.  However, I love and am exhilarated and brought more to life with art that illuminates God’s character and helps me to take a different or closer look at some aspect of Him.  Art that does this is precious to me.  These books fall into the illuminating art category.  Ted Dekker is able to present great and profound aspects of God through fast paced adventure and captivating prose!  What an incredible gift! 

Thank you God for giving amazing gifts to us and helping us use those gifts to know and love you more.

Use your gifts today, whatever they may be to help others know God better.

Have an awesome day!


Friday, August 17, 2007

My first blog-Worship: Expectancy and Choice

So here I am sitting at my computer combating on two fields of writer’s block.  Which do I turn to? On one side I’m contending with an article for our Highlights newsletter; on the other I’m attempting to write a blog post with potentially millions of readers… okay, maybe more like hundreds… or one… Hi, Mom.


No, for real though, I’m excited about having a way to share weekly about what God’s sharing with me, what He’s doing in my life, my ministries and my beautiful Highland Church… with a little silliness about tennis or perhaps a beautiful new pair of shoes thrown in for fun.  So let’s get started!


As I’ve been praying about worship at Highland Church and what we need to be striving for and doing as a church to become better worshippers, God’s been giving me two themes: choice and expectancy.  Don’t be surprised if for the next few weeks these themes are emphasized in what I write.  I feel like I’m beginning to see them everywhere!  This morning in my devotions I was reading Psalm 145 and honed in on verses 5-7.  

“They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”

The thing that struck me about these particular verses this morning is that they grow.  First they speak.  I can picture this taking place in kind of hushed, “Did you hear about…” way.  David overhears and starts to think, I mean really ponder the wonderful things God has done.  It grows to telling, then proclaiming, then celebrating, then joyfully singing!  As these people started talking about God and really taking the time to think about His wonderful works, they began to realize how really great God is and the more they realized that the more they were caught up in it and it ended up being a wave of awesome realization.  Isn’t that what we want when we worship God?  Not some hyped up emotional experience, but something that comes from a genuine realization of how awesome He truly is!  Don’t get me wrong, emotions will accompany this realization and sometimes emotions illuminate this realization, but is it possible that true worship is sparked by a moment of realization?


Next time you’re in a worship service, not really feeling the worship, not really in the mood for church, take the time for realization.  Don’t just start singing the songs on auto-pilot, but don’t shut down because you don’t feel it that morning.  When you hear the song speak of God, start thinking, really thinking about that aspect of God, realizing what wonderful works He has done for you in the last day, the last week, the last month.  Let that moment of realization spark something in your heart, start telling God about what He’s done, then proclaim it to Him and then begin to celebrate who He is and how He’s shown you His goodness and then, after you’ve made the choice to worship God for who He is rather than what you feel that morning, you will be able to joyfully sing to the Lord!


We can have the expectancy that when we choose to worship God we will experience Him and know Him in a remarkable way.  Maybe you don’t believe me, but try it.  I dare you.


Until next time.  Have a lovely day!