Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How To Tuesdays: Option 4 - How To Change The Font of Your Blog Description on Blogger

It's easy to change the font of your Blog Title, you just go to Layout > Advanced > Blog Title. But there's no option for that for your Blog Description.

I did a little research and found this code:

First thing you need to know is this:

Step 1: Got to Layout on the Blogger Home page
Step 2: Click Advanced
Step 3: Go to "Add CSS"

This menu is about to be your best friend :-)

 Option 4 - How To Change The Font of Your Blog Description on Blogger

This is pretty easy, continuing from above,

Step 4: In case you have any other CSS codes added, press enter to skip a line and to make sure you don't mess up any of your coding.

Step 5: Find a blogger font you like - I went under Layout>Advanced>Blog Title and picked the same font my blog title has which is the "Dancing Script"

Step 6: Paste the following -

font-family: Dancing Script;

Step 7: Replace my font choice "Dancing Script" with your font choice e.g Arial

Step 8: Check it out


Monday, April 29, 2013

Spontaneous Worship

This is something I've really been interested in over the past year. Going beyond the restraint of the song and having a conversation with God leading to encounter. One way I've been loving of doing that is spontaneous worship. To me this is singing from the heart. I was singing with my team at our Church's night of worship last Friday and one of my favorite parts of the night was I was singing my own words and my friends were singing their own words and the band was singing their own words or singing in tongues all spontaneous lyrics out of ONE song, then the pastor comes up and tells us to sing a song off the set-list and unrehearsed but that was perfect in that moment, it was amazing stuff.

I've been doing a little research about it because I'm a nerd and I research things a lot, this is some stuff I found:

I have encountered about 3 different ways people sing out in the spirit. All 3 are equally valid and have purpose, but the outcomes are very different and we therefore need to respond in different ways depending on what type of singing in the spirit God is calling us to do during a service.
1. You may be called to sing a prophetic/spontaneous song... something that is revealing God’s heart/nature to us to either encourage/guide or edify the church. Should these prophetic songs be transcribed if at all possible like any other prophetic word? What do you think?
The point is for everyone to hear what God has to say, so it is good to sing that out over a microphone – or if you’re me then don’t use one lol!
2. We may be called to sing out in the spirit spontaneous songs of praise. If it is a general song of praise – not something prophetic from God to His people, rather an overflowing of what is in your heart I would suggest stepping back from the microphone... this will encourage other people to join you in singing out praises from their hearts rather than stopping to listen to what you are singing... THINK... what is the purpose of my singing out, is it 'just' my own praise therefore between me and God or is it something to edify the church?
3. One of us, or even the congregation may start to sing a short phrase over and over again in the spirit. We need to listen out for this happening and ‘catch hold’ of it... allow the spirit to move in it and encourage the church to respond corporately to it, by joining in or adding their own phrases to follow on where one person has started us off. In that instance if it is a member of the team I would encourage you to sing into you microphone as you are leading people corporately singing in the spirit.
Our leadership want us when bringing a prophetic WORD to bring it to the person leading the service through briefly for them to make an initial yes bring it now or ...no not right now judgement. They then ask that person to write up the word so that they can revisit it over time, and weigh it up etc.
We cant really do that with spontaneous songs and prophetic songs... as in their nature they are spontaneous.
Sometimes they appear to be directly prophetic in nature, other times they appear to be 'just' spontaneous... who makes the judgement call over whether it was prophetic or not... not me I think that is a job for leadership, but we do need to therefore equip them to make that judgement by providing some means of assessing a spontaneous song by keeping some form of record. 
Pauline L - Worship Central Forums 

If you’re assembling a prophetic worship team, it won’t be enough if you merely find a few people who jam well together.  They may be spontaneous and they may sound good together.  But it doesn’t turn prophetic until we stop expressing our hearts, our sound, or our style.  Only when we express God’s heart do we step into  prophetic song.
Over the years, I’ve found two good ways to start.  First, sing in tongues for a while, and ask God for the interpretation.  Second, sing Bible truth about Jesus.  But then, invite the Holy Spirit to pour a song of worship through our lips, a song that will release the manifest presence of God.
Often, the prophetic song arrives not with a lot of musical virtuosity, but with sounds I suspect I could play in my sleep.
Prophetic activity doesn’t spill off the top of our heads.  Jesus said (John 7:37-38) “Out of your belly – out of your deepest parts – will flow rivers of living waters.”
If your deepest parts are thinking about music, your spontaneous songs will be little more than jamming.  But if your deepest parts are communing with Jesus, you are likely to get into a prophetic flow.
I don’t think John the Baptist ever picked up a guitar, but he had the recipe:  “I, [the musician] must decrease, but He. The Word of God, must increase.”

