Singing His praise and a taste of spring already!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul!

O Lord my God, you are very great!

You are clothed with splendor and majesty,

covering yourself with light as with a garment,

stretching out the heavens like a tent…

He set the earth on its foundation,

so that it should never be moved…

O Lord, how manifold are your works!

In wisdom have you made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;

May the Lord rejoice in his works,

who looks on the earth and it trembles,

who touches the mountains and they smoke!

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

May my meditation be pleasing to him,

for I rejoice in the Lord.”

Psalm 104:1-2, 5, 24, 31-34

May you hear God’s creation singing His praises this week, and

May you sing as long as you have your being!

Japanese Magnolia outside of “The Bakery”

Mississippi State University

(…if only I could live and serve here on this campus forever ! )

February 8, 2012

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Psalm 118:28-29

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will extol you.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!”

Psalm 118:28-29

Thanks be to God for all of His wonderful and many blessings!  My best friend got into dental school on Thursday which has been something that we’ve been faithfully praying about for the past year.  Another friend that I’ve made told me on Tuesday that her mom doesn’t have breast cancer anymore.  God is good, so good.  Today, I even praise God for the beautiful African Violets that seem to smile at me as I study for finals and write the 5 papers that I have left (22 pages left to write…. God help me! haha)

What will you thank God for today?

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂

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.

“Skipping Stones”

“Let me be Your skipping stone,

Let me be the one

With whom you throw into the deep

and let Your will be done.

Let me skip along the water

and walk with faith like Peter

Let me never fear of failure but

know Your love runs deeper.

So send me out before you, God

behind Your faithful Son.

Send me out into the field

until Your battle’s won.

So throw me into the unkown,

so throw me into fear.

Throw me where I don’t want to go,

but always find You near.

Let my splash into the surface

be the end of Your great throw.

Let the ripples of my sinking

show Your presence midst the flow.

So stretch out wide and stretch our far

but never let me go.

Stretch your arm and skip more stones

‘mong Your children here below.

For You are the Great Potter,

and we are but the clay.

You are the Great Maker,

and we are what you made.

So shape us into skipping stones.

Shape us into ones,

with whom You throw into the deep

and let Your will be done.”

“Skipping Stones”

Sarah Hollinger

August 19, 2010

A Single Drop in a Bucket Full of Water

drop in bucket.jpg

“Use me as an instrument of Your Peace…”  Over and over again, this little phrase, this breath prayer, repeated in my head and followed every prayer.  It took a day or two before I really began to notice how often I was saying this, and I began to wonder why…

I always thought that I was okay with being an invisible servant of the Lord, but I have been proven wrong.  There were times when I pouted about not being asked to sing in the skit or chosen to talk to certain girls, etc.  I knew that God was telling me that my sole purpose here was to be an instrument of His Peace and of His love, but why couldn’t I do that and be in the center of attention?

Oswald Chambers once said,

Suppose God wants to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased”–are you ready to be offered up like that?  Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket–to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served?  Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister?

Over the past two weeks and for the next 4 days to come, God is teaching me what it means to live as stated it that quote.  I will certainly continue to learn that lesson for all of the days of my life, but I acknowledge that the lesson has begun, right here, right now, right in the midst of sorority life where you are pushed to be anything but a single drop in a bucket full of water.  Surrounded by 200 girls, I’m also finding that it’s much harder to minister than to be ministered unto.

No matter what your situation may be, remember that God is more than sufficient.  He has given a unique of skill and passion that only YOU have, and once you offer this up to Him, He will take it and multiply it.  Just as a faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, your presence being the size of a raindrop will be multiplied in the hands of the God that fed 5000 people with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread (John 6).

Be encouraged.  Be encouraged by the God of miracles!