Tag Archives: worship

Four Things to Inspire Your Writing Today

Announcing the winner of the Wildflowers from Winter giveaway! The lucky person to receive a copy of Katie Ganshert’s debut novel is (drum roll please) LORI DILWORTH!!

Congrats, Lori! Email me your address and we’ll get that right out to you! I know you’re going to love it!

And now on to today’s topic…

Four Things to Inspire Your Writing Today:

1. Chocolate. Lots of it. In all kinds, shapes, sizes, and *flavors. *dark, white, milk, etc. Get some. Now. Chocolate produces a special endorphin that speeds up the brain synapses and helps you up your daily word count. Okay, I totally made that up, but it does do something to help me out when I write. Maybe it has magical plot-producing properties.

2. This place. Because when you publish lots and lots of books, you’ll have enough money to buy a house with an outdoor writing room that has this view.

3. This song. Because it’s a reminder of just who should be glorified with your writing.


4. These four guys. They are now the wallpaper on my desktop and they make me feel a little bit guilty when I sit down to the computer and I’m not writing. And plus, these dudes are not bad eye-candy. That’s also inspirational. (bonus!) 🙂 (No, I haven’t seen the Avengers movie yet, but I plan to this coming weekend.)


Share with me: What’s inspiring your writing today?


Filed under Writing

What Freedom Is All About

Our church loves to do up July 4th the right way.  We celebrate not only America’s birthday, but the grace and true freedom that God has so lovingly given each one of us through Jesus Christ.

Yesterday we sang “This Is How It Feels to Be Free.”

The only thing I could think throughout the entire song was how amazingly and overwhelmingly grateful I am that Jesus Christ set me free from the bondage of sin. 

It literally brought tears to my eyes and got me all choked up, and that’s never a good thing when I’m supposed to be singing because then I get this little squeaky-thing going on with my voice.  Not pretty. 

The person who delivered our sermon was a a friend of mine from high school who is now a prosecuting attorney in town.  As I listened to his inspired words, I tried not to think about the fact that he and I were in a production of Charlotte’s Web together when I was in the 10th grade (I was Charlotte, he was Templeton) and instead listen to what he was saying.  He spoke a lot about explaining the Declaration of Independence and what it means to us, and I’d like to add my own thoughts to what he was saying.

(I’m about to put on my US History Teacher hat and my Disciple of Christ hat.)

The Declaration of Independence contains a beautiful line that is important not only to our freedoms as Americans, but to our freedoms as human beings in all nations of the world.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

As human beings, we are granted unalienable rights that cannot be taken away.  These rights come not from man or government, but from God.

God granted each one of us life.  In genesis 2, he created Man.  The Bible says that he created each one of us and knows the number of hairs on our head.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5

God has given us the ultimate gift of liberty through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his son.  Probably the most well-known Bible verse lays is out clearly for us.  When we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, we are granted the freedom of eternal life with God himself.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

The Pursuit of Happiness- 
God does not automatically give us “happiness” when we become followers and disciples of Christ, but he gives us opportunities to know Him more, which will instill in us a joy that supersedes any man-made happiness we could ever achieve.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

When we understand these basic rights, granted to us through God’s unbelievable mercy, then we are truly free.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Share With Me: What are your favorite July 4th traditions?

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Filed under Just For Fun, The Christian Walk

Winning The War of Worship

My pastor recently preached a sermon on worship.  He said that the scriptures state that we are all to open our mouths and sing to the Lord.

As he spoke the words, I could feel the tension in the sanctuary beginning to thicken.  Suddenly, attention had been called once again to the battle that our church, and many churches throughout the world, have been fighting for years now.

How to worship.

There are two camps: those who believe that the traditional way is best, and those who believe that a more contemporary way is best.  And a lot of times the battle boils down to a will of generations– those who prefer the tried and true way, and those who want change.

The arguments of both sides are valid.  The traditional camp believes that the hymns and songs of the faith that have been sung for years (in the cases of some hymns, literally hundreds of years) present the most reverent offer of worship to the Lord and connect the founders of the faith with the followers of today.

The contemporary camp believes that in order to draw in the lost and entertain worshipers, the songs should be new, raw, and most of the time accompanied with a band that consists of at least a guitar, keyboard, and drums.

But the real issue here is not traditional v. contemporary.  The real issue is about the intentions in the hearts of the worshipers. 

Worship isn’t about the how, but about the who.

Who is being glorified by the worship?  Is it the organist?  Is it the band?  Is it the singers in the choir loft, on the stage, or in the pews?  The correct answer is that only One should be glorified in our worship.

Reading carefully through the Psalms, it’s easy to see how David and the other authors glorified God with their voices and their instruments, not concerned about the comfort level of their fellow man; only concerned that God’s ears would be pleased with the sounds of his devoted faithful.

The scriptures say that if we do not praise Him, the rocks will.  Verse 12 of Psalm 96 says that the trees will praise his name.  We can be certain that the rocks, seas, mountains, hills and trees don’t care about what instruments are being used or whether the tempo of the song is too fast or too slow.

When we begin to fuss and argue over style of worship we are forgetting the true meaning of the word.    

When we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit, worship is a time for us to pour our hearts out to God in gratitude for his mercies and grace through the sacrifice of His son.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

When we think about just how amazing God’s mercy is and how it has changed our lives and adjust the attitude of our hearts, the worship will pour out.  No matter the format, arms raised or folded, tempo fast or slow, words in a hymnal or on a screen, God will be glorified.

And that’s all that matters.

Personally, I find amazing worship in all types of music within the church tradition.  There is no song more beautiful to my mind than How Great Thou Art.  And when I imagine what it will be like to sit at the throne of God and sing of His wondrous love, no song is more powerful to me than You Are Holy (Isaiah 6).

Share with me: What’s your favorite worship song or hymn and why?


Filed under The Christian Walk