Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Place....Part 3

We were in our new town and what would become our new church the next Sunday. Honestly, I had a big ole chip on my shoulder but was desperate for a fresh word. I almost dared God to show off thinking the whole time He wouldn't. Boy was I wrong. Every song during the service was one of my favorites. In fact we had done each one the previous week in our "goodbye" service. Then our Pastor stood to preach. And he preached. God spoke. Nothing else needs to be said about that.

After a few days in Atlanta, the girls and I went back to Chattanooga and Chad stayed behind. I was torn and the waiting time seemed to be starting. All of our old friends and music buddies were getting ready for a huge community worship night. They were doing a collection I wanted to play so bad I could taste it. Really fun music from a little church called Prestonwood out in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area. The collection was "Power in the Name". Every song is powerful. This collection moves me more than any choir collection ever has.

Anyway, God began to impress on my heart that this was to be a season of quietness. A time to be fed and reflect on the last year. I joined the choir and slipped into the role of choir member. I love our choir and our worship staff. I can't say enough good things about them. They are an anointed group of people and I thank God He has allowed me to serve under them. God is using them to teach me some new things.

By the way, last fall when I joined guess what collection they were working on. Yes indeed.."Power in the Name". Somebody say Hallelujah one time!

So last fall, God began to open doors for me to fill in for the keyboard players when they were out. The very first Sunday I was over on the keyboard playing the fun stuff. (organ, and other fun sounds...) During the prayer right before the choir special, our orchestra director taps me on the shoulder to say that the pianist is sick and can I scoot over to the piano to play. Praise Jesus I knew the song like the back of my hand we had been doing it in Chattanooga for quite some time. I just hadn't played it in 6 months or so! God was gracious with that one. Our Worship Pastor had already asked me to sing that night, but now I had the added pressure of playing piano with a rhythm section I had only played with 2 times. Oh, I felt sick. No lunch for me that day.

That night was a prayer service and I was singing "Speak to Me". There's that song again! That afternoon I locked myself in my music room and gave strict instructions to be left alone. I got flat and prayed, practiced, prayed, practiced... this went on for a couple of hours. Some of the arrangements for that evening, I had never played before. I wasn't so much worried about those because the choir and praise team and orchestra would all be singing/playing. It was "Speak to Me" that I was concerned about.

It would be the first time I would sing anything I'd written in front of strangers. Most every place I'd spoke or sang at I went in knowing several people there and they liked me! Or at least they acted like it!!!:) They knew my heart and passion. Here, they didn't know much about me. I felt like I'd been thrown to the wolves and now I had to sing! I had to make sure that God was with me on this I did NOT want any part of that idol of ability to creep back in. I was desperate for people to see HIM not Stephanie. I wanted HIM to ooze out of every pore of my being. That's my prayer everyday and every time I sit down at a piano or stand to sing, but especially on this night. I remember praying, "God please take away any seed of pride, remove it. Do whatever it takes to remind me that I can not take a step without you. I can not play a note without YOU. Let them see You, hear you, experience you while You play through me."

It was a powerful service. While I can't remember a lot of details, I can tell you that once again, God spoke to my heart. He confirmed that He wasn't done with me yet. That He knew my desire for ministry - He placed that desire in my heart! At that point in time, He just wanted me to be obedient. I had placed my "Yes" on the altar years before. I had said wherever, whenever Lord, I'll go. Now, in this new place with an uncertain future He asked me to do it again. To say yes to the unknown.

"Don't aspire to ministry...aspire to obedience." Kay Arthur at Deeper Still Nashville Sept. 2007

(I thought I would finish this today, but nope! I'll finish up Saturday night!!!!!)


Refresh My Soul Blog said...

ha ha! I thought there was probably more! I love your story! God is so good all the time and does know best. If you stayed with us you would have just stayed comfortable. I love God is stretching you!
Love you!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

All I can say is WOW.

Carol said...

Arrgg!! This is too good. If you don't finish Saturday, I know where you sit in church! LOL!

Leigh Gray said...

hey sweet friend!!! Please email me directly if you don't mind about a purse thing... cletus104@gmail dot com.

I love me some Todd Bell too!!!

Do you have any CD's recorded for sale?

Love, Leigh

Jackie said...

wow--- God is good, yes He is!