All posts tagged Worship

A Different Kind of Lamb

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You can’t blame me for being emotional in church. Newly married, my husband not claiming to believe in the Lord I’d based my life on, I found Lakeside Community Chapel through a friend. The first Sunday I attended, the pastor spoke on Romans 8 and reminded the congregation that nothing could separate a believer from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

That was 27 years ago.

So when we sang “Worthy is the Lamb Who Was Slain” I looked around at faces I’d known for years. They didn’t notice. Other faces were new to me, but all had the same look on their faces–worship.

Last week I visited Robin Popp at Laughing Chicken Farm near Gainesville. Not only does she raise chickens, but she dabbles in turkeys, ducks, and now sheep. There were three lambs. Soft and sweet, I watched them play in the field. When Robin called “Lamby,” they all came running. One skipped in the air for the pure joy of it.

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

Or the wonder.

Scripture describes Christ as the innocent Lamb Who was slain for the payment of our sins.

I’ve never killed anything but Palmetto bugs, and even that makes me feel bad.

But killing a lamb? I couldn’t imagine.

Yet that’s what the Law required for sin. A sweet lamb. A living word picture to the people of Israel of how the innocent must pay for the wrongdoing of the guilty.


I have one more Sunday at Lakeside before I move to another group of believers in North Carolina. Thoughts about goodbyes, hellos, lambs, and the Lamb swirled around in my brain as I sang and wept.

And one day, we will sing about the Lamb in the presence of the Lamb. Whether from Clearwater or North Carolina or India or Pakistan. The song will be the same.

Unless, that is, you don’t worship the Lamb. Revelation 20 speaks of a judgment coming at the end of time of those who have not accepted Jesus for the payment of their sins.

I’m pleading with you–while there is still time–join the song of the redeemed.

And worship the Lamb.

Worship with me as Kari Jobe sings The Revelation Song.

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Investing in Christmas, Day 7-Delight in Fear

scary camp stories...


I remember late nights in a rustic cabin at the Salvation Army camp. My 9-year-old self lay huddled under scratchy wool blankets, only my eyes peeking out. The counselor told a hair-raising ghost story. So unbelievable, only 9-year-olds would believe it.

Finally, I fell asleep.

I don’t remember delighting in that fear. But the Bible speaks of delighting in fear.

In Isaiah 11:3 is a famous passage speaking of the coming Messiah. Eventually, we’ll cover all the verses, but take a look at that verse: “and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”

“He” is Jesus. But why should Jesus delight in the fear of his father? Because it’s wise.

Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the holy one is understanding.(NIV)

Our society says to face your fears and conquer them. True. We should. But some fears are good. Like fearing God.

We don’t talk much about that in our society today. It’s too “guilt ridden” too “confining.”

It’s also wise. If there is a God, and He created us, we should know about Him. And He says to fear Him.

Look at verse 4 in the same passage: “But with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.”

Sounds pretty scary. Lots scarier than an imaginary ghost at a church camp. ‘Cause it’s real. He’s real. And one day God will judge.

What prevents that judgment? Belief in that baby we glance over at Christmas. Not just head knowledge, but knowledge that leads to repentance and action.

What to do for today? Sing Angels From the Realms of Glory to your King. Pay special attention to the verse below. And fear Him.

Sinners moved by true repentance

Doomed for guilt to endless pains,

Justice now revokes the sentence

Mercy calls you, break your chains.

Come and worship, Come and worship.

Worship Christ, the new-born King.


The Big Secret

Yesterday was one of those days when I gained time. Planning to attend Bible Study with my mom, she backed out. Too weak to go. I couldn’t leave her alone for too long, so I had an unexpected block of time.

Instead of taking on a house chore, or making phone calls, like David did in 2 Samuel 7: 18 I sat before the Lord. Rain creased my bedroom windows as I waited on God. A Salvation Army chorus came to mind as I meditated on my Lord and Savior.

“In the secret of thy presence, in the hiding of thy power,
Let me love thee, let me serve thee, every consecrated hour.”

I looked it up in Dad’s old SA Songbook. Number 591, written by a Salvation Army officer named, Albert Orsborn(1886-1967), reading and singing it as I sat before the Lord was a blessing. Next to the song, my father had written the words “Written after becoming a Divisional Commander, written in one night–written for officers’ councils.”

For those of you non-Sallies, that means he was promoted to serve as sort of bishop for an entire state or two and he wrote the song just before they were to meet for the annual meeting for the officers’ spiritual strength and renewal.

Here are the rest of the Words of this blessed song:

“In the secret of they presence,
Where the pure in heart may dwell,
Are the springs of sacred service
And a power that none can tell.
There my love must bring its offering,
There my heart must yield its praise,
And the Lord will come, revealing
All the secrets of his ways.

More than all my lips may utter,
More than all I do or bring,
Is the depth of my devotion
To my Saviour, Lord and King.
Nothing less will keep me tender;
Nothing less will keep me true;
Nothing less will keep the fragrance
And the bloom on all I do!

Blessed Lord, to see thee truly,
Then to tell as I have seen,
This shall rule my life supremely,
This shall be the sacred gleam.
Sealed again in all the sealing,
Pledged again my willing heart,
First to know thee, then to serve thee,
Then to see thee as thou art.

In the secret of thy presence,
In the hiding of thy power,
Let me love thee, let me serve thee,
Every consecrated hour.”

I’ve decided to keep a prayer journal like my friend, Michele Kreloff. She says it’s a good way to look back at God’s faithfulness during difficult times and to evaluate where you are spiritually.

Then, on New Year’s Day, she reads it. I think that is an excellent way to “Teach us to number our days, so that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom,” as Moses says in Psalm 90.

I desire to be in God’s presence more. I want more of Him. I want the Bread of Life and the Living Water to overflow from my heart everyday.

I’ll pray that for you, friend. Only Living Water and the Bread of Life quenches our thirst and fills us up.

That’s the big secret–one worth sharing.

Intimacy and Slavery

I’ve been thinking a lot about intimacy with God. It is my desire. Sometimes, I feel it. When it is gone, I miss it. I’m praying for it.

Intimacy with God stems from obedience. When I am abiding in Christ, spending time in His Word, fellowshipping with His people, listening to His voice and then obeying—I am content.

That’s probably why I’ve been reading, “Slave,” by John MacArthur. I think it is the key to the intimacy I desire. Being a slave of Christ.

Romans 6: 16-18 states. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

After 52 years, I’m beginning to understand that when Christ bought me back from slavery to sin, he freed me to be a slave to righteousness. What do I mean?

Scripture teaches that before the Lord saved me, I had no choice in sin. It ruled me. When he redeemed, (bought back) my life with His atoning work on the cross, I no longer have to sin. When I sin, it is a choice.

Yet, I still choose to sin. I think it is freedom. At first I like it, and then it masters me. Yet, when I choose to obey the Lord and live for Him, I experience the freedom of slavery to righteousness.

John 8: 31, 32 says, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

The great news is that I can ask my Heavenly Father to help me. I have the Holy Spirit to teach me. The Lord loves to give good gifts to His children.

And teaching me about Himself is the best gift.

It brings intimacy with God and true freedom.

I Stood

Light filtered through old oak trees, lighting my bedroom floor. I knelt. I prayed. The time I spend with God is precious. This morning I opened The Salvation Army Songbook that belonged to my father. Smiling, I noticed his handwriting smudged on the page. All caps—black marker—written with Daddy’s left hand.

Above the song he wrote, “ONE OF BILLY GRAHAM’S FAVORITE SONGS.” Written by Fanny Crosby. Blind, yet with 20/20 spiritual vision.

I read through the song. Before stanza two, Dad wrote, “WHAT A STANZA! PRAISE GOD! The verse read:

“O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

After that stanza he wrote, “NO OTHER STANZA CAN MATCH IT IN THE SONGBOOK.”

I couldn’t help it. I stood, palms raised upward and I sang,

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory; great things he hath done!

Dad edited the last verse. He replaced the third person pronouns with first person.

“Great things he hath taught me, great things he hath done.
And great my rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer and higher and greater will be,
My wonder, my rapture, when Jesus I see.

Under the stanza he wrote, “Sight!”

It was personal for Ray Wert. It has to be personal for us. We have a personal God. One who desires us. Loves us.

I pictured my father, seeing Jesus as I sang. Legs healed, body whole, soul complete.

When I finished singing, I thanked God for a godly heritage. Not a perfect one. But a man who had a heart for God. A man who realized his sinfulness and depended on grace.

Praise the Lord.