I love my guitar very much. The main reason I love it is because having learnt to play it I can now pick up most worship music and play it fairly quickly. This is great because it means when I want to, I can spend some time singing songs of worship to God in my bedroom really easily.
When I’m at home singing on my own it’s really easy, I know that if I miss a chord it doesn’t matter, if I sing out of tune I don’t mind and if my fingers hurt I can stop for a while. When I’m at home I sing really loudly and I can focus completely on God and what he is like which just leads me to worship him even more.
Now tomorrow I have to lead a group of other people in worship. I will be playing my guitar and singing worship songs to God, but I know that it will feel very different. If I miss a chord or sing out of tune it does matter, perhaps not a huge amount (it’s a pretty informal setting), but it does make a difference. If my fingers begin to hurt I have to ignore that and carry on anyway. On top of that, I have a room full of other people to think about. If I’m going to move from the chorus back to the first verse again I need to indicate that in some way to other people, I can’t just do what I feel like and expect everyone to follow easily. This (and various other things which will be running through my mind) means that it becomes harder to focus totally on God.
On top of all that, the aim of corporate worship is to worship in community, to lift up God and declare truths about him together so that we remind each other what God is like, and that we are part of a family. I cannot simply get lost in my own private world of worship, I must be in a place where I am praising God in the company of others. I must take part in eyes open worship, where I can observe the people around me and be uplifted and inspired by them.
This is both a fantastically exciting prospect, and a really scary one. As I prepare the music I will be playing tomorrow I pray that God would empower me to worship tomorrow with a right attitude. This is no mere performance, nor is this an individual act of worship, this is something different, something much better!
According to imdb, the MPAA rating for Twister (the ’96 classic about running around a lot and watching barns being ripped apart) is the following:
Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather.
One of the great things about doing Relay is that I have a bunch of amazing people supporting me throughout the year, not just financially but also in prayer. As such I will be producing regular prayer letters with updates on what has been going on in Leicester and what I’m up to in particular.
My first prayer letter is written and has been printed out, I will be picking them up tomorrow so if you see me at any point after that please do ask me for one. I’ve also stuck a copy online for those of you who won’t be able to get a hard copy off me, you can check it out here:
If you would like to receive these letters by e-mail so that you get them straight away then leave a comment and I will add you to my mailing list.
As I walked home from the train station the other night I was thinking about how I travel. In the past my general approach to travelling has been to get there as quickly as possible, because the destination is the most important thing. I have now come to the conclusion that rushing to get somewhere is a bit of a rubbish thing to do. So I have devised a set of things which I should try to do whenever I’m going somewhere. These collective things will constitute strolling, which is different from just plain walking and certainly not the same as rushing to get somewhere.
- Strolling should not be done too quickly.
- When strolling, you should take the time to actually look at your surroundings and try to really take them in.
- To show other people that you are strolling, you should smile and say hello to them
- When strolling you must not worry about what time you will arrive (which means you should probably set off extra early)
- At some point during your stroll, you should pause to thank God for something beautiful you have seen (if you are paying attention this won’t be difficult!).
At least some of these principles can be applied to other methods of travel too, especially public transport.
On top of this, encouraged to break out of the British mould by this post by Dave Bish, I have been chatting with people quite a bit when I’m using public transport. I have been very surprised at just how easy it is to chat with people, and how much happier people look when they’re given the chance to talk to people instead of having to sit silently for the whole journey!
Strolling and chatting have given me a much greater appreciation of the world around me, and of the people around me. I would heartily recommend them both to you!