Worship wherever you are

Worship, do we limit the action to a Sunday morning event?  I hope not because that is not what worship is.  It is about being a follower of Christ and letting Christ show us how each day to be a better follower. 

 

Below is an email I just received from one of my choir members who has recently been deployed to Kuwait.  He shares his heart about meeting God in worship, his hunger to be closer to God and his observations about person’s willingness to use the gifts they have to help others worship.  It is a little long but it is worth the read.

 

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Last Sunday I went to the post chapel for morning service.  I had seen a poster in the barracks that advertised “ChapelNext” a contemporary worship service.  Most of my experience in military chapels has been a bit lack luster to say the least.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some great chaplains who do a real work for God in the military.  But with the constant change of personnel and in a “desert place” many times there is no music or musicians, etc.

 

However, this past Sunday I really met with God in an unusual way.  I feel like I really worshiped with my focus on God and God alone.  It wasn’t one of those things you can plan or prepare for.  It wasn’t a result of what anybody did to “make it happen,” or the result of a certain style of music that can “create worship” any better than any other.

 

The service began with group (congregational) singing.  There was a praise team of five voices, a rhythm guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, and drummer.  None of these musicians would be “good enough” to play or sing from the platform of our church back in Tennessee .  Further, the sound system was a bit inferior, and I am used to fantastic sound and even the latest in special effects lighting in my church.  The five singers consisted of a female soprano, a female alto, two men who sang the melody, and one man who sang the melody an octave low.  The group was racially mixed.  Nobody had on the latest “cutting edge” clothing.  Shoot, they all had on combat uniforms.  They introduced a young fellow named Mike who, for the first time, was running the computer PowerPoint which had the words projected on the wall.  Poor Mike had trouble keeping the words on the wall that they were singing, but he gave it a good effort.  Finally, the group of singers did not stand out on the stage in front.  They stood along the back wall beside the band, very unnoticed.

 

As we began singing, I was introduced to a new song.  Then we sang a familiar song.  We sang, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord,” and I began to feel like God and I were having a one-on-one moment together.  Nothing like I had ever had before.  We sang “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  I just closed my eyes and lifted my voice upward.  The tears began to flow.  I wanted to reach upward to God.  I have never been a hand-raiser.  I don’t even clap a lot to the songs.  But Sunday I wanted to reach to the heavens and touch God.  I never saw the musicians, never analyzed the chord structures, never gave it a thought that the harmonies weren’t even there.  I just got in touch with God.  I really didn’t want to stop.  We sang several songs.  When I would look at the singers, they had such a servant’s spirit.  I didn’t get the feeling they wanted to be the “sage on the stage.”  They were just humble soldiers, black and white, who would never get the chance to sing in most of our American evangelical churches because they weren’t “good enough.”  But they were engaged in worship and somehow I got there too.  I can’t explain it.  I didn’t feel the least bit of a critic, even when the wrong words were projected.  It was just alright.

 The sermon was great.  It was about Holy Spirit Power....  I don’t know how to describe what happened, but I met with God in an unusual way...

On Tuesday night, I attended a group Bible Study.  There were nine of us in attendance.  The group was racially mixed, two females, seven males, officers and enlisted.  Everybody was from different parts of the country.  I and one other were the only southerners there.  The study was lead by a layman/soldier from New York. He was well versed in the scripture and did a great job leading us through Matthew 14. It was obvious that (1) many of the attendees were young in faith and in the Word, and (2) hungry to learn more about God’s word.   At the end, we had a chance to share our joys, praises, and prayer requests.

Remember Mike, the young soldier who worked the PowerPoint for the music?  Well he was there.  He spoke and said something like this, “I have been saved six years and I’ve always wanted to give something in the service.  I’ve always wanted to participate somehow.”  Then with tears in his eyes he said, “Last Sunday they let me run the computer and the words to the songs.  It was the greatest thing I have ever done.  I didn’t think God would ever let me do something like that.”  WOW!  What a ministry.  This young soldier, far from home, was overjoyed that he got to run the computer during the time of praise and worship.  Isn’t God great?!  When I think about this group, the word “humble” comes to the front.  Nobody gets paid, nobody gets fame.

 If my deployment over here does nothing more for me than to have a new and refreshing walk with God, then this deployment is worth it...

 I really don’t know how to conclude this except to ask you to pray for this little band of believers.  Every week there are new people and every week people re-deploy back to the states.  They are literally spread all over the world before it is over.

 It’s an honor to serve my country and my God,

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 I will be praying for Rodney