THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: WORSHIP

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’ll be learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns will post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties. But rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

Worship: expressing in words, music, rituals, and silent adoration the greatness, beauty, and goodness of God, by means of which we enter the supernatural reality of the glory of God.” ~ The Life With God Bible

The Spiritual Discipline of Worship is a vital habit to our personal spiritual growth and our relationship with God. It is so important that Jesus makes it his first commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.~ Mark 12:30

We worship God for Who He is and for what He has done. For every type of person there are as many individual ways of worshiping God.

Worship involves our whole being. As we present ourselves in worship it’s important that our posture be consistent with our inner spirit.

In a humble spirit of adoration we quietly kneel before the Father.

In a spirit of praise we dance with joy and thanksgiving to God.

In honor of God’s greatness and majesty we can lie prostrate on the floor or we can rejoice in fellowship with singing for God’s goodness.

Worship music for anyone is available. To go with the different types of worship experiences we have a plethora of worship music available to us today. Personally, worship music is my favorite music to listen to on a regular basis. It fills my spirit and prepares me to meet my work day.

Some helpful steps for worship:

        1. Seek God’s Presence Daily.
        2. Develop a holy dependency on God.
        3. Try different types of worship experiences.
        4. Prepare your heart  in advance for corporate worship.
        5. Worship even when you don’t feel like it.
        6. During worship let the distractions roll off.

Worship isn’t for the faint of heart. But for the obedient it strengthens our relationship with God and prepares us to face whatever comes our way. It builds us up and propels us through this exciting life in the Spirit.

“If we long to go where God is going, and do what God is doing, we will move into deeper, more authentic worship.”  ~ Richard Foster

Lift up your voice to God in worship with this beautiful new favorite song of mine performed by Kanye’s Sunday Service Choir.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: HALLOWED NAME

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray, giving them not just a prayer to recite, but also a model prayer for us all. This series will be published the first Friday of each month in 2020. We will be studying this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bringing fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

 

“HALLOWED BE THY NAME”

hallowed: consecrated to a sacred use; reverenced

holy: perfectly pure and immaculate

In the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definitions above you can see the word “hallowed” in our phrase for this week speaks to the holiness of the Father’s name.  Jesus is teaching us that at the very beginning of our prayer we need to remember who we are addressing. We aren’t talking to just anyone.

Honoring God’s Name.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. ~ Exodus 20:7

The use of God’s name is so important it made God’s top ten list: The Ten Commandments. God’s name isn’t to be used lightly or thrown about casually. God’s name is to be set apart from all others, respected and reverenced.

Walking Examples of God’s Name.

As Christians our lives are to be set apart from the rest of the world. Because we are Christians, people expect us to live differently, especially if they knew us before we became Christians. We now have Jesus’ name linked with ours. Life isn’t just about us anymore.

Be holy as God is holy. ~ 1 Peter 1:16

In the Scripture above Peter challenges us with a humanly impossible task: to be holy as God is holy. Our behaviors may not always match up. But by accepting Christ as our savior, through Jesus we can be holy because he is holy.

Called To Holy Living.

 As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. ~ 1 Peter 1:14-15

We must honor and respect, the holiness of God’s name by the way we live. Somedays it’s hard especially if we’re trying to do it in our own strength. But because the Holy Spirit lives in us He can guide us and our desires,

As we live in reverential fear of the Lord, surrender our lives daily, read His Word regularly for direction, our lives become a walking testimony that blesses the Lord’s Hallowed Name and brings Him glory and honor.

Take a few minutes to worship God with Matt Redman’s beautiful video.

MUSIC REVIEW :: JESUS IS BORN by SUNDAY SERVICE CHOIR

 

 

JESUS IS BORN

by the

SUNDAY SERVICE CHOIR

 

 

 

 

One of the best things to happen in 2019 was that Kanye West rededicated his life, and now all his music, to Jesus Christ. Early in January, he formed a choir/band called the Sunday Service Collective under the direction of the amazingly anointed Jason White. Which includes a group of extremely talented musicians and singers from all walks of life. I’m sure none of them expected the gig to last for more than a few weeks.

