Guest posting: My Quitter Story

Today I’m taking a break from worship and sharing a different story. I’m guest posting on Tammy Helfrich’s blog. I met Tammy at the second Quitter conference back in February, and reconnected with her a couple weeks ago at the third conference. Tammy is a wonderful friend and encourager, and I’m honored to be guest posting with her. Read the post here.

Quitter has had a huge influence on my life, encouraging me to quit living an average life and pursue some things I’m really passionate about. I’m thankful for a chance to share my story.

If you’re here from Tammy’s site, thanks for visiting. Here are some posts you might enjoy.

This is Why I Write

You Are

But I Don’t WANNA Be Thankful!

I’m guest posting… again!

It’s been a busy week but in a really good way. I have another guest post up, this time on Godly Writers. I’m pleased to say that I will be a contributing writer over at Godly Writers. I’m excited to be a part of the community over there. Check out my guest post here.

If you’re here from Godly Writers, thanks for stopping by. Here are some posts that you might enjoy.

This is Why I Write

I Wish the Church Would Just Shut Up

Why Just Music?

You Are

Trying to Get There

Guest posting: Creativity Icebreakers

Today I’m guest posting over at Jeremy Statton’s blog. Jeremy is a writer who encourages his readers to live a better story with their life. I’m honored to share a blog about breaking through creative blocks. Read the post here.

If you’re here from Jeremy’s blog, thanks for stopping by. Here are some posts you may enjoy.

Worshiping in the low points 

Let’s all praise the… Ooo! Shiny!

But I don’t WANNA be thankful!

I wish the church would just shut up 

When I feel like Cain

I’m guest posting today: Icky worship

Today I’m guest posting over at Leanne is an incredibly authentic writer who bares her soul with every post. I’m honored to guest post for her and share a little of my worship journey. Read the post here.

If you’re here from Leanne’s blog, thanks for stopping by. Here are some posts you may enjoy.

Worshiping in the low points 

Let’s all praise the… Ooo! Shiny!

But I don’t WANNA be thankful!

I wish the church would just shut up 

When I feel like Cain

A call to worship

This guest post comes from Scott Moore. Scott Moore is a coach, a writer, and a surf-a-billy guitarist. He blogs at This post is an excerpt from his free ebook.


Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

John 4:23

As I turn the key to unlock the door, I hear it – the scuttle of little feet in the room on the other side of the door. I open the door and step inside.


My children cheer and run at me like Dino greeting Fred Flintstone. They jump on me and claw their way over each other to get to be the first to hug me. It is the greatest feeling in the world. And it is the truest picture of worship that I have ever seen.

This is what worship should feel like. Little children run and jump into the loving arms of the One who loves them, provides for them, protects them, and cherishes them. The Giver of all good things, the Creator of the universe, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, the Alpha and Omega, our Father, Abba, Daddy. In the words of S. M. Lockeridge, “I wish I could describe Him to you…” (Do an internet search for “That‟s My King” for more of Pastor Lockeridge‟s incomparable description of Jesus – you will not be disappointed).

We were created to worship Someone. And we will worship either someone or something.

Be careful what you worship. What you worship you will serve.

 Chuck Swindoll

The man sits in the auditorium seat, comfortably listening to the Christian pop song being performed by this week‟s guest artist at the megachurch. It was a struggle to get the family to church this morning, as it is nearly every Sunday nowadays, it seems, but they made it. They missed the first two worship songs dropping the kids off in their Sunday School classrooms (Do they even call it Sunday School anymore?). The near Jumbotron-sized video screens show a close-up of the artist singing her song. She looks and sounds a lot like several of the artists that have been finalists on American Idol in recent years. The man‟s thoughts drift to the TV show for a moment as he is mesmerized by the giant monitor.

