Presidential Election Results

When will America realize it’s Not About Us? It’s not about who you as an individual wants as president. America was founded because people wanted a place where they could worship God, and worship Him freely. And until we as a country decide to get back to those basics, it doesn’t matter who is president. Any path we take
without God walking with us, any path we take without God at the end of it, will lead us to the exact same place we are at now…lost and searching for someone who can fix this mess we’ve created for ourselves. And the only person who can fix that is Jesus. All anyone else has is a 2 gallon bucket to fix a 95899643468 gallon bucket mess. And that just doesn’t work.


Music and Moons

Imagine a symphony orchestra. During a performance, the oboe player goes off on a cadenza that was not written nor instructed. A saxophone shoves a flutist out of the center stage chair, percussionists pound on anything and everything, including others instruments. A trumpet player stands on top of the conductor’s podium and plays with sheer abandonment. Sheet music has been tossed from music stands and the conductor is ignored.

What would happen if this scenario I’ve set before you happened in real life?

I would look around thinking This is complete and utter chaos! and then ask for my money back.         That orchestra had music to read and play. They had guidelines to follow and a conductor to lead them. Aside from disregarding normal performance etiquette, this orchestra seems down right rude. 

But is that not how we act every single day of our lives?

We, as Christians, have been given guidelines. We have been given “sheet music” to play. We have a conductor to lead us and we are constantly being watched by an audience. Guidelines? In the bible. “Sheet music”? In the bible. Conductor? The Holy Spirit inside of us. Audience? The world. 

We’ve been called to a higher standard. Just as not everyone is a musician in an orchestra, not everyone is a Christian. With that being said, we cannot go up to a random person on the street and expect them to be able to read this:


and then be upset when they don’t know how to read it and cannot perform it. 

And, going back to the issues of said orchestra, I believe it’s safe to say that each individual in that orchestra had an “it’s all about me” mindset. There was no harmony in the group, nor even a melody. There was no unity of happiness within the group. It’s no wonder that America is so unhappy. If everyone thinks it’s all about themselves and everyone acts that way, we run into problems. Each individual thinks that they are the melody to the sheet music of life with that attitude. And if that is so, how can anyone ever hope to have harmony? With everyone doing their own thing to benefit themselves, there is no hope for harmony to exist. Have you ever listened to a melody by itself? Just a melody-No instrumentation, no harmony, nothing but a single person playing (or singing) a melody. While it may sound nice and it may carry across a room, does it not seem to be missing something? How much louder, fuller, and more defined is a melody played or sung by multiple people and then added on to by more instrumentalists and vocalists? The difference is astounding. 

Now imagine how much more effective Christians would be if we applied the same principles we learn in a musical ensemble setting to our walk with Christ.

Ephesians 1:19-22 says “19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” -NLT

God is the center, not us. 

I absolutely love Max Lucado and his book It’s Not About Me, which is what actually contributed to my previous knowledge about this topic as well as inspiration for this blog post. 

Anyways…in Lucado’s book, he states “When God looks at the center of the universe, He doesn’t look at you. When heaven’s stagehand directs the spotlight towards the star of the show, I need no sunglasses-no light falls on me. Lesser orbs, that’s us. Appreciated, valued, loved dearly. But central? Essential? Pivotal?  Nope, sorry. Contrary to the Ptolemy within us, the world does not revolve around us. Our comfort is not God’s priority….God does not exist to make a big deal out of us, we exist to make a big deal out of Him.”

Lucado goes even further to say “The moon models our role. She generates no light. Apart from the sun, the moon is nothing more than a pitch black, pock marked rock. But, properly positioned, the moon beams. Let her do what she was made to do and a clod of dirt becomes a source of inspiration, of even romance. The moon reflects the greater light. And she’s happy to do so! You never hear the moon complaining… …What would happen if we accepted our place as Son reflectors?” 

2 Corinthians 3:18 says “18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into His glorious image.”

As Christ followers (those of us who have had the veil removed, as the verse refers to it as), we are called to reflect the Son.

So, aside from the orchestral example, there was nothing “musical” per say about this blog. However, One of the goals of musicianship class is to integrate faith and music or faith through music. and i believe there are many parallelisms that can be taught using the same principles that one learns in a musical setting and ensemble; thus integrating (to some degree) faith and music. I promise I will eventually (hopefully sooner than later) get better at writing these blogs at a shorter length, but for now…this is what you get(:

worship [add-on]

While thinking about the whole worship experience topic, I remembered the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by Sarah Reeves. I hope y’all will enjoy it!

url is: 

I am an instrument of the living God
My life a melody to His name
More than the songs I sing
Worship is everything
I live to glorify my King

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

Through all the mire and clay
You’re washing me with grace
You carry me, oh Lord, through it all
So I will testify even in the fire
I live to praise my Savior

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

Let everything that has breath
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
And all creation will sing Hallelujah

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

The Worship Experience

True worship of God, and specifically worship of God through song in today’s church, is something that my heart literally aches to see fulfilled in the way God intended it to be. So what is worship? And how do we worship? These are two questions that, by the end of this post, I hope to have answered. I was raised southern baptist and my Dad was/is still currently a baptist pastor. There is literally so much that I could to say and want to say about this topic, but as I am refrained to only two paragraphs or so, so I will try to keep it brief. All of you know I’m a big talker, so let’s see how this goes. . . (bear with me, I promise it is all relevant!) The podcast I listened to (found here: stated at one point that “true worship is not defined by whether or not I am emotionally satisfied with my experience”.

So many people in the church today are getting it all wrong, they’re missing the point. Many of them have been told that if they send praises up to God that blessings will come raining down. So they only “praise” and “worship” God to get blessings, not because they love Him or want to thank Him for what He’s done in their lives. For example, when I was little, my mother tried to teach me about tithing and how when you give God money, He will bless you and you just might get even more money back than you had in the first place. Naturally, she said it a lot more eloquently than I just did, but what I got out of it as a 7 year old was: give God money = get a lot more money to spend on toys. So i constantly asked my mom for money and was always waiting for God to bless me with something new and exciting. The first time I gave tithe, it “worked” (I got a birthday card in the mail with money inside), but after that, I was disappointed to find it wasn’t working out quite like I had hoped. My mom eventually caught on and explained to me it didn’t work that way, that God sees our hearts and that we should give God everything we have with a loving, cheerful, thankful heart. I say all that to say that is how I believe many people see worship, as a means to get something they want. Branching off with that idea….many people out in the world today, not even necessarily in the church, want a “religious experience”. They want to experience something bigger than themselves, to be a part of something important, to matter. Come to think of it, everyone wants that; and they are all constantly searching for what that is that can fulfill that longing in their hearts, that we as Christ followers know is really them longing for Jesus to be in their lives. They want to feel “warm fuzzies” in their hearts and a reverence of something greatly significant. The podcast talked of people leaving the United States to live in Europe, because the people there hold a great reverence for God and/or spirituality. The general population longs for proof of something. To quote the podcast they want to “bring Jesus up from the grave or bring God down from Heaven”. What they don’t understand is the means of grace is the message of grace. God didn’t drag our sorry butts up to heaven and hand us some grace all wrapped in a bow, nor did Jesus drag us down to hell to fight Satan. He came to us, met us just as we were….dying and in sin and in slavery. Then He sacrificed His life for us so we could spend an eternity with Him. But we should not confuse that message by making it all about us. Yes, Jesus Christ died for us, but it is not about us.

Focusing more on the sacrifice part of that, why is the sacrifice itself so important?
Well, the bible says in 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” So, if Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us, then we are called to do the same. Romans 12:1 says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Notice that last word, Worship? From this verse, we learn that true and proper worship is presenting one’s body as a living sacrifice. okay, so now what? That verse does NOT mean go kill yourself as a sacrifice, i.e. living sacrifice. So how do we present ourselves as living sacrifices? We give God everything. We give Him control of everything; our relationships with other people, our school work, our current circumstances, our past that we hate to remember, our past that we love. We give Him our future, or reputation, and we give Him the things we don’t want to give up. Things like that guy or girl we know we shouldn’t date but we do anyways. Things like that alcohol or those drugs that we just can’t seem to shake even if we wanted to. Or even something as simple as unwholesome talk, whether that be gossip or cussing, anything un-beneficial to the body of Christ. and when we give Him our lives, we cant leave anything back. There aren’t stories in the bible of sheep herders who said “Okay God, I know you want my best and all I have to offer, so how about I take my best lamb and give you one of it’s legs? That counts, right? or maybe You could have the body and I’ll take the head?” There aren’t stories like that because that is not proper worship. That is not true worship.

Webster’s dictionary defines truth as “fidelity to the original”. Think about that for a minute. What was/is the original? God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. How do we know this? 1 John 1:1-3 says “We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” So let’s piece all this together…

  • Truth is fidelity to the original.
  • The original is Jesus.
  • Jesus died on a cross as a sacrifice for mankind’s sin.
  • As Christians we are called to present our bodies as a living sacrifice as a true and proper act of worship.

There is no mention of feelings and emotions. No mention that we should be expectant of anything in return. One of the quotes I love from the podcast was “God is present today. He is here today regardless of whether or not you feel Him”. That is so true and is what so many people seem to miss. worship is not based on feelings. A friend once told me “feelings are fickle” and that is such a true statement. There will be days when we don’t feel close to Jesus. But thank God (literally) that our salvation and our worship are not based on feelings. At the end of the day, scripture is the concrete evidence that God has given us to go by. And I believe that is the point these men were trying to get to in the podcast. Emotions are not what should determine our worship. In addition to that, worship is not simply singing songs in a church building or youth group. It is a life choice, presenting your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God as a true and proper act of worship.

This was all just food for thought. Well, more like a feast, I guess…but hopefully it got you thinking.