Archives For Devotions

These are posts that challenge and fuel our faith as worship leaders and musicians. Read devotions by worship leaders and songwriters and become inspired by their stories and heart for God, the Church, and humanity. We hope these devotions help bring you closer to God through the understanding of His word and the power of music.

It was cold, although not “Polar Vortex” cold. My family and I were crammed into our minivan and were two-thirds of the way through our thirteen-hour drive from Nashville to Canada just four days before Christmas. Every once in awhile messages from family with news of an impending Ontario ice storm would grab our attention but, as it was, all we could see before us was rain and road. One hour after another on one of America’s most boring drives. That is, until dark.

Besides the obvious (it was dark), the darkness was blinding – turning our minivan into a rolling death trap – street lights, car lights, reflections of any light of any kind suddenly transformed into bizarre laser beams headed directly for the eyes – I was suddenly unable to see much of anything around me…

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The Importance of Rest

Liz Parker —  November 26, 2013

This week many of you will gather with family to celebrate all that God has blessed you with. You will sit around a table full of food, give thanks and break bread together with those you love. And, when the tryptophan-induced coma kicks in, I’d imagine you will…rest…

Rest is a concept that seems extremely unfamiliar for worship leaders and other church leaders during this time of year as we prepare for the Advent season. The rehearsals 3-4 times per week for the 3-4 Christmas Eve services the church offers, organizing the special music, the kids choir, the dance team, the skits, the video specials…well, it can leave you feeling drained and weary. And, while many of us would like to just put on the most fantastically comfortable pair of pjs, crawl under our covers and sleep for the next 2 months, we just don’t have that luxury!

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Thankfulness

Sarah Hart —  November 7, 2013

Three days after Halloween this year, I went shopping at Target, just for a few half-off skeletons and light-up pumpkins at 75% off…though by next year I’ll probably forget where I put them. Anyhow, the Christmas decorations were up already, and I overheard the lament of someone an aisle over; “CHRISTMAS! Come on, I hate this! It’s not even Thanksgiving!” I feel like I’ve heard that lament a lot recently. I even noticed that Nordstrom’s had a special advertisement this year that, in the “spirit of the holidays”, Christmas decorations would not be put up until after Thanksgiving.

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Worship and Missions

Jimi Williams —  October 11, 2013

One Sunday after our morning rehearsal I was approached by a man who looked in his 40′s. I could tell by his dress (and smell!) that he had walked in off the street and was probably looking for some money. Since the service was about to begin, I asked if he would mind staying through the service. After which, I would try and find him some help.

My first impulse was to search out our pastor who was over benevolence. I figured that would be the easiest way of getting him help and relieving me from the responsibility. Of course, I couldn’t find the pastor anywhere…

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Your Grace Finds Me

Matt Redman —  September 26, 2013

The grace of God found us at the cross – it was a saving grace that ushered us from death to life, and from darkness into glorious light. That is the centrepiece of all we believe – but that is not the end of the story of grace. For His grace keeps on finding us – the undeserved goodness of God showing up in our everyday existence. Yes, we hear the sonic boom of grace at the cross, yet not a day goes by that we don’t hear echoes of God’s grace in the details of our every day lives.

There are all kinds of grace. The gift of life itself is grace – the freely given, undeserved gift of God. I can breathe – that’s respiratory grace. I can see – that’s optical grace. I can think – that’s neurological grace. I have friends and family – that’s relational grace. It’s all grace – the beautiful, undeserved kindness of God in my life. Whether they’re aware of it or not, no one has ever lived a day without the grace of God at work in their life somehow. As Psalm 145:9 puts it…

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Rebel

Sarah Hart —  September 20, 2013

I have felt more than a bit rebellious in my faith recently; unusual for me, but there you have it. Things prick at my conscience more than they used to. I feel overly sensitive to the politics and policies of our churches. I find my blood boiling at the various injustices that I see happening, and it takes more than one deep breath to calm me down. And in full confession, it sadly doesn’t always lead me down a path of change, just a path of anger.

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God Doesn’t Want Our Songs

Jimi Williams —  September 13, 2013

God is saying, “I appreciate your effort, but I really don’t need your singing (sacrifice). What I really want is your heart.” Worship leaders spend a large amount of their time picking songs, scheduling their team, working out bugs in the sound system, shopping for new gear and rehearsing. God knows that all these things are important. However, often these “good things” distract and prevent us from the “best thing”: preparing our hearts…

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Suffering and Worship

Claire Hamilton —  August 28, 2013

A while ago, I spent some time reflecting on suffering, wondering how I could possibly contribute something useful and insightful around the topic. Suffering, grief, pain and loss are words that have become all too familiar in my own life.

As a “worship leader/facilitator” and songwriter, I have always been drawn to writing songs of intimacy which help usher us into His presence. A place of healing and restoration, where the broken get made whole and where as we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. A few years ago, I wrote a song called ‘Breathe On Me’. It was the first time I felt like I’d written something that captured my heart’s cry in the midst of painful circumstances. It was bittersweet as I’d longed to write that song for years. Finally it came to help lift my soul and give Him Praise in the middle of deep sadness and turmoil…

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Confidence Unshaken

Sarah Hart —  August 9, 2013

Summer of 1985: I brooded, in all my teenage glory, on my front porch on Maple Street around midnight. Bonding with my Scorpions cassette, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” on constant rewind. I had less confidence than a sandwich, was moody and sullen, restless leaning toward reckless. Oozing dissatisfaction. Going through the motions of living, waiting and waiting and waiting. Thinking to myself, “God, I hate this town and I want out. I’ll get out. Nothing good ever happens in this place; why the heck did you plant me here? I want more.”

I did, eventually, leave that little town (which now, most days, I want to go back to!). I’ve been blessed to spend these 20 years now traveling, and meeting so many gifted music ministers all across the country who are doing the work of the church; which is quite hard and often impossible, thankless work. I’m inspired by the talent, the time, the selflessness that I see; the deep desire and beautiful ability to bring the hearts of worshippers to a different level with just the offering of a song. Many times, I see the joy poured out with every note. But also many times, I see the hurt on some of those musicians faces; “I am so tired. Are they even listening? My confidence is shaken. I really want more. God, please, is this it? Why did you plant me here? I want to be satisfied…”

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Along with writing songs and leading worship, I work as a therapist, journeying with men and women, who seek deeper emotional and spiritual growth. It’s my “day job” and such an honor. The therapeutic journey varies from person to person, however, lately, I’m seeing a common chord.

As a kid, my whole family would pile in our old-school station wagon (you know the one with the wood paneling on the sides) and truck it all the way from Mobile, AL to the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado to go skiing. I remember thinking it was the longest distance in the world. There were lots of pit stops and sleepy stretches, (especially in TX) where the only vehicles we’d pass were UPS trucks. Boring!!! But oh how I would love the last few hours of that drive when patches of crunchy white snow became more regular and my hand tested the car windows to finally find freezing. We were not in Alabama anymore. It was glorious…

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