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Hurting questions and worship (2003-03-02 - 7:52 a.m.)

Sunday morning, again. I'm in the process once again of preparing to lead worship. Sometimes it is difficult, other times it is easy. I fear that today will be one of the difficult ones. Wait, I said "fear." Right away, that brings a verse to mind. "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7 That's a favorite verse of a lot of people. Seems to be one of the first ten memory verses in those little memory verse packs. Good reason for that, I think. So, if I have fear, I know where it DIDN'T come from.

Anyway, I am a little preoccupied this morning, as my youngest daughter, Stephanie, is still running a high fever. I took her to the doctor Friday morning, but they couldn't find anything. No other symptoms, other than the headache she gets when the fever gets high. And just over-all "miserableness." Must keep praying.

I have an interesting task to do at church this morning. The pastor who will be preaching today asked me last week to sing Harry Chapin's "Cats In the Cradle" today. In the context of the message, it will fit right in. And I love that song, so I said "Sure!" I just need to make sure that I don't ever look at my teenager while I'm singing.

I just realized that I read the wrong entry in My Utmost yesterday. It was March 1st, and I realized today that they included an entry for February 29!! Hahah...So I'm reading March 1 and 2 today! "The Lord's questions always reveal me to myself." Jesus questioned Peter in John 21. He questioned him over and over. Peter was hurt by the questioning, but he came out stronger for it. He came out knowing how much he really did love Christ. I must be willing to allow Christ to "hurt" me in this way. I must not be afraid of His questions. In fact, I should welcome them, so that I may know myself the way He knows me.

Anne Ortlund wrote a little book called "Up With Worship." It has short chapters, easy to use in devotion times. Today, I read one called "Three Cheers for Stiff, Rigid Rows of Seats!" Her point? Perhaps the church is so involved in "body life" that we are neglecting the most important thing--worship! Small groups and fellowships are great. Sharing is wonderful. "However, better than being us-centered is being God-centered. Better than circles is being shoulder to shoulder--whether standing, sitting, kneeling, or on our faces. Better than sharing is worshiping--aware of one another only in that deep, joyous awareness of being caught up together in God." Yeah!! (That's Australian for "Amen." I learned that from Darlene Zchech and the Newsboys.)

That's all the time I have for today. Am I ready to lead worship? Maybe. At least, I'm closer than I was when I started this morning. One thing is for sure. I feel the truth of the last worship song we will sing this morning. "We are hungry, we are hungry, we are hungry for more of You; we are thirsty, O Jesus! We are thirsty for more of YOU!!"

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