We praise God at our song devotional!

By Chris Directo.

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV.

Leilani Estates shakes, but this time it is not the volcano. The disciples are singing with power! (photo by Mahe Directo)

I had a terrific time last night at our Song Devotional. Our devotional was held at Leilani Estates Recreation Center.

Stefano and I had the privilege of facilitating a Friday night devotional focusing on singing in worship. We both took turns conducting church songs and sharing some thoughts from our lives and the Bible. We really appreciated the devotion to the Bible and to godly singing that the congregation demonstrated last night.

The night started off with fellowship and food, always a successful pair. Everyone sat or stood in the Center with their coffee and donuts and conversed pau hana talk before the devotional started.

Evan opened up the festivities by sharing some scripture and firing everyone up with his thoughts on worshiping God. He did not realize this, but he was also preparing Stefano and I so that God could use us as his servants for the night.

Chris takes a break from his lesson to sing “Lamb of God” and “Lead Me to Some Soul Today” with the congregation. (photo by Mahe Directo)

This was the first time Stefano and I ever teamed up for something like this, but we were anxious to get started. The past few months have seen us both change in our attitudes towards singing and revering God in everything we do. Yes, we help to conduct songs for our church worship, but God has helped us to realize what a gift being able to sing is, and, even more, what a gift being able to want to sing is. Our love for God makes us want to sing.

The church spent most of the devotional singing all kinds of songs — old, new, upbeat, deliberate, forceful, emotional — from oldies but goodies like “Hard Fighting Soldier” to everyone’s favorites like “Great among the Nations.”

I shared a Bible study lesson entitled “Righteous Worship,” about why singing is so important in our relationship with God. I used some of my experiences, thoughts and Bible insight to show how the Bible and life go hand in hand when talking about singing.

Stefano shared a Bible study lesson on Job, and how he went through life’s struggles while still loving God and praising God throughout.

We had a great time trying some new things to make singing come alive in our congregation last night. One of the highlights was when we split the church up into the singing voice groups of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. I commend these groups for how quickly they picked up the notes. They cooperated and harmonized wonderfully!

The crowd really gets into some of the new songs. (photo by Mahe Directo)

Stefano and I had been preparing for the devotional for the past couple of weeks. The best part about the planning was the meetings we had. Stefano is a good guy to have fellowship with. It has been a huge challenge for Stefano and I to meet together, with Stefano’s college course load and my occupational commitments.

We finally put our pair of feet down and made time to meet up. We took advantage of the time to get unified in our purpose for the devotional and the plan for the Friday night. We looked into the Bible for direction, and asked Evan for some guidance, too. Of course, we ultimately went to God for his guidance and control of the event. God always comes through.

One of the most encouraging aspects of the night was the fellowship after the conclusion of the formal festivities. It seemed like a ton of people were coming up to Stefano and me to tell us what they took with them from the singing and the Bible study, and how the night impacted them personally.

Some people shared some firsthand anecdotes and experiences that the devotional triggered in their hearts. They expressed how relevant and powerful the Bible can be toward a person, or how stirring singing can be.

Stefano speaks about Job’s joy and trials. (photo by Mahe Directo)

The devotional has inspired Stefano and I greatly. Our hope was that the Bible and the songs would inspire the congregation to exercise more heart in their singing, and to thrust more singing into their hearts. Although this goal may have been accomplished, we did not anticipate that our own hearts would be moved in a tremendous way as well.

All of the planning, practicing, singing and Bible study motivated us to find the joy and pleasure of singing to God. Our hope now is that our fulfilling relationship with God will give us more reason to want to grow, want to inspire others, want to share what we know, want to share what we have, and want to sing.

Praise God! Speak with songs! And make music in your heart!