So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for three years hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob that I host at my blog.

It’s open to anyone and everyone. Aspiring writers, closet poets, moms in the carpool lane waiting to pick up kids. It’s a chance to drown out the voice that tells you you’re not good enough, or talented enough, or well-known enough to qualify as a writer.

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. We write for joy and celebration of the written word.

Five mInute Friday

And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (short for Five Minute Friday Party). In fact, starting at around 10pm EST on Thursday you’ll find a lot of writers hanging out and chatting on Twitter with this hashtag. They’ve taken encouragement to an art form.

There’s no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

It’s like a free write flash mob –> click to tweet this.

It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. A lot like life, really. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.

No excuses, no fear.

So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. While the kids are changing into their swimsuits, while the popcorn is popping, while the dog is outside doing his business, while the show cuts to commercial. Just five minutes.

Your words. This shared feast.

How to Join: It’s easy to join in, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog (or in the comments below if you don’t have a blog).
  3. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  4. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url www.lisajobaker.com but your post url http://lisajobaker.com/2013/08/five-minute-friday-story}
  5. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  6. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky.
  7. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.

Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

(As for all other rules, we like to break ‘em - just ask Gretchen).

So, now be brave, set your timer and clear your head for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right. OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on the word:::

Worship…

GO

Sometimes we think church requires squeaky leather shoes or old wooden pews. Knees creaking and kneeling, bending in reverent supplication. Hymnals or worship bands, the raising of hands or whispers of repeated, liturgical prayers. And I have found home in sanctuaries like these.

But I have also been known to tip toe along the wet cusp of the sea, sand between the toes, and stand singing harmony with the sunset to the God who made us both.

Or sitting in circles with sisters pouring out their fears, their failures, their deep, dark wells of worry. And as we’ve put down our bowls or plates, mugs or glasses and placed hands tenderly on a bowed sobbing head we’re had church right there at the end of a crowded hotel room bed.

Church can sing on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday afternoon at that loud and messy play date between Tonka Trucks and sippy cups.

Worship isn’t fooled by messy piles of undone laundry – no it makes itself at home right there next to the soccer cleats and stinky sweats.

And sometimes it’s been late at night tucked under a bunk bed surrounded by flickering twinkle lights that worship happens – whispered into the sacred spaces of bedtime confessions. Who said or did what and how it made your four-year-old feel. And the pages of a cartoon Bible crinkle with promises of always being chosen no matter what the dodge ball team might have said.

Slowly, rising like so many voices bent over the harmony of the routine of ordinary – it rises. This beautiful song to the God who doesn’t draw lines and isn’t limited by four walls and a steeple.

This God that inhabits your every day and dishes and school drop offs and pick ups. This God who sings in all the emptiness of a full and busy day, slipping into your routine. Easily. Comfortably.

Like a friend.

 

STOP

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  1. 1

    Lisa-Jo, you know how much this community has meant to me. I’ve said it time and time again. What a blessing. These women. These writers. They taught me what it means to worship the Lord with all my heart, to pour His love onto those around me, and to raise everyone up in encouragement. And it all started with you. I don’t even remember whose blog brought me to this space, but I do know it was all Him. Thank you for leading, loving, and encouraging LIKE A BOSS ;) Love you, girl!!!

  2. 3

    And aren’t these just the sweetest words to inspire dreams tonight. Thank you! Blessed by you!

  3. 5

    I love this word though I found it challenging to write to it tonight. I live worship. I think that’s where I want to stay. I don’t want it to be something I do, but something I embody as best I can, with all that I am. Love you, sweet friend.

  4. 7

    Sweet Lisa-Jo, I’m just drinking this up tonight. Your words–your song, your prayer, your worship here–is absolutely what I needed. All those moments and all the in-between, yes. Thank you.

  5. 9

    Girl – this is so my heart… this community and gathering of Awesomeness and this prompt – of Worship – and how it is how we live our lives in it – not just something we do in between other parts of church!

    I love this… and you – oh so much!

  6. 11

    I Love this post. And always feel so welcome here! Thank you for your kind heart, acceptance of others, and support in building dreams.
    God bless you!

  7. 12

    Worship. It’s the Every day. Couldn’t think of anything more perfect. Thanks for your heart. And for sharing it with all of us.

