A Worship Leader’s Confession

new thing

I love God and I love to worship him. It is not a  forced response when I begin to lift my hands, clap, move my head, dance, sing, cry, when I begin to worship him. I count it one of my greatest honors and privileges to be able to worship God and lead others into worship. Unfortunately, for the last 3 months I have not been able to lead worship at my church due to vocal rest. It has not been easy… having two surgeries…trusting God…has AT TIMES been uneasy. I have to say I TRULY have seen where my FAITH really is and how I need him!

I have continued to serve  where I can…. helping others lead …which brings me to a confession…

I used to tell my team that as worship leaders…to effectively lead worship, how can they expect to lead others where they have never been themselves?

BUT, I started reflecting on how effective is that statement?

Why would I want to take someone where I have already been? Why would I want to go back to the same place? Over and Over again…would that be fun, interesting, new, enlightening, refreshing? Week after week, rehearsal after rehearsal, song after song, service after service, as a worship leader I have tried to recreate those moments that I spent with God earlier that week, or earlier that day, even that moment right before I was getting ready to go on stage.

I mean why WOULDN’T I want to go back to that place. I found God’s peace, joy, I heard him speak, I gained new revelation…

UNFORTUNATELY, there is a problem with wanting to keep going back….trying to re-create that experience.

Did God ever intend for the re-creation of anything? I believe God is a forever creating God and desires the CREATION of a new place, a new attitude, a new heart of worship, a new zeal for him, a new DEEPER longing for JUST HIM!!!

Our worship is that vehicle to a NEW CREATION in US!

A new WORK in us!

A NEW THING being done in and through us. God desires to speak new ideas, give new revelations, give new MERCY, a new LOVE, a new-found peace in seeking him, living for him, in our WORSHIP to him!

So, I confess, that as I lead worship, live my life in worship unto Christ’s that I EXPECT the NEW CREATION. I don’t have to draw off of  where I have been, but I step out in FAITH fully resting in him that my worship will lead me to somewhere I HAVE NEVER BEEN!

Isaiah 43:18-20 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. 20“The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people.…

Living life on PURPOSE!

Just one Pic!

nate and I

Today, I was perusing my old pictures on the web. I have had the same Facebook profile picture for a very long time. I came across a picture that I forgot about last year on March 12th. I was celebrating my husband’s birthday and my children grabbed a snapshot of us.
It is crazy with life, kids, job loss, a new job, financial strain, financial gain, I have forgotten to cherish my husband. It has been difficult these few months…and when I saw that old picture it just made me think…I am truly blessed.

We both had the privilege to attend a conference this past weekend called the, Art of Marriage at our church. The one thing I could take away that has truly stayed with me since last Saturday…is in a MARRIAGE..my concentration should be on me making sure I am showing love. I shouldn’t show a conditional love… but I should show UNCONDITIONAL love.

Yeah…Yeah…that is not always easy but, when I think about how God loves me…and that I want my marriage to last…and that I really do adore my husband…I can be a little more nicer. I can say, ” I love you babe!” more…I can praise him for what he does right instead of what he does wrong… I can learn to let things go…I can walk in peace, gentleness, and self-control…YES! I can do it all as long as I let GOD lead me. So, here is another step to building a loving, lasting, marriage….

This post goes out to my AWESOME, SEXY, FUNNY, CREATIVE, STUNNING, INVIGORATING, TALENTED, RESOURCEFUL, CARING, LOVING, HUSBAND…Nathaniel Wayne Chandler, Jr.
p.s  Thank you to the 54 people and counting who really liked my picture on Facebook…it made me reflect on the fact that I do have a great, awesome, marriage!
Living my life on Purpose!

Go for those…Unforgettable Moments

Be Exceptional

It is strange how I get inspiration to write my posts at times. Today, this post comes from just sitting looking out the window. I was just realizing how life can pass you by if you let it.

I know I can become inundated with all of the responsibilities I carry that I forget about those moments…that take you out of your norm.

I mean…I don’t want life to JUST pass me by…I want to enjoy LIFE and the PROCESS towards my future. However, I have much to do with that.

I must step out of what is comfortable, normal, typical, for me and do something different. Who cares if I FEEL funny, LOOK funny, people say I AM funny! The moment would be UNFORGETTABLE! Which in the long run, will make me grow whether my adventure was a success or a failure. I DID something different, I tried, I moved, I did something…UNFORGETTABLE to me…

My UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS have led me to some of the best lessons that I have learned that have pushed me towards what I am doing right now. I find motivation from the person that is a dreamer with the courage to actually make a plan, then execute their plan to reach their dream…

I have many dreams and goals that I know God has placed inside of me. I am not supposed to just SIT on those dreams and not make any effort to reach them. I know as I take one step at a time towards my passions, goals, dreams, I will reach that UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT when I have fulfilled everything I set my heart to do.

That is an awesome life worth living.

Prowess!

Be Exceptional

This morning was one of those mornings for me when I had the determination to sit and spend time with God. It is not easy trying to get time in with God before the start of my day…it takes me a good fifteen minutes before I finally gather my thoughts and WAKE up sometimes.

However, this morning I was more energized…so I quickly go into my BATHROOM (the best solitary spot for a BUSY MOM to be left alone!) I begin just talking to God…then I start thinking about my day…then I begin to just reflect and think about how good God is…then the word PROWESS comes to my mind. First thing I realize is, that PROWESS is not necessarily a word I would use everyday.

When I finally had the chance to, I looked up the word PROWESS and this is what I found:

PROWESS

  • Exceptional valor bravery, or ability, especially in combat or battle
  • Superior skill or ability.
  • Superior strength, courage, or daring

I suddenly began to REJOICE while reading the meaning of PROWESS. I quickly understood!

I know I am in the heat of battle but, God revealed to me so clearly that in HIM I have EXCEPTIONAL VALOR, SUPERIOR SKILL and ABILITY, I have the STRENGTH and the COURAGE to move beyond any obstacle. It is clear that as I make it a point to push beyond trying to be in control of how I believe things should happen…I have the SUPERIOR STRENGTH right inside of me to OVERCOME. YES I DO!

As much as I would want the problems I face to be fixed IMMEDIATELY. How can I have SUPERIOR SKILL, SUPERIOR ABILITY, SUPERIOR STRENGTH, or COURAGE to keep going if the problems never came.

The chance to develop anything SUPERIOR is to be put in SUPERIOR circumstances. Right now, I have situations in my life that are way more SUPERIOR than me…BUT…

GREATER IS HE THAT IS WITHIN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD! GOD is the one who LIVES in ME! His SUPERIOR STRENGTH, SKILL, and ABILITY will rise within ME! Just one word, ONE WORD! PROWESS….

I encourage you today, to spend time with God and talk to him…who knows what one, simple, word he will teach you that can CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!

Living Life on Purpose!!!

Um…You have.. How Many Kids?

I never would have imagined that I would have five awesome, talented, beautiful, intriguing, self-confident, kids. Yes, I am a proud MOMMA!!! It is a question I receive on NUMEROUS occasions!! I tend to meet many new people and casually engage in friendly conversation… they look at my husband…then me…and like clock work ask HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE? Like, SAY THAT AGAIN? We proudly and boldly say, WE HAVE FIVE KIDS..(with Big Smiles!)

I guess…in today’s society…that is a NOBLE task, to even consider having FIVE kids. It literally feels like we are a RARE SPECIES from some OBSCURE planet that WILLINGLY chose to embark on a journey to the BEYOND to have FIVE kids!

I don’t think anything about it NOW..but, I am thankful that God blessed us with such a lovely BROOD. You see, my husband and I didn’t start out saying we wanted to have FIVE kids..in fact, we are technically a BLENDED family. I had my oldest at age 19…and my husband chose to accept and love us as a PACKAGE. It wasn’t easy but, looking back to where we started and the joy that each of our children have given us is truly a GIFT from GOD!

So, this post goes out to all the families that get the comments….

  • …You must be tired with all those kids you got…
  • I know your food bill is outrageous…
  • Five kids…better you than me..
  • How do you do it?…with all those kids
  • I know your house must be noisy…(now, this one is accurate!)
  • How do you keep track of all your kids?

