At Catalyst 2009 Aaron led worship while Francis Chan prayed over 12,000 of us in attendance at the evening session of the leadership conference. I would come up really short if I attempted to put into words the experience or tried to describe how their collaboration brought us to the foot of the cross that night, but I thought I’d let this video speak for that moment, enjoy! Continue Reading…
The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion.
The verse,and God saw that it was good, appears six times in the first chapter in the Book of Genesis and it is the exclamation used to describe God’s assessment of His work each day in the creation of the earth.
This past Sunday I experienced a something within the worship experience that left me with the same feeling, and God saw that it was good. I can only hope my description of what I witnessed does it justice.
I visited one of our other church campuses (Browns Bridge) so I could hang out after with a friend who attends there. She chose to sit in the balcony and during the announcements I noticed below us in front of the stage there was a lady doing sign language in conjunction with the speaker for those in the audience who could not hear. As the service proceeded to the music worship part of the service, I notice she was also signing the lyrics as the worship leader led all of us through the lyrics of the song. Something drew my eyes two rows back from the lady and I saw a young girl “signing” the lyrics back to the band on stage.
To say I was blown away would have been an understatement; here was someone who most likely could not hear a note being played still communicating her reverence and demonstrating her devotion to God and not letting anything stand in her way of doing it. At first it would have been easy for me to fixate on her overcoming a handicap or an obstacle, but the only thing I thought then and still think now is I was blessed to be able to experience such a raw and pure act of worship.
For me that experience, not what took place on stage or what was communicated in the message, was the lesson I needed to learn about my own worship….. and I know God saw what I saw, and He thought it was good.
-Is there anything you have seen or experienced that raised awarenesss of how you worship?
-What are some of the things you do to prepare yourself for your worship experience?
Based on the comments, emails, and private messages I received all day it would appear that my poor choice of words led more than a few folks to worry unnecessarily about the place I was in this morning after reading my Facebook update about a new post to this blog.
When facing adversity you always have a choice, succumb to it or rise above it…..I’m trying to rise above it and I could use your help today!
If you didn’t get the chance to read the post, please take a minute to do so and consider partnering with me to help build a well which will bring clean drinking water to a place where this is none.
While my choice of words might have led to some to possibly doubt my mental health; for me there is NO DOUBTING how much support and prayers I have coming my way on a daily basis, something which humbles me to the point of not really having the words other than to say:
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, one and all!
Which brings me to something I want and need to ask YOU…..
How can I be praying for you?
One thing I’m learning in all this is, for me to be able to leverage my faith in the midst of cancer, my focus has to be redirected from within and shifted UP and OUT.
By UP, I mean my focus has to be on God and the lessons He wants me to learn.
By OUT, my focus has to include the community around me, especially the relationships both old and new from which I draw so much strength.
So would you please allow me the opportunity to leverage my faith by letting me know how or what I can be praying for you?
One way would be to leave a comment at the bottom of this post which would allow the entire Leveraging Life community the opportunity to pray for you….something I think would be incredible especially when those who do prayed acknowledge it with a comment like so many of you did for me today on Facebook.
If you would like to keep the prayer request private click hereor on the contact tab at the top and it will stay between you and me.
Most Fridays I feature a website or a blog that for me has become a favorite.
Our Friday Favorite for September 24, carries far greater importance than anything I’ve posted on Leveraging Life. For me it speaks to the core of what I believe Leveraging Life calls us all to do…Leverage our life experiences and life lessons for a good greater than ourselves.
The formula listed above is something that began earlier this summer when I learned my cancer had spread. As I came to terms with another surgery, more radiation, and possibly chemotherapy I fought the frustration by trying to find the silver lining, the lesson that was to be learned, a way to turn lemons into lemonade.
And this is where my story, your story, & charity water all intersect….at a WELL….eclipsing briefly one disease by preventing other diseases simply by providing clean drinking water where there is none.
Please take a few minutes to watch the videos in this post and learn more about the work charity water is doing around the world.
