Saturday night and anticipation….

•January 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Saturdays are always filled with anticipation for what is to come…

Sunday!

Sunday starts before daybreak, filled with quiet moments, then after the worship team arrives you feel the floor vibrate beneath your feet, your ears are filled with music played by great musicians and the worship continues….

The worship continues and the anticipation continues, expecting God to do GREAT things in the life of the worshipers who are coming and also expecting God to reach out and then be invited into someone’s heart for the first time.

The worship continues after the services are over as God is being thanked for moving among us,  a feeling of peace mingles with fatigue, remember it did start before daybreak.

Then as the day comes to an end, you find yourself in a familiar place in a strange kind of way…..Sunday night and anticipation…..

Lord, to whom would we go?

•March 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever been down? Kind of at the end of your rope? Feel like have bottomed out but afraid the bottom is going to drop out from under you? Have you been attacked and attacked and before you can get to your feet you are attacked again? What about all these things and then realizing that the one you are looking to for help is not going to give you what you thought you needed?

Yeah, I have been there. There have been seasons I have felt that is where I lived. David had felt this way as well:

Psalm 28

A psalm of David.

1 I pray to you, O Lord, my rock.
Do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you are silent,
I might as well give up and die.

Psalm 62

3 So many enemies against one man—
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.
4 They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They praise me to my face
but curse me in their hearts.

But through all that David trusted God and would believe in Him in the midst of all that, not only that but would find something to praise God for. I am always challenged by this aspect of David’s character.

In John 6 Jesus addressed the people who were following Him and told them some things they were not interested in hearing. A lot of people who were following Jesus chose at this point to turn away, it was too hard, his words were too harsh, it was not what they were wanting to hear and it was not what they were looking for. Jesus turned to His twelve and said ” are you also going to leave?”

I love this next part, this is the challenging part, this is the part that gets the blood flowing a little faster through the veins, Peter’s response is”Lord to whom would we go?”

David’s response to hardship and Peter’s response to hardship are born out of a true relationship with God. There is a track record there where God has come through time and again, has heard their cries and delivered them. That track record supports the faith they have and strengthens their belief in the words of God. There is a realization there that nothing comes close to what God has for us, nothing. Whatever we have to go through right now is nothing compared to what awaits us….

Jeremiah 29

But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

 

set list for 3/20/11 Highlands Fellowship Bristol…

•March 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Everyday /Brewster/ Every day it’s YOU I live for

Mighty to save/Hillsong/ Take me as you find me, all my fears and failures, come fill my life again

Who am I/Casting Crowns/not because of what Ive done, but because of who you are

Love the Lord/Brewster/I will trust you Lord

Good stuff, God stuff….

 

talking about life change….

•March 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

1 It was in the year King Uzziah died[a] that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Isaiah went from a man who expected death, to a man who was ready to go anywhere for the Lord.

talking about life change…..

 

My heart has heard….

•March 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Psalms 27

8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

 

My heart hears the call of the Lord when my ears  can’t.

My heart responds to the call and draws me to God.

My heart can be shut down by my mind.

That is why transformation is so essential to living the God honoring life mentioned in Romans 12:1-2

Lifestyle…

•March 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I love the directness in this scripture, has a way of cutting through it all.

Colossians 3 (THE MESSAGE)

1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.

If you are serious… you are being called out, a challenge right from the start!

about living this new resurrection life…not the old life you have always known, a new one, one that has been brought back from the dead!

My life scripture, at least for now is Romans 8:15 talks about the resurrection life:

15-17This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”.

It is not timid, not built around fear or being afraid but it is exciting, invigorating. Go back to when you were a kid and your dad would twirl you around, or throw you up and catch you, and you wanted to do it over and over and over. Do it again, come on, one more time. That is what this resurrection life is supposed to look like.

with Christ…you are not called to live it alone, it is a life with Christ, the One who lived it first, the One who lives it with you! What does life with Christ look like? Christ was compassionate, He lived with concern for others suffering, genuinely cared for them and took care of their needs. Christ was radical, His life marked a departure from tradition for religion, he turned what was upside down. He was quick to answer questions from those who would oppose him and quick to point out hypocrisy. Christ was bold, He was confident and not afraid to stand up against the people who were in charge. He knew who he was. Christ was loving, love takes time and he was always taking time to reach out and heal someone, to teach someone, to make sure they were fed. Christ was selfless, He lived for others and ultimately put himself on the line so others would have a pathway to the Father. Christ was a servant, served those who walked with Him. Christ always took time to get alone with His Father.

act like it… take action, take steps, don’t just sit on your couch and soak life in, act like you have been changed!

If you are serious then act like it…

 

A lifestyle not an event…

•March 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

One of the things I love to do and have spoken of often, is leading others in worship. It involves a lot of things that I enjoy; music, playing the guitar, singing, and most important, praising, honoring, worshiping my God and King and Creator and Deliverer and Supplier and Comforter and Friend, my Future and my Present and the one who knew me before this world was even made!

I get excited when I think about all that God has done for me, there is a history there, a list of milestones, and that excitement is what drives me the most to share with others the other things listed before. I get excited when thinking about what God is going to do in the future, not just the heaven kind of future but the next week future where his plans lead me. But that excitement is not limited to the day where I get to play, where I get to sing, where I get to make music. That excitement is with me through out the week, that excitement drives me to do other things that are not on the list of things that I enjoy, and not because of what they are but who I am doing them for.

Romans 12:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Worship is expressing your love to God, your adoration to God, your reverence to God and in reality it is and should be a personal thing. Because of what God has done, because He first loved you, because He called to you and you answered, because you answered His call and your life was forever changed, it is a relationship that was pursued by God and your automatic and uncontrollable response is worship.

A W Tozer said in (The Pursuit of God), “we can meet this successfully only by the exercise of an aggressive faith. We must offer all our acts to God and believe that He accepts them. Then hold firmly to that position and keep insisting that every act of every hour of the day and night be included in the transaction. Keep reminding God in our times of private prayer that we mean every act for His glory; then supplement those times by a thousand thought-prayers as we go about the job of living.”

The misconception: worship is songs, singing, the thing you do at church. It is that but so much more, so much more. It is being alone with the Bible listening for God to speak to you, it is the time spent alone talking to God and listening for Him to speak to you, it is the reaching out to someone less fortunate than you and letting the love of God shine through you, it is giving to others, your church and supporting the ministry that ministers to you, it is hearing the word of God spoken (preached) and listening for God’s voice, it is working with honor and diligence at your job and doing it as unto the Lord, it is being with your family and taking your role in it seriously and letting God work through you there.

Romans 12:

9-10Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11-13Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17-19Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

20-21Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Worship is truly not something you go to church to do, it is something you are doing already when it is time to go to church. It is something you are already doing as you walk through the doors of church. Then when the music starts and the person on stage says” let’s praise our God” you add what you have already been doing to other voices in the crowd. I will admit, that is SOMETHING! When a group of people let go of the earthly realm and reach into God it gets intense, but inevitably it is a culmination of everything that has gone on through the week.

One of my favorite Psalms is this:

Psalms 46-10,11

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.

Be still before the Lord, live your life in worship to the Lord, because worship is

A lifestyle not an event…..