Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘joy’

Why I Love to Sing in the Choir

I have always loved music, and I love to sing; but the reasons that I love to sing in my church choir are are so much deeper than that.  Here are the top ten reasons why I love to sing in the choir at my church:

MY  TOP  TEN  REASONS
FOR  JOYFULLY  SINGING  IN  THE  CHURCH  CHOIR

choir smiling1.  Singing in my church choir gives me an opportunity to express my love for the Lord.

I am so thankful for God’s love and mercy and for the sacrificial life and death of Jesus and the victory of His resurrection.  How else could I express the profound spiritual understanding of the goodness of God that goes beyond words and is only revealed in my heart through the work of God’s Holy Spirit?  Someimes, within the congregation, it is only through musical praise that I feel I have done all that I can do, with God’s help, to share the message of God’s salvation and His incredible love for me and for all of mankind.  

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people.  Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works.  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”   Psalm 105:1 – 3 sing a new song to the Lord

2.  Singing in my church choir is more than a hobby or an activity.  It is a calling.

What an incredible privilege it is to know that God has allowed me to have the ability to participate in something that brings Him glory as those who love the Lord assemble together for worship!  He has made each of us with particular gifts and talents.  I believe that the calling to minister through these gifts is what gives faithful choir members the passion to continue their service and to strive for excellence in expressing their praise to the Lord.

There is a lot of  * JOY  * in fulfilling your calling and in giving praise to the Lord, who has given us everything we’ve ever had and all that we ever will have!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my soul!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn!  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth.”  Psalm 108:1 – 5

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

3.  Singing in my church choir allows for a type of expression of praise to the Lord that could not be accomplished in any other way.

Although I love all kinds of music and all kinds of arrangements, there are some songs, some lyrics, and some messages that just would not have the same intensity of expression if they were shared in any other way than through choral singing.  The Hallelujah Chorus is one such example.  Can you imagine it as a solo?  It just would not have the same impact.  There is something about voices joined together as a choir to share a message for God’s glory that is just a very unique means of expression.  Although Tom Fettke’s “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” or Heather Sorenson’s “God of Heaven” would still have a beautiful melody when sung as a solo, the impact would not be as great as if a choir were singing these worshipful anthems and joining their hearts and souls to bring glory to God in a soaring or contemplative or victorious or joyous choral arrangement.

“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”   Psalm 107:21 & 22

Serve Him with gladness4.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in the overall ministry of leading in worship, which is a joy and a privilege.

As long as I have a voice, I want to use it to praise God.  I don’t want to miss an opportunity to use my voice and even the expression on my face to proclaim God’s goodness through all of the musical praise during congregational worship.  I realize that the choir is not just there to sing an anthem or to perform.  We are there to worship and to lead in worship.  Whether we are singing a new song or an old song, a hymn, a worship song, a choral anthem, or a musical benediction, it is a joy to share these messages of hope and faith with the people of God and to gather in God’s name for the purpose of bringing Him glory.  

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”   Psalm 107:31 & 32 Sing to the Lord a new song all the earth

5.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has given me many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ in many settings, throughout my home country and in other countries as well.

Whether a choir is singing in an outdoor setting, a shopping mall, a small church, a prison, a nursing home or assisted living center, a juvenile detention center, a community center, a state capitol building, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C., or in a great concert hall in Australia or a public school in Russia, the opportunity to bring glory to God and to share the message of His love and mercy is a blessing and an incredibly humbling miracle of God’s grace!  If God had not saved a wretch like me, I would have no message to share anywhere!  

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good:  His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

Psalm 107:8

Psalm 107:8

6.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has implanted incredibly profound messages within my heart and soul through the lyrics of the songs that I have been able to sing.

I have been incredibly blessed to invest time in learning these wonderful words and then have had the blessing of remembering them so often as the Lord uses them to speak to my heart over and over again.  Often, the words of sacred choral anthems are either entirely scripture, based upon scripture, are paraphrases of scripture, or contain some scriptural content.  Singing them helps me to learn and to remember scripture passages and spiritual truths.  As a choir member, I am not just singing these songs once a week on Sunday morning.  Because of the work aspect that goes into preparation for sharing these messages in worship, we really live with these incredible words, and they have a deep impact in our lives.  What a joy it is to sing these messages, live these truths, and share these words of truth and hope, faith and love, blessing and victory, challenge and mercy, and ministry and grace!

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord all the earth.  Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.”   Psalm 96:1 – 4a Bless the Lord O my soul

7.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has allowed me to get to know so many wonderful people who love the Lord and have a heart of service.

A choir becomes a family as we serve together and care for one another.  We pray for one another.  We love each other and share God’s love with each other.  There is an incredible bond when you have worshiped and cried and smiled and laughed and worked and learned and prayed together.  I can sing a wrong note or sing in the wrong place, and my choir family just considers such things to be part of the process of learning the music and growing in faith and in musical expression together.  I have never heard anyone groan or complain about singing the same portion of a song over and over in order to get it right.  We embrace our humanity as we strive to sing beyond our own abilities in order to bring God glory.

“Blessed are those who dwell in Thy house, ever singing Thy praise!   Selah”    Psalm 84:4

8.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in something that is so much bigger than my self.to God all praise and glory

The spiritual and emotional and mental messages that flow out of the marriage of music and lyrics in each song become so much more meaningful as I sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I know something of their stories and their lives.  I know when someone is singing about God’s healing for broken hearts with deep emotion that flows from their own fountain of personal pain.  I know when someone is singing of the joy of the Lord even when they have just experienced a personal loss.  I know when the message of Christ’s victory over death has very personal meaning to one of my dear sisters or brothers.  I know when the hearts of all of us are touched with God’s mercy and when the joy is so real that I am amazed that it is not visible in the air around us.  So, not only is the sound and the arrangement something that I could never accomplish on my own.  The collective testimony of this group and the way that God is ministering to our individual hearts as we sing (and to us and through us as a choir) create an impact through the very real and heartfelt sharing of musical testimony that extends far beyond myself or any one individual.

