Praise is Contagious

Praise is Contagious!

It really is.  Look around the church.  We are a singing church because praise is contagious.

Do churches seize to grow when praise is stifled?  Sometimes the church gets so tied up with other things that we forget to praise.  Here’s six simple ways to praise:

1 Praise the Lord.  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Read it again because it will most likely be like this in heaven.

Stylized

Stylized

Do you have style?

God doesn’t care too much about your hair style or your style of clothes.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

God doesn’t even care too much about your style of church music.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16

He does care a great deal about your lifestyle and it should be a lifestyle of worship; predominantly prayer, giving thanks and rejoicing.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Priorities People!

11 Reasons Why Dudes Don’t Do Church

The Reasons Why Lots of Dudes Don’t Go to Church

  1. Dudes cringe at the thought of other guys expressing love for Jesus.  To which I say, “get over it dude, Christ died for you too and if you don’t call that love, what is love?”
  2. Dudes think that the church is full of hypocrites.  To which I say, that’s right, self included.  The church is bursting with sinners and hypocrites.  The fact is, that’s the reason that we are in church.  Christ died for hypocrites too.  
  3. Dudes would rather watch football, or golf, or hunt, or do anything but sing and praise on a Sunday.  To which I say, “multiple services dude.  Go on a week night then.”
  4. Dudes call religion “crap.”  They tell me “I can’t believe that you actually believe that crap.”  To which I say, “you will too one day.  Guaranteed.  I just hope it’s not too late when you finally do.”
  5. Dudes say they work too hard for their money and they are not about to give it to the church.  To which I say, “so come anyway.  Don’t give.  Give it time, your boulder-like heart will soften once you see the light.”
  6. Dudes say they want to party late on Saturday night.  To which I say, “multiple services dude, go on a week night or the later Sunday service.”
  7. Dudes say that church is boring and irrelevant. To which I say, “try another church dude.”
  8. Dudes call other guys who go to church passive, effeminate, henpecked, peace loving, meek and mild. To which I say, “stop stereotyping dude; some are, millions aren’t.”
  9. Dudes say that the messages and ministries cater to women and the elderly. To which I say, “that’s because a lot of you dudes don’t attend church. Take a stance dude and start a revolution.”
  10. Men want risk, adventure and challenge, churches offer safe, predictable, stable comfort, and nurturing atmospheres. To which I say, “tell that to the missionaries who are being persecuted dude.”
  11. Churches cater to women with flowers on the altar and a Downton Abby decor. To which I say, “who cares dude, those things don’t matter.”

Characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23

Your turn to take action:
Love embraces
Joy smiles
Peace talks|
Forbearance waits
Kindness cares
Goodness helps
Faithfulness believes
Gentleness soothes
Self Control refrains

Surround yourself with people who have these traits and soon you will take on their characteristics.  Church is a good place to start!

A Beautiful Prayer from Ephesians 3:15-19

A Beautiful Prayer from Ephesians 3:15-19
Epiphany 2 (Year C)

Father,

Strengthen me by your Spirit
With a glorious inner heartfelt strength
Plant both of my feet firmly on love
Allow me to reach out and experience your breadth
To test your length
To plumb your depths
To rise to new heights
To live a full life
Filled in the fullness of God.
Amen.

-based on Eph 3:15-19 (MSG)

More prayers and liturgical writings:Lifestyle Worship

Spiritual Milk

Spiritual Milk

Nutritionists tell us that we need to obtain our vitamins through food as opposed to pills and that our daily intake should contain at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This is good advice, but I watch in amazement as a newborn child only needs one item for their complete nutritional needs as provided by their nursing mother. While on this milk they vibrantly grow stronger each day. Their skin is beautiful, their eyes are like engaging jewels and their bodies grow stronger right in front of your eyes.

But what about their spiritual needs? What about our spiritual needs? Just like mothers milk, there is only one thing we need and that’s a right relationship with Jesus in our life. Everything falls into place once this happens. We get baptized, the Holy Spirit inhabits our lives, we partake of the Lord’s Supper regularly, we pray daily, we make offerings to our Lord, we gather to worship and praise, we read God’s word and through all of this our faith builds over time. When you attend church, you should leave feeling spiritually fed – regardless of your background and age. Start to ask some very serious questions if this isn’t happening because the problem can be either you or your church.

Picking the right church is a bit tricky. Here’s my litmus test:

1. All Christian churches regardless of denomination will profess to teach God’s word in truth and purity so this in effect is not a good enough discriminator. You need to know the bible yourself to make an informed assessment of this.
2. Look for churches that read God’s word regularly, in every single worship service, and also verify that all portions are being used throughout the year – every book, every verse and every word is important.
3. Look for churches that administer the Sacraments according to God’s word. Yes, you need to know that much as well.
4. Look for churches that pray together in every service.
5. Look for preaching that is based on God’s word and that uses some scripture throughout.
6. Look for churches that confess their sins together, that are reminded of the forgiveness of sins and receive the absolution of their sins on a regular basis.
7. Look for churches that start their worship in the name of the Triune God.
8. Look for fans of the coffee hour, jello, the Green Bay Packers and Star Wars (just kidding, you know who you are.)
The common theme here is God and His word, not man or his feeble traditions.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to find a church if you don’t have one already.

My New Year’s Verse

My New Year’s Verse

I found my New Year’s verse. Actually, it found me because I wasn’t looking for one – in the same way that Jesus made himself known to me so many years ago.  Here it is:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Get that? – I am in Christ and the old has gone! It is exciting! A new year! A fresh start! What will God do with me in 2016?

The truth is that I do not know if I will have health problems in 2016. I don’t know if I’ll lose my job in 2016. I don’t know if I’ll lose a loved one, or if terrorism will strike on US soil. The list of unknowns goes on and on. But I do know that it will be a good year with Christ in my life because He loved me enough to trade His pure and holy life for mine. So my life is important and I do make a difference. My destiny is with Him forever and this changes everything.

So in 2016 I will rejoice. I will trade my life’s minor chords for major chords; no make that Major 7th chords because these jazzy chords have a happier sound. These are major chords that have been blessed.

Today, I pray that you hold tighter to Jesus, your Lord and your Savior in 2016. Cling to Him and to His words and feel the power of the Holy Spirit inside you. He’s there and He’s bursting at the seams to inspire you. Let Him lead you. Pray through Him to God the Father. It will make a difference.

I share with you my New Year’s verse. You also be in Christ. The old is gone and the new is here!

Wishing you all peace – the peace that only Christ can bring in 2016!

He Makes All Things New

He Makes All Things New

A Responsive Reading for the New Year

M: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – 1 Peter 1:3

C: Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. – Ps 149:1

M: See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. – Isa 65:17

C: In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. – 2 Peter 3:13

M: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Eph 4:22-24

C: For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – Romans 6:6

M: A new command I give you: Love one another. As Jesus has loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are His disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35

C: Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. – Psalm 71:3

M: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isa 43:19

C: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. – Ps 96:1

A Toolbox for Worship Leaders, Pastors and Musicians

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,073 other followers

%d bloggers like this: