Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Problems, Bigger Worship

I posted part of this on Facebook on a Devotional page, but wanted to share it here too.

I am reading the book " Facedown" by Matt Redman for the 4th or 5th time. It's an awesome, short little book. I highly recommend it. Anyway, in the book, Matt says, "Time after time the book of Isaiah reminds us of the uniqueness of God:" I will not give my glory to another (42:8). "I am the first and I am the last;apart from me there is no God" (44:6). "To whom will you compare me or count me equal?" (46:5). "I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me." (46:9). He goes on to talk about how God is so great and powerful- He does not need our worship, but He loves it when we offer it to Him.

Charles Spurgeon writes, "Do men fancy that the Lord needs banners and music, incense, and fine linen? If He did, the stars would emblazon His standard, the winds and the waves become His orchestra, ten thousand times then thousand flowers would breathe forth perfume"

Matt says, " Here is the all-sufficient creator of the universe who could get along just fine without our little contributions. And yet He rejoices and delights in every adoring response to Him."

I am going in to this Sunday with that mindset- what a privilege and honor we have to be permitted and free to worship the King of kings. And yet, Sunday after Sunday, so many of us (myself included) kind of stand there with our hands in our pockets yawning during a time that is set apart as a sacred time to corporately bring our offerings of honor and praise to God. It's time to get serious about our worship and give it with an open heart and a willing, thankful spirit. We have so much to praise Him for- we can't begin to fathom how great He is and our worship needs to reflect that, not just on Sunday, but every single day and moment. Too often we look at corporate worship times as a way to get something from God. He certainly does meet us when we gather together in His name and restores, speaks, and moves among us- but to look at worship as a bartering time "I'll worship You now, but what's in it for me?" is so far from what worship is supposed to be. And I know a lot of people are going through some tough times right now. Those tough times are the perfect time to grow your faith and enhance your worship. When we are going through rough times in life, worshiping goes against every single emotion that we're feeling. The last thing we want to do is be comforted and have hope- we want to wallow in our misery and feel sorry for ourselves. But what an opportunity! There is power in denying your selfish emotions and worshiping anyway- completely surrendering. I think that's what Hebrews 13:15 is all about:

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Notice it says continually, not sometimes or when we feel like it. We are to constantly lay down, or sacrifice, our will and our desires on the altar in submission. Sacrifice is not fun. It is not pleasant. It involves a ripping, a breaking, a shattering of what you have come to know. It's easy to praise God when everything is going your way and the sun is shining. It's a sacrifice to praise Him when thankfulness is the last thing on your mind. So I encourage you today to widen your view of God and know that He's able to handle your heart with great care. He wants to help us through our trials, but more importantly, He wants us to respond to Him in the midst of them- to come to Him without an agenda and simply love Him for who He is- not for what we can gain. Only when we approach Him with unhindered hearts and motives that are not self-seeking will He truly begin to work in our situations. He doesn't need the songs we sing. He doesn't require an ego boost by our praises and thanks. He is God. He needs nothing. But He loves when we turn our affections to Him- like a Father who gets a crayon-scribbled card bearing random letters and stick figures from his adoring toddler. It touches His heart when we offer our worship. And I believe that praising God in times of stress and despair are a huge victory for the Kingdom.

If what you have read is resonating within your heart, then take some time to apply the following prayer to your life.

God, we agree right now that we have approached worship time and time again improperly. True worship begins with You, not us. When our hearts are hurting, our focus turns inward and we lose sight of You.  So we repent and we ask that you would mercifully teach us and remind us what true worship is- a life lived in total submission and adoration of You. When we have the amazing opportunity to lift our voices, hands, and hearts to you in our various corporate settings, may we be able to look beyond our desires, troubles, and selfish dreams and only see You in all of Your glory. We want our hands to come bursting out of our pockets in praise of You and we want our mouths to "shoot forth Your praise". Show us Your glory and Your greatness, which will overshadow our problems exponentially. Let us seek You without an agenda, without any thoughts of leveraging Your glory for our needs. We just want You, God. More of You. Decrease us until all that remains is You and You alone. Let Your love change our hearts and point our feet towards the hurting world before us. We commit ourselves to You. Amen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Worship Starts With God

