My Worship Playlist

Happy Monday!

A little while ago, I talked a little about why I make music part of my personal devotions time, and some of you asked for some recommendations for songs to use for intentional, personal worship. Well, today I’m finally sharing the list of songs that currently comprises my personal worship playlist.

I’m including some of the lyrics to each song, and if you click on the song, it will take you to the best YouTube version (theoretically, a lyric video) I could find!

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What a Beautiful Name.

“What a beautiful name it is,

Nothing compares to this,

What a beautiful name it is,

The name of Jesus.”

For the Cross.

“Then on that day, what seemed as the darkest hour,

A violent hope broke through and shook the ground,

And as You rose, oh the Light of all the world was magnified,

As You rose in victory.”

O Praise the Name.

“Then on third, at break of dawn,

The Son of heaven rose again,

O trampled death, where is your sting?

The angels roar for Christ the King.”

God, You Are My God.

“No praise can define You,

No thought can contain You, God,

No other one is holy,

No other one is robed in righteousness.”

Be Enthroned.

“And unto You, the slain and risen King,

We lift our voice with heaven singing,

Worthy are You Lord.”

Resurrecting.

“By Your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat,

The resurrected King is resurrecting me,

In Your name I come alive to declare Your victory,

The resurrected King is resurrecting me.”

Captain.

“Jesus, my Captain,

My soul’s trusted Lord,

All my allegiance is rightfully Yours.”

Boldly I Approach.

“Behold the bright and risen Son,

More beauty than this world has known,

I’m face to face with Love Himself,

His perfect spotless righteousness,

A thousand years, a thousand tongues, are not enough to sing His praise.”

Simplicity.

“I come in simplicity, longing for purity,

To worship You in spirit and truth,

Only You.”

In the Garden.

“And He walks with me,

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own,

And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

My Worth Is Not In What I Own.

“I rejoice in my Redeemer, 

Greatest Treasure, Wellspring of my soul,

I will trust in Him, no other,

My soul is satisfied in Him alone.”

Fall Afresh.

“Spirit of the living God, come fall afresh on me,

Come wake me from my sleep.”

Be Thou My Vision.

“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;

Thou my inheritance now and always.”

Crowns.

“I will not boast in riches,

I have no pride in gold,

But I will boast in Jesus,

And in His name alone.”

All I Have Is Christ.

“Oh Father, use my ransomed life,

In any way You choose,

And let my song forever be,

My only boast is You.”

Come Thou Fount.

“Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be,

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.

O Come to the Altar.

“Oh what a Savior, isn’t He wonderful?

Sing alleluia, Christ is risen,

Bow down before Him, for He is Lord of all,

Sing alleluia, Christ is risen.”

Sweet Hour of Prayer.

“In seasons of distress and grief,

My soul has often found relief,

And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,

By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.”

Even If.

“You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good all my days,

Jesus, I will cling to You come what may,

‘Cause I know You’re able,

And I know You can.”

Do It Again.

“You made a way when there was no way,

And I believe I’ll see You do it again.”

It Is Well.

“Whatever my lot,

Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well,

It is well with my soul.”

Call Upon the Lord.

“Jesus’ name will break every stronghold,

Freedom is ours when we call His name.

Jesus’ name above every other,

All hail the power of Jesus’ name.”

You Love Me Anyway.

“See now, I was the man who yelled out from the crowd,

For Your blood to be spilt on this earth-shaken ground,

Yes, then I turned away with a smile on my face,

With this sin in my heart, tried to bury your grace,

And then alone in the night, I still called out for You,

So ashamed of my life, my life, my life,

But You love my anyway.”

Grace Unmeasured.

“Grace unending all my days,

You’ll give me strength to run this race,

And when my years on earth are through,

The praise will all belong to You.”

What Grace Is Mine.

“What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light,

Called through the night to find my distant soul.

And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me,

That I might live, and in His name be known.”

To Live Is Christ.

“My great desire is to be with You,

But this is the place You chose for me,

This is the place You chose for me,

To lift my cross and give everything,

This is the time You gave to me,

This is the time You gave to me,

For me to live is Christ.”


Have you heard of any of these songs? Do YOU have a personal worship playlist? Do you think you’ll start one? What do you think about including music in devotions?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – the winner of the paperback copy of The Girl Who Could See is Kat Vinson of Sparks of Ember! Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from me, Kat! :D

P.P.S. – also, if all goes according to plan, next week is the (legendary) tour of my bullet journal. You’ll want to hold onto your hats, kids. ;)

Some Truth About Trials

Life isn’t all flowers and sunshine and laughter; there are tornadoes and riptides and tears. That’s just the way it is because we live in a fallen world, and that’s the way it will be until Jesus comes back and sets everything right. Until then, though, we all come to face trials and hard times and seasons of life that knock us down and kick us around in the mud.

Today I want to talk a little about those times.

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Some things need to be clear from the outset:

1. Trials will come; there is no getting around them. They are inevitable.

2. Trials come in all shapes and sizes–a lost friendship, death of a loved one, financial crisis, divorce, destroyed dreams, etc.. And then sometimes everything goes to pot at once and something’s falling apart on every side.

3. Trials are not necessarily punishment for sin. True, some trials are the natural consequences of sin, but some trials just come.

4. Trials are from God, and in light of His sovereignty, each heartbreak has a purpose.

The purpose of trials.

Simply and ineloquently put, trials suck. To be in the midst of a trial is to be in the midst of a storm; to be in pain physically, emotionally, or spiritually or all three at once; to suffer. It’s so easy to ask how it’s possibly good, to want to know what purpose it serves, to wonder why God would put you, your friends, your family through this.

The answer is (basically) this: trials test our faith and devotion and draw us into deeper intimacy and reliance on God. (Perhaps that’s an oversimplification, but it’s what I’ve got, kids).

Through trials, we are brought to the very end of our strength, and the end of our strength is where we usually begin to seek God for His.

Through trials, our love for God is tested–will we turn on God because of the pain, or will we fall into God because of the pain?

Through trials, we usually begin to seek answers to difficult questions about God and suffering, and in doing so, we can learn more of who God is.

Through trials, we are sanctified, made more like Christ.

Here’s the thing: the attitude we carry through the trial decides how we will make it out of the trial.

If we only ever view suffering as something we have to endure, something we have to survive, that’s all we’ll ever do. We’ll endure it, we might survive it, and we’ll definitely be scarred by it, but we won’t ever be more because of it. If anything, we’ll be made less by it. All the hurt will still be there, and after a little while, it will become bitterness and weariness because we made it through the fire by the skin of our teeth and nothing more.

But if we view our suffering with the mindset and belief that God is completely (and by completely, I mean completely) sovereign, and that everything (and by everything, I mean everything) He does has purpose, and that He is more (and by more, I mean far more) than enough for us, we will flourish.

When we are seeking God, when we are desperate for Him, when we cry out to Him, when we are broken and worn, when we trust Him and love Him and want Him, He is gracious to lavish His Spirit upon us. And when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with peace, which isn’t the absence of strife and pain but calm in the midst of it. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with joy, which isn’t only an emotion to be tossed about in our stormy hearts but also a choice we have to make.

God uses trials to 1) foster deep intimacy with us and 2) grow us.

And, yes, it’s hard to be excited about these things when we’re in the trial. It’s hard to be sobbing until your throat hurts and still think, “Oh, I can’t wait to see how God is growing me through this.” I get that because I’ve been there, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Sometimes we can get a glimpse of what God’s doing when we’re in the midst of suffering, but so often it takes time and hindsight and maybe even waiting until heaven to see where God worked.

The point is, God is working, and He’s working it all together for good. The thing is that our idea of good is often different from what’s actually good. We have to remember that God doesn’t think like we do, that He sees everything while all we see is the right now, and we can’t even see that with much clarity.

So please don’t go through your trial just trying to keep your head above water; trust God with that. Go through your trial with your eyes and heart open to the Holy Spirit and what He can accomplish in you.

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – this post goes out to all my beloved ones who are in the tempest.

P.P.S. – continued reading can be done where I first found this truth: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Romans 5:2-4, James 1:2-4, James 1:12, 1 Peter 4:12-13, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, and Isaiah 55:9.

Train Thoughts: Resting Up & Pouring Out

It’s Tuesday.

