Heart of Worship

I was thinking about skipping this week’s Worship Wednesday’s post. It feels like every week we have been fighting a new battle around our crazy little house, and it would be much easier to just take a break.

First our cat died. It was not unexpected as she was 14 years old, but it was still hard.

Then my husband had to be out-of-town for work for a couple of days. While he was gone, I spotted a couple of fleas on our 60 pound dog. That meant I had to give the dog a bath. During the bath, somehow the diamond fell out of my engagement ring. (Thankfully, I did find the diamond, but only after I sat and cried for 20 minutes.)

Then we went camping and all the hoopla that came along with that. The burn on my thumb still hasn’t healed completely. We ended that trip by getting super sick and our dog getting Parvo. As I shared last week, we then had to have our dog put to sleep.

And then last week, we found fleas again. We have been fighting the seemingly never-ending battle against these bugs. We’ve been bombing, cleaning, washing, sweeping, scratching.

Oh, and somewhere in there I found a dead mouse (which I guess is better than a live one). And mice actually bother me more than fleas.

So you can see why I might want to just crawl back into bed rather than putting my thoughts out here. It would be easier to pull the blanket over my head. Or to toss my words aside and head to the park to play.

I’m feeling under attack. I’m feeling worn out. But instead of going back to bed, I’m fighting back. When we do God’s work, Satan attacks.

God knows I’m under attack. He knows I’m tired. He knows I was thinking about skipping today. And He knows what I need. I didn’t have a song picked out in advance for today like I have the past weeks. And last night He put a song on my heart.

 

Heart of Worship

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come.
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart.

I’ll 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.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

King of endless worth,
No one could express
How much you deserve.
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours,
Every single breath!

I’ll 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.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

I remember the first time I heard this song. It was sometime around 2000 at a Wednesday night church service. Before the song started, the story behind Matt Redman writing it was shared. If you don’t know it, you can find it here.

The first time I sang Heart of Worship it moved me to tears as it has almost every time since. It reminds me of where I need to be, of where my heart needs to be.

God isn’t asking us for a show. He doesn’t need a production in our lives or our churches. All He requires is for us to simply come to Him. To bring Him our hearts.

As my crazy little family is traveling this hard road, it’s important for us to remember this. To take a step back and simply come before our God. To set down our trials and worries at His feet and breathe Him in.

I know I needed this reminder this week to get back to the Heart of Worship. Maybe you need this reminder, too. If it was up to me, this song would be played in every church on a regular basis. I know our churches need this reminder.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

May we all get back to the Heart of Worship.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here

Let Him Dream For You

It’s been a rough summer around our crazy little house. Although we are normally happy and mostly healthy, we’ve had some rough times. I’m a little sorry I used Laura Story’s Blessings for last week’s Worship Wednesday. It would have fit perfectly with our week this week.

I talked a little about how our vacation was not all we wanted it to be, about how so many things had gone wrong. We thought getting sick was the last bad thing that was coming out of the camping trip. We were wrong.

We had a 10 month old puppy who we took camping with us. He enjoyed it all but the fireworks for the 4th. Last Thursday as we were all finally recovering, our puppy started throwing up. Saturday morning we learned that he caught Parvo, and he had to be put to sleep.

With the time line for the puppy’s sickness, the vet was pretty sure he got it while we were camping. And the whole family has just been heartbroken. 2crazylittleboys have been champs, but there have been very hard times through this all. After I took the dog’s cage down, the three of us sat on the couch and cried.

It’s been a rough month for pets around here. At the beginning of May we had 3 fish, a puppy and a cat. Today we have two fish. Our cat died a couple of weeks ago from old age. I’d had her for 14 years. It’s strange there being no animals roaming our house at night.

So now you understand why last week’s song would make so much sense this week. It just fits. I know there are blessings in these rain drops and mercies in these tears.

Since I’m not going to use the same song two weeks in a row, I’ve chosen a song today that gives me great joy. This song fills me with hope. I may not be able to see God’s path for me, but I know He has one and it is great. And it’s Casting Crowns again. I could use their music every week. It’s all so great.

 

Dream For You

Hey, David, I hear you’ve been dreaming
About being a big time shepherd some day
You’re gonna prove your brothers wrong
You’re gonna sing your shepherd song
To the cattle on a thousand hills
But I’ve been thinking

I’m having trouble with a giant down the road
You’re the one who’s going to face him toe to toe
Wipe that grin right off his face
And whip this army into shape
I’m going to turn the nation back to Me
And, David, you’re right about one thing
Your little shepherd songs are going to make the whole world sing
And I’m gonna make you king

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

Hey, Mary, I’ve heard you’ve been dreaming
Making plans for your big wedding day
You and Joseph are gonna be
The picture perfect family
Maybe a couple of kids down the road
But I’ve been thinking

Even before time began
I had a picture perfect plan
Of how to save this broken world
Through the life of just one man
I’m gonna send my only Son
And, Mary, you’re the one
You were right about one thing
You’re gonna have that family
And you’re gonna raise the King

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

I’m stronger than you think I am
I’ll take you farther than you think you can
You sing and call Me Great I Am
So take your stand

My child, if you only knew
All the plans that I have for you
Just trust Me, I will follow through
You can follow me

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

If you haven’t heard the song, you need to play the video below. The words are so powerful and the music just adds to it with its fast tempo.

