Tag Archives: praise and worship

There Is More to Worship

There is greater meaning to living a life of worship than singing or meeting once in a while at a gathering. There is so much more to worship. We are called to exalt Jesus not simply through a word spoken or a song sung, but by the giving of our lives.

We are called to be devoted to the Lord as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is a part of true worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all…] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable…service and spiritual worship.”
(Romans 12:1 AMPC, emphasis added)

Making a decisive dedication is a lifetime choice of our free will. It is the devotion of all that we are and all that we have to the Lord. Thankfully, He first pours out His love upon us so that we long to do this because of love for Him. Every bridge is burned, every idol cast down. It is never looking back as we surrender our hearts and lives to our Bridegroom King.

Continue reading

Praying for People to Return to the Lord (Joel 2:12-14)

I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been up to—in video!

We recently joined together to worship Jesus and pray for our nation at The Fig Tree, a prayer room where I serve.

I sang in prayer from the Word of God from Joel 2:12-14 (NKJV):

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?

Join us in praying for all to return their hearts and lives to the Lord. He so longs for each one!


Subscribe to my email newsletter to receive updates from me via email.

Fixed on Jesus

There is such a longing growing in me. A longing for God. A longing to pray night and day, to seek Him at all hours. A longing to worship Him with all my heart, all focus completely and utterly on Him. To be so in tune with God and for Him to be glorified in every moment, every place, every day.

Maybe it’s a longing for me to be living in Christ more and more deeply each day. I know that God is guiding me there: “…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Maybe it’s partly the groaning that Paul speaks of in Romans 8:23: “…we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

Let me dive in more and more, Lord.

I’m one of those creative types to whom the “atmosphere” where I read, write, sing and seek, or the people I am pursuing God alongside, makes all the difference. It doesn’t feel like it should exactly be this way (after all, God is with us wherever we go (Psalm 139:8), but it’s there.

Leaving home to study or write in a cafe is a helpful change of pace and place. Getting out of the usual place and pace of things can help me be even more deeply focused.

At times this comes by gathering with friends to seek God in intercession and worship. All  of us know that there is power in gathering with other believers to unite in prayer and to worship Jesus!

I want to live a life of continual and intentional focus on God and the mission of Christ. I don’t know how, except to let His Word penetrate deeply, and to just go for it–to seek after Him! Just to press in, seeking God with all I can muster at any given moment–yet not getting caught up in striving–but being still, knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10), that He is my God–the lover of my soul–who wants me all for Himself and for His glory. I want to be that. I want to be solely fixed on the One and Only Giver of life (Jeremiah 32:38-40). I want to be steadfast, focusing on the One Thing–the One–Jesus Christ!

That is my prayer.

“O GOD, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!”
(Psalm 108:1 Amplified)

“Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 2:7 Amplified)

Content to Have a Part: Reflections

Things I’ve learned and things God has done this week have been absolutely amazing (and it’s not over yet!)

  • Tuesday’s praise team rehearsal wore me out in a good way. God’s presence was strong, and it was truly worship of Him. Afterward, a few of us went to eat and had some wonderful conversation as well.
  • Wednesday’s choir rehearsal was wonderfully fun and more focused, and afterward a small group of us stayed conversing about reaching out to our community, encouraging one another, worshiping some more and praying together. What happened when rehearsal ended was an answer to prayer in itself!
  • To top it off, we’ve got an extra worship team rehearsal tonight and I’m stoked that God is bringing us together yet another evening this week to exalt His name and sing His praises!

I had been feeling discouraged lately, on top of being “divinely” discontent. But on Tuesday afternoon God reminded me of some things, and the hope that this brought has made the more difficult things in my life right now easier to push through. One of the big things God spoke to me this week was:

Be okay with playing a part, then God will bring you to the part He wants you to play.
– Pat Sczebel, Leading Worship in a Small Church from WorshipGod08 Conference
(Listen here or see the list of all seminars here)

Remember Luke 16:10: He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.

I was also inspired as he spoke about his desire to learn guitar and his determination in this. So I’ve now set a goal for myself instead of just randomly playing worship songs. I picked out 5-6 songs, and my goal is to learn these well so that I could lead worship from the guitar on these songs. There are other songs I can already play, but I need to branch out, and I’ve gotten a list down with things that will help me play just about anything after I learn them well enough. (I’ve already been playing for three months, and have been surprised that what I once gave up in my childhood is so much easier now!) I’m hoping that maybe in a small group or something, God will allow me the opportunity to try “real-time” leading some songs. It’s one thing to play by yourself, but it’s often another when it’s with others listening or joining in.

I want to keep my mindset on being faithful in what God already has me doing, in leading one of our services at church, in taking part in the worship team of the other, and preparing for whatever the future may hold… without constantly concerning myself with what the future may hold–trusting, trusting, trusting HIM! Most of all, my desire is to be faithful in whatever roles I am currently called to serve, trusting that God will equip and prepare me as He sees fit, and knowing that He holds everything in His hands!

Taking Song Requests?

This is a question especially for fellow worship leaders. I would love your feedback on this!

What do you do when you get requests for this or that hymn or praise song?

I’d love to hear anything you have to say about this topic, but some specific concerns I have are:

1. How do you respond to the person (as in a member of the congregation) requesting, particularly when you don’t want to give them a “yes” or “no”?

2. What about hymns/songs that don’t work corporately in worship, or that are theologically off? How do we approach this person (if needed) & let them know that the hymn/song is problematic, etc.?