  8. 13

    Love this and your graceful words tonight. Blessing us. Your space that draws us in; gathering us; nurturing us; giving us space to breathe and be with each other. There’s so much to be found here – so much I have found here – that has been a blessing and the hand of God on my life. That makes it the everyday living of worship. Thank you.

  9. 15

    Worship…

    Worship is so much more than “doing church”. It’s so much more than singing, praying, listening and forgetting.

    Worship is being willing to devote time, energy, resources and LIFE to Him. It’s being willing to go where He leads, even when it means giving up the comfort of where we are and moving on to places unknown. Worship is spending our time seeking Him and His will for us.

    Worship is more than quippy sermons, children’s church and nursery care. It’s about sharing the gospel, the very word that transforms us, with others. It’s more than just telling…it’s being…doing…living…for the Holy God we serve. It’s about sharing our space with children and people who make us uncomfortable. It’s about changing diapers, wiping noses and cutting sandwiches.

    Worship is about praising God. Not just paying lip service to Him. It’s about being humble, loving others as He loved us, it’s spurring each other on, holding each other accountable, even when it hurts. When we worship we must recognize that God is the ONLY reason for everything we do. It’s not for our glory, it’s not for our peace of mind, it’s not for recognition…it’s for HIM all the time. It’s about forgiveness.

    It’s so much more than a social club, it’s about standing beside and sharing in the awe of our Father in Heaven, even when the person’s hand we’re holding doesn’t much care for us. But we share the same Love and that should be enough…

    • 16
      TN Lizzie says:

      Erin,

      I like what you wrote. It seems that you know how to “be the church” and that’s more important than “doing church.”

      I’m sure that God is praised when you hold a hand but not a heart – KNOWING that who you each are is less important than Whose you both are.

      What you wrote spoke to me. May I print you out and ponder your words long this weekend?

    • 17

      Amen and amen — so much more than a social club. A way of living and being together in the every day moments. Love this.

  10. 18
    TN Lizzie says:

    Cue the quiet music – David Sensening – as the call to worship.
    Kids come crawling down the hall grabbing – some a poptart and all their Bibles.
    Sister makes sure there are colored pencils and pages enough for all who want them or not.
    At as-close-to-11:00-as-we-can, we start our home worship service.
    Dad prays and we open to, is it Mark?

    This week, Sarah will be home from college, and we may just PRAISE the whole time!

    We’ve done it like this for 7 years, because we can’t find the body of Christ in our town. Where is the real Church anymore? God has us at home for now. And the hymns play on…

  11. 21

    I’m a first-timer and I don’t have a blog so here goes..
    Worship. I’m kind of stuck on where to begin. In my mind I see people at church..”worshipping”. But I’ve read enough to know that “worship” can take different forms..different pictures. I’ve read enough to know that it can mean dealing patiently with your screaming, fighting kids, or being grateful as you dread washing yet another sink full of dishes..all that housewife/housework stuff.
    I also think of idols. The old man-made stone kind and the pop stars of today. People really do worship them. Then I think about what/who do I worship? Does anyone worship me?
    We are taught/told that worship means doing what pleases God. Anything and everything we do that pleases Him can be considered worship.
    But it’s also a doing, an action, a verb on its own.
    I don’t know if that makes sense, but even in those 2 kinds of worship, I don’t know where I belong.

  12. 22

    What you call worship, I would probably call mindfulness practice. I’ve always believed that one’s practice needn’t be all austere and stained glass and sombre faces. That would defeat the purpose of a spiritual practice in the very first place. The most profound expression of our practice does not come from how many prayers we say or how often, nor how many times we make it to church/temple/synagogue/mosque. It comes from living your practice from the heart.

    My dad was a deeply spiritual Christian. He didn’t set foot inside a church for over forty years, but remained a devoted Christian. He believed that wherever he was, God was. He had the most magnificent garden and I believe that his garden was his church, his place to commune with God and live his practice. He was a man who actually became his practice.

    I am not a Christian, but my father’s lessons in practicing and living a spiritual life, from the depths of the soul and heart, remain with me. There are no half measures. Singing hymns and visiting churches are not about where the truth of one’s practice lies: it lies in the heart.

    • 23

      …living your practice from the heart. I like that. And I put it together with what Andrea said right before you – doing what pleases God. If we do what pleases God and do it from the heart, do it for God, maybe that’s worship.

