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music monday: at your name by phil wickham

Tiffany NicoleComment

Some of my favorite summer memories are those spent under the stars in the back of my dad's truck bed, nestled in between blankets, next to my little sister. Conversations of boys and life leaving our lips with our backs to ground and our eyes fixed on the sky. Searching for shooting stars and satellites and constellations in our little part of the world, with the sound of my fourth grade teacher echoing the billions and billions of stars our galaxy is made up from.

Stars that have since burst, though we can still see their illumination from our position. And the planets lining up amongst them. Planets with different measurements for days and numerous moons and extreme temperatures and unlivable landscapes.

It is no wonder the ancients worshipped the sky and stars and all things grandiose; but heart wrenching to think they lacked the worship of the One who created the marvelous.

As my husband and I stood outside among others a few months back, singing along as Phil Wickham belted out worship to the God of the earth and everything encompassing it, it was hard to not stand in awe of God, especially as At Your Name played out. Have a listen

Lord of all the earth
We shout Your Name, shout Your Name
Filling up the skies
With endless praise, endless praise

Seeing the sky filled with God's creation, as the sun had set and the moon rose to its given space, and remembering how small we are, yet how important we are to God. Each person in the audience. Each person watching the scene from a distance.

The God who has a vision. The God who has a plan set in motion since he spoke it in to motion before we ever stepped foot on this soil. The God who pursues. The God who sees life in the highest regard. Who sees you as the most important thing.

That is the God we worship. Lest we forget. Lest we forget.

And when the speakers turned off and the lights went out in the middle of a song, there was still a song to be sung. As voices continued and the song kept going, it was a beautiful reminder that nothing can stop us from worshipping but ourselves.  God will always be there to worship and we can sing along, should we choose, even when the stage goes dark.

Praying your light would shine so brightly that though your body fails and your last breath exhales, your memory still illuminates the minds of those around you, guiding them towards Jesus. Praying that worship would come off your lips as your mouth opens as you go about your day. Praying you would know how much you are treasured and loved by the God of the universe. You are important to him, even if others have told you otherwise. Even if you cannot wrap it around your head. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who makes things for his good and perfect purpose

Here's to stars and night skies and worship. 

music monday: god you reign by lincoln brewster

Tiffany Nicole2 Comments

By God's grace and guidance, we recently embarked on our first official family road trip, logging nearly 2000 miles. We sang and danced and snacked and slept and marveled at the works of God's hand as the numbers on the odometer ticked along. The beauty of traveling by car is the ability to see the terrain up close and admire the landscape God so intricately designed.

 With nothing but stretches of open road, it is hard not to worship. Especially when accompanied with sleeping children and blue skies interlaced with clouds and rolling hills and silence and quietingpraise and awe cannot help but fill the soul.  

 A change in scenery allows you to worship God in different ways. Seeing his creation shows you things about God you never imagined or could have.

The way he thought about the most intricate of things. How small we really are. How it all points to the bigger picture. How he knows each person in each car that passes on the road and resides in each town. How they were created to do great things. 

How there is more to life than us. Than pleasing our desires and fulfilling our needs. There's worship and praise and thanksgiving and standing in wonder at the work of God's hand. At the grains of sand at the beach and the pokey parts of a cactus and the green of the leaves on a tree. And how everything works together to fill the necessities of all creatures on the earth.

It's knowing that just as God created the most beautiful of things for our eyes to glance on and enjoy, that he made us in this same way but even more so. With more purpose and meaning. For we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and were made to rule over the land and everything in it (Genesis 1:26). We were given a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11). We were made for good works (Ephesians 2:10) and have eternity written on our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). All of which is incomprehensible.

And in our short time here, we are made to be imitators of Christ. To draw others nearer to him. To embrace each day with open hands and rejoice in it.

God You Reign by Lincoln Brewster fits well here. Have a listen, along with some worship.

Your glory shines, you teach the sun
When to bring a new day
Creation sings, God, Your reign

Praying that you would have eyes to see God in the creation around you. On your drive to work today or to the grocery store or to school. That you would seek out the works of his hands that he put there for you to enjoy on this very day. Praying that it would not be taken for granted but that you would enjoy it, as it too is fading away. Praying that you would praise him because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Here's to mountains and hills and open skies.  

music monday: here for you by matt redman

Tiffany NicoleComment

Someone one once brought up the thought, though I cannot recall the source or person, if God were to come down and interrupt you at some point in worship - midway through a song during service - what would your response be? Are you focusing on worshiping God or something else? Is the tune catchy? What are the next words of the next verse? Is your heart in your worship? Is the person next you off key? Or is the fact the person next you is raising her hand distracting you more important than worshiping God? Is your mind racing or are you meeting with God?

Here for you by Matt Redman is a great example to be present both physically and mentally for worship. Have a listen. 

Let our praise be Your welcome
Let our songs be a sign
We are here for You.

Worship can happen anywhere, though for many a church service can be a sort of focal point for it to occur. Worship is a time of devoting yourself to God and praising him for his goodness. It does not have to do with any circumstance or anything that is going on around you. Just praising him for who he is. That is what we are meant to do. That is what we were made to do; if we do not, even the rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40).

Getting caught up in the atmosphere or people or thoughts takes your focus from God to yourself or others. It is these insecurities that prohibit true worship.

King David danced with total abandon (2 Samuel 6:14) . He knew the God he was worshiping. He knew what it meant to be in the presence of God and his greatness. He danced with all his might, all while practically naked. He did not care what others thought because he worshiping God, while his wife despised him in her heart (2 Samuel 6:16).

She did not see his dance as one of praise but as undignified and dishonoring. She sat up in a window looking down instead of joining in on the  worship and rejoicing, which is sad to think she did not indulge in praising the Lord at such an exciting time in Israel, as the Ark of the Covenant was returned.

Praying that you show up for worship with your heart ready to meet with God and not worrying about what someone is going to think of you if you raise your hand or do not raise it or if you clap or sing too loud. Praying you come to praise the Lord, your God and enjoy being in his presence and in the presence of other believers who are there to do the same thing.

Praying that where ever you find yourself worshiping, that it would be done with total abandon for God. That you would praise him for the God he is - for his sovereignty and mercy and love. That your heart would be in the right place and that you would be transformed through it.

Here's to cancelling out the distractions and truly worshiping and praising God for who he is.