You’re my strong and mighty fortress,
My rock I stand upon,
My place of strength and courage.
I will ALWAYS rest in the knowledge you have my life in your hands.
“Everyone raise your hands, close your eyes and lets sing to the Lord,” said the worship leader. Everyone closed their eyes and began singing, every hand in the room lifted in praise while singing in adoration of Jesus. The woman joined in, holding nothing back.
In another church the worship leader said, “As we sing this next song, if you feel the Holy Spirit move you, raise your hands in the air and worship, our Lord Jesus Christ,” Everyone began to sing but only a few hands were raised in the air this time. As the song progressed a feeling of wanting to lift her hands in praise came over her, but instead of raising her hands, this time she held back, worried, ‘what people would think if she raised her hands. Would they look at her and think something is wrong with her?’
The song continued and the struggle went on inside, the feeling of wanting to raise her hands growing stronger… Raise your hands! No don’t do it! Yes do it! No! Yes!
Suddenly her hand went up and then the other, soon it felt as if there was nobody in the room but her and her Lord. As she sang to the One who had given her all she soon became lost in the moment and at this very moment He also had her all.
When the song was over she collapsed to her chair and she wept. The struggle that had went on for so long seemed exhausting and now she felt somehow relieved but at the same time she felt ashamed of her actions. She wasn’t ashamed because she had raised her hands, but instead she felt ashamed of the times she had not raised them and once again she had almost allowed her fear of what other people may think get in the way of something that was nobody’s business but her own and God’s.
Jesus went to the cross, to take everything for her. He had went unashamed and He never worried about what other people thought. He had stood up for her to save her! How could she have ever considered not raising her hands high in the air in worship and praise for Him?
Today is Music Monday and this week the song that moved me is ‘Forever’ by Kari Jobe.
The first time I heard this song was about 2 months ago at a concert. At that concert as she sang this song, everyone around me had their hands raised up high in the air, some were even crying tears of adoration as they worshiped. It was one of those moments that I too lost myself in the worship, and yes my hands were raised high in the air
I will admit like the woman at the beginning of this story, hand raising is really hard for me, but at that concert everyone else was raising their hands too, so it was easy to raise my hands up high.
It’s always easy to do something if everyone else is doing it, but what about if nobody else is doing it and you’re the only one?
I was not raised in church so I haven’t been in a whole lot of churches, but in the small handful of churches that I have I attended not a whole lot of people have raised their hands during the music. I am now about 5 years into my church life and I will admit, I still find myself holding back when it comes to the hand raising in church.
I’m sure if you pass me in my car you will most likely see me with a hand in the air because I am always driving down the road singing. My hands in the car are always flying all over the place. Sometimes I have to be careful because I realize I not only raise my hands but I also point my finger and that sure makes for an uncomfortable feeling when you realize some guy in another car is staring at you thinking your having a fit of road rage 😀
Though I am a regular hand raiser when I am by myself, when I’m in church it’s a totally different story, I freeze up if the hand tries to slip in the air. Something I have realized in the past few weeks is that I don’t want to be that way anymore. I just want to live full out where ever the spirit leads, because its not about what anybody else thinks. It’s truly only about what God thinks!
As I write this I worry that I may get some flack for this post and want you to know that If you are not a hand raiser, please know I am not saying there is anything at all wrong with a person not raising their hands in worship. Each person worships in their own special way and this is not a blog post telling people how they should worship. That is between each individual and God and there is no right or wrong way to worship. All I am saying here is that we should not hold back from going to those places that the Holy Spirit moves us to be. For some it may be hand raising while for others it could be just sitting quietly listening as the music plays.
If you feel the nudging of the Spirit, no matter what it is or where you are just do it!
Also remember if that feeling is the urge to raise your hands and you choose to sit on them instead you’re most likely going to be missing out on a wonderful blessing.
Also remember, God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters!
“Forever He is glorified
Forever He is lifted high
Forever He is risen
He is alive
He is alive!”
The words to this song not only move me but also watching Kari as she sings it is moving too. Though she is on stage in front of hundreds of people she looks as if she is singing as if no one is watching.
Her hands are lifted high as she sings, “Forever He is glorified, Forever He is lifted high, Forever He is risen, He is alive, He is alive!”
Happy Monday! Enjoy the song and while you listen worship like nobody is watching!
Have a great week!
Today we are doing a link up. If you have a song that moved you this week write a blog post about it and then come back and link up by clicking the blue button below.
[inlinkz_linkup id=570307 mode=1]
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36
Hola! As many of you know I was in El Salvador last week with a group of women and Compassion International visiting a new Compassion project ‘Casa de Pan’ and various other projects, with the highlight of the trip being the meeting of my sponsor child ‘Ericka’. This week I plan to share with you a few stories from the trip.
My time in El Salvador was a really fun time that was packed full of God’s love and many, many blessings. I experienced some really hard things this week too, but even though some things were hard, God was still so very good and he was there with us on this trip in a mighty big way. At this moment as I am writing this I still feel as if I am overflowing with a whole lot of stuff and I’m still in the process of sorting through the many thoughts that are swirling around inside of my head.
Getting ready to go.
The time leading up to the trip seemed to be an emotional roller coaster at times. There always seemed to be something trying to get in the way.
Things started with me having some pretty bad knee issues going on and I worried I would not be able to keep up on the trip or that they maybe wouldn’t want me go if I couldn’t keep up. At one point I even told the trip leader that I was not going to be able to go because of the knee issues.
