Tag Archives: Throne of Grace Community Church

WORSHIP: A Window and a Weapon…Back-to-School Survival Tips for Us Adults (Part 2 of 4)

Anyone been in a “mood” lately? Seems Back-to-School-Scurry wreaks havoc with all of us, even if we don’t have a student to dress, drop off, or pick up. Remember the saying, “If Mamma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy?” September simply screams for survival tactics.

Last week we focused on PRAYER with some survival ideas for you, your student, their teacher, and your family.

This week we’ll camp on something that can turn our moods around in a second: listening to music. Worship music has the power to turn all of our attitudes around.

Worship #2Recently, while watching a video of Matt Redman leading worship at the Passion Conference this year, I was struck by his vision of worship. He said, “Worship is like two things:

#1: It’s a WINDOW, that enables us to see God.


And #2: it’s a WEAPON which wards off the enemy.”

coat of arms medieval knight shield and crossed swords isolated

Consider these valuable visuals… I predict we all will have better attitudes, be better equipped and perhaps be a tad easier to get along with when we intentionally worship!!!

Before we get to a couple of songs, you MUST know God orchestrated quite a God-incident. Last Friday, I learned from my sister-in-law that her son-in-law, Chris Byrley, would be preaching at Throne of Grace Community Church. (www.throneofgracecc.org )

Naturally we wanted to go hear him. What do you s’pose his topic was? Yep: WORSHIP. “Worship and Beholding the Glory of God” from Isaiah 6:1-8. Do you love that? (I’ve had my four survival tips for y’all for September lined up for weeks. Worship being this very week’s topic!!!)

Chris delivered a superb sermon, walking us thru’ each verse, enlightening us on his well-chosen points which we could ALL relate to. He asked, “Do we truly behold God’s Glory or do we allow it to become too familiar, mundane, routine?” We were all nodding our heads…”Yes, we’ve all snuffed out the fire in our worship.”

Chris dubbed the below passage as “Biblical Lasik”….giving us better vision to behold the Lord of Hosts, who defines “Holy, Holy, Holy.”


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:1-8

One of many pearls Chris offered comes from John Piper:

“The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God;

the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit;

the furnace made alive and warm by

the flame of truth is our renewed spirit;

and the resulting heat of our affections is
Fire flames on black background background
powerful worship,
pushing its’ way out in
                                                     bowed heads,
                                                               lifted hands, and
                                                                                     obedient lives.”

I’d like to share with you just two of my favorite worship songs, along with some of the lyrics. They instantaneously bring a healing balm to our fragile hearts. My prayer is you’ll have a refreshed and renewed attitude after reading (and hopefully singing) these:

The first song is Come As You Are sung by David Crowder.

Read slowly and savor the lyrics to Come As You Are – (My comments are in parentheses.)

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin (Don’t we ALL want to be rescued???)

Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

Earth has no sorrow
That Heaven can’t heal (There is NOTHING Heaven can’t heal. Don’t miss this repeated phrase!)

So lay down your burdens (Lay them down and LEAVE them at the Cross.)
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face (Yes, we can lift up our face no matter the situation.)

Oh Wanderer come home (Pray for all our prodigals to COME HOME.)
You’re not too far
Lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are (My favorite part! Come as you are…..

There’s hope for the hopeless (Hope!!! Don’t we ALL want hope??? Need hope???)

And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace

There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures (Rest for the weary that ENDURES!!!)

Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure”

The YouTube version with the lyrics is wonderful:

The second song is Oh God How I Need You sung by Matt Maher. This song kills me every single time. Read thru’ and savor these lyrics. (Again, I’ll comment in parentheses.)

“Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my REST
Without You, I fall apart (We must recognize we do truly fall apart without Him.)
You’re the One that guides my heart


Lord, I NEED You
Oh, I need You
EVERY HOUR I need You (Every hour, every minute, every second we need Him.)
My one defense
My righteousness

Oh, God how I NEED You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more (Grace is more!)
Where grace is found, is where You are

Where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Yes, where You are, Lord I am free (Don’t miss this! We are FREE!!!)
Holiness is Christ in me

*(Refrain—see above)

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay” (Yes, Jesus is our hope and stay. Amen.)

