Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stepping Up-Week 1

Welcome Stepping Up Ladies!

For those of you who aren't Stepping Up Ladies, you should be! I'm teasing you, sort of. I'm sure you are very confused as to what I am even talking about. Let me explain. A group of 27 ladies from our church are meeting together on Monday nights to study God's Word using Beth Moore's Stepping Up study. We started a few weeks ago, but we are only on week 2 in our study. So, if you want to join in, go here and get a book, catch up, and join in the discussion. Or, you can join in without doing the study too. Basically, you're all welcome and I'm so glad you came to this here blog.

I really enjoyed hearing from you all on Monday night about places you would like to go. We all have different places that are special to us and different things we like to do and different people we want to take with us. It is so fun to see how God has made us all uniquely different and uniquely special!

You all did such a great job joining in the discussion on Monday also, and as your fearless (okay, maybe not fearless) leader, you make it so much easier to "lead". So, thanks for your input and I pray you will continue to join in the discussion and share your lives with one another through this study. I am a firm believer in walking alongside each other in this journey and helping each other along, NOT going it alone! God has given us all different experiences that He can use to help others, if we are only willing to let Him!

Okay, off my soapbox. Onto the real discussion. I mentioned Monday night that I would like to make our "large" group feel "small". We're going to do that in many ways, and one of them will be through this blog. I want to use the blog to spark more discussion than what we have time to share on Mondays. Each week, I am going to put up a post specifically dedicated to Stepping Up. So, check back here on Tuesday or Wednesday every week and join the discussion to get to know your group members a little better.

Here we go. I will just tell you now, I am a horrible singer. I love singing, but I am not good at it. I tried out for the school choir in 3rd grade. We had to go sing with the music teacher while she played piano. It was just her and I. No one else in the room. She asked me to sing America the Beautiful. After, oh, maybe 2 words. She stopped playing piano and said, "Let's try Mary Had a Little Lamb." Needless to say, I didn't make it into the choir that year.

My spirit was bruised. I believed that it was better to just keep my mouth shut than to let anyone hear me sing. I went through church for many years just "mouthing the words." I could probably win a lip-synching contest I got so good at it. My worship suffered because of it. I was so concerned about whether or not other people could hear me singing that I didn't allow myself to worship.

Now, believe me, I know that worship is not just singing! I worship God in many ways, throughout my day, every day, but I love to worship with song. So, I saved it for the shower or the car! I have often thought that if I could choose one talent, it would be singing. And I have often wondered if Jesus was a good singer. It made me think of this again when Beth talked about Jesus singing in the video Monday. On the one hand, I imagine Him to have the most beautiful singing voice ever and hope that it is so. On the other hand, if Jesus doesn't have a good singing voice, then I feel a certain bond with Him. He and I could be kindred spirits and "sing" to God together and not even worry if our singing is bothering each other!

I am still "reserved" in church settings. I sing (not lip-synch), but ever so quietly. What's more important to me than my voice, is what I am singing to God. In the video Monday night, Beth said this, "We can think a song is beautiful and memorize its words yet remain completely unaffected by what it says. Consider the relevance of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 14:15 in our present context: "I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind."

There have been times in my life when I was unable to sing the words to certain songs. I didn't feel like I believed them enough to say them out loud. It was very difficult to be able to come to a place where I could sing about God's faithfulness and goodness and actually mean what I was saying! I felt like God knew my heart and to sing these songs would have been lying to Him. So, I didn't sing. Now, I can say that I sing them with my whole heart. I believe these words with my whole being and I can shout them with confidence. Though, I sing them quietly! :)

So, here's the discussion today.
Have you ever had trouble singing the words to a song?
Do you right now?
What song is it and why is it so hard to sing?

If there is not a song that has been hard to sing, what is your favorite worship song right now?

Post your answer in the comments below so that we can share together. I may even have a little surprise based on these comments at the end of our study. Intrigued? Leave your answers in the comments. I'll get you started with mine. Read the first comment to see.


Hope said...

I prayed for God to heal my daughter and help her to be born healthy. When she wasn't, it was difficult to sing songs about God's faithfulness and goodness. There are two specific songs that I remember having to close my mouth and not sing because I couldn't sing the words in truth for where my heart was at. Now they are two of my favorite songs because I believe them wholeheartedly! Here they are...

Song #1.
Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman.

Specifically these words...
" Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name"

and these words...
"You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name"

Song #2.
Still I Will Worship You by Curt Coffield

Basically, all these lyrics...
"I know that You are strong
I know You’re more than able
To save me from whatever
Ever comes my way
I know You are a healer
I know You can deliver
I know that You can rescue me

But even when I cannot see Your hand
When You move in a way
That I would not have planned
Still I will worship You

I will worship You, in the midnight hour
I will worship You, when I'm in the fire
I will worship You, when all hope seems gone
I will stand and proclaim that You are my God
I will worship You."

Dianna said...

Those are great songs that you shared! I too love the lyrics. It's hard to pick a favorite worship song...well...because I have so many for so many different seasons of my life! But for right now here is a favorite that I just love. I shared it with my daughter & now she loves it too. I love it that we both love the same song!

The song is Strong Tower by Kutless. I just love it because the name of the Lord is my strong tower, I run to Him & I am safe. Prov. 18:10. Also in David's song of praise from 2 Sam 22:2, Psalms27:1,72:3 & 144:2. I like to picture Him as this great big, enormous Fortress with me safe & secure inside during the stormy & scary times of my life. The words are powerful...

When I wander through the desert
And I'm longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I'm stranded in the valley
And I'm tired & all alone
It seems like I've lost my way

I go running to your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful & mighty
Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true & holy
And Your face is all I seek

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge & my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder's all I hear
You speak softly to my soul