2014 in numbers + love.

By the end of this year, our worship team will have:

Played 196 services…

Lead 862 songs…

Lead 27 sessions of worship at special events…

Rehearsed for 308 hours in our studios…

Set up and tore down our gear 441 times..

Did 215 sound checks…

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This team works hard, and I’m so proud of them.  And this is why I’m doing what I’m doing with the YEARofWORSHIP.

I’m doing this because God told me to, of course.  But I really love these people.  I love their hearts.  I love how they worship.  And I love how they love each other.

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I really have the best job in the world.

 

 

“Where there is no vision…

… the people perish.”  – Proverbs 29:18

I went to Savannah, Georgia about a month ago.  The goal was to take a breath away from the crazy world that is New York City.  I had felt bogged down by all the tiny details that are a part of running a worship team.

I wanted God to speak to me on a bigger level, about both my team, and YEARofWORSHIP.

On my second day there, I found myself sitting in an old, beautiful church.

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I sat there thinking how beautiful it was.  And how the buildings where we gather in New York City look nothing like this.  I wondered how we make church beautiful.  God felt that was a good moment to chime in.

“I don’t need stained glass windows and ornate objects…”  He told me.  What I need is…  and what followed has since become the statement I have given my team about what we are building.

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“THAT is what will make my house beautiful” He said.

Well, okay.  Yes and amen.

 

 

 

Kintsukuroi (金繕い)

I recently discovered the art of Kintsukuroi:

Kintsugi (金継ぎ) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum.  As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

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I’m so in love with this idea.  I actually purchased a piece of it the same day I found out about it, because I wanted a constant reminder of this concept.

And this is just art, imagine how the God of the universe feels about repairing broken things.

YOU are not broken.

YOU are not beyond repair.

YOU are a daughter or a son of the creator of the universe.  And HE adores you.  HE restores you, and the way He restores you is more beautiful than gold.

“The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart, and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.”Psalm 34:18

“He refreshes and restores my life; He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him-not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. “Psalm 23:3

With God, YOU are restored.

With God, YOU are made new.

And with God, it is EVEN BETTER than before.

 

 

 

 

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Guide to Awesome : PART I

I. EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE

I’m short.  5’1.5″ short.  I often say 5’2, but it’s a lie.

I used to wear shoes like the above constantly in high school in an attempt to fight my vertical challenges.  (Granted now it’s nearly impossible to find me in flats, but it’s not to fight the lack of height, it’s because I just reallllllly love my ankle boots.)

Believe it or not, there was a phase when I was the tall girl.  Yep.  Believe it.  I was the tall one in 5th grade.  I played center on my basketball team in 6th grade. Then everyone else continued growing, and I didn’t.  I went from playing  center in 6th grade, to forward in 7th, to guard in 8th, to…  dancer. (quit sports, shorties don’t rock in basketball)

Short jokes were annoying to me, and I was constantly cast as children in the shows I would do.

Then eventually I realized…  (this is pure wisdom, wait for it…)

WHO CARES?

Like, really?  Yes, I’m close to legally being a ‘little person’, I’m terrible at drawing, and I will always have to stand in the front of group photos.

More importantly, I’m a follower of Jesus, passionate, and incredibly loyal to the people I love.

Even without all of that, I’m a daughter of the King, and loved by the Creator, so…That’s the end of it.

Embrace who God made you to be, and do it with enthusiasm.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”  –Psalm 139:13-14

Pessimism

“Expect the worst, but hope for the best” was a phrase I lived by up until relatively recently.

It felt safe to not dream too big, or hope for too much.  You cushion the eventual fall by not fully believing in good things.

I’m sorry, can we read that again?

…BY NOT FULLY BELIEVING IN GOOD THINGS…

What the what?  We are NOT called to that.

I was having a conversation with my friend Tim, several months ago, who very wisely put me in my place when I was defaulting to pessimism:

“I disagree when people say, “Don’t get your hopes up.”  Get your hopes up.  Turn that hope into faith.  Hope is all we have to sit on, and faith is all we can do for our part.  So get your hopes up lady.  So what if it falls through, you were living in a wonderful hope the whole time, instead of that expectant reality/facetiousness people seem so eager to prove they contain.  I don’t easily slip into pessimism, so I just ride hope like a horse.”

(it’s good to have friends like this, for the record.)

 Do not, for a second, do yourself (or God for that matter) the disservice in believing that nothing but amazing things are intended for you.  Choose to live in the ‘wonderful hope.’  I PROMISE YOU, the view is better from here.