I was raised in a very conservative Southern Baptist church. Now, don't get me wrong...I have a wonderful and strong foundation in my upbringing in this church. I was and continue to be influenced by wonderful godly people in my home church. In fact, I am who I am in my service to the Lord through church music because of the influence of a very talented, committed, godly woman in my church during my elementary through high school years. She encouraged me and taught me about the joy of serving God through my music. I began my service of playing the piano for church in 6th grade and I continue in that role today. Thank you, Dewanda Gray, for instilling in me the desire to serve! I do not claim to be the best at it, but I love it and I know this is what God wants from me.
I love my church. But I have come to the realization that so many churches today don't really know how to "worship". It has become a routine of going through the motions, singing to be singing, playing the "we've always done it this way" game. This is true in all denominations, not just Southern Baptists. So often I have come home from a conference, Music Seminar, concert, or even an out-of-town church service with the thought, "I wish I could transport every member of my church to where I've just been so they can see and experience what worship is all about." Am I being self-righteous? I certainly hope not. I would never assume that I know how to worship while nobody else gets it. I repeat - I AM NOT PUTTING DOWN MY HOME CHURCH! All churches are in some form of "worship war", whether they admit it or not. It has become more an issue of - "I want it this way" or "I don't like it that way." Guess what people? It's not about us! It's about HIM!
Boy, did I digress or what? Sorry. Back to the concert...it was so refreshing to be able to *GASP* clap my hands, raise my hands in praise, cry, sing, wiggle and jiggle (floppy flab), sway - whatever I felt led to do - without feeling "watched or judged". I came away from the concert refreshed, revived and renewed! What an awesome night! Below, you will find a few pictures of our trip to NW Arkansas. Sarah, myself, and our friend, Karla drove up and met my brother Craig, his wife Debbie, their older daughter Marissa, Sarah's best friend from high school, Katie and another friend from Bella Vista, Jennifer.
Sarah was also able to meet up with fellow bloggers, Kelly (Kelly's Korner), and Angie (Bring the Rain). Kelly and Angie each spent some special time praying with Sarah...such sweet godly women. Angie entrusted me with Kate for a bit while she met with Sarah. (she might not do that again). Hey, we had a good time! ;-)
Thank you Selah and Avalon, Kelly and Angie! What a memorable evening!
Me, Karla and Sarah Sarah and Katie at Applebee'sCraig and Debbie
Selah and Avalon Finale