Lessons learned on the farm…


So, I went to the garden today to gather vegetables.  Steve and I have been pretty faithful to check the garden every day, maybe every other day, because 1) fresh veggies are the best part of summer and 2) we want to pick them at their point of perfection.  But, it never fails that when I check the zucchini, suddenly there’s one about the size of Steve’s forearm.

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN??  How could we have missed it?  How did that zucchini go from being the perfect size to being so big that it’s almost good for nothing??

Because clearly, it was overlooked.  The thing about zucchini is they can blend in…get lost in the stalks.

Today when I rolled my eyes as I once again found one of those gargantuas zucchini, Holy Spirit spoke to me.  He said, “This zucchini represents so many in the church today.  Just like the zucchini is part of a beautiful garden, surrounded by many different plants, there are only 1-2 people checking the growth.  Some of the obvious veggies are attended to at just the right moments; however, several, like the zucchini , blend in.  They have a point of perfection, but the window of time to pick them is much smaller.  With Steve & I being the only ones checking the garden, often times that window is missed.

I pondered…how is this like the church?  Holy Spirit answered.  ALL church goers need to be attended to or “discipled”.  There’s no other way for them to become a viable part of God’s church.  Even though they may go to a beautiful, filled building week after week  (which may be called a “church”, but it’s not; it’s just a building), they are blending in, getting lost in a crowd of people (perhaps because they want it that way), trying to understand how to grow as they should but making no real personal application, seeing no real transformation.  Before we know it, they’ve eaten and eaten week after week, becoming almost fat on the word, yet not really worth much to the kingdom.  They may be impressive with all that they know, but there’s no action once Sunday service is over…they’re not fulfilling the great commission that all of God’s children have been given – to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES.

So, who’s fault is that?  The preacher’s?

Well, let’s go back to the garden.  Steve and I do our best not to miss any vegetables, but alas, we’re only 2 people with a huge garden to attend to.  And besides, we have 5 people in our house.  They like to eat don’t they?  Not throwing my family under the bus (this is just for application purposes), but if everyone got out in the garden together, the likelihood of missing any veggies would greatly diminish.

If you’re still asking,  “How is that like the church?”  Well, child of God, it’s not the preacher’s job to disciple, it’s YOURS.  It’s MINE.  It’s OURS.  And if I’ve learned anything from the garden it’s this; if it’s going to give us the greatest reward, it has to be checked DAILY.  Yep, it has to become a part of my every single day.  No matter how hot, how dry, how perfect or imperfect the conditions.

I’m pretty confident that the same is the case with our calling as Christians.  When I stand before the Lord one day (and we all will), the ONLY reward I can lay at His feet will be the disciples I’ve made.  I won’t point to a preacher or a Sunday school teacher to divert God’s attention, His eyes will be on me.  Did I fulfill my calling?

Let me share with some good news, though, about the zucchini.  As I eluded earlier, once they’re so big, zucchini are just not good to be used in conventional recipes.  But now zucchini bread….now there’s a Cinderella ending.  The big ones make wonderful zucchini bread!  Thing is, they have to be grated down – shredded.  And the process for getting the best texture is grating by hand.  It takes a lot of work, but for the one who knows how good the zucchini bread will be, it’s worth it.

Let that sink in.  There will be those who are harder to disciple.  But don’t give up: stay the course.  Stay before the Lord and in His word and when He says go, be on your feet.  When He says speak, trust Him to give you the words and open your mouth.  The Master Gardner will use you to help harvest a beautiful bounty for His kingdom.

Lora Crabbe Walker…we miss you.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Today’s forecast – partly sunny (I prefer that over partly cloudy) and in the high 60’s/ low 70’s. Such a nice change from the snow we received just one week ago today! The season is finally beginning to take on real change as we transition from winter to spring. Perhaps on my mind is the need to move some of my heavier clothes to the back of the closet and pull out lighter weight items; but then that means I need some serious sun on exposed body parts that have been covered for the past 6 months. What to wear…that’s a daily poser.

