Archives for August 2013

Filling Your Heart and Your Home with Worship – Part 2

Before I left for vacation I had shared my thoughts on worship as the ultimate cure to one of “those” days. You know the kind I mean? Nothing is going quite the way you planned and finding a bit of joy is about as easy to do as finding …If you missed that post, you can catch up HERE before joining us for Part 2 today.

We talked last time about how worship involves a lot more than just worship music. Worship is an attitude and posture of the heart that happens in our thoughts and our actions as we step back and observe the world God has put us in. Worship happens anytime we take on a high view of God and couple that with a low view of ourselves. When I think of a passage of scripture that captures the heart behind worship, I think of Psalm 8:

 O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babies and infants,

you have established strength because of your foes,

to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet,

all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth! (ESV)

 

When we really consider the majesty of God as Creator, Sustainer, Defender, Healer, Savior…and how undeserving we are to receive His attention, let alone His love, mercy, and salvation…our hearts can’t help but worship Him!

So how do we make worship a natural response of the heart and a regular part of the home? I want to give you some practical tips and resources for doing just that!

Molly’s Top 10 Favorite Worship Recommendations…

**fine print: I received no goods or services in exchange for my endorsements here and am simply expressing my own opinions about what has worked well for me!**

1. Input is related to output. First of all, we have to recognize that worship is a matter of the will and we have to choose worship, by the power of the Holy Spirit over the multitude of media clamoring for our attention these days. Sometimes it is as simple as turning off the TV, closing the laptop, and tuning off the “Oldies but Goodies” 80’s station. I’m not denouncing all forms of secular input (I’ve already confessed my love of Downton Abbey and I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen every episode of Friends more than a gazillion times!). I’m just saying that if you want to have a more worshipful output you have to be intentional about the input!

2. Get a free subscription to Pandora Internet Radio. (http://www.pandora.com/)

pandora

If you don’t already have one, you should! Pandora offers free, customized radio stations and it has truly transformed the way I worship through my day! You can listen to Pandora via your computer or smart phone. Once I got an iPhone, I began playing worship music and carrying my phone from room to room as I worked throughout the house. Pandora provided the background music as I jogged with my kids in the stroller, and (this might be a little strange), I even play Pandora through my phone in the car instead of listening to regular radio. Why listen to commercialized Christian radio that is made to appeal to a broad audience when I can listen to music tailored right to my tastes?? I can listen to the Chris Tomlin station, Third Day Station, or even Cedarmont Kids Station for good ol’ fashioned Sunday School tunes for the kids!

3. Find some worship artists that inspire you and make your heart sing. If you don’t already have a few, ask friends! A couple of my favorites are ones I just mentioned – Chris Tomlin and Third Day – along with Bebo Norman, Big Daddy Weave, Watermark, John Waller, and Jadon Lavik.

4. Keep your worship music selections fresh. We all have our old favorites but new tunes are motivating! To keep your music collection updated without having to spend a fortune on CDs or iTunes downloads, check out Rhapsody Online Music Subscription Service (http://www.rhapsody.com/freetrial2).

rhapsody

You can get a 14-day trial for free and then pay only $1 for your first 3 months of service. After that, it’s only $10/month for use on up to 3 devices. With Rhapsody, you have access to virtually any song out there! Unlike Pandora, you can search for songs by author, title, or listen to a whole album. As long as you are a member, you can even download any music you want! It’s incredible! Rhapsody also offers internet radio stations similar to Pandora if you like your music generated randomly or you can choose to create personalized playlists.

5. Find worship songs that directly quote Scripture. This will put God’s Word in your heart all day! I’m sure there are many good options for this, but my family’s new favorite is Seeds Family Worship (http://www.seedsfamilyworship.net/).

seeds family worship

I discovered them about a month ago when a friend gave us their “Seeds of Faith” album and the songs have really been ministering to all of us!

seeds of faith

I love that they have a wide variety of styles on each album. Their whole mission is to engage the whole family with worship and there is definitely something that appeals to all of us! Here is a direct link to their store. http://www.seedsmusicstore.com/ and they are also available on Amazon.

Steve Green

Steve Green’s “Hide ‘Em in Your Heart” albums (Volume 1, Volume 2, and Praise and Worship) have had years of play at our house. We have all three albums! Like the Seeds Family Worship albums, these also use lyrics that are straight from the pages of Scripture. However, I will admit they are much more dated and juvenile-sounding than the Seeds albums. Definitely more appealing to the younger kiddos but listen to them a few times and you’ll be memorizing Bible verses in no time! 🙂

I did say “Top 10″…but I’m going to leave you hanging! Check back tomorrow for my last 5 worship recommendations in “Filling Your Heart and Home with Worship – Part 3” – our final installment in this series.