I simply am BLESSED to have my FIVE beautiful babies who are going to be AWESOME Men and Women of God!!! Living life on PURPOSE!!!

My FIVE kids….Jaleel

Jade

Jael

321….and she’s DOWN!

I think I crashed and burned yesterday. My emotions, my rationale, my feelings, my outlook on life, my attitude…was just FUNKY! I am keeping it, like my kids say at school, “1000″ with you as I am writing. Let me explain, without writing a dissertation.

Have you ever felt like your hope was gone? Have you ever felt like you can’t go another round of the same problem? Have you ever wanted to blame someone else for YOUR own problem?

Yesterday, I think I felt that way 100 times over. The messed up part was I knew, that I KNEW, that I DID not have to continue to feel that way BUT, it felt so GOOD to just sulk. It felt easier to just stay DOWN. It felt like if you try to get back up it is going to take TOO much STRENGTH!

Yesterday, I was embarrassed and mad that I allowed FEAR, FEAR of FAILURE, FEAR of LACK, to take me on a bus ride that I refused to get off of, WHEN I had a chance to get off at the, “CALM DOWN” bus stop!

It has been a very long time that I felt that I had no other choice but to stay down…but, I started thinking what kind of example would that set for your 5 children, your students at school, your sisters, your family, all the people who said you could never make it?

You see, despite the fact that yesterday, when I acted out of fear and pride, as I was being disrespectful and hurtful, as I was looking for a way to escape my hurt by being TOO fast to speak and NOT slow to listen………God STILL sent people to ENCOURAGE me, LOVE me, GIVE me what I needed PHYSICALLY, SPIRITUALLY, and….just say to me, Thilana…you are not DOWN but, let’s get UP from here….I can’t explain WHY he LOVES me so much? I don’t DESERVE it but, I SURE WILL TAKE HIS LOVE!

My tough day was miraculously overshadowed with HIS LOVE! I can write this with full integrity and my honest, transparent, thoughts that I AM SO GLAD that I didn’t stay DOWN for too long. Still on the JOURNEY towards my PURPOSE…

Soaking? or Soaked…In?

Last night I had the awesome opportunity to attend a Soaking Service hosted by the Women’s Ministry at my church. This was my first actual “Soaking Service,” however, I guess my natural tendency to spend time with God has been what people call “Soaking.” If you are not sure what “Soaking” means…it basically means that you are still before God, listening to music, looking at motivational text, scripture, really whatever helps you become more aware of God’s presence…and then, you just REST in his presence.

SO, as you could imagine, My anticipation was high because I could just feel the presence of God from the day before. I had the chance to serve during the Soaking service after talking with our Women’s Ministry Director. Her expectation and explanation of how God told her what he wanted for each part of the service just IGNITED my spirit even more.

As I was in the service, my focus wasn’t necessarily on myself getting into God’s presence…I just wanted to make sure I did my part during the service so that it ran smoothly…BUT, God! As I was serving God continually was talking whether I was monitoring the Lights, Camera, Sound…he kept talking and hovering over me. I found myself just listening, reflecting, crying, watching, doing, moving, sitting, carefree in his presence.

Then, I felt a strong NEED….DESIRE…to go play the piano. I mean, the music selected on the CD for that night was DIVINE… Julie True, Jason Upton, Grace Williams…and many more. However, I felt such a strong longing to go play before him like I do….when I am “Soaking” at home. So, I went over to the piano…set it up…went back to the sound booth not sure if I should play…contemplating….because… although, I used to play all the time at my church, I really don’t have to play that much anymore but, I went back over to the piano and just LET IT OUT!

I began to play and felt such a peace and a connection with my God… all I could say was WHOA!!! Thank you, God! It was awesome just being able to be in a constant state of AWARENESS of his presence last night. I was so grateful to God that I had the opportunity to be free enough to really just let out what was inside of me.

As I woke this morning, I was thinking about the time of refreshing last night, reading the Facebook posts by other women who attended. I started thinking the atmosphere was so ripe for his presence. The mood, the music, the lights, everything was perfectly set to dwell in the presence of God. Then, I started thinking how can I flow more often with God and have a “Soaking?”

