Proverbs Bible Study

Spending some time in Proverbs with one of my favorite girls.

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Worship

I grew up attending the Catholic church.  I loved my little hometown church.  I love the people that made up this church.  I loved our priest.  He was not your typical Catholic priest.  He was an older gentleman who wore leather pants and drove a Harley.  He had a zest for life and deep love for Christ.  Attending Catholic Mass was what I knew and I have never been one for change unless I initiate it.    

As someone who grew up Catholic, I never understood how people worshipped with their hands raised and danced in the aisles.  I call these folks the “front row Hallelujah sisters.”  The raising of hands was so foreign to me.  I grew up attending service that was extremely regimented.  I loved the structure of it all.  I knew what to expect and I liked that. 

My life began to take a turn that I did not see coming when we started attending our current church.  I love our church.  It is a church family based on a relationship with Christ not a membership to the church.  I felt a calling to re-dedicate my life to Christ.  I felt myself growing closer and closer to God.  Little did I know, my life was about to be forever changed. 

I am not a singer.  I honestly cannot carry a tune.  I would mouth the words but did not really vest my time into worship.  I tolerated the singing to get to the message, you know the real reason you come to church- so I thought. I will be extremely vulnerable and honest and say that I had a stirring to raise my hands long before I ever did.  I knew God was telling me to re-dedicate my life to him through baptism. but raising my hands… nope not happening- I will fight you on this one.  I full-heartedly believe that was the Holy Spirit trying to grab ahold of me and I resisted.  I was embarrassed to be considered a Hallelujah sister, I thought these gals would have shouted hallelujah at about anything. Honestly, I kept thinking about the Mississippi Squirrel Revival and at that point that was the ONLY way this girl would raise her hands at church.  

A few years later (yes years, I am a little head strong), I went to Desperation, a youth conference with Kinsley in 2018.  I went with the purpose of getting Kinsley from Kansas to Colorado to Wichita for a softball tournament.  I was not expecting this to be a life changing event.  I was not planning on experiencing an “ah ha moment.”  While at Desperation, I was surrounded by thousands of teenagers who were on fire for God.  One of those teenagers was Kinsley.  It was almost like I was on the outside looking in.  Kinsley is one of those kids that is on fire for God.  I never really witnessed her worshipping.  I was humbled and blown away.  This girl worships like it is just her and God alone in a room.  She is all in no doubt about it.  I remember just being overwhelmed with emotion watching her.  I started crying and could not stop it.  Deep down I knew this was the blockage to a more meaningful and deep relationship with God.  My hands went up and my heart opened up to God like never before. 

Throughout the Bible, we hear of characters “worshipping.”  Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”  Worship and prayer go hand in hand.  Psalm 29:2 2 shares, “A scribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” 

I wish I would have had a better relationship with God when my grandma JoAnn passed away, when our twins were born and when Brody broke his femur.  In each of these moments, I needed that relationship with God.  I needed those assurances.  I needed that peace that comes with having a strong foundation in Christ.  Instead, I had wavering faith.  I carried the weight of the world on shoulders that could not endure that type of burden.  Even when I was not engaged with Christ how I should have been…HE was still there.  He brought our family Kinsley when we lost my grandma.  He knew we needed a gentle soul to mend our broken hearts.  Sometimes I am blown away by their similarities- like crying on cue and having this amazing heart filled with love for kids at St. Jude’s.  God was also with us in the NICU.  He loved on us when we were treading on new paths.  He was most certainly there with us when Brody broke his femur.  He comforted our son when he should have been in horrific pain.  He calmed our heart as we raced to the emergency room to get Brody the care he needed.  When I was not present….He has ALWAYS been PRESENT.    

I am not on the front row, but yes, I am a hallelujah sister work-in-progress.  Let me tell you, raising my hands and truly worshipping God has transformed my faith journey.  I have a deeper personal relationship with Christ that entails worshipping, praying and daily conversations with God.  I start my day with worship music.  I clean the house to worship music.  I fight my best battles with Biblical scriptures, worship music and prayer.  Especially the song below.  I will praise his name through the storms, enemies and unbelief.  I believe in the hope that comes with being a believer.  I don’t think that means all my prayers will be answered in the manner I want them answered.  It means that I coming to God with my concerns and I rely on him and him alone.  He can handle my burdens.  I am simply am not equipped as a human being to handle such things.  I am able to find peace knowing that I stand firm in God’s presence and the plans he has for me. 

Hugs, Tara

“Raise A Hallelujah”

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Let’s sing a little louder (Let’s sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Let’s sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder!!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!
Oh, I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah!

Just begin to raise your own hallelujah
I can’t do it for you
There’s a song written on your heart only you can sing
And when you sing enemies flee
When you sing prison walls come falling down
When you sing Heaven invades the earth
So just begin to lift up your hallelujah
Raise it like a banner
Raise it like a flag
Raise it in the middle of the storm
Let it rise, let it rise
Like a symphony to the King
Everything to You, Jesus
We raise it all
Sing a little louder!!

I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah (In the presence of my enemies)
I raise a hallelujah (Louder than the unbelief)
I raise a hallelujah (My weapon is a melody)
I raise a hallelujah (Heaven comes to fight for me)