Monday, April 18, 2016

An Act of Worship by Guest Ellie Gustafson #Giveaway

What is your musical language? Do you speak hymns, praise songs, classical, rock, or maybe “elevator music?”
I am musically bilingual, able to worship through almost any type. But certain high and holy music becomes a deliberate act, done alone, no one watching. No one to see but God. I sit in the middle of the musical maelstrom, caught up, whirled around, shaken and wrung, emptied of self and filled with the glory of God that bursts through a temporary rip in the fabric of the universe.

I don’t do this often. Such moments of pure worship cannot be borne easily. They are costly, as many of the prophets well knew. In Daniel’s encounter with a heavenly being, he says, “I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.” (Daniel 10:8) After at least one of his visions, he lay exhausted and ill for several days. (8:27)

Prophets in general were prickly—not the sort you’d invite to afternoon tea. But when you consider their occupational hazards—Moses’ thunderbolts atop Mt. Sinai, Ezekiel’s UFOs, Isaiah’s burning coals—we can understand their lack of patience for small stuff. Standing as they did at the interface of heaven and earth, such details as a change in the order of worship or too-loud drums wouldn’t have mattered at all.

Worship music is different for different people. People who love contemporary praise songs might hold their ears against classical music, whereas classicals might be bored by the simpler chord structure of praise songs.

I believe that the higher we reach both spiritually and musically, the closer we get to heaven’s musical interface. God spoke music into the world; music continues to speak his word.

God’s musical language penetrates every fiber and bone of my body. It is physical. It is emotional. It is spiritual. It knows me. It finds my weaknesses. It cannot remove weaknesses; only the blood of Jesus can do that. It can only touch sore points and bring me to tears. It gathers all human sorrows and joys from every land and every time and cries out, “Lord God, King of heaven, thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.”

Interact with Ellie:

"...a riveting tale, set in a world of high-stakes horse shows and stable intrigue, and an unflinching look at some of the best and worst in human relationships."
~Sally Wilkins, Sports and Games of Medieval Cultures

 The Stones
"If you have ever wondered what might have gone on around the campfires of David's army or in the halls of the royal palace, this is as close as you are going to get. Beyond that, the spiritual depth and devotion to historical accuracy is remarkable in this novel. It paints on a broad canvas, yet never seems to be slow-paced."
~Cliff Graham, Lion of War series

Ellie has graciously offered to giveaway a paperback or ebook copy (winner's choice) of one of her stories to one of this post's commentors. Winner to be announced in Monday's Weekly Windup post (4/25/16). 

What is your favorite type of worship music? Do you have a favorite song you'd like to share? 


  1. My favorite type of worship music are the Hymns of Old. They speak more to me than "today's" music does. I don't have a favorite song, it is whatever song pops into my head and then I start singing.
    Janet E.

  2. I enjoy all kinds of worship music. While I never want to lose the hymns of the past that have uplifted and encouraged so many people I am revived and motivated by the upbeat music and lyrics of praise and worship. I think that God wants us to be reverent but He also encourages us to "Make a joyful noise"!

  3. As long as I can understand the words, I enjoy most worship music. I believe that most churches display the words on screens, so that the congregation can sing along. My favorite all time worship song is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

  4. Thanks, ladies, for your comments. I'm glad you all appreciate the rich hymns we grew up with. And yes, I too love Come Thou Fount!

  5. Like Debbie, as long as I can understand the music...but I think my favorites are the hymns, and Shout to the Lord...and choruses...and scripture like Psalm 42 set to music...

  6. I have to say I enjoy the hymns from my youth. Great is Thy Faithfulness, Old Rugged Cross, What a Friend we have in Jesus. These are hymns that give me the most comfort.