A New Kind of Worship

I come from a very long line of Southern Baptists. I am pretty sure I knew I was a Southern Baptist before I knew I was Christian! And, let me tell you I was proud of it. I also grew up in a Southern Baptist Church. It was a beautiful church. I loved sitting there every Sunday (in the same pew like good Baptists do) alongside my family. Our pastor was always so faithful at opening our eyes to God’s Word…there wasn’t a lot of extra. He just gave us the hard facts straight from the Bible itself. I learned so much under his teaching.

In addition, I had an amazing youth pastor who really showed me what true discipleship looked like. He really challenged me and showed me what it meant to be a true follower of Christ. I had amazing Sunday school teachers…one of those being my youth pastor’s wife. They were incredible women of faith, and I knew I wanted to grow up to be just like them. Many of these people are still actively involved in my life right now. They have left incredible imprints on not only my heart but my life.

There are so many reasons that I am so thankful for my Southern Baptist roots. I learned what it meant to think for myself based on Scripture and to be willing to challenge even someone older me if I needed to. I learned how to not let my emotions control me but to let the Word be my guide. I learned what it meant to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ and to wholly surrender my life to Him. I learned what it meant to be a warrior of prayer for those around me and what it meant to truly live in community.

Most importantly I watched two incredible women of God, my grandmother and great grandmother, live lives of true obedience, and I was blessed each week to sit beside them and worship my Lord and Savior with them. The lessons I learned were invaluable, and I think that no matter where I live or serve or worship that those Baptist roots will be hard to toss.

However, with all of that being said, I do think I was a bit naïve to other ways of worshiping God. Clapping was about as exciting as us good ole Southern Baptists got during a given service. It wasn’t that we weren't worshiping, we were. But, we kept ourselves very in control and in check. Needless to say as I got older and I saw more of the world…and worshiped in new churches, my eyes were greatly opened…more like stretched wide open. The first few times I worshiped here in Guatemala, I thought everyone around me had lost their heads. It wasn’t that I thought all the dancing and singing and flag waving was bad, but seriously, weren’t they getting just a bit carried away?

I am ashamed to admit I thought they were.

I was never the girl at church camp that was up at the front on the last night rededicating my life to God. I was never really crying and having a huge moment. Those times happened for me alone in my room. I learned early on that my sensitivity and emotions and passions could be a very big liability in my love relationship with Christ. Passion without knowledge can easily lead to folly. So, I learned to not get caught up in the moment…to not let the music or the talking take me too far. It wasn’t that I wasn’t touched or impacted…I was. But, I couldn’t explore it in an atmosphere with tons of people. I was afraid I would be swept up in emotion and miss out on the truth. So, alone in my room…or with a close friend is when the light bulb type moments came for me.

So for me, these lively times of singing and dancing were just a little too over the top for me. I couldn’t understand how people could stay focused on the Truth while worshiping like “that.” 
Of course, this was just me being judgmental and probably even just a little bit afraid of it all. 
Naturally, though, after living and working in Latin America of and on over the last six and half years, my opinions on all of this have changed. I, of course, am still me so I am still more on the reserved side as that is just how my relationship with the Lord is and has always been.

But, I must say that yesterday as I sat in a church service here in Guatemala (we were at this church to present the ministry at Casa Bernabé), I was filled with so much joy. As I watched men and women, young and old dancing and clapping and singing and waving their flags, I was so touched. I could just picture Jesus on His throne weeping with joy as these faithful saints were there worshipping Him…celebrating Him…glorifying His name…waving banners of thankfulness and praise. It truly was a party for Jesus, and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Even my little three year old was dancing around and just having such a wonderful time…singing all the while.

I couldn’t stop thinking about Revelations 7:9 -10, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Oh what a beautiful day that will be when we are all gathered together worshipping our Savior, our Beloved, our Lord, our King, our Maker, our Lover, our Husband, our sweet Jesus Christ…the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Oh that we may all be ready to wave those banners and sing and dance and give Him all the glory and honor and praise His so rightly deserves!


