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.

 

 

 

Forgiven

Brian Johnson – Forgiven

This song has been completely ruining me lately.

At our Good Friday service I struggled to sing any of it with our worship pastor, because I was a crying mess.

When I talked to our lead pastor Andi about doing this song last week to go with her “Forgiven” message, a tiny part of me was hoping she’d say no, because it overwhelms me (in the best possible way).

Thankfully, grace covers my emotion when I need to lead others, but man, I am so wrecked by His love. It makes no sense. It is good and abundant and covers us when we are both ugly and beautiful. When we are something to be proud of, and when we are not. When we are forgiving and unforgiving. When we are holy, when we are worldly. When we are kind and when we are mean. When we are generous and when we are uncharitable. His love always covers us. His love is always overwhelming.

I was listening to the Brooklyn recording of worship on my way to our Union Square service last night and I had an image pop into my head. It was nothing crazy, just an image of what the song is saying, but once again, I cried.

I saw myself at the foot of the cross. Beautiful, whole, and clean, wearing white and flowers, the perfect version of me, crying on the ground, being comforted and embraced by a bloodied, beaten and crucified Jesus.

That might sound a little brutal, but that’s what He did for us.  We are beautiful and perfect and whole because of the cross. It is incredible, and I am undone.

And this is why we worship. How could you not?  How could you contain a love like this?  How could you not be on your knees?  Once you know, you are never the same. Once grace, mercy and love catches you, you are never, ever the same.

God is so so so so so good.

Living Water

God gave me the most vivid and clear vision I’ve ever had about 6 weeks ago.  I had a pretty good understanding of it, but it wasn’t until last week that I felt I got the last piece of what God was communicating, and naturally, I’m excited to share it, because it blew my mind.

I’m mostly a ‘to the point’ person, so I’ll do my best to paint this picture for you.  (Descriptive writing was not my strong suit)

In the beginning of the vision, I saw a heart.  Around the heart, was a dam.  Water started to pour out of the heart, and the dam was broken.

I then saw myself standing on this really beautiful piece of land, it wasn’t like anything I have actually seen before.  As the water continued to pour out, it covered the land.  But it was calm, and nothing about this was scary.  As the water rose, I rose with it, standing on the water.  It got to a point, where I was so high, I looked up and saw God.  He was sitting with Jesus, looking down onto the land with absolute adoration.  When I looked back down, I realized I was in a position where I was seeing the world, exactly the way God saw it in that moment.

The water receded, and the land was even more beautiful than before.  Everything was clean.  Everything was new.  Literally, sparkling.

SO, fast forward to last week, I was talking about this vision, and someone said to me, ‘it’s interesting it was water, like living water.’

YES.  I was so overtaken by the beautiful scene that God has given to me, I didn’t immediately tie it to scripture.

John 7:37-39 says:

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

I knew this scripture, but I felt what God showed me is not only will living water (the Holy Spirit) flow from your heart, but you can see the world the way He sees it when this happens.

This was all weeks ago, and I’m still blown away by it.

What’s crazy awesome, is God WANTS to give us so many things.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit, seeing the world, and His people, the way He sees it…   And it often seems the only thing that truly interferes, is ourselves.

For me, I am doing my best to not be in the way.   To stop second guessing, self editing, and just be a conduit (see what I did there?) for Him to do what He wants to do through me.

It is,  by far, the best partnership that we will ever get to be a part of.

 

Happy 2014!

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That’s weird, but I’m excited.

I feel a lot of expectation around 2014, and I’m starting off the year by casting vision.

I put this on my wall, which is in reference to Habakkuk 2:2-3.

It’s a constant reminder for me to constantly dream, put it on paper, and pray to be in alignment with God for the vision He has for me, my life, and my calling in this new year.

I believe this will be a big one.  Our lead pastor, Paul, said the word God has continued to give him for the year for our church is unprecedented.

Heck yes, sign me up.

Happy 2014 friends!