The Worship Shirt

Who is the King of glory?

The LORD strong and mighty,

The LORD mighty in battle.

Psalm 24:8

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I was extremely blessed to visit Nashville earlier this week. I was there for a couple of reasons, and the first was to see Third Day’s Farewell Concert at the Ryman Auditorium.

I love this band.

Recently, I referred to their 25 years of music as the soundtrack to my life’s story. In fact, I wish I could play it in the background of this blog like elevator music while you read and sip your coffee.

There is somewhat of a backstory to the trip, that as usual, involves some stumbling on my part. I should really start wearing steel-toed boots.

By the time I realized there was a Farewell Tour (because I’m a slacker-super-fan), most of the shows in nearby states were sold out. Then, I got an alert that a second show was added in Nashville and I quickly got two tickets so my husband, Clique (nickname), and I could go for our anniversary that was also this month.

When I told him about it, he had a funny look on his face…which I discovered was because he knew Grand Ole Opry tickets had been purchased for us – for the same night – to see a family friend at the ACM Lifting Lives performance.

Let’s just say we had some difficult discussions in the week that followed. I felt awful for not saying we could just sell the tickets and forget the concert. It was a no-win situation for me because we really needed to be at both, or I needed for us to be at both. There was so much of my marriage and my own personal spiritual walk tied to the music of Third Day, that I just could not imagine not seeing them one last time.

For a long time, I was a worship concert groupie. If I could get to a place where the name of Christ was being lifted high, then I was there. Chris Tomlin, Tobymac, Third Day, Jeremy Camp, Mercy Me, Casting Crowns…I’ve seen them all, and more than once.

Learning to experience the freedom of worship was like breathing the clean, crisp air of autumn for the first time. You didn’t know what you were missing until you tasted the real thing, and you didn’t want to ever let it go (it’s a lot like the lyrics in Show Me Your Glory).

Some of the most meaningful moments that I’ve had with the Lord, and with my husband, have been related to their concerts or their music, and I wanted to have that experience with Clique one last time.

But, do you know what? God knew this. He knows me better than I know myself. I don’t know when…WHEN…I will stop fretting and worrying about things that I cannot control, because after a pretty emotional week of trying to make everything work for this Nashville trip, including a moment where I thought I wouldn’t even be able to go, this is where I found myself on Monday night at 7pm.

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Let’s not get ahead, though.  As I was getting ready for this anniversary date night, my friend, Brittany, and I were discussing which shirt I should wear to the concert.

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“What did you bring to wear?” she asked.

I explained that I had two sleeveless dress shirts, but I wasn’t comfortable wearing those to a worship concert because I have flabby arms. ❌ Those were immediately off the list.

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Who wants to distract someone from the Holy Spirit while lifting your hands to the Lord?

I know someone just gave me an amen.

Of course, I am joking, but then again, I never would have worn that sleeveless shirt!

Brittany said that was silly, but wanted me to save one of those for the next night, because it was really cute and it would be hot where we were going. Deal.

Next, we looked at a shirt that provided nice coverage over both my stomach and my behind (very important) if my arms were raised, but the sleeves had elastic at the end that was almost too tight for comfort. If the sleeves slid up and down all night, then it could possibly cut off circulation to my hands. ❌ This would be bad.

Plus, the shoes with that outfit were not really a wise choice for the walking required in Nashville. My X-Men/Wolverine metal plate & screws leg would swell after two blocks in those wedges…that put me just a little closer to my husband’s height of 6’3.

I was already wearing one of my favorite shirts that is just a plain blue-gray color. It had short sleeves, but the front would rise up above my pants’ waist band during songs like King of Glory or Angus Dei.

Another no-go. ❌ I would be pulling it down all night.

We settled on the quickly-fading, cold-shoulder-top-design, that was loose fitting and covered well, and was basically the last shirt I had anyway.

My goals were to have comfort to move around as needed without any skin showing, and to look somewhat cute for my husband.

 

 

My favorite band was having their farewell tour and I knew we were going to a place…about the praise the Most High God.

I wanted to be ready.

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Ready. 

Imagine if we woke up every day preparing ourselves to meet with the Most High God with such anticipation and attention to detail.