These thoughts run through my mind as I prepare for the day and then I soberingly remember I’ll be dressing soon to sing in a funeral. The laying to rest of a sweet friend who only a few weeks ago celebrated her 57th birthday. A beautiful sister in Christ who had just retired and was more than ready for her next “season”; much of which included plans to spend lots of time with her new granddaughter.

Lora Walker laid her head down to rest one night and never woke up the same. Though there were, what seemed to be, miraculous turnarounds in her recovery, her body succumbed to the trauma of a second brain aneurysm and she was gone.

Just. Like. That.

Lora’s husband, Glenn, lost his earthly best friend and was left with a sold house half packed up and ready for a move they were supposed to make together.

Lora’s 3 children, Mandy, Ryan and Kimberly, lost their Mom who loved them more than life.

Lora’s grandson will not have the honor of his grandmother proudly being a part of all the wonderful changes and growing his future holds.

Lora’s granddaughter will not grow up to know what a warm, kind, loving, hilariously funny person Lora was.

Lora’s Mother said goodbye to her only daughter.

Lora’s brother lost his big sister.

I cannot begin to understand why things happen as they do and why some are left to face these kinds of trials and forever changes in their lives while others of us continue on with “life as usual”.  But I do know this; what is a normal day for me today can change in an instant.  No one is promised life without heartache, pain, disappointment, hurt – NO ONE.  No matter who we are, what we believe, or in whom we believe, the sorrows of life happen to us all.  What a bleak outlook that could be…if we had nothing else to look forward to.

But here’s the difference for some of us. THIS is what we can hang our hats on with peace and assurance. This is what the world simply can’t wrap their minds around…

As Steve and I went to visit Glenn and offer our condolences, through fresh tears and an obvious longing for his wife, he musters a sincere smile and says, “I just don’t know how anyone can get through something like this without Christ.”  His hope in Jesus did not take the pain of Glenn’s loss away; but what it did do was cause a deep, foundational joy to rise up and bring peace and comfort in the midst of the most tumultuous storm he has ever faced.  That was Glenn walking on the water and not sinking in despair because his eyes are fixed on Jesus.  That was and is peace that surpasses anyone’s understanding…unless they know the same Jesus that sustains Glenn.

Today, there will be tears…lots and lots of tears. Some tears will be from complete sorrow and sadness at the thought of never seeing Lora Walker on this earth again. But there will also be tears of joy shed by those who know they’ll see Lora again because of Jesus.

I’ve cried both.


See you at home soon, Lora.

Pressing shirts, honoring God


This morning I was looking through some catch-all drawers when I stumbled across an old journal of mine from 1998.  Wes was 9, Caleb was 2, we had started the process of building our house on Robinhood Drive, we were considering having another baby (turned out to be a great idea) and I had just had vocal cord surgery.  I remember staying at my parents’ house to help with my grandparents while Mom and Dad went out of town for the day.  Apparently I got bored enough to do some ironing.  But in the midst of the task, God gave me words of thanks that I wrote then and I want to share with you today.

Pressing Shirts, Honoring God

Mom and Dad took a trip out of town, I stayed home with the grand folks,

Got everyone settled in morning routine, dirty dishes left to soak.

I looked around for something to do, not much since Mom’s always cleanin’,

When I noticed a way that I could help; I’d catch up Mom and Dad’s ironin’.

I had ironing board, iron, starch – I was ready for pressing.

I’m so glad I once worked at a dry cleaners; they’d see it taught me some valuable lessons.

I took my dad’s shirts, one by one, thinking I was doing Mom a favor,

And as I pressed wrinkle after wrinkle, I noticed the chore I began to savor.

These were the shirts of a man I loved more than words could express

And with a grateful heart I pressed and smoothed, wanting to give my Dad my best.

I could see him in those fresh starched whites standing to share God’s word

with a congregation of nearly 30 years; oh, what a blessing from the Lord!