I love this song. I can picture David with his sheep. He thought he was just going to be a shepherd. Taking care of his flock was his big dream, proving to his brothers that he wasn’t too small. From his spot on the hillside, he couldn’t see God’s big plan.

David wanted to tend to his flock and God gave him His flock to take care of. God had a dream for David, and it was so much bigger than anything David could have thought up on his own.

And having planned my own wedding, I can imagine Mary, so excited to be getting married. Sure, her planning would have been much different from mine, but a bride is a bride. She would have been excited and probably nervous. She would have had this idea of how it was all going to work out. How could she have even begun to imagine God’s big plan for her life?

She would have thought that she and Joseph would get married, have some kids and live happily ever after, but how much more amazing was God’s plan? Mary became not just a mother, but the mother of The Son of God. There’s no way anyone could imagine that being God’s plan for their life.

As I look at my life, it’s not what I imagined. Sure, I always thought I’d be a wife and mom. But being this mom, this wife? This is so much better than I ever imagined. And having this spot to write these words and then having all of you come and read them? I never could have imagined this.

If we let go of our plans and look to God, where will He take us? He took a little shepherd boy and turned him into a king. He took a young girl and made her the mother of the King. What amazing plans does He have for you and me?

I pray we can all let go of our own plans and get caught in His hand. How amazing is it when we let Him dream for us?

 

 

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

Sometimes God’s Blessings Really Do Come Through Rain Drops

Laura Story’s song Blessings has given me some new perspective. It’s an important way to look at some of the things that happen to us and around us. I really felt led to it. I heard it for the first time a couple Saturdays ago and thought it would be a great song for our Worship Wednesdays. The next morning, it was one of the songs we sang at church.

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way to much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
It the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if the trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

 

 

What a way to look at life! I can look back on my life and see so many times where, if God had answered my prayer with a yes or given me what I asked for I would not have the blessings I have today. Had I not had the heartache years ago, I would not have the amazing husband and crazy little boys I have today.

We went on vacation for the holiday weekend. Most of our electronic devices use the same charger, but my husband’s phone uses a different one. Both chargers were packed, and his was seen by both of us, not only before we left, but once we arrived at the campground. Somewhere between the car and the camper, his charger disappeared. We didn’t realize it was gone until his phone was dead. It was very frustrating to us that we couldn’t find it.

It was later that we realized what a blessing that missing cord was to us. Things happened that would have angered and frustrated both of us and taken away from the fun and family time we were having with our 2crazylittleboys. It was nothing that couldn’t wait and things we had to eventually deal with, but God blessed us with that night without frustration. (Although it would be nice to have that cord back now.)

I look at the illness and pain I’ve had and at the time I wondered why I was suffering, but now I have an amazing story to tell. Look at my oldest and how much he went through at birth. That hardship has blessed us with so much. We didn’t know until he was four that he had hearing loss, which was so heartbreaking to learn (more to learn so late than the loss in general), but because he had trouble hearing, he has learned to pay attention to the smallest of details.

There are times in all our lives where God loves us so much He just says no. There’s are those times of such darkness when we think God is so far away and He is just loving us and setting us up for so much more. He’s loving us through the hurt and pain and frustration straight into something so much more.

Look at what you are going through right now. Look at the hardships and heartaches of your past. Where have they led you? Where are you going? What if His blessings are coming through your tears?

I talk about God’s plan a lot. This song is just another reminder that His plan is bigger and better than ours. And while we may not be able to see the road ahead, know that He is using this time in your life for His betterment and yours.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesdays posts here.

If You Want Me To

This week’s Worship Wednesday is a song I have loved since the first moment I heard in about 14 years ago. As a young adult, I listened to Ginny Owen’s first album on repeat and If You Want Me To became an instant favorite of mine.

 

If You Want Me To

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reasons why you brought me here.
But just because You love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to.

Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire if You want me to

And it may not be the way I would’ve chosen
When You lead me through a world that’s not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone.

So when the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley if You want me to

I love the line “But You never said it would be easy. You only said I’d never go alone.” It’s just so true. We go through hard times and difficult days. There are times we don’t understand the path we are on. But through it all, we are not alone. God is always there with you.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give  men for you, and people for your life. Fear not, for I am with you;” -Isaiah 43:2-5

The passage from Isaiah tells us when, not if but when, we go through hard times God is with us. You are not alone in your heartache. You are not alone in the darkness. God is with you.

