I was taught piano by my mom (music conservatory trained) from a young age, before preschool, to play the piano. I am classically trained but also trained to play for church/worship. These are two differing philosophies. While both are fun and rewarding, one, classical, is played to show off your skills and the composer’s skills and one, worship, is to show off God. The key to being successful in leading hearts into worship lies in whether or not you have adequately prepared, and I do not mean having the chord sheets or notes ready or memorizing the song, though that is a tiny part of it. “You cannot teach what you do not know.” You will never lead another to worship if you are unfamiliar with the concept. You must worship as a lifestyle. Loving God, studying the Bible, praying, serving Him and others, loving people are all forms and extensions of worship to God. When you live in that and keep humble, God will play through your fingers when the time comes to smooth out any imperfections or distractions during live worship after you have practiced ahead of time and lived in this state of worship. As you are diligent to God, He rewards with blessings of being able to share that and draw them in. And do not underestimate the power of a sustain pedal and inflection- building up a song vs. quiet moments of contemplations. Be ok with pauses. Be comfortable in your skin. You play for God and not people. That is a key ingredient. I always sing, out loud or in my mind, while I play. When you mean it, you play from the heart fearlessly and just play for Jesus, like it is you and He in the room. I do this whether I play for Jesus alone or play before thousands of people gathered to worship Jesus. Same thing. Numbers never matter, but your heart does. I detest emotionless playing for worship. God deserves our passion, our putting of ourselves and intention into what we play for Him. We represent His worthiness to be worshipped when we play so it must reflect that. It is an honor and a privilege to lead worship from the piano and He blesses those who do it well, meaning from a heart of constant worship and dedication to God. Nothing is better, so do it right, do it well. Go with God!! ❤
Most people are not naturally warriors. I am and have had to learn to trade that fighting spirit for a peaceful one. But I believe we all are warriors in our way or at least have the potential to be. Not everyone is called to bloody warfare or physically stopping a bad guy, but everyone I know has some kind of battle and can wage war against it. There is always a battle between good, those loving God, and evil, those against God. There is no middle anymore. And so there is a fight for everyone’s soul and life. God wants to love us and care for us in heaven forever. Evil wants us dead and defeated and separated from God forever. So we have choices to make, sometime little tiny ones like telling the truth in a situation instead of lying or big ones like not allowing someone to hit you again or git your kids. And everything in between. That horrible person trying to bust up your marriage, that irritating and disheartening employer, that annoying neighbor playing loud music at late hours, that one discouraging person, your onternal fears or addictions. And I believe every person not only has it in them to be a warrior but humbly with God’s help, to win. God is a winner, THE winner. He has won the war and helps every person who asks Him to win whatever little battle still waged. “Nothing formed against me shall propser” with God’s help. That is a promise, a guarantee not a possibility when you reach out to Jesus for help. A warrior is only as good as his weapon and the Bible and prayer but mostly Jesus is our weapon. No one stands a chance against Him who means you harm. Fight renewed, loved warrior!
I think being ready for anything is internal. I believe, as I grow in maturity through this life that being ready and prepared is first spiritual, then mental, then emotional and physical. Those last two are the easiest things to manipulate and disrupt, so they have to be forced into the last position in succession. The spiritual, if we are walking close to God in humility/contrition and faith, we are ahead of the game on all fronts. Not that we become amazing but that God is amazing and can work freely in us. Closeness to God is the first and foremost priority on being ready for anything. There are no surprises to Him, nothing He cannot put in its proper place or perspective. He is everything. Closeness to Him is being protected eternally by the Maker of everything we know of or even don’t know yet. Then He helps set our mind right second for whatever situation arises. Then He takes care of the basest of all, the emotions and physical areas, our weakest points. Here we need the most help for we are vulnerable. And our vulnerability is not bad at all but must be taught and guided or it can become so very quickly. Or it can be molded into a beauty to help other people that surpasses what we can do without it. If we start with the highest priority on humble and faithful closeness to God, loving, good, kind, self-controlled, gentle, faithful, joyful, peaceful, patience, everything else becomes assets guided by Him to allow us to be prepared for anything now or to come eternally.
There is a certain pride that you need to get on stage. I have led worship, been in secular and worship bands and orchestras, done public speakinh, sung before thousands, and been in a lot of musicals. You have to have some pride to do this. You have to believe in your ability enough to believe you can and should perform or preferably lead other people watching you. You have to have some pride in your appearance or not care. You have to have some level of belief in yourself that what you are doing is worthwhile and beneficial enough to convey a point, a message, be believable, be natural in the presentation. I walk on stage more confidently than I walk into a room of just a few people, I do not get nervous, I do not wonder if I look ok, I do not hesitate, my mouth does not get dry or wet or anything different. I am not nervous. I focus on what I am doing. Or I wing it. There has to be a measure of pride involved. This pride is not bad, it is focused and purposeful. This pride is necessary for that purpose. When you are getting up there for your own glory or attention or praise or elevation or to prove you are ready worthwhile or better than anyone is where pride turns from are reset into liability, obedience into sin, good into bad. See, the focus is areressetlways to benefit, to do good, to elevate God and help people do that to. When we stay in the good pride, also called self-confidence or as I like to think of it confidence that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, God blesses our efforts. You see, that kind of pride is actually humility. I am not perfect, but I will go up there, Lord, because you want me to and I trust you will help it go well. Humble does better on stage than self-elevation or perfectionism self-elevaters call it. Once you say the object is perfection, I know your heart has gone the way of sinful pride and you will screw up. I tell you to prepare but trust God every time for the outcome. He may need imperfect for someone for reasons you don’t know. Who cares. You obeyed and praise God He does what is best!!! ❤
There is a time for everything, everything has its own time and season. The trick is figuring out what is the right time for which. It helps to have obstacles and distractions out of the way first. Then you pray a whole lot. And just start doing something you feel tugged to do and wait. If you are doing God’s will, He gives you peace and joy and the world attacks you because the enemy knows you are obeying God and hates that. So do not interpret resistance as God telling you no but gage your peace quotient and if you are really staying humble and happy serving, helping people and have peace, even if attacked outwardly, you are doing exactly what you should be. For God delights in our humble obedience and our persistent drawing close to Him. It is beautiful. And His blessings far outweigh momentary comforts the world offers with lies and deceit of all flavors. Do not be fooled. Do what is right and rebuke/force the rest out of your life with the great authority God provides you through Jesus’ name. When God has your back forever, what else really matters? ❤
We Christians have been silenced for so long and most are afraid, which is a pretty good guage of how strong your faith is at the moment definitely. What I mean is, we have been lazy, most of us. We need to speak out with the most radical tools we have, our voice and our love. We must forgive openly and readily. We must serve with live often and fluently. We must voice peace and joy and encouragement on every occasion. And we must do this no matter what. This is the radical example Jesus Christ modeled for us. Love everyone no matter what and so doing speak volumes of truth and power and change things. Love is power. Love is so much stronger than fear or hopelessness or discouragement or pain. Love is the light, the truth and hope for God is love.
All bullies are cowards. My daddy (the Marine) taught me that. He was right. He was always right because he never said anything unless he was sure he was right. When people attack, they are bullies and cowards. And there are one of three reasons: 1. they were brought up and/or treated that way, 2. they have pride issues and feel they need to feel more important by putting someone down or 3. they are really punks because they have been coddled and never disciplined and think they can do whatever they want. All of these categories boil down to the fact that regardless of why, they choose to attack. They choose aggression. Remember that. To defend yourself is the choice you must meet them with or the cycle continues. I have always done this and always prevented or curtailed or punished an attack. One time I was blindsided because it was an old boyfriend who had never acted that way before. Once I realized, it was too late but I took care of him after. I still stood up, still fought. Someone attacks you, turning the other cheek is the right thing to do but before you turn it, make sure your firearm is in hand. Rolling over and taking it empowers them to do it again, to you or your loved ones or other people. Bully cowards will keep attacking once they get away with it the first time, once they choose that behavior and level of cowardice. Defence is being a good steward of your body, God’s space to live in you. They chose to put their bodies in harm’s way by attacking, you must refuse to let them get away with imposing harm upon you or those in your care around you. The right thing is to stand against an attacker. Let no one tell you otherwise. Seems like an awful lot of people nowadays are getting away with an awful lot lately here and abroad. Fight back, people. We have arms for defence of ourselves and families. This is on purpose. There are bad people that should be relieved of their right to impose badness on everyone else. Who better to defend themselves than those who would be attacked. Do not let these lunatics free to attack. Stand against this evil. The day you let evil in, it does not stop until ruination. Do not reason with evil, stand against it with solid arms and a soft voice of truth. “Speak softly and carry a big stick” or equivalent you are comfortable with is still very good advice. Just my momentary thought after watching the news.