Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's a little bit funny?

I had a melt down in Sunday service.

All our New England sisterhood of churches got together for an incredible weekend conference to inspire us in our personal service to the Lord. I've been feeling a call to serve more - not really in church, but in general. The lessons were pointed, practical and inspirational. I had an opportunity to help with the kids and learn some new songs to take back to the home church kids. Mr. Right and I partied with the singles. I loved crashing their gathering and showing off my dance mooooves!

We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, and walked across the street. Sunday worship started right on time, at 11am. No worries - ready to worship.

Suddenly, the beautiful worship songs started to make me furious.

Now, I have had a struggle with song-leading for the last 5 years. I have some talent and no lack of joy for being the center of attention. I am a maniac for karaoke, and I dance like a fool for any beat. I love the fellowship at practice and sing my heart out - and even in the congregation I sing so loud people in front of me turn expecting me to be 6 feet tall. But if I stand before the church to lead in worship, I go mute. I keep telling the worship leaders its not my calling, and I get rebuked for not sharing my talent. I hate being told to smile. I hate being told how to dress. I hate being told that my singing is to encourage the church and I should always sing encouraging songs. Poppycock! None of that matters. If it's not 100% for God, I can't do it. It's like God hits the mute button - I physically cannot do it. I've even fainted once when I tried to force it.

But the songs themselves have never made me angry.

With several congregations gathered, many of the songs were unfamiliar, so the words were printed on a sheet.

Refrain from the third song:

"More love, more power
More of You in my life..."

I got nauseous. WHAT? Did He not give us EVERYTHING? Why are we singing these words? And we kept singing it over and over and over and over. I asked my husband to please stop singing. He could tell I was severely distressed, but had no clue. He told me to sit and put my head between my legs until it passed.

After it was over, and I lifted my head, I looked on the sheet at the next song. "I...I...I..." "me...me...me..." I started circling each of those words in the song. My husband frowned at me.

Then another song exclaimed, "You alone are worthy!" I wanted to shout, "Who am I to say that only God is worthy of my praise? I am the lowest of sinners - all are worthier than I!"

The rest of the songs were bearable, but the distress remained. I had to get up and move. I bolted out of the convention hall and ran a lap around the block, praying. I returned feeling a little better - but knowing I am getting a little worn by the worship "experience."

photo by: Mary Ann Morgan


Sanctification said...

Missy, I'm catchin' the groove of your post! I love to dance too. I like to sing but I couldn't share it like I think you can. I understand your thought about doing it as official. It's hard to connect inspiration and routine.

I really like that worship song, but I never thought about your point before. "More" love power, and God in our life? Hmm. Neat.


Sanctification said...

By the way, I wanted to mention how humble you are to include a sometimes nasty-mooded ex-member of your church on your blogroll... You're pretty awesome taffy.

:) Michele

Kansas Bob said...

I think that I get what you are saying. What are some of your favorite worship songs?

Another Voice said...

Thanks for understanding, Michele. This was the first time I had heard that particular song, and I guess it's not so bad really to ask God to fill you. But with power? That was the first to unsettle me.

Ha! I guessed I've been stretched like taffy. :)

BTW, you never seemed nasty-mooded, and I think your concerns were/are founded.

You're a pretty awesome taffy puller!

Another Voice said...

Bob! You are brilliant!

You totally pulled me out of it. I've just spent the last hour singing. I'm driving my kids crazy - and I like that role reversal. :)

I guess I am not really a big fan of the more contemporary worship songs. They seem to often praise the experience of worship more than God. They go for the mob mentality melodious chant.

I love testimonial songs like "Love Lifted Me," "Victory in Jesus," and "Amazing Grace." Songs of encouragement, like "Standing on the Promises," "I Am Resolved," "What A Fellowship" and "I'll Fly Away."

A favorite songs is one written by a church member based on Psalm 46:7-11 called "Be Still and Know I Am God" and another is "I Hear God Singing to Me" with a section in Swahili!

There's many, many more.

Kansas Bob said...

This is so insightful av..

"praise the experience of worship"

..good to remember that it is not about the style of worship.. just making that divine heart connection.

Royce Ogle said...

If a song was written after 1930 it is too modern for my taste. I really like the ones written before the 1900's and bace a few centuries. I like them chock full of great theology. I'll take them any day over the mushy, touchy feely stuff that dominates in our churches today.

Thanks for the post.


Milly said...

I like the song More Love More Power. Michael W. Smith brings it and brings it well. I’ve listened to it many times when I just needed to breathe in God.

I also viewed the song You Alone Are Worthy and it seems ok. I think we may sing this in church but was unable to pull it up in the data base that I have, so I’m listening to it. I’ve heard worse.

I do agree that there are several songs out there that are a bit I I I and Mee Meeeee. I get to type some of those and I get to view and sing them at home when putting the slides together. I’ve been known to read a song and think REALLY!!!!