This is all temporary. We are here just for a time. This world is not our home. Someday we’re going to a place that’s so great words cannot accurately describe it. A place better than anything you can imagine. We travel through the darkness, through the hard times, through the fire and the valley, but we don’t travel that road alone.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

This Is Now

I love music, and I will listen to almost any kind of music. Because of this, it makes sense that my favorite form of worship is song. Worship through music, whether in a church service or in my truck, is when I feel closest to God. He speaks to me through song more than any other way.

After my last post, my mother-in-law brought me the newest Casting Crowns CD, Thrive.  Today I was finally able to listen to it since we spent a good amount of time in the truck. The crazy little boys love music and were more than willing to listen to “Grandma’s music” (although Lion King music was requested once).

It is an amazing CD. I can’t say I love every song on it mostly because I haven’t listened closely to them all. When I find a song that moves me, I want to listen to it repeatedly. We found such a song today.

 

This Is Now

Standing at the water’s edge
I dropped my dreams when I dropped my nets
No hesitation, no regrets
I followed You
But that was then
And this is now
You washed my feet and You changed my name
I swore I’d never be the same
But just like the tides, I guess people change
‘Cause that was then
And this is now

[Chorus:]
I wish I could go back but I don’t know how
I remember when I stood my ground
I swore I’d never let you down
I want to be that man again
But that was then
And this is now

I watched a blind man lift his head
And look his Savior in the eyes
I heard a dead man take a breath
Dropped to my knees as I watched him rise
And I felt the sea beneath my feet
As I stepped out on the angry waves
But You s the storm raging within
You reached out and calmed me then
But this is now

[Chorus:]

Just when I thought my sin had closed the door
I see my Savior standing on the shore
With arms open wide
Just like the first time You called my name
You said that was then
And this is now

My child, I bore your cross, I wore your crown
When you couldn’t come to Me, My love came down
So take My hand, I’ll lead you out
‘Cause that was then
And this is now

My child, I bore your cross, I wore your crown
When you couldn’t come to Me, My love came down
So take My hand, I’ll lead you out
You’ll never be that man again
‘Cause that was then
And this is now

The song is based on the story of Peter. Peter, the disciple who loved Jesus. He was a fisherman who became a fisher of men. He was the man who said, “If I have to die with You, I will not betray You!” to Jesus (Mark 14:31 NKJV) and then went on to betray Him not once but three times.

How must Peter have felt? How have we all felt when we’ve fallen short, as we all do? Those moments of doubt when we can’t believe that Jesus could still love us. Those times when we realize we’ve strayed from His path and think there’s no way back. That He loved us once, but that was then, before this happened.

Every day Jesus tells us that this is now. The past is forgotten. He knows we will all fall short. He knows we will make mistakes, that we will stray. And He loves us anyway. He bore our cross. He wore our crown.

Jesus knew Peter was going to betray Him. But even knowing that, Jesus told Peter, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.” (Matthew 16:18) If Jesus could use Peter to build His church after Peter had denied knowing Him in His time of need, what could Jesus use us for if we would just follow Him?

Jesus doesn’t ask us for perfection. He asks us to love Him and follow Him. And when we fall short, He tells us to repent and to go and sin no more. Ask for forgiveness, and the slate is wiped clean.

That was then.

This is now.

It truly will be a Glorious Day

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been listening to the song Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) by Casting Crowns whenever the crazy little boys and I are in the truck together. It has quickly turned into one of my favorite songs.

 

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

[Chorus:]
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

[Chorus:]

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

[Chorus:]

One day the trumpets will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

[Chorus:]

Glorious day, Oh, glorious day

 

 
It is an amazing song with powerful visuals. Jesus was in Heaven, and the earth was covered in sin. He came here knowing what was coming. He was nailed to the cross for me (and you). And then He beat death, He rose from the grave, He is alive.

The end of the song is the most powerful part to me. Can you even imagine how amazing it will be when the trumpets sound to announce His arrival? The amazing sight the sky will be when it shines with His grace and glory?

Glorious day really is the only way to describe it.

And as much as I love this song, there is something that makes it extra special. Whenever we listen to it, the youngest crazy little boy sings along. He started out just singing whenever they sing day. Now he sings along with the entire chorus and part of the verses.

We are doing our best to raise God-fearing, Christ-loving boys. I’m not sure there are words to describe how my heart fills with joy and praise listening to my four-year old sing in worship.

Thank you, God, for letting me miss that Sunday at church.
Thank you for my church putting the sermons with music on CDs.
Thank you for that song being on that cd.
Thank you for little boys who love You and music.
Thank you for the experience of them singing along.
Thank you for Jesus.