This small chore reminded me how important all of God’s work is to do.

It may be a small task, but in the hands of the Lord, what a blessing will prove!

What God allows me to do for Him can be one of two things:

a job I simply take on for the sake of duty or an honor for Jesus my King!

Thank You, Father, for this time to lend a hand

            while Mom takes a well-deserved break.

Thank You for the honor of pressing Dad’s shirts.  

           When he wears them, may God’s impression be made.

Robin Allman Riggins 10-23-98

Tomorrow will mark Dad’s 16th year in heaven.  Even though he only occasionally comes up in conversation with others now and then, I think about him every single day.  And his impact on my life is still a very strong part of why I feel so passionate about what I do for Jesus.

Max Allman was simply a life forever changed by the grace of God.  And because of God’s grace, he was never too tired or too busy to help, to pray for, to feed, to counsel, to laugh with, to love on – to minister to anyone.  What a legacy.


Rev. C. Max Allman





See you soon, Dad. 

Ending a Toxic Relationship



In September 2017, I came to the realization that, in order to be healthy and truly happy, there was a cherished relationship in my life that needed to come to an end.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel loved; boy, did I.  But that “love” that so gratified me was so not at all good for me.

So, September 19, 2017, I ended it.  My relationship with bread, potatoes, sugar and all starches white came to an end.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but has proven to be one of the best.  I’ve currently lost 18 pounds and am 16 pounds away from what I weighed on my wedding day.  And I feel great.

I’ll be 52 in May of this year (which…wow….how am I in my 50’s already??) and my love affair with pasta and bread and dessert was beginning to show in a big (bulging) way.  I had to decide if I was okay with avoiding mirrors and going up a size in my clothes or was I ready to do something to make a change.  I decided on change.  But how?  Dieting sucks.

I looked into programs that allowed only their foods and was shocked at the expense.  I looked into diet plans that required moderation of carbs and realized that, for me, to dabble with a half a cup of pasta or a half slice of bread would just make me angry.  I needed a plan that told me what I could and couldn’t have.  What I can’t have, I stay away from totally.  What I can eat, I EAT.  And so far, it’s working for me (thank God for zoodles!!)

How did I decide on this plan you ask?  And why September 19th??  I have a dear friend who began working with me who has lost 74 pounds by cutting out bad carbs and walking 3 miles a day.  The difference in her is amazing.  I wanted that – I wanted an amazing change.  Not because I wanted a rocking hot bod but because I wanted to be healthy for the next season in my life.  I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA IN JULY!!!!  I plan to enjoy as much of my children’s and grandchildren’s lives as I can!  So, on Monday, 9/19/17, I began the journey.

Hopefully this is a forever change for me.  I’m pretty resolved to it, but somedays, I admit I just want a doughnut.  Hey, do me a favor will ya?  If you see me out and I have a doughnut in my hand (or candy bar or ice cream cone or anything that doesn’t work with the above described diet), slap it out of my hand, ok?  I totally give you permission.


After (so far)…

Image 1-5-18 at 3.33 PM


Life at #rigginsfarms


It has been so long since I’ve taken the time to write about the Riggins Life.  We’ve seen lots of change in the past year and a half, the biggest being our move to what we affectionately call “the farm”.  We purchased a house with 22 acres of gorgeous property with a beautiful 4 acre pond.  With all this land, we have to have a farm, right?  I mean, it just makes sense.

But to whom…?  If you remember some of my former blog posts, I’m the one who didn’t even really want the 2 dogs we already had.  So, I should be on board with having A FARM?

As I’ve learned being married to Steve Riggins, he listens to my concerns and hears me when I say, “I don’t think we’re ready for that..” and then moves ahead however he wishes (thus why our dog population has grown to 4).  He absolutely lives by the mantra “ask forgiveness, not permission”.  So, when Steve and the boys began talking of nothing else than putting up fences and getting animals, I knew I may as well get on board and enjoy the ride.  It’s not like anyone was listening to me anyway.

