Why They Don’t Sing in Church Anymore: A Response

So recently I read THIS article posted on Facebook. Thom Shultz is bringing up a great topic “Why They Don’t Sing in Church Anymore”. I love this conversation and believe that as a church we can improve. Though a few points he makes are worth addressing, the author is missing the true nature to our mime like worship: OUR HEARTS

He ends his own article saying “I’ve stopped singing…” If this is meant to encourage me to sing it doesn’t. We look to our leaders to exemplify worship for us. It is a trickle from the top. A true heartfelt worship does not become contagious if our own leaders mime expressionless words. That being said it can’t be left only to them. We are all in this together.  And we have no one to blame for our lack of gusto but ourselves. The following are some ways where we let our deceitful hearts limit our Sunday worship experience.

Consumerism is the biggest poison in our church today. “If I don’t like what’s happening, I won’t participate” If we continue to look at the church through consumer eyes we will always be disappointed. Though there are songs in worship music today that may be less than desirable to some either too contemporary or not contemporary enough. Whenever I attend a service with a song that I just have a hard time getting my heart into, I try my best to repent of “elitism” and pray that the spirit would move regardless, and that I would let these feelings go in order to respond in worship to the God who has given me Everything and who is worthy of my praise in whatever song I sing! Ephesians 5:21 Regardless of personal likes, at some point we have to find a way to set aside our preferences and worship hand in hand with the person next to us that may have different tastes. Because in heaven there will be no personal preference.

Secondly we are too content with being spoon fed in order to worship rather than acknowledging our individual role that we play in corporate worship settings. We should be praying (both corporately and individually) for the spirit to move and to break our own hearts towards worshiping the Lord. Just as Psalm 32:3 says when we keep silent about our sins we waste away. When we don’t make prayer apart of our worship we hinder our experience. Before we walk into the building on sunday we should say a prayer something like this: “Lord remind me that I need you and that you are worthy of my praise. Forgive me for the ways that I lack in worshiping you wholeheartedly. Spirit move in me to remind me of what is true.” If repentance isn’t a part of your service. Make it a priority to lay down your sin at the feet of Jesus before you walk in. Because He is ready to receive it and has vowed to forgive it! Otherwise we will walk in distracted with weighed down hearts and this is the hardest point of entry into true heart felt worship of our living God.

Most importantly we are out of practice. We should be worshipping the Lord in song and through the reading of His word throughout the week so we don’t walk into church cold and expect the circumstances of our services to “get us there”. Worship leaders work really hard to set up the mood in order to lead others into heart felt worship singing, but if we leave it all to them we will be disappointed. Because in the end the circumstances of our service try though we may will be imperfect and will fall short. Only a practiced heart is able to worship the Lord in a manor worthy of His praise. Psalm 1 encourages to plant ourselves by streams so that we will yield fruit and gain practice!

All that being said, isn’t it miraculous that every sunday the Lord chooses to teach us new things, regardless of where our hearts are? Let’s worship that! The fact that the Lord choses the broken church to move His purposes and to carry out his will. What a great picture of the Gospel!  He is redeeming all over the place! We are but broken cisterns yet he choses to fill us and that is what we should be moved by every sunday!!!


A Cookie. A Friend. A Promise.

I’ve forgotten how nice it is to sit down with a fellow creative! I am thirsty for this kind of relationship and am so grateful when Erin from Big Day Cakes asked me to help her with her website! As we sat and chatted I devoured the above cookie that she brought. She is a mom and a member of our church and I was so refreshed to remember and be excited over the creative gifts that the Lord has given so many of us!

Transition to this town has been slow.  Just like any other transition in my life, I am reminded just how important it is to rely on my Heavenly father. How easily we forget. I was grateful this spring to go through a women’s bible study at our church and study the Old Testament with the help of Bill Jones and his book “Putting Together the Puzzle of the Old Testament” I am a big picture thinker and I have always used this excuse: I would just understand the bible more if someone sat down and gave me the big picture. I mean seriously! This book really did give me a Big Picture!

Through this study I was quick to be reminded how soon I forget the Lords promises!  He promises to supply my needs, has given me a hope for my future, and yet I doubt. (Jeremiah 29:11) This last year was filled with a lot of unknowns when we were in the search for a new job for Mike. And all the while I said: “It will be better when….” And just like the people of Israel who reached the promise land and had to wait for 40 years before getting to enter because of their doubt, I too make the same mistake! Here I am in the new place that the Lord has provided and I doubt his provision.

In the difficulty of transition when I feel like I don’t have a good friend base yet, or don’t quite feel settled the questioning comes. I doubt…will I ever? Truly I won’t until the Lord returns, However the Lord does have plans to prosper us HERE and I need to be faithful in the waiting. I do have Hope, because before I know it Augusta will feel like home and I will feel a sense of belonging. A belonging that can only be fulfilled through Christ!

Bill Jones in his book not only covers the big picture historically, He also earmarks the most important details that the Old Testament offers: the prophecy of Christ, the complete redemption of God’s Story. Recently I sat down with a friend who told me they believed that the bible was a good historical book but they didn’t believe that Jesus was the savior.  Sure he was a nice guy but other than the moral lessons he taught, why did that matter?

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Bill Jones tells us that The Old testament makes over three hundred prophecies for the coming Messiah!  He mentions that although one could argue that anyone after the fact, especially a Jew who grew up hearing these prophesies, could ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and claim to be the Christ. No one can fulfill their own birth and no one can fulfill their own death. Bill Jones suggests this leads to another objection. Could the prophesy of Christ be accidentally fulfilled? As in could it be a coincidence that Jesus came from Bethlehem and died on a cross as foretold in the Old Testament.

In the book Science Speaks the famous mathematician Peter Stoner explains in layman’s terms that the probability of fulfilling only eight of the three hundred prophecies would be the same probability of covering the state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars and having a blindfolded person pick a previously marked coin from all the others on his first try. He argues quite convincingly that Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies could not have been a coincidence.*

The God of the Bile does everything with such intention and purpose.  And he has intention and purpose in our lives! It’s not a coincidence that the Lord placed us in Augusta for such a time as this!  And I need to dwell on resting in that promise. Jesus is the biggest promise that the Lord makes to us and He does fulfill! When we question. When we doubt: will I ever be enough, have enough, love enough, live enough. The answer is yes already and yes not yet. He has given us a plan to prosper in this life and he has given us a plan to prosper in the next! Thankful to be reminded that I am not alone in this trek called life.

Ahemm and all that from a cookie given by a friend….mmmm sorry I couldn’t share all that chocolatey goodness.

* read chapter 3 of Science Speaks HERE if you are interested.


We are Here! We are Here!

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Sometimes I feel like a little who down in Whoville shouting out “We are Here! We are Here!” Desperate for someone to here me. Sometimes I think no one is listening. Sometimes I KNOW that someone is listening.

In this world and in my generation we send out our tweets, out posts, our photos shouting: We are Here, We are Here! But often it gets lost. Often our intentions aren’t pure. I’ve felt a strong desire to join up in the cause of sharing. Sharing life, sharing lessons, sharing stories, sharing projects, sharing art. Sharing for the purpose of teaching things I know how to do and exhorting what I know to be true.

But I fight.

I fight the norm, the need to shout: We Are Here! I fight it because I fear I will get lost in it. I fear I will make the importance of that small little shout too big. I fear that I will put pressure on myself constantly comparing. Comparing myself to what others do and comparing myself with what I think I should be doing.

I’ve lost the battle.

I’ve lost because I have need. Need to teach. Need to create. Need to exhort. Need to be a part of the culture that God has placed me in. All of this need is wrapped up in one big desire. I desire to share in order to bless and to be blessed by others, regardless of my fears.

SO THAT:

I would humbly present myself as a vessel to be used in whatever ways the Lord has planned.

So…here I am yet again. I’ve tried and failed before, mainly because my focus was all wrong. But here I am trying again and this time I have a feeling it will stick. So if you are willing to come along for this ride I hope you will join us! This time I hope the focus to be less on what I am doing and more on what GOD is doing. (even as I type I fight because I know that kind of branding “shouldn’t” work…but…)

God has made me apart of a beautiful family. He has made me a part of the Musical Murphys and our family seeks to worship God in art, music and life. Our God given desire is to inspire people to creatively seek after him and to worship him whole hearted.

Praise be to God! Love, Allie