Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Our Song and Our Strength

My blog today is a bit different from others I have written previously.  Instead of talking about music alone, I’m going to talk about present day issues and the influence music has on us.  Many issues that come to mind include the death of a loved one, division within our own county and Islamic terrorism.  As far as American society goes, people have counterfeited all sense of Christian morality for a “people pleasing” take on secular cultural relativism.  As Pastor Kevin so often says, “it is extremely depressing and sad to see a people founded on Christian principles reject God and live any ole way they please”.  When Christians take a biblical stance they are condemned on a mass scale by other people groups with opposing viewpoints.  Sometimes it may feel like everyone has a voice except Christians.  Why?  Because our beliefs aren’t “politically correct”!  What do we do when we are bogged down by never ending problems?  It’s hard to hold on to what you stand for when so many people condemn you for it.  For me, that is where music comes in.  Worship serves many purposes.  Yes, to glorify God, but as I have said before music can heal and strengthen the believers.  As believers, it is our duty (appointed to us by Christ) to share Him, the Gospel, with people.  That becomes difficult when people don’t even want to hear His name spoken.  God didn’t make quitters when he made us.  We need to keep standing for truth, because that example could be what God uses to bring just one person to Him.  One soul that is saved from an eternity in Hell is a victory for Christ’s kingdom!  Since we have Christ in us, we can do incredible things through Him.  We can talk to Him and sing praises to His great name!  We have a relationship with Him and we are able to hear His voice speaking into our souls.  It reminds me of the lyrics to a song we do here at MPBC called "Spirit of the Living God":

‘Cause when you speak, when you move
When you do what only you can do
It changes us, it changes what we see
And what we seek….

When we worship Him it revitalizes our souls and our will to keep seeking and standing on truth.  Like I said, we can do incredible things through Him but He can also do incredible things in our hearts and lives!  Worship is a world changer; it is a strengthener!  Our personal time of worship with God is individual and unique to each of us, but the common ground is this:  We can hear His voice and feel His presence and He strengthens us through worship.  He uses our music in mighty ways that bless those who are able to hear and understand.  Let us stay rooted in His truth!  Let us continue to do what we do best (music) because the world needs to see Him through us.  Psalm 40:3 says “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”  Scripture tells us what can happen when our example of worship touches a person’s heart. That should be great encouragement that what we do matters. The powerful lyrics to the songs we sing are not unheard. The passion we pour into music is not unseen. The way we lose ourselves in worship is a beautiful thing. It’s moving, and it speaks to the lost person. We can do anything through Him who strengthens us!

Keep Smiling,

Maddie Dowell

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Gift from God

Next Sunday is Father’s Day and I must say that being a “Dad” is one of the most important things in my life.  As a Dad I have made many mistakes but I know that my children know that they are loved.  I have to travel a lot with my job but when I call home and hear my 8 year old say “Daddy” and hear the excitement in her voice it makes my day.  With my older two children (21 and 19) to see them grow into adulthood and to have them ask for advice or approval for a decision makes my day as well, to know that they value my opinion means the world to me. 

Psalms 127:3-5 says “Children are a gift from God; they are his reward.  Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. That man shall have the help he needs when arguing with his enemies.”  Wow, I can definitely say AMEN to that.  I am 50 years old now and people often ask about our youngest who is 8 and say “I bet she keeps you young”, to which I say “nope, she keeps me tired!”  But other than the gift of salvation and a Godly wife there is no greater gift from God than our children. 

What does all of this have to do with a praise team blog, well I’m getting to that!  Throughout my children’s lives they have seen me involved in music ministries and they know that I love to worship through music and also to lead others in worship.  After singing yesterday morning in church I sat down with Gabby and she took the microphone from me and asked “is this yours to keep?” I informed her that it was mine during the time that I sang but that it belonged to the church. She then asked “when you retire from this job will you get to keep it?”  I’m not sure if she is trying to tell me that I spend too much time doing music (the job part), or if it’s time to hang it up (the retirement part). No matter what, it was a good laugh and children are a gift from God!
I am glad that God is our father because the love of a father is so precious and as his child I know that he loves me, and I’m sure I do things at times that cause him to laugh as well.  

Happy Fathers Day!


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fill Your Heart with Music

It’s so easy to rush and worry and when we are past one stress a new one comes on. It’s one of Satan’s games. See, it’s been a busy year. I won’t go through the details because we all go through times of stress and we all know how it feels to be overwhelmed. Yet, I was thinking while worshiping in the service at church a couple Sundays ago that along with God’s Word and prayer, God has given us another gift to help bring peace into our lives. It is unique in that even when we are old and our minds fail, we can still remember it, when a baby is crying and he hears it, he stops his wails, and in great turmoil, it can calm the most anxious heart. It turns painful tears to laughter and back to tears of joy. With words or without.  Just rhythm plus notes.


Music is a gift from God. Unfortunately, this world has twisted it into something that isn’t always used for good, but it was designed and created to be used for God. Being made in His image fills us with the same love for music that He has. And He commands us to play and sing for Him. Can you believe He actually likes to hear it?! Even a weak, imperfect, joyful noise is beautiful to Him, if it’s for His glory.

I am so thankful that while life can push and pull and exhaust, God has given us music to worship Him! We, of all living and breathing on earth are the only ones able to create music. And what peace it brings to a weary heart. Even when I don’t have time, I will sit and play the piano and close my eyes as I worship Jesus. Because it isn’t about me… He is worthy! When I put Him first, the worries slip away.

Be still, fill your heart with music and worship the Father. He loves to hear it. 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 (ESV) 


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Worship Matters

I love worship.  It's my time to get with God through song to show what He means to me and for me to adore Him for a while.  There's no other time like it.  But, doing it week in and week out, it's easy for it to become normal.  Usually we don't see normal things in our live's as amazing or spectacular.

They're just routine; nothing great, nothing grand.  It's easy to let my time of worship fall into this category of staleness.
 This picture perfectly sums up how it can feel first thing in the morning every Sunday.  And after being in that mindset for a while, it also becomes easy to ask "does it even matter?".    

Absolutely it matters.  Even though it doesn't seem that way, our worship does matter.  Why?  Because God still gets what you're saying.  Through all of the sleepy faces in the congregation and through all of the bottoms of coffee cups you see staring back at you, it still matters.  1 Peter 2:9 says that "we are a chosen people who have been called from darkness so that we may declare praises to God".  After all, our worship is totally about God and not about people.  We are only leaders in that worship.  When we worship God on our stages, He then ministers to our people.  Without Him, we're are just putting on a concert every week.  So yes, because of Jesus, our worship still matters.