guest writer: austin

Often I've thought of inviting one of my friends who blog to write an article as a guest writer. I never really knew what topic I would ask them to center on or how I would incorporate it into the themes of my blog. But when I read this post on my friend's blog, I knew I had to share. It is so many thoughts and convictions that have been inside me and never quite articulated and grouped together the way that He has done so. Now, calling all worshipers, take a read and ponder what he has said so poignantly.

Many are called but few are chosen…

Man, where do I begin??  I think I’ve started this off 4 different ways.  I love worship leaders.  I love praise and worship time.  I love great musicianship.  I love a great voice and nice full rich guitar tone and tasteful drumming with some fat synth undertones, low end and a delicate right hand melody line from the piano.  I love original music.  I love a church that loves to sing.  I love passion in those moments.  I love volume from the believers while the leaders step back and let the Church rise up in faith in Jesus.
Over the past few years God has really put a lot in my heart for worship leaders and without knowing how to lay it out eloquently I’m just going to list out random comments and questions I have.  Don’t judge me, I’m just like you and I don’t pretend to be above anyone.  What I really want to see is more of us honestly asking ourselves the tough questions.
Bottom Line: Many are called to worship but FEW are chosen to the leading of God’s people. 
To be a worship leader we have to be hard and soft. vulnerable and secure.  Bold and meek.  confident and transparent. Self assured but deeply, self-sacrificially humble.  It’s like being in two places at once, hot and cold, wet and dry.  Filled up yet poured out.
To The Proud:
Not everyone is called to the leading of the Church in worship.
Do many of us simply lead worship because that’s what we’re “supposed to do?”  ie: expectation from others, from family, “i’m a musician”, “that’s what i want to do”, band wagon, one of the most recognized and up-front ministries, ego, pride?
How much is my relationship with Jesus drawing me into leading His people in praise and worship time, reflection and meditation on Him?
How much time do I spend personally, in worship, awe and adoration?
How committed to His Glory am I?
How committed to my Glory, in Jesus’ Name, am I?
To The Under-assured:
Who says you aren’t good enough?
For the longest time our talents have been glorified instead of Jesus and so our hearts have been neglected sending many into the above category.  I believe there needs to be a healthy balance between a heart after Jesus, a passion for the Church and finally, a talent or gifting that seamlessly operates, flowing from moment to moment by the leading of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the desire of His heart.
Just SING IT or PLAY IT.  There’s no need to be intimidated or fearful.  There’s no need to be nervous.  There’s need to be genuine.  There’s need to be authentic.  There’s need to be deeply passionate and expressive.
Do something that shows Him off.  Something that leaves room for Him to do what only He can do.

I believe that some should step down and some should step up.  I believe that we all have seasons of filling up and seasons of pouring out.  Nothing different can be produced with out us doing things differently.  Our services aren’t “the thing”, He is “the thing”.  He’s worth it.  He’s due it.  He requires devotion, honesty, passion, our best, our first.  Let’s make Him most important in our worship.  I believe both the proud and the insecure are self-centered places to be.  I sure have traversed between both sicknesses but the more time I spend singing my prayers or just being alone with Him, I see less of me wanting to be something I’m not.  I see less of me scouring scripture for song lyrics.  I see less intimidation when fellow worship leaders are in the congregation.  I see more of Jesus working His plans out through my life.  I see my desire for other leader’s success increase.  Most of all, I see my desire to know Jesus increase.

*This article was written by Austin Luhring. You can find him at austinluhring.com.


weekend update

     Over the weekend I decided that it's time to share a few personal things with you all. Nothing nitty gritty really. Just stuff that lets you know I am real. Typically I write more with analogies of spiritual truth I'm grasping and its practical application [to my life in particular]. But I've not written much about personal things in my life, which I would love to do. Being real and authentic is something that I've striven for since some time around my freshman year of junior high school. (West Memphis groups grades differently than most school districts ... in the entire United States...)
     Personally, I just did something HUGE. Yes, I had twins, but this is almost just as huge. I registered to run a half marathon with my friend Julie for the last weekend of April. This morning I also invited my friend Megan, who lives in Texas, to register and join us in this great feat. And now, I'm going to personally invite YOU to join us if you dare. Cause here's the deal:  I am not a runner. The last time I ran consistently was in high school because I HAD to for sports. But I told a few friends that after I had the girls I would become a runner, and now I want to be held to it. Whether you run with us or not, I am at least inviting you to keep me accountable. I will keep you updated with my progress, so stay tuned. It should be interesting!
     The older I'm getting, the more I'm beginning to realize why 'those old people' liked to just sit around together during the Holidays. I am so looking forward to doing just that with my family in Arkansas over Christmas. Quality time is where it's at for me when it comes to love languages. Presents/gifts are definitely NOT my love language. I don't think I'm terribly great at giving gifts because I'm either 1) thinking about a million things at once and become sidetracked/absent minded and let that 'special date' slip up on me before I realize it or 2) trying SO hard to do the most thoughtful thing imaginable that I spend too much time thinking and too little time doing that I end up having to half way do what I originally planned (at least half way to my standards). I'm not that great at receiving gifts either because more often than not I get this wave of awkwardness that I desperately try to fight, particularly if the gift is unwarranted. I guess I just feel that if you love me, then just simply being with me is enough. :) And especially now that I'm a mom, I'd much rather just have people bless my girls because that blesses me.
     Last, Zekers (our little wuppers (dog)) finally got a bath! I think he's maybe had one since the girls were born ... ha! Oopsie. He knows that he's loved, right?!