Passionate Pursuit {day 12}: Music

DSC01196Our family loves music. The menu is broad; our tastes varied and overlapping.

When our children were little, Christian children’s music entertained them during car rides and trips. Singing with their chins raised high like baby birds, their interpretations of the songwriter’s words made me smile.

As they got older, their preferences broadened. Some days our home sounded like we were hosting 3 distinctly different concerts. Opinion readily hijacked what used to be easy-listening. Car rides carried a similar atmosphere.

“Oh, turn that up!”
“I can’t stand that song.”
“Mom, she picked the last song!”
“You’re weird if you like that.”

DSC01193I never thought Christian music would be the only music they listened to. I enjoy other genres, too. Yet, intentionally, we introduced our kids to a variety of Christian music over the years. Between rolling their eyes and moaning like it hurt their ears, the kids discovered artists they liked. Music that moved them to worship.

Songs of worship strengthen us to hope. Inspire us to persevere. Break through grey clouds that sometimes hover over our heart. Remind us of who God is and draw us to know Him more.

Music invites us

…. to think more deeply as words wash over our mind and heart.

…. to participate, with a chorus of individuals-around-the-world who also listen or sing driving around town running errands, cleaning house or exercising.

…. to pause, listen and receive what God intends for us in these moments.

…. to worship, to believe the words about God. To know Him, more.

You’re Beautiful by Phil Wickham is one such song. Enjoy!

Passionate Pursuit {day 6}: Something More

DSC02337Growing up, I attended a Catholic school. Friday mornings included a church service (Mass) for the student body of 1st through 8th graders. Organ sound filled the church. We sang as we should.

When I was in the 7th grade, a couple of friends and I approached the school principal about the Friday morning music. Also representing our friends, we asked if we could change the music from hymns to songs that were more-like-ourmusic.

Mind you, I like hymns very much now. As a preteen, hymns were our parents’ music.

With principal approval, the 3 of us got to work. I knew 4 chords, one strum and songs like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”. Not exactly church music. My friends weren’t much further along. Searching for music to match our abilities, we planned our first set for the following Friday. Nervous and excited, we played. Each week we found music and learned the necessary chords.

DSC02300Two vivid memories of that 2-year season stand out:
Practicing in my bedroom. Singing the same words over and over, to learn the chords and the words. (My poor parents!)
Standing off to the side behind a lecturn at the front of the church. Initially nervous, hoping we wouldn’t mess up. Then, just getting lost in the music. Playing, singing and hearing everyone sing. Really sing.

“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22.3)

God was in it.
I didn’t understand that at the time.

Trust me, our peers weren’t moved by our amazing sound.
Simply, everyone committed.  Made effort.  Gave.

DSC02302We took something that was available to us…. and we made it personal.

I wish I could say our intentions were deep, that we aspired to lead everyone to worship God…
We just wanted to change the music.  God was up to something more.

He gives setting.  Resources.  Ability.  Heart.  Spirit.
And invitation.

Would you share a story where God was up to “something more”?

When Things Are a Mess

DSC02116 My house is a mess. Even the hallways. The stairs are lined with things that need to go up. Every flat surface has stuff on it.

I’m ready to be finished. But it takes time. Bringing disorder to order.

And it’s not the only thing going on right now. But isn’t that always the way? Life has lots of moving parts…

Terrell and I moved to Houston about a week ago to plant a church.
Yesterday, a small group of us gathered to worship God. We fed on Jesus’ words:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” 
(John 14.27)

God whispered to my heart, “Worship Me in the disorder.”

DSC02118In the moment, I embraced this. Grateful for His guidance.
By evening, I was grumbling and complaining.

Physically and mentally spent. Not feeling like I was making much headway. My focus turned inward. To what I wanted NOW.

… “Worship Me in the disorder.”

Curious, I looked up “disorder” this morning. Like I had nothing else to do!

disorder = a state of confusion: tiresome days of mess and disorder

Yep. That about sums it up.

God knows.
Long before we know.
Always, He has the way forward.

Through Him. To Him.

DSC02120“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; 
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.”
(Psalm 77.11-14)

Do you have any disorder in your life?
None is unknown to Almighty God.

Dear God,
Grow our hearts to worship you in the mess. Thank you that you go before us and are always with us. Amen.