And cardboard cut-outs melt in the rain.

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We’ll stop purposely leaving high heels on subways with our name & number tucked into the bottom, stitched in our best cursive, hoping that someone will find us in a fairy tale fashion.

We’ll stop nodding our heads in agreement over conversations caked with heavy laughter and future plans when we hear our girlfriends say with confidence, “They aren’t out there.”

We’ll refuse to be another lamp switched off in a town already grown too dark. We’ll wrap our hair in buns, wrap our hands around warm mugs, and wrap our prayers around a God who simply wants to whisper, “They are out there.”

 

The good guys.

A rarity, so we’ve been told. Sitting alongside fossils in the “Museum of Things We’re on the Brink of Losing for Good.” Pinned somewhere between the ones who don’t know how to value what they have in their arms and the ones…

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Waiting Here For You

I have always told myself that I am the type of person who has trouble hearing God speak in my life…. Okay, more like I told myself God just likes being silent. I would spend countless days, weeks, months praying endlessly without hearing the faintest whisper. I began to grow restless, and sometimes irritated with God because I had convinced myself that He wasn’t hearing me. As my frustration grew I started crying out to God asking why He wasn’t answering me, why He wasn’t hearing me. Then, I began to see a theme start to repeat throughout my Scripture reading and these are two of the verses that really stuck out.

Psalm 62:5 “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.”

Psalm 103:5-6 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

I found that the reason I “wasn’t hearing God” is because I was vehemently speaking to often. I wasn’t allowing a silence; a time where I waited on God so He could pour all of His words into my heart and help me unravel the questions that had been a burden locked up in my mind. A soft secrecy between God and I… something so intensely desired yet not reached because of my own shortcoming. You see, God is not one to shove His way in. He waits until we open up our hearts in surrender, ready for His words to pour in. When I set aside my pride and sat quietly before the Lord, I began to hear Him… I BEGAN TO HEAR HIM! I had allowed my flesh to cling to the lie that God wasn’t claiming me, wasn’t hearing me. But oh how marvelous it is to have opened eyes, to see the truth about our heavenly Daddy.

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Communication

Communication… A powerful way in which we connect with those around us. When approached properly and served in positive ways, can be used greatly to strengthen others and ourselves. Proper communication can change your attitude , alter a negative situation, and even change a life. It is a great tool, yet the influence it has is often overlooked.

As a worship leader in training, I’m going to look at communication from the perspective of a church leader. As many of you know, communication is a monumental aspect of relationship building in the church. Without the right communication pastors, worship ministers, and leaders in the church would be unable to reach the congregation effectively. These next four points will greatly benefit how you communicate, not only to your congregation, but to all others.

1. Speak the audience’s language

-present it in a form that is easily accessible and time-appropriate for the reader/audience

-show them that you care about them personally

-invest in the peoples’ lives that you are communicating to; don’t let it be a “one-time thing” just to win their attention for a specific reason and time.

-be inviting and let your words be simple

2.Be Genuine

-make it personal. we all overlook the same old advertisements and communications, but when we think the information was made specifically for us, we WANT to receive it

-be real… don’t be overdramatic

-BE YOURSELF

3. Plan it out

-well prepared and thought out information will help you deliver clearer communication to the audience, and in hand they accept it more openly

(Now don’t get me wrong, I am not implying that we should never talk to someone unless we have planned it out. Sometimes the spontaneous conversations are the most influential and remembered ones.)

4. (Last, but definitely not least) PRAY

-Seek the Lord for wisdom

-Listen to the spirit throughout the day, especially while interacting with others in conversation

2 Timothy 2:16 we read, “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness…”

In a society where everything is digital and “right here, right now”, personal interaction and genuine care in communication can have a tremendous positive influence. Through Christ, each and everyone of us has to power to communicate effectively and live out those words in our actions. Above all, our priority should be to uplift and honor God with our words and actions at all times.

Ministry Vision Statement

In ministry, my mission will be to strive for excellence with an open mind in all situations. To be an encourager just as much as a listener to all those around me, and never leave an opportunity untouched. To endure through the difficulties with my eyes focused on Christ and a strong heart. To continually seek God’s will in my life with a teachable spirit. Above all, to the best of my ability live above reproach, and always strive to lead others in uplifting, Christ-centered worship.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15

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25 things every woman needs to know.

1) Life is a steep, uphill battle but it’s fierce & it’s beautiful & you’ll be sad to see it go if you live it right.

2) New people won’t stop coming into your life and opportunities won’t stop knocking on the door but you need to have the space for them. In all you currently have– be them relationships or obligations– step back and ask yourself “why.” If you can find the answer, hold tighter. If the answer escapes you, it’s time to let something go.

3) You should resolve to be awesome for the rest of your life. Right now. Do it.

4) Leggings, no matter how much we wish, will never one day magically transform into pants. Wearing them with tops that don’t cover your bum is not cute. Please, please, please stock up on pants.

5) Goals are not a January 1st kind of thing. Set…

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Evolutionary Change

In all areas of society, one thing has always been shared in common. We fear change. No matter how big or small the adjustment may be, we have this underlying uneasiness when it comes to the dreaded idea of change. In John C. Maxwell’s, “Developing the Leader within You”, we are brought an exceptional way of proposing and initiating change within any environment.

There are eight steps needed to complete the process of change.

Step One: Ignorance… During this step, the people are out of the know of what is going on. There is no connection available for the common people, therefore no motivation is present to cause followers to step up. The “innovators” are responsible for this step, as they are the party that births the idea.

Step Two: Information… Some may say this is the actual first step of change. Ideas are brought to the people, not yet in action form. Acceptance has not yet come to pass, because this is merely the first encounter the people have with the idea. This is the step that “laggards”, those opposing the idea, will never disconnect from.

Step Three: Infusion… In this step the idea is introduced once again, but with more accusations and issues from the people. You see the “late adopters” tend to linger in stage three, that is, until the majority sways them otherwise.

Step Four: Individual Change… This is the stage when progress shifts into a positive direction. The “early adopters” play a big role in this process. Personal motivation prompts the early few to accept the change.

Step Five: Organizational Change… The people begin to shift into a mind of openness towards the subject. This is where the “middle adopters” start their role. The majority initiates the process of accepting the change. While there are still some objections, there is more acceptance than rejection.

Step Six: Awkward Application… Change has begun the application process and we see both positive and negative outcomes. The people catch on quick, but still feel uneasiness in the developing environment.

Step Seven: Integration… Successful outcomes are growing along with the percentage of acceptance from the people. The majority of adopters have almost completely accepted the change, because of the outcome they have witnessed.

Step Eight: Innovation… In this last step, the people are now willing to work in the new environment. The change is progressing more rapidly and with better results. After completing this step, the people are more acceptable for change in the future.

Proper Theology in Worship

Matthew 15:8-9 “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”

In chapter three of “Worship Matters”, Kauflin states this: “The better (i.e., the more accurately we know God through His Word, the more genuine our worship will be. In fact, the moment we veer from what is true about God, we’re engaging in idolatry.” At first attempt of understanding this remark, I didn’t completely grasp what the author was implying but after reading Matthew 15:8-9 the truth became clear. In John 4:24 we read, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” It is so easy to legitimately believe we are worshipping God in the right ways, but without correct knowledge of who He is there is no possible way that we can.

As worship leaders, we are put into a high level of leadership over the church. We are teachers just as much as we are musicians. We are called to lead others into the presence of the Lord and into knowing Him through teaching and discipleship. If we ourselves do not know the teachings of God, how can we truly fulfill our duty as a worship leader? Studying theology provides us with the correct knowledge of God and of Scripture.

God wants us to know the truth about who He is, so that we can come to worship Him in entirety. When we don’t know the truth about God, yet continue worshipping Him, we are worshipping what we think He is. In doing this, we are engaging in idolatry because it is not His true self that we are devoting ourselves to. “Such praise would be meaningless because it would be based on inadequate information.” (Pg. 27) We are all called to be examples of how we should walk in our faith. Through study of scripture (theology) we learn how to be Christ-like. This is why theology is so critical to our worship, because without studied doctrine in our faith we cannot worship the way God calls us to.

We know through experience that we come to love those around us because we invest time into getting to know who they are. Likewise, when someone continually shares himself or herself with you, slowly you come to care more deeply for them. Increased knowledge of something will cause you to fall into a genuine deeper love; shallow knowledge cannot lead our hearts or minds to this kind of love.

What I’m saying is, our minds closely affect how our hearts react. They are tied together. As we grow to know God more and learn His teachings, we begin to see His character. When we know his character, we come to love Him more passionately.

“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul. -Joshua 22:5… Obeying God is showing Him our love and gratitude. Our minds see the logical side of following His commandments, while our hearts feel the passion from His love. When one is artificial, the other is weighed down. We need to have both heart and mind in sync with each other to truly worship God.