* (Refrain)

Now listen to it on YouTube:

Keep in mind these are just two of a multitude of worship songs to turn your mood around, helping you survive this back-to-school September. If you’re more prone to enjoy hymns (I love both contemporary and traditional), grab a copy of Rob Morgan’s Then Sings My Soul.


This past March, I did a three-part post on worship. (Yeah, sorta obsessed, but in a good way!!??!!) For more ideas on worship, please visit these LINKS:
Power Up Your Mornings with Worship”,
and “Transform Your Morning and Your Mood in Less than Ten Minutes”,
and “Mr. Music Please….Why We Mustn’t Argue Over Musical Styles of Worship”….

Now go hum a few bars….

Revel in God’s Glory.

Stay right here for the next two weeks when you’ll hear from some STELLAR authors on their take for two more tips on surviving September!

‘Til next time!


Filed under Book Reviews, Friends, Music, Scripture


“Here’s your all access pass.” Such were the words from The Big Kahuna of Women of Faith, as she gave my friend, Liz, and me “All Access” passes to wear throughout an arena in Columbus, Ohio, this past August.  Whoa!

Women of Faith Stage 450

Are you kidding me?  You mean we can go backstage, we can enter thru’ any door, we can go anywhere?  You really trust us?  (Even better, we don’t have to stand in line for the bathroom???)

I was already a tad giddy from dining with the speakers for that weekend. Look with me around our table: There sat Marilyn Meburg, Patsy Clairmont, Brenda Warner, Mark Lowry, Sandi Patty, Lisa Harper, Mandisa, and Amy Grant.

Not only did we eat dinner with them, we got to pray with them beforehand and ultimately hear from each of them during the two-day conference.  While I’m not a fan of the word “surreal”, that’s flat how it was.  Oh, and they seated us on the second row.  (Did I mention the bag of chocolates the speakers kept passing back and forth???  Slice of heaven!)

I’m sure the question now burning in your head is “Exactly HOW did you get to do this?” Just so happens my “friend named Liz”, who is truly a very dear, long-time friend and mentor of mine, is none other than Liz Curtis Higgs, author and speaker extraordinaire.

Liz would be joining Women of Faith the following weekend and wanted to go to the event as an attendee to get a feel for the program.  She invited me to go with her and well, really, who could refuse that?

Great speakers, meaningful teaching, over-the-top worship, staying up into the wee hours of the night talking, plus the road trip from Louisville to Columbus and back, made for a 100% blast-of-a-weekend.  Not to mention a favorite memory in our friendship journey!

While sporting our “All Access” passes, it occurred to me that each and every one of us, who believes in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross for each and every one of us, taking on our sins, and giving us His mercy and grace, has an “All Access” pass to the Kingdom, our Heavenly home.

John Stott, in his book Cross of Christ, said, “Until you see the cross as that which is done by you, you will never appreciate that it is done for you.”  Let that thought soak in for a minute…Stott also said, “The cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough for its sparks to fall on us.”   Getting near enough equals one thing:  all access.

All Access Pass

So while the “all access” passes made us feel pretty special, let’s not forget our final destination.  Eternal life:  far more important than simply attending a conference here on earth!  Romans 5:1-2 tells us “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into the grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Don’t miss this!

We are therefore able, as Hebrews 4:16 says, to “approach the throne of grace with confidence…”  ALL ACCESS.  Take your pass and run with it.


‘Til  next time!

(This October 14th,2012 entry is dedicated to a brave, new friend.  This inspirational guy received a call to the ministry while working in the corporate world.  He left  all of that behind, attended and graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary!!! After numerous meetings, hours upon hours of prayer, he and several others started a new church.  His name? Jay Roy.  His church?  Throne of Grace.  Kudos to Jay and Liz and  their two girls as well as to their new congregation, two members of which, happen to be some more brave soldiers:  our brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Marte Hoagland.  Please add Throne of Grace to your prayer list.  Check them out on Facebook:  Throne of Grace Community Church.)


Filed under Conferences