I Sense You

by Bob Brown

I sense you here this morning
As soft, as soft as breath
In quietness and in confidence
The One who conquers death
 

The deep calls unto the deep
So I’m still, and know He’s there
My meditation of Him is sweet
And it leads me into prayer
 

I sense you here this morning
So in silence, I now begin
To contemplate Your presence
By your Holy Spirit, within
 

And I’ll trust Him with all my heart
And acknowledge Him in all my way
And I hope to sense His presence
Throughout each blessed day

“This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it”  – Psalm 118:24

 
#NationalPoetryMonth
 
 
 
 

Bob’s First Book of Poetry

The Creative Writing Process for a Christian

The Creative Writing Process for a Christian

 

A few years ago a paper came across my desk.  It was a paper written by a Pastor who lives and serves a congregation about 3,000 miles from where I live.  But the world has become relatively flat and distance no longer seems to matter.  Somehow, the Holy Spirit saw to it that this particular paper be made known to me.  It was a paper about “Heaven.”

 

The paper was lengthy, so at first I just skimmed through it.  But the Spirit had other plans for this paper and for me as well.  The message contained in the paper started to affect me, to inspire me and to move me.  So I started to read it again, but in more depth.  It felt like God was talking to me through this Pastor’s writing.

 

I did not set out to make notes on the paper but I first found myself highlighting the sentences that struck a major chord with me.  Something was happening inside me.  The paper was stirring my heart to respond.  This is called worship because I was sensing God through it and I knew that I needed to glorify Him through this Pastor’s diligent work.

 

“What did the paper mean to me?  How could I encapsulate what I was feeling onto a blank sheet of paper?  How could I use this experience to tell others about my Savior and eternity in heaven with Him?”  These are the thoughts that started to flow through me.  So I started to write.  First in sentence form but eventually a metered form took over.  The lines were just falling into place like a train of carefully placed dominoes.  It took me hours to read through the paper, to cogitate on it, to pray over it, and to reflect on it’s meaning but in actuality, the poem came to me quickly as most truly inspired poems do. 

 

My favorite line in the poem? – of course it’s the one about “Isaiah” and if you are familiar with Isaiah 6 you will know why.

 

Here is the poem that I titled “Heaven, Really”

 

Heaven?
Really?
Shrouded in mystery
Anchored in history
Oh it’s heaven
Really!
A prepared place
For prepared people
The Son’s grace
The Father’s dwelling place.
The Spirit reveals
Here’s the deal:
It’s beauty,
It’s freedom,
It’s happiness,
It’s excitement,
It’s perfect,
Streets of gold
Before you enfold
it’s blessedness I am told
The Tree of Life is actually growing
The River of Life is actually flowing
Why all this unknowing?
Angels sing “holy, holy, holy is He”

 

A cloud of witnesses surround me
Unending joy and eternal pleasure will be.
For you,
For me.
No need for the sun.
Isaiah is no longer undone.
How old will we appear?
What will we look like?
And whom shall we fear?
Will we recognize one another?
Will we remember our mother,
a sister; a brother?
What will we do?
I’m thinking …
… No more sitting in a pew.
That’s Heaven!
Really!
 
###

 

In my book, I tried to introduce each of my poems with similar stories.  Why I wrote the piece, what was inspiring me at the time, what was I doing as I wrote the poem, etc.  My hope is that the Holy Spirit will use my poems and prayers to affect you as this Pastor’s District paper moved me.
  

You can preview my book here!

#NationalPoetryMonth

The Deep Calls unto the Deep 

by Bob Brown
 
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls” ― Psalm 42:7a 
My cup, it steams with tea
My apartment is very still
The deep calls unto the deep
The depth, it is God’s will

 

My table is filled with books
My candle begins to glow
A beautiful quiet fills my kitchen
And inspiration begins to grow

 

My thoughts begin to lengthen
At the close of day
And outside my window
The sunset splits the grey

 

My peace begins to deepen
My tea is good to taste
And as I enter into solitude
I abandon my life of haste 

 

And since I’m seated above
I sense God’s inner powers
My tongue’s the pen of a skillful writer
These quiet, mystical hours

 

I labor with “His” energy
That powerfully works within
And after meditation and prayer
It’s time to now begin

 

In Christ, I am enriched
The tea, I savor to sip
And into the Living Waters
I now begin to dip

 

My God, He fills my mind
Just like the candle’s light
And as He fills my spirit
Again, I begin to write…

 

“In His presence is fullness of joy at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore”  – Psalm 16:11 
 
#NationalPoetryMonth
 
 
 
 

Link to preview Bob’s first book

Religion – Revival, Rebirth, Rescue, Renewal and Redemption

Generally, words that start with the letters “RE” are not good words.

Really?
Realigned?
Rebuilding?
Rebuked?
Recalled.
Redistributed?
Redundant?
Reduced?
Reevaluated?
Rejected?
Released?
Relocated?
Repealed?
Repugnant!
Rescinded?
Resisted?
Resorted?
Retried?
Retired?
Returned?
Revoked?

You need…
Religion, 
Revival, 
Rebirth, 
Rescue, 
Renewal 
and 
Redemption – all of which can be found in the church!

