Anyone who knows me knows that music is a huge part of my life. I attribute that to a number of reasons. I was raised in a family that was full of music. My parents started out as music teachers. Mom was a choral director for the school district we were in when we lived in Indiana. Dad taught in the same school district and was the band director. Mom and Dad both played trombone in the college orchestra…in fact that’s how they met. Mom also played piano and organ and both of my parents sang. Daddy also played organ, but usually left that to Mom. My aunt and uncle were teachers too. Aunt Helen was an elementary school teacher, mostly first and second grades, and she played organ, piano, violin, guitar, and also sang. My uncle was a band director for elementary school and played mostly string instruments…guitar, banjo, and violin. My Grandma Jones played piano for the church she and Grandpa attended.
Eventually my brother, Jim, and I both got into music. He plays drums and sings, and I play flute and also sing. My sister, Kathy, can sing if she really put her mind to it…she really has a pretty voice, but you don’t hear too much out of her.
I met Allen when I joined a choral group that was affiliated with a Christian radio station in Milwaukee. So, when Allen and I got married….we had an instant quartet when we sang with my Mom and Dad.
I learned to enjoy all types of music…my parents were pretty big on “Music Appreciation”, especially when my Dad favored Big Band, Dixieland Jazz, and the Gaither’s, and Mom was into Classical! Then my brother tends to like Contemporary Christian and Christian Rock, while I like almost all Christian styles.
Most of the time there is usually a song of some kind running through my mind, no matter what I’m doing. A lot of times I will wake up with a song in my mind. Sometimes it sets the mood for the day.
Recently, my church has been singing a song called, “Every Praise”. It’s done by Hezekiah Walker. You can find it on YouTube. I especially like the version where he and his church are in the middle of the town square and they do a “flash mob” of the song right in the town square. It is so awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuuZMg6NVeA
Our pastor has been doing a series on worship. We’re learning that worship is more than just singing, it’s an attitude, a lifestyle, it’s at the core of every Believer. Praise is a part of worship. We categorize our music as Praise and Worship, when in reality, it is ALL worship!
Scripture instructs us that we are to give praise to the Lord in music, in our speech, in the way we live our lives…it’s all to give Him glory, honor, and praise because HE IS WORTHY!
A couple of Sunday’s ago we had an AWESOME service! We were taking up the offering and the Worship team was singing “Every Praise” during the offering, and all of a sudden God took over! People started streaming to the altar for prayer. The song just became more intense…the people sang with more fervor, you could feel God’s presence so strong. There’s a part of the song that says, “God my Savior, God my Healer, God my Deliverer, Yes He is! Yes, He is!” The more we sang that, the more it became a declaration of worship and praise. I literally could feel a crack in a wall that has been so hard to break through…one our church has struggled with. We would get to a point of worship (not just singing, but actual worship in every part of the service) where we would almost break through but something held us back. That Sunday, I believe that wall started to crumble. We sang and we sang; there was such an energy present, that you could feel the power in that declaration…Yes, He is! Yes, He is!
Hebrews 13:15 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.” Did you see that? Our praise is to be a sacrifice. There is no worth in it if it doesn’t cost us something. It’s also not just a once in a while thing….it is to be constant. Praise and worship is to be done continually. That’s where our attitude and lifestyle come in to play.
This series has caused me to think about myself. Is my worship a sacrifice? Does it cost me something? Does “every word of worship” go to my God, as the song, “Every Praise”, says? Do my actions reflect a heart of worship? I find I need to search my heart every day and do an assessment. Would He be pleased with my offering of worship?