This is my first published book, “A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP – Living in the Awareness of God’s Presence.” I’m very excited and grateful for God’s blessings and the opportunity to share His WORD with His body of believers all over the world. I’ve been a songwriter and worship leader throughout the years and this is a collection of my life experiences and personal studies on the subject of spiritual intimacy with God. Below is the front and back covers, my official press release, and chapter 1 for you to read. Feel free to request your personalized signed copy for any love offering amount of $25.00 or more and this includes shipping.
We are encouraged to hear that it’s being offered in many bookstores and databases around the world. What a blessing to be able to express the passion of my heart and I truly give Him all the glory for communicating through me! It has 50 chapters and is a whopping 367 pages. I know you will be blessed with the content as it’s filled with scriptures, prayers, devotions, personal stories, and spiritual insights that will encourage you as you learn more about God’s glory and how to dwell in His presence. We mail our books and CD’s to State Correctional libraries around the Country and are focused on reaching out wherever we can with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP” is now available in public libraries!
It’s an honor to serve God, and it becomes even more exciting and rewarding when other people take notice. It is truly a dream to have my book on the shelves in public libraries. It’s not as easy as I thought to have a book accepted into the world database, as each entry has to be selected, reviewed, and approved to be added to a library collection. Recently the Lexington Kentucky public library has also added it to their collection and is available in the main library and both of their branches.
Xulon Guide Offers the Proven Keys of Real Worship and Intimacy
MAITLAND, FLORIDA – William F. Holland, Jr.’s new book, A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP: Living in the awareness of God’s presence, ($19.49, paperback, 9781498433815; $9.99, e-book, 9781498433822) epitomizes what true Christian worship is. The author examines worship as an expression of love to God and digs deeper to show readers that the ultimate realization of worship is demonstrated by how we live. From William’s vast experience, learning how to become aware of God’s presence changes the way we think and this completely changes who we are.
“This is an in-depth presentation of not only a musical and Biblical perspective of Christian life but also reveals human behavior,” states the author. “This content covers biblical insights along with the practical instruction to help develop a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Christ. Personal, spiritual intimacy is not embraced by those who are satisfied with being religious.”
William F. Holland, Jr., has been a worship leader for many years, as well as a songwriter, singer, musician, and recording artist. He carries the mantle of a psalmist and has much experience singing original music and leading congregations. He also serves as a theologian with two doctorate degrees and thirty years of researching God’s Word. Combining his passion for study and his experience in ministry has given him spiritual insights that he believes can help minister encouragement. The author adds, “I pray that God can use my way of presenting the gospel as an awakening, a challenge, motivation, and stimulation for others to seek Him more seriously.”
Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 12,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP: Living in the awareness of God’s presence through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors.
APPLE IBOOK EBOOK PAGE
BARNES AND NOBLE
This is a spiritual resource for those who desire a more intimate relationship with Jesus. A Lifestyle of Worship, is a Biblical perspective about the beauty of being aware of the Lord at all times instead of seeing our connection with Him as an act of religious service. I pray this labor of love will edify and encourage the body of Christ to become more determined to turn away from the world and turn their eyes upon Christ. Xulon Press has made a trailer for the book and I am very excited to make it available here. If you are interested in ordering the book, I have inserted links to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Apple ibooks into the “BOOK” tab at the top where you will find more information.
I had a great time at the Kentucky Book Fair. It was held at the Frankfort Convention Center and is the largest literary event of the year. I sold a few books and met talented authors along with many wonderful people. It was an wonderful opportunity to be invited, and a truly memorable experience.
Living in the AWARENESS of God’s presence is not as easy as it might sound. I personally believe that our technical and stress filled culture has hurt us as much as it has helped us when it comes to us being free from distractions. For example, when is the last time you turned off the television and set aside the cell phone to read the Bible, study or pray? Yes, our lives have more gadgets and things may be more convenient than the old ways, but this modernization has also captured much of our precious attention that we could be spending with our Lord. We are so busy trying to squeeze in everything we need to do, there is very little time for us to be alone with Him. And, as if we are not having all the resistance we can handle from our own carnality, we have an enemy who works day and night to hinder and disrupt our spiritual focus all that he can. How can we get started on making a lifestyle change?
Here is chapter 1 for your reading enjoyment.
A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP
Living in the awareness of God’s presence
REPENTANCE BEFORE ADORATION
“The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory” (Psalm 97: 5-6).
Being in God’s presence is the highest place of spiritual joy and peace that is attainable in any existence. When we step from this realm into the next dimension, those who are born of God’s Spirit and have followed the Lord of creation will have the ultimate privilege to worship and adore Him for all eternity. For His children, the joys of His truth reveal that we need not wait to enter into His gates and courts of glory, but we can abide in this divine reality here and now!
