Monday, February 24, 2014

He Knows.

I remember when JD and I first started dating three years ago- he was a runner. When I met JD, he was running 10 miles on a very regular basis. I was working out 4-5 days a week, but I've got a confession: I've always hated running. I'm pretty sure it runs in my blood. We all hate it. My sister does it now just to stay in shape. But I'd rather do anything than run. Elliptical? Cool. Weights? Cool. Yoga? Cool. Run? Not cool. Not cool at all!
So the first time that JD asked me to join him on a run, I was prepared. Ha. I knew it was coming. I responded with, "I don't want to slow you down! So no thank you!"
That little stinker responded with, "Your legs are a foot longer than mine. Plus, it'd be a great way to talk to each other! And if you don't want to run, we could play ultimate frisbee!"

1. Running is not for talking. It's for getting away from monsters.
2. He stinks.
3. Isn't ultimate just running and throwing something at the same time?!

After seven or eight invitations, I had to let on to my big weakness: I hate to run. Sorry JD.

Do you remember a weakness that you tried to hide from someone you were dating or close friends with? I think we all do it. We don't want to be seen as weak, different or in need of pity.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

We all have weaknesses that go much deeper than our physical abilities. We have weaknesses in our character, our walk with God and in our soul. But the good news is that He knows. God already knows and there is no use in trying to cover it up.
But this verse tells us more than the fact that God knows our weaknesses. It tells us that God's power is made perfect in our weakness.

"Christ alone
Weak made strong in the Savior's love
Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all."

Yesterday, I was so glad to sing and declare that I know that I have strength in the Savior's love.
I shared last week in Helpless vs. Hopeless that my grandmother is extremely sick. I am a weak mess when it comes to dealing with her and my family. Some days, I feel like I don't have anything to offer her and that I can't do anything.

But I thank God that He makes me strong. I thank God that He uses my weakness. I can delight in weakness because it is only then that I am strong. I can delight that I have nothing to bring and that I must rely on God to help me.
He makes me strong- He helps me. His power flows through my weakness.
So this week, whatever your weakness is, whether it be finances, your marriage, your job, your parenting, your relationships etc., know that the Savior's love makes us strong. It makes us strong enough to stay in budget, to love your spouse well, to focus on our work, to parent with grace and love and to love someone while they hate us in return. It makes us strong enough to walk through the valley of death and fear no evil (Psalm 23).

Christ alone- our cornerstone.

On February 23rd, we sang:
"Here for You" by Chris Tomlin (Jamie lead)
at 10:40 only, we sang "Nothing is Holding Me Back" by Bryan and Katie Torwalt (Adam lead)
"Cornerstone" by Hillsong (Landon lead)
and "Wake Up" by All Sons and Daughters (I lead).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Women's Conference 2014 Set Lists

Christ UMC's Women's Conference 2014 Theme

I was honored to be able to lead worship at the 2014 Women's Conference at Christ UMC. It was my first time to lead at our Women's Conference and I enjoyed it thoroughly! The WC Committee was so sweet and treated me like royalty, which I, 1. Did not deserve and 2. Loved.

A good number of people asked, "What was the name of that song?" so I thought I would list them out for you, along with who sings a version that I like, in case you want to download it on iTunes!

In the first session, we sang:
"Nothing But the Blood" by Andy Cherry
"O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" by David Crowder
"10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman (or Rend Collective Experiment-theirs is so beautiful)
"Cornerstone" by Hillsong
"How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin
and **"In Christ Alone" by Kristian Stanfill (really, I just know this one and make up my own version!)

In the second session, we sang:
"(This is) My Father's World" by Gungor
"Crown Him (Majesty)" by Chris Tomlin feat. Kari Jobe
and  **"Brokenness Aside" by All Sons and Daughters

In the third and final session, we sang:
"Holy, Holy, Holy" by Gateway Worship (it's a great contemporary arrangement)

"It is Well" by Shane and Shane
"Lord, I Need You" by Chris Tomlin
**"For Your Splendor" by Christy Nockels
and "You Are for Me" by Kari Jobe

I put asterisks (**) beside the ones that I got the most questions about. Hopefully this helps you find some worship music that you'd like to listen to during the week!
It was an honor and a joy to lead worship for WC 2014! Thank you!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Helpless vs. Hopeless

This year, I was asked to lead worship for the 2014 Women's Conference.

As a side note, I told JD that I should turn down the offer because I thought we would be moving that weekend into the new house. He told me that he make sure we weren't moving that day.
It turns out, we had to move on February 15th and that since I was leading at Women's Conference, it was all up to JD. It totally worked out in my favor!

Back to the main point of the story (you know, where I'm not gloating)—
Last week, my mom called to say she had taken my 80 year old grandmother to the hospital. Since Gran is 80 years old, it wasn't a huge deal in my mind—that's just part of being old. (No offense if you're 80 and reading this!) On Wednesday, we found out that Gran had some large masses of cancer in her lungs. By Wednesday afternoon, she was planning on fighting it with chemo, but told the doctor that her short-term memory had been failing, so he needed to check her brain out. After a bone scan and MRI, the doctor was sad to report that my grandmother had cancer on her adrenal gland, her lungs and in many places on her brain.

As you may guess, we were all quite shocked and devastated. My grandmother has been a champ though! She's laughed and made jokes and told stories. She's not being depressed and sad, but instead encouraging and loving each of us. The family has started pouring in to spend time with her before she passes away, which she says is morbid, but awesome. She's still feeling alright and we are certainly enjoying spending time with her, which brings us back to Women's Conference.
I loved leading worship and singing with all of those women in the room. It was awesome! But my favorite nugget of wisdom from the day came from the speaker, Joy Earle. She said,  

"Don't confuse helplessness and hopelessness. You may be helpless, but you are never hopeless with Christ."

Those were the exact words I needed to hear! With cancer, we are helpless. There is nothing we can do to make my grandmother well except pray. There is nothing we will be able to do in the end. We are helpless. But we are not hopeless. 
So I'll keep praying for help. I'll keep praying that Gran will have a good "homecoming" as I've heard it said, but she and I both know that neither of us are ever hopeless.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him."
Psalm 62:5

"As for me, I will always have hope;
    I will praise you more and more."
Psalm 71:14

"And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Romans 5:5

January 26th:
"The Lord Our God" by Kristian Stanfill
"Sing and Shout" by Matt Redman
"Jesus Son of God" by Chris Tomlin
"This is Amazing Grace" by Phil Wickham
"By Our Love" by Christy Nockels

February 2nd:
"God is Able" by Hillsong United
"Desert Song" by Hillsong
"Great I Am" by New Life Worship
"Buried in the Grave" by All Sons and Daughters
"His Glory Appears" by Hillsong

February 9th:
"Lay Me Down" by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman
"Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant
"A Mighty Fortress" by Christy Nockels
"Brokenness Aside" by All Sons and Daughters
"Called Me Higher" by All Sons and Daughters

February 16th:
"Our God" by Chris Tomlin 
"Alive in Us" by Hillsong
"Overcome" by New Life Worship
"People of God" by Gungor