Tag Archives: worship

I was recently praying as Kari Jobe was singing on youtube in the background.  My nine year old, Kennedy, walked in and immediately was captured by the music.  She began to sing and mimic Kari’s “full body worship experience.”  I sat silently watching the future standing before me for several minutes.  Kennedy raised her arms, sang out every word with wild abandon at the top of her lungs, and praised her King as an uninhibited child would.

Finally I spoke, “Are you going to lead people in worship someday just like Kari?”

“Yes, Mom, I am.”

“Did Jesus tell you that?”

“No, Mom.  He doesn’t need to tell me to do that. It’s worship.  It’s just what we do.”

She turned and ran off singing her song to our risen Lord.

Tears flowed down my cheeks.  She knows what many forget.

So, my prayer for you, at whatever church your feet may fall into tomorrow, is this: I pray you would remember.  I pray you would worship with that childlike abandon.  I pray you would sing out at the top of your lungs, and lift your hands to a King who saved you.  I pray you would let God take over your worries, your plans, and your agenda for those precious moments that are set aside for Him.

Him.  The creator of the universe.  The releaser of prisoners and the birther of dreams.  Our healer, our comforter, our Savior, our King.  He is the Alpha, the Omega, the One and Only God.  The author and perfector of your faith.  The Holy One with the power to move mountains and unleash the rain from the sky.  May THAT God rain His anointing on you as you worship.

My prayer is that your heart leaps out of bed in the morning, you run to church with great expectation, and you leave filled by the only Source that will ever satisfy.

That’s the kind of Christianity that changes you.  Changes our community.  Changes our world…. A Christianity that boldly gives praise to the One who deserves it.

See you in the morning.



I was barely a teenager when Rich Mullins wrote a song that he described as “the worst song he had ever written” and “poorly crafted”.  The song was called Awesome God and it took off like wildfire in the worship world in the late 80’s.  It would become the symbol and reminder for me of hope, of power, and of salvation.

The first time I heard this song, I was at Glacier Bible Camp in Hungry Horse, Montana.  I had gone to camp for the last few summers and had accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, but I had no way to get to church the rest of the year.  My entire spiritual life banked on the five days I was at camp every August.

I could probably describe every square foot of that chapel at camp where I first heard this song because so many of my life changing moments happened there.  I can remember where I was at the altar on a Tuesday night in August, 1986 crying out to make Jesus MY God.  I threw my arms around my friend’s neck and thanked her for introducing me to a Christ I had never known.  There were no words in that moment.  Years later, I spilled tears of anger on that same altar and found the forgiveness I needed to walk victoriously through my life.  I would first feel the Holy Spirit and His power in that room.  Then there would also be a sweet moment when I would go back, many summers later, as a Kid’s Camp Counselor.  I stayed late one night after all the kids left to weep over their lives.  It was then that I first felt the burden of Jesus’ love for people.  It was a confusing feeling for my human heart until our District Youth Director laid his large hand on my shoulder and explained what a pastor’s heart felt like.  God had called me to ministry.

Whenever I hear that old song about our Awesome God, I am taken back in time to those moments.  I can close my eyes and picture the first time that the band began to play.  The words popped up on an overhead projector and as I read them, truth filled my young soul.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Wisdom, power, and love.  This awesome God they were speaking of was filled with what I felt like I lacked in my life.  He had the answers, He had the capability to move mountains, and He loved me.   I began to sing out as loud as I could, determined to let my voice rise above the hundreds of other kids in the room.  I know that God saw me, struggling to get enough air in my lungs to sing my tribute to Him.  I was never loud enough on this earth, but I am sure that my voice was echoed in Heaven those nights at camp.

To read that Rich Mullins thought that this song was his worst makes me smile.  What makes it so interesting is that what he considered a failure is the very thing that God used to stamp His memories in my heart and change the course of my life.  It is like a signature for me to remember that when I feel like my efforts are poorly crafted and lacking, that may be the very thing that God uses to exalt Himself.  That simple song is a constant picture to me to turn over my efforts to an Awesome God and see what He can do with His wisdom, His power, and His love.

So, don’t worry so much about where you are weak today.  Just turn over those weaknesses to a God who spoke into darkness and created light.  He can do the same with the song in your heart as well!

If you’d like a flashback in time, click this link to hear the song that changed my future: Awesome God

Picture 5Next week we have our Simply Worship event at both campuses.  Jot it down on your calendar so you don’t miss it!

One mistake we all make is not scheduling time in our busy lives to stop and listen to God.  It is truly a discipline that requires effort.

The job, the kids, the house, the yard, the sports events…it all gets in the way of taking time to pray, listen, worship, and breathe!  I know in my own life, I am a better mom, wife, and friend when I have spent time with Jesus in prayer, worship, and Bible reading.  It take the crazy out of my world and replaces it with the peace of God.

At our Simply Worship nights we do very little programming in an effort to allow you to just BE in the presence of God.  So, sing if you want to, sit down and pray if you want to, read your Bible if you want to.  But let’s all, as a church, come together and allow God to fill us up with who He is!  We never leave His presence disappointed!

We’ll see you Tuesday at the Battle Ground Campus or Wednesday in Vancouver!  Looking forward to it!

We had the privilege of attending a Sunday morning church service while we were in the Dominican Republic last summer.  It is always fascinating to me to be in other cultures and experience how they “do” church.  For all practical purposes the DR was quite similar to any traditional church in the US.  They had long wooden pews with burgundy cushions, fans buzzing overheard, a stage full of instruments, and a podium with a small cross on the front.  People sat here and there throughout the congregation and scooted in to accomodate the ever-growing crowd.

When the music started, I was surprised to be able to recognize many of the songs, despite the language barrier that was being flashed across the screen.  The worship leader was clearly passionate and the band was strong.  The music was quite loud, which I prefer due to my not-so-perfect voice quality, so I felt as comfortable as I could in my new setting.

But what took me aback was the audience.  Although the music was loud, it was as if there was an unspoken competition going on in my midst.  It was a competition to see whose voice could get to Heaven the quickest.  When the singing began it was if the people unleashed all of their love, all of their hurts, and all of their passions into the songs.  Although the worship team had the microphones, the congregation’s enthusiasm swallowed the stage almost immediately.

You couldn’t help but feel the desperation in the room.  Not a desperation to get their prayers answered or a desperation to get to lunch, but a desperation to let the King of Kings and Lord of Lords know that He is indeed worthy of worship.  It challenged me because it is so easy to sing strong with a particular song you like or if you had a trying week, but there was no reprieve in the Dominican voices.  From the first note of song to the last prayer, they turned off the world’s chatter and focused on a Holy God.

Tonight in Battle Ground and Wednesday night in Hazel Dell, we’ll be having our Simply Worship event from 7:00-8:00 pm.  I have two challenges for you:  1.  Attend one of those events.  2.  Worship with a desperation that your voice would be heard by God.  We were created to generously worship our awesome God and so give yourself permission to do so!

Be blessed!

Picture 5