This morning has been amazing. I was making my kids some of my famous cornmeal pancakes this morning, which are amazing in their own right, but not nearly as amazing as what happened while I was making the pancakes. I was talking to God and just kind of pondering our worship situation at church. If you don't know, I am the Worship Director at LCC now. I have been so blessed with an awesome team of people to work with who are growing and living out worship. Not only on Sunday morning, but everyday of the week. People are taking the songs we sing on Sunday in our congregation and are applying them- they are living them out. On the night of our first Summit worship event last month, we saw a fresh wave of God's glory sweep through our church. I have been in services in the past where people have worked hard to manufacture what happened in our church on March 6th without success. Emotional worship does not even come close to matching the power of Holy Spirit led worship, like what happened on March 6th. That day marked a massive transition in our church. It was also a giant wake up call for me. God is going to lead us on an amazing journey- I truly believe the best is yet to come. We've got to be prepared and we've got to begin taking very seriously our walk with God.

 I've really started taking my responsibility as a worship leader seriously. Because what we worship leaders do is very serious. We are leading people to the throne of God. And if we aren't personally familiar with that throne, how can we expect to lead people to it? You can't give directions to someone with any great effectiveness if you've never been to the place you're trying to direct them to. So all of this is swirling around in my head on a daily basis and I'm constantly mindful of my relationship with God- asking Him to make me the leader He wants me to be and asking for a clean heart, a pure mind, and to expand my gifts and talents.

Since the Summit, it feels like people are just getting pummeled by life- myself included. My heart has been heavy and I just couldn't shake it. Sunday at church, our Lead Pastor, Matt Johnson acknowledged it too- so many people are so burdened by legitimately awful things. And God sees that and He cares about our lives. But I also feel like He cares about our response to Him and our response to events in our lives even more. He wants our unhindered worship- in good times and bad. So this morning, I specifically asked God, "How can we worship You better at LCC?" And I truly believe in my heart that God answered and said, "Worship needs to start with Me." And I thought...well, it already does start with Him. That's what we do week in and week out is sing about Him. He's the reason we're doing what we're doing. But then in like a milllisecond it all just hit me- it isn't entirely true. I think we, myself included, have the best of intentions in our worship, but really we're getting it all wrong. We're starting with ourselves. We're singing songs about me and how I feel and how God is changing me. And there's nothing wrong with singing songs that remind us of our relationship or our place in the Kingdom. Don't get me wrong. But starting with an attitude of "how is worship going to make me feel today? What is God going to do for me today? What can I gain today? How is God going to change me today?",  I think is a faulty place to start. I have always considered this and believed it, but it's time to start living it. Worship is only going to take on meaning for us and bless the heart of God when it is all about Him. So after this realization hit, I asked God, "So, what kind of song would You have us sing to You?" And the melody started up in my brain and the words started forming:

Glory and honor
Now and forever
Be to You, God

You will reign forever
You will reign forever
You are forever our God

And I was thinking..."That's it? Really? It's that simple?" And it is that simple. We try to clutter our worship with our emotions and our desires and what we want. And I'm not saying there isn't a place for those kinds of songs- but I think in order to truly be the worshiping church God wants us to be, we have to start in a place of recognizing Him for His greatness and worth first- giving Him the first fruits of our worship. Our part and needs in the whole scheme of things will then make sense to us- after we've proclaimed His holiness with no strings attached, no bonus features, kickbacks, or "what's in it for me" mentality.  Simply worshiping God for who He is will be where the power for living lies. And I think that's what is holding people back in many ways- worship is starting with them rather than God. No wonder our worship sometimes feels flat- starting with our problems, our rotten, prideful, arrogant selves is no way to approach worship. We are not worthy of  lifted hands, voices crying out in praise and adoration, bodies bowing low to the floor...we're not worth worshiping at all. But God is. So this week, I would encourage all of us to think about our intentions and our point of view when it comes to worship. Is it about you and a time when God's going to fix or do something in your life? Or is it about simply acknowledging and praising our Holy God for who He is and surrendering every aspect of our lives to Him for His use? I think if we can all begin to make this mental shift and expand our idea of God, we'll start seeing power and freedom in our lives and an igniting of passion for God that will spread like a blazing wildfire throughout our families, our towns, our region, our world. God deserves honor. May we all make His honor our highest priority. Worship must start with God.

Monday, March 28, 2011


A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

—John 4:7-15

Have you ever been on your way home from somewhere and you realize that you are ridiculously thirsty? And you realize that you have been ridiculously thirsty for quite a while? Or maybe you just got done working out and you say to someone around you (or perhaps to yourself depending on your level of crazy that day), "I am so thirsty, I am going to drink, like, 8 glasses of water." So you head to the kitchen and pour a nice, tall, cool glass of water and chug it. And then you repeat that a couple times. And then you realize there's no way you can realistically drink 5 more glasses like you originally stated, but you're feeling refreshed in spite of that. I have done that many, many times. Especially when hiking. I married a man who is very outdoorsy. I have always been a fan of the outdoors, but this guy, Jarrod, he is the walking definition of outdoorsy. He loves to canoe, he loves to hike, loves rafting, has been on a scary kayaking trip and loved it, he loves to camp, he loves spelunking, he loves rappelling. He has taken me on trips that no novice backpacker should consider. Our first backpacking trip was in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Anyone who knows anything about backpacking in mountains knows that this is no casual statement... backpacking in the Winds is not for the weak of heart. Or legs. Or any other body part. This mountain range is as brutal as it is beautiful. And Jarrod, my beloved Boy Scout, threw me right into the backpacking world in the Wind Rivers. No such thing as "ease into it" with this guy. No way. It was just dive in, head first, no life vest- hardcore backpacking with grizzly bears and ridiculous altitude gains. I can remember, almost as equally as I can remember the lungbusting trails we had to ascend, how amazing it was to stop at the top of the multitude of "almost there" plateaus on our upward journey for a rest and a drink. There is nothing so refreshing as being absolutely drained physically, sweat pouring, heart thumping, legs throbbing, lungs bursting and getting that cool, liquid relief. A drink. A respite from the monotony of putting one foot in front of the other. A reason to continue on to the next vista. The very substance that compels you to continue on through the rugged terrain. No water has ever tasted so good to me as the filtered water from those mountain streams did. Not so much because it was mountain fresh water, but more because of my thirst. I didn't just want some water to drink, I needed some water to drink. It was necessary. Most people are sipping pretty little umbrella drinks on their cushy vacations...not this girl. No way. I chug water from Nalgene bottles as if my life depends on it, and technically, it does.

While our life, and especially when it hangs precariously in the balance on a rigorous backpacking trip, is dependent on water, so too do our souls depend on water. But water of a different sort- the living water that is Jesus Christ. Have you ever been going about your business in life and all of a sudden you realize that you're running on fumes? You have run out of strength, have run out of ideas, have run out of the very will needed to continue plodding through your world. You've taken over your life again. You've inadvertently said to God, "I'll take over from here, thank you very much." But you can't do it on your own and the reality has come crashing down again. And then, out of seemingly no where, you hear, or feel the invitation, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters." (Isaiah 55:1) You realize you've been dying of soul thirst and you cry out, "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water!" (Ps 63:1). And then the relief begins to pour in. The power and presence you need is there and there is no end of the supply in sight. He has all the relief you need.