Worship is idolizing our most valuable treasure, and those who adore the Savior of the world cannot fathom the awesome, majestic wonders that are waiting for them in the life to come. His “good news” contains the mysteries of His truth. His children need not wait until they leave this earth to enter into His gates, but they have been invited to abide in this divine reality with Him now! Though our journey is taking place in a harsh environment of darkness, and we constantly struggle in the war against our flesh and the devil, the occasional glimpse into the province of God’s holiness and His revelational truth is enough to excite and cause us to reach heavenward with fervent anticipation. It is with passionate expectation and the experiential knowledge within our soul that we can place all of our hope in His Word. I am convinced without any doubt and completely trust my life to the Alpha and Omega, the Great I am of infinity. We can look forward to dancing and singing and shouting praises to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever as we will never grow tired of repeating holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come. Let us continue our journey together as we learn more about who He is which will cause us to fall deeper in love with Him. May we understand how to deny our flesh so that our own carnal nature will not prevent us from living the life He died for us to live. This collection of thoughts is about loving the God of the Bible with as a lifestyle and submitting to His authority in the beauty and holiness of His presence. It is my prayer that all will allow the God who made them to “continue” being the Lord of their hearts. May your desire to abide and enjoy the abundant spiritual life that He has provided inspire you to give Him the reverence and honor He is so worthy to receive.
With so many religious worldviews and expressions of spirituality in the world, I am sure there are many questions pertaining to the reasons and rituals of worship. It is difficult not to offend the masses when teaching dogmatically about giving our hearts to a particular religious deity, especially when people believe they are communicating with their divine “higher power” the best way they know how. It is true that worship is a deeply personal spiritual experience; however, it is just as important to know “who” we are exalting as it is why. My intention with this book is not to explain about the kaleidoscope of world religions or the Biblical reasons why there cannot be thousands of philosophic paths to heaven. These writings about worship are not intended to condemn other belief systems that are devoted to other doctrines that capture the imagination of the human mind but rather my particular concentration is the Christian view that is centered on the triune God of the Bible. Even reducing our focus on this “narrow way” of spiritual interpretations, we find a multitude of styles and convictions within the umbrella of the Christian faith. With this in mind, I hope to build a sense of unity with those who seek to personally know God instead of establishing more walls that hinder and separate our mutual adoration for the Master of the universe. I believe the Father sent His Son Jesus to shed His blood and die on the cross so that we might be saved, redeemed, ransomed, and restored into His family and Kingdom and intertwined into the ultimate of covenant relationships. As we receive Christ into our hearts by faith, we become “born again” into Him and with this holy and intimate infatuation between God and humans, we are drawn and compelled by the Holy Spirit to bow down and worship the Father for His endless love and grace. This is a very compact illustration of the Christian life I am referring to, and it is in this view that I convey my intentions and sentiments throughout this work.
In this first chapter we are establishing the realities of how God will not be enthused or obligated to accept any type of attitude, offering, or imagination that is tainted with the corruption of carnality. He is holy and enjoys having mercy on the blind and ignorant, but He likewise has no pleasure listening to the babbling of religious hypocrites or clever spectators that intentionally try to play games, manipulate or make business deals with point systems or grades. “For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without (apart from) the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law” (Romans 2:11-12). The Lord loves our offerings and sacrifices, but they must be pure and given in the spirit of brokenness and humility. Worship is only an interest and practice to those who realize the importance of prayer, love, honesty, and growing in wisdom and sanctification that stabilizes the foundation of responsibility to abide in His presence. Worship is not something we do as an occasional “high five” when life is going well, but rather it is a result of a heart that is remorseful in sorrow along with the overflowing joy of continually walking with God in a state of spiritual awareness whether in comfort or crisis. As being sensitive of His still small voice becomes a normal way of living, we realize how important it is to allow His Lordship to teach us how to have a disciplined and balanced conscience that is dedicated and discerning. We cannot comprehend who God is and what He has done without also coming into the knowledge of who we are in Him. Selah. The heart that appreciates His love and is grateful for His truth will respond to Him with praise, thanksgiving, reverence and honor, but the fulfillment of worship comes within the revelation that we have taken a holy wedding vow that seals our intimate relationship with Him as the Lord of our lives.
Purity is NOT an option. We pray before we begin the journey into God’s presence just like the priest that presided over the tabernacle in the wilderness. As we worship the King of Kings, it is crucial to become transparent and ask Him to forgive us all sin and inferior attitudes and thoughts. Not because it seems to be the religious thing to do but rather to invite His holy refiner’s fire that burns away any impurities that can present us to Him as spotless. We will not desire to approach Him or interact with Him if we have darkness within our conscience because sin makes us want to “avoid” God’s perfect judgment. Realizing that we must be clean before go into His holy of Holies is developing a reverential fear of who He is. This revelation changes our attitude of arrogance and melts us into humility and gratefulness for His mercy and love. God’s holiness is poured through pure vessels. Our genuine “freedom” from sin releases us to have confidence as we openly and boldly “profess our passion!” Let us pray that as our life becomes an open worship service that others will want to come with us.
