Saturday, February 11, 2017

To You, O Lord, I Will Make Music

The Lord placed music in my heart and life when I was a child.  I remember singing songs to Jesus at night as a little girl, I don't recall having a good voice or a bad didn't matter, I just sang.  I begged my parents for piano lessons in 6th grade, I played the saxophone in jr high and eventually started singing in high school (which was ironically the biggest surprise to me and everyone around me).  God gave me the gift of music, even more so...being decent at it.  I realized early on that this was indeed a gift from Him alone and I vowed always to use it for Him and for His glory.  I jumped at every opportunity presented to me to sing, be it the national anthem at various events/causes, a church special, a school assembly, funerals, weddings, so many occasions...all for Jesus.  And yes, I sang about Jesus at school assemblies, God makes those things happen, ya know.  I've been singing for over 26 years now, mostly in church which I love!  I love singing and worshiping with God's people, my sweet church family.  I have been content in this for a long time but just a few short years ago felt God prompting me to more, to step out and share Jesus through song with more people, in more places.  And I said yes... God is equipping me to progress as a worship leader and is opening doors for me to use this precious calling.  I am humbled and honored to serve Him in this way.  I GET to lead others in worshiping Jesus, in singing praises to Him...sometimes in a room full of boisterous men singing at the top of their lungs, tears streaming down their faces, running to the altar...and other times stillness, quiet, reverent singing, joy filled faces, or no words.  What a privilege.  I am content in this...and why shouldn't I be?

God is calling me to more, I'm writing songs, leading worship at conferences, conventions, and more.  I have the opportunity to record my first original album and I know I'm supposed to do it.  Honestly, I could lead my songs in prisons and other venues and not think another thing about it.  But I know I'm called to this too, men in prison, others at other events have asked for my songs and I have nothing to give them and it breaks my heart.  I will not squander this gift of songwriting and singing, if my meager attempt at songwriting brings others into a greater understanding of who Jesus is then I have to share it.  I do not desire a big stage, a record deal, a music career...I just want to be obedient to my calling to lead others in the worship of the Lord through song.

"To you, O Lord, I will make music." Psalm 101:1b

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Identity Crisis

You know how Paul said to be all things to all people?  Well, I've tried the negative sense and it is no good.  I am a people pleaser from way back, I've tried to be what people expect me to be and more.  And worse, I've despised it when people thought of me as anything less than...less than a good mom, a great wife, a lovely singer, an awesome christian woman, the list could go on and on.  In various circumstances I would exalt one over the other and hold on to each one as my identity at different times.  AND if I felt I was losing one of those identities, it would send me into a tailspin of grief and patheticness (I know...not a word).  Sometimes my identity would be the opposite of those "proud" things - bad mom, demanding wife, distant friend, never-there-for-you sister/daughter/mother/wife, which would then turn into guilt, shame, and regret.

Thankfully, if I remember who I belong to this identity crisis is not a crisis at all.  My identity lies in the person of Jesus Christ.  I am His and He is mine, He bought me and I am righteous because of Him.  I have nothing to fear, nothing to worry about losing or gaining for that matter, I have Jesus.  Laying these identities down at the feet of Jesus has given me such freedom, I no longer worry about what people think of me (or at least I try not to), I don't worry about messing up or making a mistake (that's not who I am in Him), I don't measure my worth by success or failure...I'm simply a servant of the Lord Jesus.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

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