Penprints on a Tuesday? What heresy is this okay, it’s not actually heresy, but whateva? Well, hopefully you’ll understand by the end of this post why this is landing in your inbox on a Tuesday.

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I didn’t spend Easter at home. Instead, I hopped on a southbound train to visit some beloved people of mine: my brother, Luke, at college; my good friend, Allie (also at college); my grandparents; and my cousins.

I was excited for it in my head–I miss them all, Luke especially–but I was tired, not physically but emotionally and spiritually. It wasn’t one big thing that wore me down, just many smaller things falling on me, steadily eroding.

And I was filling up nearly every day in my quiet time with God, but it was never quite enough to carry me through, like I couldn’t get completely full, like it was never enough to compensate for how much emotional and spiritual energy I was spending. So I ran aground, came up dry, emptied, tired, and disheartened.

But then my train arrived.

Allie picked me up at the train station, looking like the perfect picture of all my summer memories of her and driving a car called “Karen”. She opened her home to me and let me stay with her while I was in town; I hadn’t seen her in months.

The first chunk of time was spent with Allie, catching up with her and learning about her life over crepes (I didn’t even know what crepes were until she showed me).

The Story of How I Learned About Crepes:

Allie: “Want to get bubble tea and crepes?”

Me internally: “What’s a crepe?”

Me externally: “Sure!”

Allie: “What kind of crepes do you like?”

Me: “Oh, you know, um….”

Allie: *laughing* “Do you know what a crepe is?”

Me: “Ugh, no.”

Allie: *laughing more* “Rosalie! Okay, they’re…..”

Conclusion: crepes are scrumptious.

We sang Rend Collective in the car. We ate watermelon cookies and laughed when my teeth turned red. We tried on bunches of sunglasses. We talked about God and what we’re learning and how we’re actually doing. We took Polaroids and sang while she strummed her guitar.

And it was good.

Then I was with Luke. I finally met all of his roommates and saw him lead his small group. I saw the place where he works (Luke At Work is such a cute Luke) and saw the airport where he learns. I laid on the floor of his room while he read me reviews of the laptop he found to replace my dead one. For almost an hour. Because he made it his personal mission to find me the best laptop. We rode his motorcycle and went hiking and stared at the sky and talked about church and love and life and hard things and blessings and happy things. He took me to a Casting Crowns concert, and we worshiped together to some of my favorite music.

There were so many other good things about this trip.

I spent a night with my grandparents and heard my Grandpa play his trumpet on Resurrection Sunday. I saw my cousins and we shared music and took a walk and laughed so much and cried a little too.

But it was good.

I went into this trip with nothing to give, but I came out of it full. It was rest, the rest that I so needed. It was a blessing to me, and the Holy Spirit did great work in me. He reminded me of my own weakness, my hopeless dependence on Him, my inability to do any good on my own, and He taught me the value of a pause.

Sooner or later, we all run out.

We all end up like a charred, crumbling match, essentially useless because we’ve burned up, we’ve spent ourselves.

And that’s why we need to take time away. We need to step back for a few days and relearn how to be still in God, we need to be away from those who drain and surround ourselves with those who fill.

Guys, using yourself up is not noble.

Never retreating is not godly or any shade of right–it’s arrogant and detrimental to your ministry. And you don’t necessarily need to go on a weekend trip to regroup every time you’re tired, but you do need to be intentional about taking rests and serious about seeking the filling of the Holy Spirit.

But we are not filled for our good alone.

We are filled to pour into others. And when we run low, we seek rest. And when we rest, we seek filling again. And when we’re full, we empty ourselves in others. And then we rest, and the cycle goes around and around.

Resting. Filling. Emptying.


These have just been all the jumbled thoughts that have been running through my head while I rode trains home today.

Tell me what you’re thinking.

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – go listen to Train Station by The Gray Havens because the imagery takes my breath away and makes my soul happy.

Why I Make Music a Part of My Devotions

In a previous post, I mentioned that I sing songs during my personal devotions, and this week is about why I’ve made music a part of my quiet time.

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Music is a gift given to help us communicate deep thoughts and truths that we otherwise struggle to grasp or say, and music written for worship is a way to give God praise, to use our breath and our being to exalt the Most High. Songs are prayers set to melodies, outpourings of the human soul before the throne of the living God.

Music is beautiful.