  13. 24

    Lisa-Jo,
    I read your words, tears came to my eyes and my spirit bowed low in wordless worship. Thank you.
    Esther

  14. 25

    Okay, Lisa-Jo, it’s confession time! I haven’t been to the FMF party in a while, and by “a while” i mean like in over 8 months. I really don’t know why. I haven’t written much either. And I miss it, so here I am, listening to the nudge in my heart to get back to what brings me the closest to my Jesus (and my favorite girls, too!). Thank you for the prompting and the praying you do for us (in)couragers. Love ya, girl! xxoo

  15. 27
    Mike Fisher says:

    Worship

    When we remind God we haven’t forgotten him and for that matter, appreciate what he’s given us, or taken away.

  16. 28

    Lisa_jo,
    I love your post – your words take me to all those places and spaces where God is – the small ones, the loud ones, the meant, and the unintended. Thank you for writing it so well. “This beautiful song to the God who doesn’t draw lines and isn’t limited by four walls and a steeple.” I want to be singing all the time to my Creator! I want my life to be a song to Him!
    Happy Friday!
    Janet

  17. 29

    I always wait to read your post until I’ve written my own, so that there’s no temptation to limit my writing to your topic, or to avoid saying what you already have. But this week, our minds went the same place… thanks for the reassurance I’m not completely crazy for believing this daily mothering and housekeeping we sink beneath can be an act of worship just as much as when we look all put together in a sanctuary.

    • 30
      Valorie MacDonald says:

      Oh, Stephanie. You. Are. Not. Alone.
      May God BLESS your ever-loving, ever-mothering, ever-sacrificing heart.
      I have big’uns AND lil’uns right now and there truly is no greater joy, even though
      it’s not always joyOUS. In 20 years I still haven’t got a goddess (as in domestic) bone in my body.
      BUT all I attempt I do with love; and though they may not recognize it now, I KNOW that it is making a difference in their precious little (and oh-so-NOT-little-anymore!) lives!!
      Hugs!
      Valorie

  18. 31

    I try to come every Friday to catch the “word”. Today, I am so very happy that I made the time to follow your blog and link up with a blog post for the word – Worship. Worship is in every aspect of my life and I cannot think of a more worthy word to write about. Thank you. Have a blessed day!

  19. 32
    Amy Payne says:

    Wow, I didn’t know about FMF until you guys talked about it on the spreecast last night. I can’t believe how many people linked up!!! also, Lisa-Jo, I love your post here!! And you were cracking me up last night. “WE NEED ALL THE THINGS.” I’m working on all those *things* today – yay (in)courage! :)

  20. 33

    Lisa-Jo?

    Best. Word. Ever.

    And? I love this. FMF, and #FMFParty (to which I’m brand-spankin’-new), and your heart.

    Thank you for all you do.

    :)

  21. 34

    {worship}
    I had a professor in Bible College that spoke in chapel on worship one morning. Except I would guess it’s probably not what you are thinking. This has really stuck with me through the years. Why? Because he talked about sex. Yes. Tons of mostly non-married college students there and a lesson on sex and even talking about his relationship with his amazing wife! Bold or so I thought.

    I didn’t get much teaching in this area growing up.

    I would guess most of us are in the same boat.

    Anyway, he didn’t talk about getting up on the platform at church and singing or being a part of a worship team. Those are definitely key to worship and very necessary for worship to take place in a service. However, worship must first come from a pure heart that has spent time alone with the Father. Preparing not only the notes to sing and knowing when to come in on the bridge but allowing the Father to clear those things from our hearts and minds that are not of Him.

    Then he can flow through us.

    We can be used by him to be a vessel of light and hope when we worship him from a pure place unclogged by the cares and worries of the world.

    This professor spoke on marriage and the gift of sex within marriage.

    It. was. beautiful.

    He was a funny guy and mixed in a lot of humor but his love for his wife was very evident. He shared that sex is an act of worship. That is the way it was designed. Within a marriage the couple is actually worshipping the Lord from a very pure and beautiful place. I had never heard this before. That love can flow out of the marriage relationship and bond to help a family flourish. Our children can definitely feel the love and worship within a home orchestrated by God’s love and design.

    So I am thankful for this perspective on worship that has stayed with me through the years.

    When God designed marriage he knew what he was doing.

    • 35

      That was definitely a completely different take than I had on the word this morning. Thank you for making me think!

      • 36

        Love that different take on “worship”!

        Makes me think of a wedding vow I once read, “With my body, I thee worship.”

        I often think of that when I’m with my husband… a beautiful outpouring of love!

  22. 37

    Lisa-Jo,

    Thank you so much for this word

    on this day!

    Worship started a conversation with my husband and I this morning–and I finally got it! He really loves me–not just because I cook and clean . . . but he loves me, for me, not what I do.

    It clicked!

    So . . . if you ever have a moment when you doubt what you are doing–know that this prompt, on this day, has changed my life–from this moment forward.

    Thank you so much.

  23. 38
  24. 40

    “But I have also been known to tip toe along the wet cusp of the sea, sand between the toes, and stand singing harmony with the sunset to the God who made us both.”

    Love that, Lisa-Jo! And can identify w/ it so very much… the beach is just one of my places where I reconnect w/ both myself & w/ God.

    Here’s mine…

    http://wendytate.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/thats-worship/

  25. 41

    Lisa-Jo, This is my first try… I have written for those close- BUT!
    Here goes…
    When I think of WORSHIP, it is an ever-increasing awareness of how FULL everything is… FULL of the evidence of God’s LOVE… to the tiniest sub-atomic particle to Mount Everest.
    I find myself submitting to the wonder over and over… letting my heart rejoice and then the reverence to the wonder of who He is covers and fills my heart. How can we ever comprehend it all?

    Worship is the response to the greatest gift we have ever had… LIFE given – because of love…the breath we take, the pulse beat that is in my wrist… the systems he wrought within our beings… dimensions, depths, heights… overtaking, filling… be-coming.

    • 42

      Dear Sheila,
      Thank you for your first try! I am blessed by your words. I have been thinking a lot to about how deep and how big our souls are, the souls of my children are and how big God is.
      How every deep hunger and longing is really of Him.
      Thank you for expressing wonder in the amazing things of creation. That is so wonderful to think about.
      Thank you so much.
      Bless you,
      Susan

      • 43

        Dear Susan,
        Thank you for the reply… it means a lot!
        I so often hold back – sometimes because of the fear of taking a risk and making a mistake. I so often see “pictures” and then the words I find to describe them seem to be so inadequate. I am so glad I found the Five Minute Friday! I will dive in and see what I can see!

        Blessings today!
        Sheila

    • 44
      Valorie MacDonald says:

      Sheila and Susan, I love what you both wrote! As the words “deep” and “full” and “longing” and “wonder” began to sink in, another word rose from the depths:
      Empty.
      I look around and see such fullness, such wonder and awe. His greatness in it all.
      I let the longing within begin to rise, and I’m left with any emptiness.
      I’m realizing my “full” is too often a different kind.
      I think that I’m empty but in fact, I am so very full. Full often full of worry and selfishness or sadness and anger.
      In a word, of me.
      I want to be emptied of all my “self” so I may be filled with all the fullness of who HE is…
      Of who He desires to be in and through me.
      Just some random musings… Valorie;]
      Thanks for sharing this altogether, girlies! I’ve never been consistent but am feeling it’s time to put it on my calendar!!!

      • 45

        Dear Valorie,
        As I read your words a thought came back to me that came several years back. I was in prayer for a dear friend’s husband who had a very bad heart problem. As I prayed, I remember saying to the Lord, “Oh, Lord, please touch his heart – he has worn it out.” Immediately, I heard in my heart, “Good! Now I can do something!”

        Well, I was so surprised by this that I just sat there and really “looked” at it. As I did, I saw the working of God on the inside to bring it to the end of itself, not only emotionally, but even to the physical end of it… and when it comes to the end of all we can think or do… A SUDDENLY can come… a “suddenly” that has always been there, but we are now in a place to receive it… for He is always working for the good for those He has called ACCORDING… that is “CONNECTED” to His purpose.

        It came to me – Why should I be surprised that this is so? For are there not examples of it all through the word? So, in a way, when you see the fullness of your “SELF”, could it not be a glorious thing, as it is no longer hid, and God may be saying, “LOOK! This is what I am working on… and YOU CAN REJOICE right here… for all things ARE WORKING FOR THE GOOD… I am about my work RIGHT here and WOW! Just WATCH ME show myself strong… for in your weakness I AM MIGHTY!

        I love it that He teaches us along the way, in an ever “fuller” way… from Glory to glory!

        It is a wonder, for sure!!!

        (And, by the way, my friend’s husband recovered in a miracle way… off of all nitro… with a spreading tree of new vessels the Drs saw on the exray… He just recently went home to the Lord, but not because of his heart… God took care of that!)

        Praise His Name FOREVER!

        Blessings to you!
        Sheila

  26. 46

    So FUN to jump on board with One Word Friday today! Funny b/c after I wrote my post & linked it, I read yours about sand and toes and laundry. “Great minds think alike,” I guess!? Lol
    Thanks for the opportunity to join a community of women, so hungry and willing to WORSHIP!

  27. 47

    Worship

    “your glory goes beyond all fame. Everlasting”

    This phrase has been in my head for weeks now. How all my longings for attention, affection, affirmation, belonging, community, love and significance are really a longing for your glory to fill my heart and soul and shine out of me into this corner that I am in.
    Even the greatest amount of attention, popularity, beauty, whatever that a top movie star has but for a brief flicker only shows how great the longings and how deep a human soul is.

    you want to fill me with your glory.
    your deep, fiery passionate love, goodness joy, compassion, strength
    all that you are.
    nothing else can satisfy, fill, saturate my every need

    to see you to see your glory to know you to know your presence
    right here and now when I am at home in my old clothes
    lonely and tired and sad and longing for more than is ever realistically possible

    you are the passionate lover of my soul that wants to ravish every bit of me
    you are the awesome God who does wonders
    you can transform, change everything
    is anything too hard for you

    You desire me and I bask in your sunshine

    “your glory goes beyond all fame. Everlasting”

    Thank you for this this morning.

    • 48
      Christal says:

      One of my favorite songs, Susan! I love how a song stays with you for a time to remind you of God’s promises. I love the line “bask in your sunshine” because we can do that even when our life is cloudy. Well said!

  28. 49
    Christal says:

    When I can sit and breathe, and feel the angst of the day peel away, then I can worship. My mind can focus, for a second, and not get distracted from one idea to another. When I can walk into a sanctuary, gather with my community, someone strumming a guitar or gently tapping the piano keys, I can focus on God, a song, and worship with words and harmony. When I can watch my boys sing and dance, lift their hands unashamedly to the skies, pour out words and argue over the lyrics, even then I can worship. God is in so many of the details, and He is waiting for us to worship Him in them, not just wait until Sunday morning when the pastor says to stand and sing.

  29. 50
    Paula Butkevich says:

    Worship is a holy word to me, to my heart, and to my head. I love singing hymns so loudly on a Sunday morning that my boys would often look at me with those ‘mom is at it again’ eyes. The sound of all the voices being raised in a purposeful act of Worship to our Lord and Savior is, what I believe to be, a glimpse of heaven and what awaits us. The sound is glorious. It centers my heart and fills it with peace. The worries of the “weak” melt away and are replaced with words of praise and adoration. While I do love this type of worship it is not my favorite. You know where my favorite worship happens? It happens in my home, in my car, walking through the grocery store, looking at pictures of my boys and family, it happens as I drive my boy to school or college, and it happens when I wake and when I slumber. Worship takes over my body. My body will tell me to stop, and give thanks for my life and my blessings. My body will stop and tell me that what ever is going on is ‘nothing new under the Son’ and I will be ok. I will often break out in song or prayer through tears of thankfulness that my God is Great and in control. Amen! HE is worthy to be praised.

  30. 51
    Valorie MacDonald says:

    Oh I agree with all, as I skimmed through! I would also maintain that while church doesn’t mean “squeaky leather shoes or old wooden pews” anymore for us, this generation can potentially get just as reliant upon skinny jeans and dimmed lights and the latest worship “craze” to create an atmosphere for worship. Our tiny little home church with c.d. worship or just a piano have been the not-very-cool backdrop for openhearted sharing of our lives: the good, the bad and the ugly, ultimately providing a growth of “Being the Body” in a way I never found in the hip, trendy nuveaux church trends. I don’t think there’s ANYTHING wrong with all that, as long as we’re seeking God in leadership for his strategies in keeping our traditions from being the focus, whether old and wooden and stained-glass-ey..? or sparkly and fresh and …”craze”-ey;)
    Okay my 5 minutes starts NOW.. Okay truth-time: it usually takes me about 7.. Tee.hee;DD
    For me personally, the first thing that comes to mind is Abraham. When God told him to sacrifice his son. His first-born son. The son of the promise, he fell on his face and worshiped. But what does this mean? For me at times it has meant I find some soul-soothing worship music as a background to my lament, but when I’m done I go back to my life, as walking away from a mirror and forgetting what I’ve seen.
    Other times it’s meant I grit my teeth and pull myself up by my well-worn bootstraps of obligation and good-little-church-girl know-how, dance my well-rehearsed little worship jig, and the next morning awaken again with a heavy heart.
    What about Abraham? For him it meant sacrifice. But was the point the sacrifice? I submit to you that worship is found in obedience, as seen the next morning when Abraham “arose early” to begin his journey of sacrificial obedience.
    If my worship doesn’t cost me anything, it is in fact, no worship at all.
    Please understand, I believe we should raise our hands and dance and sing at the top of our lungs, in both corporate and private times of celebration and intimacy with God. I believe God commands it.
    However, some of my biggest acts of worship over the years have included: pausing my life at the most inopportune time when the neighbor catches me just getting into my car, already running behind.

    Stopping to L.I.S.T.E.N. to my children, or to speak into their lives from the Truth of God’s Word (with grace, of course! Or at least I try!) ..even when it means they may give me the silent treatment for a day or so.

    Telling God the truth, “You know I can’t even sing right now, even a glimpse of my worship c.d. collection is a nails-on-chalkboard experience, like “someone who sings songs to one who mourns.” I’m not sure I can actually even form a “real” prayer right now.
    But I’m still walking with you, even if the more appropriate description would be laid-out-flat-in-a-pile-of-mud-created-by-my-own-tears… I am with You.
    Choosing to believe that You are with me in the midst of my anguish. And that You hear me, although if I’m being honest, it really doesn’t seem like it right now.”

    • 52

      yes… YES! Valorie! lately I have been struggling with some of the things I am afraid of… and yet I KNOW he has said, step here. I may have taken a tiny, itsy-bitsy, step just to make it look like I am complying… but I know I am NOT doing what he asked. And if i adore him, worship, him.. and KNOW he is out for my good, how could I not? My actions show the worth of my worship… for he is worthy. And, as I have heard many times lately, delayed obedience is disobedience!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts… Love the pictures you paint!
      Sheila Martinez

      • 53
        Valorie MacDonald says:

        Thank you for your encouraging words, Sheila; indeed you hit that proverbial nail RIGHT on its head! I have been taking little halting steps as well and I’m trying to walk the balance of Grace and Truth, because I know that one is not complete without the other, and I am simply incapable of this wisdom on my own! I so easily vacillate between berating myself or else I land back in my comfy little chair again, wrapping a tattered blanket of fear and doubt tightly around myself. An ottoman filled with excuses props up my feet as I take tentative sips from a piping hot mug. It’s my own personal blend of stubbornness, self-pity and pride, garnished with a dollop of what-ifs and yeah-buts for good measure. And by this time the thought of the effort required to make even the slightest move paralyzes me………….
        Well, maybe not one of my better attempts, but it gets the point out there: I NEED HIM. Of myself I can accomplish “no good thing”!!
        At the same time I remember that no so long ago I wasn’t even willing to hear Him speak. I had a plan and I was sticking to it! I’m so glad He’s been softening my heart again, tuning my spiritual antennae to his voice! There ARE times when the choice to hear Him is a HUGE act of worship!)
        I’ll be praying, Sheila. We can take those steps!!
        Valorie M.

        • 54

          Did you see the reply to the note you left me just a bit above this one? it is along these same lines… and I can’t wait to have the wonder of what God is doing on the inside to show up in our BE-ing… living and moving!

          <3
          Sheila

          • 55
            Valorie MacDonald says:

            Yes Sheila; I loved it! I can just go and go… every comment sparks something more here!)

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    So thankful for a God who is with us always! He is worthy. Worship can be bloggers linking up and encouraging others to worship our creator. Can’t wait till next Friday!