A Loose Thread

My handsome husband and I celebrating our one year anniversary!

I have been reading a biography about John and Abigail Adams. It is about their journey as husband and wife...from their courtship all the way through Thomas Jefferson being elected as the third President....their struggles, triumphs, and just life together. Anyways, it is quite a long book so it might take me a while to finish, even though I am a fast reader. Today, though, (as I hurt my foot and can't walk well), I curled up to read a little more. John Adams was definitely the more emotional and extreme of the two. Abigail, or Nabby as she was lovingly called by her family, was much more level headed and down to earth. In fact, when they married, most that knew her thought she "married beneath her." The part I am reading right now is definitely showing how different the two are. It reads, "John Adams was something of a force of nature; on the rebound from the depths he gathered the momentum to sweep everything before him. If in the process he sometimes left his wife exhausted, that was an integral part of the marriage contract she had signed, and which was safley deposited in John's file. There was nothing about her husband she would change. Pulling a loose thread could unravel the fabric."

I just love that! "Pulling a loose thread could unravel the fabric!" I am a kind of strong-headed gal who likes to just mow my way through things sometimes...hoping and praying that everyone will adjust and do things my way. I find myself at times trying to mold Edgar right into my idea of what a husband should be...instead of loving him and rejoicing in the way God made him. I do that with other people sometimes...with the girls. I want them to be just a certain way, and I get frustrated with them and myself when they don't match up to my expectations. I even do this to myself sometimes. I can be so critical...I look in the mirror and see so many faults...so many ways that I don't measure up. Oh but this quote says it all! We are beautifully woven together by God Himself. This is what it says in Psalm 139:13 and 14. "For you formed my inward parts: you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." We were knitted together by God Himself, and if there is a loose thread hanging out somewhere, it is because God put it there and by pulling on it too hard, we may unravel His beautiful work!

Take heart friends and stop trying to yank on all those loose threads! You may have an unraveled mess on your hands!!


The first time...

Do you remember the first time you came to know Christ? What it felt like? How you felt every time you opened His Word or went to church?

I have been thinking about it lately. I remember my first years walking with the Lord very vividly. I LOVED reading my Bible. Seriously, I would spend hours and hours reading and just soaking up every word of it. I remember the first time I read 1 and 2 Samuel and then later 1 and 2 Kings. I had always heard that the Old Testament was kind of boring, but my heart just came alive reading the stories...some of faithfulness and some of pure disobedience. It was while reading those books that I decided that I would name one of my boys Josiah...first or middle name it didn't matter, but someday I was going to name one of them Josiah after King Josiah. I also remember how Hannah's struggles to conceive and her faithfulness after she had Samuel so touched me. Oh there was so many nuggets to discover! I was so excited, and I just couldn't get enough of it. I can remember vividly sitting one day on my bed reading and reading (in 1 Kings) and it was time to go...I just didn't want to stop. I was desperate to get back home and finish. Then, after reading for hours, I would spend more time journaling...filing pages with all of God's truth and all the little insights He gave me. I still have tubs full in KC of those journals.

Somewhere along the line, though, I am sad to admit that passion and just yearning for God's Word faded a bit. Last night at our women's meeting, we were talking about this very thing. The woman sharing was taking us through Song of Solomon...not the whole book but layers of love...the "etapas" or stages it passes through. I was broken as I realized how my love for my God...my husband, my beloved, my lover has wained a bit the last few years. I could probably say at first that it is because I am much busier now, and I have more things trying to steal my time each day...and if I said these things, they would be true. But, I know that deep down the reason for this change is that I have allowed vain things of the world to fill gaps that my Husband, my Lord is longing to fill. Instead of being in the world but not of the world, I have been trying to walk the fine line between the two. Much of this happened I believe as I battled through homesickness this past year. I allowed trivial things to give me that quick fix of home...movies, TV shows on DVD, music. When I think back to those early years of knowing Christ, I didn't spend much time at all doing any of those things. I used the free time I had with Him. I am not saying that music, movies, and TV are bad in and of themselves...but for me, they have been robbing me...robbing me of time, robbing me of passion, robbing me of true contentment.

