Tag Archives: worship

Foreign Impressions On My Domestic Life

In the previous post, you read an abridged version of what generally went down on my mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This blog is specifically about how I was affected personally. I’ll discuss what I was hoping for going into the trip, what happened while there and where I am now. I’ll try to go in order with each of the three sections so it’s easier to follow the progression. We’ll see how it pans out.

What I Was Hoping For Going Into the Trip

* Greater clarity for my future
* Build better relationships with the other Frontline young adults
* Grow in compassion for missions and evangelism
* Reduce my dependence on convenient, comfortable living (i.e. sleeping and food conditions)
* Become a more proficient Spanish speaker
* Grow in greater intimacy with the Lord

What Happened While There

* Greater clarity – I received clear evidence that I speak prophetically in the Spirit and that I hear accurately from the Lord. It was confirmed time and time again that the Lord speaks to me and what I share from Him resonates with other people.
* Better relationships with fellow Frontliners – That definitely happened! I was with the same group of people consistently for 12 days. We shared everything, much like the church of Acts. I had several wonderful conversations with numerous different people. While in the DR, the group of us became a family. I love seeing everyone now. Every time we meet up, it’s like a little reunion. We’ve moved beyond surface friends and entered into endearing family.
* Compassion for missions and evangelism – Walking actively in missions and evangelism for several days in a row makes a person grow in that area. I did grow in compassion naturally. It wasn’t forced and it wasn’t arduous. Because of the Holy Spirit, it was easy to serve together with the rest of the team in these areas. Yes, I got tired sometimes, but I enjoyed all of the evangelistic things we did.
* Convenient, comfortable living – After showering in cold, contaminated water, I slept in my own sweat on a thin, foam mat in a non-air conditioned room. I ate a bunch of strange food. I couldn’t flush my toilet paper. It wasn’t convenient and it wasn’t comfortable. But I did not complain. Rather, I just accepted it for what it was and continued on.
* Spanish speaking – I didn’t know a lot of Spanish before I left. I still don’t know that much. However, it was great to use all the stuff I’d learned in my Spanish classes in a real-time. I am continuing to study Spanish as often as possible. We have lots of Spanish channels on TV. Sometimes I watch the programming. Not the sappy soap operas, though.
* Intimacy with the Lord – Check, check and triple check! My personal time with Jesus was amazing. Our group devos were wonderful. I journaled, worshiped, and…simply…grew. It was great to walk in personal and corporate intimacy with Jesus. Truly awe-inducing.

Where I Am Now

Different. I’m different. I realize how spoiled Americans are. I realize how much money I have even when I feel like I have nothing. I appreciate my pillow top bed immensely. Continuous, hot showers are a celebration. I would go on another mission trip. I don’t feel called to be a full-time foreign missionary. But I do know that I’m constantly on mission with the Spirit wherever I am. I now have better relationship with my Christian brothers. I need a healthy balance of men and women in my community and now I’ve got it.

My perspective has permanently shifted. Thank You, God, for that!

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Dominican Republic Mission Trip Recap

After much waiting and anticipation, I am finally blogging about my mission trip to the Dominican Republic. From here on out, I will most likely shorten Dominican Republic to DR. You with me so far? I hope so.

From July 2 until July 14th, I was on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic with 22 other young adults from my church. We are part of the Frontline Ministry at New Song Christian Fellowship. Our trip was unique in that we were all involved with Frontline and we are all very similar in age. Chalk one point up on the side of unity for that. We also stayed in the same house (on varying floors and in gender-specific rooms). We were together constantly. Make that two points in the unity category. And as a final and glue-like third point, we were all walking obediently in the Holy Spirit. Consequently, we were later told that we were the best mission team to come from our church in over 10 years. The unity that we experienced was phenomenal! The Holy Spirit gave us unity and we worked together to sustain it. That was one of our greatest team testimonies.

New Song is a network of churches all over the world. We have several campuses in the Nashville area (we’re hoping to have 9 in Nashville by the end of 2009). We also have congregations in Mexico, India, Nepal, Africa and of course the Dominican Republic. All of the congregations in our network have the same values and teachings. It’s very cohesive and very nice.