As a matter of fact I have three phases of the worship experience that I have learned from the Lord and believe are crucial to bringing everyone into one accord. They are REPENTENCE – (asking Him to sincerely forgive us of our sins), PRAISE – (thanksgiving for what He has done), and WORSHIP – (continuing deeper into His presence toward His Holy of Holies). This is not a religious format but rather follows a divine order that allows us to proceed correctly. (We will explain later in more detail about the tabernacle of Moses). You see, many people stagger into the church service on Sunday spiritually “distant” from the Lord, especially if they have not taken care of “business” throughout the week. I realize it seems strange that Christians would not pray or repent daily, but sadly many times that is the case. Nonetheless, they come into the corporate meeting and are feeling the weight of guilt and sin which automatically causes them to sense that God is far away. With this much distance between them and God, no wonder they can hardly raise their eyes or open their mouths to sing. Again, this is why it is crucial for God’s people to spend time with Him BEFORE they come into the sanctuary, and for all leaders to be prepared with prayer.
Those up front must come into the realization about this revelation and be committed to leading the entire assembly into an honest prayer of repentance. To presume that everyone is on fire and overflowing with The Holy Spirit is a perfect example of not being spiritually discerning and only concerned with presenting a religious program. We must tear down the walls that are isolating us, and we must face our sins and deal with them before we can be restored! This barrier of hardness and rebellion will close our ears and diminish the amount of the message we may hear which is one of the most important purposes of our gathering together. The calloused heart is not as receptive, and our separation from God’s presence hinders our conviction if we do not ask the Lord to help us. Allow me to say that it only makes sense that His children would not want to crawl into God’s lap and lay their heads on His chest if they are saturated with bad thoughts and wrong attitudes. It is SIN that quenches the desire to worship, and sadly we hear that certain churches feel dead and cold. I know we do not want to admit it but it is because the house is filled with sin and the Lord has backed away! There is even such a drastic measure where the Lord will remove the candlestick from certain assemblies because of their refusal to deal with sin! Those who consider themselves spiritual enough to recognize this problem should pray “before” the service including intercession for the hearts of all in attendance and even the atmosphere before anyone enters the sanctuary. You see, we do not go to meet God at His house, we bring Him with us! The church is God’s people – where they meet is only a building and I’m still trying to figure out who said there had to be building at all?
A highly successful minister was compelled one day to share his thoughts on why his church was so filled with God’s power and what was the secret as to the number of souls that were being saved and healed. He asked them to follow him, and as they came to the basement door, he opened it and revealed a large group of saints who were on their knees crying out to God in fervent prayer. He humbly said; “it is not me but the power of intercession.” Can you imagine the raging fire and mighty wind of revival that could sweep around the world if every church would begin to passionately fast and pray? An assembly of believers filled with God’s Spirit is a group of disciples that have surrendered their wills and taken up their crosses. God’s remnant should pray for the body of Christ every day, the pastors, the leaders and each member of the flock. What a difference it would make if Christians would pray in the Spirit on the way to the gathering and not stop even when they sit down in the sanctuary. This focus and commitment would not only make a difference in the local assembly experience but also in the “big picture” of everything God wants to do everywhere. This is revival thinking! This is a Holy Ghost stirring of excitement! Through prayer, God’s power can be explosive and many hearts can be changed every time we meet together! Do we want the floodgates of His presence to fill our times of worship? Do we have a burden for lost souls and want to see people saved and re-ignited for God’s service? Do we desire to see His miracle power, anointing, salvation and healing compassion being poured out to those who need His touch? Is this what we are seeking when we assemble together?
How many failures will it take for us to realize that without repenting before we go on stage, our praise service will continue to be just another talent show? Just as we examine ourselves before we take communion, we must also deal with our sin and allow Him to purify us with His blood. The Christian life is a process of being sharpened, cleansed, purged, and ground, sanded, washed and renewed and is what yielding our will to Him and willingly lying on His sacrificial altar is all about. Just like the Old Testament Priest that was very careful to enter with a pure heart, we too must keep a check on our thoughts and attitudes. If there is any garbage between us and the Lord, we will not really want to take that corruption into His presence. This is why we ask God to forgive us each time we worship – we are openly professing that we realize our need to constantly “take out the trash” and that purity in the spirit of meekness allows Him to draw near to us.