The Turning Lemons to Lemonade campaign comes to an end on September 30 and $5,000.00 is needed to build a well or 100% of what is collected will be combined with other groups to build a well, so it is a “win-win” situation either way!
Is it possible to raise $4,130.00 in a week? That’s not for me to say and only time will tell. But I do believe anything is possible when you have Trust & Faith in God and a group of people put His words into action. So really this has as much to do with honoring Him by acts and deeds as it does in the final number.
Please take 3 steps right now to make that difference.
Boldly pray for the effort and pray for the outcome.
Use the sharebuttons to the right and share this effort with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, & via email by providing a link to this page.
Make a donation, remember $10.00 or $20.00 makes a significant impact in the overall picture and the $870.00 raised thus far will change the lives of 43 people.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, for your efforts to share the formula & this story, and for partnering with me to leverage life for a greater good!!
I had the privilege to see Audrey Assad perform a solo set in July in the incredible storyteller venue that is Acoustic Jeremiah just outside Atlanta. There are several videos online, but this version reminds me so much of what it was like to hear Audrey perform live, so raw, so real, so personal…..which for me is what worship is in the first place.
You are the highway i travel
cause i watched You carve streets of gold
from sin and gravel
i gave You brokenness
You gave me innocence
and now this road leads to glory
I hope you enjoy this week’s selection and please click on the story behind the song to learn more about how For The Love Of You came to be and click here to learn more about Audrey Assadand use this link to download more of her music.
The Story Behind The Song
If you like what you heard and just recognized there are only 93 more days till Christmas, check out the song she wrote which Chris Tomlin included last year on his Christmas album Glory In The Highest. Check out this cool video someone made that goes with this Amazing Song……..oh yeah, since you’re listening to a Christmas song…..let me be the first to wish you a MerryChristmasthis year!
My hope is someone may be led to a song with a message they need to hear offering encouragement, support, promise, or hope when they need it most. I will make every effort to provide a link to the story behind the song if it is available.
Please let me know what you think and feel free to make recommendations for future Worship Wednesdays in the comment section below or via the contact link. Also don’t forget to use the links on the side to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
The winning entry comes from Dave in Fresno who is part of themerkel cell google groupI am a member of and is also a mcc survivor himself. Dave said the machine resembled a dragon, an invisible fire breathing dragon, set out to kill any straggler cancer cells that surgery might have missed.
For any other cancer survivors out there dealing with radiation, feel free to adopt the name during your treatment, and just fill in the blank.
Puff the any cancer Dragon
I have 18 more encounters with Puff over the next three weeks, so at least now I can greet him by name and challenge him to get the job done.
In describing the story behind the lyrics for Puff The Magic Dragon, Peter Yarrow has frequently explained that “Puff” is about the hardships of growing older, he has also said of the song that it “never had any meaning other than the obvious one” and is about the “loss of innocence”. Ifound this after selecting the winner but it does actually reinforce the selection because, as the lyrics suggest, cancer truly is a hardship of growing old and anyone who has experienced radiation treatment will attest there is a loss of ones innocence!
Thanks to everyone who entered and those who continue to share Leveraging Life with friends on Facebook and Twitter, those efforts help make this difficult season of radiation more tolerable!
Most Fridays I feature a website or a blog that for me has become a favorite. It maybe a favorite resource, a source of inspiration, or just some distraction I frequent. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and please share your favorites in the comment section; who knows maybe it will be the next Friday Favorite.
Friday Favorite September 17, 2010
A favorite of mine, which I have been using for over a year is a feature on YouTube called My Channel.
With a few clicks you can create a account/profile and can start utilizing the “My Channel” feature which has become a personal jukebox for me when working in front of a computer.
Provide as much or as little info as you like, for me I used the same public info I have on Twitter and my blog Leveraging Life to create a uniform social media presence, and then set up some playlists like you would on iTunes. If you click on my You Tube channel TomMartinATL and you’ll see I have two playlists, Assorted and Worship. Simply search for a favorite artist and or favorite song to see what is available. If you find something, give it a listen and if it is something worth saving click save button and your playlist drop with all your playlists appears, click where you want save it and your done.