I don’t have the gift for singing at all so I’m quiet. Good for you to add to the singing in your way. I would have no problem singing in front of a crowd as long as they don’t have fruit to throw at me. Talk about your bleeding ears.

I once told a friend who can sing well that I was hoping in Heaven I will have that gift. She smiled and said what if she will have the gift to appreciate the beautiful song from my singing. I think that Heaven will be a wonderful sound. We’ll know “When We All Get To Heaven”

I also think that going for some air was the thing to do. I’ve walked out of a church because of what the minister said. Sitting in a pew thinking God make it stop is the wrong thing to do at that moment. Walking and talking to God is a better way to go.

I can't leave when I'm in the booth. I'm trapped I tell you trapped! Honestly think about needed breaks for us in the booth. It's run Milly run! *-*

Thank you for making me to want to listen to some good stuff today.

God bless you.

Rose~ said...

I'm feeling you, I'm feeling you!
I do the same thing as you!
I way over-analyze these things during church services. I like the same kind of songs that you and Royce mention. They seem to keep my mind busy thinking about the awesomeness of God and not the empty-headedness of singing the song. Sorry if that is too frank.

mibman said...

I've often read but never commented. You're funny. Sharp, thoughtful, coherent -- I mean funny, in your direct assaults. You couldn't refrain from an address without probable combustion. :-) I appreciate this; you were made this way, for a reason.

I'm also, wondering if you're an Elton John fan, as you entitled one post re your bro "Daniel, My Bro" ... & this post [title] instantly, had me singing "Your Song".

The Church [people] cultivates a plastic / shallow approach to most everything. Grace ... we need God's grace when seeing this plasticity & speaking to it. It can be hard (in every respect) to be in the presence of spiritual goofiness & not start throwing things. It may even be, that sometimes this is the very thing to do.

Until then ... we need His grace ... & ... "more love, more power ... more ..." -- c'mon, that's funny! :-) td

Another Voice said...

Royce - welcome! I tend to agree - but not quite so dogmatically. There's some great modern worship songs, but I just can't think of any at the moment. :)

Another Voice said...

Milly, I'm not sure if those were the songs, I just remember the words.

Poor Milly in the booth! I can imagine it can be hard to sit still sometimes when stirred.

Another Voice said...

Rose, I'm glad I am not alone. Do I seem un-franky? :)

Another Voice said...

Mibman (it's Tim, right? - I read yours, too!), I'm not sure what you mean? I haven't [knowingly] assaulted anyone in at least 7 years. :) Yes, I am combustible. But I have learned how to turn the pressure valve on occasion to let off the steam.

I am a huge EJ fan. Remember those 70 & 80's DJ's that recorded fake interviews and stories using snippets from albums? That's how I think, mostly in snippets of EJ, Meatloaf, ABBA and such. You might have missed this post.

Milly said...

When I first started going through the beginning divorce emotions I was in the booth. I felt tears at times but the man who also works up there was awesome. He tells be oblivious to it but he kept me going and working.

We have to plan potty breaks just right and think before we drink. I have permission to run in church. I know the best routes.

Another Voice said...

Milly, I've never asked for permission to run in church. Maybe I should - you know, be prepared and respectful. :)

mibman said...

yep ... or as they say, in TX ... yep; I'm Tim. Nice to finally meet you, Missy. I'm a transplant, also. Army took me from TX.

Interesting mix - EJ, Meatloaf, ABBA - must be the vocal appeal. I tried to craft some clever "Bat Out Across The Water-Loo" ... but obviously fell short.

You seem to breath in the prophetic / evangelism kinds of "things" of God. Not saying ... just seems to be in your spiritual blood & makeup. If so you are destined to "get" things others often won't (& thus, experience frustration)... be compelled to speak to / address / stand against,for,w/ what others often want (& thus, experience frustration)... have high demands of / for the substantial (& thus, experience frustration) ... be a communicator in [typically] many forms ... be fairly intense ... expressive ... animated ...

Then again ... probably not anything like you, eh? :-) tim

karen said...

Tim says..."have high demands of / for the substantial (& thus, experience frustration) ... be a communicator in [typically] many forms ... be fairly intense ... expressive ... animated ..."

Yep, I think that's our missy. She rocks.
I understand your post, I think, missy...I guess I've never taken that song that way.

"More love, more power, more of You in my life....and I will worship You with all of my heart...and I will worship You will all of my strength"...and so on or something like that.
I see that as a conviction that I haven't let Him in completely, that He is not the center of my life and I need to take in more of Him...not that He needs to give more. He's already there; the Everything.
The weakness is in me.
If I don't let Him be more in me, then I am a poor representation of Him to others--which is a very important thing to be.
I totally understand the anger thing. It took me a few minutes to get out of the car to go in to visit a new church in the neighborhood.
My anger could fill a blog post to the top.