A few brief, interesting things about our trip…

We could not flush the toilets very often. The plumbing was not very good so we had a motto: If it’s yellow let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down. Simply put, if we peed, we didn’t flush. If we pooped, we did. Also, we didn’t flush the toilet paper also because of the plumbing. We used the toilet paper to wipe and then put it in a trash can “sunny side down.” In other words, we turned it over so no one could see the yellow or brown on the paper. Toilet paper was not provided in every bathroom, either. While we were traveling around, many bathrooms didn’t have toilet paper. So, we carried our own with us most of the time. Also, the water there is contaminated so we drank special purified water the whole time. We were not to ingest any of the tap water. Thirdly, we didn’t always have electricity. In fact, every day, the city of Santo Domingo cut the power in a grid form around the city. So, between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. every day we lost power. They cycled the power cutoffs around the city.

While we were in the DR, we spent the majority of our time in the capital city of Santo Domingo. However, we did spend three days in Pedernales, which is a town on the border of Haiti. Pedernales is only six minutes from the Haitian border. Two United Nations officers were staying in the same hotel that we stayed while we were in Pedernales. They chose to stay in the DR because it’s safer than Haiti.

We arrived in Santo Domingo on time and very tired on July 2nd. Our call time that morning was 3:45. I can’t sleep effectively on an airplane so I was especially tired. After we landed in the DR, we made the hour-long trip to the house where we were staying. The owners of the house were the national directors of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). They were on furlough (a mandatory visit back to their home country to maintain proper missionary residency requirements). Basically, every missionary in a foreign country has to leave the country they are visiting (missioning in) for a specified amount of time.

We were supposed to stay on the YWAM base, but it was full of other mission groups. Instead, we were blessed to stay in the director’s house. It was three floors, had at least three bathrooms, numerous rooms, a glorious view and a nice patio. It was truly a gift from the Lord to be able to stay in La Casa de Norell.

The second, third and fourth day of our trip, we were in the city of Pedernales on the Haitian border. We made a six hour drive to get there. We drove from one coast of the DR to the other. On the way, we saw glorious beaches! While in Pedernales, we planted a church, which happens to be the first international church multiplication in the New Song network. We loved our time with the children in Pedernales. Many of the people on our team wanted to stay in Pedernales with all of the kids. The first night in Pedernales, we showed the movie ‘Facing the Giants’ in Spanish with English subtitles in a neighborhood where the church members lived. The second day there, we had a kids’ ministry day/construction day. Most of us worked with the kids and a few people went to build a patio roofesque wooden structure on the pastor’s house so vines could grow on it and create shade. The second night, the pastor spoke, we led worship and also presented two of our dramas. The third day was a Sunday. We went to the Pedernales church, which met in a meeting room of the local hospital. We led the service there and presented a dance. The girls of the Pedernales Bible School also presented a drama and dance for us.

One of my favorite things about the Pedernales section of the trip is my experience with a girl named Kenifer. I met her my fist day there and asked her every question in Spanish that I could think of. i.e. What’s your name? How old are you? Where do you live? Where are your parents? Do you have any brothers and sisters? After I ran out of questions, she moved on to talk to others.

As the weekend progressed, Kenifer kept approaching me. She introduced me to her mom, aunt and uncle. (Her aunt and uncle were the first people to convert to Christianity at the Pedernales church.) She came up to me and gave me a hug during one of our ministry times. During that particular moment, we were praying for people. As she stood there hugging me, I prayed for her and prophesied over her life. I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to pray that she would know God as her Father and would find a husband that honored her and that she could stand alongside in ministry with. I also saw that she was a leader among her peers so I pray that she’d be an influencer for good and not for bad and also that she’d pursue God wholeheartedly.

After I’d prayed all those things, I felt led to tell her the things I prayed for. I was praying in English, so she didn’t understand me. I asked one of my Spanish speaking friends from the trip to translate for me. She gladly agreed. So, the last day in Pedernales my friend translated everything I’d prayed. Soon after that, I approached Kenifer’s mom to tell her everything I’d prayed for her daughter. Her mom said that Kenifer’s dad is gone a lot (I prayed that she’d know God as her Father…that turned out to be important since her earthly father was often gone.) Her mom also said she was one of the top students at Bible School. I’d prayed that she’d be an influencer for good and would grow in the knowledge of the Bible. It was great to see such an immediate clarity for the things I’d prayed for.

After Sunday church, we headed back to Santo Domingo. The next two days of the trip were work days. I worked on the house that the student interns would be staying/learning in. It was hard work. Lots of manual labor. I left the first work day with two blisters on my right hand. I was working with a crowbar and breaking up cement so we could put in underground plumbing. A combination of water, my leather work glove and the repetitive concrete breaking led to the blisters.

The fourth day of that week was a tourism day. We toured Santo Domingo and did a little barter shopping. I was very sick this day. I felt like sleeping the entire time and I had no appetite. Perhaps some of the bad water got into my system. I’m not sure. I started taking medicine that day to make me feel better. That night we hosted one a church service at one of the network churches.

The next day we relaxed a little/rehearsed/set up for the Alabaster Heart conference. Pastor Dale Evrist, the lead pastor for New Song Nashville was the key speaker for this event. He shared a series of messages about growing in deeper intimacy with Jesus. Writers from New Song wrote original songs for this for our original Alabaster Heart Conference in Nashville. The songs were translated to Spanish so we could sing them in the DR. We had four of the top singers from the country singing those songs and those of us that were not in the band or doing tech arts sang in the choir.

The Alabaster Heart Conference was very successful! Many people received prayer and were healed. Everyone was definitely ministered to. I learned new things from Pastor Dale’s message that I’d not learned while in America. He brought new perspective and a refreshing viewpoint on the series.

After the Alabaster Heart Conference, we made our way to a resort for a few days of relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. The majority of the trip, we didn’t have air conditioning, beds or even enough water for a full-length shower. It was also wonderful to share a bathroom with just one person and not five other people. The endless buffet was a real treat too. The beaches on the resort were beautiful. The water was very warm as well.

This is a lengthly blog, but there are so many things that I didn’t even mention. For example, what exactly I got out of the trip. I’ll post this as is and come back later with my personal thoughts on the trip and what it meant to me.

Off to the DR

So, it’s finally here!

Tomorrow at 3:45 a.m., I leave for the Dominican Republic! I’m excited! I know God will do a marvelous work in me and through me while I’m away. Please pray for me/our team while we’re gone. i.e. team unity, safety, protection, etc., etc.

Also, for updates while we’re in the DR, read our team blog at http://newsongdrteam.wordpress.com.

I’ll post when we get back with lots of pics, stories, testimonies…

Topical Depression

Nope.  I’m not depressed.  I’m just sad that I can’t come up with one topic to blog on so that’s where the name came from.  I’m having a topical depression. 

1) I’m going to the Dominican Republic (a.k.a. the DR) in July on a mission trip. I think I’ve said that before. We had our first meeting for the trip last Friday. I’m happy to finally have more information about the trip. I need to send out support letters…like…yesterday.

2) I led worship for the first time yesterday at our Sunday service. It was really fun. It went well, too. I didn’t make any big mistakes. Well, I did start singing the wrong notes in rehearsal. But rehearsal doesn’t count, right? And I also–according to my roommate–make my hand singnals to0 big and for too long. I sort of agree with her. I’ll have to work on that for next time. The reason I make them for so long is because I’m afraid the other people on the worship team won’t see them. *shrug* Again, I said I’ll work on it.

3) I went to my first piano lesson last Tuesday. I have another one tomorrow. I purchased a keyboard. It’s a Kawai. Apparently it’s a quality brand. I’d never heard of it before, but I don’t really know what/who makes a good piano/keyboard. I read reviews online and people said good things. Besides, it was the only decent one I could get that offered financing. I can’t just drop $800+ dollars in one day. I neeeeeed financing! I enjoy my piano teacher. I think she’ll teach me a lot. I don’t, however, enjoy the parking situation at the school. It’s actually a house in Franklin, TN. We park behind the house and there’s just not much room back there. Six cars have to squish in there. It makes me uncomfortable. I am a bad car parking person. It’s my unfavorite thing to do. Probably because I once backed into a grain cart and also side swiped (at 1 mph) a column in a parking garage…twice. :O Martina, if you read this, I’m talking about the parking garage for Salem when the office was located on Woodmont.

4) I just had to scroll up to see which number I was on.

5) I’m going to a women’s conference in Atlanta this weekend. It’s the national Foursquare Women’s Gathering. I’m excited to see how the Foursquare denomination behaves at a national level. I have never experienced that before.

