Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surprised by Worship by Travis Cottrell

Surprises. We love the good ones, like a surprise birthday party with friends. Yet there are surprises no one wants, like the unexpected late night phone call. There is also the anticipated surprise, waiting for the results of the medical test. Travis knows, “God is into surprises. Huge, life-altering surprises.” (30)

Travis is all about worship. He has been the worship leader for Beth Moore for 13 years and is the worship pastor at a Baptist church in Jackson, TN. He shares his insights about God's surprises in this slim book.
We want God as long as He is safe. How do we feel when His unexpected surprises turn our thoughts and theology upside down? Do we still worship Him when facing pain and loss?
Travis writes about a variety of worship issues. What place does feeling have in worship? How can we worship when we are in pain, when we are waiting? Is there form and order to worship? Do our personal preferences about worship prevent us from receiving God's surprises? Can we worship God through the arts? How does worship heal hurts?
Travis says, “...worship rightly entails all of who we are.” (73) “We know God with our minds; we experience Him in our spirits; and we express the joy of His presence through our voices and bodies.” (47) Worship is more than what we do on Sunday morning. “Worship consists of submitting to God and His will in every facet of your life, and then loving and praising Him whatever the outcome.” (131)
Through telling the events of his own life and those of biblical characters, Travis encourages us to long to worship God even when we are in placed we never wanted to be. Travis knows God will meet us there.
This book is not an in depth look at worship. It might be appropriate for a new believer but a seasoned believer will find nothing of significance here.

Zondervan, 158 pages.

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