ONE VOICE WORSHIP
Artistry. Discipleship. Worship.
by One Voice Worship on November 7th, 2014

Identity: Part 2
 
Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post and invested a little time to begin creating your Post-It Note Timeline, or at least a short list of people, events and circumstances that have shaped your life. You’ll want to keep it handy, and I promise that this exercise will be worth your while, and could quite possibly prove to be life-changing!
 
In “Identity: Part 2”, we will discover how the Bible defines our identity. Today’s post is a bit longer than usual, but it’s necessary, so stay with me! Oh, and we’re going to get a little messy, and a lot honest. It’s going to be uncomfortable at first, but God’s Word will be the healing salve to our wounds on the other side.
 
Identity is a mysterious thing. Too often, we define ourselves by our profession, our skills, and our accomplishments.
 
All the while, our spiritual adversary creeps into our minds, whispering lies that prompt conversation with ourselves based on false identities rooted in our mistakes, strongholds, perceived failures, and circumstances…

“I’m a recovering addict (again). I’m living in a broken home. I’m a failed entrepreneur. I’m an unfaithful spouse. I’m a victim and a statistic. I’m an unfulfilled dream.  I’m unwanted and unimportant. I’m a widow or widower. I’m a single parent. I’m in insurmountable debt. I’m a hopeless gambler. I’m a liar and a fraud. I’m unemployed. I’m terminally ill. I’m a hypocrite.”

 As if defining who we are isn’t difficult enough, the soul-reaching ache deep inside of each one of us complicates the matter by constantly reminding us of life’s cruelest blows, poorest choices and deepest regrets.
 
At a young age, I began to sense the greater purpose that God had called me to. And while I sought that purpose, I also allowed distractions into my life, subjected myself to the consequences of bad decisions, and permitted circumstances to lead me astray from the path I knew I was meant to walk.
 
At the age of 23, I found myself at rock bottom, scarcely weighing 90 pounds yet heavily registering zero on the strength scale for climbing out of the valley I’d slowly climbed into. The compounding of events in the preceding years: a bad romantic relationship, the heartbreak of having to leave college due to lack of financial provision, working a high-pressure management job while pursuing vocational ministry, the responsibility of caring for my Father during his cancer treatment and his unexpected home-going, and the subsequent responsibility of caring for my Mother after his passing eventually moved my focus away from God and onto the people, events and circumstances of my life. My self-perception, or identity, looked something like this:

“I’m an overweight, socially awkward little girl who was made fun of at the bus stop in grade school. I’m an insecure girl who befriends everyone ( even though they never stay around) because she knows what it’s like to be rejected and alone. I’m not wanted by anyone. I’m a failed perfectionist who’s fueled by affirmation and driven by approval. I’m a scammed ex-fiancé. I’m a college dropout. I’m an irrational dreamer who’s tired of chasing what I can never seem to catch. I’m fatherless. I’m a spiritual fraud and a hypocrite. I’m a depression, anorexia and bulimia statistic. I’m a failed suicide attempt because self-harm didn’t work in my favor that night. I’m hopeless, and a fool to think that I was created for something greater than this deserved pit I’m in. I’m a disgrace to my church, a disappointment to God, and a defeated Christian. I am nothing.”

The moment that I allowed my gaze to be shifted off of the truth was the moment I gave myself permission to be deceived. (Click here to Tweet quote.)
 
As I’ve said before, how easily I had forgotten who I truly am and what on earth I was created for.
 
Perhaps that description is uncomfortably familiar. Oh dear one, I understand and you’re not alone! Maybe your self-perception isn’t as in-your-face or dramatic as mine. Or possibly, yours makes mine sound like a children’s bedtime story.
 
Regardless, I know this: You and I share the same God-given identity that has been defined and sealed by the blood of Jesus! (Click here to Tweet quote.)
 
It’s ok; go ahead and grab a tissue. Or a few. Oh, and some chocolate. Yes, definitely grab some chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better, right?! Heaven as my witness, I’ve drowned today’s tears from writing this post with a few scavenged Butterfinger bites.
 
Ok, deep breath. Now exhale. We’re in this together, and I’m not asking you to do anything I’ve not already done while writing this. You ok? Good! Now, wipe those tears (and your chocolate-stained hands), blow your nose, and grab your bootstraps and pull ‘em tight, friend. God’s Word has much to say regarding our true identity, and it’s liberating and life-changing. Chin up!
 
The word identity is defined as follows:
  • the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions
  • condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is
  • exact likeness in nature or qualities
  • the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another

The Word of God must be our firm foundation for our identity. It’s essential that we understand Who created us and why we were created. We can’t reclaim our God-given identity if we don’t have an understanding of what that is.
 
Let’s build upon two simple, yet profound pillars of truth:

1. We are intimately known by our Creator who embraces us with an incomprehensible love.

“God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—    you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!  At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.  Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!  God, I’ll never comprehend them!  I couldn’t even begin to count them—any more than I could count the sand of the sea.” – Psalm 139:1-22 (MSG)

2. We were created for relationship with God, through Jesus, with a divine purpose and role to play in God’s Kingdom agenda manifested on earth.

“…God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.  God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:4-10 (NLT)

If we revisit the definition of identity, we’ll see that these truths beautifully illustrate its meaning:

  •  the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions

TRUTH: God’s love for us is constant and inescapable, and is independent of our feelings, circumstances, or spiritual proximity to Him.

  • condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is
  • exact likeness in nature or qualities
  • the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another

TRUTH: God infused us with His DNA at the very moment He thought us into existence, before we had even lived one day of physical life. Jesus’ death and resurrection raises us from our spiritual death into new life, saving us from the eternal consequences of our sin nature.Not only are we a divine creation, but we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.

TRUTH: God sculpted us from “nothing” into “something” - His unique masterpiece – carefully shaping us to fulfill a magnificent destiny before the beginning of time. We are God’s handiwork, a Kingdom ambassador purposed to tell our story of His grace and kindness through the good things He has empowered and entrusted us to accomplish for His namesake.

Reading these truths, I am absolutely wrecked and consumed by the magnitude of God’s love for me.  (Click here to Tweet this quote.)
 
Dear one, embrace who you really are: known, loved, wanted, and purposed by God.
 
Promises – (see above)
Psalm 139:1-22
Ephesians 2:4-10
 
Prayer – "Identity"
Lord God, I am humbled and overwhelmed by Who you are, and who I am in you. I am wrecked and consumed by the magnitude of Your love for me. There is no need to fear You, for You are my Creator. You thought of me. You love me. You have forgiven me. You created only one me. You fashioned every fiber of my being with Your love and set me on earth for such a time as this to accomplish marvelous and wondrous things that I could never fulfill on my own, nor could anyone else on my behalf. You have entrusted and empowered me with a unique, personalized assignment for Your namesake. Oh Father, I acknowledge that I am not my own, but that I wholly belong to You, my Creator. I confess that apart from You, I am nothing, and can accomplish nothing. I place my life back into Your hands in this very moment. I embrace Your definition of who I really am, for only the Creator can define the workmanship of his hands. Your Word says that I am known, I am loved, I was created for relationship with you, and purposed to do great things. This, sovereign God, is who I am: known, loved, wanted, and purposed. In Jesus’ name, amen.
 
Worship
“I Can Just Be Me” by Laura Story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zeoqkwsmph0)
“Greater” by Mercy Me (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98hWI6T4Qqk)


by One Voice Worship on November 6th, 2014

Identity: Part 1

I was both convicted and inspired by a blog post I read a few mornings ago. The post asked the question, “What do you do?” which set my mind chasing another question: “Who am I?”  Typically, responses to these questions are focused on our profession or roles rather than our dreams, interests, and passions. Shouldn’t our answer reflect the beautiful individuality with which our Creator infused us rather than being a resume recitative? (Click here to read “So What Do You Do?” by Mark Henson, Chief Imagination Officer at sparkspace).
 
I love a good challenge, and challenged I was! How would I answer those questions? I could answer with the same old “I’m a Jesus-following/Wife/Mama/Gigi/Friend/Bi-vocational Worship Leader-Vocal Coach-Writer-Speaker who’s just trying to survive the daily routine, live the dream, and answer the call.” Compelling, right?!?  Hardly! So I prayed it out. And immediately God took me back in time to a weekend retreat we attended a few years ago…
 
A retreat called Focused Living. What a life-changing experience! During the retreat, each attendee completed an exercise called the Post-it Note Timeline, where people, events and circumstances that have shaped your life are recorded on post-it notes. Painful or negative experiences are then re-written on different colored post-it notes. Finally, the notes are arranged in chronological order on a piece of poster board where immediately, the different chapters of your life story vividly come to life. These chapters, or turning points, soon reveal God’s presence and intention in every season and detail of your life; it’s a humbling glance from God’s loving, sovereign, and perfect perspective on that which often seems pointless, disconnected and devoid of purpose - your life. For me, a few life-long questions were answered. That which seemed random or irrelevant found significance. Mistakes and messes became meaningful. Painful experiences were given divine purpose. And my talents and gifts were transformed into essential tools for living God’s calling on my life. This exercise, integrated with the discovery of my purpose statement, values, and vision, answered the age-old questions of “What do you do?” and “Who am I?”
 
How easily I had forgotten who I truly am and what on earth I am here for!
 
Our identity is in a constant state of flux. Every moment is a decision to believe the truth of God or the lies of the enemy. (Click here to Tweet this quote.)
 
In this mini-series, we’ll be discovering the Biblical definition of identity. We’ll explore how the enemy tirelessly seeks to warp and destroy our self-perception, and how to apply and live out the truths of God and wear them as a cloak of confidence every day of our lives.
 
Life is crazy busy – I get it! But before we go any further, I want to offer you the opportunity to begin creating your own Post-it Note Timeline (or at least start making a list that will serve as the framework for our time together in the days to come).
Click here for the instructions: http://www.leaderbreakthru.com/sovereign-perspective/post-it-note-timeline.php.
 
Here’s a song to stoke creativity and offer you encouragement and inspiration for this leg of our journey together. See you tomorrow!
 
“He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAdwe6FSU8M)

by One Voice Worship on November 5th, 2014


Day 5 of #nofearnovember is here! We’ve been digging deep in God’s Word and in ourselves that last few days. So, let’s come up for air today. Let’s make today #worshipwednesday and just worship! I don’t know about you, but Wednesdays are a struggle for me. Here in Columbus, OH it’s a cold, gloomy morning. I’m under-rested and over-spent. While God’s brought me through half the week, there’s still half of the week to overcome until the weekend is here, where I can hopefully enjoy extra sleep, drink extra coffee, and curl up with a blanket in His presence! I can’t think of a better thing to do today but worship my face off and draw on God’s promises, Jesus’ strength and the Spirit’s power to press on through today and the rest of the week! You in? Let’s ask God to “Wake” us this morning!

“Wake” by Hillsong Young and Free (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e33zCUm1ZnY)


by One Voice Worship on November 4th, 2014

PEACE: PART 2
 
Welcome back! Today we’ll journey through Part 2 of “Peace” in our #nofearnovember series.
 
Let’s recap the events that occurred in yesterday’s series post from Exodus 14 (click here to read Part 1 of “Peace”.)
  • God spoke to Moses in preparation for the Israelites’ deliverance from their enemy, the Egyptians.
  • The Israelites panicked and cried out hysterically to God upon their enemy’s arrival.
  • Their initial response to the enemy was fear and human divisiveness instead of faith.
  • God’s response to His people through Moses was, “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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
There’s that word again. Be ‘still’. The King James Version says “ye shall hold your peace.” In Hebrew, the word ‘peace’ means “to engrave or sow; to remain silent and keep quiet; to be speechless or deaf.” Being still isn’t a physical posture; it’s a spiritual one. It’s sowing peace in place of all its adversaries. And to remain silent or turn a deaf ear to the angst, we have to crash the chatterbox of our mind. There’s a reason why Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep Him in perfect peace whose MIND is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.” Keeping peace begins in the mind by replacing our thoughts and devices with His promises and truths engraved over them.
 
We will reap peace if we sow peace. (click here to Tweet).
 
It’s important to note that in the very next verse (15), the Lord asks Moses “Why are you crying out to Me?” and instructed him and the Israelites to “get moving” (NLT)! You see, in order for the Lord to bring about His deliverance, He needed them to be active participants in the process. He needed them to keep moving in faith, all the while maintaining peace.
 
God never said to sit still; He said to BE still. To hold your peace. To “get moving” in the direction He’s shown you with a quiet mouth, a calm mind, and a peaceful sprit while letting Him wage your war. To stop analyzing your options, devising your own plans or planning escape routes to shorten your stay in the desert, expedite your exit from the wilderness or manipulate your means of eluding the enemy and crossing your personal Red Sea.
 
God uses our active faith and anchored mind and spirit as essential means in our own deliverance. Our restless faith in our Strong God has the ability to overcome and calm our restless mind and spirit. Sure, He could deliver us while we’re at a spiritual standstill, but doing so wouldn’t afford us the gift of spiritual growth or the privilege of participating in His glory story! We need to keep moving physically while keeping peace spiritually. Staying our mind on Him is the means for doing so.
 
We may be the very thing restraining God’s deliverance in our lives. It’s time to move forward in active faith with a mind and spirit of peace! (click here to Tweet).
 
Promise – Exodus 14:13-14
“The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (KJV)
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)
“God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!" (MSG)
“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” (AMP)
“The Eternal will fight on your behalf while you watch in silence.” (Voice)

Prayer – Peace
Mighty God, I struggle to keep peace. The safety of standing still or turning towards distractions always seems to trump moving forward in the direction you’ve called me because in my mind and spirit, I am not keeping peace. Today Lord, I choose to advance towards my personal Red Sea of ________________. Though my enemy is quickly advancing, I will move forward in active faith with an anchored mind and spirit. I will walk forward and get out of my own way so that You can wage war on my behalf. I will rely on Your courage and wisdom to complete the daunting assignment, goal or task before me. I will embrace Your perseverance and strength to walk through the valley or trial I’m presently facing. I will seek You alone as the answer to the questions I’m asking or decisions needing to be made. I will keep my mind on You by holding fast to the promises of Your Word and meditating on these truths instead of my own thoughts. Today, I will get moving in active faith with an anchored mind and spirit. Today, I choose Your sovereign deliverance over my desire for control. Today, I choose to keep peace! In Jesus name, amen.
 
Worship -
“Steady My Heart” by Kari Jobe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0ip40j82ws)
“Give Me Faith” by Elevation Worship (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_Voi3JM8ZA)
“Strong God” by Meredith Andrews (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hig3RpyR3M)
“It Is Well” by Bethel Music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqo4Un2uZI)

by One Voice Worship on November 4th, 2014

*original post date: 11/3/14

PEACE: PART 1

Still. A word that makes me fidgety and oh-so nervous. I’m not good at being still! I am a Martha by nature, and always have to be planning, doing and accomplishing something. This compulsion tends to trickle over to my relationship with the Lord. Surely He could use my help, right? And since I’m on the front lines of my day-to-day life, certainly my human, first-person perspective and suggestions could be of essential value to the pl...ans of my all-knowing, ever-present, sovereign God, right? Like I said, being still isn’t a quality in which I excel! Even so, the Lord continues to gently nudge and challenge me to mature in this area of my spiritual walk with Him. He loves me far too much not to do so!

“Still” is a word used with great intentionality in God’s Word. And while I wasn’t there when Moses was leading the Israelites to cross the Red Sea, I have a hunch that the words “be still” were the last words any one of them wanted to hear while being hotly pursued by Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

In Exodus 14, God is preparing the Israelites for deliverance – salvation – from their enemy, the Egyptians. In verses 1-5, the Lord speaks to Moses, giving direction for him and the Israelites to set up camp while He orchestrated their enemy’s advancement towards them, for the end result of not only delivering His people, but so that the Egyptians would know that He was the Lord. It’s easy to imagine the fear and terror that welled up in the hearts of the Israelites as they waited for their enemy’s arrival while camped along the bank of Pi Hahiroth. I imagine they felt like sitting ducks, just waiting to fall prey into the hands of the Egyptians, perhaps even questioning God’s instructions and ability to deliver them. Did God really say to set up camp and wait for the enemy? When they looked up and saw that the Egyptians had arrived, they panicked and cried out hysterically to God. They responded in fear and human divisiveness rather than in faith in the God who had been instructing and providing for them all along.

Holding fast to what the Lord had spoken to him, Moses spoke these words to the Israelites in verses 13 and 14:

“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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of “Peace” on our #nofearnovember journey! We’ll learn the Biblical meaning behind being “still” from our focus passage in Exodus 14 (can you say, “Eureka!?!”) and how to practically apply this truth to our everyday lives. I can’t wait to pick up where we’ve left off!

#nofearnovember ‪#‎nfnpeacepart1‬


by One Voice Worship on November 4th, 2014

*original post date 11/2/14

Since the beginning of time to present day, mankind has been desperately searching for a Savior. Let's face it; we NEED a Savior! In Matthew 19, Jesus is talking with His disciples about entering the Kingdom of heaven. He says, "It is impossible for people to save themselves, but everything is possible for God."

As the saying goes, Jesus is either Lord of all, or not at all. So, if we can trust our eternity to Him, why wouldn't we entrust our temporary, daily circumstances and decisions to Him as well? Surely a Savior who can heal the sick, raise the dead, calm the seas and offer salvation through His resurrection power can be trusted to order the details of our everyday life with sovereignty and care.

What if in addition to inviting Jesus into our heart to save us, we invited Him in as the Savior of our financial chaos? What if we trusted Him to do the impossible and be the Savior of our relationships, our health crisis, our dead-end job, or our wayward children? Or asked Him to be the Savior of our decisions, circumstances and provision? As sure as we have confidence in our eternal salvation, we can stand firm on the promise that while all things may not be good in and of themselves or make sense this side of heaven, all things will be worked together for good. Remember, everything is possible for God.

If we speak in possibilities, we speak the language of man. If we speak in impossibilities, we speak the language of heaven.

Promise - Matthew 19:26
"Jesus looked at them intently and said, 'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'" (NLT)

"Jesus looked hard at them and said, 'No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it." (MSG)
"Jesus looked at them and said, 'It is impossible for people to save themselves, but everything is possible for God.'" (GW)

Prayer - Possible
I need a Savior. Jesus, I desperately need You. I am not wise enough to manage my life apart from You; I need Your wisdom. I am not strong enough to carry the weight of my burdens; I need Your strength. I lack the resources to meet the present needs in my life; I need Your provision. I am far from good enough to save myself; I need Your salvation. Jesus, infuse your possibility into the impossibilities I'm currently facing in my life. Be my courage to face the difficult and unknown, my hope to endure hardship and trial, and my joy through sorrow and loss. Be the possibility in my impossibility, for everything is possible with You! In Jesus' name, amen.

Worship -
"Nothing Is Impossible" by Planetshakers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=antqLO0OQ8s)

"Stronger" by Hillsong (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv55FMjeMV0)


by One Voice Worship on November 4th, 2014

* original post date: 11/1/14

You are invited to join me for ‪#‎nofearnovember‬! Along with cooler temperatures and all-things pumpkin, November brings with it numerous "challenges", such as 30 Days of Thanksgiving, Planksgiving and Prayer, and let's not forget everyone's favorite - No Shave November! I invite and encourage you to join me for #nofearnovember, a journey that the Lord laid before my heart this morning. Together, we'll explore courage, freedom, peace, joy, surrender, wisdom, and so much more as we face our fears and grow our faith in Jesus Christ. Whether you're a matured believer, a new Christian, somewhere in between the two, or simply curious about this Jesus that people speak of, #nofearnovember is for you! Join the journey here on Facebook via my personal page, our ministry page at One Voice Worship Ministries, and on Instagram and Twitter as OneVoiceWorship! Feel free to share to invite others to join us, and don't forget to hashtag #nofearnovember in your comments, posts and shares! Let's get started!

Day 1: #nofearnovember

Fear. Just saying the word makes me nervous! I've nursed fear-filled roots for most of my 37 years. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of loss. Fear of disappointing others...and God. Fear of making the wrong decisions. Fear of relationships. Fear of imperfection. Fear of being successful. Fear of losing control.

Which brings us to the source of these roots in my life - fear of surrender. Surrendering myself to God relinquishes my perceived control of preventing my fears from coming to fruition. Yet to live free of fear, surrender is required.

What do you need to surrender to God today... The grief of disappointment and loss? A lingering medical crisis? A secret or stronghold? Ongoing financial struggles? Decisions looming in the near future? Work stress and to-do lists? Fear of what God is calling you to do? The challenges of raising a family? Relational strife? Unfulfilled dreams? The unknown future?

To fearlessly face these challenges, we must recognize the need to surrender them to an all-sufficient God. Rather than seek answers and solutions, we need to seek HIM. He IS the answer and solution to every burden we carry, decision we face, and question we ask. If we seek Him, acknowledge Him, and listen for Him, the grip of fear on our lives will begin to loosen and we'll find ourselves in a safe place of willing surrender to a loving God who always has our best interests at heart.

Promise - Proverbs 3:6
"Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." (NLT)

"In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." (AMP)

"Listen For God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go..." (MSG)

Prayer - Surrender
God, right now I'm seeking you, and only You. Not an answer, not a direction, not relief. Just You. I want to know You, recognize where You are at work in my life, and acknowledge You as my loving, forgiving, grace-giving, sovereign God. Lord, I want to hear Your voice above the clamor in my life, the chaos of my circumstances, and the confusion in my own mind. Open my ears to only hear the sound of Your voice wherever I go, and in whatever I do. In this moment, I surrender __________ to You. I will wait in confidence for You to show me the direction to walk, and to make plain and straight the path that I should take. I will wait with expectation for Your answer and solution and trust You to reveal how and where it will be found. I will rest in knowing that You are fighting for me, guiding me, and ordering my life according to Your Kingdom agenda on earth. You are good, and You are for my good. In Jesus' name, amen.

Worship -
"You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hi-VMxT6fc)


by One Voice Worship on October 3rd, 2014

Perspective.  It really is everything.  And our mind is the filter for it.  Do you have a Kingdom mentality, or an earthly mentality? Jesus Himself said that we would indeed have trouble in this world, but to take heart, because HE has overcome the world (John 16:33)! Too often, we become consumed with our circumstances, our trials, our insecurities, our dreams and desires, and even the blessings and trials in the lives of the people around us.  Rather than throwing off that which so easily entangles us on earth and fixing our eyes solely on the eternal – Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), we fix our eyes on the things of the flesh which, as Scripture says, so “easily entangles us.” 

So what does this mean to you and me? We need a change of perspective, and this happens from the inside out, through a transformation of the mind. 

Did you wake up inside this morning protected from the wind and pouring rain? Someone slept under a bridge last night and their only set of clothes, the ones they were wearing, are soaked from the elements. Did you have something to eat or drink for breakfast? Someone has gone hungry for days because they are giving up their physical needs so that their children’s bellies don’t go hungry. Do you have a few dollars in your bank account? Someone has no idea how they will pay their mortgage or utility bill, let alone buy groceries or Christmas presents. Do you have a spouse, children, family or friends you share life with? Someone is grieving their broken home or the unexpected loss of a loved one and wondering how they will cope with living life alone. Did you go to work today? Someone would jump at the chance to sit at your desk and work at the job that you daily loathe. Are you in decent health? Someone is facing another day today with a terminal diagnosis or prolonged recovery from illness. Do you have hopes and dreams for your life? Someone would love to be living your current reality, for to them, your life IS a dream, one that may never come true for them.

Although we each live our own unique lives characterized by obstacles and trials that are exclusive and significant to us that aren’t to be minimized through rose-colored glasses, we must also balance them with the blessings given us by God in equal measure. Though the weight of our challenges may overcome the weight of our blessings, they are small in comparison to the measure of them. So while our circumstances may not change, our answered prayers may seem slow in coming, and our mountains seem impossible to be moved, rest assured that we have at our disposal Jesus’ resurrection power and the equipping of the Holy Spirit to change the one component of our lives we do have the ability to impact – our perspective.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  And 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (MSG) says, “The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”

 PROMISE:

When our thoughts are taken captive unto Truth and our mind has been transformed by God, our words, attitudes, behaviors – and perspectives – will all be transformed as well.  While everything around us might not change, and we are still living life amidst obstacles and trials, everything appears differently to our mind’s eye…because amidst the chaos, WE have been changed.  And sometimes that’s exactly what He desires to accomplish.

 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” – Romans 12:2 (NLT)

“The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (MSG)

REFLECTION:

What thoughts are repeatedly damaging your perspective? What emotions threaten your Kingdom mentality? Spend a few minutes surrendering them to Christ’s authority, and notice the heavy yoke upon your shoulders growing instantly lighter. Then, take an inventory of God’s blessings, faithfulness and provision in your life in spite of your circumstances, and in spite of your usual perspective.  Our God is a good God, and through Him, we have already overcome all that the enemy strives to entangle us with!  May you walk through today with a fresh perspective of all that God is able to do through, and in, your life!

WORSHIP:

Are you ready to change your view? Spend a few minutes worshiping as you listen to a song by Meredith Andrews and today, become a catalyst for change in your own life and the lives of others.  As you worship, declare to God, let it “start with me!”

“Start With Me” by Meredith Andrews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4izl8DjGHQ


Original post date: 12/05/2013 on http://onevoiceworship.wordpress.com/


by One Voice Worship on January 12th, 2014

*original post date 1/12/2014

Happy New Year!  I cannot believe that we’re already eleven days into January 2014.  Oh, how swiftly the time passes by…

Our new year’s blog post is a little late…obviously! We enjoyed some extended travel with family over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and are just now settling back into our normal routines (and time changes!) with work and ministry.

Last year, I started keeping a Blessings Jar.  Colorful slips of paper capturing a brief praise, answered prayer, blessing, or thought written on them were deposited into the jar and were to remain there until after 2013 had passed.  I loved the intentionality of this exercise, as it caused me to stop in the present moment and acknowledge God at work in our lives and circumstances! While there were many blessings and events that I failed to record in the jar for last year, my heart was overwhelmed this past weekend when I finally spent a few minutes reading and reflecting on each thought that had been recorded…

Specific answered prayers for our children, extended family, friends, business and ministry.Blessings of safe travel, stability of my pineal brain cyst, and the arrival of our grand-angel in May.Moments of grace and comfort during the loss of loved ones.Days of joy through accomplishments both personally and professionally.Opportunities of gratitude for God’s divine hand in ordering impossible circumstances.

Reflecting on the year of 2013 brought with it a myriad of emotions, and rather intuitively, my mind and emotions began to cling to those experiences that were challenging or painful.  Immediately, my perception of the New Year that God had blessed us with was shrouded in events from the past.  Rather than embracing what new things God might desire to accomplish in and through me in 2014 with a spirit of anticipation, expectation, immovable faith and surrender, I began meditating on anxiety, doubt, fear, insecurity and worry.  Why?  Our human tendency is to view an unknown future through an intimately known past.  We project yesterday’s disappointments, failures and heartaches onto tomorrow’s anticipated outcomes.  Assumed predictability overshadows hopeful optimism.  And thus, we reduce God’s unmatched abilities and unlimited resources to those of our own human capabilities and convince ourselves that based on past experience, God couldn’t possibly do a “new thing” in our life.

Or could He?

There’s much insight to glean from chapter 43 of the book of Isaiah, verses 16-19, and 21:
  • "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forthmy praise."  (KJV)
The Message Translation paraphrases this passage beautifully:
"Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.  Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me."

Glory, hallelujah!  I pray that your perspective on this new year is beginning to take divine shape in light of what God says…no, promises…that He will do!  To fully embrace the richness of this passage, it’s necessary to chip away at the surface of numerous words to truly mine the gems buried therein.  So hang with me; I am confident that at the end of our Hebrew excavation, these discoveries will leave you empowered, enthusiastic for what God has in store for you this year, and find you shouting a holy “Eureka!” in Jesus name! And if I’m wrong, I’ll pack up my bag of Bible mining tools, dust off my dirty knees, and go home!

Hebrew Words and Definitions (from KJV Translation above):
  • Remember: (“Zakar”) – recall; call to mind; keep in remembrance; to mention; make a memorial; choicest; best.
  • Things: (“Ri’shown”; from root words “Ri’shah” and “Ro’sh”) – summit; sum; height; to shake
  • Consider: (“Biyn”) – know with the mind; observe; give heed to; distinguish; teach or instruct, regard
  • Do: (“ ’asah”) – fashion; accomplish; put in order; celebrate; ordain; to be observed; to press; squeeze
  • Thing: (“Chadash”) – renew; repair; make anew
  • Forth: (“Tsamach”) – spring up; grow up; to grow abundantly or thickly
  • Know: (“Yada”) – know by experience; be skillful in; to be made known; to be revealed; to make oneself known; to be instructed; declare
  • Make: (“Suwm”) – to put; place; set; appoint; direct toward; establish; transform into; to set or make for a sign
  • Way: (“Derek”; from root word “Darak”) – distance; journey; manner; path; direction; course of life; to tread (bend with the foot)
  • Wilderness: (“Midbar”; from root word “Dabar”) – pasture; uninhabited land; large tracts of wilderness; promise; warn; sing; to speak
  • Rivers: (“Nahar”) – underground streams; be radiant; to flow
  • Desert: (“yĕshiymown”; from root word “Yasham”) – waste; desert; desolate place; to ruin
  • Formed: (“Yatsar”) – form; fashion; of divine activity; to squeeze into shape; to bind; be distressed
  • Forth: (“Caphar”) –to recount; declare; to talk
  • Praise: (“tĕhillah”) – praise; adoration; thanksgiving to God; general or public praise; deeds or attributes of God
Whew!  Now that was some digging into the Word!  What we now hold in our hands are sparkling gems of truth – seemingly small nuggets of encouragement, freedom, hope, peace, purpose, and redemption that permeate the darkness of our life and illuminate it with the radiance of God.  As I prayed over these words and their God-inspired intentionality and meanings, He began to write upon my heart a personalized translation of this passage…


PROMISE:
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.  Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.” – Isaiah 43:16-19; 21 (The Message)

REFLECTION:
1.  What thoughts and feelings surface when you reflect upon last year…is there anxiety, fear, or regret?  Are there ongoing circumstances that have overflowed into the New Year?  Or imminent situations looming on the horizon?  Spend time in God’s presence sharing your heart with Him.  Tell Him your concerns, frustrations, and insecurities.  Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7; NIV).  Choose not to worry about anything but instead, to pray about everything, telling God what you need and thanking Him for what He has already done.  Then, claim the promise of God’s peace that far exceeds anything you can comprehend and guards your heart and mind so that you can abundantly live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-8; NLT).

2.  Consider how God might be using your unique life story to impact the lives of others for His namesake.  Identify what attributes of His character He might be cultivating in you through your experiences. How have you grown in Christ-likeness? Now, inventory by name whom God has divinely placed in your sphere of influence and how God may be using the overflow of Himself through you to draw them to Him. Perhaps you, and your circumstances, are the essential elements God has hand-picked to use to foster a life-changing experience in their life! You, my friend, may very well have a front-row seat for watching God’s kingdom agenda unfold in the life of someone else, simply because you’ve chosen to embrace your circumstances as an opportunity to share the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:13-17).

3.  Do you believe God’s promise to use your wilderness journey as a song of praise and segue to blessings, as “an abundant harvest where all things that have been sown in tears will be repaired and made new”? What thoughts and feelings arise from entertaining that possibility? Ask God to help you look beyond your limited human perspective and consider His omniscient view of your circumstances. While it may seem that your present situation is unnoticed by God due to the sameness from day to day, take heart that even at this very moment, He may be orchestrating the people, places, and things required for bringing the next step of His plan to fruition for His glory and your blessing! Trust the heart of God. He made you, He will carry you, He will sustain you, and He will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4).

WORSHIP:
Are you ready for God to do a new thing?  Often, the blessed outcome of His hand at work isn’t necessarily an external change in our circumstances, but instead in the transformation that occurs in the depths of our heart as we surrender everything to Him.  Whether your “new thing” is found in relinquishing a long-term burden to God’s authority in your life, or in a courageous step forward into an unknown season of life, take time to abide in His presence and worship Him for Who He is – a loving and redeeming God Who makes all things new!
  • “Worth It All” by Meredith Andrews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg7h6GiNTLg
  • “Lift My Life Up” by Unspoken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5KmkdWdRQU
  • “Oceans” by Hillsong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLqTZ07ja7g
  • “Reckless” by Jeremy Camp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wThyGZXJDYo
Learn more about the ministry of One Voice Worship by visiting www.onevoiceworship.com.

by Heather Hitchcock on January 12th, 2014

Happy New Year!  I cannot believe that we’re already eleven days into January 2014.  Oh, how swiftly the time passes by…

Our new year’s blog post is a little late…obviously! We enjoyed some extended travel with family over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and are just now settling back into our normal routines (and time changes!) with work and ministry. 
Last year, I started keeping a Blessings Jar.  Colorful slips of paper capturing a brief praise, answered prayer, blessing, or thought written on them were deposited into the jar and were to remain there until after 2013 had passed.  I loved the intentionality of this exercise, as it caused me to stop in the present moment and acknowledge God at work in our lives and circumstances! While there were many blessings and events that I failed to record in the jar for last year, my heart was overwhelmed this past weekend when I finally spent a few minutes reading and reflecting on each thought that had been recorded…
  • Specific answered prayers for our children, extended family, friends, business and ministry.
  • Blessings of safe travel, stability of my pineal brain cyst, and the arrival of our grand-angel in May.
  • Moments of grace and comfort during the loss of loved ones.
  • Days of joy through accomplishments both personally and professionally.
  • Opportunities of gratitude for God’s divine hand in ordering impossible circumstances.
Reflecting on the year of 2013 brought with it a myriad of emotions, and rather intuitively, my mind and emotions began to cling to those experiences that were challenging or painful.  Immediately, my perception of the New Year that God had blessed us with was shrouded in events from the past.  Rather than embracing what new things God might desire to accomplish in and through me in 2014 with a spirit of anticipation, expectation, immovable faith and surrender, I began meditating on anxiety, doubt, fear, insecurity and worry.  Why?  Our human tendency is to view an unknown future through an intimately known past.  We project yesterday’s disappointments, failures and heartaches onto tomorrow’s anticipated outcomes.  Assumed predictability overshadows hopeful optimism.  And thus, we reduce God’s unmatched abilities and unlimited resources to those of our own human capabilities and convince ourselves that based on past experience, God couldn’t possibly do a “new thing” in our life.
Or could He?

There’s much insight to glean from chapter 43 of the book of Isaiah, verses 16-19, and 21:

The Message Translation paraphrases this passage beautifully:


Glory, hallelujah!  I pray that your perspective on this new year is beginning to take divine shape in light of what God says…no, promises…that He will do!  To fully embrace the richness of this passage, it’s necessary to chip away at the surface of numerous words to truly mine the gems buried therein.  So hang with me; I am confident that at the end of our Hebrew excavation, these discoveries will leave you empowered, enthusiastic for what God has in store for you this year, and find you shouting a holy “Eureka!” in Jesus name! And if I’m wrong, I’ll pack up my bag of Bible mining tools, dust off my dirty knees, and go home!

Hebrew Words and Definitions (from KJV Translation above):

Remember: (“Zakar”) - recall; call to mind; keep in remembrance; to mention; make a memorial; choicest; best.  
       
Things: (“Ri’shown”; from root words “Ri’shah” and “Ro’sh”) - summit; sum; height; to shake
 
Consider: (“Biyn”) - know with the mind; observe; give heed to; distinguish; teach or instruct, regard
 
Do: (“ ’asah”) – fashion; accomplish; put in order; celebrate; ordain; to be observed; to press; squeeze
 
Thing: (“Chadash”) – renew; repair; make anew
 
Forth: (“Tsamach”) – spring up; grow up; to grow abundantly or thickly
 
Know: (“Yada”) – know by experience; be skillful in; to be made known; to be revealed; to make oneself known; to be instructed; declare
 
Make: (“Suwm”) – to put; place; set; appoint; direct toward; establish; transform into; to set or make for a sign
 
Way: (“Derek”; from root word “Darak”) – distance; journey; manner; path; direction; course of life; to tread (bend with the foot)
 
Wilderness: (“Midbar”; from root word “Dabar”) – pasture; uninhabited land; large tracts of wilderness; promise; warn; sing; to speak
 
Rivers: (“Nahar”) – underground streams; be radiant; to flow
 
Desert: (“yĕshiymown”; from root word “Yasham”) – waste; desert; desolate place; to ruin
 
Formed: (“Yatsar”) – form; fashion; of divine activity; to squeeze into shape; to bind; be distressed
 
Forth: (“Caphar”) –to recount; declare; to talk
 
Praise: (“tĕhillah”) – praise; adoration; thanksgiving to God; general or public praise; deeds or attributes of God
 
Whew!  Now that was some digging into the Word!  What we now hold in our hands are sparkling gems of truth – seemingly small nuggets of encouragement, freedom, hope, peace, purpose, and redemption that permeate the darkness of our life and illuminate it with the radiance of God.  As I prayed over these words and their God-inspired intentionality and meanings, He began to write upon my heart a personalized translation of this passage…
 
PROMISE:
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.  Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.” – Isaiah 43:16-19; 21 (The Message)

REFLECTION:

What thoughts and feelings surface when you reflect upon last year…is there anxiety, fear, or regret?  Are there ongoing circumstances that have overflowed into the New Year?  Or imminent situations looming on the horizon?  Spend time in God’s presence sharing your heart with Him.  Tell Him your concerns, frustrations, and insecurities.  Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7; NIV).  Choose not to worry about anything but instead, to pray about everything, telling God what you need and thanking Him for what He has already done.  Then, claim the promise of God’s peace that far exceeds anything you can comprehend and guards your heart and mind so that you can abundantly live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-8; NLT).  

Consider how God might be using your unique life story to impact the lives of others for His namesake.  Identify what attributes of His character He might be cultivating in you through your experiences. How have you grown in Christ-likeness? Now, inventory by name whom God has divinely placed in your sphere of influence and how God may be using the overflow of Himself through you to draw them to Him. Perhaps you, and your circumstances, are the essential elements God has hand-picked to use to foster a life-changing experience in their life! You, my friend, may very well have a front-row seat for watching God’s kingdom agenda unfold in the life of someone else, simply because you’ve chosen to embrace your circumstances as an opportunity to share the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:13-17). 

Do you believe God’s promise to use your wilderness journey as a song of praise and segue to blessings, as “an abundant harvest where all things that have been sown in tears will be repaired and made new”? What thoughts and feelings arise from entertaining that possibility? Ask God to help you look beyond your limited human perspective and consider His omniscient view of your circumstances. While it may seem that your present situation is unnoticed by God due to the sameness from day to day, take heart that even at this very moment, He may be orchestrating the people, places, and things required for bringing the next step of His plan to fruition for His glory and your blessing! Trust the heart of God. He made you, He will carry you, He will sustain you, and He will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4). 

WORSHIP:
Are you ready for God to do a new thing?  Often, the blessed outcome of His hand at work isn’t necessarily an external change in our circumstances, but instead in the transformation that occurs in the depths of our heart as we surrender everything to Him.  Whether your “new thing” is found in relinquishing a long-term burden to God’s authority in your life, or in a courageous step forward into an unknown season of life, take time to abide in His presence and worship Him for Who He is - a loving and redeeming God Who makes all things new!

“Worth It All” by Meredith Andrews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg7h6GiNTLg
“Lift My Life Up” by Unspoken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5KmkdWdRQU
“Oceans” by Hillsong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLqTZ07ja7g
“Reckless” by Jeremy Camp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wThyGZXJDYo






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