Something from Carl Cartee

July 2, 2007

Carl Cartee is one of my favorite worship leaders. I encountered him while I was working for AIM as he led worship at a couple of the staff conferences. While I love the sound of the music the lyrics are what move me. His album First almost always leads me into a time of worship. In fact, I’ve owned three copies of the CD. Each time I lose one I think it’s spiritual warfare. Anyway, the point of this isn’t to plug his album even though I think you should check it out, I loan it to you if you want, but rather to pass along something I saw on his website. I thought it was pretty powerful.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Holding me up…

I love leading worship. Using music to point people to Jesus. It’s especially good when I see something in the audience that leads me into worship. Those moments are wonderful. I get to receive, while someone else in Christ’s body points me to Jesus. It happened Memorial Day weekend at Fort Caswell on Oak Island, NC. I was leading worship for the Providence Baptist Church singles retreat. (If you live in the NC triangle area, you should check it out…pray.org, one of the best churches in the country)

While on stage the first night, we kicked into a tune and the place was ready to roll. Worship made sense from the crowd. It was believable. They spoke the language like they were born into it. I was excited to be worshipping with these people. I knew this event would be well worth my time.

About three quarters of the way through the first song, I noticed something unusual. One guy in the front row was behind another guy with his arms around him from behind. I have gotten pretty good at doing one thing while thinking another on stage. This was a time when I put that skill to use. “What’s going on there? Zoom in for a closer look.”
After I stared directly at the two men, I realized why they were standing that way. The man in front was unable to stand on his own because of a physical handicap. The man with his arms around him from behind was holding him up so that he could stand in worship. Both of them had eyes shut, mouths open, just singing to the top of their lungs (let that settle in your mind…). I have seen a lot in worship services around the world, everything from fights to people getting healed. Seeing this tops all the rest. This is what Jesus does and what he calls us to do. It is the perfect picture. It almost sounds made up to me as I type it, but It’s true. I saw it.

Thank God for your friends. Hold them up when they need you. Worship with them through every fire. This is where you find life and in nothing else. The songs don’t count unless they inspire something greater. The music and the motions are empty if they don’t produce a tangible fruit.

I have the image of those two warriors seared into my memory and I thank God every time I see it. It’s leading me to worship and teaching me that the journey does not always take the same roads. It’s not a musical, it’s an action movie with a good sound track. It’s not a one-man show, it’s each of us holding one another up.

Here is a project for you, dear blog reader. Try to connect your worship of God with an action toward your fellow man. Those watching your humble work will be refreshed…take it from me.

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