Different ways to worship

How do you worship?  As I have been around many different churches and christian organization I find it fascinating to watch how everyone worships differently.  Now I want to say there is no right or wrong way.  It is what you are comfortable with. 

I grew up in a formal United Methodist church.  Loved the rich tradition of the church.  Very litgurical.  It worked well when I was a kid.  Then my family went to another church where there was drums.  Then to another church where there was dancing, speaking in tongues and it was very vocal.  Then FINALLY when I graduated from high school I could FINALLY go to my own church!  The church that I chose!  I was beyond EXCITED because I knew that I wanted to attend Granger Community Church because that was where Mark Beeson preached at!  I started attending GCC the summer of 97 and LOVED it there!  I was challenged and encouraged to worship God just like you would perhaps cheer on your favorite basketball player at a game!  Well, maybe not loudly screaming but we sang with passion even if you could not sing!  You were encouraged to raise your hands toward Jesus!  I even remember one time when Pastor Mark prayed we did not pray with our heads bowed but with our faces toward heaven.  I get no greater joy then singing with a big smile on my face!  I have many wonderful memories of the time spent at GCC and the many Sunday’s spent in prayer praying over chairs of our friends that would be there!  Prayer is such a powerful tool of worship.  Communication between you and the almighty!  From GCC I attend a grand catheridal downtown South Bend. St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church.  Few people gathered but the worship was meaningful and at the end of each service we would turn to those across from us and sing the Benediction.  From there I went to Iowa, then back to Indiana where we served in smaller churche’s where there was no praise bands.  Just very old hymnals.  I learned some great hymns of the faith during those times.  I am grateful for going back to those songs.  They carried me well. 

What do you put into worship?  Do you go into the sanctuary with reverence and a sense of being ready to meet with Jesus?  To be filled up?  Or do you go into the sanctuary with your cell phone on, catching up on the latest with your family and friends.  As I have attended Madison Park in Anderson, I see the later true.  It bother’s me that people really have a hard time focusing on the worship service prepared before them.  YES!  I used to do this at my old church because I was going because I had to not so much because I wanted to.  Now, I go to church because I WANT TO BE THERE!!  I AM HUNGRY FOR WHAT THE LORD HAS PREPARED FOR ME!!! He has something prepared for you.  Will you put your cell phone aside?  Can your conversation’s wait to happen outside the sanctuary doors?  There is nothing so important in the world that you can not give God 60-90mins of your time each Sunday. He DIED on the cross FOR YOU!!!! I try to leave my cell phone in my car.  What did you do before cell phones?  You were able to survive! 
As I mentioned I now attend Madison Park Church of God in Anderson and LOVE it!  I love the worship and am getting fed.  I love the different stations that are available each week for you to move to during worship as you feel led.  You can light a candle, pray alone, go to the cross, ask for healing, or take communion.  It’s a beautiful thing!  This week TRY to smile while you are singing!  It will bring great joy!!!!!!  How do you worship?

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Stronger

Sadness…..you may wonder why in the world would I write a post that basically is a pity part for myself, well to get my feelings written out and so that I can remember or forget this time.  Either way it is an account of a journey that I am on.  As Easter comes upon us I am filled with joy, sadness, thankfulness, and other emotions. But right now I am focusing on the sadness.  For the past 10 years we have almost always had folks over for a big ham dinner after church.  It was either family, or friends that didn’t have any “family” to go to.  I am not wanting you to feel bad for me.  I am going to be stronger because of this and Jesus will be at my dinner whether that is a salad or ham on Sunday.  It just has me saddened thinking that this Easter there will be no big dinner, no sink filled with dirty dishes from too much food made, there will not be left over’s for weeks, there will not be any of this.  This is a new chapter.  Family member’s have passed away, kids will be with their dad and my brother will be flying home from Singapore.  On day’s like today I wish I could run as far away as possible.  Where I don’t know but just some where any where but here! But I will over come this sadness.  I am grateful for my church’s Maundy Thursday dinner.  It was fabulous   I am grateful that I have a place to worship and is becoming home!  I am blessed to have a home and food to eat!  But yet I long for on these holiday’s to have that sink full of dirty dishes for someone else to wash! πŸ™‚  That means there was laughter, friends, and family!  That time will come as the seasons change!

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Maundy Thursday

What does Maundy Thursday mean to you?  Is it just another day of the week or is it a day that you stop to prepare your heart for Easter?  In the Christian realm Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter remembering/celebrating the Last Supper.

 Can you imagine what it was like to be there?  Amongst the 12 disciples?  I often wonder what was going through their mind as they sat and ate with JESUS knowing that they were going to betray him and hang him to the cross the next day?  I am not sure if I would be able to sit knowing what was going to happen.  Tonight was the first time in over 10 years that I did not have to be in a church service but was in a church service because I wanted to be.  I was there for healing.  I was there because it was something new.  I was there because Jesus wanted to meet me there.  I went to Madison Park Church of God.  Now I only have been going there since February so a little over a month now and know a handful of people from my class.  On Sunday I had asked if any of them were going to be there and only one said that he was.  So, I found him and sat with him.  He has attend MPC for quiet some time and knew many of the well established folks there.  It was a pitch-in and there was round tables set up all over the atrium.  It was special in a way as you were going to share communion with the people around the table and fellowship with them as if Jesus was sitting amongst you.  It was something so simple but yet so meaningful as there had been a team of folks that had spent time preparing the tables just so and prayed over the tables that people were going to sit at.  My friend Don was sitting at the table with Pastor Lyon and his small group.  It was something quiet special to be but yet so simple.  We fellowshiped and I got acquainted with a few of the well established folks of MPC.  Then it was time to pass the body of Christ and drink from the cup.  He did this for us!  There was a time of quietness and you could move on to the foot washing.  I have never taken part in a foot washing and was very excited to do so.

 The men went to one area while the women went to another.  There were chairs set up in circles.  I sat in a circle that had no one at it.  A lady tried to encourage me to move to another circle and I just said people will come.  Four other ladies came and you put your name in a bowl.  We passed the bowl and you wash the person’s feet who you draw.  It was very meaningful.  Such a simple act of washing someone’s feet yet so powerful!  A lady names Carol washed my feet.  Such a simple act with such love.  When she was through we hugged.  Then it was my turn to wash Rene’s feet.  As I washed her feet I simply wept.  I shared some of my story with her, we hugged and she prayed for me.  So, simple…I encourage you to try this simple act when you are given the opportunity.  You may say my feet are gross or how gross wash the feet of a stranger.  It was strange but the presence of Jesus was with us and it was no longer strange but love.

In John 13:1-17 shares the recount of Jesus washing the Disciple’s Feet.

verse 5:”He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”  Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”  Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”  13:5-8  

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Sex outside of Marriage

Did I catch your attention?  I sure hope so!  This was the topic of discussion today in my Sunday School Class!  Then in church that was also part of the scripture reading! Pastor Lyon read from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 (not sure on the version but I am using NLT)

 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body[b] and live in holiness and honorβ€” not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. 

If it is God’s will for us to be holy and to stay away from all sexual sin than why do so many of us fall short in this area?  I am NOT speaking from experience!  I just have been involved in enough discussions over the years to know that the temptation is there as an adult as much as it is a teenager!  We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are!  I get that! Don’t think if I go one step farther and give him or her that last kiss or if I go ahead and let him or her touch me there.  Friend you are playing with FIRE!  But you need to also GUARD your heart and your BODY!  DO NOT let just anybody in!  I am talking from an emotional aspect here.  I once read that each time you have a dating relationship with someone you are giving part of yourself away.  Imagine that!  Can you write down each time you have dated someone?  Each time they have taken a piece of your heart with them!  WOW!!! That is kind of scary if you ask me!  I only dated 3 guys and that was not until I was 18 years old.  My mom had me so scared of sex that I had no interest in the romantic relationship with a guy.  Sure I had a lot of friends that were guys but none that I was willing to give my heart to.  I also firmly committed and drew that boundary around myself that I was WORTH so much more than giving myself away!  I knew that God had created that one person for me.  Despite my divorce I have learned so much from it and I committed myself to living that pure and holy life until I walk down the aisle one day again.  I firmly know that God has another person for me.  One that will respect me and respect my beliefs.  Back to sex before marriage…my question to you the reader are you willing to draw your line and say I am worth so much more!?!?! Don’t put yourself into places of vulnerability.  I don’t know what those places look like for you, they could be the car, they could be the movie theater, they could be at home on the couch while your child sleeps upstairs.  Where ever that place is be INTENTIONAL about putting your boundary up!  Your future spouse will respect you for this and God will honor you in your future spouse! You are NOT getting this precious gift that can not be taken back until the day that I promise myself to you forever!!!!!!  Friends YOU ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!! 

SUYL-Favorite Vacation Spots

I can tell you exactly where I have vacation most of my life!  Let me list then I will tell you which one’s are my favorite and why!
In no particular order:

1) Denver and Ft. Collins, CO
2) Jefferson, IA
3) Sloan, IA
4) Harlingen, TX
5) Beaver Island, MI
6) Walt Disney World
7) Altoona, IA
8) Springdale, AR
9)  St. Louis, MO
10) Toledo, OH

I can not place a FAVORITE because each place holds a special memory!

Ft. Collins, CO is where my Uncle John and Aunt Jo live.  I have only been to their place one time when I was in elementary school.  We left the last day of school and drove two days out there.  It was a fun time!  We spent some time in Estates Park and it was the first time I had gotten to stand in snow in JUNE!  I also remember going to Casa Bonita, the State Capital and climbing a ton of stairs and the Denver mint!

My dad and I flew out to Denver for a one day trip!  It was fast, we rented a convertible and with the top down in 40 degree temps we had the heat cranked!  It was a memorable time!  We flew in on Saturday and flew home on the new then 777 on Sunday!

Jefferson, IA-I have many, many, many memories here as this is where my dad’s side of the family was born and raised!  This needs a post in and of itself!  It is my hope that my children will know Jefferson is where the Cobb’s come from!

Sloan, IA- This is where my Grandfather Campbell and Grandmother Campbell farmed!  We would go out there each October for my birthday and spend a week riding in the combine and the grain truck!

 
Harlingen, TX- My grandparents moved down to the Rio Valley and we spent many spring breaks down there!  We thought we were cool because we were going to South Padre Island!

Beaver Island, MI- My freshman Biology teacher had just finished spending a semester up there and talked about it frequently!  I am glad I kept that tucked away in my memory because it is BEAUTIFUL and peaceful up there!

 

Walt Disney World- I have only been there twice and if I get the opportunity to go one more time that will be just about perfect for me!  I went once as a child and then had the opportunity to take my kids and family in 2011.  My dad wanted to go back again since so much had changed since 1986!  It was a joy to see him enjoy it even if it did wear him out!  I am forever grateful we have that memory!

Altoona, IA- Yes, for all of my Iowa friends I am being SUPER specific on where Adventurland is!  Every summer we would go to Adventureland!  It is a mid-sized amusement park, that is clean and family friendly!  I enjoy taking my kids there now!

Springdale, AR- My aunt and uncle live down there!  I have only been there a handful of times but have many memories of flying down to visit my aunt, being treated like royalty and going to her churches grand Christmas production of the LIVING CHRISTMAS tree!  I hope to get to go down there again and maybe even see the Duggars!!!!

St. Louis, MO- I have been there twice!  I know real exciting but Bill used to live there and so we spent a few days down there exploring!  I remember the arch as it got a bit scary going up into it.

Toledo, OH- My brother lives there!  They have a great zoo!

A great vacation spot to me is being away from the hustle and bustle of life, unplugging and reconnecting with the one’s you love!

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"I AM NOT but I know I AM!"

I know what you are thinking….huh?!?!?!?!  You read the title correctly!  That is actually the title of Louie Giglio’s new book!  I HIGHLY encourage you to put it on your list of books to read this year!  I am enjoying reading it.  You say you don’t have time to read well YOU do have time to read Louie’s latest book because I bet you spend 5 mins a day in the bathroom on the royal throne, I bet you spend 5 mins a day in the car pick up line, heck I bet you even spend 5 mins a day in the drive thru line!!!!!!!  It is such an EASY read just a few pages each chapter BUT it tell’s such a SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE story in an even SIMPLER way!!!!!!!

One expect from it that really hit home and has inspired me to make a wall hanging of this at some point and time!  Taken from “I AM NOT BUT I KNOW I AM” by Louie Giglo

“God was telling Moses,
I AM the center of everything.
I AM running the show.
I AM the same every day, FOREVER.
I AM the Owner of everything.
I AM the Lord.
I AM the Creator and Sustainer of life.
I AM the Title Holder of the universe.
I AM the Savior.
I AM your Source.
I AM more than enough.
I AM inexhaustible and immeasurable.
I AM God…………………..”
to paraphrase what Louie say’s next if God’s name is I AM then our name must be I AM NOT!
I am not the center of everything.
I am not in control.
I am not the Source.
I am not the solution.
I am not all-powerful.
I am not calling the shots.
I am not the Owner of anything.
I am not the Lord…………..
I am not running anything.
I am not the head of anything.
I am not in charge of anything.
I am not the Maker.
I am not the Savior.
I am not holding it all together.
I am not God.”

Giglio, Louie. “I AM NOT BUT I KNOW I AM Welcome to the Story of God.” pgs. 33-35. Colorado Springs. MULTNOMAH BOOKS, 2005, 2012. Print

Louie shares another story in the book about how one year he was at GMA week and anyone who is anybody has a lanyard around their neck.  And the more decorative the lanyard the more important they are.  He shared how he wanted to take a black sharpie and cross out everyone’s name and put “I AM NOT” on their name tag.  You think that is strange and in the secular world it is strange…you want them to know WHO YOU ARE!!!!!  But in the world with Christ we are NOT because he is I AM!  and I am thankful that he is the I AM And I AM NOT!

