"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Surprised by Worship by Travis Cottrell

Surprised by Worship by Travis Cottrell is an absolutely amazing book. I've known of Travis, his music, and his ministry for quite a while. I use a lot of his songs and arrangements of hymns in my own church. When I heard he was writing a book, I could not wait to read it. After reading this book I was drawn to the subtitle, Discovering the Presence of God Where You Least Expect It. I've read books for information or because I'm interested in the target, and while that's true with this book, there came something else. I was drawn into worship while reading this book, I was surprised by worship. Yes, this is a book about worship and he uses plenty of scripture with examples of where the people of God were surprised by worship. But this book is so much more. This is a book that is also the outpouring of the heart of a worshipper. Travis opens his heart and shares his own story of how God led him in his journey of worship, personally and with his family. I love hearing his story of how God brought him to Englewood Baptist Church. Reading it in this book was not the first time I've heard it, but it still speaks to me. The book culminates in the last chapter, surrender, to cease resisting another power; to yield to a different influence. He begins the chapter this way,
"As I sit on the other side of the worship adventures I have recounted in this book, I recall those man-made boundaries I once placed around worship. Then I reflect on the surprises that have forced me to rethink the meaning of worship and how I can adjust my thoughts, practices, and conclusions accordingly. Obviously, the old definitions I once held were entirely too narrow. To think that worship entails only the hour spent in a church sanctuary each week is like thinking Sunday lunch is the only meal I need to nourish me for the week."
He also says this in that same chapter, "To worship God is to offer Him what He is worthy of receiving; adoration, love, and devotion." And this, "Worship doesn't depend on easy tasks, ideal circumstances, or perfect lives, but on a surrendered heart." Reading that last chapter was very encouraging and convicting for me, but it was exactly a chapter that I needed to read.
from the inside cover, "Join worship leader and recording artist Travis Cottrell for a personal and uplifting look at one of God's greatest gifts. And don't be surprised if you get caught up in a new experience of worship."
I was and I'm sure you will be too. To God be the glory!

Special thanks to Zondervan for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase the book here on

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