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New Days!

Hi everyone. Well, I am writing this little update from an airport lounge. Sounds normal and routine, but today it feels like everything is new, like I’m entering such a new season that I have the same excitement/nerves I sense whenever I’m diving into new waters. This is the first weekend that I have travelled or ministered outside of our own church family since a breast cancer diagnosis that needed aggressive treatment. I am truly grateful to be here, grateful to be given this opportunity to lead people in the worship of Jesus, and grateful for a family and church family that I know is at home praying and cheering me on.

After 11 long and gruelling months, I am finally starting to feel like my body belongs to me again, like my heart has capacity in it again for the new, and to be honest, spiritually I feel like a different person.

Even though I’m a little bloated due to some of the drugs I now take, and my mind still gets a little fuzzy ( if you ask my children they will say .. ‘don’t blame that one on chemo!’), I feel so ALIVE with promise, that I just cannot wait to see what God has in store. Whether public or private, I am desperate for the NEW, so desperate to continue to fulfil His call on my life.

It feels like I have been in intense training. I think of Psalm 144:1 when David says,  ‘Blessed be the Lord my rock, Who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle’. I continue learning how to dig into God in ways that I have never needed to before. Learning how to simply BE and live in the complete confidence that Jesus loves me entirely – even if I never did one more thing in His name. Even in my stillness, He is fighting for me. Stunning.

Cancer changes you. I feel I am living and will continue to live with much greater intentionality. I am even honouring my body with more intention as every single day I am eating with intention (no sugars, loads of greens), I am resting with intention, and feeding my spirit in a deeper and ‘unhurried’ way. John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness, and this is where I intend to live by the grace of God.

Our family are doing really well. It does take quite a long time for everyone to decompress, get out of fight or flight mode, and take some deep enjoyable breaths. We have taken a couple of mini holidays to find our rhythm and flow, and again, by Gods grace, the family is emerging stronger than ever. I have SO much admiration for my daughters, I‘ve always loved them fiercely, but as every day goes by I respect them more and more. Champion people.

And on a lighter note, as I mostly missed Christmas festivities last year, I have personally named this Christmas the year of double blessing!! Not in receiving gifts, to be honest, there is nothing I need. No, I am interested with being with the people I love around great food, inspiring conversation, and loads of laughter. Bring it on!! Also, please pray for my hubby, who encouraged me, whilst undergoing treatment, to dream about some of the changes we would bring to our home. SO, the reno’s are underway as of Monday!! 4 weeks of dust/early morning drilling/ and lots of bills!! But I am in my happy place…

Love to you all, thank you so much for your continued prayers for our family, we could not have done the journey thus far without you!!

Chat soon,

Darlene Z

 

 

 

 

An update …

Hi everyone…

Well, I am writing this little update from an airport lounge. Sounds normal and routine, but today it feels like everything is new, like I’m entering such a new season that I have the same excitement/ nerves I sense whenever I’m diving into new waters. This is the first weekend that I have travelled or ministered outside of our own church family since a breast cancer diagnosis that needed aggressive treatment, and I am truly grateful to be here, grateful to be given this opportunity to lead people in the worship of Jesus, and grateful for a family and church family that I know is at home praying and cheering me on.

After 11 long and gruelling months, I am finally starting to feel like my body belongs to me again, like my heart has capacity in it again for the new, and to be honest, spiritually I feel like a different person.

Even though I’m a little bloated due to some of the drugs I now take, and my mind still gets a little fuzzy ( if you ask my children they will say .. ‘don’t blame that one on chemo!’), I feel so ALIVE with promise, that I just cannot wait to see what God has in store.. whether public or private, I am desperate for the NEW, so desperate to continue to fulfil His call on my life.

It feels like I have been in intense training. I think of Psalm 144:1, when David says,  ‘Blessed Be the Lord my rock, Who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.’ I continue learning how to dig into God in ways that I have never needed to before. Learning how to simply BE.. that Jesus entirely loves me if I never did one more thing in His name, and even in my stillness, He is fighting for me. Stunning.

Cancer changes you. I feel I am living and will continue to live with much greater intentionality. I am even honouring my body with more intention as every single day I am eating with intention ( no sugars, loads of greens), I am resting with intention, and feeding my spirit in a deeper and ‘unhurried’ way. John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness, and this is where I intend to live by the grace of God.