I also I worried I wouldn’t have the funds and also that I may have another trip that could possibly conflict with this one. When I told the trip leader I wasn’t going to be able to go she offered to call me. While on the call she prayed with me and then I continued to stay in prayer as much as possible after our conversation and God just kept telling me to trust that I was supposed to go on this trip. So I kept my answer as a YES and God reassured me time and time again after that, that YES most definitely was the correct answer.
After making the decision that the answer was Yes I got really excited about going but the week right before my trip was a really hard week. It seemed like a whole lot of things kept happening that week that kept getting in the way of my getting ready to go. Things that played on my emotions and left me feeling as if I was not physically or mentally prepared to go.
My dad is very sick right now, so I was worried about leaving him. I feared something would happen to him while I was gone and I would not be here for him or my mother.
I also had some family things going on that affected a child that is close to me and I worried about leaving in the middle of all of the drama that surrounded a situation that seemed to be developing daily with no end in sight.
It was also a busier than normal at work that week and I seemed to have many things that were distracting me from getting my work done and caused me to be at work longer than normal. I kept wondering if I would ever have time to get finished with my packing and also finished with all of the things that I needed to get done around my house before I left.
Another thing that happened and that I think bothered me the most that week was that I had conflict with someone two days before I was supposed to leave. What was said left me feeling very sad and very emotional and I began wondering how well I knew myself and also caused me to start second guessing myself and before I knew it my social anxiety was kicking in again.
If you are a long time reader of my blog or one of my friends or family then you already know that I have this social anxiety issue that rears its ugly head from time to time and leaves me very uncomfortable with people, especially people I don’t know. There have also been times in my life that I have found myself running out of meetings and avoiding social occasions with even those people I do know and are usually comfortable with.
I have never really been a very brave person when it comes to being around other people and now here I was soon to be traveling to an airport I had never ever been in to meet a group of ladies that I had never met except for in an online Facebook group. I was going to be with those ladies all week long and most likely be in very close contact with them all week long too. The last thing I needed was for my social anxiety to kick in.
Though my confidence was shaken up a few times, no matter what happened that week I still knew without a doubt that God’s plan was for me to go on this trip and I was determined I was going to go!
And I did…
My journey started with my husband dropping me off at the airport at 3:30 am and as I confidently walked into the building I talked to God. I remember saying to him, “well God, this is it, you have me now so YOU lead and I will follow.”
And he did.
Everything went smoothly and before I knew it I was sitting on my plane.
As the plane began to taxi down the runway I closed my eyes and continued to pray. As we lifted off I remember thinking ‘there’s no turning back now’ and as I opened my eyes to look out the window I saw that the sun was beginning to rise…
How could I see something so beautiful and not know that God was right there beside me?…Actually He was surrounding me at that moment showering me with his amazing love and beautiful gift.
He had told me from the moment he asked me to go, from the moment when I had said yes, and now as I was officially on my way he was telling me once again, that He truly had this whole trip under control. Everything was all going to go according to HIS plan, all I ever had to do was just say yes and and then just show up.
Our trip guide had a place inside to fill out while were were enroute. One of the things we were asked to do was to write a brief prayer to God telling him exaclty how I was feeling right then and ask him to show me what he wanted me to see. So while on my way to Houston to meet my group this is the small prayer that I wrote.
Father I am feeling a little nervous but also really, really excited. I wonder will I fit in with the group, will I be a useful part of all of this? Please open my eyes and heart to what you want me to see. Help me to boldly go where you lead me.
With all my Love,
To be continued…..
I took these pictures last Sunday morning while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.
I couldn’t go to church that day because my husband and I had to catch an early flight home. Since our resort was on the the ocean I decided to go to watch the sunrise on the beach. As I watched the sky change from dark to light I could feel God’s presence surrounding me and as the day began to dawn, suddenly it dawned on me that I didn’t have to be at church to have church. I realized I can have church anywhere that I happen to be, because God is always with me wherever I am. So I had church right there on the beach that morning. No building, no pastor or music were needed and there wasn’t anyone else there except just me and God. I watched his glory unfold before my eyes as he painted the sky, with beautiful color and brilliant light. It was a moment that seemed to be specially made for worship in my own private church on the beach.
Have a wonderful and blessed day,
I have had something deep on my mind for the past several weeks.
Over the past few days it has really came down to me having to make a decision and that decision was hinging on me deciding and knowing without a doubt what it was that God wanted me to do.
I have prayed about it and prayed about it but things seemed really complicated. I thought I knew without a doubt what God wanted me to do at the beginning of all this, but after a while things were not matching up and nothing seemed to be making any sense. I kept praying about it but I finally became frustrated because I just wanted God to just lay it all out nice and clear for me, but that did not seem to be happening.
As many of you know I am a church secretary. A lot of the time when I am working nobody is at the church except for me. So after I finished my work yesterday I decided to sit in the quiet of the sanctuary for a little while and pray.
As I was praying I was feeling frustrated about all the stuff whirling in my head so I said out loud, “God please tell me what is it you want me to do?!” As the words left my mouth, suddenly my eyes caught on a banner that is hanging on the wall in the front of the room….
Praise the Lord…. I went back to my praying… suddenly I saw the banner again… Praise the Lord!
Suddenly the thought occurred to me…. Praise the Lord? Really? Lord is that what you want me to do? Praise you?
No answer… just the banner again with the words now stuck in my head …Praise the Lord!
click here to continue reading -> Sometimes all you can do is Praise the Lord
Have a wonderful day,