Saturday, January 13, 2018

Worship Wars - The Style of Music



It is hard to find the perfect balance between old and new songs without getting into "wars." That is why our focus HAS to be on the Lord and not on the STYLE of the song. If a song leads us to the King, then it doesn't matter what song it is - the destination is more important. The songs and music are the vehicles that carry our hearts into the presence of the Lord. Church culture, national culture, different generations, etc. all influence what style of vehicle we like...but if we reach the destination of God's presence then we have achieved the primary goal of worship. 

It is possible to have authentic worship with contemporary styles of music, ancient hymns...or no music at all. Whatever songs are able to take your congregation on a journey into God's presence are the "right songs" for your congregation. Worship is not about the music - it is about pouring our hearts before the Lord and communing with Him. We should "fight" to have the presence of God - not to have our particular style of music.

Our problem comes when we fall in love with the Lord as we sing various songs. Those songs become our "friends." they take us on the journey into His presence again and again. Subsequent generations come along and their "friends" are different - they discard our old songs and strike up with new songs that are foreign to our ears. That is why younger people need to have RESPECT for older saints and older folks need to be CHAMPIONS for the music and sounds of subsequent generations. Bottom line: focus on the King - the destination of worship...not on the music which is simply a tool to take us to His presence.




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You Worship When...

Some people have a hard time understanding that they are worshipers. They don't express worship outwardly like many others...and they may not have intense feelings of passion like some of us. 

If this describes you - don't focus on your feelings or expressions of worship - just focus on being in His presence - through the Word and in prayer.  Practice BEING with Him in a very simple yet deliberate way.

Apart from all the obvious times when we worship - let me say this...because you have given Him your life:

You worship when you smile at Him
You worship when you smile at strangers
You worship when you serve the unlovely and unholy
You worship when you enjoy what He has made
You worship when you are thankful for all He does
You worship when you obey Him
You worship when you take time to love a child
You worship when you love the old and infirm
You worship when you give Him your time
You worship when you wash the feet of the broken
You worship when you are faithful even when it is difficult
You worship when you seek to understand others
You worship when you wait, and linger in His presence
You worship when you do as Jesus did
You worship when you whisper His name

You worship when you make those thousands of small and large decisions each day that show He is the center of your life and worldview. He is the reason you do what you do. He is the Lord and Champion of your life - this is your reasonable worship (Romans 12:1)


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

God is the Consummate Artist

Look at all the arts that God engages in - surely these are just a few of His many talents:

He is a sculptor and potter who made his own clay (Genesis 1-2; Jeremiah 18:1-6).




He is a painter who made all the colors (Genesis 1-2).







He is a musician who formed every sound and gave ears to hear with, and a singer (Zephaniah 3:17; Revelation 1:10). Everything He created sings back to Him.



He is a dancer (Ps. 68:24). The procession of God in the sanctuary with the singers and dancers; (Zeph. 3:17) means: He rejoices over you with songs and dances.



He is a poet – look at the beautiful poetry that He recites to Job (Job 38-41)...and even His creation is an expression worthy of a poem.





He is a writer who has written the greatest best seller of all time—the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).



He is a story-teller and an actor: Jesus used parables in the Gospels to convey mysteries, and His prophets used dramatic arts to convey God’s words (Matthew 13:34; Hosea 12:10).



He is an architect of mountains and sky (Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 44:24).




He is a Tailor - a worker of needle and thread. He has woven a garment of light for himself (Psalm 104:2) and has provided a golden wedding garment for his bride (Psalm 45:9, 13-14). He has clothed the lilies with beauty (Matt. 6:25-34).



He is a creator of culinary delights - the earth overflows with His bountiful provisions (Exodus 16:31; Numbers 11:7-8; Psalm 34:8; 119:103; Song of Solomon 2:3).  




He is a perfumer, and even His name is a healing ointment that smells Divine (Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 1:3; 3:6; 5:1; 5:13).



He is a Carpenter - Matt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3 (Heb. Teckton).



He is a jeweler – Mal. 3:16-17.



He is an engraver – on His hand – Is. 49:16.



He is a flower arranger/landscaper – Lu. 12:27  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 





In all of these, he is without equal. There is none who can match his artistry, excellence, and genius.






Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Paul's Prayer For Believers

Paul just has a wonderful way with words - look at how he prays for the Colossians - here are 7 layers of blessing over these Believers:

Colossians 1:9-12

that you may be filled with the knowledge of HIs will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding

that you may walk worthy of the Lord - fully pleasing Him

•  that you would be fruitful in every good work

that you would be increasing in the knowledge of God

that you would be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power

that you would have all patience and longsuffering with joy

that you would give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance



Just imagine the impact on lives if we walked in these 7 things!!


Monday, August 28, 2017

New Zealand Women Win Rugby World Cup 2017

Congratulations to the Kiwi women - They beat England to win the Rugby World Cup final 41- 32. Here are the highlights:


                    

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Common Misconceptions About Prophetic Worship

There are two very common misconceptions that REALLY hinder prophetic worship:

1. Prophetic worship is SPONTANEOUS
2. God is the AUDIENCE

While both of these statements are not terribly wrong, they still keep people in their seats - intimidated by the spontaneous aspect of the prophetic and daunted by the prospect that they have to “perform” for this imposing “audience.”

Prophetic utterances may very well be spontaneous…but that is not what determines the prophetic. A prophetic statement, song, dance, piece of any kind is prophetic because it has God’s voice and character inserted into it. That’s simple – He LOVES to interact with us, so we can be expectant of His voice and participation in our worship every time we minister to Him. If we think about the prophetic like this - it makes it more about Him than us.

Secondly, although we are ministering to Him, He is NOT THE AUDIENCE. In prophetic worship there is no audience – only communing hearts. We used to get frustrated by congregations coming into worship behaving like an audience and simply sitting or standing in place. I think we tried to adjust that thinking by saying that God is the audience…so everyone needs to participate. While corporate participation by every member is desirable, we cannot limit God to the position of audience – He has something to say in every service.


Followed to their logical conclusion, both of these statements shut down congregational participation in worship and limit the scope of the prophetic because people may not feel proficient at spontaneously doing anything and they may be threatened by the concept of “performing” for the Audience of ONE.

We just need to relax about these two issues and allow Him to speak…and He LOVES to speak through every willing vessel. The onus is on Him – not us. We don’t have to perform or produce anything – we simply need to abide in Him and allow Him to flow in, and through us.