The Unsung Heroes

What does a worship team do in the hours before church starts.

Carlos arrives first. He unlocks a door for the others to slip through and starts turning on the lights. He goes to the back and turns on the audio equipment and works on getting the numerous dials to the perfect spot.

Patrick walks in at a fast clip with his guitar case and  pedal board filled with his guitar effects. It always takes him the longest to set up with his electric guitar and pedals. The speaker isn’t working right this morning, so he plays with his guitar and volume until he finds the exact spot where the speakers will work for him, not against him.

In walks a new guy with his battered acoustic guitar case. Justin exhibits a laid back demeanor as he introduces himself to the others and begins asking the multitudinous questions that it will take to get him set up and ready to play.

Meanwhile KJ enters the back of the sanctuary with his bass slung over his shoulder. He talks with people and laughs as he wakes up and gets ready to play.

Carlos starts calling for mic checks as Richard enters. He walks to the front and sets down his breakfast, coffee , power bar and drum sticks. He yawns as he walks out the door to hang up his coat.

Cassie and Emily walk in laughing as they walk to the front pew. Emily pulls out her violin as Cassie prepares the keyboard. They continue to laugh together as they prepare their instruments and wake up more.

As the mic checks continue, the chatter slowly starts a crescendo. The air begins to fill in with instruments warming up, a cacophony that will soon give way to order.

Carlos steps up to the main mic, his own acoustic guitar slung from his shoulder. The instruments noises quiet down with short burst of the final warm-ups. Caleb goes through the order of the songs and last minute chord changes. He bows his head, along with everyone else as he prays to God that He would get all the glory; that their worship would bring a smile to the Almighty’s face.

As they play the first song, the yawns lessen and the eyes open a little wider. The protein bar has been consumed and the coffees are empty. The recently showered heads of hair have now dried. The team is looking sharper and chords are called out and debated as the practice continues.

The sun still isn’t up as the singers quietly enter. They are still in yawning mode. Kim quietly distributes the coffee that she has brought in to share. Sarah comes in looking awake and ready to go.  They quietly pick up the mics and voices are added to the music. There is still 90 minutes until the service begins. When the congregation yawns in, the wide awake worship team has been soaking in praise for a couple of hours already.

Carlos finally declares them ready and everyone takes a break. They make last minute bathroom breaks and grab some water. When it is a little before nine, they are all on stage, ready to go.

Carlos begins with prayer and takes directs the focus of the congregation and puts it on God. The people join in with the worship team and the hours of prep brings the people into God’s presence quickly. Hands wave in the air and eyes fill with tears. A few people bow at the altar and some dance in the back.

The Holy Spirit seemingly flows out of the instruments and voices. There is no way to explain how this works. The glory and magesty of God become overwhelming to the hearts that are fixed on their Abba Father.

When the pastor takes the mic, he is ready to preach. This rides on the presence of God coming in like a flood during worship. He is strengthened and encouraged from the worship, and his message today will be strong and Biblically sound.

People will get saved today. Some will be healed or encouraged. All will receive Gods love. God isn’t just working through the worship team, but they certainly set the stage to get it all rolling.

These unsung worship heroes will be at church for a total of 7 hours. They will not have time to eat during until after the last service. They sit through two entire services. Some will fall asleep during the message from exhaustion and it will bring knowing smiles from the others on the team.

After the service, they quickly pack up their instruments and join in with the multitude of conversations taking place throughout the church. Ministry is still taking place as people discuss what God spoke to them during the service and others ask for prayer for difficulties they are going through. Even this is riding on the songs of the worship team.

They do not get paid for what they do. For many this is their day off. Some will leave and  go straight to work, some will go play with their kids and the rest will hit the couch for a well deserved nap. They have pleased God greatly and have impacted lives not only in the congregation where they ministered, but in the lives that the congregation goes out and touches as well. Who knows, as they minister to people who in turn minister to others who in turn minister to others, they will be reaching around the world. But this isn’t what they are thinking about as they quietly and humbly go on with their day.

 

Coffee Break

I love coffee breaks! The process of the warm cup in my hand, the steamy smell wafting to my nose, and the calming of all the muscles in my body as my mind stills happens every time. It’s like an old friend coming over for a chat, but it is only me and my cup. Today I am looking over my life, my blog on how God is Good and how it all works together in my tangled life.

