Leading Hearts to Worship | Dt 30:15-20

leading hearts to worship

Who would you say is the most effective leader of our day?

What makes that person stand out from other leaders?

Centuries ago, God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and traverse the desert for forty years to prepare for entering the land promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Moses was not a perfect leader.

Yet, with the help of the LORD, Moses transformed into a leader whom both Jews and Christians revere.

What does this have to do with leading hearts to worship?

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Communal Responsibility in Worship

Communal Responsibility in Worship

How would you define communal responsibility in worship?

According to Merriam-Webster.com,

  • A community is defined as a unified body of individuals.
  • Responsibility involves answering for one’s conduct or obligations.
  • To worship is to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion a divine being.

So, a communal responsibility in worship could be described as a unified body of individuals answering for each other’s conduct to show great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion to a divine being.

But what does that look like in actual practice for the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy? And us today?

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How Teachable Are You?

Merriam-Webster.com defines teachable as apt and willing to learn.

If you were to make a list of everything you enjoyed learning from childhood to the present day, what would you include?

What would you list as things you didn’t enjoy learning?

Which list is longer for you?

Did you include things outside of formal school subjects?

In Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21, Jesus thanks the Lord of heaven and earth for hiding things from the wise and understanding while revealing them to little children.

What does this have to do with being teachable?

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Are You Ready to Start a New Year?

Last week, my husband was a camera operator for our church’s evening Christmas Eve service.

Because of this, we arrived about an hour before the service began.

I planned to meditate on scripture while I waited for the service to start.

However, upon entering the sanctuary, I met a friend who had signed up to usher for the first time and began asking me if I knew what he was supposed to do.

Shortly after, another friend who was ushering arrived and asked me if I thought they should light the altar candles this early or wait.

Next, two of our facilities team approached, talked about some things they had cleaned because of earlier services, and asked me if they should bring out the individual candles to hand out to worshippers since people had already arrived to get a good seat.

If you read last week’s post, you know this experience of “ask Barbara” is not an unusual phenomenon for me.

So how did I respond to all these questions?

And what does it have to do with being ready to start a new year?

Most importantly, what does it have to do with studying the Bible?

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Mark 1:35-39 | Why We Need Devotion


Each month, I meet with a small group of friends to discuss a chapter or more of a Christian-authored book.

We have read and discussed a variety of non-fiction and fiction Christian-authored books since meeting as a group.

Currently, we are working our way through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book, A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life.

A scripture passage that is referenced more than once in DeMoss’ book is Mark 1:35.

But before we consider Mark 1:35 in its context, we need to define devotion.

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Luke 7:18-28 | Christ’s Response to Doubts


What is doubt?

Merriam-webster.com defines doubt as calling into question, lacking confidence in, or considering unlikely the truth of something or someone.

Doubt is also a synonym for fear or suspicion.

What prompts doubt in us?

Today we are looking at a passage in Luke where John the Baptist sends messengers to Jesus Christ, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

How is it possible that John, who was filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth (Luke 1:15), experienced doubts about Christ as described in Luke 7:18-28?

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Too Good to Be True?


When was the last time you received news so good you struggled to explain or believe it?

Consider the following example:

When a cancerous tumor disappears before treatment starts or other medical recoveries, that has no logical explanation.

This type of experience often elicits expressions of “I can’t believe it” from our mouths, minds, and hearts, even though we are full of joy.

Jesus’ disciples experienced this in Luke 24.

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If Anyone Asks You


What leaps to mind when you hear someone begin a sentence with, “If anyone asks you”?

Obviously, when someone starts a sentence with that series of words, more instructions are about to follow.

Back in 2009, I had just started my first day of a two-week temporary assignment as a receptionist at a church.

Within the first hour of my temporary assignment, the senior pastor called the staff into a meeting. Meanwhile, being a temp, I remained at my post. As the staff came out of this unexpected meeting, I realized they had received upsetting news. Many were crying as they walked past the reception area to return to their offices.

My manager came and shared with me the news that the person whose role I was covering had stage four cancer and would most likely not return to work. She then proceeded with a version of “if anyone asks you” instruction on how to respond to questions that might come from church members as word of this spread.

This was a tremendous help to me in that unexpected situation. She coached me to be truthful while still protecting the privacy of the person. 

Jesus once coached two of his disciples to respond to an “if anyone asks you” question for a specific situation.

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Too Dim to See Part Two

too dim to see

One day near the end of my kindergarten days, my teacher had us write our answers on our own paper to questions that were on a chalkboard.

After reviewing my written answers, she called me to her desk and asked me all the questions verbally.

My written answers were incorrect, but my verbal responses were accurate.

My teacher then called my mother, saying, “I think your daughter has a vision problem.”

Thankfully, having spent several months with me in a classroom, my teacher was right to speculate that my performance with the written answers meant something was amiss. 

Her decision to test me with a different sensory mode enabled her to encourage my parents to get my eyes checked.

Yep, except for a brief period in my teens, I have worn glasses ever since.

A few weeks ago, we studied Genesis 27:1-5, where Isaac could no longer see because of his old age. 

Today, we will consider what other senses he relied on because of his physical blindness.

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Are You Gardening with God?

Spring has sprung where I live.

Aside from dealing with the allergens that tackle my respiratory system, I love getting my container gardening started each spring.

I used to only want to plant vegetables so that there would be a harvest to enjoy. But when my husband and I moved into our current abode, there was simply too much shade for vegetables.

This challenged me to research shade gardening and develop a greater appreciation of ornamental plants.

A couple of years ago, a tree was removed from the backyard, which has enabled more sun on our postage stamp of a yard.

This year a neighbor gifted us with her extra lettuce seedlings, and I already have some sugar snap peas poking up through the dirt. In addition, there is rosemary, sage, parsley, and some lavender that has held on since last year.

I also potted up some pansies and petunias for their joyful colors this growing season.

For the spot that still does not get enough sun for vegetables, I planted some ferns, astilbe, and dicentra.

What does all my gardening talk have to do with God?

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