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In Jesus Name: A Legacy of Worship & Faith

My heart is full yet again as we have just released this Legacy project ‘In Jesus Name: A Legacy of Worship & Faith‘. Jesus certainly is the centre of my world and it is my life mission to announce and declare His Lordship and great love for us.

I sincerely pray that these songs draw you to desire an ever growing, ever deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.

Feel free to check out this video on YouTube of ‘My Highest Hope‘ and the album is on iTunes.

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Much love,

Darls xx


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,


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.’
muscle 2

Drug Testing & Worship Leaders

muscle 2Well, I knew that would grab your attention!!!

With all the media talk over the last 12 months about some of our fave athletes cheating, in regards to medical enhanced performances, this got me thinking…..


Let me share my story…

Many years ago, we were gearing up for one of the most valuable conferences of the year. We had all been working hard, preparing and simply doing what needed to be done. I went to bed feeling, what I would call ‘interesting.. just not well’.. (you probably know the feeling!!). The next morning I kept pushing myself, but my body ached to the point of being unable to hold myself up, and then, what couldn’t happen at this point in time happened…. my voice went.

I can’t remember many times in my life, when I’ve truly been unable to sing due to illness…. Needless to say, this is something I found extremely FRUSTRATING.

I needed to sing, I needed my voice, so what did we do, where did we go? We got a doctor in to see me and I was prescribed antibiotics which were very needful. Also, for the first time in my life, a steroid was used to quickly kick my voice into gear. Kick it into gear, it did! I was SO thankful. The doctor  gave me a five day dose and I was set. I knew and realized this was quite a common treatment, so I felt relieved.. and was back on the mend seemingly without missing a beat.

Life carried on and I sang at that conference and then countless times after that. I felt good and then it happened again…. About 12 months later, I found myself in a similair position. Off I went back to the doctor for the steroid, not the antibiotic.. just the steroid and again….. it kicked into gear quickly and I continued on, not thinking much about it.

Here’s the thing.. I was still attending speech therapy (my fave vocal training), but I really became slack with the discipline of REST, warm ups, cool downs, etc. All the things we need to apply for longevity but in the back of my mind I knew if I really needed to, I could grab the steroid and be OK.

After a while…. I began to feel challenged to my core about my own behaviour. How I was  depending on medicine and not giving my body the Sabbath space it continually needed to regenerate – Gods perfect formula. In saying this, I am NOT anti-medication… BUT since I started speaking about this, I have heard of worship leaders who are often having their actual vocal folds INJECTED with all sorts of things. They are doing this in an effort to  try to erase the pain they feel as they are required to sing morning noon and night without the necessary discipline of warming up, cooling down, and taking REST.

All these years later, and by going back to the basics and keeping vocal health one of my top physical priorities, I can sing and sing and sing.. with NO medical intervention!! Just plain old fashioned discipline and consistency.

So.. NO, we are not about to start drug testing our worship leaders.. BUT, I’m sure you all hear my heart when I say.. PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!! Rest, great food, the Word of God, sunshine, friends, and the disciplines of taking care of the gifts God has entrusted to us. It is RIDICULOUS to try to attain for a standard that God Himself is NOT asking you to attain. Its not about impressing or pleasing others, but serving and loving our great God, who only wants the best for you.

Much Love,

Darlene xo

40 yr old

Generation to Generation

40 yr oldTodays blog comes after many trips to many churches over many years and meeting with MANY musicians/singers ~ true worshippers who’ve been part of worship teams for a whole lot of years, but who’ve hit the age of OVER 40…  and are finding themselves on shelves, wondering what they did wrong??

There are a whole lot of differing reasons that this type of problem has reached epidemic proportions, especially  amongst many of the contemporary churches in the west. Without healthy language around the topic, more and more volunteers AND pastors get hurt and confused in the process.

So, here are my humble thoughts on this….. being a 47 year old, female worship leader and pastor of a contemporary church in the west…

Firstly, to those who find themselves in this category. I will put a challenge out to you…. Do you get your worth from your position or from the platform? Because if you do, this getting older ride is gonna be a very difficult one for you! When your security comes from who you are in Christ, and when you adopt a life attitude of SERVICE, then what you do (even if worship leader is what you feel most equipped for) will be less of a challenge for you. ‘To worship’ has the words ‘to serve’ tied up in its origin. Serving Christ is SO much more than the singing of songs, even though this is an important part of our expression.

Personally, I have found that the more SECURE I am in Christ, the less all the other things impact me. In fact, if you’ll allow your heart to go there, you will find GREAT joy, perhaps the greatest, in raising, encouraging and releasing the next generation.

Psalm 145 says it loud and clear….. GENERATION to GENERATION..

Darlene xx

{PS: I love Gladys… Would love to credit this picture to someone but haven’t found it’s origin yet… will keep trying}


Revealing Jesus

Well, after many many months of dreaming, writing, praying, talking, laughing and planning… ‘Revealing Jesus’ is finally here.

This whole concept has come out of a simple longing for more of Jesus to be revealed in my life. More of Him in every area of my life, starting with my heart…

I’ve been asking God about the authority we have In Jesus Name, and how the finished work of Christ really does affect every single moment of our lives.

And I’ve been learning how important my speech is… To declare this finished work, to speak out His word and not just accept some of the situations we find ourselves in, but push the enemy right back with the Word of God as we face any trial in life.

SO… from my heart of hearts to yours today, I truly pray these songs become fuel for YOUR journey… songs of praise, songs of war, songs of deep worship and adoration. And that the devotional is like a river of life to your soul.. bite size pieces strength as you read daily.

I Love this text from Corinthians 2…

‘God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of His purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out His best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.’
(The Message Translation)

So my friends.. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to reveal Jesus Christ to you… for He is the Greatest of the Greats, the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. And He has a great plan for your life. Ask Him to come be YOUR Lord today… The center of your life… He is a prayer, a breath, a heartbeat away…

Much much love to you all today…

Darls. xx




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