Category Archives: Worship Leaders Speak

Worship is Like Spring!

Everything is blooming and the weather is warming up! Worship ministry has some similarities to Spring in that, as the people come to the Lord in worship the result is fruit.

Think about it…. worshipping the Lord developes the fruit of the Spirit. John 4:24 says “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” While Gal. 5:16 teaches us that if we “Walk in the Spirit, [we] shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

So then, as God’s people worship in spirit and in truth they shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh producing the fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

It is my prayer that there will be something here at Worship One! that will encourage you and lead you into a deeper life of worship to the Lord!

 

Blessings!

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Worship Leader on a Mission~ Sri Lanka and Back

ggtr

Sri Lanka isn’t a big country, about 25,332 sq mi compared to California at about 163,696 sq mi.  The population about 21,128,773 with less than 10% Christian according to Gospel For Asia.  My husband and I were guests of friends, Rob and Heidi Douglass, who live in Colombo, the Capital City.  They were gracious and made us feel very welcome and comfortable in between our jaunts into the jungle and across country .

Rob and Heidi Douglass

Rob, Heidi and little Lilah Douglass

After arriving in Colombo on March 21, and treated to some cool air and sweet fellowship we settled in and prepared for some serious ministry.  My husband, Bob, would visit the Gospel For Asia Bible College in Colombo with Dan Finfrock to teach the Inductive Bible Study Method.  I, on the other hand, was scheduled to travel to, Habarana, a small village in the jungle about 4-1/2 hours into the Sri Lanka interior, north-east of Colombo to teach at a Gospel for Asia satellite bible campus for two days.  My pre-visit impressions were a quaint little campus in a small town but I got a big surprise. (travel tip I: reset your expectations, study the culture, climate and living conditions)

I arrived in Habarana after an early start and a long, bumpy ride.  We discovered that the satellite campus was a short drive, about 1/2 mi. on a dirt road, into the jungle after which we completed the distance on foot for another 1/4 mi. (travel tip II: heels in the jungle…. NOT!)

It’s a jungle out there! Habarana is a favorite elephant safari spot for tourists.  I saw monkeys and heard wild peacocks in between all the other unusual sounds of animals and birds.  It was dense and beautiful and I couldn’t see into it more than a few feet.

We passed a communications building hidden behind a wall and a few simple dwellings along the road as we walked…. and there we were, Habarana GFA Satellite Campus.  A small compound really, which seemed to consist of two or three small brick and block buildings, tin roofs with bare windows and fabric hung in door openings for shade and privacy.

Students sat on grass mats on the rough concrete floor in the chapel which was swept clean with walls white washed all over to catch the light coming in the glass-less windows that allowed flies to stumble in and out lazily.

The main building housed the chapel/classroom and the pastors residence, consisting of what looked like two rooms.  I met the pastors wife, a young woman with a sweet, tender spirit.  She was noticeably concerned as she reported that her husband had been quite ill, unable to eat or drink.  He would be transported to a hospital later the next day. (good reports trickled in later that week)

Satellite buildings in Habarana

Satellite buildings in Habarana

satellite interior Habarana

satellite chapel interior, Habarana

I wish I could have gotten some pics of the students but my phone/camera went dead so I only got the few I’ll share here.  I  apologize for the lousy quality.

translator-and-student-habarana

a student with her son and my GFA translator, Tusi

more students, Habarana

Tusi in the doorway with more students, Habarana. notice the international gesture of friendship? yep, they get phone reception even in the jungle.... amazing!

Habarana was my first experience ministering in a jungle setting.  With no electricity, fans or air-conditioning, and no running water…. it was very hot and humid, which at first was a distraction, but once I got busy teaching from His Word things were as they should be.

God is so good and had been preparing me and the students long before He sent me there to share what I have learned about worshipping Him.  Around mid day we broke for a lunch of white rice, a lentil paste with a bit of egg and other simple foods.  Later in the afternoon, our hosts were gracious and served very hot, very sweet, cream tea which would have been more welcome had it been cooler weather but it was a nice treat even in the heat if the day.

These students were so genuine and hungry to hear and learn.  They recieved the Word with gladness and we shared the common bond of fellowship in spite of language and culture barriers.

two wonderful little "guitar students" I spent some time bonding with

two wonderful little "guitar students" we learned chords and spent some time bonding... precious!

An unusual thing happened on this trip.  At least it was unusual for me.  On the long drive down I had time to ponder, pray and get to know my translator, Tusi.  During one of our quiet stretches, she had fallen asleep.  I distinctly heard the Lord speak to my heart that I would be praying for someone demon possessed.  I promptly thanked the Lord for the fore-warning seeing as how I’d never been in that situation before and began to pray for His Spirit to empower me and Tusi and go before us.

I had no idea what would occur but what could I do?  Just go with it and trust my Jesus.  🙂    At the end of the first day of teaching I asked the students if any of them wanted prayer.  Tusi and I prayed for several, maybe 20, students.  It was a sweet time and I discovered that their prayer requests were much the same as those I hear in the states; “please pray for my sick mother,” Please pray for my unsaved family,” one needed healing, another needed a place to stay.  All the usual requests except for a common request to pray for restoration of families as Buddhist and Hindu parents will disown their children for becoming Christians.

Then a young man, maybe in his late teens, was brought to us by some friends or family members, I wasn’t sure which.  I found out that he was not a student at the bible college.

It was explained that “he was possessed with a demon.”  I declared to Tusi that this had been what the Spirit had foretold me.   We set our hearts to pray and all the students began praying out loud in their own language.

I wont go into detail except to note that he displayed biblical demonic possession behavior as we prayed for him.  After about 10 minutes he began to call out to the Lord and fell quiet and was delivered.  The next day he was sitting with the students studying the Word and smiling from ear to ear.  Later that day I saw him running with the other boys and so full of life.  It was glorious!

We returned to the Douglass home in Colombo and I was reunited with my husband and Dan who shared their own adventures, enjoyed a cool night in air-conditioned luxury with a new assignment ahead.

That mostly describes my first 3 days in Sri Lanka….. The balance of the trip included teaching at another GFA campus.  I praise my Lord for His mercy and grace to fulfill what He had given me to do and for glorifying Himself in my life.

Peace in Jesus Christ!

Cosima

PS  Thanks to all those who were praying for this trip.  Your prayers were felt and much appreciated.

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Worship Leader on a Mission

ggtr

I was talking with some folks tonite after service about being in the mission field.  Our discussion included some stories about spiritual warfare and oppression.  The enemy works you overtime when you are on his territory.

I’ve done a few mission trips in my years of ministry.  My first over-seas was China.  Wow, what an experience.  Before that I’d gone to Mexico and some local stuff.  Since then, Japan on several occasions and in between those my husband, two daughters and I did a year there.  I loved the people, the culture and the intensity of the mission field.  We really have it easy here in the US.  Yes, our enemy seeks to devour us but, honestly, it’s nothing like what I experienced in Japan.

On March 21 my husband and I will be traveling to Sri Lanka, returning to the US on April 3.  Rob Douglass and his family who are serving at Calvary Chapel Colombo have invited us to come and minister.  I’m so honored to be able to teach on worship at the Calvary Chapel Bible College there as well as minister to the women on Serving as Women.  My husband will teach Inductive Bible Study with Dan Finfrock of Intensive Care Ministries.

It would be a great blessing to me if I could have a few of you praying for this trip.  The national Christians are hungry for the Word and I feel a deep responsibility to be well prepared and represent Christ as best as possible, but to the enemy, “This means war!”

Please, leave me a comment to let me know you will partner with me for this trip.  I’ll be posting updates and more info periodically.

Thank you and God bless!

 

sdg

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Good Reading

bks

I’m not a reader.  That is to say,  you wont find me by the fire devouring the latest releases.  I enjoy reading the Word of God and material that leads me into a deeper relationship with Him although I’m choosy within that topic.  

I believe that the Word of God is my best teacher on the subject of worship but I do love to glean, now and then, from those who have something especially meaty to say on the subject.

I have read several books on worship that I recomend highly:

  • Face Down/ Matt Redman
  • Living a Life of True Worship/ Kay Arthur
  • Planted by the Water/ Chris Falson
  • Worship and Music Ministry/ Rick Ryan, Dave Newton/Chuck Smith (out of print)
  • The Ultimate Priority/ John MacArthur, Jr.
  • Worship Rediscovering the Missing Jewel / Allen and Borror
  • Real Worship/ Wiersbe

I’d have to say that none and all of these are my favorite books on worship.  None, because I couldn’t just pick one and say that it’s the best.  All, because I believe that each one contributes something eternal and imparts a tremendous gift to the reader.

So,… what are some of the worship books in your library?


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Giving Thanks

 

thlpr


Luke 17:14-16

So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,  and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 

 

Ten lepers went to the priests.  Ten lepers were healed on the way.  Only one leper returned to give thanks.  

Here is a contrast of two types of people.  Those who recognize they are in desperate need of God’s grace and mercy and those who take the gifts of God for granted.  

We have received something wonderful and undeserved from the Lord, a precious gift, the sweetness of justification that has cleansed us, making us presentable before the God of the universe.  We can be like the nine who went on their way, about their business.  Or, we can choose to be like the one who recognized the work of Christ and returned to Him, glorifying God with praise and thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, we have the privilege of taking the time to stop and turn our faces to God, glorifying Him and giving praise and thanksgiving for all His wonderful work in our lives….  for the precious and wonderful gift of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

SDG

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ONE THING!

Since I didn’t lead worship this week and had a wonderful time at a marriage retreat with my husband I thought you might like to read some thoughts I jotted down instead of a worship confessional.

blessings and enjoy!

What One Thing do people want most?

What is the one foremost thing in our minds during the course of the day?

What One Thing moves us emotionally more than anything else?

What One Thing is man’s greatest pursuit?

Is there One Thing we hear more of than anything else in the media?  Read in magazines?  See on TV?

What do you think is the one most important thing to God?

What One Thing do you think He really wants from you?

These are some questions that I have been contemplating and hope to answer, in part. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts.

There’s a movie called Sneakers in which the main characters were offered One Thing, a wish so to speak.  Each one sounded off with the One Thing that they really wanted.

One wanted to be pardoned and have his criminal record erased.   One wanted a trip to Tahiti for two.  One wanted a Winnebago.  One wanted the phone number to a pretty girl.  And, one wanted Peace on Earth.

Perhaps that was their idea of a happy ending.  Interesting pursuits.  Each wanted something different but each wanted something that would not last, something that could be used up or lost in the blink of an eye, something that had no eternal value, fell short of it at the most.

During the course of the football season each team is focused on One Thing.  Winning  And the Superbowl.  Again something that will not last because they will have to defend their title and win the Superbowl again the next year in order to keep it. They may keep the ring and they may have the memories but they will not be able to live off those things in the future nor will those things remain.

Mark 10:17-21*  Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  “You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery,’ `Do not murder,’ `Do not steal,’ `Do not bear false witness,’ `Do not defraud,’ `Honor your father and your mother.'”

 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One Thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Was Jesus’ point that this man needed to be poor to inherit eternal life?  Or perhaps he needed to be more generous to others?  Certainly Jesus was not telling him that he had to acquire a heavenly treasure in order to inherit eternal life.  So what was the most important point?  What was the One Thing missing in this mans life?  What did he lack?

“come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Come: Imperative.  A command to respond , take action.  Also indicates a place to come to.

Take up the cross:  sacrifice.  There was a cost to count. Implies a physical  act of leaving something behind and following after another

Follow Me: This was the same call Jesus used when he found the 2 brothers fishing and chose them to be his disciples..

Matt 4:18-20* ¶ And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

What did he lack then?  He lacked a relationship with Jesus Christ.  He followed the law but he did not follow Jesus.

It is possible to be busy doing what is right and not have a relationship with Christ.  It is even possible to read your bible, serve in the church, even be a worship leader or a pastor and not follow Jesus.

Our pursuits may be good in the eyes of man but if they are not motivated by a desire to follow Jesus sacrificially then they are dead pursuits, without eternal value and ultimately unfullfilling, frustrating, and dead.

I’ll be posting more thoughts tomorrow…. stay tuned in

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Worship Leaders Speak: Brushing-up on Devotion

There are several pictures I get in my mind when I think of someone who has a devotional life.  Someone who rises early (before the sun and the kids) to pray and read from a little book that has each day prepared with a scripture reading and a commentary on the reading. (A devotional)

Someone who reads through his or her Bible every year.  Someone with stacks of Devotionals on their nightstand.  Someone who always has an open bible on his or her coffee or dining table.

The question I ask myself is, “do these descriptions define what it means to have a devotional life?”  And,  “Can we have a wrong perception of what it means to have a devotional life?”

Devotion defined: de·vo·tion   noun

  1.  deep love and commitment
  2.  great dedication and loyalty
  3.  strong enthusiasm and admiration for somebody or something
  4.  fervent religious or spiritual feeling (formal)
  5.  the act of devoting something or being devoted to a particular purpose
  6.  prayers or other religious observances, especially somebody’s private prayers or observances

 

I would like to answer a few questions in the next few paragraphs.  Questions like: What does it mean to have a devotional life?  Do all Christians have a devotional life?  Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?  How can you/I have a successful devotional life?

1.)  What does it mean to have a devotional life?  

 Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus recounts the greatest commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, 

  • All your emotions given to God
  • All your affections given to God

with all your soul, 

  • All your being
  • All your life; breath; physical being.

and with all your mind

  • All your way of thinking
  • All your understanding
  • All your intellect
  • All your imagination

2.) Do all Christians have a devotional life?

2Co 11:3*  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

It is possible to believe that doing acts of devotion are in and of themselves the devotional life.  Many have gotten caught up in thinking that reading their bibles or devotionals and praying at a certain time in the day makes devoted Christians.  On the contrary, it is because we are devoted to Christ that we read our Bibles and pray.

3.) Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?

2Ki 20:3*  “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth   (mind)  and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight (soul or being).” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

1Ch 29:3  King David   “Moreover, because I have set my affection  (heart)  on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: (being)

If we examine the lives of persons in scripture we will find either those who followed the Greatest Commandment or didn’t follow it.

Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and the patriarchs, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Joseph and his brothers, Jonah and The prophets, Job, Samson, The disciples, Judas Iscariot, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Paul and the Apostles, Titus and Timothy, James the brother of Jesus, And the list goes on and on……

In each case these were either successful in their walk with God or not.  Those that were devoted experienced a close walk with God and the peace that comes with it.  Those that struggled in their devotion were markedly either failures or just squeezed by.

4.) How can you / I have a successful devotional life?

1Ch 28:9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

1Ti 4:13* Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Here’s a few things that will help strengthen devotion to God.

  • Devote yourself to Know God
  • Know God’s character and attributes
  • Know God’s voice
  • By prayer and reading 
  • Devote yourself to Serve God
  • Give yourself to God
  • Keep God’s Words
  • Devote yourself to Seek God
  • Study God’s Words

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