The Story Behind The Songs - A Resting Place Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

The Song A Resting Place (from my upcoming CD)


Have you ever listened to a song and wondered what inspired the songwriter to choose those specific words and tune for that song. There are stories behind the songs you listen to and I wanted to share with you the story behind the title song of my upcoming album "A Resting Place".

As most of you know, my life growing up was filled with much turmoil, chaos and stress due to the physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse I experienced as a child. As I grew out of my childhood and teen years and moved into adulthood, I carried the wounds from the past into my adult life. For many years I carried around so much turmoil inside and did not even realize that it was still there. Even after working through much of the wounds of the past and gaining much healing and freedom, there still remained something inside that caused me to still worry and stress about many things.

Around 10 years ago, at my local church I attended, we had a special speaker in from Belize. I don't remember what the message was about, but the prayer after the message had such a huge impact on me. The speaker had invited people to come up front if they would like to have prayer for anything in their life. I went up for prayer and the speaker's wife prayed over me. I cannot remember what I ask for prayer for, but this precious woman of God, who did not know me or anything about me, began to pray over me in Spanish. Now I had no idea what she was saying since I did not speak Spanish, so someone began translating to me what she was praying. She told me that she saw all this turmoil inside of me, swirling around and around like a huge storm and that God wanted to take it all away, that God was wanting me to give it all to Him and just rest in Him. That He wanted and could give me complete peace. Well, I had heard most of my life words about resting in God but I had no idea how in the world to do it. I just could not seem to figure out how to let it all go, to truly be able to rest and have peace inside seemed like a dream. I don't think till that point I even thought it was something that was possible for me have in my life so I just pushed it to the back of my mind and hoped some day, some way, some how, maybe I would learn how to do it. That day, the concept of truly being free from the turmoil inside of me and having peace and rest really stuck with me. Those words impacted me in such a way that I began seeking God on the subject and asking Him to show me what it meant to truly be able to rest in God. As He began to show me what I needed to do in order to truly rest in Him, this song came forth.

What I have learned is that the only way to truly rest in the Father in every way, is by being saturated with His presence. This is not a one time fix solution. Finding rest in God is something that I have to seek every day of my life by seeking His presence every day of my life. When I don't get in the presence of God, then I find it so easy to fall back into that pattern of worry and care. I've dealt with things like insecurity, fears, some depression at times as well as other things as many other people do and every time I am hit with those things it is because I have not been seeking actively God's presence, I'm not saturating myself with His presence. I've neglected my time of just getting alone with Him, of loving on Him and letting Him love on me and not just coming to him with my requests. When getting into the presence of God is about my love affair between God and me and not about anything else, then I have found that makes such a difference in being able to truly leave everything behind and be at peace inside and find that place of rest.

Getting in the presence of God is a large vista to explore and is a subject for another time so I'm not going to go into anymore detail in this blog about it, I'll talk more of that in my next blog. As I'm writing this I'm seeing that it is something I need to talk about more in detail.

Check out the song on my website at www.sharonhock.com. I've put a sample of it there along with the other songs that will be on my upcoming CD which is due to be released in September. I pray it blesses you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the song and any comments you have on how you have found your own resting place in God. What has God taught you about how to rest in Him. I think it will be a great place to start the next blog and hopefully we can get a good discussion going.

Blessings,

Sharon Hock

posted by Sharon Hock on 08/02/2013

Are You Thinking Yourself To Death or To Life? Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

This morning before leaving to lead worship at a church in Chambersburg I help out once a month, I was listening to Joel Osteen's broadcast. He was telling a story that really made an impression on me. Joel tells the story of a man who was a chronic worrier, always thinking about the worst that could happen to him. One day at his job he got locked in one of the refrigerated box cars without his radio or cell phone and no one was around. When he realized he was locked in, he panicked and started yelling and pounding on the door, doing this for hours until his hands were bleeding and he lost his voice. He knew he was in a refrigerated boxcar where the temperature was usually below freezing. He began to fear the worse, that he would not make it out and would freeze to death. He must have thought that he would not get out that night alive. The more he thought about it, the more cold he became until he was shaking from the cold. He found a cardboard box and wrote on it "So cold, body getting numb, these might be my last words". The next morning when workers came and opened that steel doors to the boxcar they found him curled up in the corner, dead. The autopsy report revealed that he had indeed frozen to death. The amazing thing about this story is that the refrigeration unit in that car was never even on, the temperature was at 61 degrees. The man died because the thing he feared came upon him even though it was not the truth of what was actually happening.

Wow! This just really spoke to me. What you dwell on most often becomes a reality. So if you are thinking on things that are negative and fear based, it is not going to bring life to you. How many times have my thoughts brought death to my dreams, my hopes, my spirit and my body. The word of God says the following in The Message Bible:
Philippians 4:6-9 : 6-7 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
So, I'm not to fret or worry? Is that even possible you may ask. This next part seems to be the key.
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.


Changing how we think and speak is something that does not just happen. You have to continue to renew your mind by putting in the good and casting out all the bad. How do you fill you mind with the good? How do you only think on the best, the beautiful, the things to praise? Here is what I have found to work for me. I look up all the scriptures I can find that tell me about all the goodness of my God, all His love, His grace, His mercy He has for me. I seek out what He says about what I have because I belong to Him and am His daughter. Then I speak those words over myself. I find songs of praise that say the same things and listen and sing them all day long. I have found that the more I do this during the day, the healthier I feel, the more strength comes into my body, the more my spirit is uplifted and encouraged. The less time I spend listening to the negative things around me and only allow into my spirit and my mind the positive, life giving truths that God wants me to know, the more and more I become full of life and then death can have no place there anymore. It's funny to say this, but in the presence of God's truth, His life, death cannot live, it cannot stay as death. Life is breathed into the death and we are changed!

So, I encourage you.....Don't think yourself to death. Think yourself into life.

Blessings,

Sharon Hock
To hear more from Joel Osteen's broadcast :#569, Activate Faith, Not Fear check out his website.

posted by Sharon Hock on 03/04/2013

Seeing ourselves with God's eyes and our worship. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

One of the things I'm planning to touch on in the future during one of my In-Home Worship Encounter Events, is our need to see God in a new way and in turn being able to see ourselves as God truly sees us. His love and grace make it possible for us to come boldly before Him, openly without restraint or reserve in our praises. The problem is that many of us have a hard time lifting our praises up like that because we come to God feeling condemnation, quilt, or unworthy of His love and grace for us. We expect ourselves to first come to him perfect. No one is going to be able to come to God perfect and without having messed up sometime during the day. If we wait till we are perfect before coming boldly before God with our praises, our adoration, even our requests in prayer, we will never be able to come to Him and lift up our praises unrestrained. This affects us being able to enter into an intimate time of worship.

I've had a revelation recently through my own experiences from my journey of healing from the abuse of my past and my journey to know what true worship is all about. Worship is being intimate with God, touching Him and His heart and my praises unlocks the door to that kind of intimate worship. I see that God wants us to come to Him as we are; broken, hurting, imperfect people. When I forget about myself, my imperfections, my unworthiness and focus on all that Jesus did for me, when I get a glimpse of His grace, His mercy and His amazing love for me, then my heart wells up with praise. When I see myself through His eyes, see how He sees me, it changes everything. I become more free in my praises, because I'm so overwhelmed with thanks and adoration for all He has done in my life that my heart is able to enter into a place of worship that is true worship and the more this enables me to do the things I know God is desiring me to do. It is no longer me trying on my own to be the person I myself think God wants me to be, but now I'm able to do it because His spirit has empowered me to be able to do so. My unrestrained praises brings me to that place of deep intimate worship, of being in God's presence which in turn makes me more and more like God. I have His spirit empowering me and then I can do anything He is directing me to do. How we praise is important to how we will be able to enter into worship and that is all connected to how we carry out the things He places in us to do. These are truths I have proven in my own life over and over again.

posted by Sharon Hock on 02/13/2013

Pursuing the presence of God through our worship. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I have been thinking a lot lately about worship and what it truly means to worship. I truly believe that we have so much more to learn about how to worship as Jesus said, "In spirit and in truth".


Let me start off by saying this: It is not just about coming together on a Sunday morning and expecting the worship leader to bring you into the presence of God. Not just about singing the right song or group of songs that can bring you into a place you feel you can touch God. It is also not about if the worship leader is singing new or old songs, easy and simple songs or ones with more words to them.
As a worship leader, I sometimes have people come up to me to let me know that they wish I would do this song or that song, something slower, something faster, something easier, something with more content. I always try to take peoples comments and try to learn from them how I can be a better worship leader, but I often want to say to people, you've missed the point of giving your worship and lifting up your praise. So many people leave it up to the worship leaders to make them feel good when they come to church. I am learning that as much as I want to be used to bring people into a place of worship on a Sunday morning, I cannot drag people there if they have not been already preparing themselves to enter into God's presence by being with Him all through the week.
As a worship leader, my view and perspective probably differs some from those out there receiving, listening and participating. I've been a worship leader since I was a teen, which was a long time ago. Last year I went through a time of struggling with my voice, actually losing it for a time and being instructed by the doctor to not sing for a month to allow inflammation around and on my vocal chords to heal. I've seldom gone through a day without singing and to be honest not being able to sing was really freaking me out, but God starting teaching me some things about how He wanted worship through this. Singing for me has always been such a huge part of how I praise God, how I've gotten through the rough patches in my life, but during that time of not being able to sing at all, He began showing me other ways to praise Him without singing.
Think about this statement: "Worship is intimacy with God and praise is the key that unlocks the door to worship."