When we come before His throne we must “prepare” our hearts for the bright, penetrating light of His holiness to shine into our consciences and flood our senses with His Glory. The same reason we clean our houses when we know company is coming is a practical illustration that helps us understand why we want to have a pure conscience in the presence of God. The image of Christ is to be reflected from us to all people, but how can His perfect purity come from within or be reflected from dirty vessels? We do not step on the stage with an agenda to manipulate or perform a rock show, but we draw near and reach out to Him because we love who He is and are hungry and thirsty for His presence. God cannot and will not be contained or controlled by our religious programs or made to fit into our ministry schedule. As soon as we create a system or a formula and think we have it all figured out, we miss him. We cannot demand or command Him; we cannot manipulate Him or bargain with Him. It is true that personality is an important part of the effectiveness, but we must remember even that is a part of the divine spiritual calling that He has pre-destined for us. We are anointed to do what God has destined us to accomplish. Our ability is not as important as our availability and being prepared spiritually is more important than our instrument being in tune, our voice clear, or even us knowing the melody of the song.
First, it is crucial to decide whether we really want to change or stay the same and it’s time we faced the facts and stop blaming the devil for who we are. The dark side can only tempt and influence us but it is always our responsibility to say NO! The truth is, we all have as much of God as we want. If we really desired to have more of Him, we could certainly have all that we desire. Nothing is stopping us from being filled to capacity – except our will. Most Christians would agree that it is the quiet time of prayer and intimate fellowship with the Lord that is the most important aspect of our life and yet we continue “allowing” our relationship with Jesus suffer. Why? Because until the conviction to change becomes stronger than the desire to remain the same we will continue exactly as we are! Learning to know and love God is the meaning of life and without us developing the personal self-discipline to learn how to bring worship into a “lifestyle” we will continue trying to fit God into our schedule instead of allowing Him to “be” our schedule. In this book, the idea is for the reader to correlate the concept that Jesus is with us every second and how this awareness can transform our thinking. We must be trained in our sensitivity and discernment just like we are trained in any other area we are passionate about. Just how much do we really want to have Christ sit as Lord on the throne of our heart? Worship is still a deliberate act but living in His presence would be the ultimate worship experience that would allow us to “become” a living breathing worship service! This is the desire of God and the true meaning and purpose of our existence.
It would only seem natural that I would be called to write a book with as many years I have spent writing. I LOVE TO WRITE! When I was growing up, I never dreamed that I would develop a passion for writing. I use the word “develop” because it seems I was a late bloomer when it came to sitting behind a desk every day. When I was young, I loved to draw and any type of art related activity. As a kid growing up, I also dreamed of being a biologist. From the time I can remember, I was interested in plants, insects and animals and spent most of my waking moments throughout my childhood collecting and examining nature. Once again, it seems that my formative years gave way to a season of teenage insanity and as I look back on it, this window of time was a critical crossroad where I felt like a puppy that had been dropped on the side of the highway. I needed solid direction but just never had a support system that knew how to help me. Nevertheless, the Lord watches over us and by His mercy and love, He can make a way within a life that that does not seem to have a way. It is never too late to fulfill God’s will, to get on track and accomplish the mission that God has assigned. I have been given a gift to write music and I am grateful for the opportunities to sing and play, but in the last few years I have felt the burning desire to pour out my heart through writing articles and essays about our walk with God. I am growing and learning each day and every morning I have an expectation that good things are going to happen and that God is going to use me in a new way to accomplish His plans.
I love to create and those of you that are hard-wired in this way of thinking can understand what I am talking about when I say that I must “express or explode.” When I was young, as I was saying earlier, I was not so much into reading or writing but I LOVED to draw and would sit for hours and hardly blink an eye while allowing my imagination to keep my inspirations flowing. Then at a young age, I added music to my “ventilation system” and discovered that I really felt a connection within my soul to the energy and thinking process of playing an instrument and singing at the same time. No doubt, many people do not have the patience to do such things which explains why few learn to play instruments. I remember as a youth, sitting in my room days, weeks, months and years focused on playing the same chords and the same songs over and over. I realize this sounds like a serious mental problem, but if you think about it, it is exactly what people do in the world of sports, hunting, chess, body-building, sculpting or whatever the subject may be where it requires a long time to increase your ability and sharpen your craft. So, over the last few years I have fallen in love with writing and as my wife Cheryl will testify, I log in probably four to eight hours a day and I never become bored or tired. I get up in the morning and never need to ask myself – what shall I write…I just sit down and start writing. I know that sounds strange but it reminds me of the music prophecy that was given to me that said God would make me live the words that I write. At the time this seemed to be in the context of songwriting but now I can see that it also included the gift of other types of writing. I remember in the movie Forrest Gump, how one day he started running, and he ran continuously for what seemed like months until one day all of the sudden he stopped – and said he just did not want to run anymore. I pray that if the day comes when I do not want to write anymore or play music that God will have the next “station” ready for me to step into so that I can keep pressing forward in this journey of serving Him.