At that point, I realized I am already SOAKED IN is presence, for God shall never leave me nor, shall he turn his back on me. I am SOAKED IN his presence whether I make myself AWARE of him or my ear FINE TUNED to his voice. Let me be honest, I am still SOAKED IN his presence whether I choose to IGNORE him that day. He abides in me and I abide in him.

So, I guess my view-point has slightly changed that since I have been SOAKED IN his presence…I need to constantly be “SOAKING” which means, AWARE OF HIS PRESENCE. I can soak whether I am in a free atmosphere like last night, teaching in my classroom, talking with my husband, serving at church, helping my kids with homework….I can stay refreshed cause I have been SOAKED IN by such an AWESOME GOD!

Now, that is what I call LIVING on PURPOSE!!! Praise God!

I Shall Sing a New Song!

It has been exactly 3 weeks and 4 days since my vocal cord surgery. I have been struggling with my voice for over 2 years being hoarse and raspy that has made it difficult to talk and….SING! My passion, my love, what brings me joy, what I took for granted…..what I did not appreciate…until..I couldn’t any longer.

It has not been easy and this process I am going through. YES, I am being impatient. I have been declaring scriptures about my healing and some would say, “Thilana, it has only been 3 weeks and 4 days!” I would refute,  Well 1 second is too long for my God who could heal me faster than 1 second…if he chose….” or am I missing something? Am I not getting it!

So, I pace in my times of ANXIETY, and ask God, “Why am I not 100% yet? Why am I going through this? You could bring me out of this instantly if YOU chose.”

I recently was sent an email from my oldest sister that had a YouTube video attached to it. I open the attachment and I find a video of a preacher named, Veron Ashe. 4 days ago, I have never heard of this man and to my unbelief he passed away just last Saturday. In just a short amount of time, the word that God gave him in 2011, was so on time for me.

I had to take a hard look at WHY…the process for my healing of my voice may be just the very thing I needed to STOP, REFLECT, and HUMBLE myself. In that video, I was urged to live selfless…to get my thinking and priorities straight, to make Christ’s agenda the ONLY agenda for my life…no matter what it may cost me.

See, I gained the revelation knowledge that when I sing again…I shall sing a New Song… a new song of gratitude, hope, mercy, humility, and joy that comes rooted in daily putting down my agenda for his agenda. It is not easy but, I know I lost sight of what was important! The only thing of importance is GOD, his WAYS, his THOUGHTS, his ACTIONS, and that I am in position that my my new song will MUTE me and FLOOD the ears of those HE uses me to touch.

My New Song shall be for the Kingdom of God stronger than it was before…I shall Sing….a  NEW SONG! Thank you God for your love and hope!

The link below is of the sermon I was privileged to hear:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=veron+ashe+being+the+church&sm=1

Humility and Change

Well, how many days into 2014….14 days!!! Highly anticipating a New Year…New opportunities…New doors being busted down….New connections being made….and the Highly anticipated list goes on. However, what I have found most of all that I didn’t highly anticipate are these circumstances that have made me Self-Inspect myself. I mean…it just seems like I have been put in position where I have to really look at myself, my attitude, my emotions, my FLAWS. Needless to say, it does not feel good….but I am actually GRATEFUL.

I am realizing more than ever in my 37 years of walking this Earth, that in the last 15 days…I am a truly, truly, truly, in need of someone Greater, more Capable, more Knowing, more Achieving, more Believing, than I ever can imagine to become. Let me put it to you this way…Have you ever been put in an uncomfortable position where there was NOTHING you could do about getting out of that position EXCEPT for someone to come along and HELP you out? In the last 14 days, it seems like that is where I have been….and I can say I am GRATEFUL.

I am GRATEFUL because at this point I can’t do anything to fix any problem that I may be experiencing right now or face in the future. I can only take those FAITH steps that I hear the Holy Spirit say when he speaks to me. I heard my Pastor say a few Sundays ago that, “TRUE HUMILITY IS A TOTAL RELIANCE ON GOD FOR EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE!”  I know there have been many times in my life that I have believed I am humble. However, when tested in life’s situations….I realize do I really have a total reliance on God? Do I believe he’s GOT ME? Do I walk and TALK like he’s not going to let me fall? or Do I think I have the answer to get MYSELF out? Do I have all the ANSWERS? AM I really TRUSTING my SAVIOUR?

