Playing Piano for Worship 101

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!! ❤

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Picture Perfect

I take a lot of pictures. Maybe it is the artist in me or the romantic in me. I keep them. I keep pictures to remind me because I am very forgetful. I keep pictures of people that hurt me because I have this strange ability to still value the good before the hurt and I also believe every hurt helps shape you to the person you are right now. I would not be so strong had I had one of those easy lives I hear so much about where a flat tire is about the worst thing they’ve ever faced. So pictures remind me of how God has blessed me and allowed me to be tested, of great friends and not so nice ones, of me before and me after. So, I had 3,299 pics stored in my camera. I just saved them on a flash and relieved my poor phone of chlosterphobia. Lol so, now my memories are safe and I can dust them off and remind myself how far God has brought me. He brought me to the best place of my life where He is God and I am a humble little girl. That is the spot I need and strongly desire to stay. Pictures reenact in my mind the memory and refresh the vacations and uplift the soul. I am so thankful for the luxury of pictures and thank God for every memory He brought me to and through. He is so good! 

In Memory of My Best Memories

There is a warm embrace of comfort that God gives you when you curl up with a loving memory. Tomorrow is a difficult time because we will be honoring Daddy’s life. I can do that better than many because people pay very close attention to their beloved hero and Daddy was mine. He was the man in my life, the constant, the breath that gave me wings, my champion. He loved and defended me and my sister. He was loyal and supportive to my mom for 44 years. And my favorite memory of all time was me throwing up the ball and hitting it into the poll barn. Daddy got home from a long day in the field all tired and dirty. He came right up to me and gave me a dirty mud hug with a laugh as he did sometimes and grabbed the ball and pitched for me. He said I needed to make a bigger dent than that and showed me how to get more power in my swing. It wasn’t a long memory but it is deep and holds my heart loved. Memories are what we have when people are no longer with us. Making them should be a high priority for those we love for we, like my daddy, will one day drift off to heaven. Pictures help trigger memories, help remember. But some of my best memories happen in the moments cameras or phones are left behind, moments like daddy scooping me up to sit on the back of his combine or tractor as he plowed or harvested, the smell and turning of the earth, the consistent rumble of the well preserved engine by a master mechanic, the breathing in of the fresh air mixed with soil, and me proud as heck to be my Daddy’s little girl. I remember the pride I had when I used to visit Grandma Batterson and hear stories of Daddy’s taking good care of her all his life once he was old enough to. Her memories became mine, which is why there is importance in time with elders. Memories are little gifts from God to bring a great moment of love into the present and we can pass that into the future to our kids. The importance of memories cannot be understated and their value cannot be measured. And that is where my heart is right now. Make and share some memories as a loving act of service and encouragement. Never disappoints. 🙂

Keeping Keepsakes

Simple lesson I taught myself the hard way. Keep some keepsakes of your life journey. There are so many places I have been that I thought would last forever or I thought would always be vividly clear to me that I am now struggling to remember. Other keepsakes I treasure and remember the e vents perfectly. It doesn’t have to be huge, maybe pictures, maybe a gorgeous piano figurine, maybe a little Teddy bear, maybe jewelry, maybe a small Rose or pressed flower. There are things we need to hang onto because life changes like the tide and throws you about this way and that and throughout it, little reminders help to cushion the blows and help to remember days of appreciation and love and laughter and travel. Even popping into a store in Sebring and grabbing a city postcard reminds you of better days, happy, complete days. Then you can draw from them when loneliness peaks, which happens in life. Don’t neglect your right to remember the good times. These have been God’s blessings to you and He would want you to remember the good. Sometimes it is all you get for a very very long time.