Worshipping through Scripture Series – Introduction to Worship

worship-2

Worship is described as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.”  Worship “is where life meets ultimate reality…A place where we sense Eternal Significance and realize that we were created to ‘live our lives to the full’…in the presence of the God who loves us more than we could ever imagine” (Author Unknown).  It is “an expression of our hearts toward God as shown through song and praise as we worship Him, we are drawn into His presence and experience His touch in our lives” (Author Unknown).  As you can see, worship has many different levels and each of us experience God differently through praise.

In the Bible, Psalm 150:6 declares that “everything that has breath praise the Lord.”  Psalm 95:6 invites us to “bow down in worship” toward God and “kneel before [Him as our] Lord [and] Maker.”  1 Chronicles 16:23-25 tells us to “sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day….For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise…”  In the book of Psalm, David was known as a true worshipper.  He proclaimed in Psalm 103:1 to “praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name.”  David praised God with everything he had — his soul, heart, and mind.  He would praise God “all day long” (Psalm 71:8).  David even praised God through the troubled times.  Psalm 143:6 states that David “spread [his] hands to [God]” and, in desperation, said “I thirst for You like a parched land.”  The Psalmist was always worshipping God, no matter what was going on in His life.  We can learn from David on the importance of worship and how to truly live it out in our lives.

Worship lyrics is not just words on a page we sing to; it is the Bible put into song form.  Many Christian artist have written hymns and worship music by using Scripture or stories in the Bible for their lyrics.  When we worship, we are singing the Bible out loud.  We are proclaiming the Word of God without even realizing it.  Think about it!–That is what worship is all about!  It is all about praising our God for who He is with every breath we take.  Worship is powerful and transforms our lives as long as we see it for what it really is.

In the next five blogs, I will be breaking down hymns and worship songs to further explain what worship means on a deeper level and how to live it out in our lives that will change the way we see music.  Worship can and will transform our lives the more we understand the songs we sing in church, in our home, and in our car.  I encourage all of us to be like David, and praise “God with all [our] heart, [our] soul, and [our] mind” (Matthew 22:37; Deuteronomy 6:5).

Women’s Insecurities – Week Five

i-declare

As I bring this series to a close, I felt like it was appropriate to post a declaration instead of a lengthy blog.  It only seems appropriate after we talked about the causes of rejection and how to overcome it though Christ that we declare God’s power over our lives.  Remember that “rejection never has the final say.  Rejection may be a delay or distraction or even a devastation for a season.  But it’s never a final destination.  [We are] destined for a love that can’t ever be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken.  With You, Jesus, [we are] forever safe. [We are] forever accepted. [We are] forever held.  Completely loved and always invited in” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

DECLARATION:  (Written by Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Uninvited)

Whatever rejection has stolen from you, I declare that the deepest desperation you’ve experienced will lead to God’s greatest revelation in your life.

I declare that the Lord will give you relief from your unbelief.

He will restore you, redeem you, and write His story–His glorious story onto the pages of your life.

It will happen.

Doubt and defeat have no place in the sacred sanctuary of your heart.

Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a life as beautiful as yours.

PRAYER:  (Written by Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Uninvited)

From now on when misguided voices or the enemy himself tries to put you down with lies or pull you away from the truth or push you into anything that could derail your destiny, I pray that you will sense the mighty hands and heart of God…

  • Lift you up with truth.
  • Draw you close with His loving tenderness.
  • And shame Satan back to hell with His resurrecting power.

Women’s Insecurities – Week Four

rejection-2

In the last three weeks, we have talked about being honest with ourselves and explaining the common areas that women struggle with on a day-to-day basis.  We have also talked about self-rejection from our past as well as rejection from others.  This week we are focusing on how to deal with rejection and use it to better ourselves rather than allow it to bring us down.