Now more than a year later they’ve been singing together every Sunday all across America in small churches and large alike. From exclusive indoor venues like The Forum in Los Angeles to outdoor venues in Salt Lake City, Jamaica, and Baton Rouge. In the fall between every Sunday service, Kanye and the Sunday Service Collective produced two Christian operas: Nebuchadnezzar and Mary. And if that wasn’t enough Kanye and his phenomenal group of artists released two truly remarkable albums: Jesus Is King and Jesus Is Born.

Jesus Is King, Kanye West’s ninth studio album and first gospel album release, not only debuted at number 1 on the charts, but every track landed on the Billboard Top 100 within days of release!

The  Sunday Service choir performed on the first song. Kanye and other featured artists rounded out the 11 track set. My personal favorites on this album are: God Is and Water. To some this album was a disappointment considering Kanye’s musical reputation and past successes. But for me, I think we should give him grace and room to grow in his new life and creative ventures as the avant-garde Christian artist/innovator/designer that he is.

Jesus Is Born Releases Christmas Day 2019!

As promised, by Kanye West, executive producer, the Sunday Service Choir debuted their first album Jesus Is Born on Christmas Day 2019. Exceptional in today’s music market, the album has 19 tracks with a playing time of almost 75 minutes. The album is a collection of some of the most powerful praise songs and life-changing worship music available today. It features beautifully performed traditional gospel and praise music, sprinkled with covers of a some secular songs reworked for Jesus, including some of Kanye’s previously released songs.

Jason White ministers to the choir, who minister to the listeners… drawing our hearts and souls into every song.

Jesus Is Born features Choir Director Jason White’s beautiful voice heard on almost every song as he directs the choir’s incredibly precise harmony, the powerful lead vocalists, the amazingly talented musicians playing a wide range or instruments: organ, piano, guitars, an assortment of percussion, horns, and more. This band and choir could hold their own with the finest R&B or jazz groups today!

A worship experience with inspirational versions of soulful bluesy songs.

Kanye and the Sunday Service Choir are single-handedly reviving traditional gospel choir music but with a new twist. They’re sharing the message of Jesus Christ in nontraditional ways with a fresh style. And most importantly they are reaching an enormous audience the church wouldn’t normally be able to reach.

The music is worshipful, sweet and tender, uplifting and energizing.

I’ve been listening to the Jesus Is Born album almost daily since its release on Christmas Day. I can’t get enough of it!  This is more than just a praise album. God’s Presence is palpable. The Holy Spirit anointing is powerful.

It’s tough to choose favorite songs on this album because there’s so much incredible music presented. My top 5 in album order are:

        1. Revelations 19:1
        2. Rain
        3. Follow Me-Faith
        4. That’s How The Good Lord Works
        5. Total Praise

Be blessed by the amazing music on Jesus Is Born with the link below. You won’t be able to sit still and silent while listening to it! Enjoy!

  YouTube Playlist Here:  Jesus Is Born Album • Sunday Service Choir                        

Listen to Spotify samples of  Jesus Is Born below:

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: INTRODUCTION

At RHW we publish a new column each Friday. We’re going through four specific studies with each series being published on a designated week of the month.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

You may recall from my book review of The Red Sea Rules in November 2019 that I’ve been reading this lovely book as a weekend devotion. It never fails to be spot on to certain situations I’m going through now. As I was praying about what to publish in 2020 on RHW, I thought what a great study this would be to do together with you.

Over the next 12 months we’re going on an Exodus excursion with Moses and the children of Israel. With the guidance of Robert J. Morgan and his excellent book The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times we will learn valuable life lessons that will help us overcome whatever struggles we experience today.

“Just as Moses and the Israelites found themselves caught between ‘the devil and the deep Red Sea,’ so are we sometimes overwhelmed by life’s problems. The Red Sea Rules reveals that even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations God promises to make a way for us. His loving guidance will protect us through danger, illness, marital strife, financial problems or whatever challenges Satan places in our path.” (from book cover)

Our first Red Sea Rule Study will be published on February 28. Thereafter you can expect a new column in this series on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020. December will be a wrap-up of what we’ve learned throughout the year.