The beauty of thirst of the soul is that a drink is only a prayer away. There is no physical effort required. You've simply got to recognize your thirst, your need for God, and then take the initiative to come to Jesus and drink your fill. Drinking is equivalent to believing, trusting, studying, taking in all that Jesus has to offer. When we realize our thirst, the relief and quenching power of Jesus is available if only we will ask. So today, may you examine your life and recognize your areas of thirst and may you drink deeply of the life that God offers and be satisfied now and forever. 

The Fog

Last Summer, I started running. I quickly learned that I don't really like to run, but it's just a necessary torture for someone trying to get some exercise. So just about every night, right at 8:30 P.M. when my youngest son would go to bed, I would run. We live in the forest- in a house of course, but the house sits in the forest (just to clarify). We're not living out among the coyotes and squirrels per se, but our house does sit right smack dab in the middle of the woods. We have no lawn...we have trees. We live near the crest of a tall hill (our mountain), with valleys surrounding. Summer fog always creeps up the valleys and hangs over our hilltop. So picture, if you will, strapping on your running shoes and looking out into the woods at 8:30 twilight. A slow, grey curtain of fog was always starting to envelope the gravel driveway that my feet would soon be beating ferociously at that time of night. As I ran, the fog would get thicker and thicker until I could hardly see in front of me. Combined with the fact that it was 8:30 PM, it began to get dark rather quickly. I could just hear the pound, pound, pound of my feet on the road and assume that the surface was still there under my feet, even though it was obscured by the darkness and fog.

I feel like this is a picture of our faith at times. Sometimes it feels like we're running in the clarity of broad daylight and everything is picture perfect. Other times, there is a slow, grey fog creeping over us, keeping us from seeing the full panorama of what lies ahead. in the midst of runs in the fog, we can even feel like we should slow down out of fear. All the "what-if's" begin to creep in to our minds. "What if I trip over something I can't see...what if a deer runs out in front of me and totally clobbers me...what if I lose my way..." In the same way, when God seems distant, our first inclination is to kind of pull back. But the opposite needs to happen. At those times when God feels far away and our vision is dim, we've got to press in with more focus and determination. We need to repent, to seek life through the words of Scripture, to seek out counsel from Christ-like friends. I believe most importantly, we need to worship. To sing out to God. If our fog is in part a distraction caused by the enemy, nothing will send him packing faster than to hear our hearts singing in praise of a God who never leaves or forsakes us.

At those times when I'm looking around in the fog, not even sure which direction to go, the first logical thing to remember is that the road below my feet hasn't moved. The scenery around me is changed, but the path to the safety of my home is still the same as it always has been. The road will never move. In the same way, as we're running through our Spiritual journey in this life, Jesus is and always will be our firm foundation. Though we may pass through a section of living that doesn't seem clear or doesn't "feel right", we can count on Jesus. Always. He never fails. And His word never fails. I am seeing more in this season of life than any other I've been through that His word is critical. We can get by and survive as Christians when we  have a hit and miss routine of reading the scriptures, but we only begin to thrive when we dive in deep. My prayer today is that we will keep running. Even in the fog. That we'll press in and cling to the promises of God and sing in celebration that He always keeps those promises. The best part of my nightly runs was when it was finished! I'd stretch out my muscles on the front porch in the glow of our porch light, moths darting about trying to get closer than close to the warmth of the bulb. In the same way, God offers us comfort, peace, and sheds light on our situation when we finally come out of the fog. His presence is always a welcome, warm embrace. May He be your peace and comfort today and may you seek His presence always...even if you find yourself in the fog.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Isaiah 41:10

Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 
Matthew 10:26

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 
2 Timothy 1:7

For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
 Hebrews 13:5-6

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Only Voice That Matters

John 6:60-69 just really touched me last night and I wanted to share it here for all of you as well. Jesus was teaching people about how he is the bread of life and the disciples were having trouble understanding the cost of following him.

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
   67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

I just love that answer to the question, "You do not want to leave too, do you?" And Peter says- "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." 