I believe that music has power, and I believe that the Holy Spirit uses music to move and thaw hearts. He uses it to help me come close when my mind is scattered or my soul is raw with griefs or desires I can’t find words to express. He uses it to draw me into deeper love and wonder and humility and new understanding of the magnitude of what He’s done for me, how far I once was, how close I now am, and how much closer I can get to Him.

And when it comes to meeting with God alone, how can I not sing? How can I not give Him a joyful noise? When I’m able to go boldly before Him, how can I not use that boldness to give Him a freewill offering of praise?

I don’t think that quiet time with God is only about learning of the God Who knows no equal; quiet time with God is about coming to Him with intentionality and humility and prayer and praise with the purpose of glorifying Him.

Yes, devotions are about knowing Him as intimately as I can and taking what I know and living like I actually know it, but that isn’t all there is to it. The whole reason anything in all creation even exists is to glorify God, to give Him praise. Period. That’s it. And yes, my entire life is to be an act of worship, but when given the opportunity to lift my voice and glorify my matchless God one-on-One, when it’s just Him and me, why wouldn’t I take it?

I try to keep my music well-balanced with my prayer and study time, and I have found that beginning with some prayer and then a couple songs sets a tone of adoration for the entire time so that my heart is as engaged as my head.

How I use music depends on the day. Sometimes I grab my iPod and listen/listen and sing a few songs. Sometimes I simply pray the lyrics of a song. Sometimes I sing acapella. Sometimes I grab one of my ukuleles and play softly (though, sometimes I have trouble focusing on the words themselves and get too fixated on playing the song well, and so then I have to set my uke aside and sing without it).

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because I love to sing of my God, I love to sing to my God.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because a few songs on Sunday just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because I want to have a soulfire for God, and music about Him reminds me Who I’m burning for.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because it helps me focus; it helps me turn my eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because I want to be consistent in my worship.

I’ve made music a part of my devotions because why not?


Let’s chat it up, peeps.

What do you think is the place of music in personal devotions? Do you think music has power? What songs draw you closer to God?

P.S. – Don’t I deserve some sort of award for keeping this post so short and sweet??? It’s not even 700 words! *collective gasp*

9 Ways to Enrich Your Devotions

Merry Monday, Peeps! I hope your weekend was excellent!

Today’s post is about some ways you can enrich your personal devotion time. A quiet time alone with God and His Word is essential to the growth of every Christian, and so I decided to share some things that have helped me make the most of my devotion time.

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#1: Confess sin to God.

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: sin will always put a barrier between you and God, saved by grace or not. Everything from the everyday, I-shouted-at-my-sister variety of sin to the I-just-punched-my-boss-in-the-face-and-cussed-him-out-like-there’s-no-tomorrow kind will put a separation between us and God. But simple confession is the beautiful battering ram that destroys the wall that we build when we sin. So, first things first, destroy everything between you and God.

#2: Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you.

Such boundless blessings can be found in the Holy Spirit. Guys, He’s the Spirit of God living inside every believer, and He’s here to help us, guide us, and grow us. We have access to the One who holds all knowledge and wisdom and power, and just humbly asking for His help as we seek Him will deepen our time in the Word of God. My favorite verse to pray at the start of my devotions is Psalm 119:18 which says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things from Your law.”

#3: Set enough time aside.

The time you spend alone with God is the most important part of your day. Whether you realize it or not, there is nothing that you will do that is more important than meeting with God to know and serve Him better. So don’t skimp on your time with Him. I’m not saying you have to spend two hours in the intense Bible study every day. I am saying that fifteen minute leftovers at the end of the day when you’re half asleep are not enough. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: morning is the best time to study God because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Strive to be intentional about how much time you invest in your personal relationship with Christ. Fifteen minutes is good. Half an hour is often better (as a general rule, the longer, the better; I say a general rule because the Holy Spirit can do some pretty amazing things in a short amount of time).

#4: Go somewhere quiet.

Setting up to do a devotion in the living room while the cats decide it’s time to loudly battle to the death is setting up for a distraction-filled devotion where, more likely than not, not much will be learned. Go somewhere quiet and secluded. My favorite spots are my bedroom and my study with a fan on to block out background noise.

