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!

Toni Steere  – (February 22, 2009 at 1:49 PM)  

What a beautiful post! I remember my first visit to Verbo Sur....it was so impacting for me too!

Your grandmothers are beautiful...as you you! Enjoy your day....we are praying for you!!!!

Grace  – (September 8, 2009 at 7:36 PM)  

This is a request for a new blog post...I would accept pics of your preggy profile and your sweet little man (Andy, not Edgar)!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

Grace  – (February 3, 2010 at 10:55 AM)  

I am in desperate need of pictures of sweet SaraBella!!! Please, pretty please??? :) love you and miss you!

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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

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