To cultivate this, it’s good to seek the flow of the Spirit and the manifest presence of God as we worship Him in secret.  That’s what Jesus taught; if we seek the Father in secret, He will reward us openly.
Go into the prophetic flow.  Don’t be satisfied just to jam.

I'm going to do a lot more posts like this on this type of stuff that really just stirs me up. As much as I research and read and receive I'll share with you guys. 

Good news too. I know my "God" posts are long but I've decided I won't put a page break thing so that even if you happen to stumble upon this site you can read all these hopefully inspirational/educational posts without clicking and waiting...all for your convenience.


Taking Back My Heart Part 1

Last week I talked about how I don't believe in love anymore and how the concept of falling in love freaked me out more than exciting me and how maybe I shouldn't jump into it at all.

Last week, I lied.

Yes, the concept of love freaks me out. There is so much wrong about relationships these days. So much pressure and so much uncertainty. I spoke out of fear instead of faith and that was absolutely wrong.

This is what I forgot; through the dark, seemingly tempestuous times of trying to figure out how to find the elusive "happily ever after", one thing remains.


In all my fear and uncertainty, I forgot that one simple fact. I've done relationships in the past alone, God was never in the equation. I saw a guy I liked and I pursued them and never gave a thought to God. Not even a "hmm maybe I should pray about it and sleep on it." If I saw a guy I liked, I switched on the flirt button and switched off the God button.

That's not me anymore. God gave me a vision and a plan for my life and of course  part of that is having a good relationship and that will not come with me hiding this brand new heart I keep talking about in fear. I wasn't even planning on posting this, but this song by my church-mate, worship team-mate and amazing singer I'm proud to be associated with fits into this post so well.

It's called "Heart Right Here" by Jaya.

For my non-Swahili speaking friends, the song is generally about how the devil tried to rob her joy and keep her locked up in fear and doubt. The part she sings, "nimechoka kufungiwa" means, "I'm tired of being restrained/locked up" the rest is in English and you can follow along. It's an awesome song and a great way to end this post. We're definitely coming back to this topic though.

"There used to be a heart right here and I want it back NOW!"

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Worship Team Performance: Preparation Part 3 – Performance V. Worship

Catch Up:  Introduction
                 Part 1a: Preparation
                 Part 2: Grace Makes us Lazy

Lastly, the fine line between “performance” and worship. People go one of 2 ways:

1. Dramatics: Where worship is just dramatic and inauthentic and more pre-practiced routines passed down from generation to generation in the Church

2. Wallflowers: All prim and proper holding your worship inside of yourself and letting the ego win…that voice that says “I can’t expose myself in front of all these people what will they think?” Theresa Dedmon said, “There’s a part of you and me that if not let out, we’re robbing the world of seeing a part of God.” I think this applies here. I’m definitely guilty of this, all the time during rehearsal; guys are like, “Joanne, we can’t hear you!” This hit me hard. What you’re struggling so hard to bury and hide may be just the thing that God wants to use to set the world on fire.

Performance simply means, being in front of people. I think we believe the lie that worship should be restrained and acceptable before men to be acceptable before God. Or that worship shouldn’t be rehearsed or perfected because that makes it a performance.
Excellence in worship is releasing what God has put inside of you, that might be a Jenn Johnson “Yes!” shout, a Deitrick Haddon ecstatic “Hallelujah!” or a Mariah Carey diva-fied “Oooh!” complete with the hand motion. 

See you next week!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How To Tuesdays: Option 3 - How To Center Your Pages / Links Tabs on Blogger

Last time we saw How To Center Your Blog Title and Description on Blogger.

For todays lesson, again,

First thing you need to know is this:

Step 1: Got to Layout on the Blogger Home page
Step 2: Click Advanced
Step 3: Go to "Add CSS"

This menu is about to be your best friend :-)

 Option 3 - How To Center Your Pages / Links Tabs on Blogger
 For my blog, the tabs on the tops aren't pages, they're links. I've never really understood the concept of Pages and I've found that links work better for my blog.

Continuing from above, 

Step 4: In case you have any other CSS codes added, press enter to skip a line and to make sure you don't mess up any of your coding.
Step 5: Add the following code

.PageList {text-align:center !important;}
.PageList li {display:inline !important; float:none !important;}

Step 4: In case you have any other CSS codes added, press enter to skip a line and to make sure you don't mess up any of your coding.
Step 5: Add the following code

.LinkList {text-align:center !important;}
.LinkList li {display:inline !important; float:none !important;}

Monday, April 22, 2013

On Absence and Loving Love...{or not}

I'm sorry I've been a little sketchy on these here parts, I have a couple of stuff going on and that I have to deal with, but I do have a few posts scheduled...we have the Worship posts on Sundays and a few more post  left in the How To Tuesdays series, so you'll still see me pop up here and there.

After next week, I'll be sure to explain everything in greater detail :-)

For now, I've been thinking about love. I've been out of the dating game for a looong time. Like I haven't had a boyfriend for, wow almost more than 3 years a long time now. My entire life I've had 1 serious boyfriend and well, we all know how that ended. I've dated here and there but nothing serious or official. I've always thought that I'm fine with it, at this point in my life, I don't want to date at all and I thought it was because I was taking time out and focusing on myself and all that. To be honest I'm more happy now single than I was going out with all these randoms. My life for the most part is pretty fab. I've finally adopted that Christian mindset my mom has always wanted me to have, of "Isn't dating kinda useless if I'm not ready for marriage? Where am I supposed to take all that passion?"

A couple of days ago though, I saw this post on social media from a girl gushing about her new found romance and I just smirked and rolled my eyes a little bit and I was shocked at myself a little bit because I'm usually the "Yay! Go you!" type. So I realized, "Wow, I might actually have issues with this dating stuff and that's why I'm avoiding it!" 

It wasn't so much a jealousy issue, it was a "no trust issue." Meaning, a part of me doesn't trust men at all. I mean, my past has been in the words of Penny Hart "roof stoof".{rough stuff}

In fact it's great that I've used Penny as an example because like her, I've gone in time and time again with the best of intentions and come out crushed on the other side and well, getting ready to do that again doesn't exactly feel like a great venture.

I know what you're thinking, what's the Christian thing to do here? I know my heart shouldn't be jaded, and it's not, God gave me a brand new heart and I'm not heartbroken AT ALL, I'm just scared out of my mind when the thought of falling in love or not falling in love pops into my head. In my mind, I'd be married right now. That was my life plan forever to be married by 24, the year I get out of college. I'm about to turn 23 in a couple of weeks, so obviously, that hasn't worked out.

I just don't know if I'm ready to do it. Put my brand new expensive heart out there for anyone to crush it. I've been through it and lemme just say it right now, those first few weeks of ecstasy are absolutely not worth the end result. Everybody around me is raising a baby, married, engaged, co-habitating, seriously dating or wanting to start dating. I.just.can't. Sometimes it works out, case in point my bestie and her boyfriend of 5 years, sometimes it doesn't case in point...do I need to finish that?

I don't know if this means I'm carrying baggage into a relationship because well, I'm not looking for one. I wouldn't even call it baggage, I call it self-preservation. This heart was bought at a price, His blood, and I know how much it took for God to get me to a place where I could love again at all, so putting His healing on the line for a couple of weeks of excitement...?

There are so many cons to giving your heart away. Too many.

The end.

For once I'm not going to try and explain this away or find the silver lining or the inspirational quote to push me out of this. Right now in my life, my heart and mind are just sitting here.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Worship Team Performance: Preparation Part 2 – Grace Makes Us Lazy

Catch Up : Introduction
                 Part 1: Preparation

This is all about REHEARSAL!

