Friday, February 3, 2017

Faith in Action: Worship

Why, you may ask, would a town of fewer than 400 people need a hotel? I wondered that, too. The Wallace Hotel is a lovely historic icon in Wallace, Nebraska with a population of 357. That’s not 357 thousand, mind you, but 357 total people. I’m sure there are more folks than that inside our local grocery store on any given Saturday. The hotel is owned and operated by dear friends Charlie and Debbie Andrews who welcome hunters, construction crews, transient farm workers, scrapbooking groups, antique collectors, and other guests to their charming town.

Back 2 Basics

All month long on the blog, we’ve run the Back 2 Basics series, emphasizing 5 simple faith-building practices for the new year. In addition to a post about each practice, (Daily time in God’s Word, Prayer, Scripture Memory, Fasting, and Worship), we’ve also provided a “Faith in Action” piece, which shares the real-life stories of ordinary people who are modeling the practices in their daily lives. I believe we’re best-inspired seeing by faith in action, don’t you?

Today, our Faith in Action interviewee is Debbie Andrews from her small, rural town of Wallace. She took time out of her busy day filled with hotel management to talk with me about worship. You see, Charlie and Debbie dedicated the hotel and every one of its guests to the Lord many years ago. Their entire operation is devoted to revealing God’s nature and activity to those who visit. At this point in history, the Wallace Hotel exists to glorify God. As the owners and operators, everything they do is an act of worship to Him.

I pray Debbie’s words, and her unique calling in life will resonate with you. I trust that you’ll be inspired by her story.

Me:  Why do you feel that worship is important beyond Sundays at Church?

Debbie:  Because our relationship with God should be a daily priority, not just something we emphasize on Sundays.  My daily worship isn’t perfect but it’s incorporated into everything I do. As I go about my day, my worship takes on many forms. I try to keep three things at the forefront of my mind:  my love of God the Father, my gratitude for all that Christ did for me on the cross, and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill my heart and mind.  With my focus on the Trinity, everything becomes an act of worship. I know that God is with me throughout the day and it’s a great blessing.

Me:  How do you incorporate worship into your everyday life and praise the Lord during normal tasks?

Debbie: Since I know He is always with me no matter where I am or what I am doing, I have conversations with Him throughout the day.  Some conversations happen when I stop and pray, while others are along the lines of, “go ahead of me Lord” or “oh how I need your help right now”.  Again, because I know He wants this type of relationship with me, I believe this is a form of worship.

Our hotel has been dedicated to Him from the very start.  We ask Him to bring those people to us who should be here and to take away anyone who should not be here.  He has honored that request on many occasions.  We love that He oversees our reservation book. 

Recently, I have been praying at the doorway of each room after I clean it. My prayer includes thanking Him for this great facility, asking that whomever He brings is comfortable, happy, makes good memories, and that all things in the room stay in good working order.  He is so faithful!  (Don’t get me wrong, we have had clogged toilets, broken chairs, stained carpets, etc., but we have always been able to take care of these maintenance issues in a reasonable time and financial way.)

I love music (though I don’t sing very well), so songs and scriptures are in my head throughout the day and even if I wake in the middle of the night.  Remember, Psalm 66:1 says, “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.”  My singing is a “noise” to some, but it’s a “joyful noise” to my heavenly Father.  I know that because when my children sing to me or thank me, I love it no matter how it sounds.  Scripture memorization is great to sustain me throughout the day.  Many praise songs are scripture set to music.

Very often I am traveling to visit children and grandchildren.  My favorite way to incorporate worship into the four-hour drive is to put a praise CD in and sing along as loud as I want (because I’m alone J).  After each song, I turn off the music and talk to God about how that song spoke to me. Many times, I confess, express gratitude, or ask for Him to hear my prayer.  Once I’ve had this wonderful conversation, listening for the Holy Spirit, I turn the music on and sing again.  Such a great way to travel down the highway.

Me: What blessings do you feel that worship adds to your life?

When I have “worship thoughts” in my heart and they are expressed, I am a happier person ready to serve others and look at the world through a positive perspective.  When I neglect worship, it is extremely easy for me to slip into a negative, cranky place.

Me:  How/why would you encourage others to worship beyond Sundays?

The “why” is easy - - He loves you and wants to hear from you constantly, not just when you are sitting in church.  The “how” is limitless.  He appreciates all the ways that you want to approach Him to offer your praise. 

Another exciting way of worship for me is praying scripture to Him in praise. I have picked out a verse for each of my 8 children and 8 grandchildren that I pray often over them.  It was so fun to find a verse that was fitting to each of them individually.  In fact, I’m ready to search the scripture for a new one for some of them, since I have seen their life change because of what the verse said that I was speaking over them.

Your Turn:

How / Why do you worship the Lord beyond Sundays?

What insight would you add to this conversation?

We’d love and appreciate your comments, or continue the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Be Strengthened Today, By His Word,
Psalm 119:28


Today’s interview featured Debbie Andrews.

Debbie Andrews and her husband, Charlie own and operate a quaint hotel in the small town of Wallace, Nebraska. Their 4 children chose wonderful mates who have blessed them with 8 fun grandchildren. Her heart is full of love for the Lord and the family He has given her. Teaching, scrapbooking, canning, and sewing are talents God has given to Debbie to share with others.

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