6) I purchased a handheld GPS. It’s a Delorme Earthmate PN-40. I like it a lot. It’s quite accurate and comes with great mapping software. I use it for geocaching. It’s a fun activity that my roommate and I (and other friends) do on occasion. Since the weather is warming up we will start to do it more often. I’m excited to use the Delorme more often too.  I need to give it a name so I don’t have to keep calling it Delorme. My car GPS is called Maggie. My roommate’s car GPS is called Rico. Her handheld GPS is called Grim. Her car is called Ibe. My car is called Torrie. So…I just need a name for it. Maybe I’ll name it Dominic. Dominic Delorme.  I like that!

7) My February CD reviews have been published for the online magazine that I write for. You can find them here:

VOTA

Julianna Zobrist

8) I think that’s it for now. Nothing all that profound written here today. I do have things to say that mean a lot to me and are quite important. Perhaps on another day I will write about them.

Ms. Piano Lady

Hear ye! Hear ye! Starting next Tuesday, Lindsay is going to the School of Worship in Franklin, TN, to learn to play piano and become a better, more versatile worship leader!! She is so excited!

For years, I’ve wanted to play the piano. In recent months, I’ve really been desiring to learn an instrument to enhance my worship experience and skill. Last Tuesday at New Song’s Worship Arts gathering, Nate Sallie announced that he created a worship school. It really piqued my interest so I called him and left a message Wednesday inquiring about that.

I also prayed for confirming words from God about this. I received specific scripture last night in my time with the Lord. And two of my friends affirmed the piano thing before I even mentioned to them what instrument I was thinking about. Last night, I prayed that Nate would contact me today and that would be my confirmation further. Well, he just called and we determined I’ll start next Tuesday. One of Rebecca St James’ piano players will be my instructor. She’s apparently a great teacher and I’ll learn a lot from her. I’m so excited!

Please pray for me as I enter into this time. Each class lasts a month and I can take as many as necessary. Woot!

Idolness

I’m watching the Tennessee Titans play the New York Jets at LP Field in Nashville.

The Titans are 10-0 right now and are currently losing to the Jets. Maybe they’ll be 10-1 after this is over. Maybe they’ll be 11-0. It’d be nice to stay undefeated but I really don’t care that much if they lose or win. I just cheer for the Titans cuz I live in Nashville.

A few minutes ago, the Jets scored to make the score 20-3 in favor of the Jets. After catching the football, the touchdown-acquiring receiver ran out of the back of the end zone. Fans quickly started slapping his pads and patting him on the back in praise for what he’d done.

While watching that scene, something struck me. Fans clamor to touch famous people. Famous athletes. Famous actors. Famous musicians. Famous folks. We’ve all seen mobs of fanish individuals hound and surround the prey of their feverish attention and devotion. All of this energy and focus goes into just touching someone famous. Or talking to someone famous. Or trying to develop a relationship with someone famous.

I’m a people watcher so I notice this sort of thing a lot. And, since I live in Nashville, I’ve got ample opportunities to see the fans interact with the famous. It’s mesmerizing to watch a fan pour out all of their love for the famous in mere seconds. Because that’s all they have. Fifteen seconds to tell a football player he’s awesome before he runs away to the sidelines. Thirty seconds to declare unending devotion to a drummer in an autograph line before the security guard ushers in the next fan.

After a momentous (and I say momentous because it contains the word moment, implying a short amount of time) encounter with someone famous, a fan can be on a high for hours, days, weeks, months and even years. A moment becomes a lifelong memory. A moment that the famous person will probably not even remember will be forever inscribed on the mind of the fan.

Does all of this seem weird to you? Does it appear extreme? It should. That’s what I’m going for. I hope you felt awkward when reading about the fan/famous relationship.

I know this has been said before, but it’s weird and wrong and backwards to watch thousands of people scream praises to athletes/musicians/actors and accept that as normal. Human hero worship is not normal. It’s abnormal. it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

We were created to worship God. The only (once) human we should worship is Jesus. It should feel and appear and look normal to worship God. Yet, to most, it doesn’t. Most people feel awkward worshiping God publicly. Most won’t scream praises as loud as they can to their Creator.

Even I feel that. I feel compelled to scream as loud as I can at a football game to try and spur on my team to victory. Yet, in church, when my pastor instructs me to show God my praise and thanksgiving for what He’s done in my life, something holds me back. Something constrains my total volume of gratitude toward God.

Maybe it’s the age-old unwritten rule that I’m supposed to be quietly reserved, respectful and reverent in church that stops me. *shrug* Probably.

Let’s put it in perspective. Jesus Christ enduring the crucifying cross as payment for my sin is way more praise-worthy than a Titan scoring a touchdown. WAY MORE. The touchdown doesn’t eternally matter. Jesus’ sacrifice does.

Back in the day (as in when Jesus was alive) people really did clamor just to touch the hem of His garment. They knew they’d be healed if they touched Him. I wonder if most of the world has forgotten that time in history. I know things would be different if people started remembering how powerful God’s healing is.

As my last blog said, there’s a huge Bible illiteracy epidemic. If more people read the Bible and worked to understand it, they’d remember how heralded Jesus was. If Christians weren’t so irrelevant and actually lived their lives in relevant reverence of God, then people would see that only God should be worshiped. Biblical Christians know that God has healing power and they walk in that healing power. They administer His healing power. They testify to His healing power. That’s life changing. That’s eternal.

The football game is now over.  The undefeated Titans just lost. Now thousands of fans are upset with them. Now they are held in less reverence.

God never loses. He never makes mistakes. His will and timing are perfect. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are the undefeated Team. Hold Them in reverence. Worship Them. Do everything you can to encounter Them.

Don’t set your sights and desires on the idols of this world. They will only disappoint you.

It’s the most wonderful time to blog…

Although this blog has not been updated recently, many things have ocurred.  Perhaps that’s why the blog has been neglected.  Hmmm…maybe so.

Here’s a recap:

1. I got a job.  Albeit temporary.  It is still a job.  I work for a personnel service in their office.  I’m a Human Resources Assistant.  I do not know how long this job will last.  Could be a month.  Could be until December.  The wonderful thing is I can quit with a two day notice if another, more stable job comes up.

2. I am still pursuing work at the local college.  I just applied for another job the other day for the media department of the athletic program.  I am truly contending for that specific job in prayer.  It’s something I’m qualified for and something that excites me.

3. I bought a Trikke.  It’s a three-wheeled, human-powered, fun, fitness machine.  It’s comprable to a scooter/roller blades/bike/skiiing.  It’s rather hard to explain.  Here’s a link to a website where you can buy the Trikke if you are interested.  I am a Trikke affiliate.  If you order the Trikke from this site, be sure to use the Promotional Code 595.  It should already be loaded with that code, but if not, make sure it is.  Here’s the link: http://www.trikketampastore.com/595.html.  In the near future, I’ll post a video and/or pictures of me riding the Trikke on my YouTube and this blog.  But before I document me on my new ride, I must become more skilled at riding the Trikke.  It’s relatively easy to learn how to ride, but it still takes time to perfect my technique. 

4. My church satellite congregation is almost ready to launch into Sunday mornings.  Since April, we’ve been having church in the afternoon in another church’s building because we’re in the launching stage.  But, in October, we will be ready to start meeting on Sunday mornings.  It’s very exciting.  I’ve never taken part in a church plant before.  It’s thrilling, yet challenging stuff.  In October, we will meet in a movie theater because it’s a feasible option for this time.  I’ve also never gone to church in a movie theater.

5. I’ve been singing background vocals on the worship team since April.  Very soon, I’ll be trained in how to lead worship at Life Group (a small group Bible study).  After that, I’ll be trained further in leading worship on Sundays.  Exciting stuff in the realm of worship!

6. BarlowGirl’s brand new CD Home For Christmas comes out September 23rd. If/when you see it in stores, you should definitely buy it.  Why?  Because the CD is awesome and so is BarlowGirl.  But also because I am singing on the CD.  I am in the choir that sang on the CD.  So whenever you hear the choir, then you’re also hearing me.  It was such a pleasure and such a dream and desire come true to not only be able to sing on a CD but a BarlowGirl CD!  Woot!

7. I also sang on a live worship recording for my church.  It’s called The Alabaster Heart Project.  You can find information about ordering the CD at http://www.new-song.com.  I’m also in the choir on that CD.

I think that’s about it for now.  As I said, a lot has happened.  Hopefully I won’t be as delayed with my next posting.