Rehearsal is all about being one with your performance. The audience can tell when you’re completely whole. You can hear one song from two different singers, one moves you to tears and the other you can’t be bothered. The audience can tell when you’re just singing words of a page and when you’re releasing your hearts cry.

Rehearsal is also a space for growth. You get to be with other musicians who can tell you when you’re messing up in a safe space so that when you get on stage you’ve perfected what you had. If you don’t do it in rehearsal and get comfortable with it, chances are you won’t do it on stage.

Africans have been blessed by God with a spirit of spontaneity. We can burst into a 3 part chorus with matching dance in the middle of the street! This is all great, but we also need to tap into the culture of diligence, commitment and rehearsal that many great artists have. She gave the example of Beyonce who rehearsed from 9-5, 6 days a week for 6 months for her tour.

Source: via margot on Pinterest

Grace makes us lazy. We’ve heard it said all the time, “don’t listen to the voices, listen to the words.” We have this attitude of God will still come down in my inadequacies and do His thing, but how much more powerful would it be if we dwelt in God’s perfect will rather than His permissive will? How much greater would corporate worship be if we led it coming from a place of diligence and commitment and constant dwelling in the presence of God. 

See You Next Sunday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Do You See?

Yesterday, I read a status update from Paul Manwaring where he talked about how the way you define God’s glory directly influences how you receive it. 

{Paul is a pastor out at Bethel Church in Redding and He's amazing. He reminds me incredibly of my dad and He's got such a spiritual fatherliness about him and incredible humility all wrapped up in one. He wrote the book "What On Earth Is Glory?" which I'm planning on getting once I get some extra cash. I'm not sure but I think he mentioned once how someone had prophesied him being a leader to leaders and a father to fathers, if I'm remembering correctly, then he is the most in-your-face revelation of prophesy ever because it's definitely true of him. I haven't met him in person but hopefully will one day.}

My definition of glory has always been goodness. God’s glory is all His goodness. Goodness encompasses His love, His strength, His awesomeness, His majesty, everything, all of that is good. When I think about Him showing me His glory, I see all this goodness and I can’t begin to imagine the extent of it. I can’t see how it all fits into this one person in this case me. I see glory as something that when it’s revealed to you, you can capture it, in all your senses. You can hear it, you can see it, you can taste it and touch it and smell it.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him!

I was thinking about that yesterday and today I came across this verse in Revelation totally randomly, someone else tweeted it:...

Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

I’m doing a Bible study of Revelations for the next couple of weeks, I’m still in Chapter 1 so I haven’t gotten to any of the huge “visions”, but from what I’ve heard and read, Revelations is a pretty allegorical book with tons of symbolism embedded into the face-value meaning of the words. What I mean is, there are winged creatures with six wings and eyes all around, but I also can imagine, being around the throne is a lot to take in. Like I said, the goodness of God invades every sense and to me, the realest sense of all, is sight. 

You can doubt what you feel, you can doubt what you hear, you can doubt what you taste or smell, but it’s almost impossible to doubt what you see. So, if God’s intention is for us to be in Heaven beholding His glory, it would be kind of in His great and funny nature to give some creatures a gazillion eyes.

My prayer is, for God to give me eyes to see His glory; to be overcome here on earth and stay in awe all the way to Heaven. If I end up on the worship team up there, maybe I’ll get a gazillion eyes to behold His glory ;-)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How To Tuesdays: Option 2 - How To Center Your Blog Title and Description on Blogger

Last time we saw How to Add a Signature to Your Blogposts, today we learn How To Center Your log Title and Description.

First thing you need to know is this:

Step 1: Got to Layout on the Blogger Home page
Step 2: Click Advanced
Step 3: Go to "Add CSS"

This menu is about to be your best friend :-)

 Option 2 - How To Center Your Blog Title and Description.
This is pretty easy, continuing from above,

Step 4: In case you have any other CSS codes added, press enter to skip a line and to make sure you don't mess up any of your coding.

