I sincerely apologize! I realized today that it has been a while since I last posted! Two weeks have come and gone! Thankfully, it has been excitement that has pulled me away from my blog as my sister and somewhat-newly-acquired brother-in-law came to visit last weekend! Anytime that they get to come down to hang out with my family and me is such a special treat!
A while ago, Kari Jobe's new album Where I Find You came out and it is incredible. Kari is an amazing worship leader with a real gift for writing. Being close in age and having similar tastes as me have definitely led me to admire her quite a bit! I follow her on Twitter which can sometimes create the illusion "knowing someone". I don't take this to a creepy level, but I definitely feel like we're best buds. Oddly enough, that feeling only comes around when I've had a lot of waiting or boredom in my life. AKA the only time that I have to read Twitter. Anyways- she's quite inspiring and I love listening to her.
Out of her new album we have sung "We Are" and "Savior's Here". We Are was a radio release a while back that I fell in love with. In the first verse, she says "Every secret, every shame, every fear, every pain live inside the dark. But that's not who we are. We are children of the day." Something in that first line resonated deeply with me. I think we as Christians have the horrible tendency to define our Christian worth on the things that are kept inside the darkness of our hearts. While outwardly we profess that Christ defines us, inwardly the evil one is manipulating us into believing that maybe we aren't so saved. He tells us if that's the kind of stuff we are hiding, maybe the light and love of Christ hasn't reached deep into our lives. Maybe we aren't children of the day, the city on a hill, or the light of the world. That lie creeps up in my life all too often. It's only when I actively stop this thinking and turn to the Word of God that satan is banished from my heart. 1 Thessalonians 5 says "But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober." Here is a link to an acoustic performance of We Are.
This past week, we took a step back and had some time to breathe. It was an acoustic set. This is probably one of my favorite ways to have musical worship. As much as I love a big band and a big sound, there is something calming and non-intrusive about an acoustic guitar, some percussion and a grand piano. We sang "God is Able", "All My Fountains" and "Where Would We Be" along with "Saviors Here" by Kari Jobe. We all took some time to reflect before Where Would We Be. I know as I think of my life, I can truly say that Christ has truly brought me to a new life full of joy. While I still waver and falter as a human, my life would be dark, lonely, and utterly awful without the Cross and the love of Christ.
This week, Landon is leading us in worship!! Let me take a minute to brag on him, as I'm sure he won't be reading this blog! If you ever get a chance to talk to Landon, he is a freshman at the University of Mobile and has a true heart for what we do together on Sunday mornings. He has been such a blessing to our band and our congregation. He actually took about two months of checking out our church and making sure that it was a good place to be before he wanted to be on stage. Most young people want to jump on stage without knowing anything about the church. This young man is eager to do the will of God and to help the people of God with his talents. If you get a chance, please encourage him with kind words after Sunday! He was highly involved at his last church, and I want to make him feel as welcome and at home at our church! Having the worship band encourage you is one thing, but having the congregation encourage you is completely different! I remember that I was once his age and not nearly as good as he is now. Christ UMC, my home church, was so gracious in encouragement that it led me to keep pursuing God's call on my life as a worship leader and I have no doubt that you all will do the same for Landon!
I hope that you will come with eager hearts and the confidence of the children of the light this week to worship! I like Matt Redman's description of what happens in worship. It helps me describe what happens as we sing on Sunday morning. He says "The first step of worship is to affirm our faith in Jesus and acknowledge reverently that He is every single thing He ever claimed to be. The next step is to let our confidence in Him begin to infuse a hopeful, expectant confidence into our own walks of faith."
Have a great week!