It seems like our lives are inundated with voices telling us how to live- many of these voices are in direct opposition to scripture. It gets so difficult to drown out the chaotic noise of this world and listen for the One true voice- the voice of God. I would encourage all of us today with the thought that no voice matters but the One that "has the words of eternal life".  We have no one else to go to that matters. Jesus is the only one we need, the only one who can lead us, the only voice that matters. And His voice can be heard when we quiet ourselves, spend time in the Word, and spend time in prayer, seeking Him. Imagine the changes in our lives, in our church, and in our world if we all just took some time to break away from all the distracting voices of the world and listened to the one and only voice of God. 

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:21

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Worship At LCC

 Well friends, if you were not at The Summit at Lancaster Community Church last Sunday evening, you truly missed out. I can't even begin to explain or describe the powerful wave of God that swept through our church that night. The view from behind the keyboard, watching the room just exploding with worship was incredible-hands raised, hearts engaged, voices belting out God's praises. It was a powerful bonding experience too- the sight of many men of our church worshiping together with arms linked in the front of the church will forever be in my mind. All the chatter on Facebook and watching our friendships begin and develop is such a blessing. It was a really special time. I still smile when I think about it. Sunday was a special day for me for a couple reasons- first of all, it was the Sunday that Matt Johnson was announced as Lead Pastor of LCC. We've had the privilege of working with Matt as worship leaders for four years. He's a very gifted, dynamic teacher and leader. I can't wait to see where God is going to lead our church under his direction. Secondly, it was my first Sunday as Worship Director. I have always hoped and prayed for an opportunity like this, but the timing has just never been right until now. I am so blessed to be able to jump in at this particular time at LCC. The Lord is certainly stirring in the hearts of His people at LCC and I see it as an honor and huge responsibility to help facilitate the proper, biblical atmosphere at our church for Him to reveal His glory to us, and to craft our proper, biblical responses to His revelation. 

 As I've started working on shaping and directing worship at LCC, I have come up with 2 main goals or priorities. The first goal deals with individual worship practices while the second goal revolves around corporate worship. 

1. The Importance of the Prepared Heart and Mind
I want LCC to be a church where worship is an individual way of life, not isolated to 20 minutes of singing songs on Sunday. In order to accomplish this, we need to emphasize the importance of the Prepared Heart and Mind. We can't waltz in on Sunday after living a week in which we rarely considered the Kingdom of God and our place in it, yet expect God to show Himself to us. We can't expect God to just suddenly be conjured up and make us feel happy and good while we sing a few worship songs on Sunday. This mentality has got to go. I believe that Sunday evening at the Summit, God laid the foundation for a Worshiping Community.  In his book, Worship Matters, by Bob Kauflin, he writes "A worshiping community is made up of individuals whose lives are centered around the Savior  they worship together each week. A worshiping community expects to encounter God 's presence not only on Sunday morning but every day. A worshiping community recognizes that passionate times of singing God's praise flow from and lead to passionate lives lived for the glory of Jesus Christ. " That's what we're aiming for, but how do we get there? We've got to get our minds and hearts centered on Christ. We've got to all, as Katie Harden shared Sunday evening at the Summit, "get our noses in the word." We've got to make the commitment to know the scriptures- to become students, scholars, and theologians. Yes, we have a gifted teacher at LCC, but he can't give us all the knowledge that our lives require in a forty minute message on Sunday. It's time to be immersed in the word of God. If I'm being honest, until very recently, I read the Bible and enjoyed it, but I sometimes found myself reading out of a sense of duty rather than out of a feeling of desire. Just lately, I have experienced an awakening- I want to know the Word, and more importantly, the Giver of the word. I want to know who God is, how He works, and how He wants us to worship Him. 

