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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Superbowl Sunday means lots of prayer

Two weeks left in our study on worship and this week is worshipping through prayer. We have taken a look at several aspects of worship already and get that worship is so much more than just music. Last week we looked at worship through the word and learned that their is no more important spiritual discipline than the discipline of a steady diet of the Word. That being said the close second is the importance of prayer in our walk. God's word is to us and prayer is our opportunity to talk to God. Of course He already knows what it is that is on your heart but you are given access to His throne through prayer. That is if you have claimed the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ and Him alone.
You can rest assured that come "Superbowl Sunday" there will be many people calling on the name of the Lord, unfortunately it will mostly be those who use His Blessed name as a curse word. You know what I'm talking about, in fact you very well could be one of the individuals that do this with out much thought. So here's a thought, put your 5th grade English teachers name in there or 8th grade math, whoever pops into your mind and every time the other team scores, yell out there name. Doesn't have the same effect does it? That my friends is why prayer is important. Through the saving blood of our savior Jesus, the Lord hears our prayers. It is silly to think any other name would suffice. So not just during your super bowl parties but every day why not commit to praying daily to the one who will hear you and answer. Give it a go you might just come to understand just what is in a name.
Till next season, go Green Bay, (they should have made it)
Pastor Mark.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Motion Causes Friction

Motion causes friction. Such a simple thought and yet so relevant for everyday life as well as our spiritual life. Think about it. As you move closer to God, we seem to have more things challenge us. Our quiet time is interrupted by a ringing phone, or our Bible reading is distracted by a TV show. Or how about our worship being distracted by what everyone else wants for you.
Most of us don't realize it but our surroundings play a major role in our worship. I have been across the country, spoken in many many churches, talked with people, coached churches, pastored in several, candidate in several and ultimately the "style" of worship is dictated by tradition. Church plants, that are actually doing well, will almost always have up-to-date music, while the church celebrating its 100th anniversary is fighting to keep its doors open because they refuse to be relevant to the community it is trying to reach. Now that being said i believe the church is for the believer and specifically how can we worship something we don't understand. Worship has many aspects and is not JUST music, but has so many more ways of praising the Lord.
Psalm specifically addresses praising the Lord and covers multiple settings. Individually, corporately, with song, with instrument, in gladness, and in sadness it covers it.
When a church tries to update its "worship" they usually look at the music and not any other areas.
Here is an example. Where should the worship team, choir, organ, drums, song leader, etc be physically in the church? Should they be in the front or in the back? Another example is should there be PowerPoint or stick to the hymnals only? My guess is your answer shows your age. That's not a slam but an observation that becomes the largest divisive topic in churches. No clapping or raising of hands is sure to be communicated by the environment of the attenders. No drums or guitar show an attitude of instrumental discrimination. ( I made that up, ha ha)
I think you know what I am saying in regards to these areas though and it is an international issue.
I challenge you to seek scripture to see what worship through music looks like. I believe you will be shocked as to the real worship we see in scripture as opposed to how we do it in our local churches. Psalm 150 will be a good start in your quest. Our worship is for an audience of one and should not be restricted to what someone tells you you should do. think about it and respond accordingly.
Praising the Lord with you.
Pastor Mark

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting back to the heart of worship!

It is amazing how defensive people get when you talk about worship.
"Don't you be messin with our worship", or "The hymns have such a rich heritage" are two examples of the kind of comments pastors get when taking a look at their worship style, flow, content and of course music selection.
My guess is the first thing you thought of when you saw the word worship is music, but worship is so much more than just music. Over the next few weeks we will take a look at what scripture says in regards to this topic. After all if it is God that we worship than it really does matter what He desires, and not so much what you desire.
Worship is found around 183 times and in 172 different verses. It is found in 31 of the 66 books of the Bible with the most consistent use found in Psalms, (14), and Revelation, (21).
As I mentioned, worship is not only music but involves such things as communion, giving, singing, praying, praising, and serving to mention a few things.
The most controversial of these things is the music we select, which will be our discussion for next week.
This week is pretty straight forward and involves Jesus' command to "do this in remembrance of Me". Of course I am referring to communion, the Lords supper or whatever you call it. Sure its a command, but its a command on how to worship through remembering the great sacrifice on the cross. This is a time to reflect on your walk and in particular your relationship with God, and then with people. There is a wrong way to take communion and you can read these warnings in 1st Corinthians 11:23-31.
The word worship in the New Testament, comes from two Greek roots, meaning to move toward, and the second refers to a dog. Together the idea is similar to the family dog licking the masters hand, while crouching in submission.
As we continue through this series are you ready to abandon your preprogrammed ideas of worship or are you closed to the idea of being challenged?
If your with us you'll be shocked as to what is from the Bible and what is based from pagan idol worship or worse.
Till next time praise the Lord all you creation!