So, How Do We Get to a place of Worship?
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Many people think worship and praise is the same thing. They kind of lump them together as one. While they are linked hand in hand, they are not the same thing. At least this is what I have been seeing. God has been impressing on me that I have been seeing it wrong. I think you can have praise but not have true worship.
Isaiah 29:13 says this in the Amplified version:
And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people
draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips,
but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence
for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition
[without any thought as to the meaning]


Worship is an attitude of the heart. It has to come from the deepest place in our heart. I think we get into this place where our worship is a learned thing that we do because it is what we have been taught to do. We learn to do it a certain way because that is how we have always done it and that causes us to expect it to be the same every time. It feels comfortable and doesn't take much thought so we just want to keep doing it that way. After a while it becomes something we do without really thinking about what we are doing, it is not coming straight from our hearts. When we don't worship with our hearts, we limit what God wants to do. Learning to praise God without limits to how we do it is something I am seeing I need to know more about. I am seeing that I need to learn how to get past what someone else thinks or expects me to do and just give all I have in my praise so I can touch God and reach that place of worship I know He desires me to know.

I just feel that praise is a very essential key to entering into a place of deep worship. I think it is an important place to start. Different people praise God in different ways. We don't all have to praise the same way, but we must not put God in a box by expecting Him to move in everyone else the way He does in us. We need to be open and willing to embrace how God is directing others to praise Him, even if it is not something we are comfortable with.


How do we bring praise? The Bible is full of examples of people giving praise in various ways. Let's look at a few of them.


Singing, making music - This is one way we can bring praise together as a body. Probably the most familiar form of praise when we think of lifting up praise to our God.


Shouting and clapping– CLAP your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph and
songs of joy! Psalm 47:1

Dancing – Psalm 149 names this one as well as lots of other ways to praise - The Amplified Bible

PRAISE THE Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, praise Him in the assembly of His saints! Let Israel rejoice in Him, their Maker; let Zion's children triumph and be joyful in their King! Let them praise His name in chorus and choir and with
the [single or group] dance; let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes
pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory. Let the saints be joyful in the glory and beauty [which God confers upon them]; let them sing for joy upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their throats and a two- edged sword in their hands.

Notice in the verse above how our praises are to be given even while we are in our beds. That means more than just at church on Sunday morning. Also notice how praises coming forth from us is like a sword, it is used to fight against the things that come against us. God promises us victory, glory, beauty and so much more when we lift our praises to Him.

Here is another verse that tells of how He loves to be praised.
Psalm 150
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tumbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, and praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.


Crying - Luke 7:37-39 (NIV) - A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping,she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured
perfume on them.

Jumping or leaping -The lame man who sat at the temple gate called beautiful when Peter and John walked by and he was healed. Acts 3:8 – And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping,and praising God."

Fall down, kneel, bow before God. – Psalm 95:6 (NIV) Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the
LORD our Maker

Lifting your hands – Psalm 63:3-5 (NIV) Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise
you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.


Quietness and prayer – Psalm 46:10 (NIV) He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.


Isaiah 30: 15 -16 (Amp): For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you
shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, and you said, NO! We will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, we will ride upon swift steeds doing our own way]!


Psalms 23:2 & 3 says this: (Amplified version)
He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake.

Praising God with a time of quietness and resting can be one of the hardest things to do because we live in a world where we are so used to going, always doing and thinking. To just sit and listen for His voice or allow ourselves to just be quiet while praising does not always feel comfortable. It's okay sometimes to just rest in His presence. Someone recently mentioned to me that during times of praise and worship on Sunday mornings, they like to be awakened by the singing, not feel like falling asleep in their spirit. But sometimes I believe God wants us to just sit there and take in what He is trying to say to us through the message of the song and music. I think our perspective of what is lively, on fire, powerful is not correct. Being quiet and restful can be just as powerful, on fire and lively if we are willing to just listen. I led worship a while back at a church where it came to a point that I felt I did not have any more music to give. I just felt like I was to stop playing and singing and be quiet. So that's what I did. Thankfully the pastor there was in tune and open to not rushing right into filling up the what some would call "empty" space. It was not empty space I can tell you. Some really powerful things came out of that time. It was the first time for me that I sat for about 10 to 15 minutes in a church service following a time of leading worship where it was absolutely quiet. I can tell you I was considerably uncomfortable for a while till I stopped thinking about how different this was for me and started listening to what God was wanting to tell me. It was an amazing time.