Studies show that rejection affects the physical pathways in our brain (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection is a deep rooted issue that people face every day, and it stirs up our emotions to make us think negative about ourselves or to something.  It can be defined as not “just an emotional feeling, [but] a message that alters what you believe about yourself” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection has the power to change who we are as an individual.  It can change the way think about a situation.  It is a physical pain that reminds us of loss and feeling unwanted.  “Rejection can make [us] question [God’s] goodness” in our lives (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

If we don’t want rejection to ruin our lives, we need to have a new perspective on how we handle rejection.  In the Spiritual realm, we can think of it as a blessing.  Lysa TerKeurst stated that “today’s disappointment is making room for tomorrow’s appointment” (Uninvited).  We do not always understand why God says no to our prayers or requests when we want it so badly, but we do not want to miss God’s opportunities by always remembering the disappointments of our past.  We never move past the disappointment if we always ask “why” questions rather than “what” questions.  “‘What’ questions increase our ability to become more self-aware, while ‘why’ questions only focus on things out of control (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  When we ask “why” we see what we lack rather than what is ahead of us.

So…”What’s a brokenhearted person to do?” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  How do we overcome rejection?  We “praise, seek, and look to God” for comfort.  We “experience, learn from, and draw near to God” in every situation (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection does not label us, and it is not a permanent condition.  It does not keep us from succeeding in our future; It just means we had a setback.  “If we give [rejection] the power to define us, it will haunt us long-term.  But if we only allow it enough power to refine us, the hurt will give way to healing” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  TerKeurst also states to “not let [rejection] destroy [us but to] use it in good ways to make [us] stronger” (Uninvited).  We need to use it to empower us to become better.  “Don’t let today’s reaction become tomorrow’s regret” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  What this statement is saying is do not allow your emotions to get in the way of wisdom.

Our past rejections do not have to define our future.  It is our choice to change rejection for the good.  Maybe God wanted you to take another path than the one you prayed about.  Maybe God allowed you to experience a hurtful situation so you could understand compassion towards others.  “The enemy loves to take our rejection and twist it into a raw, irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for us” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Do not believe that lie, because “God is always at work” in our lives.  “He is a present, loving Father, aware of our deepest hurts and even our deeper needs” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

Even if you don’t hear His voice, He is there!
Even though you don’t feel His touch, He is there!
Even if you lost your faith, He is there!

APPLICATION

Yes, rejection hurts, but we can overcome it through Jesus Christ.  We are all overcomers through Him.  We do not have to live in defeat by our own insecurities.  Rejection is only a temporary setback to make us stronger.  Our past hurts and failures do not have to hinder our future.  We get up, dust ourselves off, and walk towards Jesus.  Jesus is our Healer and our Comforter.  He is the One who guides us towards our future with confidence and self-worth.

I encourage all of us to remove the labels in our lives and let God redefine who we are through His promises and love.  We live in victory when we live for Christ!  Our success comes from Him.  It does not come from our past.  It does not come from the devil.  It only comes from God.

Life’s Crossroads

Featured Image -- 3659

My Weekly Featured Blog: Life’s Crossroads written by Jay Colby.

(A thought provoking blog)
“Everyone faces some type of “crossroad” in their life. Facing a crossroad can be very overwhelming and can cause anxiety. One of the most complicated tasks any of us will face in life is the concept of making the right decision. Every few seconds we have the opportunity to change our lives, our family lives, our careers and our well-being. By having this seemingly great opportunity to affect our lives in many different aspects can seem very promising. On the other hand it can be an enormous weight on our shoulders, because our lives and our families can be forever changed based on the decisions we make when we face a crossroad.”

Jay Colby

Everyone faces some type of “crossroad” in their life. Facing a crossroad can be very overwhelming and can cause anxiety. One of the most complicated tasks any of us will face in life is the concept of making the right decision. Every few seconds we have the opportunity to change our lives, our family lives, our careers and our well-being. By having this seemingly great opportunity to affect our lives in many different aspects can seem very promising. On the other hand it can be an enormous weight on our shoulders, because our lives and our families can be forever changed based on the decisions we make when we face a crossroad.

The small decisions are simple. You may not even notice you are making them, for example if you’re hungry you might stop at a local fast-food restaurant to grab a bite to eat. This act is probably a…

View original post 383 more words

Women’s Insecurities – Week Three

rejection-2

We all face rejection in our day-to-day life.  Some are more deeply rooted than others, but all rejection hurts.  Rejection causes many insecurities that last within in us for years.  It causes trust issues with ourselves and others.  It causes us to overreact in situations when someone or something triggers our insecurities.  Lysa TerKeurst says it best in her book, Uninvited, by stating, “If we react with more emotion than is appropriate for an isolated incident, it’s probably not so isolated.  The escalated emotion of this situation is probably an indication of painful ties to the past.”

There is a character in the Bible who had deeply rooted issues that started with rejection.  David, even though he became the King of Israel, had insecurities by how his father treated him.  When David was young, he was rejected by his father by not being included in the most important day of their families lives.  While David was tending the sheep, a prophet named Samuel arrived at their home to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king.  Jesse had eight sons, including David.  Jesse presented seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel did not choose any of them.  Samuel asked if “these were all the sons [Jesse] had” and Jesse responded by saying, “there is still the youngest” which was referring to David (1 Samuel 16:11).  Immediately when Samuel saw David, he anointed him as the Lord said to do.  He “took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers” (1 Samuel 16:13).  This rejection continued to haunt David for many years to come.  We will see this in chapter 25 in 1 Samuel.

In chapter 25, David was rejected by Nabal and reacted irrationally over the situation.  David sent ten servants to Carmel to ask Nabal to prepare a meal in honor of his name (1 Samuel 25:5-8).  Nabal reacted by saying, “Who is this David?  Who is this son of Jesse?…Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered…and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (1 Samuel 25:10-11).  When the men told David what Nabal said, David threatened to kill Nabal and all the men in the household (1 Samuel 25:12-17).  David overreacted and was about to do something that would not only harm himself emotionally but kill innocent people.  His anger did not stem from this single incident alone.  Nabal reopened a wound from David’s childhood when his father rejected him from the family’s anointing (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  The grudge was so deep that David was willing to kill to make someone pay for his hurt.  Nabal’s wife saved her husband and household by preparing the meal for David and making him feel welcome.

David felt like he belonged for the first time since his father’s rejection.  His father “inflicted a mark on his heart that read, ‘you don’t belong'” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  David achieved remarkable things in his lifetime, but “no amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  “Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing the lies with truth” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Nabal’s wife reassured David that he was important, valuable, and secure.  She asked him to forgive her husband of his actions and that he is secure in the Lord.  She reminded David about his achievements and success.

This is a powerful story of rejection turning into a place of belonging.  At some point in our lives, we can all relate to David’s insecurities.  His fear of never belonging.  David allowed his past to work against him.  When we hold onto our past hurts, it causes us to hold a grudge against someone or something.  We tend to overreact when a wound is reopened, and, as a result, we hurt others because of our insecurities.  “Let your past rejection experiences work for you instead of against you” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

APPLICATION

What kind of rejections have you bottled up inside that continue to haunt you on a daily basis?  What causes you to react irrationally when someone or something triggers the insecurities in your life?  Rejection reminds us that we don’t belong.  It is a lie from the devil that tells us we are not good enough or smart enough.  The truth is, we belong to God.  We have always belonged to God, because He created us.  We are His children!  He is our Truth!

So…what do you need to hear today to belong?  Do you need to hear that you have worth? Or valued? Or Important? Or loved?  What is it?!  David almost killed innocent people because of past rejection.  Rejection is powerful and destructible.  It not only ruins our lives but those around us.  I pray you find time with God this week to ask for His healing touch on the things that have hurt you in the past or even current issues.  I pray you find your security in Christ and not of this world.  And, finally, I pray you let go of the hurtful situations that hinder you each and every day and surrender it to God.

 

We are Moana

My Weekly Featured Blog: We are Moana by Through the Stillness Blog

“God will never force us to answer His call. It is out of His love for us that He doesn’t use force. It is hard to wrap our heads around it…I know. He doesn’t calm the waters of life. But He is always there with us. Always.

You see, I am Moana. We all are. We are called, in our own unique way, to restore the heart of the Lava Monsters who have had their hearts stolen by the world. One difference (and there are more) is that we are still on our journeys. Our happy ending is yet to come.”