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also.  The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”   Psalm 95:1 – 7a give God the glory

9.  I believe that singing praise to God is the closest thing to Heaven that I can experience on this earth.

What could be better than the times when I have the blessing of joining my own voice and heart with the voices and hearts of a group of people whose desire is to praise God, encourage God’s people, share the story of who God is and what He has done, tell the good news of Jesus, and bring blessing and honor and glory to God?  The Bible speaks of the singers and the musicians and of choirs.  The scriptures talk about the voice of God and how He rejoices over us with singing.  There is something special about the way that God created us to use music as a form of expression that goes far beyond words.  If is much more that the music itself.  It is about how God Himself speaks through the music and then allows us to speak to Him and about Him through the music.  

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4 Praise continually

10.  I love to sing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs because of the incredible songs that God has inspired men and women to write, which then become part of my own spiritual journey.

I believe that before a spiritual song can touch the hearts of people, God must first touch the heart of the song-writer (composer) of the song.  I believe (and know!) that every song begins with a revelation of truth from God or a new way of looking at or expressing a truth already known.  It is like experiencing my own spiritual journey as I try, then make mistakes, and then try again in rehearsal, while simultaneously experiencing the revelations that flow from the spiritual journeys of others.  I have learned so much, and my own journey has been blessed beyond words by the profound spiritual truth that I have learned through the songs I’ve been priveleged to sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  To me, a choir rehearsal is not just working on music.  It is a time of worship.  I have wept as my heart has been moved by the message of a song.  I have reached out to grab the hand of a friend.  I have felt my heart swell until I thought I might burst.  I have experienced joy so great that I was amazed to find my feet still on the floor.  My soul has been convicted and stirred.  My heart has been broken and mended and strengthened and challenged.  My faith has grown.  I have walked through deep valleys and enjoyed the view from some mountaintops… all while praising the Lord through the songs that he has inspired men and women to write and then to arrange for choir, for the blending and unity of hearts and minds and souls as we learn and grow and rejoice together in this lovely, human expression of the eternal and divine that we call choir.

“The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.  Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar.  And when the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.  The whole assembly worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.  When the burnt offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped.  And Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.  And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshipped.”  II Chronicles 29:26 – 30

What a blessing a joy it has been to sing in church choirs and in other choirs made up of my brothers and sisters in Christ!  I will continue to praise the Lord through choral music for as long as I have the opportunity.  I am so thankful to God for my salvation and for His presence in my life.  I cannot help but sing.

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with thanksgiving to God for giving me something of eternal meaning and worth to sing about, and with love and appreciation for my favorite Choral Director, Travis L. Boyd, for giving me a love song in this life.

I am also thankful for all of the wonderful choral and band directors and voice and piano teachers who have taught me so much about music and then about singing and playing music for more than the here and now.  They include:  Dr. Jon Duncan, Dr. Bill Green, Dr. Terry Segress, Eugene Beck, Steve Westmoreland, Dr. Charles Jurrens, Mrs. Betty Westomoreland, Dr. Robert Reynolds, Faye Casey, John Robinson, Steve Smith, John Casey, Dr. Charles Chapman, Dr. Merle Taff, Lillian Loe-Stoddard, Eugene Butler, Dr. Irving Bunton, Lloyd Pfautsch, Wynn Anne Hook, Ron Stanton, Eph Ely, and John Gerber, who was directing the invitation hymn when I laid down my music and left the choir loft to say “yes” to Jesus.

Sharing this post:  In order to share this blog post with your choir, congregation, or worship team, a link to this post may appear in a newsletter, bulletin, or e-mail.  In addition, reprint information is provided below (as a result of the volume of inquiries). Link to the post:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/why-i-love-to-sing-in-the-choir/

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REPRINT INFORMATION FOR THIS ARTICLE

Non-paid publications:   This article may be re-printed in non-paid publications (church newsletters, bulletins) without further permisson, provided that the author’s name is posted at the end of the article, along with the link to our blog:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com

Paid publications:  To reprint all (or a portion) of the article in a paid publication, permission must be obtained.  You may comment on this post in order to request permission, stating the type of publication (and terms) plus providing a return e-mail address for a reply from us.  Your comment will not be seen by others since comments to our blog are not seen publically unless we approve them, and we will reply within 48 hours (unless providentially hindered).

Internet postings:  In order to post this article online on your own site (other worship blogs, music ministry or church websites), you must have a working link back to our blog, with a notation that states: This article, and many others, can be found on the Worship Sounds blog at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com  In addition, the article must be posted in its entirely.  If it is going to be online, we prefer that the original wording stays intact.  An edited version might read differently from our intent.

So, online postings must:

1.  Contain the statement previously mentioned.
2.  Be un-edited, posted as written.
3.  Contain the author’s name at the end of the article, as it appears in the blog post.

We will stand by our words and prefer to have the opportunity to answer any inquiries about the content of the article ourselves. Let us hear from you! We would love to hear about how the Lord has used the message of this article to encourage and inspire your choir, worship team, or congregation.  If you can do a follow-up comment after sharing it, that would be a real blessing to us. Thank you so much for your interest in spreading the word about the very vital and incredible experince of being a part of a worshipping choir and worship ministry in general.  It is an indescribable blessing.

…And we all thank You, Lord, for allowing us to have a part in leading others to worship You!!”

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Here are two of my favorite choral anthems, written by my husband, Worship Minister and Composer Travis L. Boyd.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Jesus, My Redeemer”.  There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Praise God”. There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

Information about additional Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Vocal Solos, and Congregational worship music by Travis L. Boyd, which can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website, is below.