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    Quiet time for me is not always quiet; it’s a grasping ritual for the Lord. Now, you would think with a brand-new career minded early to rise Kindergarten aide for a daughter and teenage son, there’s not the requirement for interruption. So, quiet time, should be quiet time. Sometimes it still feels like work. But there’s this searching , yearning, seeking of “quiet time” that is in fact worship. It’s the time, Bible in hard, not a sound in the room except the Beagle’s rhythmic snores that you happen upon a verse and you read it like it never existed before. You sense the Holy spirit so strongly you become emotional and just sit with that feeling for a bit. That’s Worship! Not hands raised, proclaiming, but peaceful presence and a thing that happens that causes your soul to smile and you long for more it…abiding in Him, that’s worship! That’s peace and that’s worth seeking!

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    I do have a devotional blog but I have a special series going on right now with a daily one minute devotion every day in August, so I am posting my 5 minutes here…

    WORSHIP

    Worship is the moment I wake up in the morning and take my first breath and whisper His name and say, Lord, thank You for this day, Thank You for making me yours, thank You for loving me and leading and guiding in my life. Thank You for grace and mercy and peace and for the beauty of a new morning and a brand new day.
    Worship is the need in my heart to draw near to the love that drew me to salvation’s grace and the One who gave His life for this whole world.
    I am His and He is mine.

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    Oh, I’ve always wanted to do this! No blog, so here goes:

    I’m Catholic. That means I don’t pray out loud and my hands stay firmly clasped in front of me while I sing. So you can invite me to your small group and I’ll nod along with your beautiful prayers. You’ll certainly get an “Amen” from me when you’re finished, but I should warn you that I’ll likely cross myself afterwards and that might startle you. But… I’ve noticed something stirring in me since I’ve entered the doors of this broader world of church. When I listen to the sermon I really hear it. When I sing with you my arms flutter a bit. When we pray together I cry a little.
    I know that it has to do with the many different people I see here. Who couldn’t be moved by knowing that all of these souls, different though we are from each other, are children of God and part of his kingdom? I know that it changed a little when I met your kids, and saw how hard you were working to raise them knowing that the world can be scary but that they are beloved. I know that I hear the scripture differently now that I understand its application to my every day. I know that I understand what community means when you shared your secrets and let me know that it was okay to share mine.
    So, you might be surprised if my hands reach chest level during our hymns, if you hear an “Amen” from me at any time other than the end of our prayers, if I share a verse that meant something to me. But don’t be too surprised. After all, God meant for all kinds of worship, and he meant for me to be here with you.

    • 61

      This is beautiful, Aimee. Encouraging for a reserved personality like mine. Thank you.

      • 62

        Aimee, I love your words. My husband grew up Catholic and I was all over the place… in all types of churches and we have found the same thing you describe here in our home.

        We are meant to be a part of more… and to connect in a fuller way – the God of all flesh is our God… and into the whole world we beacons us… to take the risk of opening up and touching. I am so glad to be a in this place with you, too.

        So Blessed by your words.

        Sheila Martinez

    • 63
      Valorie MacDonald says:

      Aimee,
      Your words moved me deeply. Thank you for pouring out your precious heart.
      ~~tears~~
      I’ll just say DITTO to our other friends here<3
      Oh, and that I'll be praying God continues to show Himself to you.. to us all.. to the
      fullest measure!)
      Valorie M.

  35. 64

    Worship Him in the sanctuaries. Worship Him in my heart. I know God rejoices over me in singing and so as a person who isn’t able to go to church hardly ever due to brain injury, I speak His Word. You Word God and I Worship You Lord in deed and section. I sing to You Lord. In the depths of despair I sing. In happy times I sing. Alone I sing. I sing now to You. You bring to mind Hymns of Worship to Your Name. You give me a new song to sing to You as I Worship You in my chair. With Worship comes speaking Your Word aloud, praising You for Your mightiness

  36. 65

    Wandered over from Five Minute Friday. This seems like an amazing and supportive community. Praying that you continue to encourage, inspire, and support one another in love. God bless you all.

  37. 66

    sanctuaries are a hush.. and He creates that hush within me, precious, precious as I feel Him close. Let me fade..all my me-ness, my little world, let me drop the veil I place between us, crumpled in a smudged, fibrous pile of surrender. Dear Jesus, dear Abba, Father, dear Holy Spirit I sense You so very close in Your hush. Such comfort and safety in this sanctuary. My heart opens wide with words beyond my song…intimacy and awe. There are no earthly words for Your wonder, but my worship pours forth, my wonderful, mighty loving God.

  38. 67
    Amy English says:

    I am a mom, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am also a photographer. Today I had the opportunity to shoot a birth story. Regardless of what religion who affiliate yourself with, what or whom you believe in, being part of birth is something so incredibly spiritual that you can’t deny that there is a greater power at work. As this beautiful baby girl graced us with her beautiful presence, I couldn’t t help thinning how incredibly I blessed I am. Not just because of the roles that I play in my life, but because I’m simply alive and have the opportunity to experience beauty everyday. I have faith that there is more good in the world than bad. I have hope that others see the beauty around them and not just the negativity that is so easy to allow into our lives. Most of all, I am blessed to se the beauty of this crazy life through the eyes of my amazing children. If I do nothing else in my life, I want my children to see the beauty.

  39. 68

    So true…that is the kind of worship that pleases God…to have Him in every aspect of our lives, not just during church service. I’m so glad I joined the FMF…so many nice people who give great insights about life and faith. :-)

  40. 69

    Lisa-Jo,
    Grateful for the opportunity to stop by here and just get words on the page. We just finished week two of fostering 2 kiddos and life has been busy, hard, wonderful, exhausting, emotional and amazing. I’ve almost been afraid to write because of what might pour out. But I was able to write today and it was a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

  41. 70

    Lisa-Jo,
    Giving thanks with you that we can worship God anywhere and anyplace at any time….Thank you for always picking words that are so inspired :)

  42. 71

    Lisa-Jo,

    Thank you for a beautiful prompt to write what my heart cries. Simply thank you!

  43. 72

    No blog and 1st time.
    Worship for me is singing, joyfully, harmonizing, absorbing. Singing goes deep in my soul and mind. I feel closer to God during song. It invites him into my spirit. Sooths, comforts, strengthens. Services without singing are just not quite right for me. Missing something. Should not let that be a requirement. He is available Always. and Everywhere. Right now even. I feel closer to Him because my mind and heart are thinking of him and worship.
    Worship is giving of self-all worries, desires, needs to Him and focusing on His Love.

  44. 73

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  45. 74

    I haven’t thought about FMF in a long time . . . since Sara. Gitz. Even though we never met, I still miss and think about her all the time. I remind myself every single day to “Choose Joy” thanks to her.

  46. 75
    Beth Williams says:

    Worship can happen anywhere, anytime, anyway that you see fit. It just takes a simple acknowledgement of who God is and what Jesus did for you. I love listening to praise and worship music at work and sometimes a song comes on and it just hits you–your mind goes through the lyrics and wow a worshipful moment.
    I have worshipped while walking alone, driving my car and just looking out the window at sunsets.

    Worship is more than just praising God & Jesus–it can be encouraging a friend at work or church, praying for people, sending cards & letters. Even doing little things for people all add up to worship.

  47. 76
    Robin C says:

    (no blog, just me.)

    Worship… These days, worship is scattered. Babies 2 and 1, little chance to participate in “big church” since the older one can’t do Children’s Church on her own. So we go and sing, then down to Children’s Church together. Two songs, maybe. Some days I feel like a lame follower. I mean, two or three songs a week? But then I realize…

    Every nap.
    Every bedtime.
    In between.

    I sing to Jesus in my car. I sing while holding my babies. The older asks for “the fountain one” (Come Thou Fount) or “Vision” (Be Thou…) Raising my girls IS my act of worship.

    “Offer yourselves therefore as living sacrifices, for this is your reasonable act of worship.”

    Here I am, Lord. I miss “Church.” You know how I miss singing with the body and (possibly even more) helping to lead music. But for this season, this is what it looks like to climb up on the altar. Please receive this offering. Thank you for being worthy of all our worship and praise.

    (stop. I apparently don’t type very quickly.) :) Thanks! That was fun!

    • 77
      Valorie MacDonald says:

      Dearest “Just me” Robin,
      Oh there is nothing “just” about you or your lovely God-breathed life. I was not able to take that time with my little ones in the way I had done previously with my twins. Although I backed away from other things as soon as possible, I often have to give the regret to God.
      For me worship-leading was one of my joy-turned-obligations of that season I was only allowed to take a month when my baby boy was born; I didn’t know how to say no back then.
      Anyway, I’m sure many here know the duality of LOVING our life as mothers and yet….;]
      I just wanted to let you know I’ll be praying God helps you rightly discern the season He is gifting you with at the moment. He knows our hearts inside and out and certainly He sees your heart of worship!
      Warmly, Valorie M.

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