Adult remembers the first time he lifted his hands in worship

By definition, Pentecostal means a Christian who’s faith is evidenced by speaking in tongues, healing, and even exorcism. If you ask the Baptists, it would include raising your hands, too. And Baptists don’t want to be Pentecostal.

Steven Turner, son of Pastor Turner and his wife Janine, was raised Baptist from the time he was in Royal Ambassadors all the way up to becoming a student leader at nearby Stonecrest Baptist Church. There are things Baptists don’t do, Steven told us.

“Folks at our church, we don’t judge, but we also don’t handle snakes, and we don’t separate church and football.” Living in the south means two things. You cheer on your football team Saturday, and cheer on your pastor Sunday.

Although he was keeping it lighthearted, there is something else Steven shared. When he was just a young teen attending Wednesday night youth group, he can still recall hearing a song that has meant a lot to him over the years.

“I was standing right next to ol’ Greg Simmons and this song came on. Years later I found out it was Avalon ‘Testify to Love.’ I didn’t know all the words but I just had to do something. So I raised my hand.”

The story goes that when this happened, his friends glanced over and some started snickering. Youth leader Christy Janson thought Steven needed something so she made her way over.

Christy: “I saw Steven’s hand in the air so maybe he needed to go to the bathroom or had a question about the Bible. ‘What’s up, Steve?’ but he didn’t answer and that’s when I got worried.”

Christy had heard about these things happening but not here. Not in this church. How had the devil got a foothold? She consulted the other leaders in the building and they set up a committee to look into it the following week. The pastor was made aware and added a few Scripture verses to the sermon the following Sunday.

Steven, meanwhile, had no idea there was anything going on behind the scenes. When Sunday rolled around and the choir was halfway through “What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” he raised a hand again and the organist nearly fell off her bench. The pastor’s lips became tight with the shenanigans this youth was putting on.

Steven remembers the pastors prayer during the offering, “…and Lord, let us make a joyful noise to you, give us opportunities to serve you as we raise our hands in worship, although we don’t mean that literally, we should keep our hands by our sides during the worship service… Amen.” Steven, being a normal person who knows things, knew that was a weird thing to say.

Steven would like everyone to know it’s OK to raise up hands in worship. He’s still not sure about snake-handling, though. Steven, neither are we. Until we know more, just keep it to the ones without the diamond-shaped heads.

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

Advertisements

Worship made worship better

Yesterday I arrived at church somewhat ready for worship. I guess that is to say, I was coming off a week where I think I made strides forward in my relationship with God, which still definitely includes a generous amount of grace from above in those moments I come up short of the target. I walked in and grabbed a seat, the band started with one of my favorite hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Bang! Worship has begun!

posture-worship

not my picture, got it here

But then something even more awesome happened. There was a particular row of folks in front of me, and a guy I didn’t know sitting to my right, a couple of seats away. The row of strangers along with the guy next to me made me fall even more into an awe of God, if that can somehow make sense. You see, when I’m in church, I don’t typically raise my hands, or move around too much. I would love to be that kind of person, but it’s not really my personality. I am more inward as far as that goes. So when I can be around people that are outwardly expressive, I LOVE IT. I love witnessing someone showing passion for the Lord that way.

Yesterday I was encouraged and my worship was even more personal ,somehow, by being near this kind of genuine worship. It made me think, yeah, I feel that way, too! And I might have even swayed a little 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

Sunday morning playlist

I’m pretty much obsessed with Spotify these days. For a long time I was a “free” member. That’s where you can download songs and play them, but it was always on shuffle, you can’t back up to previous songs, or skip 4 or 5 songs ahead. You also can’t select a song to listen to it. So a few months ago I became a supscriber and I haven’t
regretted it for a second! Since then I’ve put together a playlist I listen to when I need to reflect, to worship, to be calm. If you’re interested in songs that help remind us of how big God is, yet how
personal He is, and how much He loves us, take a listen to my most recent worship playlist.

King of My Heart – Kutless

Sun & Moon – Phil Wickham

In Awe – Hollyn

Holy (Wedding Day) – The City Harmonic

Come Thou Fount – MercyMe

How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill

There Is A Fountain – Selah

Clear – Needtobreathe

This Blood – The Prestonwood Choir

Canary Cage – The Whistles & The Bells

-Out of the Wilderness