Last night, the speaker also shared with us about John Wesley's mother. She had 19 children...count them 19! She had trouble finding time to spend alone with the Lord, so she would go into the kitchen and put her apron over her head...and there she would spend time praying and seeking God's face. Can you imagine! But, the picture brought tears to my eyes. Those of you that have been to visit me here in Guatemala, know that my bedroom has changed quite a bit over the last year. God has blessed us with different people and the money to make a few renovations. It hasn't been anything major, but it definitely does have a nice comfy atmosphere to it now..perfect for time alone, away from all the distractions...time with my Savior.

Love that is lasting is the kind of love that doesn't fade out...it isn't the kind that uses all the oil right at the beginning and eventually just burns out...it is constant...it keeps going through all the mountains and valleys. I love my Lord...but I don't love Him as I once did. But, today is different...and thankfully my Father lovingly accepts me back everytime. Right now my heart just beats thinking of it.

"Oh Jesus thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for loving me and longing to know me more and for me to know you more. Thank you that all my heart could ever desire is found only in You. I am Yours...wholly Yours, always and forever..."


A long time coming...

Well, it is official...I am really bad at blogging. It is such a shame too because I LOVE writing. I have always held this long repressed dream of being a writer someday. I guess I will have to find the time to do it first. It is the same thing with journaling...I am ashamed to admit. I used to be able to fill books regularly, but these days I am having trouble finding the time to fill a page. But, it is a new year right? Always time to turn over a new leaf...more journaling and more blogging. We shall see how it goes...

I must admit too that I have had LOTS to write about. I wish that would take the time to at least write some of it down because unfortunately I will have something so great just bubbling over and then all at once I have forgotten it because I didn't take the time to write it while it was fresh. Today is different though. Yesterday I had a beautiful time with the Lord. Since the girls have started school, I have lots more time for my personal devotions...although I hate those 4:30am wake up calls, I love having time n the morning to drink some yummy coffee, hang out with my incredibly cool son, and spend some time soaking up God's Word. I don't think it gets any better than that! Well yesterday I was reading in Isaiah 41. The whole chapter is awesome and I recommend all of you taking the time to read it, but oh how it stirred my spirit! I almost wanted to get up and do a happy dance I was so excited. I love how many times God says "I will do this...and I will do that.." I just love it. My God, my God in heaven...my Father, my King, He is in control! Of course, we know this...I know this. But, how often do I forget it. Verse 10, "I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you." Verse 13, "I am the one who helps you." Verse 17, "I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. " Verse 18, I will open rivers...I will make the wilderness a pool of water." These are just a few of them. But, it all comes together in verse 20, where God says he does this so "that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it!" My heart responds with a resounding "Yes!" "Yes, Lord, You are still on the throne...You will forever be on the throne. You are at work and You are here with me! Yes!" I don't know if it does anything for all of you but man it sure moves me. So many times my circumstances seem so suffocating or the mountains seem so tall and in the midst I feel so small...so inadequate. But guess what brothers and sisters, God is not small! He is BIG...the BIGGEST...and He is MY GOD...Yes!

Okay as my dear friends would say, I am getting a little carried away on my soapbox here...but that is what happens when one waits to long to get it all out on paper.

Well, I will leave with this...another very moving thing for me. I was introduced to this song by one of my dear friends recently when she was here visiting me. I heard the song first and loved it, and then when I found out the singer is someone who to SBU with me, I loved it even more. Once I found her story on YouTube though and all that happened to her only weeks leading up to the recording of this song, once again my spirit was stirred. The words alone are incredible...but the power of her voice and knowing her story makes it all the more incredible. I am posting the link to the video here for you all to watch and then to hear the song (I want to post the video directly on here but I am not sure how). I am also putting the lyrics below.

Be encouraged dear friends...God is with us! Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God: I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Okay here is the link to the video...


Here are the lyrics...

Hillsong - Desert Song

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame


And I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand


All of my life, In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow


Total Pageviews

Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and over...so please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP