I just am stunned every time we get together at The Crossroads. Today I rolled in really tired. Shawn and I went down to see a baseball game last night and were late getting to bed. Then I made the mistake of reading Rom 10 before bed. I could not get it off my mind. God worked on me in huge and incredible ways. (I'll circle back around to that again at the end of the blog.) But in spite of my exhaustion, it was a great day.
Set up gets a little faster every week. I realized that one year ago we were doing our very first worship service ever as The Crossroads. It's been a great year!!!!! There's so much to thank God for.... so many people that God has really changed and blessed this year. People who are connecting with God in ways they never have, people who've become believers in Christ, and people who are learning how to actually live the Bible. To apply it!
The worship set was great. It was some old stuff and some new stuff. During the familiar songs, people were able to worship without having to look at the screens for help with the words. Able to really let go and meet with God. Then during the new stuff, people were also engaging in worship, sometimes without singing, as they heard the lyrics and their hearts met God's heart. It was one of those services where people were seeking and were hungry for God's presence. It makes it easy to be a part of the worship team on Sundays like this one.
O Praise Him (Crowder) - this one seems to engage our congregation really well. I love the first lines where we are encouraged to hear and see the worship occurring right now in heaven with the angels and joining them in their praise.
Heart of Worship - This is an oldie, but it worked well today. Very familiar. I love this because it is a reminder of a night 7 years ago when I was ready to walk away from trying to play contemporary worship music. I had labored and prayed and labored and prayed, and just could not get the hang of playing from a chord chart instead of sheet music. I was frustrated that I was often subtracting from worship instead of adding to worship.
That night after a miserable, MISERABLE practice 7 years ago, I prayed like this, "God, I'm done. I cannot learn a new style of music. It is impossible for me. I'm giving it one more shot, and if it's not working, I will step aside and let others who are certainly more than capable take my place."
The next morning I sat down at the piano, picked up the chords to "Here I am to Worship," closed my eyes, and played the melody and found the chords and the intricate harmonies among the melody. I was stunned. shocked, surprised, awed.....God did a miraculous thing that day. One that has brought me unmeasurable pleasure over the last few years. He taught me how to play without the notes - something I tried for months to learn how to do on my own without success. Today as I played this, I was reminded again about how God has done the impossible in my life. He is good, and the small gift of learning to play this song 7 years ago led me into this great adventure of playing with Chasing Lions.
Lead Me to the Cross (Hillsong) - Rachel led out on this one. God's spirit just fell down all over the place. Some people stood with hands raised, some people sat with heads bowed, some people were overcome and knelt and wept. It was beautiful to see worship expressed in a variety of ways and to be reminded that God does not work in us all the same way at the same time and that we express ourselves and our emotions differently - and that there is no judgment in being different.
Surrender All (Parachute Band) - I love the familiar message in the alternative format. I've said it before.... if you do not know this band, you should check them out. Awesome stuff. My favorite they do is "Mercy."
Rest (Nevertheless) - this song is from the perspective of God singing over His children. It was a great fit as Shawn led the congregation to imagine God as their Father, hugging them as a child. Very Zeph. 3:17. Way Cool.
Oh, yeah, the message. Shawn did a great job with "Live long and prosper." You can listen to it here. Click the "what's happening" tab. He said that children should obey, respect, care for, and forgive their parents. Awesome message!
*Shawn meets tomorrow with a potential long term lease option for The Crossroads. Pray that God would grant us great favor as we seek a better location.
*Mexico trip next week. A church member (who is not affluent financially) gave two of my children money for their trip. I was overwhelmed as I watched them tell my children that God wanted them to bless them with those funds. I have been telling my children that we would plan to go on the trip and that God would provide the funds. And so they got to see Him do that in a very unexpected way. I love how God's using this church plant to teach my children who He is!
*Mom is here this week. Pray that we would enjoy this time together.
OH Wow - this is like the longest blog ever. I lied about blogging about Romans 10 right now. I'll save that for tomorrow. God did a number on me, and it may be another long one. You should go read Romans 1, then Romans 10... Paul is justifying his mission to the Gentiles. Tomorrow we'll talk about how that applies to our mission to the nations.