In the meantime…I’d love to know which worship artist or worship album most makes your heart sing!

Back tomorrow!

Blessings in Christ,molly

A Plea for Prayer

It’s Throne of Grace Thursday and I’d planned to bring you part 2 of my post “Filling Your Heart and Your Home with Worship”. I’ve been a little distracted and will (hopefully!) have that for you tomorrow. Instead, I’d like to make a plea for prayer on behalf of Lesily Davis, one of our closest friends at Throne of Grace. Lesily and her sweet family desperately need our prayers!

If you’ve been around the ToG blog for awhile you’ve seen Lesily’s name and photos pop up quite a bit! Here she is from last week’s post with Deb at Orphan Care Night:

Orphan Care Night_7.25.13

Here is Lesily lending a big hand and a smile at our Blessing Bag Assembly Day last January:

Lesily at Blessing Bag Day

And here is Lesily today with her precious 4-year-old, Ian, and her husband, Jason:

Ian at hospital

Yep, these guys need some prayer! Here is the story…

Lesily and her family of 4 (she also has a 2-year-old named Flynn…more on him later!) had just left us last Saturday and moved a little over an hour away to Temecula. Sad day! They were unpacking and starting to get settled. On Tuesday of this week, the sofa was being cleaned and washed. It is a sectional sofa and the pieces were separated while Lesily was vacuuming under pillows and cushions were drying. 4-year-old Ian was sitting on the edge of one section, with a stuffed animal next to him. He went to lean back on the couch but probably had forgotten the other part of the couch was not next to him and couldn’t see over the stuffed animal. He was sitting so close to the edge that when he leaned back he fell and hit his head on the other section of the couch that was slightly apart and had no cushions on it. He hit his head and neck in just the wrong way so as to cause his spine to fracture!

After a long ambulance ride to Los Angeles and several MRIs, the diagnosis was made and surgery planned to insert a Halo brace (which is screwed into the skull) and to correct the fracture. By the grace of God, the spine was aligned correctly and the bones were already started to fuse into place so the spine surgery was not needed and the Halo was attached successfully. Ian is such a special little guy and is handling the pain and limitations so well so far! He will be spending just a couple more days in the hospital, if all goes well, and then begin adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury. Doctors say he will wear the Halo brace attached to a plastic vest that goes down to his waist (kind of like being in a cast) for about 6 months!! That is a long time for anybody but certainly a lifetime for an active little boy!

Our family has had the joy of caring for Ian’s little brother, Flynn, while the Davis family has been away at the hospital. He has been a delight in every way and we just know the Lord is giving this 2-year-old extra measures of peace and understanding in such a difficult situation.

Flynn

We might just keep him!

The Davis Family would love all the prayers they can get! This accident will be a life-changer for all of them! Here are some things you can pray for:

• that the bones will fuse correctly in Ian’s spine

• wisdom and patience for the family to have as smooth a transition as possible to their new normal

• Ian to adjust to the pain levels and not be fearful of physical therapy

• that Ian will quickly make enough progress to be discharged so he can go home and be reunited with his brother, who he is missing greatly!

• wisdom for doctors, Jason, and Lesily as they seek to manage Ian’s pain. (It is predicted to be a very painful recovery and there aren’t a ton of safe pain med options for kids!)

• peace for Lesily and Jason as they look ahead to the challenges in the days ahead. Pray that they will trust the Lord to be their provider in every way – physically, financially, emotionally, etc. There are a lot of unknowns!

• that they will see the Lord’s faithful provisions at every turn – especially as they are in a brand new community where they know no one! Pray God would provide a great support system in their new neighborhood and help them find a new church family.

If you feel led to pray for the Davis family, I know they would be so blessed if you would take a minute to let them know by leaving a comment below! Throne of Grace friends are AWESOME prayer warriors! Let’s overwhelm Lesily and her family with our love and prayers!

I’ll be back soon with those practical tips for filling our days with worship, I promise! 🙂 I certainly am thanking the Lord for his mercy upon little Ian. As scary as his accident was, the outcome could have been far worse!

“A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.”
(Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

 

By His Grace and for His Glory,molly