Our iphone morning alarm would sound, “The King Is Coming,” or “All Hail King Jesus,” as we jumped from our beds, only to fall to our knees before the King of kings.

My thoughts might consist of, “Will today be the day of the fulfillment of Your promise? Who else should hear of Your name, Lord? What can I do to build Your kingdom today?”

I would excitedly go through my closet looking for just the right shirt in order to lift my arms to the risen Savior, all while my music played,

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“I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the one who gave it all

I’ll stand

My soul Lord to you surrendered

All I am is yours.”

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As I stood there in Nashville Monday night, with roughly 2,400 other people, I thought of the intimate freedom I felt to stand or raise my hands as Mac Powell quoted this verse:

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Who is this King of glory that pursues me with His love
And haunts me with each hearing of His softly spoken words
My conscience, a reminder of forgiveness that I need
Who is this King of glory who offers it to me

Who is this King of angels, O blessed Prince of Peace
Revealing things of Heaven and all it’s mysteries
My spirit’s ever longing for His grace in which to stand
Who is this King of glory, Son of God and song of man

His name is Jesus, precious Jesus
The Lord Almighty, the King of my heart
The King of glory

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How different it will be when Jesus returns…when He is the constant focus of our praise. There won’t be all of this “life” stuff in between that takes our heart and mind away from our First Love.

Why do we have to wait until then, though? Isn’t He really already here? He’s the King of our heart.

Now, if He said he would be back, does everyone know about this?

Are we forgetting anyone? Will there be a headcount like when we take field trips?

Is there anyone who are we too embarrassed to tell about His sacrifice in fear of not offending them with the truth? Maybe we do not feel adequate to explain it all.

Are we okay with putting on our Sunday best – our worship shirt – and soaking in the Savior, but then not telling anyone about it?

I don’t mean to imply that someone would not get their chance to hear about the saving grace of Jesus… just because we tend to be self-centered, scared or busy.

The God of the universe certainly does not have His master plan thwarted by one of His created. I believe He would just prompt someone else if we fail to rise up for the Lord.

How sad it would be to know that I had nothing to give back to the One who gave everything for me…that I kept Him all to myself and never told you to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

I honestly do not want to miss any of my assigned opportunities. If I could bottle this gift of Christ, that I know to be real, then I would spend every day handing it out on the street. You might look at me like I am one of those crazy people at the mall trying to straighten your hair, but I promise, this is the real thing.

I want to be ready with my worship shirt when He returns, but I want you to have one, too.

Let’s set our alarms, and get our wardrobe ready, okay?

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“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 

Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. 

But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. 

When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.  But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.

’Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’  

‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ 

But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ 

Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.” 

Matthew 25:1-13

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Music Gallery

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Bittersweet Video (please read description of what happened, no audio, and I’m sure there’s a blog post lesson or devotion just waiting in this heartbreak…)

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Short clip of I’ve Always Loved You by Third Day, featuring Clique.

https://youtu.be/w_N6G-kzv3Q

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…and the video with audio that I took JUST before the one above, that somehow ended up with sound. Don’t worry, a real Third Day video of this song is included below.

Mine was special.

https://youtu.be/P252mvR65rY

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Consuming Fire – Show Opener

(a must see for anyone on earth…) 🌎

https://youtu.be/NZyD0OTpq2Q

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I Need A Miracle

(because who doesn’t need a miracle?)

https://youtu.be/bTjimzpyE4k

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The Stand

(not Third Day, but it matches the shirt)

https://youtu.be/kV5iZBTNYrk

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Your Love Oh Lord (Third Day)

Psalm 36 – one of my favorites, and Clique sang it to me when he proposed (on the beach…under a full moon)

😍 Plus, this video includes Call My Name, another of my favorites.

https://youtu.be/xhhiGnHg4ZE

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Revelation

(when you don’t know what to do)

https://youtu.be/6u0P9kwfF4s

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Mountain of God

(understanding the valleys)

https://youtu.be/vQWC8e7FD7c

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Love Song

(if you wanna know what love is)

https://youtu.be/ulF23jpFvyY

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Your Words

(because the power of life and death is in our words, and God’s Word is alive for us…to live)

https://youtu.be/KqaA8XBI15o