But knowledge is not enough- we've got to access and open our hearts as well. Throughout the week, we need to find ways to kindle our relationship with the Lord, so that by the time Sunday arrives, the corporate worship time we have is not much different than what we've experienced on a daily basis. It's a lot like marriage really- if my husband never spoke to me affectionately, never took the time to be with me for 6 whole days because he was too busy, too tired, too distracted, too...whatever,  and then all of a sudden wanted to whisk me off on a hurried date and expect me to be responsive and accepting of the fact that we had little to no contact all week long up to that point, I would be a little beyond upset. I think this is, sadly, the approach that we use with God sometimes. We've got to come against this with great diligence and discipline. It's time to ignite a deep relationship with the Lord. It's time to get serious about our part in the relationship with the Savior. It's time to develop meaningful prayer habits and take time out of the day to be still before the Lord and hear from Him. It's time to transfer those songs that we sing on Sunday into everyday- when you're driving to work- sing loud to God! He doesn't care if you have a beautiful voice or not. He looks at the heart, and a beautiful heart is one that makes the worship of God a priority above all else. Cultivating a relationship with God takes time and commitment and in our culture of instant everything, we may feel frustrated by the pace. But it's going to be worth it- our God is so immense in love, wisdom, and character that it takes more than a lifetime to begin to understand His ways- so how can we think for a minute that the process of getting to know Him will be quick, easy, and painless? It's a lifelong journey of the heart and mind to experience the greatness of God and I'm excited to partner with the people of LCC on the journey.

2. Lost in Wonder, Love, and Praise
The second priority for worship at LCC is that we need an atmosphere where corporate worship can happen. I love the final verse from the hymn "Love Divine, All Love Excelling" by Charles Wesley, 

Finish then thy new creation
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee,
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!

To be "lost in wonder, love, and praise" is a lofty goal. It requires excellence and diligence on the part of the worship teams at LCC and it requires open and expectant hearts on the part of the congregation. It requires us all to put aside distractions and focus our attention and affections on God. As we worship here, on earth, corporately, we're getting a glimpse of what eternity will be like. We've got to start practicing now! We all caught a glimpse at The Summit Sunday evening I think- the beautiful feeling of surrender and connection to a Holy God- His presence raining down, displacing all of our brokenness and sin. It was an amazing experience that I pray is just the beginning of what is to come at our church and in our daily lives. I've tried to figure out what exactly triggered such an outpouring of the Spirit on Sunday evening and I truly believe it boils down to the fact that people  came ready and willing to surrender and worship. I also believe that a lot of prayer prepared the way. I don't believe that it had to do with skill or excellent music- I would bet that if someone got up and led worship with a banjo, we might have seen the same effects :) Ok, maybe not a banjo, but you get my point. God was poised to move and was just waiting on us to open our hearts to Him and surrender. It was a beautiful night that I will never forget. Speaking of excellent music, we're blessed beyond imagination to have the number of talented musicians that we have in our church, Proportionately, it just doesn't make statistical sense that we would have such a concentration of talented, gifted, God-seeking musicians. The most important element of a worship team is making sure that the team members are worshipers, onstage and off. The state of our hearts and minds is of supreme importance to us. We're going to be very purposed about preparing our hearts and minds so that we can lead others to the throne of God with great confidence. We're working hard to ensure that all that we do is excellent. We're creating events, like The Summit, where passion for God can be fueled and ignited in unique ways. I'm also encouraged to see many talented artists emerging in our church. I love the idea of varied responses to God- some of them not even including music. We serve a very creative God and I believe, being created in His image, that He desires for us to respond to Him creatively. I love the thought of a community of artists emerging within our church, commissioned to create art that reflects our Creator and displays His attributes for the world to see.  In all that we do at LCC, our main desire is that God would receive the glory and praise.  We never want to substitute talent, skill, ability, or gifting for what God is truly after- our hearts fully and authentically surrendered to Him in worship. 

God has certainly started something amazing in our church and in our hearts. My prayer is that we continue to hunger and thirst for Him, that our hearts are open to His love, our minds immersed in His word, and our feet and hands ready to serve the waiting world. 

Grace and Peace,