The Heart of Worship

“When the music fades and all has slipped away and I simply come… Longing just to bring something that’s of worth, that will bless Your heart. I bring You more than a song — for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within through the way things appear, You’re looking into my heart.”
“You always smile while you worship! How are you so joyful?”
I’ve spent three years worshipping in front of people on a stage. It’s my job to model worship. To model joy. And yet sometimes, that is the furthest from what I feel like doing. 
There are days when I don’t feel like worshipping. When I feel full of negativity and apathy rather than joy. When I feel fake to get up there on a stage with a smile on my face as if my life is all together. 
But that’s the wrong attitude. Worship isn’t me putting on a show for anyone. Worship is me making an offering to God. And sometimes that offering is small and weak. Sometimes I don’t have much in me to give, but worshipping anyway invites the power of God to come and be present. 
When I start running my fingers along the keys and singing the words I know in the bottom of my heart, it may start off being forced. It may be ritualistic and void of emotion. But God never lets it stay that way for long. When I let myself stop and dwell on Him, He shows up. Not always in a mighty, rushing wind. Not always in the way I want. But even on the hardest days, I am reminded of the old precious hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness, LORD unto thee”
God has never stopped being faithful. I don’t always feel emotion when I start worshipping, but worship isn’t emotion anyway. It’s my heart before God. Just as I am — hurting or rejoicing, weak or strong. God has blessed me with the gift of worship. To invite Him to meet with me there. And He always does. 

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Adventure Is Out There!

“Adventure is out there!”

Pixar’s Up is one of the most emotional children’s movies I have ever seen. But this line never came across as one of the heavier parts until I was thinking through this blog post this week. First off, I am stubbornly and adamantly against change, or at least, I used to be. I like plans and order and consistency, but life with Jesus is an adventure, and when I stopped fighting it so much, I started learning to love the adventure, even when I can’t see the road ahead.

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My best friend embodies an adventurous spirit, and travel excites her like nothing else. I have always been hesitant to try anything new and instead have been perfectly content staying right here at home. It’s taken years of prodding for her to convince me that some trips might be fun… and may even be convincing me to travel out of the country! But regardless of how much I do or don’t travel in my life, I have plenty of adventures to experience right here and I don’t want to be afraid of them or take them for granted anymore. She hasn’t taught me to love travel as much as to be ready for any and every adventure that life has in story, scary or not. 

Five weeks ago, I started my first semester of college classes, and I absolutely love them so far! The immersion into new ideas and experiences sparks passion inside of me. I have a burning desire to learn and absorb information — and I am getting excited about things that I never would have imagined enjoying . My favorite two classes are Government and Business Law and reading old court cases can now intrigue me for hours! All of these new classes and opportunities have made the past month of my life an adventure to say the least, and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything! I was scared of it a month ago, the large campus with tens of thousands of people seemed daunting, but I’ve enjoyed it so much!

When I look forward, adventure scares me to death, but looking back, I can’t pinpoint a bad adventure, only good ones. I don’t regret the risks I’ve taken, the new things I’ve tried, the passions I’ve pursued, they’ve been some of the best and most monumental parts of my life… and they have made me who I am today.

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God didn’t call us to a life of comfort filled with what is expected or usual. The disciples are described as immediately leaving everything to follow Jesus. Leaving their families, their jobs, their livelihoods… To take on the adventure of a lifetime. They didn’t know where they were going, they certainly didn’t know the whirlwind that would be their next three years, but they said yes to the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Can you imagine saying no to that? It might not have seemed like a big deal to stick with being a fisherman rather than following a carpenter you had never met. But can you imagine looking back three years later at what you had missed? I wouldn’t ever want to look back and regret missing an adventure with Jesus. He’s brought me safe this far, and I know that His faithfulness is never going cease. 

So honestly, I can’t rightfully say that I don’t like adventure. Does it scare me? Absolutely! But is it worth it? Every time. I have one life on this earth to live for Jesus, so I want to take advantage of every opportunity that He places in front of me and embrace all of the adventure that is out there!

— Taryn

Related Posts:

Take the First Step

Just Keep Walking

 

Blessed to be a Blessing

“And the King will answer them, “I assure you — whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.” ” — Matthew 25:40

No matter which way you look at it, I am immensely blessed. I am a Christian that experiences God’s joy and salvation and peace every day — not everyone in the world has even heard of that. I am an American that has a lot of things handed to me on a silver platter that people in many other countries may never experience, clean, running water, for instance. I am a college student studying a field I am passionate about on an amazing college campus so that I can pursue a career in the field of my choosing one day, and I haven’t even had to make any sacrifices to get here.

Wow. Counting my blessings almost makes me look selfish. And maybe that’s the point.

If a CEO was making millions of dollars every year and never did anything charitable with it, but rather poured it all into his own frivolous lifestyle — the world would look reproachfully upon him. And I would dare to venture that if I lived my life full of blessing for myself, the world should look down on me for being selfish as well.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up one morning feeling pretty blessed and like I was living a pretty great life. But a question kept flitting around in my head.

What is the point of this? If happiness and blessing is it, what is the point?

As a Christian, I know what the point is supposed to be. And I’d like to believe that I have lived according to it, but that is not usually the case.

“The Son of Man came not to serve, but to be served, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” — Luke 19:10

“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 2:5

Jesus came to be a servant, and He calls us to be servants as well. And so the phrase blessed to be a blessing started taking shape in my mind. I know I have heard those words before, but they began taking on a new meaning in my life and something I try to remember consciously as I go throughout my days.

How hard is it for me to stop at Starbucks on the way to work and grab coffee for my manager? Does it really take much to thank my professor for an amazing lecture? Or what about bigger things? Why can’t I sponsor a kid in Africa? Who says I can’t raise money to build a well for his community? There’s a myriad of ways I can be a blessing. And that’s why God has blessed me. 

I’ve always been intrigued by the Biblical concept of stewardship. Using our resources wisely in a way that glorifies our Savior. But stewardship isn’t just about money — we can be good stewards of our time, our lives, our blessings. 

“Each one of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s varied grace.” — 1 Peter 4:10