Connecting the Dots : A Lifetime of Worship
by Jan Renfro
I put my faith in Jesus at the age of seven and have always tried to live as a praise offering to Him, an act of worship. Has it always been just like I intended? I wish I could say yes, but that would be a lie. Whether it was selfishness or saying unkind words as a child, wanting to chart my way as a stubborn teenager, pleading with God to answer my prayers my way as an adult, or even the physical hurt and heartbreak that has come most recently through the earthly loss of my mother just a few months ago, I have fallen short many times.
Although I’m not perfect, from my rearview mirror, I can see momentous dots. Those who helped me connect these dots have helped me develop and nurture a deep love for Jesus and a desire to worship who He is and all He has done for me. Valleys represent some dots, mountain tops represent some dots, and then all the other dots are represented by the in-between places. Since all those connected dots are part of my life, then worshiping Jesus in all of life’s ups, downs, and in-betweens should be my natural response to my loving Savior. My worship is the bent posture of my heart toward the One who Created Me, the One who loves me, and the One who fills my heart with joy.
Are you a child of the King who could use some reminders of how to worship your Savior with your whole heart? Look in your rearview mirror. What dots do you see? How are they connected? Who helped you connect them? For me, there are countless people whom God has put into my life and I thank Him for those yet to come. There are four people, however, who were the biggest influences in my life and have connected the most dots for me to be able to see my need for Jesus and how to worship Him my whole life. My parents, Howard and Vivian, my older sister, Lisa, and my husband of twenty-seven years, Jeff. God has used these four people and many more to show me immeasurably more than I could ever ask, hope or imagine.
My parents were not perfect, they lived out their faith every single day with actions not merely words. They used God’s Word to direct the choices they made as parents and for our household. They told my sister and me they would answer to God one day for how they raised their children. It was a job they didn’t take lightly and prayer was the glue that held us all together. They made many mistakes along the way. They apologized. They talked with Jesus. They talked with us. Through the valleys, the mountain tops, and all of the in-betweens, they lived a life of worship in front of us. It wasn’t flashy, or showy, it was raw and it was real. Sometimes, it was easier than others. Their influence has helped my sister and me to know Jesus real and personally and has helped us each to do this with our respective families and our careers.
Here are the things they taught us, and the things we continue to do ourselves, with our own families, and as a family unit:
Model who Jesus is so the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Whether or not we have the physical struggle, hasn’t that been true of all of us as sinners at one time or another
A relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship we will ever have. Treat it with care, go and tell, and share His light and love with others.
Read God’s Word as much as possible. Share the reading as it relates to present-day happenings, prayers being answered, and ways God is speaking.
Memorize scripture. Psalm 119:11 tells us to hide God’s Word in our heart so that we might not sin against God! His word tells the Sword of the Spirit, is powerful and it is the only defensive weapon in the armor of God.
Sing to the Lord a new song. Songs can include old hymns of praise, new praise and worship, scripture, meditations, gut-wrenching outcries to our Heavenly Father, and more.
Pray, pray, and pray some more. Prayer is our lifeline! As Stormy O’Martian stated so beautifully in her book, The Power of a Praying Parent, “When we pray, we are allowing God to work through our powerlessness and humbling ourselves before God and saying, ‘I need Your presence and Your power, Lord. I can’t do this without you.’ When we don’t pray it’s like saying we have no need of anything outside of ourselves.”
My dad journaled sermon notes and fun notes of encouragement and scavenger hunts. My mom journaled prayer requests, recipes, and doodles. My sister and I journal our prayers. Through it all, we do our best to journal God’s faithfulness to remind ourselves and tell the next generation of His goodness!
I am now a dot connector. What about you? Have you ever seen yourself as a dot connector? You are a dot connector as you model a life well lived for Christ. You are a dot connector as you mentor and disciple others, as you sing songs, as you journal about God’s faithfulness, and so much more.
We’d love to have you join us in a Christmas celebration December 9th. Bring your family and som hot coco! COme ready to experience worship from around the world and accross the USA. Interested in attending?
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org