Step 5: Paste the following - 

#header-inner {text-align: center ;}

Step 6: Yup, that's it, check it out :-)

There are other options of aligning your header center and your description right or left or vice versa but I wasn't really feeling that for my blog. However you can google them and check it out.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Bethel Music Without Words, God I Look To You Video

It's no secret Bethel Music has rocked my world and my life has changed. This song is one huge example how Once You Go Bethel, Your Spirit Starts to Wrestle...hehe I'm sorry that was bad! :-D

Anyway, I commented on YouTube and I got 5 likes :-)

This song spoke to me then and it speaks to me now. At first when I listened to this album, I just enjoyed it and enjoyed His presence and I didn't try to pray or add any words or anything, I just soaked. But a couple of nights ago driving home from worship practice a lot of spontaneous songs came out and it was really fun to play around with it and hang out with God.

Side-note: God is FUN.

Today though was not a fun day. I was actually supposed to go to school (KU) today for some records but I was am so fearful. I prayed about it, I declared victory over it leading worship this weekend, the team prayed for me, but today I was just scared. Over and over that part of my life has been met with disappointment and I was scared to go and face the same result.God asked me in the morning, pointblank, "are you a hypocrite Joanne?" Yeah, I know, harsh. My job hasn't called me in yet, at this point, I'm not sure I'll be called in at all. I know I'm not getting paid much but I'd rather have that than be unemployed. I've felt so low today, I've caught a cold and my sinuses are on fire! Temptation came in strong today.

So God's question, though harsh, is valid. He keeps telling me stuff, I keep ignoring Him. He said a bunch of times, "Don't be afraid, trust in God, trust also in me" (John 14:1) The song that just started playing is telling me the same thing. (Rauka by Kanjii Mbugua)

Lord, I don't know what to say. You amaze me. I'm blown away by your love. You know how many tears I've cried in awe of you. Why am I so scared when you are with me? I look to you. I have heard of your great works. You have given me victory, and I thank you.

What I wrote 1 month ago on Youtube is ministering to me now which is kinda funny and why I love blogging.

You see, victory is victory, there's no 2nd class victory with God. I am victorious. That's just who I am. God is moving on my behalf. I need to stop looking at myself or looking at the situation and look to God. I've ignored Him and that's what's causing all this fear and hopelessness. He's awesome though because the moment I turn my eyes toward Him, He comes running straight to me with arms wide open.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Worship Team Performance: Preparation Part 1

Catch up:  Introduction

Neema split preparation up in 3 stages. Body, Mind, Soul/Spirit

To understand preparation of the body, think of your body as a wheel that you’re in charge of turning. When you start pushing it, it’s a little stiff, but once you get it turning, it gets easy. In the same way, we need to get our bodies in tip-top shape so that as we continue to engage and grow, our health/fitness isn’t holding us back.

She used artists like Juliani or Beyonce as an example, when you sing, can you end your set with the same strength vocally and physically you started with? Great ways to get your wheel turning physically...
is at least 20 minutes of hard cardio coupled with strength exercises. Stretching exercises like yoga or Pilates are also great to build your core and help your body learn what activity need an inhale, what activities need an exhale, where you need to or can hold your breath and so on, which all go into building your vocal aptitude.

Preparation of the mind is basically asking yourself: Why are you singing? If you know the reasons behind it you can stand up against any opposition. When you’re on any sort of platform, someone will always be around to oppose you and ask you what right you have to be there. You also have to know why you are and whose you are. Reasons can be anything from fun, to exercising your gift to an expression of worship. Whatever it is, know it and run with it. You also have to think about the audience you’re performing in front of.

Preparation if the mind also involves knowing your nervous ticks and taking charge of them. Your ticks send a message to the brain that you’re nervous, your mind elevates this message and pretty soon you’re panicking. Take a deep breath and as you continue to know yourself, know your ticks and control them.
Preparation of the soul can be compared to preparation of the body in that they both involve daily exercise using the tools you’ve been giving. Preparation of the soul means always being “on” or that the wheel is always in momentum. Jenn Johnson said once how the worship heart should never come off no matter how many other hats you’re wearing. You can’t leave performance, especially worship, to a last minute Hail Mary prayer backstage to patch up the missing areas of your life.

Continued next week!