Resolutions for the “Dark Night”: Worship in the Valley

Everyone faces times of trouble – their own “Dark Night of the Soul”, while walking through the valley. It seems the whole world is there presently. How do we continue to serve others & walk with God when walking through the valley of the shadow of death?

One of my spiritual heroes, Jonathan Edwards, was keen on making ‘resolutions.’ Much like Edwards, I have made a list of resolutions to strengthen my walk during the hard times: [Read more…]

Worship IS about Singing

In part 1, I AM NOT THE WORSHIP LEADER, we saw that it’s Christ who’s opened a way into God’s presence, so we merely point to Him.  In part 2, WORSHIP IS NOT ABOUT SINGING we saw that worship was about a whole life – heart, mind, soul, and strength – given over to God to proclaim and display His glory.  If someone doesn’t live under this Lordship – which is Kingdom living – it doesn’t matter what they confess as some incantation: NO AMOUNT OF PASSIONATE SINGING CAN CHANGE WHAT KINGDOM YOU ARE A PART OF! [Read more…]

Worship is NOT about Singing

Most recently we saw that we are unable to actually lead anyone into the presence of God in any ultimate sense, for that is Christ’s job – it was accomplished by his work on the cross, and is applied in the present by the Father’s call, and the Spirit’s work in our hearts. However, there is a sense in which we do fulfill an important roll in the Body of Christ as a “Worship Leader”, but without a Biblical understanding of what worship is, we’ll never fulfill that roll.

What makes you feel valued? Gifts? A phone call? Has anyone ever sung – or better yet, written – a song for you? Speaking to the fellows – Guys, if you know that you aren’t the most attractive pup in the litter and you want to get married one day, buy an instrument NOW, and START WRITING! It can be a very effective dating tool! [Read more…]

Worthy

How often do you just ponder beauty? What is it about the moon passing between us and the sun that makes us stand outside, special glasses on our heads, awestruck? [Read more…]

SEASONING: Finding your Voice

Photo by Chris Moncus Photography

(Photo by Chris Moncus Photography)

I can sing. I can’t even remember a time when I couldn’t listen to a song on the radio & not grab onto each individual part & join in. My mother has a beautiful, operatic voice, & would often sing, “The wind they call Muriah“, belting it around the house in the early morning. My Father could naturally match any Beach Boy on the oldies station. It turns out that even my grandmother once played autoharp & sang in Friday night neighborhood bluegrass jamborees when she was young. Even though I’ve worked on it, singing has always come naturally to me.

I’m very close to someone, however, for whom it has not been so easy.  Imagine your biggest dream being to sing – sometimes your ONLY dream – yet the natural voice just wasn’t there, then being reminded of it at every turn?  Whenever you sing, those present afterward compliment everyone on stage but you.  Some aren’t even so kind, commenting that so-n-so “sings so much better than you do”, and you wonder if they even have a clue.  So you take every opportunity to improve yourself, but it comes in slow, small increments.  You take lessons, and you learn more about your inner life – your heart – than you do about how to command your voice to do what you hear inside your head.  Then one day, you give up – you pray: “God, teach me to sing.”  And not immediately, but almost immediately, something ‘cracks’ when you are worshiping – volume swells up, and faith rises up in you saying “SING!”  It’s a voice you only barely recognize, and though not yet polished, it’s the voice you’ve always heard in your heart – raw, and in need of ‘shaping’, but it’s the voice, none-the-less:  YOUR VOICE.

You don’t need to sound like the CCM star you hear on the radio. You need to sound like YOU. Some of the most compelling voices in music don’t have polished, trained voices, but their voices successfully convey emotion, & move people’s hearts – & ultimately, that’s not that matters.

It’s been a beautiful story for me to see beginning to unfold, but it goes one step further to convince me of something I’ve always known deep in my soul.  EVERYONE CAN SING.  God made us for it, and though your voice may not win on American Idol, you have one – it’s strong, it changes a room when you use it, it says things that were made only for your mouth, expressing ideas that can come only from your heart.  God gave you that voice – it is especially for you: IT IS YOURS.

Never give up – USE IT!  I’ve absolutely no doubt about it: that is what you must do!