Singing my least favorite Worship Song

God's Sandbox

This Sunday, we sang my least favorite worship song in church. I wasn’t leading the worship set, so I didn’t choose the song. In fact, my husband –the Pastor– chose the song. He acts like he runs the church or something. He gets to do that ‘choosing songs’ ¬†thing every now and then, since he’s the Pastor and all. ūüėČ

When Adam told me he had asked Dean¬†to include this song in the set, I rolled my eyes.¬†Adam smiled¬†at me,¬†“I know you don’t care for¬†this song very much, but¬†it¬†fits¬†really well with our ‘Serve Sunday’ service.”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this worship song. It glorifies God. It sings of His Truth. It has a nice melody and sound… but it has always¬†been one of my least favorite worship songs. I would still engage in worship when we sang it, but I would only choose¬†this song¬†if¬†Adam asked me to add it into a set.

So, I’m a worship leader who doesn’t like a worship song? …Shouldn’t I like all worship songs? …Shouldn’t I be able to lead any worship song, if it speaks truth and brings glory to God? …Shouldn’t I be able to worship without an attitude, regardless of the song we’re singing? Yes. I should.

But I’m weird. I know. So I pick and choose preferred worship songs. I would guess, most¬†worship leaders do.

And then Dean asked me to lead the chorus of the song.

WHAT?! I think¬†God was laughing at me….. ūüėČ

But God… He’s so funny.

When we began the worship set, my heart changed. As we¬†entered into “God of this City”, the Holy Spirit breathed new life on this song for me. I cried in response to His¬†mercy and kindness. I looked into the congregation and my eight year old son was worshipping, hands raised, fully engaged. My heart swelled with joy.¬†As we left church, Salem exclaimed, “I loved that song we sang, Mom!”

Since Sunday, I have cried every time I have heard this song. God changed my heart and now, this is one of my favorite worship songs. He is God of this City and Greater things have yet to come!

Do you have a difficult time worshipping to certain songs? What worship songs do you prefer? Have you ever experienced a change in your worship song preferences? Please share your experiences… our stories are only half written…¬†In Him, Leslie

screaming on the way to church

screaming on the way to church is perfectly acceptable.

this is me — screaming on the way to church. i reenacted it for you to capture this lovely image… you get the picture. (photo cred: my hubby ūüėČ )

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i woke up to a beautiful day. had some coffee. had some eggs. had plenty of time to get myself ready….. and as i was heading out the door to leave for church, i became super agitated and angry. i was running a few minutes late, which is not unusual¬†always for me. but… this was not about me running late. this was not about me being on my period. this was not about anything anyone did that¬†pissed me off. the frustration that came over me was sudden and ugly. i didn’t want help loading my guitar. i didn’t want to hug my kids good-bye. i didn’t want to kiss Adam good-bye. i wanted to scream.¬†

i rushed out of our driveway. gave a fake smile and fake wave to our next door neighbor — during our ‘love your neighbor’ sermon series, nonetheless. and screamed¬†on the way to church.

as¬†i was driving (and screaming), i was battling. i was battling lies infiltrating¬†my thoughts telling me i’m a terrible¬†mother for leaving the house in a huff and not hugging the kids good-bye. i’m a terrible wife for not kissing adam good-bye. i’m too angry to lead worship today. i’m too angry to be in church leadership. i’m too angry to even be a Christian.

Oh. WHAT. THE. HELL?!? these thoughts¬†lies were from the pit of hell. from the father of all lies — satan himself.

on the way to church my mind was a battle field. i was pushing into enemy territory.¬†i was on my way to lead worship — to lift up the name of Jesus above all other names, ¬†proclaim Him as the Son of God and sing of His glory and Lordship over all the earth!

before long, the screams flowed into prayers. the lies ceased and Truth pierced thru — taking my thoughts captive.

every time we worship, we are engaging in spiritual warfare. we are participating in an unseen battle¬†and we need real protection. we need the armor of God.¬†i don’t recommend screaming every Sunday on the way to church, but there will be times to¬†use your tongue as a spiritual defense weapon.

as i screamed on the way to church, warfare was waged. my¬†tongue was on fire and it wasn’t pretty — battle never is. it is messy when we follow Jesus. my worship on Sunday was an overflow of the battle i had just been part of. my worship became warfare and celebration simultaneously, as the light of Jesus broke thru the darkness and the Kingdom of God advanced.