The family is doing really well. It does take quite a long time for everyone to decompress, get out of fight or flight mode, and take some deep enjoyable breaths. We have taken a couple of mini holidays to find our rhythm and flow, and again, by God’s grace, the family is emerging stronger than ever. I have SO much admiration for my daughters, I‘ve always loved them fiercely, but as every day goes by I respect them more and more. Champion people.

And on a lighter note, as I mostly missed Christmas festivities last year, I have personally named this Christmas the year of double blessing!! not in receiving gifts, to be honest, there is nothing I need. No, I am interested with being with the people I love around great food, inspiring conversation, and loads of laughter. Bring it on!! Pray for my hubby, who encouraged me while undergoing treatment, to dream about some of the changes we would bring to our home. SO, the reno’s are underway as of Monday!! 4 weeks of dust, early morning drilling, and lots of bills!!

But I am in my happy place…

Love to you all, thank you so much for your continued prayers for our family, we could not have done the journey thus far without you!!

Chat soon,

Darlene Z

 

DZ It is well

It Is Well

DZ It is wellHey lovely people..

I am writing a short note before I go to sleep tonight. I have wanted to do this since LAST Wednesday, the day I finished radiation, the day I breathed out the greatest sigh of relief. The day my new normal began. I have looked for words filled with enough meaning, but at the moment, those words still fail me. They are slowly coming. The greatest thing I have been able to do is to sing songs that describe my heart. Tonight at our HopeUC worship and prayer night I was given the opportunity to lead worship and sing songs that felt like my heart had written them.

For those interested, we sang.. ‘Alive in Us’ (Hillsong), ‘Build Your Kingdom’ (Rend Collective.. the BEST and FUN song!!), ‘In Jesus Name’ (Israel Houghton and myself) ‘Hands to the Heavens’ (Kari Jobe), ‘Your Name /Cry of the Broken’ (Paul Baloche and myself) ’It is Well’ (Bethel Music).. and heaven visited. It was magnificent. Then, we sang  ’Sovereign Over Us’ (Michael W Smith). There were a few others woven throughout but those were the main songs for the night.

I have always run to worship when I have no words. Between the historic writers and those who write current day hymns I will be forever grateful. My heart would surely have burst its banks if not for others helping me bring forth praise. My own songs are coming but the words are very personal and will take a little more time to find their flow.

Thank You to the worship team who have stood with me through this journey and helped me play with these songs with authority and a new sense of intentionality.
Thank You to our beautiful church family at HopeUC…. Again, my words will come, but at this stage, just know how much Mark and I admire you and how thankful we are for your courage and love. Thank You to Dave Kobler who preached tonight a powerful message on SONSHIP… being ‘adopted in’.. it truly was the theme of the day at HOPE.

Thank You to all our HopeUC Kids who had their own prayer and worship night, they brought such faith and passion. God is truly at work amongst us.

I am now off to bed and going with a FULL heart. It IS well…
Much much love,

Darls

CCM Songs

The 10 Most Influential Songs in Contemporary Christian Music

CCM SongsCCM Magazine is celebrating 35 years of publication and true to form, they have kicked off the 35th Anniversary Issue with a song. The Special Issue carries 164 pages of richness that truly tells a story of faith, hope and trust in God through incredible music.
 
We are delighted that ‘Shout To The Lord’ has been selected as one of the 10 Most Influential Songs in Contemporary Christian Music. Along with incredible songs like Awesome God (Rich Mullins), Jesus Freak (dc talk), Friends (Michael W Smith), I Can Only Imagine (MercyMe), El Shaddai (Amy Grant), Flood (Jars of Clay), Cinderella (Steven Curtis Chapman), Revelation Song (Jennie Lee Riddle), 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman), these songs have clearly resonated and touched the hearts and souls of Christians across the globe. 
 
Shout To The Lord has been heralded as ‘The song that practically launched the entire praise & worship movement. It is sung by an estimated 25-30 million churchgoers every week and has been covered by at least 20 other artists and has been performed for the President of the United States and the Pope at the Vatican.” According to CCM Magazine, ‘Shout To The Lord has become the standard by which all other worship songs are judged.’