DISCLAIMER:  I did not get paid or bribed to write this about Louie’s new book!  He doesn’t even know I wrote
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How Could I Ask For More by Cindy Morgan

This may be an old song but it speaks so much to my life!  How many times do we go through life thinking if I get that next promotion or if I get the newest car it will full fill that void in our life.  When in reality those are just things and NOTHING can fill the void in your life but the wonderful, love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  As I look around my apartment, I may not have much in the way of physical things, but I have what I   NEED!  Thank you Jesus for clean water, a roof over my head and even light’s and clothing and food to eat. I am also grateful for the memories and the simple thing’s in life that we have each and every day such as the sunrise and the sunset!  How beautiful it is to watch and enjoy!  If you have not done that before you should make a point to do it!

http://youtu.be/q8m9N0xPLNs

You’ll have to click the link! πŸ™‚

Here are the words though

“There’s nothing like the warmth of a summer afternoon
Waking to the sunlight, being cradled by the moon
Catching fireflies at night, building castles in the sand
Kissing mama’s face goodnight and holding daddy’s hand
Thank you, Lord, how could I ask for more?

Running barefoot through the grass, a little hide and go seek
Being so in love that you can hardly eat
Dancing in the dark when there’s no one else around
Being bundled ‘neath the covers, watching snow fall to the ground
Thank you, Lord, how could I ask for more?

(From: http://www.elyrics.net)

So many things I thought would bring me happiness
Some dreams that are realities today
Such an irony the things that mean the most to me
Are the memories that I’ve made along the way

So if there’s anything I’ve learned from this journey I am on
Simple truths will keep you going, simple love will keep you strong
‘Cause there are questions without answers and flames that never die
And heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise
So thank you, Lord, oh thank you, Lord
And yeah, how could I ask for more? Ooh”

Songwriter(s):Cindy Morgan
Copyright:Word Music Llc


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CHRIS TOMLIN!

I had bought the tickets to go see Chris Tomlin and on the Burning Light’s tour March 1st a few weeks ago.  I was very excited to go but a tad sad our seats were not exactly what I had hoped for.  This was my first venture out with the the kids by myself or so I thought it was going to be!  After having an emergency hysterectomy on Monday I was not really in that great of shape to venture into Indy with the kids.  My friend Kim had agreed to go if I could find an extra ticket.  Mind you Banker’s Life Field House that night was SOLD OUT!  I called Ticketmaster that morning and talked with the customer service rep. who was very funny but was able to get me 5 tickets in the 24th best seating selection!!!!!! It was stage right!  It was perfect as we were at the top of our section and so I did not have to worry to much about the boys kicking people.  It was their first concert and Lily’s second.  A fun time was had by all, the boys fell asleep despite the music being too loud in their world.  I had fun screaming and if the BURNING LIGHTS tour is coming to your city, state or even region, GO! GO! GO!  You will be glad you did!  Kari Jobe, Chris Tomlin, DJ Promte & Loui Giglio are in this tour and it is a CONCERT LIKE NO OTHER!!!! It was actually kind of funny to watch because it was a great mix of older adults and the younger kids.  You see DJ Promte gets the crowd going by doing just what the name imply’s DJing it up before the concert starts!!! He was a hoot to watch!  If you have a twitter account you get to send request’s for song’s for Chris to sing and be prepared to DANCE on GOD’S GREAT DANCE FLOOR!!!! And even if you are a “recovering non-Dancer” as Louie puts it just put a little movement in your feet!  Louie by the way gives a tells a very simple story in a very simple way!  Love his teaching!  And actually he has this really amazing book out entitled “I know I am not but I AM.”  That makes ya go hmmmmm……it’s an easy read!  I’ll post about that later!  I also learned that once you arrive at the destination with three kids as a single mom it can be tiring and you may wonder “why am I doing this” but then I realized that I am teaching my boys especially that even though they may not like going to a concert it was important that we were spending time together.  That is why I DID THAT!!!  Now here are some pictures! πŸ™‚

 God’s Great Dance Floor! 

 Chris did his first ever “costume” change into a Luck jersey!
 LOUIE!!!!!!
 Chris doing what he does BEST!!! Leading worship!
 Light’s and stage!
 DJ Promte!!!! BEST THING EVER!!!!!
 Pre show fun!
I pretty much sat holding one of my boys the whole time!  BLISS!
I have heard from several that you are reading my blog!  That makes me stinking excited!  So I am going to make an effort to write more! πŸ™‚
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