Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

In today’s churches, one of the biggest battles is one of my biggest passions – praise and worship through song.

Congregations are constantly arguing about which is better, traditional or contemporary. I remember several years ago the church I attended began singing some contemporary praise choruses. One would have thought we started worshiping someone other than God. The bickering, complaining, and criticizing got out of control. One day I walked into church to worship and I could have cut the tension with a knife, it was so thick. People stopped talking to people, it got that crazy.

Why do we concentrate so much on the “type” of song we are singing instead of the words we are singing? Why are we so worried about if it is traditional or more contemporary? I think there are a couple of reasons.

1. “We have sang the hymns for years – it’s what we know” – This is one of those “we do it because we have always done it”.  We are creatures of habit and when something new comes along it is hard to adjust, especially for those who are older. I find this to be true of myself at times. However, what we need to remember is that over time, things do change, and as people, we have to stretch ourselves, keep an open mind and move forward.

2. “I like the old hymns, the new stuff doesn’t mean anything” and “Hymns are out of date for today” – There are two sides to this one and I go back to keeping an open mind.

            Contemporary: I have had people tell me the new stuff is just “fluff” and they don’t say anything. I agree that in some cases that is true. But in a lot of cases it just isn’t. Some of my favorite artists/groups are Casting Crowns, Mandisa, Nichole Nordeman, Natalie Grant and Chris Tomlin, just to name a few (there are others). My husband’s favorite is Third Day. When you listen to the lyrics of these artists, they are powerful. They are praising a great and mighty God, they talk about living through the struggles of life and surviving when we turn the the One that is in complete control. They give hope and encouragement and inspiration.

            Hymns: I have heard people say they are old and don’t mean anything today. Completely FALSE! There are some amazing lyrics in the hymns of yesterday that touch me to the deepest of my core. One of those hymns is “It Is Well With My Soul”. What powerful meaning that song has. A man who lost his family in a tragic sea accident wrote these words: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll. What ever my lot thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul.” Wow, what a comfort to know that no matter what we are going through, it is well with my soul. Some other favorites of mine (again, to name a few) are “What A Friend I Have in Jesus”, “When We All Get to Heaven”, “How Great the Fathers Love”, “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace”.

The bottom line: No matter what we are singing during praise and worship on Sunday morning, we are not singing for us. We are singing to God, the One we are thankful to, the One who gives us all things, the One who sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us so that we would be able to have eternal life. We are praising Him. So why do we get so caught up in what we are singing? A lot of churches have gone to a blended service, combining both types of worship songs. It’s not a bad route to go, but in the end, it still has to be about God.

I am on my praise team at church. I am certainly not the best singer out there, and sometimes I wonder why I am even on the team. I am there because God put it on my heart to be up there to lead others in one of the greatest ways to praise Him, to give everything we have to Him. The sad thing is when I look out to the congregation, they aren’t excited. They don’t look like people who are thankful to God. They look like a lot of congregations on Sunday morning.

Whatever you are singing, sing it with joy and praise and a grateful heart. Don’t get caught up in the type of song, or the instruments or what others are doing. People praise in their own way, but whatever way that is, make it alive. Jesus died for us!!! How powerful is that? Doesn’t He deserve your best, no matter what?

And one last thought: Don’t criticize your praise team or choir. They work hard to bring their best every week to lead you in that time of the service. Pray for them and encourage them. It is important.

Until next time, God bless,

Tam

 

 

Read Full Post »

Uncertain Certainty

I know the title sounds very contradictory, but it really isn’t. Right now, my husband and I are going through a little bit of a valley. It is nothing we won’t overcome, but we are UNCERTAIN as to how long it may take and how it will all come about.

The CERTAINTY is knowing that we will indeed get through it and we will come out stronger on the other side. We will do that by walking through it together and focusing on the One who will guide us to the mountaintop.

Trials can be difficult and scary, and sometimes very painful. A lot of times we think that if we keep ignoring what is right in front of us, it will just “disappear” and we will be able to go about our daily lives, business as usual. Sometimes we know the trial is coming and we try everything we can think of to avoid it. The truth is, ignoring the issue, or trying to fix it on our own, will only make it worse and prolong the victory of getting through it. Facing the tough stuff is what makes us better. Facing it together with God is even better.

As my husband and I walk through this small “bump in the road”, this thought came to me tonight: “maybe it is good we are going on this journey, maybe we NEED to walk this path. There is something to learn and we are being humbled.”

God guides us through life every single day, but only if we let Him in and look to Him to walk the walk. That is what I am supposed to do as a Christian. I belong to Him and should be focused on being Christlike each and every moment of my day. That includes completely trusting Him no matter what is going on in my life.

I am reminded of what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13: “11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

It is comforting to know that I can be content in all things and wait on God to show us the next step in our lives.

Don’t let the trials get you down, let God lift you up. He sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross so we could have eternal life with Him in Heaven. What on this earth is better than that? Nothing. So as I pray for guidance, I look to the One who created me and wait for Him to show us the way. After all He is the way, the truth and the life.

I am blessed and am thankful to belong to Jesus and know that no matter what, I have uncertain certainty.

God bless,

Until next time,

Tam

Read Full Post »

Right now, at this moment, if I were to get on my knees to pray, I could stay there for hours, literally. I have family, friends, co-workers, church family, not to mention friends and family of those same family, friends, co-workers and church family that all need prayer, from small issues to very large issues.


We live in a world of turmoil and uncertainty. Lately, I feel myself becoming overwhelmed and frustrated because I see it all around me in the lives of those I love and there is not much I can do to help. The one thing I can do is PRAY. 


Prayer is the tool we use to talk to our Lord. The cool thing is that He is available 24/7. Need to talk to him when you wake up? He is there. Need to talk to him after a tough meeting at work? He is there. Need to talk to him on the way home? He is there. Need to talk to him when you can’t sleep at 2 a.m.? He is there. And He is ready to listen and he does listen. He also provides an answer. 


Oh, it’s not always the answer we want, nor do we get it when we want it, because of course we want it NOW! But God doesn’t work that way. He tells us to come to him, lay our burdens at His feet, and he will give us rest. He doesn’t say give it to me, walk away and pick it back up. He tells us to give it to Him and let Him worry about the details for us. He already knows our worries, our fears, our hopes, our trials, our joys and every little thing about us. So why do we act like we are hiding things from Him or like we are telling Him something He doesn’t already know?


Prayer brings peace, because we are talking to our Heavenly Father. He is the only one who provides that perfect peace. Phillipians 4:4-7 is one of my favorite verses. It says: “ Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


The last part is my comfort – my prayers are heard and God takes them seriously. He knows our hearts and He comforts us. 


So when we feel overwhelmed, like I have been, or anxious, like many of us do, or even thankful, which we should every day, take a moment, get on your knees or just close your eyes and talk to God. Trust me, it works, and trust Him, because He loves you and wants to be your Savior.


God bless,

Tam

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: