At the heart of worship is surrender.

I am so excited that I wish I could shout this from my rooftop:  I have an Internet connection!!!  Imagine this: since July, I haven’t had access to this blog, email, my school’s website with our classes’ websites, guitar music, iTunes music store, etc.  For some, this may not sound that monumental, but for a 2o year old in this day and age, that’s huge!  With this small victory, I write to you from the comfort of my couch with a cup of coffee in my hand and a great story of worship on my heart…

.hillsong live.

This past Monday night, I lost myself in a night of worship.  The Hillsong- New York City’s pastor cried out, “Don’t leave this place the same way as you were when you walked in here tonight!” And I didn’t…

———-

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:

take your everyday, ordinary life

–your sleeping, your eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–

and place it before God as an offering…

Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

Romans 12:1-2 (the Message)

———-

What is true worship?

It is this…

…surrendering to God.

Some may be reading now and say, “Oh, but I’m not one of those enthusiastic believers that breaks out into dance, waves my hands in the air, etc.”  And honestly, I haven’t been.  I lacked courage to raise my hand even above my heart as if doing the pledge of allegiance.

But we have so much more to offer God than a pledge of allegiance.

While standing at the foot of the stage, I listened to songs like “With Us” and felt the words sinking into even the deepest places of my heart… “There’s no end to your love.  There’s no end to your love,” they sang, “You’re with us.  You’re with us.”  With closed eyes, I relished the sweetness of those words, the truth of them even sweeter than last week’s Thanksgiving dessert.  “…There’s nothing in this world/ That could take you away/ You’re with us/ You’re with us…”  In that moment, I drew near to God, and just as James promised in James 4:8, God drew near me.

What I learned Monday night is this: worship isn’t just listening to Christian radio in the car, nor is it just going to church and enjoying the solo during the offertory.  Worship–true worship of the Father and Creator of this Universe whose Son, Jesus Christ, lived as a human, died on the cross and overcame the world when he defeated even death itself–is encountering God and responding to Him.  It’s the crying out of your heart after casting your burden on Him and feeling Him not only take your burden onto His back, but take you up into His arms, as well.

Today, my prayer for you is that you offer up your everyday, ordinary life to God and ask Him to meet you in every moment.  Whether it’s a prayer that He helps you be patient with a coworker or customer, a prayer to have a greater desire for Him, a prayer to give your life over to Him, God is able.  God is able…

So what is worship?  It’s the proper response to an encounter with the One that knitted you together in the womb (Psalm 139:13), the Son that has gone before you (Hebrews 6:20) on your behalf.

Worship is surrender.

Clayton and Elizabeth’s Wedding!

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, we celebrated the beautiful marriage union of my cousin, Clayton Dugan, to the precious Elizabeth Nelms.  It was an absolutely breathtaking ceremony.  Although the bridesmaids and their bouquets were pretty and the stained glass windows shed colored light into the sanctuary, these are not the reasons why the ceremony was beautiful.  On Saturday, November 19, 2011, all those at First Baptist Church in Kosciusko, MS witnessed the sacred vows exchanged between bride and groom.  It was a ceremony of worship to our Father in Heaven that claims us as His bride.  For this reason, it was breathtaking…

Of course, there was much preparation in order to plan it all.  Even at the rehearsal, we hoped that practice would make perfect for the day to come: the pace to have while walking down the aisle, the exact places to stand, the music etc.  After a successful rehearsal though, we enjoyed delicious food, laughed, and even cried as we heard stories and toasts to the soon-to-be married couple.

 yummy.

And then….. it was the wedding day!  On the groom’s side of the building, there was much pacing, much waiting around, but it was all worth it because just a few hours later…

…Clayton and Elizabeth were married!

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,

but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  

Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Please be praying for Clayton and Elizabeth as they start this new life together!  To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen!

Update 11/15/11: Weddings!

Fall is here!  The leaves have changed colors, cotton has been picked, and I finally am wearing jeans with my cowboy boots :).  With all of the Christmas decorations that are popping up around campus and downtown Starkville, I’m reminded that Christmas is on its way too.  Guess what exciting events will also be taking place, though, in this season for my family?  Two weddings!!!

This weekend, my cousin Clayton and his precious fiance Elizabeth will be getting married in Kosciusko, MS.  We couldn’t be more thrilled about their ceremony coming up in just a few days. Praise be to God for this joyous time, a beautiful reminder of the joys and blessings present in this life.  I know that Mammaw will be smiling down from heaven; she is even now…

 

 

 

And yay for the upcoming wedding of my cousin Amanda and her fiance Tyler!  Once again, we are so excited for them and can’t wait for their wedding coming up at the end of December.  Mammaw will certainly be one of the angels in attendance there, as well.

 

 

Well, I just wanted to share that happy news.  Sadly though, I must end this little writing session–even though it was super brief anyways–and get back to the books.   My homework for night class is calling my name….  With the end of the semester almost here, there’s so much work to be done, but I will certainly try my best to write more!  Until then, know that I’m thinking, praying, and thanking God for you, dear reader.

 

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Super-Dog is here!

While logging into my email account, that picture is what I saw.  Isn’t it funny?  Even though I was sitting in the quiet office for the student workers, I started to laugh out loud.  We all need a good laugh here and there throughout the day… 

So, have you been a little down recently?  Have no fear!  Captain Super-Dog is here!  He even looks quite fashionable in that red scarf and matching “doggles.” haha

  I hope this brings a smile to your face, just as it did for me!

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