I’m really looking forward to studying this series with you. The reading and research I’ve been doing thus far is fascinating. I’m learning so many things regarding the Exodus and application to our modern lives and spiritual growth. I hope you will join me for the journey. You’ll be glad you did!

Take a few minutes to remember how God has miraculously split the sea and rescued you in the past with this inspirational song by Hanna Kerr.

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THE NEW LIFE :: HEAVEN’S PRIORITIES

At RHW we publish a new column each Friday. We’re going through four specific studies with each series being published on a designated week of the month.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world application.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. ~ Colossians 1:1 (NLT)

 

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ,…

In our first verse Paul is encouraging believers to realize that Jesus wasn’t the only one who was raised from the dead. As believers in Jesus Christ we’ve all been raised to a new life with Christ. From God’s perspective every believer– past, present or future –is considered raised with Christ. Because we’ve been resurrected out of our walking-dead state we can live new lives of freedom with God in Christ.

…set your sights on the realities of heaven,…

Paul goes on to tell us that because we’ve been raised from the dead with Christ our focus should not be on earthly things. Setting our hearts and minds on the realities of heaven we’ll strive to walk out these priorities in daily life. As we begin to see life from heaven’s point of view we’ll naturally pursue a deeper knowledge of Christ and everything that’s involved in living for Him and with Him.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” ~ Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

…where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

One of the most important heavenly realities we must see, truly foundational to our new life, is that we must recognize that Jesus Christ is seated next to His Father in heaven. In this place of honor and authority Jesus makes intercession for us to the Father. Unless we recognize the truth of Christ’s authority in heaven and on earth, He won’t have a place of authority in our lives either.

To develop our new life and actively pursue heaven’s priorities requires discipline. Here are some key disciplines to apply to your life:

      • * Discipline your heart by memorizing Scripture.

        * Discipline your mind by rejecting anything not from God.

        * Discipline your relationships with healthy fellowship.

What does this new life look like? How are we supposed to live? Check back on the third Friday next month as we continue our study of Colossians 3 and The New Life.

Let’s enthrone King Jesus with our highest praises singing this powerful song by Jeremy Riddle and Bethel Music.

 

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SUBMISSION

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties. But rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’ll be learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns will post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: habits that nurture spiritual growth. 

SUBMISSION : aligning my will and freedom with God’s will and freedom; submitting to others in love and reverence for Christ.

“Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and He will honor you.” ~ James 4:10

“Place yourselves under each other’s authority out of respect for Christ.” ~ Ephesians 5:21

 

The Spiritual Discipline of Submission in the truest sense is humbling ourselves, actually lowering ourselves beneath the power and authority of Jesus Christ as our Lord, King and Master. By doing so we’re making ourselves subjects in His Kingdom; allowing ourselves to be ruled by His wisdom, not our own.

The potential for power and leadership in our personal lives is grown and developed in the classroom of the disciplines. While submission plays a part in our relationships with others, we won’t know how to truly submit to any authority figure, or show respect to people in general, unless we’re able to submit our heart and souls to God Almighty.

“Fear God or fear everything else.” ~ Kanye West

Unless and until we submit to God’s authority over our lives we’ll be vacillating between seeking the world’s approval or fearing the world’s rejection in some form or other. But as we humble ourselves, and live our life for the audience of One, He will honor our efforts and give us true success beyond what we have asked for or expect.

Take a few minutes to contemplate the Spiritual Discipline of Submission with this beautiful worship video from Hillsong Worship.  If you haven’t done so, consider aligning your will with God’s will now, giving Him full reign of your heart and life. There will never be a better time than today.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: OUR FATHER

At RHW we publish new columns each Friday. We’re going through four specific studies with each study series published on its own designated week of the month.