Other ways we praise – Amazement, Laughter, shaking, speaking in tongues. Talking about God's great works to others, speaking His word of what He said He would do.
________________________________________

If you read the Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, everything Jesus did got a response from people. When we meet together to lift up Jesus name, when God's presence is among us you will get a response. Not everyone is going to like what happens either. Mostly because they will not understand it. But we can't just expect God to show up if we do nothing. Look at the disciples in Acts 2. Jesus had died, rose again, been with them for 40 days, ascended into heaven and told them to wait for what the Holy Spirit had promised them, that they would be baptized or the amplified version says describes baptized as, placed in the Holy Spirit. It says this: Read Acts 2: vs. 1 – 6


1AND WHEN the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, 2When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. 4And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words]. 5Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven. 6And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together and they were astonished and bewildered, because each one heard them [the apostles] speaking in his own [particular] dialect. 7And they were beside themselves with amazement, saying, Are not all these who are talking Galileans?


Later on in this chapter it says that the people around who heard them thought they were drunk.

Reading this scripture I was thinking. What did they do during the time they were waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit to come? I just can't imagine that they were all together in that room just shooting the breeze. I think they were talking about all the great things Jesus did and praising God for His mighty works. Singing and praising God. It says in Acts 1 that they were joined together constantly in prayer. Later Paul gave the instructions in Ephesians 5 19 & 20 to:

Ephesians 5:19-20 (NIV)
Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So I'm inclined to think that they spent time preparing for the promise of the Holy Spirit to come to thI believe this is also what we must do if we want to enter into the presence of God.

________________________________________

Every musician is responsible for asking God to show up and move through them. Every other person in the room is responsible for asking the same thing. It is not up to just the worship team to see that God appears. It's up to all of us to come prepared and expecting, ready and willing for how God wants to move. When I say expecting here I'm thinking that I am expecting something that takes Him out of the box I put Him in and out of my comfort zone. Come with expectation of things happening when you worship with others. When we sing and honor God, as we gather, we anticipate God will have something to say to each person and will heal, save, deliver and change. How do we get to that expectation point. It begins in our own personal intimacy with God. If we are not able to meet with Him in our own personal time with Him {expecting Him to change us as we meet with Him personally} it will be harder for us to come together with other believers expecting things to happen. When we are gathered to worship with others we should be expecting that He will show up among us, He may do it in fireworks, or a soft quiet, sweet way that transforms us. Come with a belief that a transformation will be made.


Worship is revelation and response. Revelation of God is the fuel of the fire of God. It is hard to worship without revelation. It is not about a system, It's about a relationship. It's a need of wonder. Here is something I heard recently,

When wonder is dead the soul becomes a dry bone.

So I need wonder, passion and excitement in my heart and my spirit. If we want to go deeper with God, fall more and more in love with Him, discover who He is, then we need to be embracing and pursing the mystery of who He is. We need to be trying to always learn more about Him.

2 Chronicles 5: 13 - 14 The priests were bringing the Ark of the Lord to its place inside the inner sanctuary of the temple which was called "The Most Holy Place. The priests then withdrew from the most Holy place. It goes onto to say:
The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:

"He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.

See what that says here - after the trumpeters, musicians and singers began praising from their hearts - God's presence showed up, the glory of the Lord filled the place and the priests were not able to keep doing what they had been doing. Their praise brought them to a place of worship in which they were overwhelmed.

Don't think of God like a well that only holds so much water, where you lower you bucket to get only what the bucket can hold. Think of Him more like a huge strong, full flowing waterfall bigger even than Niagara Falls is, where you are overwhelmed and it is too much to stand under the water because you will be blown away, it is an endless water supply. That's the kind of intimate worship to seek after, one where you are blown away. Intimate worship is going deeper and deeper inside who God is. Real intimacy is real adventure. It takes you on a journey and to a place you have not been to yet. Don't be afraid to be extravagant in your praise, don't be afraid to enter into a place of worship you have never been to before.

Our uninhibited, unrestrained, praising God with everything that is in us opens the door to true worship.

John 4: 23-24 The Message (MSG)
"It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."

Go forth as all out, holding nothing-back worshipers, giving everything you have to lift your praise to the Father in whatever way He leads you to do so.

I'd love to hear your comments on this blog, so please feel free to leave me a note. Just click on the title at the top of the blog and it will take you to the comment page.

posted by Sharon Hock on 11/24/2012