We started our little farm with 12 Khaki Campbells ducks (the twelve disciples), followed by 14 chickens (4 of our “all hen” population turned out to be roosters…evil beings), then 11 more ducks (Mallards), a Blue Slate turkey (God rest his soul), 5 more ducks (Pekings…like the Aflac duck), 2 adopted ducks who just needed friends and a good home to swim on and now 3 pigs (a boar and 2 sows).  We will pick up 200 bees tomorrow (because Steve decided we should be beekeepers…which he told me AFTER he had ordered the bees) and fencing is almost complete for cows.  Steve has even talked about getting Alpacas, but I think he’s gone a little off the charts on that one (but one day, they may just show up…because, well, it’s Steve).

I can’t quite explain what has happened to me while living on the farm.  It’s definitely a peaceful place to be; I can’t look outside without thanking God for allowing us to live here.  And funny, I find myself getting up at 5am to feed chickens and pigs and ducks and dogs and not minding it at all.  In fact, do you know how breathtaking it is to walk out in the dark morning with no lights of any kind in sight, and see the sky literally lit up with millions of stars that seem so clear you could almost reach up and touch them?  I highly recommend it.  It’s pretty amazing.

And these animals!  I actually enjoy watching and studying and getting to know these funny creatures in our care!  Each one is so amazing –  what a creative Creator we have!!

They do bring a lot of joy.  And as much as I’ve learned to love (most of) the animals (ahem…not sorry to the devil rooster who is in a friend’s freezer), it hurts that much more when we lose one. RIP Duke.  I think many of our friends who have followed my posts on Facebook and Instagram have mourned the loss of Duke, too.  I’ve actually been both shocked and touched at the outpouring of love when our sweet turkey died.  2 years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and thought that was crazy; today, it warms my heart.  And it will please you all to know that Steve has 18 turkey chicks arriving this month! (I know, I know, we’ll keep the dogs away from them – lesson learned).

I don’t know how far this farming venture will take us, but for right now, it’s just a fun way to enjoy the property God blessed us with.  We’re definitely rookies learning from our mistakes, but we are learning and having fun in the process.

More to come from #rigginsfarms…there are far too many stories not to share. 🙂

Here’s why I know Jesus believed ALL LIVES MATTER


Lately, with everything going on in our nation regarding #whoselifematters, some have even suggested that Jesus Christ would have championed for these groups based on his words in Matthew 5.

                                               Online this read “Jesus vs. #alllivesmatter”
Let’s take a look at what Jesus says, shall we?

Matthew 5:3-12 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 

Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 

Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Jesus Christ certainly listed groups of people He feels should be blessed, but do you note any ethnic groups or races in His wording?  No.  In fact, every single people group listed here could and should represent every person He came to die for (the world).

The Poor in Spirit – Have you ever been poor in spirit?  If you’ve walked in the way of Christ for very long you have….its not always a mountain top experience.  There have been times in my life when I have been so burdened, all I could do was weep before the Lord.  But He is always faithful and has always blessed my poor spirit in His way and in His time.

Those who Mourn – If you’ve lived very long, you’ve felt the sting of death and the pain this type of loss brings.  If we let Him, God will bless those who mourn with a special closeness of the Holy Spirit.  God understands.

The Meek – The definition of meek is this: “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.”  Jesus calls us to be all of these attributes.  Many Christians like the Jesus who flipped over the sellers’ tables in the tabernacle (and yet sinned not); we all like that kind of champion.  But being quiet, gentle, easily imposed on and submissive…these are harder pills to swallow.  Yet Christ, throughout scripture, calls us to be meek and led by example (even when he flipped the tables in the tabernacle).

Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness – THIS.  This is what God wants.  He wants His children wanting Him – hungering and thirsting after Him – as much as He wants us.  God gave His only Son, Jesus, to change our lives and eternity, yet often, we have a hard time giving Him a few minutes each day. Want to be blessed?  Ask God to help you every day to hunger and thirst after HIM.

