This book has been sitting on the end table for a week and when I finally picked up I couldn’t put it down. It was a great read by Travis Cottrell. I have heard Travis lead worship at Living Proof events in the past and loved his music. But reading his book has really opened my mind and heart more in regards to worship. One of my favorite parts of the book is where he is totally surprised by a particular act of worship. Travis sets the stage by informing his readers of his former legalistic tendencies and Baptist roots. He describes the event in which he was surprised by this subtle act of worship and then says the following:
“God opened my eyes and heart to the fact that the tapestry of His people is multicolored and vastly rich – well beyond my own experience or expressions. Not everyone is going to worship like I do – nor should they.”
He also had an amazing chapter on relationships and how they effect our worship. Amazing and convicting to be honest. There is a breech in one of my relationships and the truths he brought out in this book have penetrated my heart and opened my eyes to some personal things in my own life. I’m still pondering these things.
I told Randy he would be interested in parts of this book as well as some people in our church. Out of all the people in our church there is a lone hand raiser during our worship songs……it happens to be my husband. Sometimes I’ll get the nerve to throw up my hands in worship when I just can’t stand to stand there and sing words like “He made him who knew no sin to be sin for me” or anything with the names of God…..I have a hard time being ho-hum during powerful words that describe my Savior. Why I struggle with caring what others think about me, I don’t know. Randy has had several conversations with people this week that expressed their desire to raise their hands in worship or clap and they all are held back by fear of what others will think. I get this. I struggle with it too. And I want to stop. This book may have just given me freedom to be a hand raiser, hootin and hoolerin’ worshipper. Just kidding about the hootin’ and hoolerin. But it has opened me up for sure. I’m excited about what God is doing in my heart as a result of reading this book. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and read it too.
’s some interesting information on Travis Cottrell you might want to check out:
Nashville, Tenn…. Sept. 15, 2010… GMA Dove Award-winning worship leader Travis Cottrell is gearing up to release his debut book, Surprised By Worship, published by Zondervan available this October. In this new venture, Cottrell teams up with well-known author and speaker Beth Moore to show readers that God’s presence can be experienced at surprising times and places.
Building on a profound introductory chapter written by Moore, Surprised By Worship explores biblical and modern-day examples of people experiencing life’s travails and triumphs who bring greater meaning to their lives through spontaneous acts of worship. God's goodness is predictable. His mercy is dependable. His ability to work in every moment of our lives, leading us to Him, is unfailing. But often in those moments when we are distracted by great distress, we don’t see or acknowledge God’s presence and provision. It's at those times that worship can be our greatest resource, bringing us the hope, strength, even deliverance we so desperately need.
Beyond the travails, Surprised By Worship also discusses God revealing Himself in the quiet, simple moments of life; when we allow the beauty of art or nature to transport us to worship. It’s about finding God when we seek Him whether that be in the midst of great joy, in the everyday or in our deepest time of need.
Since beginning his career as a worship leader, Cottrell has been on LifeWay’s Top 10 Artist list for the past three years, with his albums Alive Forever selling 130,000 units and Jesus Saves on track to eclipse that record. He currently serves as the worship pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, TN, as well as the worship leader for Moore on her hugely successful Living Proof Live! Conferences, which he has done for the past 13 years.
“What I love best about Travis is that he is not a performer. He is a true worshipper,” Moore said. “God has given Travis what I believe is a gift of favor with audiences and congregations. His approach permeates every denominational wall. His warm yet powerful style engages even the most resistant group into irresistible worship.”
“I am passionate about Jesus, and about my family. I love my life as a worshipper of the Most High God,” says Cottrell. “I love my job...my calling...as a worship leader.”