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Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Find Worshipful  CHORAL  MUSIC  for your Choir at  WORSHIP  SOUNDS  MUSIC! Worship Sounds music offers downloadable Choral Anthems for Adult Choirs, Senior Adult Choirs, and Student Choirs in several voicings (SATB, SAB, SSATB, 2-Part, SSAA, and TTBB).  Many of our anthems also have Full Orchestrations available, and some also have downloadable Mp3 Accompaniment Tracks.  In addition, we offer Vocal Solos, with most available in 3 keys, Solo Accompaniment Tracks, and Congregational worship music. You can find all of this at http://www.worshipsounds.com

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend? Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/ Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Joy for Today

Make a joyful noise“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”    Psalm 118:24

What does it mean to rejoice and be glad in today?

Here’s one definition of the word “rejoice”:  “animated with gladness, exhilarated, feeling joy” *

Pastors and Bible scholars often state that there is a difference between happiness and joy.  The writers at GotQuestions.org state their belief in this way:  “The Bible teaches that happiness is fleeting because it often depends on things outside of ourselves, but true joy is eternal because it is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is itself an everlasting source of joy.”
Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/joy-happiness.html#ixzz2MbRweTBr

We shouldn’t be as focused solely upon happiness which is dependent on outward circumstances.  Our joy in the Lord is based on an internal constant – our relationship with Him.


joy Joy joyWhat does the Bible say regarding joy?
  1. *  Psalm 4:7 –  “You have filled my heart with greater joy.”
    God is the source and provider of joy in our lives.
  2. *  Psalm 19:8 –  “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.”
    God’s Word also brings joy to the life of the believer because it is right.

*  Psalm 92:4 –  “For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the work of your hands.”
God’s mighty works can bring us joy as we consider His mighty power, His creativity, and His kindness.

*  Acts 16:34 –  “The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.”
Salvation brought joy to the Philippian jailer.

*  2 Corinthians 7:4b –   “in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”
Even in the midst of problems, we can have endless joy as we learn to keep our minds focused on God and his promises.

*  Galatians 5:22 –   “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
Joy is one of the evidences of our spiritual conversion and our relationship with Christ.

*  1 Thessalonians 1:6b –   “in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit gives us joy, revealing God’s love and care for us in countless ways.

*  1 Thessalonians 5:16 –  “Be joyful always…”
We are commanded to always be joyful, a similar verse reminds us that we are “abounding in hope”.

*  James 1:2 –  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
We should be joyful even when we face trials in life,  choosing joy in spite of circumstances.

– The scriptures about joy were taken from http://www.richchristianpoorchristian.com/2010/04/difference-between-happiness-and-joy.html

Trust God with todayWhat does the Bible say about “today”?

“So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”   Hebrews 4:7
Although this verse probably referred to salvation (similiar to “today is the day of salvation”), we can also enter His rest by choosing to spend time in meditation and prayer.  As we allow God to specak to our hearts, we have chosen His rest rather than choosing to harden our hearts by allowing worry or doubt to take hold.

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”    Exodus 14:13
The Egyptians had been the captors of the children of Israel and then became their pursuers, intending to punish them and take them captive once more.  Moses encouraged the people to believe and to trust firmly in God’s deliverance.  After all that God had already done in sending the plagues on Egypt to secure the release of His people, He was not going to allow them to be re-captured and enslaved again.  What holds you captive and pursues your heart?  God has promised delieverance to those who will stand firm and trust him.

“I am making this covenant both with you who stand here today in the presence of the LORD our God, and also with the future generations who are not standing here today.”   Deuteronomy 29:15
God was always thinking of us.  Though we had not yet been born, we were in His heart.  His covenant and His promises are for us!  As the Psalmist said, “What is man that You are mindful of him?”  And yet, He is.  YOU are on God’s mind and in His heart.

“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”   2 Corinthians 6:2
Isn’t it incredible the lengths to which God has gone to show His favor to us and to offer us salvation.  He did not withhold His only Son.  He loved us while we were yet sinners.  He sent the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and speak to our hearts to call us to Himself.  When you have already said “yes” to God’s salvation, you are the apple of His eye.  His favor rests on you.  This is not just the favor of an earthly King.  God’s favor is the merciful and loving goodness of the King of all creation!

“The Sovereign LORD has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning, He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.”   Isaiah 50:4
God has given us His word, full of promises, assurance and comfort.  He gives us His peace when we fix our minds upon Him.  He opens our minds to the understanding of the eternal, even when the temporary circumstances of our lives seem overwhelming or even hopeless.  He sends others to strengthen and encourage us, working in their hearts as well so that they may know how to comfort us; and sometimes He allows us to be the one with words of comfort or just a comforting presence for others.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”   2 Peter 3:8& 9
Never forget God’s patience and His complete understanding.  He is not slow to hear your prayers.  He is patient.  Unlike us, he is not prone to act hastily or unwisely.  There is time…an eternity of time…for God to make everything right and to wipe away all sorrow, giving us the incredible, eternal gift of being present with Him in Heaven, where the joy and delight will be beyond anything we can imagine and will never end!

The joy of the Lord“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”   Psalm 118:24
Today, we can rejoice and be glad!  We have a loving God who is a keeper of promises.  He is patient, kind, merciful, and good.  He cares about everything in our lives.  He is the God of all comfort.  He saw our need and sent His only Son to provide salvation.  He is preparing a place in heaven for you!  As Babbie Mason’s song, “What Can Separate You (From the Precious Love of God)” says, “To give you life forever, He left no stone unturned“.  He is the lover of your soul and the keeper of your heart.

“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”   Psalm 5:3
May we choose to begin the day seeking God, knowing that He hears us.  May we wait expectantly for His work in our lives and on our behalf.  May we wait, trusting Him, and choosing joy in the waiting!

Dear friend, rejoice today; and be glad in the loving kindness of the one true God, whose mercy endures forever!

Here are the words to a brand new song by Travis L. Boyd.  This song is special and will bless a lot of hearts.  May it be a reminder of God’s love and care and the way He meets us where we are and surrounds us with His loving presence.
Cape Blanco LighthouseEARLY IN THE MORNING
by Travis L. Boyd

Early in the morning
When the night is gone,
Creation awakens
To welcome the dawn.

Early in the morning
At the break of day,
Your glory shines forth
In the beautiful world You have made.

Early in the morning,
When I bow in prayer,
Your presence surrounds me.
I rest in Your care.

Early in the morning,
When I speak Your name,
Your peace overwhelms me.
My soul must proclaim…

Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah, Amen!

(bridge)
Morning by morning,  Your mercies are new.
Lovingly, You guide my way.
Moment by moment, You shepherd my soul,
Giving me strength and  fulfilling my days.

Early in the morning,
I will lift my voice
To worship and praise You,
My soul must rejoice!

Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah!  Hallelujah, Amen!

(copyright Travis L. Boyd, Worship Sounds Music)
soon to be added to the Worship Sounds website at http://www.worshipsounds.com

* The definition of “rejoice” near the beginning of this post is from http://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/rejoice.html

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This post was written and compiled by Cynthia A. Boyd, with song lyrics written by Travis L. Boyd.

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Here is a link to a video of Babbie Mason’s beautiful and comforting song,
“What Can Separate You (From the Precious Love of God)”

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1MECJNNU

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Singing a New Song

Sing to the LordWhat does the Bible have to say about new songs or new music, and what can new songs mean for us?

Here are some scripture verses about a having a new song and some thoughts about how new songs can bring new life.

A new song, wherever you are!

Sing a new song to the LORD.  Sing His praise from the ends of the earth, you people who sail on the seas and all the creatures that live in them, you coastlands and all who live on them.

–  Isaiah 42:10

God has given us the gift of music so that we might creatively express thoughts and feelings with a depth of emotional and spiritual meaning that goes beyond what mere words can convey.  He has given music as a tool whereby we might respond and communicate with each other and with Him.  He has given us the ability to appreciate and enjoy music.  And, He has given us the ability to create music.

When we return a new song to God in praise, we have completed a circle of giving.  He gives the capabilities to hear various pitches, to internalize rhythms, and to understand the meaning of lyrics.  He has created, and He gives us the ability to create.  God has given to us a revelation of truth or a new way to express truth that becomes the message and style, melody and rhythm, harmony and expression of the new song.  Together, these elements form the whole of a gift that we can then give back to our Father God as we worship Him.

No matter where we are, we can live in relationship with God in a way that allows Him to give us a song.  Whether your song is one you recently discovered, written by someone else, which expresses exactly where you are on your spiritual journey or whether God used your gifts to write the song 6 minutes ago, He knows when our hearts are pouring out a new message of love and thankfulness to HIm.

Sing to the Lord a new song all the earthA new song as a personal expression of worship

I will sing a new song to You, O God; Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You.

–  Psalm 144:9

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At its highest and noblest purpose, music can be a vehicle whereby we communicate the truths of God’s word or His character and lift that message up to God in worship, with the purpose of bringing glory to Him, encouraging the body of Christ, and sharing a message of testimony and truth that God’s Spirit can use to draw hearts to the Lord.

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A new song as congregational praise

Praise the LORD!  Sing to the LORD a new song.  Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.  

–  Psalm 149:1

sing a new song to the LordThere are times when we need a new song.  Perhaps the songs we already know don’t say exactly what we want to say.  Perhaps God has given inspiration for both melody and words to say something new or to share a well-loved truth in a new way.  Every song begins with an idea, whether that idea is a musical idea or a lyrical one.  However, songs that are written to bring glory to God begin with something more profound:  a revelation.  God speaks to the heart of the songwriter or lyric writer through His Spirit, through the Word, through something that someone says, or a book or article, or even through His creation.  A revelation of spiritual truth can also come through the lessons in a time of trial or even in a time of victory as we learn to trust God in all of life.  All of these kinds of experiences can be used by God to inspire someone that He has gifted with songwriting abilities in the creation of a new song.  This song in turn can become a vehicle for the writer and sometimes for the praise of the congregation or for multititudes of congregations.

A new song as a hymn of praise and a powerful testimony that draws others to the Lord

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the LORD. 

–  Psalm 40:3

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In our experience, the music that Travis has been inspired to write has been a chronicle of our spiritual journey and what the Lord has been doing in our hearts along the way.  Many of these songs were born out of a moment of recognition or revelation when a spiritual lesson was beginning to become a clear guiding light of recognizable truth that God would use to move us further along down the road to becoming more like Jesus.   Many of these spiritual life lessons are truths that we thought we already knew.  However, God has allowed us to experience them in a deeper or more profound way that has changed our perspective, focused our efforts, and refined our character.   For example, we had always heard and read and known intellectually that God is faithful.  However, through some rocky experiences over a long period of time and the simple fact that we were able to hang in there and keep hoping until we saw the faithfulness of God manifested in various situations, God taught us again to trust His faithfulness.  We learned once more that we could choose to trust Him even when we had no understanding of why things happened as they did and even when every fiber of our being was desperately crying out for resolution to pain and crisis NOW!  We learned that we have the easy part (if you could call waiting in desperation easy) of just holding on, while God is not only working throughout the situation but also working in the hearts of we who are struggling to believe while knowing that we must believe even when belief seems contrary to every indicator of reality.  How patient He is with us as we learn the same lessons over and over again, hopefully at a deeper level of spiritual understanding and growth.  Out of such experiences came songs like Travis’ “God is Faithful,” “I Am Here,” (the assurance of God’s presence) and “Much More Than a Song” (the recognition of the fact that God is worthy of praise in any circumstance).

Sing a new songA new song as a Psalm of thanks for what God has done.

Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done wonderful deeds.  His right hand has won a mighty victory; His holy arm has shown his saving power!

–  Psalm 98:1

The fact that God continues to give “a new song” is an encouragement for individual Christians and for the people of God.  It means that God is still at work in the hearts of His people.  It means that God is still “with us” and is striving to complete His work in our lives, as He has promised.  It means that God’s patience (long-suffering) is still delaying His judgement of this world because of His mercy and grace and His great love.  Like a sermon or a book that someone has been inspired to write and to proclaim, a new song means that there are still lessons to learn and souls that need to be saved.  As long as God continues to inspire new songs as messages of His love, His faithfulness, His mercy and grace, His plan for our lives and for all of creation, God’s people are reminded through another means that God is still working to accomplish His purposes.  His Spirit is working in our hearts, His Word is instructing us in righteousness, and the messages that God inspires men to write or speak or act or paint or sing or sculpt (and, especially, to live!) for His glory are testimonies of God’s faithfulness in all of these things.

A new song for everyone!

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! 

–  Psalm 96:1

sing of the mercies of the LordSome of the songs that individuals feel inspired to write may never be heard by many people.  The purpose of a song may be as an individual expression of praise to God.  This kind of new song is very personal to the writer as a part of their spiritual journey and may exist only to serve as a vehicle of praise for that person.  Someone who has never thought of themselves as a song writer may even find themselves singing to the Lord in worship with lyrics that are uniquely their own.  A song does not have to be sung by millions in order to be a valid expression of praise to God.  He knows when your “new song” expresses the praises of your heart or speaks of a lesson learned or a truth that has been understood in a new way.  In essence, every time we sing any song of praise to God, it can be a “new song” of praise to Him when it becomes the very real and sincere praise of the present moment, when our hearts cry out anew in thankfulness and awe.

A new song in Heaven

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain; and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 

–  Revelation 5:9

Our God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  But His creation continues to change even as He creates newness in hearts and lives.  The heartbreak of pain and loss will not always be with us.  All of the trials of this world are temporary.  Someday, He will make all things new, just as He is now making our hearts new.  The process of His work on our spiritual creation gives us some new songs to sing along the way.  Is is a joy to know that someday we will sing of His victory in a place where there is no more to overcome.  We will have overcome all things through the blood of the Lamb, through the giving of our lives to Him, through the Word of truth, and through the word of our testimony.  Our songs of trusting God when we don’t understand will become obsolete.  Finally, we will know Him even as we are known, and God will give us a new song of thanksgiving and praise for all of eternity.

Sing HallelujahA new song of joy

Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 

–  Psalm 33:3

For now, we will continue our songs, both old and new.  We will sing of God’s salvation and power.  We will sing of His faithfulness and love.  We will sing of God’s mercy and His amazing grace.  We will sing with joy, for we know that we are not the only ones who are singing.  Our God rejoices over us as his dearly beloved children, and He sings over us as well.  He is with us.  He is mighty in power and yet tender and gentle in His patience, renewing us with His love until that day when we will dwell with Him and the former things will all pass away.

His song for you and me

The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. 

–  Zephaniah 3:17

My husband, singing his song, “Much More Than a Song” (available as a Vocal Solo or Choral Anthem on http//:www.worshipsounds.com )

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The End of an Era (almost)

“We tried child-proofing, but….”

I considered several different titles for this post…

“Adventures in Child-Proofing”  was one possibility.

“To Insanity…and Beyond”  had a certain ring.

Another option involved the simplicity of sticking to the facts, with

“We Survived Three Junior Houdinis!”

(I want the t-hirt!)

Sticky boo bear Camden

All of the possibilities listed above have the “hanging on by your toenails” chaotic edge that captures a bit of the reality of our life at the Boyd house for the last few years.  But, alas, none of those catchy titles had the other element that all parents recognize as one childhood phase is ending and another begins:  an odd combination of giddy relief and totally dramatic nostalgia.  The symptoms are common.  As you regain your sanity after realizing that the pre-school years have truly passed, you may find yourself looking at photos of sticky little boo bears sitting in a high chair and wishing you could go through half a tub of wet wipes cleaning up a squirmy little cutie pie’s face and hands just one more time.  You watch a video of the holidays and realize how joyful it is to see wonder and delight through the eyes of a precious little one.  Or, you see something that your child would have just loved as a pre-schooler… and realize that you don’t have anyone to share those kinds of things with any more.   The feeling of treasuring all of the short-lived sweetness of the baby and toddler years lingers long after the outgrown clothes and toys have found a new home.  Ah, sweet memories!

Let’s not forget the flip side of forgetful nostalgia, though.  I don’t have to view many sticky boo bear photos before remembering all of the milestones that moving forward represents.  There are no more diapers, no more potty chairs, no more sippy cups, and no more baby gates.  Ah, yes.  It’s all coming back to me now in a flood of the aforementioned giddy relief.

No more diapers means:  no more changing diapers, no more buying diapers, no more waiting for the stall with the nasty changing table to become vacant, and no more wet spots in your lap.

No more potty chairs means:  no more cleaning potty chairs, no more 50 yard dash through a crowded restaurant to a potty that your suddenly persnickety toddler refuses to use, and no more wet spots on your couch (even worse than on a lap).

No more baby gates means: no more parent wipe-outs after the “I think I’ll just step over it this time” syndrome claims one more victim.

And, finally, no more sippy cups means:  no more frantic treasure hunts for the elusive favorite cup that fell out of the stroller somewhere on the ten block walk from your car to the arts festival (and then finding the missing cup two weeks later under the seat of the car after searching for the source of noxious fumes in your vehicle).

Are you giddy yet?

Our four pre-schoolers enjoy a moment of stillness during the sippy cup phase.  Believe me, it was only a moment.

Braden is the oldest of our four who were all in the pre-school phase at once. Here’s just what he looked like back then. Isn’t he a cutie?

If you are still overtaken with parental nostalgia, allow me to refresh your memory with a tale of aging parents totally outnumbered by four adorable and clever pre-schoolers plus two older boys.  Travis and I were experienced parents before we had pre-schoolers times four.  We had a daughter who was married, a son in junior high, and another son in elementary school.   We’d dealt with all the issues of child-rearing previously, but the years between our oldest three meant that we were dealing with the baby or pre-school stage one child at a time.  At least, that was so until the four youngest Boyd boys came along.  Braden, the oldest of the four, was three years old (almost four) when his twin brothers, Austin and Camden, were born.  In the middle of the pre-school pack was Logan, who was born about half-way between Braden and the twins.  So, by the time that twins Camden and Austin were fully ambulatory at age one, Logan was two and a half and Braden was four (almost five).  At that stage, we were child-proofing like crazy.  We had all of the usual outlet plugs and cabinet latches, but we quickly discovered that we needed to go much further.   Though Braden was past the age of getting into everything, he was fascinated by the toys belonging to older brother Zachary (then age 6) and by oldest brother Jared’s Star Wars lego structures.  If Jared forgot to lock the door to his room, Braden discovered it and was inside in a heart beat, destroying the complicated Lego builds.   The force was with him.  In the room that Braden and Zach shared, Braden left most things alone.  However, he loved to dump out the baskets and bins of sorted toys (like hot wheels, super hero figures, monster trucks, construction vehicles, and duplo blocks) that were stored in the closet.  To prevent all of the small toys from being out at once, we did place locks on the closet doors.  Even with the force, Braden could not defeat us.  We were undaunted.  It was a hassle getting into the closet when we needed something, though.

Precious little snoozers Camden, Logan, and Austin needed a red flashing warning light on their foreheads that said, “Recharging” !

Co-conspirators Austin and Camden

The three youngest pre-schoolers shared a bedroom out of necessity, so at first we had two cribs and a toddler bed in the room.  Later on, we had three toddler beds.  Yes, we used all of the conventional child-proofing stuff with these three, but we were forced to go far beyond the norm time and time again.  Our three sweet-faced toddlers might have looked totally innocent, but these little guys were amazingly resourceful.  What one didn’t think of, another one would.  Then, they would work together to accomplish their dastardly plan.  Logan was our fearless climber.   There was no such thing as “out of reach” where he was concerned.  Have you ever seen a pre-schooler totally dismantle a lamp, leaving the shade totally torn apart down to the framework and the base of the lamp dismantled (miraculously, without breaking the light bulb)?   Logan did.  We gave up on having a lamp on top of their chest of drawers.  As with Braden, we had to use locks on the closet for Austin, Camden, and Logan’s room.  They would even pull clothing off of hangers and drag out all of the linens stored inside if we accidentally left the closet door open.  In addition, Travis had to drill holes in every drawer front and install key locks on their chest of drawers.  Otherwise, they would pull the drawers out and use them as a ladder to climb to the top of the chest.  They would also pull out all of the folded clothing and have a good ol’ time throwing it everywhere in their room.  If Mom was in the utility room trying to start a load of laundry, it was amazing how much destruction they could create in just a few minutes.   Twins Austin and Camden also had their own twin language.  This is not uncommon for twins, and it was quite fascinating.  We never figured out what they were saying, but they understood each other perfectly.  I think they were conspiring to pull off their next daring feat of destruction.

Logan, our most skillful escape artist and climber, enjoys a moment of pure toddler joy.

One thing that our three little Houdinis did was to repeatedly figure out ways to escape their room.  They had plenty of play space and toys, and their room was right next to the kitchen, so we often had them playing in their room with the baby gate to keep them confined to one area and safe.  After a while, they figured out how to climb the gate.   We got a taller gate.  It worked for a few days.  It was like watching a military obstacle course in basic training.  They were over the top in no time.  In response, Travis built a smooth, half door to take the place of the gate.  It was rather tall. with nothing that could be used as a foot-hold.  That worked for a long time, but Logan eventually learned to scale the sheer cliff face of the half door.   What would appear to a little fellow as a rather imposing structure, significantly taller than their full height even on tiptoe, was no match for our little escape artists.

With three toddler beds and three pre-schoolers all in one room, the only time their room looked like this was when Mom picked up while they were all at pre-school.

Then, there was one thing these three did that I have never heard any other pre-school Mom mention.  They would not leave their beds intact, no matter what we did.  That drove me crazy.  Every single day, the three of them took off their sheets and mattress pads.   Camden and Austin started doing this when they were still in their cribs.  Logan thought they had a great idea, so he was soon dismantling his bed as well.  Then, they started taking the mattresses off.  We finally wound up purchasing a bunch of luggage straps and strapping the mattresses to the bed frames, with the latch for the strap down below the slats inside the enclosed frame.  One luggage strap was not enough.  Each bed had to have one strap in the middle and one at each end.   Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I’m telling you, when those three little boys worked together, they were very strong.  We tried everything to get them to stop doing this.  We tried praising them when their beds stayed together for any length of time.  We did time outs, we removed some of their toys and their favorite blankies, and even tried a little diapered bottom swat to discourage our miniature slumber demolition crew.  Then, they figured out that if they all pushed, they could move furniture!  Unbelievable!   We literally had to fasten furniture to the wall with anchors and “L” brackets and whatever else worked.  This kind of determined and systematic dismantling of their beds and their room continued for almost 3 years!  Even when they could go anywhere in the house, they still were a wrecking crew in their own room.   We finally abandoned using sheets for a while.  It was pointless to keep trying since the sheets never stayed on.  They all slept on their plastic covered mattresses in their toddler beds for a few weeks.   Finally, one day, they asked for sheets.  We put them on, and they have never gone back to the daily bedding battles.  Whew!   Finally!

Room decor genius or toddler graffiti?

Sometimes I wondered if they older brothers were supplying contraband.  No matter how we tried to make sure that all coloring was done at the kitchen table or on their high chair trays, a marker or crayon would sometimes wind up in the little guys’ room.  You may have seen what one toddler can do with a writing implement.  Multiply that times three, and we’re talking graffiti on an epic scale.  Walls were not the only target.  They also ‘decorated’ furniture, the windowsill, and the window itself.  Thank goodness for Mr. Clean magic erasers!

It was such a blessing to have a handyman husband during those childproofing battleground years.  Travis was constantly having to come up with new strategies to keep them safe, reconstruct things they broke, and maintain some remnant of sanity for the rest of the family.   They actually pulled the door knobs off of their closet doors four times, stripping out the screw holes each time.  To replace them, Travis would turn the knob a new direction so that the screws would be in a different place.  The knobs are on the doors now only because Travis found a super strength filler that allowed him to re-use the stripped out holes.  One day not long after we moved to our new home in Georgia, I looked up to see Camden (who had been sitting on the couch watching a pre-school program just moments before) climbing over the stair rail and catapulting himself onto a table below.  It was one of those hide-a-tables (with a plywood top and three spindly legs) that you cover with a floor-length tablecloth.  The table was no match for Camden.  As soon as his little bottom and the force of his toddler exuberance hit the table top, the whole thing collapsed, with Camden on top of the heap.  That incident may have been life-saving.  It scared Camden (and his brothers) so much that no one has ever climbed over the stair rail again.  To fix the table after this incident, Travis built a rectangular box with a shelf, adding a base for stability; and it became the new support for the table top, with the bonus of some hidden storage.  Who else do you know who has an industrial strength hide-a-table?   What a man!

A couple of weeks ago, a significant rite of passage occured.  The final piece of toddler furniture in the Boyd house has now been donated to Good Will.  We had been talking about purchasing a bunk bed for the room shared by Austin, Camden and Logan so that they could finally all have a ‘big boy’ bed.  When I found a great deal on a used bunk bed with the sturdiest metal frame I’ve sever seen, we bought it.  Austin and Camden now share the imposing structure, and Logan has his own twin bed.   The last remaining toddler bed is finally gone.  I must admit that I did feel a little wave of nostalgia when we were removing the toddler bed from the room.  After all, this toddler bed frame is the one that Travis made after the boys tore up Logan’s two previous toddler beds.  The white, metal framed toddler bed that had served us well for Jared, Zachary, and Braden bit the dust when the welds connecting the bed platform to the headboard began to fail.  We tried to get it re-welded, but none of the local welders we tried wanted to mess with it.  So, we purchased a new toddler bed with a metal frame and molded plastic legs, headboard, and footboard.  They destroyed the molded plastic parts of that bed within less than a year.  Our final toddler bed was a super sturdy wooden one that Travis made, with rounded corners for safety and total overkill on the strength of the frame and the bed platform.   It lasted for as long as it was needed, and we closed the door on nostalgia when it was carried out to the pick-up for transportation to Good Will.

Travis and all six of our boys pose after a visit to the Georgia Auarium in late December, 2011.

Through the years, Travis and I have shared so much joy with our bunch, even during all of the craziness of the pre-school years and constant child-proofing.  Each of our six boys is incredibly awesome.  We are so proud of them and so blessed to be their parents!  If we had been blessed with more than our six sons and one daughter, we would have loved them all and found a way to make it through.  Our little guys were not the only ones who knew how to be resourceful.  We are just thankful to have survived and to see our boys well on their way to growing up strong and living a life that honors God.  We still have locks on the closet doors in Austin, Camden, and Logan’s room, but we don’t have to worry about them climbing on  the chest of drawers anymore.  Logan has special needs; and he still can be destructive, but we are working on that.  He and his twin brothers all keep their sheets on now, and they are growing up.  So, goodbye to baby gates, strollers, sippy cups, high chairs, potty chairs, diapers, child-proofing devices of every description, and pull-ups.  All of the baby and toddler gear served us as well as possible, but we don’t need it anymore.  We’ve loved our little guys through every stage and laughed at all of their antics; but now the three littlest Boydinis are moving on, and so are we!

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This post was written by C. Boyd

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Do you have any unusual child-proofing tales to tell?  We’d love to hear about your experience, so feel free to comment.

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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WORSHIP is Joy!

We all meet together at the foot of the cross, leaving behind anything that would hinder the worship of Almighty God.

What a privelege and joy it is to be part of something that is older than the earth itself!  According to the book of Job, the heavenly hosts were engaged in worship of the Living God long before the creation of our solar system.  (Job 38)  In the book of Revelation, we are given vivid descriptions of worship that is going on in heaven even now.  (Rev. 4 & 5)  When something significant happened to Biblical characters, their first thought was to build an altar and worship the Lord.

When the armies of Israel were to go forth in battle, they were always lead by a group of worship leaders.  Have you ever wondered why?  It is because they recognized that they were powerless without God’s help.  They knew that if they acknowledged God as their strength, He would bring them victory.  Any time they got away from this truth, they suffered great defeats.  It is no different [for God’s people] today.  In order for God to empower and strengthen us, we must acknowledge His all-consuming greatness and submit to Him as our Creator and our Redeemer.  We must have the walls of pride and self-sufficiency come down in order to experience God’s full power in our lives and in the life of our church.

When the church gathers for a time of worship, we are all given an opportunity to experience God’s power within a community of fellow believers.  Jesus spoke of the power of believers being physically and spiritually together (Matthew 18:20).  This is so important for the health of our spiritual lives and for the work of the  church.  Nothing else can substitute for being a part of a corporate worship experience.   Truly, the most foundational part of the Christian experience is worship of the Living God!  Believers need to rediscover the joy of worshipping the Lord with the church family.  True worship is a life-changing experience (that becomes a life style) of recognizing and expressing God’s worth.  He is worthy of our worship and praise!

“Let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy!  Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides upon the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him!”   Psalm 68:3 & 4

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This post was written by Travis L. Boyd and is adapted from his article, “Worship is Joy!”  in the April 8, 2010, edition of The First Word, the church newsletter of First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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Attention, Please! It’s a wake up call!

Every day is a new beginning!

What gets your attention?  Sometimes events or messages from others that take us by surprise can be heavenly wake-up calls.  After we recover from the shock of finding out that things were not as we thought them to be, such a wake up call can be a very good thing.  We are forced to re-evaluate and to move forward with a truer perspective, often requiring positive change or increased diligence on our part.

All of us have ‘blind spots’ in our lives.  Often, these are areas of endeavor that seem to be going well.  We’ve been working and striving, thinking that we are doing our best.  Then, along comes something that rocks our world.  It could be something that we observe, something that someone says or does, a scripture that speaks to our hearts, or just a stunning realization that there is much more to be done.  While we’ve always known that there is more, perhaps we may not have realized how much more.  Or, perhaps we’ve thought that we are making good progress.  A new level of awareness can be a shocking wake-up call.  Whether the area of concern is relationships, parenting and preparing our children for life beyond home, something related to work, an area where self-improvement is needed, or an area of spiritual discipleship or discipline that is not where it should be, we must suddenly re-evaluate and re-prioritize in order to address this need which has come to our attention.  It’s a ‘front and center’ moment of time when we realize that we must step up to a new level of effort, of competence, or of intentional focus.  While being confronted with addressing the need at a new tier of possibilities and priorities may at first seem dauntingly impossible, unfair, or even hurtful, it’s actually a very good thing to have an aha! moment.  It is these times of keen awareness that help us move forward from the place we thought we had reached to a higher mountaintop beyond our range of vision.  Sometimes we can’t see the end (or the top), and we don’t know how to get there.  The alternative is to stay where we are, put our blinders back on, and bumble forward in the hope that somehow everything will be alright.  We may be very close to the edge of a precipice of mediocrity without realizing the danger.  When it comes to fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives, the precipice of mediocrity is not somewhere that He is willing to let us stay.

What to do then?

It’s time for some fresh perspective.  It’s time for us to take a new look at every area of life, but this time we’ll need some help with our blind spots.   First, we must we willing to lay down our blinders.  We must let go of our ideas about where we are and where we need to be in our walk with the Lord and in every area of life.  The wake-up call that we received, in whatever form it came, was a blessing in disguise.  It allows us to have a new beginning.  In order to move forward with the Lord in any changes that we need to make, we first need to spend time in prayer and wait on the Lord to reveal His direction in every area.  He will guide us if we trust Him to take us from right where we are and move us to where we need to be.  Often, our way forward is one day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time.  We are not paralyzed as we move forward.  We are taking steps of faith with great hope because we trust that God will cause all things to work together for good.  (Romans 8:28)  We must move forward in doing what we know to do.  If there have been areas of complacency in our lives, our work, or our calling to serve the Lord, we know that we must move toward re-connecting with God’s heart of compassion, His purpose, and His urgent call to our hearts, “Redeem the time!”

In Music and Worship ministry, as in any area of life, our positions of leadership carry great responsibility.  We must stop making excuses and begin again to use all of the resources that we have been given to passionately declare the love and mercy of our God.  Most of our brothers and sisters in the congregation will only awake to their own passion for following the Lord when they see that passion in their leadership and recognize that the time is short, the laborers are few, and the need is great!   What kind of impact can we make in our world?  We have so much more to work with that the small band of disciples that watched Jesus ascend to Heaven after they had been given their “marching orders.”  (Matthew 28:18 – 20)  Perhaps we have some problems with our technical equipment, some personnel shortages, inadequacies with our buildings, tight budgets, scheduling issues, and attitudes to overcome.  We’ll never do the work of the Kingdom as long as we allow these issues to get the better of our enthusisam or to zap our zeal for the Lord and for serving Him.  (Just say ‘no’ to zeal zappers!)  So, we must get busy with the resources we’ve been given!   We’ve had our wake-up call.  God has gotten our attention, but He wants more.  He wants our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our strength!  We can’t just watch a downhill slide anymore!  It’s time to start pushing back the tide, pushing forward, and doing what we are called to do.  He will meet us where we are and be there each step of the way!

Dear Lord, in every area of my life, You have a plan.  I praise You, O Lord.  Your steadfast love endures forever!  Your wisdom is unsearchable.  Your goodness is absolute.  Your mercies are new every morning!  You are the God of restoration and redemption.  Lord, take my life, my feeble efforts, my pre-conceptions, and my responsibilities.  Take it all.  Make it Yours.  Help me to continue to lay it all down everyday, knowing that only You can carry Your purpose forward in my life.  Where I have messed up, help me make it right.  Where I have fallen short, show me how to make up the difference with Your help.  Where my vision has failed, give me Yours.  Where my hopes have died, restore them.  Where hurts have crippled or confused me, shine Your healing light.  Touch my heart with your compassion and mercy.  Help me to see every person through Your eyes.  Restore the joy of my salvation and the zeal of fresh commitment.  Give me a heart that thirsts for You.  Remove the sickness of complacency from my life.  Make me new, Lord.  I love you.  In the name of my precious Savior, Jesus,….Amen.

For more perspective and inspiration on living a life of intentionally seeking to bring God glory in every moment, see our post entitled “Lifestyle Worship.”   Blessings to you as you move forward in your walk with the Lord and seek His purpose in every area of life!

C. Boyd

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Do you know Jesus? 

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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