The thing I love about this is it’s FREE, no cost to download plus you get the chance to see if it is really something you want to add to your iTunes library. I also love the fact I can find so many different versions of the stuff I like especially live recordings with very good audio quality. Speaking of FREE take for example the Zac Brown Band’s song Free, a great song that I love, and a quick search revealed a live version from a concert at the Fox Theater here in Atlanta.
I clicked save….put it in my assorted playlist and it’s a part of the rotation whenever I want to play that playlist. From there I can arrange the order of the rotation, delete what I’m bored with, and new material when I find it.
Drawbacks I’ve found:
Some videos have poor audio quality or poor video quality or both
Some have no videos just albums covers
Some may have 20 second commercial prior to video, but I’ve found that to be very few
No way to keep your channel private but you can limit what content you want to display by taking these steps:
-Sign in and go to your channel page
-Click the “Edit” link in the upper right.
-Select the content you’d like to display
-Click the “Save Changes” button
It’s all out there, videos, music, from classics to the latest & greatest, give YouTube my channel a test drive and see what you think!
All the great stories have a hero and a villain, but when a story becomes a saga the villain usually becomes an arch nemesis.
As most of you know or have figured out I am in the midst of a story of my own and some who know me well may even call it a saga; but the Road Runner had Wiley C. Coyote, Batman had the Joker, Jerry had Newwwwman, and the only problem is my arch nemesis has no name. Actually it is a Linear Particle Accelerator, but that’s not much of a name is it?
The unnamed arch nemesis
This is it the actual machine I wrestle with each day and now that you have the image it’s time to NAME IT so you can win this!
Contest will run through Sunday Sept. 19, 2010 7:00pm with the winner receiving a $15.00Starbucks Gift Card. Winner will be announce by noon on Sept. 20, 2010. Your entry is your comment below, and don’t forget to use the Facebook & Twitter buttons on the side to share this post with all your friends so they can join in the fun.
Have you ever listened to a song over and over and there is one or two lyrics you fixate on and then, for some reason, you listen to it again and you hear something in the song you never heard before. For me that was the case with How He Loves. I always seemed to fixate on certain lyric like, if grace is an ocean we’re all sinking, because in my life through my mistakes, I have found myself not only sinking….but coming face to face with the bottom of that ocean several times.
I was introduced to the Rick W Smith Blog by a mutual acquaintance on twitter, and it was there I first learned the story behind How He Loves Me via the video he shared. After reading Rick’s lead in and learning more about the story behind the song, another lyric resonated with me, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory. McMillan says, “the song is in celebration of weakness and anger and the celebration of a God who would want to hang with us through those things.”
Game On for me was much like preparing for big football game. Most football teams have scouts who learn everything there is to know about the opponent with the hope of finding weaknesses that can be exploited. Research was my way of scouting merkel cell cancer (mcc), unfortunately there is little published about this relatively new type of cancer, and there is even less focus by the cancer community from an awareness and funding perspective due to the low number diagnosed each year. Despite the limited information, my scouting/research confirmed enough of what had already been discussed with the medical team I was assembling to move forward with my game plan of surgery, skin graft, sentinel node dissection, and 6 weeks of radiation.
Another component of my Game On involved those difficult conversations with family and friends who needed to be told. I approached those talks under the false belief, that if my attitude was positive and upbeat it might somehow lessen their concern and worry. In my eyes I did pretty well; as I had my facts together what mcc was and what the medical team planned to do about it, that was until I spoke with my brother Mike. As I was telling him the news in my best upbeat spiel, an image of my 3 nieces flashed in my mind followed by another image where I was missing their proms, graduations, and weddings. I’m not sure if he caught me starting to choke up, but I’d have to admit that was the shortest of all my Game On conversations.
Work was a different type of Game On, similar to a player trying to convince his coach that despite being at 80% he could still contribute to the win. For me it was important to reassure the owners of my company that I regarded this only as a bump in the road with minimal disruption at the dealership. But I knew it would open the door, and for the first time in my career, where my ability to do what they hired me to do would be evaluated not only on talent but also on availability, something I had little say or control over.