Through the Stillness

image

I must confess, the movie Moana ignited a bit of inspiration. There may have been a few times I pulled out my phone to take notes for this exact moment of sharing my thoughts with you. I’m laughing at myself, but at the same time I must embrace it. I think we can and should find inspiration wherever and however we can.

The day before, the subject of life journeys was planted during a bible study, so it was already somewhat on my mind. We discussed  Mary’s journey to be exact.  Yes, I know Christmas is over…but we are a group of busy moms who get behind from time to time. That is much the norm in the journey of motherhood.  Things never play out exactly as we have set out in our minds. There are more bumps and bruises than we ever thought possible.

Anyway, I enjoy making parallels…

View original post 597 more words

Women’s Insecurities – Week Two

woman

Last week we talked about being honest with ourselves, and how we are created in God’s image.  We broke down four common women’s insecurities, and I showed you all a few steps on how to be honest with yourself and with God.  This week I will dive deeper into self-rejection, and how it can destroy your life.

Rejection is defined as “the act of not accepting, believing, or considering something” or “the state of being rejected” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rejection).  Rejection can be described as an abandonment, a dismissal, or a brush off.  Rejection comes in many forms.  We can have such a low self-esteem that we put ourselves down due to our insecurities.  Self-rejection will destroy us.  It “paves the landing strip for the rejection of others to arrive and pull on up to the gates of our hearts” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Our low self-esteem may prompt others to convey what we believe about ourselves.  We are opening the flood gates for rejection by our own insecurities.

Another way we can allow rejection into our lives is to let the harsh words and actions of others dictate how we feel about ourselves.  The lie becomes truth when we are already vulnerable to the negativity.  The truth is, “rejection steals the best of who [we are] by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said about [us]” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  We are all guilty of being rejected as well as rejecting others.  We have been a victim to rejection as well as giving out rejection.  We are not innocent here, by no means.  Jealousy and comparing ourselves to others allows room to judge people harshly.  Insecurities bring out the worst in us when we try to better ourselves by putting others down.  As women, we have to stop being so critical of each other and start lifting each other up with encouraging words.

The key problem is that we have a broken identity.  We allow the world, others, and ourselves to tell us who we are rather than allow God to dictate who we are.  “You can’t expect stability from a broken identity” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  We have to get to the root of the problem to find stability in our lives.  The core fears of rejection are abandonment and loss of identity.  We must write down all our insecurities and work them out one-by-one with God.  And, then and only then, we will see our identity as God sees us.  We are all yearning for something that will keep us stable and anchored.  The world’s view and what other’s say about us does not keep us anchored.  Only God can keep us anchored because He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Here are five simple steps to push past your insecurities and rejections to start living a life with less negativity and with more Godly thinking:

  1. Acknowledge the problem areas and weaknesses and write them down
  2. Pray over one problem area at a time
  3. Begin to write and say prayers daily that are the opposite of how you feel (positive prayers)
  4. Continue the prayers until you believe God’s truth about yourself
  5. Repeat the process for the next problem area

When we stop rejecting ourselves by our insecurities and what people say about us, we give the control back to God.  We allow Him to work in our lives to change our mindsets from negative thoughts to positive thinking.  When we say we are not smart enough or talented enough, we are putting down God’s creation.  God created us in His perfection so let’s start living a life with confidence of who we are.

APPLICATION

Is God good?  YES!
Is God good to me?  YES!
Do I trust God to be God?  YES!
(Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst)

If you can answer these questions with a bold “YES“, then give God control over your emotions and your thoughts.  I encourage you to allow Him to transform your life so you can be whole in Christ.  I will say this again, “rejection will destroy your life.”  Rejection will keep you in the past.  Rejection will never let you move past the hurt and disappointments.  A life filled with rejection promises no hope but only a mentality of “I will never be good enough to _________________________.”  You fill in the blank of what area of your life you feel rejected.  This is no way to live.  A life without hope is not worth living.  It is a life that will always bring you down and tell you you have no worth. Let God tell you who you are and stop listening to the negativity around you.