The Lord’s Prayer series will be published on the first Friday of each month in 2020. We will be studying this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and learning fresh ways to apply it to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

 

This beloved prayer, traditionally called The Lord’s Prayer or The Our Father, is taken directly from Scripture and spoken by Jesus to His disciples. The first account is in Matthew chapter 6 (quoted above) during Jesus’ most famous teaching, The Sermon on the Mount, where He is teaching a detailed lesson on how citizens of the kingdom are supposed to live.

The second reference of The Lord’s Prayer is in Luke 11: 1-13 where the disciples are asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. No doubt they had witnessed Jesus often retreating in prayerful solitary time with His Father and wanted to learn how to do that themselves. Jesus then sweetly teaches the disciples this beloved prayer that the many of us have held onto through rough days and long nights.

The Our Father prayer begins where we must start… recognizing and honoring our heavenly Father.

For some, seeing God as a father is painful and difficult because our earthly father may have let us down in some way, maybe even harmed us.

Father God isn’t a man who is untrustworthy. As our best Father, God provides, nurtures, protects, comforts, heals, guides, encourages, trains and corrects us… all for our good.

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:18 

God has spent thousands of years trying to show humanity how much He loves us. Is He reaching out to you today?

Take a few minutes to contemplate the love of your Heavenly Father with this beautiful rendition of the Our Father by Hillsong Worship.

RHW 2020!

Happy New Year Friends!

I’m excited to give you an overview of the upcoming weekly Reaching Hurting Women columns for 2020.  We’ll be continuing our magazine format with a different topic each Friday of the month as follows:

1st Friday: The Lord’s Prayer 

The first Friday of each month we will be studying The Lord’s Prayer. We’re breaking down this beloved prayer one phrase at a time and applying it to our life today.

2nd Friday: The Spiritual Disciplines 

On the second Friday of each month we’ll be studying The Spiritual Disciplines. We will be learning about and putting into practice twelve of may favorite spiritual disciplines.

3rd Friday: Colossians 3 

This particular section of Scripture is my favorite chapter in the Bible. It has so much richness that can provide transformation for anyone’s life. On the third Friday of the month we’ll break it down by sections to find fresh application for us all.

4th Friday: The Red Sea Rules Study 

In November of 2019 I reviewed a wonderful book that I’ve been reading over the last several months during my weekend devotion times. For the fourth Friday each month we will learn how the God who led us in will also lead us out. 

5th Friday: Music Reviews 

This year the months of January, May, July and October each have five Fridays. I’m excited to branch out with a new format and bring you reviews on music that has been especially important and touching in my life. 

I’m looking forward to a wonderful year of study and writing. I hope you will join me and bring along a friend when you can.

May the grace and peace of Christ be with you in this coming year and always…

Tamara

WALKING IN TRANSPARENT GOODNESS

In observance of my Benedictine Monastic practices, on the last Friday of each month in 2019 we’re walking Saint Benedict’s 12 Steps of Humility. With each step we come closer to our spiritual transformation and the perfect love of God.

The twelfth step of humility calls us to always manifest humility to those around us.  ~ The Rule of Benedict

I am bowed down and humbled in every way. ~ Psalm 38:6

Each of the 12 Steps of Humility progressively build on the next, creating a strong foundation on which we can stand for years to come.

With each step we grow closer to God’s perfect love that casts out all fear. As we walk humbly before others we reflect a life that has been radically transformed by Christ.

Let’s review the journey we’ve taken this year. Each of the paragraph titles are hyperlinked to the corresponding columns in this series.

 

Recognized God’s Presence: Fear of the Lord This is a foundational step for the rest. Here we learned to have a proper reverential fear of the Lord, keeping our self in proper perspective, while knowing that God is present with us at all times.

Accepting God’s Will: Turn from Willfulness  Our life is to be modeled after Jesus. He did nothing and spoke nothing that wasn’t from his Father in Heaven. This is where our heart and mind need to be: To think like Jesus thought and to be one with our Father’s will.  That will come as we continue to stay in God’s Word and in His Presence. Only then can we hope to turn from the stubborn willfulness that plagues our humanity and live God’s best life.

Accepting Spiritual Direction: Obedience   An obedient, humble heart increases our openness to receiving directions in our daily life. This applies to our relationships with a supervisor, teacher or parent. But before we can express our obedience by complying with a command, we must first listen. Most importantly we must listen to our Heavenly Father who will in turn help us obey our earthly authority figures.

Persevering: Quietly Embracing Patience  Benedict links obedience with patience  and perseverance. When facing difficult situations most of us don’t embrace the suffering quietly or without weakening. Jesus encourages us no matter what we’re experiencing, if we will endure, if we are faithful to the end, we will experience deliverance in this lifetime and certainly in the next.

Acknowledging Our Faults: Radical Self-Honesty  Saint Benedict teaches that the path to humility requires pure honesty. Humility calls us to truthfully bring to light whatever is hidden deep in our heart. These may be things that we’re even in denial to ourselves about. Often answers and even healing come as we’re sharing with our trusted friend or counselor.

Living Simply: Contentment   A humble heart is fixed on God so much that the changing external circumstances of life don’t affect our mood. Our realities don’t dominate our state of mind or spirit. We submit our desires to God’s will in our life for today knowing He has good planned to come from it all.

Honest About Yourself: Be Mindful of Your Limitations  In recognizing our personal limitations we find the first secret to victory. If we can humble ourselves and admit our human weaknesses, see our need for help from God and others, we’re on the right path. Scripture teaches us, God’s power works best through those who know their limitations and who turn their weaknesses over to Him.

Being Teachable: Be Moldable  Being moldable and teachable isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of strength, faith and trust. Our challenge is to make sure the person who is molding us is following God’s direction and Biblical values.

Listening to Others: Restrain Speech When we’re trying to communicate with someone, we expect them to have proper manners, to restrain their speech, give us their eyes and listen. God isn’t any different. He wants our undivided attention when He’s trying to speak to us.

Speak Kindly: Avoid Idle Laughter  Just like God’s kindness leads us to repentance, so too our kindness toward others can lead them to God. Let’s cultivate an atmosphere around us that invites others to Christ with our words and behavior. Words that harm others are not funny. Humor is about seeing the lighter side of life. It should be used to lift people out of troubles not beat them down into them.

Accepting Others As They Are: Speak Modestly  Here Benedict describes the appropriate way that we should converse with others. We’re to be generous and sincere in our listening. Then when it’s our time to speak we are to brief and gentle with our words, not loud or boisterous.

There’s no arguing that Saint Benedict’s 12 Steps of Humility are a tall list of expectations for us to live up to. They certainly are demands that one couldn’t possible attain without consistent help from God.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit graciously gifts us with the strength and abilities we need to press into His Presence and begin the transformation process. Only then can we even begin to live a transparent life that reflects the goodness of God daily.

Let’s end this series, this year and this decade contemplating the infinite Goodness of God with this lovely music video by Bethel Music. I pray God’s many blessings will chase you down this new year ahead.

THE ETERNAL UNSEEN

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’ve been studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. For many challenging years this section of Scripture continues to be a consistent source of faith and comfort for me.

For the final column in this series I’ve broken from my traditional format by inserting several instrumental music videos to accent the message and to help us contemplate the eternal things of God. The videos are from Bethel Music’s most recent instrumental album: Genesis. These songs beautifully represent God’s creation in a musical video art form. I hope you enjoy it! Blessings…

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”

Everything we experience in life benefits us in some way in the eternal scheme of things. As we keep a grateful attitude our life becomes a light to show others God’s grace and love. When those around us see the goodness of God, thanksgiving and praise will bring God the glory He deserves.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

Even though our outer body slowly decays in this earthly atmosphere with age or sickness we can trust that our inner spirit is growing stronger and stronger each day to God’s glory.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

The troubles of this present moment are fleeting but they serve a purpose. They are preparing us for the glory which is to come in Heaven with God.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:15-18

As we press through our challenges, trials or sickness, we must be determined to keep our eyes not on the things of this world, but rather on the unseen eternal things of God. That is where our Living Hope comes from…