Have you ever experienced hearing and believing the lies of the enemy? How has your thought life been affected? How has your worship been affected? Please share – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In Him, Leslie

the year (or more) I didn’t mop . . .

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So here’s a little confession: I didn’t mop for over a year. It might actually *ahem* have been closer to a year and a half… maybe… But who’s counting when it’s been at least 365 days [or 52 weeks, if you prefer that calculation]¬†since I last mopped my kitchen and dining room floors? We laid down a new floor in October of 2012. We¬†might have mopped it once. If we did mop [and by we, I mean HE – my husband – because I seriously do not remember ever mopping our ‘new floor’] it was only the one time, which by using my impeccable math skills, would mean it’s actually been well over a year and a half of not mopping said floor. ¬†Whew.

…Why am I telling you this? …Why am I sharing this (literal) dirty little secret? …Why did I post it on Facebook? …Am I strange? …Did the lack of mopping happening in my home drive me crazy for at least 52 weeks? …Am I proud of this confession? Yes.

Why + Why + Why + Because = F R E E D O M ! ! !

There is freedom in publicly announcing your flaws. There is freedom in full disclosure. There is freedom in not allowing fear to hold you back from your non-mopping hopes / dreams / desires. You know РI know Рthere are many of you *wishing* you had the guts to stand up to your mop and say NO. I will.not.mop. One>More>Day>>>. I will skip it. I will procrastinate. And I am OKAY with this!

There is F R E E D O M in declaring — I have more important things to do — like playing Legos, Barbies and watching FROZEN with my children. Mopping can wait until tomorrow — or a year from now.

So, a few days after I publicly humiliated myself and perhaps a few others who hung their heads in shame on my behalf, I chatted with my brother who lives in Oklahoma. The chat was not about my not-mopping skills, but alas he brought up the proverbial ‘elephant on the phone’ and asked me – Do you even own a mop? I had to stop and think of the answer. I was not 100% sure we owned a mop.

Fast forward our lives >>> One. Week. Later. I still have not mopped, AND we are now selling our home to move our family across the country. Fortunately, as our first house showing came upon us, it was a wonderful time to check and see if we did still own a mop. Adam searched, found and dug out the mop from behind all the important crap we keep in our garage. Like our old non-working refrigerator. Because… that’s surely¬†one. more. thing. we need¬†lying around our house right now. Right before a showing. Right before we are trying to move across the country. But ah-ha… He found the mop!¬†Let the mopping commence!

And the last confession is this: I still didn’t mop for our showing.¬†My amazing husband did.

So. The moral of this ridiculous story is: There is freedom¬†in failure. There is freedom in declaring “I’m not perfect!” There is freedom in letting things¬†go. As we are preparing to move our family across the country, we are fully aware of our failures. We are prepping our house to sell it and we are fully aware there is no way it will be perfect. There is no way we can keep a ‘model home’ with 3 small children and all their crap. Plus all our crap.¬†We have lived in the comfort and shelter of an amazing home for 8.5 years. We are grateful for the provision we’ve had.¬†We can not hold on to this place, but we will carry in our hearts always the memories, the mistakes, and moments made¬†in our home. Our kids have grown in this home – We have grown in this home – not just in years, but in heart. But there is freedom in letting go. There is freedom in knowing what we don’t know. Once we sell our house, we don’t yet know where we will be living… There is freedom in knowing we are in good company with the unknowns¬†“…The Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”

Sure, Martha was fussy about her housework, but she never mopped her dirt floors. Jesus never mopped. and Mary always chose sitting at His feet. SO, Let us all raise a glass to not over-mopping… Cheers!

