Keeping the Flame Burning!

By Debbi Shotlow
Worship Leader
February 25, 2019

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Walking into my office recently I found a message taped to my computer that said, 的知 having a garage sale this Saturday - Mom has a lot of song books I think you should look at - come early. I went quickly to the office of the author, Pastor Bruce, and asked, 滴ow early? to which he replied, 6:00 am.

Needless to say, I never made it to his house the next morning. Instead, I host to a slumber party of four little girls, ages 3-12, and was kept me up all night. I slept in the next morning until 10:30 as the girls watched the same video over and over. I forgot about the books because I assumed they had been snatched up already. In my mind, I figured I had enough hymnals and really did not need another. After all, every Minister of Music and Worship need only one for reference. Right?

I didn稚 give it another thought until I went to work the following Monday. Pastor Bruce met me inside my office and mentioned that my husband was coming over to his house that night to work on an electrical problem he was having. He mentioned that he still had the books since not one of had sold at the garage sale. I informed my husband that I was going with him that night, and we even called it a date.

My husband, Don, went to look at the electrical problem and I sat in the dining room with Pastor Bruce痴 wife, Dee-Dee. She brought out two large boxes of books that I was to look through. As I began to go through the boxes, I realized that they were not hymnals at all, but were old revival songbooks and testimonies of revivals. They were the songs that lit the fire that burns within every charismatic Christian today, revival fire. As I began to look through the boxes, I began to weep and dwell deeply on the fact that God had a plan long before I had walked into this house that would allow me to view these books and put them in my library for good use.

I could not help but thank my God for answering prayers. He knew how I had longed to touch that period of church history. I read about the old tent meetings, the miracles, and all the wonderful things that had taken place in them. I have prayed for 喪evival fire to infiltrate not only our church, but the church at large. Somehow I had been trying to keep the story straight within my own heart. I can稚 help but feel that we, the church, have somehow watered down the salvation story. Do we include Christ in our songs? If the Pastor never gave an invitation, would a visitor know how to get saved through our music?

As I looked at the back of one of the songbooks, there were pictures of crowds of people waiting to get into the meeting, as well as pictures of crowds inside the auditorium. These pictures told the story of small and large towns that had been turned upside down for Christ by traveling evangelists. I had read about the tent meetings of old and remembered attending some of those meeting as a young Christian. But, as I grew in Christ, I had long forgotten my tent meeting experiences. Something was planted in me during those meetings, as I知 sure it was to others in history who attended.

It is very interesting that in my becoming a worship leader and studying these meetings, there is a longing to connect with what happened there. The message was plain and simple as it told the gospel. People were saved and changed, as were the people they witnessed to.

Getting back to the books many of them were torn or very used it was as if the owner痴 sweaty palms had just sat the books down. Later I was told that back in the day of the old tent meetings every Christian carried two books to church, the Bible and a songbook.

WOW! I held in my hand a piece of history of the church. These books dated back to 1930痴 to the 70痴 I could see how the songs of that time kept the church going, how the songs had kept the church in remembrance of a life giving Savior. There Is Power In The Blood, All That Fills My Soul Is Jesus, the songs went on and on some that I knew and some I didn稚. Then I started to read the words and I realized that some of our songs have been watered down and that they did not tell the story.

I kept looking through the box and I found two or three dozen 撤salters (something we don稚 see much of today) A sweet saint took a bunch of scriptures and put music to them. My heart pounded so I began crying again praying at the same time for God to give me contemporary beats to put the Psalms to. I kept hearing Paul say encourage one another in Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs Man I was in a zone for real!

In reality as Dee-Dee sat across from me she probably thought I was a 渡ut case after I cried over all the books. I was so grateful that they were in my hands and that God had found me faithful enough to possess these books now.

Here痴 the rest of this story - these books belonged to Dee-Dee痴 Momma who is well in her 90痴. In her day she was a traveling evangelist and held many tent meetings in small towns. She and (now deceased husband) planted many churches and have seen many healings and miracles take place. She was the preacher in the family; she told me that the call of God burned so in her she could not keep it quiet. She just wanted to see people get filled with the Holy Spirit and live for God. So she just kept preaching and praying following the fire that burned within her.

She is at church every Wednesday and Sunday sitting about middle way back in my church. She sits sometime and she stands when she has a little strength praising and worshiping God to the Contemporary music that my team plays every week. She tells me she prays for me and I believe her, she is the strongest Christian I know though her body is fragile due to her age. She is the most beautiful woman I know inside and out we affectionately call her Mother Davis.

It was her 杜eeting books that were passed down to me; it was as if a mantle was passed to me directly from her. You see she connected me with that era she was the link God used gracefully. As I watch her worship God with us, pray for us, and asked what else she can do for God. I want to keep the fire going too! Here痴 a thought Mom Davis is apart of an older generation, who sang older songs, hymns, etc. How do we tie the generational gaps for members in our congregations? For within me burns the fire of God that I can稚 put out. I got to sing about it, write about it, and tell someone about it. I got to tell somebody that there is a God that sits on a throne that had a Son whom He sent to redeem us from hell痴 fire. That there is hope and that there is not one person who doesn稚 matter to God.

Worship Leader, worshiper, preacher, teacher, pastor, whomever you are you are nothing without that flame burning in your heart. That flame has a name and His name is Jesus. If you have any other agenda on your heart except a burning desire to exalt Him. In Jesus name repent ask the Holy Spirit to show you the way. Keep the flame burning by knowing and telling the old, old story about Jesus. About His life, His death and His resurrection power. Be creative with your tent meetings. Keep the flame burning!









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