I know that in the blogging world, people like blogs with one theme. I love that too, and when I am in the mood for homeschooling, or current events or someone sharing their life it is easy to go there. But then you hit my blog, and it’s everything I do, think, and understand that will greet you. You never know what you will get, but you will always know where I am in life and what is going on at the time.

I realize that blogging is putting my life on display and that anyone can access it. It is quite terrifying in many ways. But I always come back to my love for God and the need to share how wonderful he is for whomever will grace me with a glance at my blog.

I know that there are many topics on my blog that make many people uncomfortable. There are those who do not want to hear about God, homeschooling, my life,parenting, teaching, my poems, or sra and sexual abuse. But I do hope that the brave that soldier through my posts are seeing that I am just a woman who lives my life knowing that whatever I am going through, God is with me.

I continue to love homeschooling. My 9th grader and I are having an enjoyable study in the executive cabinet appointees and Trump’s innauguration. My teaching English to Chinese students over the internet for VIPkids is a joy and is going well. Parenting is challenging as always. Health-wise I have been fighting cold/bronchitis/pneumonia for the past several weeks and it is really annoying. SRA healing has been quite difficult lately, unfortunately, and I struggle with how long the healing process is.

In the midst of all of these areas of my life swimming around in my head, I come back to the rock of my life: God. He calms my storm of thoughts and I remember how much He loves me and that even if I feel as though I am going through the valley of the shadow of death in different areas of my life, He is with me. With Him, I will make it out and do well.

My cup is about empty and it is time to get back to work. Thank you for being supportive of my blog and of me. I greatly enjoy my WordPress time and I hope that God blesses you in what you are dealing with today.

Coffee Break; Cream, no Sugar

It has come to my attention that I have not been blogging very much as of late, so I thought I would catch you up on the Life and Times of Lisa Meister. So grab your favorite mug and let me pour you a fresh and hot cup of coffee. I will take mine with cream, no sugar.

Well, technically I have cream and sugar because I have the French vanilla kind that is crazy good with a crazy amount of sugar. But I feel better just saying no sugar. I figure that I am a hypocoffeedriac, meaning that if I believe that there isn’t sugar in the cream, there won’t be.

I have already blogged about my wonderful new job in
A Fun New Job and This Time I Get Paid. What is amazing is that I live in Indiana, USA but teach in China. I am teaching Chinese children, ages 4 – 12 English. There are so many wonderful children out there that are a lot of fun to work with. I really thought that China was mostly a third world country, but these children look to be from homes very much like ours.

But I digress. That rabbit trail started with my job, so I will get back to it. I am slowly building my student base and am starting to figure out what I am doing. My kids are very smart and by the end of a 25 minute lesson, I can already notice a jump in what they can understand. I work from 5 – 9 am each morning, with prep the night before. I have puppets, cheerleading pom-poms, birthday hats and blow toys, crazy hats, and a tamborine. Aargh, I digress again.

Okay, on to a new area. I am still homeschooling my youngest. It works great because we don’t start homeschooling until 10am. She does almost everything on her own now (a trait the homeschooling community highly prizes), with me there to discuss ideas, help with math, or to try to help with science.

I am also a blogger, a great love in my life. But as you can see, I don’t have a lot of time for it right now. As teaching gets easier I will have more time again.

My oldest daughter is graduating from College next week! That’s a “Yeah!” and a “Yikes!”. My 5 pound bundle of joy is now 23. Yes, the years vanished in a smoky “poof”, but I know I gleaned all the time with her I could because I educated her at home.

I have also started writing a new book, and am trying to find big chunks of time (well, not really, more like small chunks of time) to write. I have my topic, my research, my voice and am well on my way into chapter one.

Christmas is upon us, so I am taking time to think through all that Jesus has done for me and marvel at his loving decision to come to earth as a man. This year I have been thinking through all the prophecies in the Old Testament about his coming. I’ll have to blog some about that at a later date.

There is always church, God time, teen drama, husband, and health issues that I deal with on a daily basis; heavy on the teen drama. I think that is about it.

So that about catches you up on me. I would love it if you would leave a quick reply as to how you are doing. I have missed all of my blogging friends.

My Coffee Break With God

What I would ask God if we had a coffee break together.

I wonder where God stands on coffee? I am assuming He is all for it for he made the coffee beans in the first place. I would also assume that it will be in Heaven as well, so we would then be able to sit down to with the Almighty for a coffee break. I would imagine those of you who know me can see where this coffee chat is going…what topics I would like to talk to God about…

  • So the idea behind the mosquito was what?
  • How bad did Noah’s ark smell?
  • Where do all the lost socks go?
  • Why did you have to use hormones on teenagers?
  • Does watching church on tv count as going to church?
  • Do you have video recordings on everything that has ever happened on earth?
  • Will there be blogging in Heaven?
  • How in the world did the wisest man in the world (King Solomon) take so man wives? I mean, that really wasn’t smart…
  • Have you been running the human experience over and over again throughout eternity so you don’t get bored? Do you wait for humans to completely destroy their world before you decide to build another one?
  • Why are dogs happy to play fetch over and over every day like it’s a brand new game while my kids tire of their Christmas gifts within a week?
  • Why did my newborns keep me up all night while my sister-in-law’s kids started sleeping through right away?
  • Why don’t I ever know where my cell phone is?
  • Is it true that a butterfly halfway around the around the earth can flutter its wings and cause a hurricane here?
  • Where is heaven?

This is just getting me started. Do you have any questions you would ask?

 

Coffee and Meandering Life Philosophies

I love coffee. Sometimes I hold it close in cold hands and allow it to gently warm me. Other times I am hot and the coffee makes me sweaty and sticky. Every once in a while it’s perfect either way. But the worst is when I go and spill it all over myself. Coffee is supposed to give me a good start to my day, but if it stains my clothes (or burns me) it just makes me crabby and I mumble the rest of the day.

There has been lots going on in my life lately with which I have needed countless cups to figure it out, or not figure it out. Some things are so tangled right now that I don’t know which direction is up or down, which is bad when I have a cup of coffee in my hand.

I homeschool my kids, as many of you know. Well, at least “kid” because I am down to one. She is beginning 9th grade and I am getting more and more excited as our starting date comes up. We start when my professor husband and two kids go back to college at the end of the month. Otherwise it is unfair for Laura to watch everyone else getting their last bit of fun done before starting back and then she’d just be schooling. If that happened, I think she would take my cup of coffee and throw it at me.

I have also been dealing with BMV paperwork with our annual registration paperwork and fees. We have also finally retired our very tired van and bought a new for us car. My son also just bought himself a car. That means more paperwork, more money and me stuck on the computer trying to figure out how to do this all on a crazy government website. You are probably wondering what this has to do with coffee. It has everything to do with it because my epiphany came while I was drinking coffee: I will just have my Laura do it so that she can be “taught” how to do it for life skills. I think I could put that one by her, as long as she is not reading this blog.

My son, Jeff, has a girlfriend that he really likes (and who is godly and very sweet). This has been fun because Jeff will come and sit by me and ask all sorts of questions. We talk about manhood, responsibility, education, degrees, relationships, questions about how Patrick and I dated, married, and stayed in love over the years. This is all coffee worthy conversations and they are a lot of fun. Jeff is a big sweetheart, and if this girl ends up with him, she will be very blessed indeed.

A close friend of my kids just got engaged. This is a two coffee strain of thinking because if he can do it, then so can my kids. I’m not sure I’m ready for this, and when I sit, sip and try to think my mind just goes blank. I guess in this instance coffee has let me down.

Finally, I have been in a wonderful women’s Bible Study and we have been talking a lot about grace. I love the grace God grants me, but sometimes don’t want to give my grace to others. Okay, this time I’ll just get the whole pot…

Pour Me Another Cup of Coffee

If you joined me for a cup of coffee, we would sit on my front porch and I would catch you up on my blogging. You are probably wondering why my blog is all over the place. I like creative writing, talking about God and Bible, homeschooling, life, poetry, and on and on, all through the lenses of God being good.  I am all over the place because my mind just works that way. You can ask my husband. He got his PhD so he could try to follow the logic behind my mental gymnastics, only to find them not logical at all. He still kindly tries to stick with me to the point of where I am going, but by the time I get there I tend to forget what it is.

I never liked coffee until a couple years ago when I had a bad asthma attack and read on the internet that coffee can help. So I went to Dunkin Donuts to give it a try and it worked! Since then I have graduated to enjoying mornings curled up with a cup of coffee, pontificating about the mysteries of life, and knowing I don’t have to get to work until the cup is empty. Being the diligent homeschooling mom that I am, I finish the cup and then promptly pour myself another. All the while my thoughts are wandering around all over the place, just like my blogging. So if you can’t figure my writing out, pour yourself another cup of coffee and enjoy the ride.