And the story rages on… In Him, Leslie ūüėČ

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Have you found freedom in failures? Let us know! We hope you’ll join us on our journey into the great unknown…¬†

 

The Unknowns

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The truth is… we’ve never been good at sitting still.

The truth is… we’ve never stayed in one place for long.

Geez. It sounds like we have commitment issues, I know…

Nope. We are fully committed. We are All In. Our¬†commitment is to each other, our marriage, our family, God’s leading for our lives and seeing His Kingdom come.

For 17 years, we’ve lived¬†as North American Nomads, moving from place to place, across Oklahoma, Texas and New York City, and Ohio. Our whole lives,¬†we’ve been serving God with a heart for His church and His mission. And now He is calling us into the great unknown… and we’ve never been more certain of anything in our lives.

For the past 10 years,¬†we have been serving the Eastside Vineyard Church community as the lead Pastor and Worship Leader. We have walked through both joy and pain, challenges and freedom, and grown tremendously through it all. For the past few years, the Lord has been stirring a desire to GO. He has confirmed in the last few months, our calling from the current Pastoral role to transition into a Missionary role. As our season in Ohio is coming to a close… we are ready to embrace our next assignment.

This is what we do know ~ The Knowns:

God is telling us to >>>GO>>>.

We know God spoke, “You were made for this.”

We know we can not survive doing anything else.

We are selling our house and almost everything we own.

We are leaving a supportive church, full of amazing people, we have loved and served the past 10 years.

Our new “home base” will be the Northwest. And our mission field, the World.

We will be serving with Vineyard Churches in the Northwest region and going thru YWAM for Overseas Missions.

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What will this next chapter¬†look like? What will be doing for the next 20 years? Honestly, we are not completely sure. We do not fully know how it will map itself out…¬†but God. We put our trust fully in Him. We desire to use the gifts He has given us for His glory wherever He calls us to go …

Serving the least, the last, the lost.

Going into all the World.

Thru…

Worship

Church Planting

Preaching and Pastoring

Teaching and Training

Coaching and Counseling

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Our calling is to Know God and make Him known. 

We invite you to join us on this journey. The story rages on… In Him, The Babs Fam

Genesis 12: 1 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

How to Join Us in the Great Unknown:

1. PRAY – Commit to being on our PRAYER TEAM and pray for our family regularly.

2. GIVE so we can GO>>>.
As a Global Missionary family we will be 100% supported by your donations. Please consider becoming part of our GO TEAM so we can GO throughout the world to MAKE HIM KNOWN. There are several ways for you to GIVE:

GO TEAM GIVING OPTIONS:

-GIVE to The Babcock Family Directly via check or cash or send it to them @ 440 Hillview St. Pickerington, OH. 43147 ( until departure in late August 2014 )

-GIVE through Eastside Vineyard Church with a Check in-person or mailed to:
The Babcock Family c/o Eastside Vineyard Church.
333 Jericho Rd. Pickerington, OH. 43147
Just write: Babcock Family Missions in the Memo line or with an attached note. *you will receive a tax-deduction through this option.

-GIVE online through eastsidevineyard.org/give/, and in the Designation field choose, Special Offering and then in the bottom box entitled: Notes, type: Babcock Family Missions. *you will receive a tax deduction through this option

3 things Christ followers need to stop doing… Please.

Hey. I’m a Christian.¬†

If you’re a Christ follower too, that’s cool. There are 3 things you need to¬†stop doing (if you’re doing them). Please. For the love of God. And btw, if you’re not claiming to be a Christ follower – this is not for you. So keep on keepin’ on… More power to ya.

If you know someone who claims –¬†‘I’m a Christian’ –¬†Do specific¬†thoughts come to mind? Do you hold them to a higher moral standard? Do you have certain expectations of their actions? Do you consider if their lifestyle reflects their claim?

You Should.

You see, I have been¬†living as a Christ follower as long as I can remember. I’ve been going to church since I was born 37 years ago. My parents took me until I could take myself, and I’ve never stopped taking myself to church. When I was 16 years old, the Lord called me into full time ministry. ¬†When I was 18 years old, I began working full time in Christian circles ~ Mardel Christian bookstore, Women of Faith, New Life Clinics, and serving in youth, worship and Pastoral ministries in churches across the United States. So…being a Christ follower is my life.¬†

I am basically a professional Christian. But, being a Christian is more than “my job”.

What does that even mean? Am I super holy? Um no. It means I am super needy. 1) I am a sinner. 2) I am desperately in need of my relationship with Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Lord every single moment of everyday. . . waking or sleeping. . . all 24 hours. Every. Single. Day. 

As a professional Christian, I have¬†spent much of my life in relationship with other Christ followers ~ all on their own journeys ~ thru acquaintance, co-workers, friendship, counseling, mentoring and discipling. Throughout my life, I’ve been the “religious friend”. I’ve overheard friends say, ‘don’t tell Leslie this … fill in the blank.’ I’ve made people uncomfortable…and still do, I suppose. Especially as a “Pastors wife and Worship Leader”. These¬†“titles” automatically come with their own laundry list of expectations and pre-conceived notions people have of me and my life. I’m certainly not perfect and definitely not anyone’s Holy Spirit. However,¬†I’ve always felt different… like a stranger in the world… because¬†I was set apart.¬†

In my relationships with other Christians over the years, I’ve noticed a profound difference between those who live as they are, and those who merely say they are. I have been surprised by the distinction between who we proclaim to be with our lips, and how we actually live out our lives.

Last I checked, following Jesus is a full time gig.¬†Like, He has expectations of those of us claiming to follow Him to look different than the culture we’re surrounded by in the world we live in.¬†So, if we call ourselves Christ followers, we should stop doing these 3 things. Please. For the love of God. Otherwise, let’s agree to agree we¬†might not actually be. . .living as Christ followers.

Stop. Seriously. Immediately. 

This may sound judgmental? I’ll let you be the judge…

1) Comparing sins – Justifying our own sin by comparing our sin to others sin.

If you are making excuses for your sin, based on a sin comparison chart you’ve drafted – Stop. Don’t do that anymore. Being a Christ follower means repentance – aware of your own sin and convicted by it. Don’t¬†compare your sin to the person sitting next to you in the pew, or the person singing next to you in the choir.

Jesus began His ministry with a message of repentance. Repentance means change. Repentance requires a turning away from our sin, not justifying our sin. “…the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.¬†From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‚ÄúRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.‚ÄĚ Matthew 4:16-17. (ESV)

2) Being hypocritical Рliving the Christian life with your mouth, but not your heart.

The “Phaducees” (Pharisees & Sadducees) had God on their lips but their hearts were far from Him.

“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‚ÄėThis people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.‚Äô‚ÄĚ Matthew 15: 7-9.

If you are a Christ follower, your actions, choices and decisions and should reflect it. Not merely your words. Jesus rebuked the Phaducees because they were pompous and religious in word and appearance, but deceived in their hearts.

3) Living selfishly – Hey Christian, it’s not all about you. The Christian life is one of great sacrifice.

We are called to lay our lives down for others. Our lives should look more like the life of a servant than that of a king. Washing feet rather than turning up our noses. Putting others above ourselves. We are blessed to be a blessing. Called to give ourselves away and lay our lives down.

“And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, ‚ÄúWhat were you discussing on the way?‚ÄĚ But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, ‚ÄúIf anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.‚ÄĚ Mark 9:33-35.

It is not easy to be a Christ follower and it was never designed to be.

So this is a challenge to those who call themselves Christ followers. Attending church for 1 or 2 hours a week, paying tithes, singing in the choir or serving in the children’s ministry doesn’t automatically make anyone a Christ follower. If you’re comparing sins, living hypocritically or selfishly… Stop. Please. Thank you. Christians – we need to look different than this world we live in.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.

And the story rages on. . . In Him, Leslie