See…my humility…my true humility will spark a profound change in my life that could propel me to a new place…. some where I have been DREAMING AND BELIEVING ABOUT! I understand that true humility takes the pressure of off myself and says, “SIT BACK, TAKE A SEAT, and GO ALONG FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!” with GOD being the PILOT! This is why I have been put to the test. It is all helping me get into position for CHANGE and Unbelievable CHANGE. Eyes, and Ears have not seen what God is going to do….

The bible says that as a Believer, I should not be anxious or worried about anything…I shall walk in peace, I shall rest in him. 14 days in and the challenges to grow have been pouring in….and I am ready to RIDE the wave to CHANGE!

Become Good Ground

 

Well many of you know that my husband and I were believing for what we thought was the impossible for us last week. As a teacher, the summers are a joy but, from a financial viewpoint summers are disastrous (lol, to say the least.) However, my kids are still active and although we plan for this time it just never seems to be all that you need. I know this time is a trying of my faith and I would like to be transparent as my faith has grown, currently, to a place I have never been.

First, for me tithing has been a struggle for me over my christian walk during the times when I don’t have a steady stream of income. Bills are due, collectors are calling, etc. and I have struggled with giving God the first of my income over the years. Let us not talk about sowing seed (financially) in other people’s lives. I mean ask me to sing, give of my time, give a helping hand, just do not ask me to give money that I just don’t have to give. This was my mentality in the PAST…..thank God in the PAST…..

So, my daughter Jade was competing for the New Jersey National American Miss Pageant in East Brunswick, NJ August 19-21st. My husband and I were gaining the help of many of our friends and family since the Spring. However, by August 18th we were still $280.00 short.

I mean that is not a huge number but, when  my husband’s income is just paying for our necessities, there is no room for extra. Over the last month leading into the pageant, my pastor has been teaching on faith and sowing seed. Our faith in God definitely grew from previous times before because my husband and I faithfully tithed each time we received any type of increase. In additionally, my pastor taught on the various types of seeds you can give. For example, there is a Need Met Seed, Ministry Grace Seed, Favor Seed, Judgement Seed, Wisdom Seed, etc. the list goes on.

So, on that Wednesday night before we were to leave for the pageant I went to my pastors and sowed a NEED MET SEED (a need met seed is based on  Philippians 4:19 which obligates God to meet my need by my sowing into the one’s who teach me regularly) they prayed over my seed which was going to the funds to pay for my daughter’s pageant.

Well, on August 19th, we were still short the money for her to be able to participate. Not to mention our only car stopped working. BUT GOD…. my husband was able to secure a rental car that was paid for by his job and we left for the pageant.

However, we were able to get there but, we still needed the money for her to compete. We were still acting on FAITH. When we got to the hotel they told us we did not have to pay any of her entrance fees that evening just wait for the morning. By the time the morning came….. WE had the MONEY.

Our friends from our church family heard what we needed and just an out pouring of love gave money. By the end of the weekend we had more than enough money in our bank account. In fact, we were $200.00 over. LOOK at GOD…..

God tells us to memorialize those acts that he has shown himself strong and faithful. He showed himself  to be God in our lives. In addition, to us having more than enough for my daughter, she earned a spot to compete at the National pageant in Hollywood, California this November 20th. I am so confident in God that he is going to make a way for us to get her out there and just not her the WHOLE family.

As my faith has grown, I realize that becoming GOOD GROUND… that is the key. In other words, working the word so that others can sow into your life, so that in return they can reap a harvest, is essential for all of us who walk this christian walk. See my husband and I became eligible for God to work miraculously in our lives due to our reasonable service to him. We became good ground which allowed the hearts of many to sow a seed into our lives.

So, I encourage all of you to become GOOD GROUND….despite when you see your harvest. Just know you will reap a harvest…….in due season. BECOME GOOD GROUND BY DOING the WORD of GOD!