The Merciful – We all want mercy.  Mercy is undeserved.  Mercy is receiving forgiveness in place of punishment.  Being merciful means we’re the ones forgiving the undeserved, the guilty, the unlovable, those who hurt us.  But God says if we want mercy, we need to show mercy. And believe me, even though it’s unnatural to our nature, being merciful will bring an abundance of blessings.

Pure in Heart – Has there ever been a time in history when we are any more about ourselves?   We are solely interested in OUR agendas, OUR ideas, OUR hurt feelings, OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY…these come from a heart set on ourselves.  But God wants us to have pure hearts.  Purity comes from refining and God is the Refiner.  When the Master refines, He works in our lives to remove anything that isn’t like Him.  Wow, what a process…a process that will never end until we’re HOME.

Peacemakers – We surely could use more peacemakers these days.  A peacemaker reconciles adversaries rather than running from, arguing with, or ignoring those with whom they don’t agree.  They understand that arguing will not bring about a change of heart – only God can do that.  Being a peacemaker doesn’t make one weak; instead, their confidence in the Lord propels them to react differently…like Jesus.

Persecuted for righteousness sake –  Jesus is our righteousness.  Jesus gave all for me…I can give no less than my all for my Savior.  Jesus already told us that if we, children of God, are hated by this world, we are not to worry because they hated Him first. And, if we are emulating Christ, we will be hated (Satan will see to it). But the reward far outweighs any persecution we will face on this side of eternity.

Every single attribute listed in Matthew 5 is for every child of God.  And when we display them, we will be BLESSED.

The Life that Matters — therigginslife



These are not America’s greatest days. The cracks in her foundation are beginning to show and the shifts are increasingly widening by the day due to a great turbulence sweeping the nation fueled by HATE. Americans are campaigning for whose lives matter the most. There is protest against the entire police force nationwide because of […]

via The Life that Matters — therigginslife

The Life that Matters


These are not America’s greatest days.  The cracks in her foundation are beginning to show and the shifts are increasingly widening by the day due to a great turbulence sweeping the nation fueled by HATE.


Americans are campaigning for whose lives matter the most.  There is protest against the entire police force nationwide because of what some see to be a wrongful mistake made by a few officers.  And ironically, for many of these protestors, their antidote is to sacrifice innocent lives either out of retaliation for the families they feel have been victimized or to make a statement of hate (which, in this nation, we have always understood to be terrorism).

Unless the Lord intervenes, this fall I will literally have to vote for the best of the worst in our upcoming presidential election.  And sadly, it appears the worst may win, regardless of evidence proving this candidate to be grossly unqualified to lead our country.


In fact, He told us it would come.  I borrow the following scripture from The Message because it literally describes this day in our nation to a tee:

Romans 1:28-32

Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives…They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!”

Ahem….Paul just described America 2016 as if he were living here today.

Sad, isn’t it?  These unsaved people doing such evil things!  But hey, if they’re unsaved,  they’re fair game for Satan.

But what about those of us who have been saved?  We are redeemed from our wicked ways!  We have been given new life!  Old things have passed away and all things have become new!  We are CLEAN!

So why, then, do we act like typical America 2016 who Paul describes like this:

Romans 2:1 “Those people are on a dark spiral downward…”

Yes, indeed they are.  But the born again Christian is not!  We are the only ones who actually have HOPE!  We know the answer to the cure for evil in this world – Jesus Christ!!

HOWEVER, the verse continues:

“But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted.”

There’s a thin line between righteous indignation and judgmental hatred.  We Christians can paint our hate a different color or even try to describe it as something otherwise, but if we’re not burdened to tears and brought to our knees over this nation and the lost people in it – regardless of color/race/ethnicity, then we’re no better than the lost in this world who are fueled by Satan to only want their agendas to be known and their voices to be heard.

God sees all.  God knows all.  God loves all.  He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, for everyone in the entire world.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”


Therefore, as a Christian, all lives should matter to me. Period.  I’ll let Paul sum it up for us:

If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say or what you think about you. He makes up his own mind.” Romans 2:6-11 The Message

For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11 NKJV

May there be no partiality with me.

First World Problems…


I am one blessed gal. Really!!  I know that I am!  So why doesn’t that thought overwhelm my mind?  Why am I so easily sidetracked and distracted by junk?

It has a lot to do with my “first world problems”.

I became introduced to the “first world problems” concept when one day I posted a status on Facebook whilst sitting in a pedicure chair stating my frustration for having to wait and feeling ignored, attaching a picture of my untouched feet.  I noticed I had a comment from a friend that simply read “First world problems.”


While her intentions were possibly funny, she nailed me.  I really wanted to delete the post, but I thought, “Nope.  You asked for that one, Sister.”  Her statement as stuck with me and I have started to notice how often we complain about first world problems.

My mother is preparing her house to be sold and yesterday we were pulling down wallpaper (unsuccessfully, might I add) in her hallway bathroom.  It was a MESS.  We had watered down Downey all over the walls, countertops, floors, glasses, bodies – EVERYWHERE – along with strips and scraps of outdated wallpaper wherever we looked.  We were at the point of no return.  The first layer of wallpaper was coming off relatively easily which meant we only had 3 MORE LAYERS TO PULL OFF (ask me if I knew there were 3 layers of wallpaper before I peeled the first piece? NO I DID NOT.).  Mom and I pulled and scraped for hours and literally less than a 1/4 of the bathroom is clear of the 3 LAYERS OF WALLPAPER.

As we were pulling, my mother, reminding me that her brother and sister-in-law will be visiting from Indiana next week, sighed and said, “I’ll have to warn Lane and Gretchen about this bathroom.”  I stopped pulling and said, “Why?  We’re not undoing any plumbing.  There’s still a tub, shower, commode and sink. It’s still a usable bathroom.”

Mom – “I know, I guess they can use my bathroom.”

Me – (bewildered and laughing) “Why can’t they use this bathroom??”

Mom – “Well, I guess they can, we just won’t have the new paper on the walls yet.”

First world problems…

Look, I can laugh at her comments because it’s not my bathroom.  And in all honesty, my mom is concerned in this way because she cares so much for others and their well-being, especially when they’re in her care.  She would sleep outside if she thought it would make someone else more comfortable.  But personally, if I think someone is coming to MY house (besides family), I want to make the “right” impression. I immediately see all the things I need to take care of to be sure that everything looks in perfect place and I work feverishly to make sure it’s just so (true story).  It’s a first world thing.

Now, it’s not wrong to want nice things or to expect good service or to desire to make a good impression, but have we ever really thought about the “problems” we face?  Have we ever wondered if the junk we’re dealing with right now would even be worth thinking about if we lived in, say, a third world country?  It makes that frustration over my wait for a pedicure seem pretty minuscule…and extremely spoiled and petty.

I’m asking God to help me be more aware of how I view my “problems”.  In a third world country, they are thankful for one meal a day.  Where I live, I can open the fridge or pantry at any given time and, even if I desperately need to go to the grocery store, there’s still something that can satisfy my hunger.  Do I thank God for that or complain that “there’s nothing to eat in this house”?

It’s something to think about.  Many times First World Problems = Third World Blessings.

Lord, forgive me for time wasted not thanking You for my many blessings.  Help me kick first world problems to the curb.

So really…why don’t people sing in church? Yep, another of “those” blogs…


I’ve read several articles lately about “why people don’t sing in church anymore”.  These various articles submit that It’s either because churches sing too many hymns or churches don’t sing enough hymns or the music is “new” so people don’t know the words or it’s more about the person singing on stage and the band than the congregation involvement…blah, blah, blah.  After reading many of these different submissions (some I agree with and some, not so much) I have put a lot of thought into this issue myself.  I mean, I am a worship leader so I see firsthand the non-singers (actually, these folks look more entranced as they stand and stare at the screen on the church wall with no movement…at all).  Do I believe there’s a right equation the music department can come up with to fix it?  Nope.

