Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Raise My Hands

I've become a very demonstrative worshipper.

I don't plan it.  I don't practice any moves or watch myself in a mirror to see how I look.  I don't plan out when to raise my hand or when to sway or when to dance.

But I've learned that inward worship requires outward expression.

I'm a very expressive person.  But in worship, in that intimate place with God, I'd always held back my emotions.  God's been working on that, though.  From starting to feel ok with my hand in the air from time to time... to feeling like I am truly reaching for God when my hand is raised or that an outstretched hand is a sign of my prayers over the congregation... to now being in a place where I don't even know that I am fully aware of everything I'm doing when I worship.

I sway. I rock. My feet move a bit.  My hands go up or out or to my heart.  Sometimes I cry.

Worship is a way of expressing that God is worthy of my praise and I am worthy of His love.

I was curious to learn more about what Scripture says about worship so I did some reading and learning.

Nehemiah 8:6
Then Ezra called out and blessed the Eternal, worshiping God’s greatness. With their hands raised to the heavens, the people called out loudly in response, crying, “Amen! So may it be!” Then they fell to their knees and bowed. With their faces to the ground, they worshiped the Eternal. 

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness.

Ephesians 5:19
When you are filled with the Spirit, you are empowered to speak to each other in the soulful words of pious songs, hymns, and spiritual songs; to sing and make music with your hearts attuned to God

1 Corinthians 14:26
What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each person has a vital role because each has gifts. One person might have a song, another a lesson to teach, still another a revelation from God. One person might speak in an unknown language, another will offer the interpretation, but all of this should be done to strengthen the life and faith of the community.

I'm learning more and more all the time about what it means to be a Worship Leader.  It took some time to feel comfortable with the title and sometimes I still struggle with it.  But more and more I'm understanding what it means.

Worship is personal.  It's between a person and God.  But there is power in sharing praise and worship in a group of people.  And being a worship leader means that I get to lead people into a closer relationship with Christ and to teach them *how* to worship the way the Bible teaches us.

Maybe you hold back.  Maybe you don't really like to sing.  Maybe you don't really get why people sing or why they raise their hands or move around.

And maybe now you can at least see that and realize that it's a Biblical thing.  It's not about drawing attention or somehow being a "better praiser" than anyone else.  For me, it's completely about opening my heart to the Holy Spirit and trusting Him to guide me and move me for the sake of others who seek to worship.

That's why I raise my hands.

sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Not Sure

I'm not sure if I've avoided writing because I have nothing to say... or if it's because I have too much to say.

A lot has happened in the past month.  To look at me, things would seem no different.  Nothing shattering or damaging has happened.  But things are shifting and are shifting very quickly.

  • Disney World was fantastic.  Time with my husband was wonderful and magical and fun.  The time with my girlfriends at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom was crazy silly fun.  I've got memories that are going to keep me happy for a very long time.
  • Experience Conference was incredible.  God used that time to reach into my heart and turn up the volume! 
  • I'm going through a job change at work - taking on a new role within my department.  I have some exposure to it all but now I have to learn all the systems and reports and such. Thankfully, the person that was doing it did it very well, had it all very organized and is here to teach and train me - and is a very good teacher.
  • Teagan has started taking Tae Kwon Do.  I love it. Jeff loves it. Teagan loves it. Zach wants to do it but is intimidated so he is pretending like he hates having to go to her classes and watch.  I see so much benefit for my girl and I wish it was in the budget (money as well as time) for me to take classes.  It's incredibly empowering and rewarding!
  • School is proving to be a challenge in some different ways this year.  Both kids are showing signs of not doing their best effort and we need to figure out how to get them on track.
  • My house is totally out of control. Again. We are trying to hire someone to take care of our lawn.  And hire someone to finish the mini barn that Jeff started (the roof thing is a challenge because the building is way taller than anticipated).  
  • I went to the Gungor concert Sunday night with my friend Tiffany (who also went to Experience Conference).  It was so energizing to my soul.  I love his Christian mysticism type approach - tying God and faith in with an  understanding of nature and the universe and our position in all of it.  
Each of those may someday end up as blog posts.  Because I could write tons more on each of them. 

And then there are the Big Topics that sit on my heart.  Things that I don't yet have words for.  Things about God or love or church. Things about parenting or work ethic or marriage.  Things that churn away in my heart and my brain and things that have color and life but the words simply don't come.  Yet.

The bottom line is that I'm just not sure where I am and where I'm going these days.  But I know I'm being led.  I know that I'm on the right path.  I'm just not sure what all to share, when to share, or what the words even are for any of it.  

sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg