What is worship?

We often hear about “worship wars” concerning whether the singing at church should be contemporary or traditional, hymn or praise song, choir or worship team.

But what I wonder is: how did we come to associate worship just with the singing at church? And how did we come to decide that the worship at church was good or not depending on how we felt afterward? We can worship via singing, but is worship just singing? And, for that matter, is worship just done at church, when we attend a “worship service?”

Dictionary.com defines worship as:

  • reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
  • formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage
  • adoring reverence or regard

Years ago I heard a preacher define worship as “worth-ship,” thinking about and ascribing to God His worth. Someone else said something to the effect that God does not “need” our worship, but we need to give it to Him.

I decided to to a study of the word “worship” in the Bible. Let me hasten to say that such a study is just the beginning of a study of worship. There are passages where worship occurs, but that particular word is not used (many of the psalms, for example). There are synonyms to worship: I wondered, for instance, whether “praise” is an element of worship or a synonym. I didn’t take the time at this point to look up the Greek and Hebrew words for worship. I did look up many of these verses in context and found that often the whole chapter they were in was an expansion of what occurred in worship. I just searched through the ESV and not other translations. So, again, this is not a complete study or “the last word” in what worship means and involves. But it was an enlightening start.

I don’t think you’d want me to reproduce all eight pages of notes I accumulated here, but here is some of what I found.

Instruction regarding worship (not including OT ceremonial worship):

  • Don’t worship any other gods. Exodus 34:13-15, Deuteronomy. 8:19; Deuteronomy 11:13-17; 32:15-20; Psalm 97:7; Jeremiah 25:3-6; multitudes of other places
  • Worship only the one true God. Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:7-8; Revelation 14:7
  • Turn from sin. Jeremiah 25:3-6
  • “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” 1 Chronicles 16:29-30a; Psalm 29 and 96
  • “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
  • Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28:29

Who worshiped when (not including OT ceremonial worship):

  • Abraham’s servant when God answered his prayer for Isaac’s wife. Genesis 24:25-27
  • The children of Israel when they heard that God sent Moses to deliver them. Exodus 4:30-31
  • At the institution of the Passover: Exodus 12:26-28
  • When Moses went to speak to God: Exodus 33:9-11
  • Moses after seeing the Lord’s glory: Exodus 34:1-8
  • Jacob when blessing the sons of Joseph: Hebrews 11:21
  • Joshua on meeting the commander of the Lord’s army: Joshua 5:13-15
  • Gideon after hearing reassurance in the interpretation of a dream: Judges 7:14-16
  • Samuel’s father and family: 1 Samuel 1:3, 19
  • Samuel after being left with Eli: 1 Samuel 1:27-28
  • David after his child died: 2 Samuel 12:20
  • Dedication of temple: 2 Chronicles 7:1-3; Psalm 132:1-7
  • Jehoshaphat and Judah after God’s promise to fight for them: 2 Chronicles 20:18
  • When Hezekiah reestablished temple sacrifices, after first burnt offering: 2 Chronicles 29
  • First Passover after Israel returned to Jerusalem after exile: Ezra 6:19-22
  • When Ezra read the law: Nehemiah 8:5-7
  • Job after losing everything: Job 1:20
  • Wise men: Matthew 2
  • Disciples after Jesus walked on water and stilled the storm: Matthew 14:22-33
  • Man born blind: John 9
  • Women followers after resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10
  • Anna: Luke 2:36-38
  • Disciples after Jesus’ ascension: Luke 24:50-53
  • Disciples when Barnabas and Paul were set aside by the Holy Spirit for ministry: Acts 13:2
  • Lydia: Acts 16:14
  • Men of Athens: Acts 17: 22-34
  • Titius: Acts 18:7
  • Paul: Acts 24: 11, 14; 27:23
  • Israel: Acts 26:7; Romans 9:4
  • Visitor who is convicted: 1 Corinthians 14:24-25  
  • In the future: Egyptians: Isaiah 19:19-23; 27:13; Creatures in heaven: 24 elders (Rev. 4:10); elders (Rev. 5:14; 19:4); everyone (Rev. 5:14); angels, four living creatures (Revelation 7:9-12; 11:15-18; 19:4; Revelation 11:15-18); All nations: Rev. 15:4; In heaven: Revelation 22:3

Elements of worship:

  • Praise: too many references to list
  • Thanksgiving: ditto
  • Awe: ditto
  • Singing: 2 Chronicles 29:25-30; Psalm 96:1; Revelation 15:2-4 re God’s great deeds, His just and true ways, holiness, righteous acts
  • Cleansing, purifying: Ezra 6:19-22
  • Hearing the Word of God: Nehemiah 8:5-7; 9:1-8
  • Acknowledging who God is: Psalm 29:2, Psalm 96; Matthew 2 +; His holiness: Psalm 96:9; 99:5, 9 +, His exclusivity: Psalm 97:7 +;
  • Sacrifice, offerings, vows: Isaiah 19:21; Zephaniah 3:9-10
  • Amend ways, stop sin, disobedience, stubbornness: Jeremiah 7:1-3
  • Holiness: 1 Chronicles 16:29
  • Humility, truth: Zephaniah 3:9-13
  • Giving: Matthew 2
  • Fasting and prayer: Anna:  Luke 2:36-38; disciples: Acts 13:2
  • Joy, blessing God: Luke 24:50-53 +
  • Faith: John 9:38
  • In spirit and in truth: John 423-24; Philippians 3:3

The posture of worship

Interestingly, of the 15 times any posture is mentioned, 11 passages speak of bowing, often bowing the head, sometimes “bowed down with their faces to the ground.” The others speak of rising and standing (Exodus 33:9-11; 2 Chronicles 20:19), falling to the ground or on one’s face (Joshua 5:14; 2 Chronicles 20: 18), kneeling (Psalm 95:6).

False worship

God warns against false worship multiple times in the Bible, usually involving idols or false gods, but also the sun, moon stars, planets, angels, other people, creatures (Romans 1:25), Satan (Matthew 4:9-10; Luke 4:7-8), the dragon and beast in Revelation. Wrong worship was often accompanied by sin, stubbornness, not listening to or obeying God’s Word (2 Kings 17:6-23; Jeremiah 7; 13:9-11), asceticism (Colossians 2:18), “murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Revelation 9:19-21). Also, the Pharisees were said to worship God in vain by teaching for commandments the doctrines of men (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:7). A few times people worshiped deceptively (Absalom: 2 Samuel 15:7-12; Jehu 2 Kings 10; Herod: Matthew 2:8).

I know that outlines and lists are not considered the best blog writing, but it seemed to me in this case to be the most efficient way to present a lot of information.

But this little (and again I stress, incomplete) study did reveal a few things to me. Worship can include singing, but it is more than singing. It can occur with others or alone. It can occur in joyous or grievous circumstances. It won’t always result in our feeling warm and fuzzy or revved up: often it is accompanied by a deep humility, repentance, changing one’s ways. Though emotions are involved, worship that honors God must be based on truth, thus involving the mind. And the turning from sin often mentioned indicates we worship with our will as well. The characteristics most often involved in worship are acknowledging who God is, what He is like, what He has done, and thanking and praising Him.

This brings to mind the last line of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Love Divine, A Loves Excelling”: “Lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

Erwin Lutzer’s quote reminds me of warnings about the Pharisees worshiping God in vain: “Worship that is not based on God’s Word is but an emotional encounter with oneself”

And this quote from Archbishop William Temple (about whom I know nothing beyond this quote) seems to sum it up nicely: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his place.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth;

    yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
    and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
1 Chronicles 16:27-32, ESV
(See verses 8-36 for a stupendous example of worship)

(Sharing with Literary Musing Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Tell His Story, Let’s Have Coffee, Porch Stories)

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Why should we sing?

I don’t go looking for posts about congregational singing, but a couple of blogs I follow comment on or link to blog posts on the topic fairly often.

The prevailing consensus is that congregational singing is declining. I have not noticed that myself, but apparently others have.

Naturally, people want to find the problem and fix it. A number of possible reasons for this decline have been proposed.

Some say that the congregation doesn’t sing as well since the advent of worship teams. Some blame this on the atmosphere seeming more like a concert than a church service. Others point blame at the number of instruments on stage, the loudness of the music, the singing of new songs that no one knows, the difficulty of some of those songs for a congregation to sing. Some have blamed the professionalism or the commitment to excellence of the musicians, because that makes us “average Joes” feel like we don’t measure up. Sadly, many churches are eliminating performed music (what we use to call “special music”) for these reasons. The most recent article I saw said the problem started way back even before the worship team advent, when churches had choirs that “drowned out” the congregation.

My own experience is limited, of course. We’ve only visited one church where I truly felt like the stage and musicians were set up for a concert rather than congregational singing. This church had a choir and a worship team, multicolored lighting, a stage covered with instruments. I don’t think any of that would have been insurmountable, though. The one main problem was that the songleader or worship leader never told us as a congregation when to join in or invited us to sing along. As we looked around to see whether others were singing, we noticed that some were and some were not. So we didn’t know quite what to do.

Most of my church experiences have involved one songleader on stage with a choir behind him, sometimes with musicians on stage or nearby, sometimes not. The choir helps keep the pace and provide the melody for those who might not know a song. I have never been in a church where the choir “drowned out” the congregational singing.

I have been in two churches where the songleader was an actual professional in the sense of having a PhD not just in music, but in voice. In both of those churches, the singing was robust. No one seemed to be intimidated by the professionalism of the leader and others in the choir and church. Ordinary, untrained people sang special music as well as the trained ones. So I don’t think professionalism in and of itself is a factor, or at least it shouldn’t be.

There is one factor, however, that overrides any problems with congregational singing: the fact that the Bible tells us we’re supposed to sing.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Psalm 100:1-2, ESV

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Ephesians 5:18b-19, ESV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16, ESV

We shouldn’t use these verses as clubs to beat people over the head with their responsibility, but we should encourage each other to obey God in this respect. Some have tried to encourage thinking about the songs we sing by almost preaching a small sermon between songs, sharing long Puritan readings, etc. There might be a time for that kind of thing, but usually I find that, rather than encouraging singing, it takes away from it. People get weary mentally and their minds wander (or even physically, if they’re made to stand through all of that).

I’ve long wanted to do a study of music in the Bible. I notice that in many of the psalms, singing is associated with thanksgiving. The passages above speak of singing as an outgrowth of being filled with the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Could it be that poor congregational singing is a symptom of a lack in these areas, rather than a problem in itself?

One of my soapbox issues is that our responsibility to do right before God should not depend on other people or circumstances. I can’t stand before God and blame other people for my sin. They are responsible for their influence, and they’ll have to answer for their failures and temptations. But God has promised each of His children that, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). That is true not just for avoiding sin and resisting temptation, but also for doing right. I should do the right thing whether the circumstances are conducive or not, whether anyone else is doing so or not.

Sure, it’s good to study what helps and hinders good congregational singing. But we as a congregation need to realize that whether the song is too old or too new, too high or too low, too fast or too slow, too soft or too loud, whether there is one musician or many, whether others sing better or worse or not at all, we need to sing as unto the Lord. He is worthy of our praise. Let’s overlook the petty hindrances to our comfort level and think about His greatness and goodness and all He has done for us. It will be hard to hold back from singing then!

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
Psalm 28:7, NKJV

The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous.
Psalm 118:14-15a, ESV

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Tell His Story, Let’s Have Coffee, Porch Stories, Woman to Woman Word-filled Wednesday, Wise Woman, Faith on Fire)

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It has been a little while since I have shared noteworthy reads with you. Here are a few:

Encouragement for Bible Reading From Puritan Women, HT to Out of the Ordinary. “Let these seventeenth-century women remind you that even if there are parts of the Bible you feel upset about or don’t understand, there is life to be found in it because God speaks to you through it.”

Always Wanting More. As Christian women, we encourage each other not to compare ourselves lest it damage our self-esteem. But the issue is much large than self-esteem.

The Cost of Surrounding Yourself With Negative People. I’ve had some of these same thoughts. Avoiding negative people is listed in a lot of self-help advice for increase your own happiness and productivity. But what if God wants you to be a light to those people? And didn’t Jesus reach out to those who were negative in every way?

Whatever Happened to Civil Debate, HT to Challies. “We’ve simply lost the ability to think deeply, engage opinions different from ours, and do so in a civilized manner.”

Thank You, God, for Failure, HT to Challies.. There is much we can learn from it.

Don’t Sing Noisy Songs, HT to Challies.. No, it’s not about contemporary vs. traditional or loud vs. soft.

What Not to Say to Someone in the Hospital.

A Simple Hinge. Neat connection to inward beauty.

I’m noting this one just because this phrase is so apt: “…the spirit of this age, which eschews thoughtful argument about difficult issues for moronic and often malicious soundbites.”

On Writing (More) by Hannah Anderson makes much sense to me though it goes against much of the other writing advice I have seen. Except the part about comments: I enjoy comments. 🙂

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Finalists, HT to Laura. These are always fun. One of my favorites:

Happy Saturday!

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Here’s my latest round-up of thought-provoking online reads:

Danger: Doing “Jesusy” Stuff Without Knowing Jesus, HT to True Woman.

7 Things You Should Know About the Formation of the New Testament, HT to Out of the Ordinary.

Russian Spies, Post-millennialism, and the National Prayer Breakfast.

The Morning Before a Sexual Fall: How the Battle for Purity Is Lost. Though the context is sexual sin, the principles apply to any temptation.

Smells Like Teen Spirit, HT to Challies. “For many, ‘going to church’ is less about worshiping the infinitely holy God who was redeemed a people for Himself by giving up His Son to the bloody death on the cross, as it is about getting a shot of motivational vitamin-B for existential significance. Rather than being called by God into His presence by the mediating work of His Son, “Here we are now; entertain us” becomes the liturgical responsive call to worship. After all, the success of the church is dependent on your excitement, isn’t it?”

6 Warning Signs Of A Bad Pastor And Spiritual Abuse, HT to Challies.

Learn to Embrace Mess, HT to Challies. I didn’t think I was going to agree with this, based on the title, but it does make sense in context.

Confusing Christ-likeness with Christ: Seeking the soft-hearted in the search for a spouse, HT to True Woman.

No, Kids, You Can’t Be Anything You Want to Be.

9 Things Adult Daughters Want Their Moms to Know.

Shouldn’t We Share Our Concerns About a Book Directly with the Author Instead of in the Public Forum? HT to Challies.

How Many Cups in a Quart? A free printable chart.

Fake Views: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Soviet Photoshopping – before Photoshop was invented. HT to Challies.

And finally, a couple of thoughts for the day found on Pinterest:

Happy Saturday!

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Here are several thought-provoking reads found in the last week or so.

Every Testimony Is Dramatic and Miraculous. “There is nothing basic or boring about the life-transforming power of our Lord Jesus Christ. The angels throw a party every time someone comes to Christ, and the parties aren’t less enthusiastic for the freckle-faced eight year olds. Salvation is never small. It is big and dramatic and miraculous, every single time.”

Is Prayer Enough?

What Jesus Said About White Privilege.

7 Stabilizing Principles in a Chaotic World, Part 3: Everyone Is Made in the Image of God. Even the people on the other side of the political fence or the ones who drive us crazy. And we “need to treat everybody—everybody—with that kind of respect.”

How You Might Break the Third Commandment in Church, HT to Challies.

What to Do When a Friend Loses a Baby, HT to True Woman. Much of this is good for other types of loss as well.

Give Children All of Your Attention. Some of the Time. HT to True Woman. I remember  as a young mom struggling with guilt when I did not give my children my full attention, yet feeling it was good for them to learn to entertain themselves sometimes. I thought of women in Bible times or even a couple of hundred years ago who had to do so much from scratch and could not have possibly sat on the floor playing with their children eight hours a day. But it is good to set everything aside for one-on-one time together sometimes. This post has some good thoughts along these lines.

How to Leave Porn Behind, HT to True Woman. Good thoughts on “radical repentance” for any sin.

3 Reasons Contemporary Worship Is Declining, and What We Can Do to Help the Church Move On. I don’t agree with every point here, but I especially like this: “We’ve done ourselves and the church a disservice by insisting that there are two kinds of worshipers, traditional and contemporary…Our musical tastes don’t dictate how we worship, our theology does. Both of these extremes are toxic. All worship is historic because it recalls the creative and redemptive acts of God. All worship is contemporary, because we’re doing it now. All worship is future, because it foretells the coming resurrection.”

And, finally, a smile found on Pinterest. This is close to how I really think now, except I say 20. 🙂

Happy Saturday!

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I have just a short list this week, but decided to go ahead and share it lest I end up with an overly long list next time.

The Secret to Loving (Really) Difficult People. “As followers of Christ, we do not have the option of not loving them. Loving one another is not merely a biblical suggestion. Jesus tells us, ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’ (John 15:12). The last five words are the challenge for me: ‘…as I have loved you.’

A Response to Andy Stanley on “Theological Correctness”, HT to Challies. “We should never put ‘theological correctness’ and unity at opposite ends of the spectrum…if we do not have the truth, we have no unity.”

Corporate Worship.

Motherhood Is Better Than the Media Claims, HT to Proclaim and Defend.

Be The Change You Want To See On The Internet, HT to Challies. Good stuff here.

And lastly, I found some things on Pinterest I could identify with. You? 🙂

(I couldn’t find the original sources for these pictures. Even though the last one has a web site listed on it, I couldn’t make it out.)

Happy Saturday!

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I found a lot of good reads the last week or so:

On Blind Faith and God.

Why You Desperately Need the Holy Spirit , HT to Challies.

The Power of De-Conversion Stories: How Jen Hatmaker is Trying to Change Minds About the Bible, HT to Challies.

Who Is the God of Mormonism?, HT to Challies.“One thing you’ll discover as you’re talking with your Mormon (LDS) friends is that though we use the same terms, we often mean very different things. Mormons have different definitions of Gospel, repentance, salvation, grace, Hell, and nearly every term you’ll be using in your conversation.”

5 Things That People Who Are Dying Want You to Know, by Kerry Egan, HT to Lisa.

How to Choose Worship Songs. Yes, to all the points mentioned here.

My Son, Withhold Judgment, HT to Challies.There are some times we need to act quickly; there are other times to realize we don’t know all the facts and need to wait.

How Do I Fight Pride When Competing in School, Business, and Sports? HT to True Woman.  “If we are better in some subject than someone else, God made us better. And his reasons for doing so are not pride and boasting and elitism. His reason for doing so is that we might use our competencies for the good of others.”

If God Doesn’t Heal You, HT to True Woman. “Although God can heal us, we must never presume that he must.”

The Why of Encouragement.

Why Do I Believe in Credobaptism, HT to Challies.

Why Young Christians Need Old Books, HT to True Woman.

In Defense of Evangelicals Who Support Trump, HT to Proclaim and Defend. Interesting, whichever side you’re on. Not written by an evangelical but by a Jew who acknowledges that “It is usually easier for an outsider to defend a person or a group that is attacked than for the person or group.” As he also says, “Character is a complex issue.” I’m not willing to say it’s not a factor at all – far from it, and I don’t think he’s saying that, either – but it’s true that some people with awful personal lives can be good leaders. But if we acknowledge that on one side of the ballot, we need to concede it for the other as well.

Growing Old Graciously, HT to Challies.”I don’t know everything, but what I do know, I can share.”

The Benefits of Listening to the Elderly, HT to Challies. “Why might the Lord, in his grace, cause the aged to repeat themselves as they do? What is the Lord showing us through it? Rather than rolling our eyes or thinking ‘Here goes Grandma again,’ what can be gained from these times?”

When I Give a Book.

On Writing Books and Getting Published, HT to Challies.

The Incredible “Mehness” Of Social Media, HT to Challies. An aspect we don’t often think of. Even if much of what we do there is harmless or even interesting, how does that impact our everyday lives and responsibilities? Do those things impact those with whom we have to do or take our attention away from them?

Ideas For Things to Do On a Snow Day, HT to Story Warren.

And in the “Seriously?” category: There’s a Reason using a Period In a Text Makes You Sound Angry, HT to Lisa. I never knew this was an issue – and it shouldn’t be. A period is just the end of a sentence, not the end of a conversation or an indicator of anger, disinterest, or insincerity.

Hope you have a fine Saturday!

(Links do not imply 100% endorsement.)

O God Beyond All Praising

I usually set an album on my phone to play as I fall asleep, and lately it’s been Beyond All Praising by the BJU Singers and Orchestra. The title comes from the last song, “O God Beyond All Praising.” This song is one of a few that leads me to almost instant worship, both the words and the majestic melody. A bit about the history of the hymn is here. A second verse written later is included here.

O God beyond all praising,
We worship you today
And sing the love amazing
That songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder
At every gift you send,
At blessings without number
And mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you
And wait upon your word,
We honour and adore you,
Our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Saviour,
Accept the love we bring,
That we who know your favour
May serve you as our king;
And whether our tomorrows
Be filled with good or ill,
We’II triumph through our sorrows
And rise to bless you still:
To marvel at your beauty
And glory in your ways,
And make a joyful duty
Our sacrifice of praise.

~ Michael Perry (1942 – 1996)

The same song sung by the Herbster family, in which the words are a little easier to understand:

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I don’t usually do these three weeks in a row, but I have come across a lot of good reading lately!

An Army Without Supplies. The people on the “front lines” – of either military or spiritual endeavors – are needed, but so is the support system behind them.

Instant Coffee, Instant Faith. “It is not the massive floods that cause a tree to grow; it’s the steady stream of water day after day, month after month, year after year. The Christian life does not consist only of great breakthroughs; it consists mainly in mundane, steady obedience.”

A Blog on Worship, HT to Proclaim and Defend. “Worship God, not just with your voice, but with your obedience, your devotion, your service, your time, your resources, your priorities, your thoughts, and your actions. Jesus bought all of you, so worship with all of you. Worship: It’s more than you think.

What Does Forgiveness Look Like?

How We Misunderstand Strong Women, HT to True Woman.

When the Words of My Mouth Are Pleasing Mostly to Me, HT to True Woman.

I Had an Abortion, HT to True Woman. Counsel to someone who has lost hope of forgiveness.

If You Like Narnia….suggestions for other books in a similar vein.

And finally, I saw this on Pinterest but couldn’t get to where it originated from. But it hit home – I have a tendency to over think things.

Overthinking

Have a great weekend!

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A lot of my blog friends and a family member or two are experiencing a lot of snow this week. A perfect time to get cozy and read some edifying material. 🙂 Here are a few thought-provoking reads that caught my eye the past week or two:

Are You Not Ready to Worship? HT to Challies. “A worship leader who’s aware that his/her congregation is most likely filled with people who aren’t exactly fired up and ready for…. epic worship…will present a congregation with the gloriously good news of a great and faithful God, a gracious Redeemer, and a generously outpoured Holy Spirit, instead of a guilt-inducing pressure to hype something up that isn’t there to begin with.” Yes. I hate to hear people being scolding for how they are singing or what they look like while singing – that’s not particularly worship-inducing.

Christian Life Beyond the Quiet Time.

Photobombing Jesus: Confessions of a Glory Thief, HT to Challies.

Five Tests of False Doctrine.

Theonomy, or “a movement that teaches the earthwide rule of God through the reinstitution of the Law of Moses for every nation.” Why people promote this and what’s wrong with the idea.

If Abortion Was About Women’s Rights, What Were Mine? From an abortion survivor.

9 Things Your Kids Need (But Won’t Tell You)

On love and marriage:

If You’re Looking for Romance, It’s Probably Right in Front of You.

One Hour in a Restaurant Doesn’t Make a Good Marriage.

On politics and social media:

7 Questions to Ask Before Posting About Politics on Social Media

7 Ways to Do Political Punditry Wrong in a Polarized World

And lastly, I debated about this one lest it sound like I thought yelling at God was ok. But if you think of it more like an anguished prayer, I think many could commiserate with this little boy:

Thankfully it’s not too cold where we are, and next week doesn’t look too bad except for some cool nights. But I am ready to see spring!

Have a great weekend!

 

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