Here’s what I think the issue is: the heart.

As a worship leader equipped by God to lead people in one of the most important aspects of a church service, it is my calling to diligently seek HIM regarding the music we sing, the people who sing it and the order in which it is presented.  Just putting a list of songs together each week does not a worship leader make.  If my heart is not in line with the Father, if I am not desperately seeking His direction, the result will be reflected in the music and it’s lack of effect.  Psalm 16:2 says it best: “You are my Lord, my goodness is NOTHING apart from You.”  The worship leader’s position in selecting music is not to please the old crowd or the young crowd or the pastor or the choir but instead to please THE LORD.  He is the One we’re supposed to be singing to, by the way…our worship is to HIM not for each other.

Now, if we get the heart of the worship leader where it needs to be, that still won’t assure that the people will sing and worship as God desires.  Again…it’s the heart.

I see non-singing older people and non-singing young people every Sunday…and it’s not because we’re singing a song they don’t know!  For instance, let’s say we decide to sing a hymn (which I love…I cut my teeth on a hymnal!).  I watch the faces of the young folks who give me the unspoken, “Really? How old is this song anyway?”  while the older folks perk up and sing out with gusto as if to insinuate “FINALLY we’re singing a song God approves of” (but I warn you, do NOT rearrange or update these sacred hymns.  I received an anonymous note after singing an upbeat version of “Revive Us Again” advising that the hymns were “written right the first time so stop changing them”).

The same thing happens in reverse order when we sing a contemporary song.

Here are my thoughts:  If you have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, and you are walking in His grace every day, how can you not get excited about singing “When We All Get to Heaven”?!  Seriously, what a day of rejoicing that WILL be and I can hardly wait to get there myself!!  In the same right, who can’t get excited to sing, “God’s not dead He’s surely alive! He’s living on the inside, roaring like a lion”??  Well, isn’t that truth for the born again believer?? God is NOT dead and praise His name, He lives inside of His children!

I get it, I get it…the beat is not what you’re used to or it’s “hokey” or the keyboard has replaced the beloved organ.  But does that change the truth of the lyrics? NO!

What breaks my heart is this divide we are experiencing in our churches over MUSIC. What is the deal?!  I see the meddling hand of Satan all over this.  In truth, the older people should be praying for and encouraging the younger people in the church.  Thank God they’re even there!  These are the ones who will continue to make the church strong and growing! These are the ones having babies to bring in new generations to serve God!  And when there are songs sung that causes these young hearts to open up in praise and worship to OUR KING, older saints, you should raise your own hands in thanks to God for these that He will use to continue His church!!

Likewise, when hymns of the church are sung – songs written by spiritual giants and penned out of some of the most tragic yet faith-building testimonies you’ll ever hear (do yourself a favor and just read the story behind “It is Well”), young people, you should thank God for the saints standing nearby, belting out these songs they have literally loved all of their lives, because THEIR hard work, dedication and love for God Almighty is most likely the very reason there’s a sanctuary to sing in at all.

Here’s a novel suggestion:  COME TO CHURCH ASKING GOD TO FEED YOU. PERIOD.  Don’t show up wondering if you’ll be fed and going away hungry because you refused to receive what the Lord had to offer because it wasn’t “your flavor”.

And for goodness sake, if you, young or old, do not know a song being sung…JUST LISTEN.  Don’t just hear, LISTEN.  Listen to the words of the song – read them on the screen – and let them sink in.  If your worship leader is worth his/her salt, they will have selected a song that has God’s anointing all over it and, slow or fast, old or new, HE can speak to you through it.

I love music, I love church, and most of all, I LOVE THE LORD!  Don’t miss out on what HE wants to do in your life!  Open up and PRAISE HIM!!!!!