More to help rejuvenate you!

Life is Good

Looking for your place in life? 

 “And those he predestined, 

he also called; 

those he called, 

he also justified;  

those he justified, 

he also glorified.” 

– Romans 8:30  

 He’s talking about you!!! So you are predestined, called, justified and glorified.  Add that to your list of being loved, redeemed, renewed, reborn and blessed. Life is good!

I finally revised my “About Me” page after 6 years.  Check it out, you just might learn something new about me:

https://sjbrown58.wordpress.com/about-me/

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday
by Bobby Brown

The multitudes went before Jesus
On that triumphant entry’s day
Many laid down their garments
Others spread branches in Jesus’ way

For Behold! Here comes the King
Riding on a donkey, into the town
Meek and lowly of heart
Yet the multitudes would all bow down

Hosanna! To God in the highest
For sending to earth His Son
The miracle worker, the Prince of Peace
The coming King, the Anointed One

And Sunday during our church service
We give our palm branch a wave
To our invisible God and Lord
For His entry and His ability to save

©2015, Robert A. Brown, Seated Above, Looking Below – Used with Permission
This poem is from a new book that Bob is currently working on and hopes to have released by the summer.  Feel free to use the poem in your Palm Sunday worship.

Musician or Artist?

by Steve Brown and Mike Westendorf

Are you a musician, an artist, or both? Are the best musicians artists? This post attempts to answer these questions.

In the secular world, you can watch any popular singing talent show and hear the judges tell the contestants that ‘artists’ make the song their own. And it’s the incredibly talented ‘musicians’ that back-up the singers.

The Musician
A musician is a person who plays an instrument to make pleasing sonorous sounds either solo or in joyful combination with other musicians. Musicians can be highly technical and accomplished to the point of sight reading nearly any piece of music and from any style or genre. They are detail oriented and like things ordered.

The Artist
By contrast, an artist usually has the musician’s skill set but adds to it an individual interpretation. The artist is a creative type by nature, she sees things a bit differently, she innovates and interprets a piece of music beyond the printed notes – they like to be the ones with the box of crayons. He is a trendsetter with something burning in his heart that he just has to share. The artist is more personal and less of a perfectionist and typically uses the right side of the brain more. Artists tend to be somewhat thin-skinned, sensitive and more emotional than other people. The artist sometimes needs the musician to help bring their musical creation to life.

Synergy
Both are needed in God’s kingdom. Both are servants. Both are gifted by God. Both are passionate. Both are loved by God. Both are God’s children. We need both. We encourage you, as the church leaders to foster a community that engages both in harmonious worship.

The Church
Unfortunately, in the traditional church where Steve and Mike roam, the musicians tend to dominate and the artists are somewhat looked upon with judgmental suspicion. This is sad because it’s what’s in the heart that matters. But based on the definitions and observations mentioned here, both musicians and artists can have humble, servant hearts with a passion to serve their Lord and the congregation. Let’s put it this way, King David was most likely both an artist and a musician.  

In the church, we actually need to learn how to harness the artist’s gifts better. Here is some advice:
  1. Artists are particularly well suited for special events such as concerts, picnics, outreach events, teen groups, special bible studies, festivals, etc.  Give the artists a little room here and watch their imaginations bring glory to God.
  2. Artists can be used in the worship service but might need a little guidance from the Pastor in terms of song selection and protocol.
  3. Combine the artists with the musical worship team for a bounty of beautiful music.
  4. Have the artists work with your musicians to help to improve their craft, and vice-versa.
So which are you?  Me (Steve), I am a musician and not a very good one. Mike, he’s an artist and too humble to say, so I’ll say it for him – he is a gifted one. In the end, it of course doesn’t matter; what does matter is your belief in Jesus as your personal savior from sin.

A special thanks to Mike Westendorf for joining me on this post and sharing his insights. Mike is a church ‘musician’ and a recording ‘artist’ in the Milwaukee area. For more information, or to discuss booking arrangements at your church, contact Mike at:

Website: mikewestendorf.com
Email: mike@mikewestendorf.com

Other places to learn more about Mike and his music:

A Lutheran’s Take on Emotions

Traditional Lutherans are not robots. We have emotions, BUT…
  • Emotions will never save or damn
  • Emotions are not a reliable indicator of saving faith or it’s intensity
  • Emotions do not necessarily indicate the validity of an action or statement
  • The content of a message and it’s validity rather than the emotion of a message is always much, much, much more valuable and important
The Take Away!
Emotions aren’t good or bad in and of themselves; as a matter of fact Jesus, who is love, was emotional as noted in scripture’s shortest verse – “He wept” and in countless other places.  Our worship is often emotional. We experience joy and sorrow, we weep and we joyously celebrate. But these are natural and personal reactions to the beauty, and the wonder, and the power, and the agony, and the grief, and the awe that we hear and experience in God’s word and through His grace and mercy towards us. Emotions are in fact a gift from God. They make life interesting. They separate us from insects.  But like most good things, they too can also be manipulated or mis-interpreted, so we need to be careful.

 

Just saying, and with feeling!

A Toolbox for Worship Leaders, Pastors and Musicians

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