The pastor steps out onto the stage to preach. He‟s not really preaching though. This pastor is an ex-Hollywood actor, still has his own agent and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He half tells, half acts out a real “tug at your heartstrings” story, just like he did last week. He sure can reach an audience. As the man is driving home, anxiously anticipating the football game he‟ll be watching on his 48-inch plasma TV, he hears a still, small voice, “Scott.”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Could we spend some time together today? I miss the days when you would run and jump into my arms shouting, “Daddy!‟ I suppose you have grown up a bit since then – a Father likes to remember his children when they were young and He was their whole universe. Perhaps we could just talk? Maybe the whole family could join us. What do you say?”

Figuring it out

Time for another guest post. This one is by Larry Carter. Larry is a follower of Christ who will soon be married for 20 years and a dad for 18.  He likes to make people think about their faith and is a lifelong University of Tennessee fan. You can find his blog here or follow him on Twitter here.


Want to hear what I have to say about worship?

It took me a while to figure it out.

Scratch that.  I’m still figuring it out.  I just happen to be further down the road than I once was.

I used to think worship was something that happened on Sunday.  Between 11:00 and 11:30.  Before the preacher preached.

Somewhere along the way I began to believe it included the preaching too.

Then I realized that it included my Bible reading and prayer time.

Then I found myself worshipping while listening to Rich Mullins.

Then, gasp, U2.

Later, I found myself praying for those I work with.  I worshipped at work.

After years of simply cheering for my University of Tennessee Volunteers, I realized that I can worship Him in that as well.

Worship is not an event.  It’s not something to do.  It’s not something to turn off and on.

Worship  is a lifestyle.

There is a commercial that comes on every year before and during football season that describes, for University of Tennessee fans,  life as being Orange and White.

That’s what worship is to me.

Worship is life.  And life is worship.

Are you figuring it out?

Projection from the stage

Here’s another great guest post from Lisa Taylor. I’m thankful for her story and perception of worship as a worship leader. I also love what she and her husband are doing now. 

Lisa Taylor has been involved in worship teams – leading and background vocals – for nearly 30 years.  She and her husband are currently building a ministry to burned out pastors and their spouses and hope to have a retreat facility completed in the near future.  You can read more about it at, or follow them on Twitter @barnabashouseok.


I awoke to see my dashboard rushing toward me strangely bathed in green light.  Then pain – lots of it, for a long time.  Multiple broken ribs and thumb, sprained foot, lacerated liver, bruised spleen, critically low phosphorus and potassium.  In the midst of that no one noticed the concussion.

It took a few months for the noticeable injuries to heal, but the lingering migraines and violent nausea left me incapacitated for much longer.  In all that time I was unable to do one of the things I was created for – singing.  You see, singing requires deep breathing, which causes ribs to move.  Not a good idea.  For me, singing is the core of worship, and I couldn’t sit through a church service for a long time, much less stand on the stage.  This seriously hampered my worship.  Although I could tell myself that worship was more than music, the two were inextricably linked.  What did flourish in me was a critical spirit.

I think musicians are naturally self-critical.  By the time we reach adulthood we have been trained, graded, critiqued (in writing!), scored, auditioned, rejected, classified, segregated, and ranked.  We arrive on the worship stage with pretty strong feelings of the “right” and “wrong” way of doing things and where we stand on the talent scale.  So at its best, those that lead worship struggle to enter in themselves.  It is a constant balancing act of bringing our best gifts to the Lord and not letting it turn into a performance for an audience.  At its most toxic state it turns into an outward criticism.  We compare, compete, and project onto others the blame for our lack.  This isn’t exclusive to musicians, but from this side of the stage it seems to be much stronger.

Or maybe it’s just me.  When I catch myself (or let’s face it, when my kids tell me I am) being more critical than usual, that’s a pretty good sign I’ve got something else going on.  It’s time to step back and own something that’s happening inside.  Shut myself in with God and be honest.  I’m really good at lying to myself, denying, creating a diversion. Anything to avoid facing the ugly on the inside. I then become ugly on the outside.

Over a year and a half later, I still battle migraines, nausea, and add to that short-term memory loss and post-concussion ADD.  When I am onstage I have to hang on to a microphone stand because sometimes I forget, am caught up in worship, and close my eyes.  WHOA, spinny-head!  Not a good idea.  I have to have my words in front of me for songs I’ve sung for years.  I don’t know how long this will last, no one does.  But I have had some revelations about worship and myself.  I can’t say that I will never criticize others, myself, or lose sight of what worship really is.  I will say I’ve had to let go of a lot of things since the crash.  And that’s no accident.