Bonus tip: tell your family that you’re going to do your devotions and ask them not to disturb you unless it’s an emergency.

#5. Turn your phone on silent.

I’m not talking about vibrate; I’m talking about silent. The little dings or vibrations whenever someone likes a Tweet, comments on your latest Instagram photo, or texts you about what they ate for breakfast are distractions that will pull your focus off of God. Trust me, even if you don’t read that text, it’ll be there in the back of your mind.

Here’s how it works for me if I don’t silence my phone:

Phone: buzz buzz

Me: *looks up from Bible reading* Ah, I have some sort of notification. No matter, I’ll read it later.

Phone: *tantalizing*

Me: I wonder if it’s a text… No! I’m focusing on my devotions! Get behind me, Satan!

Phone: ….

Me: *rubs chin* I could always just look at it real fast and then jump right back into my quiet time.

True story, guys. If, by chance, you are not married to your phone like most people are these days, then good for you! But chances are, you’re a human like the rest of us, and so the good ol’ phone will only serve to take your mind off what’s really important (aka: God). So put it on silent.

#6: Listen to/sing a song or two to start.

This is something that helps me get into the “time with God” mindset. We sing songs at church before we hear the sermon; why not sing a few songs before we open our Bibles to study for ourselves? I have found (at least in myself) that this fosters an attitude of worship and helps me focus on God. Sometimes I listen to a couple songs. Sometimes I sing from my hymnal. Sometimes I play a song or two on my ukulele. *shrug* It helps me; maybe it’ll be beneficial for you too.

#7: Write down your findings/observations/thoughts in a notebook.

Some people tell me, “Well, Rosalie, I’m not a writer, and so I don’t find it helpful to write things down during my devotions.”

To which I feel compelled to reply: “That’s nice. So you have perfect recall?”

Okay, now, maybe it is just because I’m a writer, but it seems to me that when we actually want to learn something, we take notes. These don’t have to be elaborate, just a few sentences or words about what you found in the passage that day. Part of it is that writing things down forces us think harder; instead of just some vague feelings and notions, we can end up with a few solid points. Before you write off (tehehehe) notetaking, please at least try it. Days when I take write down what I’m learning from Scripture are often some of the days when I come away from my devotions with a clearer view of God and His Word.

#8: Be intentional about figuring about the application in your life.

Now, you’ve spent half an hour (or more) singing, praying, reading and meditating on the Word (and taking notes, right? Right?!?), and it comes down to this question: what now? How will this time with God affect your life? How will you live differently because of this time in worship and study? This is where your alone time with God meets how you’ll interact with your family, how you’ll do your job, how you’ll work on school, and how you’ll bring glory to the name of Christ. This is perhaps one of the most important and also one of the hardest parts of devotions. It’s a good idea to ask the Spirit for help again as you try to sort through what you’ve learned and how to apply it to your life. Honestly, your time studying Scripture is all but wasted if you don’t do something with it.

#9: Don’t skimp on the prayer time.

Typically, I open in prayer (confession and asking for the Holy Spirit’s help), sing a few songs (heart prep and worship), read and meditate on the passage (learning), figure out how I’m supposed to live in light of it (that darned application that’s so hard sometimes), and then I close in prayer. For the longest time, I spent 24 minutes in study, four minutes (at least) being distracted, and then two minutes hastily wrapping things up in prayer. Now, I sometimes still do this, but I’m starting to be better carving out a good amount of time (remember #3 about enough time?) so that I can spend more time in prayer, and my time with God has been so rich because of all the two-way communication (song = me to God, study = God to me, prayer = back and forth conversation).

Bonus tip: pray aloud; this can help keep you from getting distracted by the rabbit trails your brain likes to go down (example: I once went from praying in my head about a friend to remembering that that friend had a blog to thinking about my own blog to trying to figure out what I was going to post that week all in the space of thirty seconds. True story.)

And that’s all I got, kids.

Those are nine things that have helped me get more out of my devotion time, and I hope they help you too. As you may have noticed, a lot of them had something to do with focus and eliminating distractions because I can get distracted so easily (oh, look, frosted animal crackers! Wait, what?).

Let’s chat it up, peeps. What about you? What are some things that help you in your devotion time? What are you currently studying? Are any of these things helpful to you?