Simplicity of Worship

I’ve decided to take a couple weeks off from blogging in an effort to rest and heal. I’ve had some wonderful people offer to guest post for me. This one comes from Pilar Arsenec.

Pilar Arsenec is a legal secretary by day and a writer by night. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writingsinging and cooking. You can find her at her blog, Ordinary Servant

I must admit, I’m into music.

I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember.  Music was the drug of choice.

I continue to connect in a deep way with music. I can’t imagine this world without it.

Music is the language of the universe. It transcends barriers and is understood by every nation, tribe and tongue.

Music does not discriminate and neither does worship.

Lately, I’ve been learning that music and worship don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

I’m the type of worshipper who craves the “right” music. During my quiet times, you will find me going through my ITouch looking for the “perfect” song to help me enter in.

I find myself caught trying to recreate what I’ve experienced before, but to no avail.

I walk around my apartment trying to muster up the ‘feeling’ of worship.  But, nothing happens.

However, the flip side to this is, I can be walking down the street when suddenly, out of nowhere, I get this overwhelming urge to worship.

How is this possible with no ITouch, band or choir; just me and a noisy, crowded sidewalk during rush hour?

The reason is He’s trying to have me understand that I don’t need the perfect song, music or anything to worship Him.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:24

He doesn’t need whistles or bells.

He only wants an open and willing heart.

He longs to meet us where we are at.

There’s no special invitation or location needed.

He doesn’t care about rote or ritual either.

He only wants us to come as we are.

It’s that easy.

Worship is that simple.


Redefining what worship is

This is a guest post by Jim Woods. He is a writer, dreamer, coach and chocolate chip cookie addict. You can read more of his posts at his blog here or find him on Twitter. I highly recommend checking out his writing!

If you’d be interested in writing a guest post, I would love to share your story. Please keep submissions under 500 words, and make sure it is related to worship, musical or otherwise. Send me your submission via the contact page.


For many, worship is Christian music and there is no difference between the two. It’s like the terms “tissue” and “Kleenex.” Call it whatever you’d like — but I must admit I’m not a fan of the majority of Christian music. I am quick to tune out anything that feels fake or preconceived. Most of Christian music feels that way to me.

I don’t like a lot of Christian music. Can I still worship?

Sometimes I’ll get more out of a U2 song than a 40-minute long sermon. I might bask in God’s glory while listening to a song that 99% of the planet might not even consider a worship song.

But what about those times that you are just not feeling music as a form of worship? Sometimes, my body fights me. The music isn’t landing on my ears. I hear the notes, but nothing sticks.

My heart is not engaged.

About a year ago, someone made a painting during the message at church. I thought it a little odd at first as my brain initially told me, “That’s not worship.” By the end of the sermon, the artist had a beautiful painting completely inspired by the message. I now realize my initial response was completely wrong.

True worship is giving glory back to our Creator.

Worship is using our talents and abilities, whatever they are.

If you are a painter, you paint.

If you are a singer, you sing.

If you are an accountant, you crunch numbers.

If you are a writer, you write.

With this thought in mind, I started coming to church with pen and paper in hand. I take notes from the message, but also let God guide me where He wants me to go as a writer.

Some might not view writing as worship. And that’s alright. Worship is not about what others think; it is about God.

Worship is using what God has given us for HIS glory, not ours.

I challenge you to rethink how you view worship.


How can you use the gifts you’ve been given for God’s glory?


Guest post on

It’s been a busy week. I have another guest post up. This one is on my friend Jim Wood’s blog. I met Jim through the comment section of and then met him face to face at the Quitter Conference in February. Jim is a fellow musician, writer, and a major encourager. Jim wrote a guest post for Rebooting Worship about awkward icebreaker songs. You should read it if you haven’t already.

Many thanks to Jim for the chance to guest post!