Archives For Worship

This past weekend at Calvary Assembly, Tom Fishauber shared a great message on worship. He shared that worship is much more than just half of a Sunday service, but is instead about how you live your life. I was thankful for the reminder and thankful for Tom’s willingness to teach our church body.

What I have been reflecting on throughout this week was one piece in particular that Tom talked about for a brief point. He said that, “Being the worship leader is one of the toughest ways to serve in the entire church.” He talked about pleasing everyone’s music styles and hit the nail on the head as he said worship is not about us. Again I was thankful.

So as I reflected on whether or not I thought me serving as our worship leader was extremely difficult, I was struck with memories of my childhood. My father grew up (and still serves 30 years later) a full time worship arts pastor. His road has been filled with so many unbelievable stories of people using their talents to glorify God and great relationships/ministry along the way. He has impacted so many families and lives, I hope to one day follow in his footsteps and do the same. However, he also has been extremely mistreated by both church leaders and people in his congregation. He had to endure what is now known as “the worship wars” -where people held large meetings to decide whether drums were of the devil or not. It seems funny now (and it is!), but back then, it was one of the reasons our church of 800 people split in half overnight.

Not good.

So as I reflected on my experience at Calvary Assembly over the past three years, it has been a much different road for me. From the top leaders of our church to every worshipper God brings through our doors, our church body has been so supportive of me. Additionally, our worship team is phenomenal. Besides their great talent, they also have BIG hearts for God and for others – and are excited about using their gifts to help others come to know Him. Their hearts are in the right place, as are their attitudes (biggest piece for me!), and it comes through in their leading of worship.

This does not mean everything is always without conflict, or that harsh criticisms have not come my way. They have. But they have been addressed with firmness and graciousness, so that the complaining few did not drive the vision of our church.

So what is it like to be the worship leader at Calvary Assembly?
Life-giving
Peaceful
Fun
Overwhelming
Spirit-connecting
Joyous

Why? Because our church understands that it isn’t about the latest musical trend or whether or not I am singing off key that week. Our church gets that it is about our hearts, and today, I am thankful for just that.

He has shown you what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.                                                  [Micah 6:8]

 

I’m thankful God shows us the answer for what he wants from his children. Nothing would be more frustrating than not knowing what your Father desired – and so today I am simply thankful He has shown us.

God’s 3 requirements?

1. Act Justly

2. Love Mercy

3. Walk humbly with God

That’s it.

It doesn’t sound that hard, but man oh man is it!

How does this reminder hit you today?

 

 

Photo Credit: Peter Geckeler

Tim Hawkins is bringing some real funny comedy to the Christian subculture.

I love it.

I hope you get a laugh too.

I read the following post from WorshipTraining.com with Dan Wilt and thought it did a good job of answering this question succinctly.

Holiness. From Matthew 5:20 in The Message: “Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.”

If Jesus brings to us any one characteristic of the heart of the Father, it is that God is gracious and redemptive. Freedom rules in the Kingdom of God, but it is not a freedom that grows without parameters. To be truly free is to recognize that our emotions and backgrounds can lead us into ways that destroy our very freedom in Christ. Right living is understanding what nurtures our spiritual freedom and living within those liberating borders.

His prayer:

Lord, I want to understand the freedom that is found in Kingdom living. Teach me your path to freedom.

Amen to that.

What does freedom in Christ mean to you? Do you agree or disagree with this quote?

Check out all these great new albums that release today. All are available on iTunes or on Spotify (free streaming application – awesome!).

1.) Gungor – Ghosts Upon The Earth

For Fans of: Glen Hansard, John Mark McMillan, David Crowder Band, Jonsi, Mute Math, Imogen Heap

First impression: This is a very “indie-hipster” type album. If you are looking for worship music that will be easy to replicate for congregational use, this probably isn’t for you. However, if you are looking for a Christian album that is willing to take risks and explore diversity of sound and topic, you will fall in love with the creativity of Gungor. Here is a previous review of their first album, Beautiful Things.

To hear a song from their album live, check this video:

2.) NeedToBreathe – The Reckoning

For Fans of: Mat Kearney, Gungor, John Mark McMillan

First Impression: Does anyone have a cooler voice than Bear Rinehart? I mean, c’mon. The dude’s name is Bear. Of course my first impression is I love it. I think you will too.

 

3. Jeremy Riddle – Furious

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Fans of: Phil Wickham, Chris Tomlin

Since none of his songs are on YouTube, here is his most popular single, “Sweetly Broken.”

 

4. Leeland – The Great Awakening

For Fans of: Coldplay, Brandon Heath, Matt Maher, beautiful harmonies 🙂

 

5.) Matt Maher – The Love In Between

For Fans of: Jeremy Camp, Chris Tomlin, Mercy Me, Casting Crowns

 

Bonus Artist: Jamie Grace

Also, you may want to check out Toby Mac’s latest signing in Jamie Grace. This sounds much more like “Top 40 Radio” does right now. No doubt she’s a talented 19-year old !

Check out her video:

 

Bonus Artist #2: Thrice – for all you rock fans. “In Exile” is a cool song.

 

What about you? What do you like on this list? Have you blown all your money on music this week too? 🙂

“Why do Christians sing when they are together? The reason is, quite simply, because in singing together it is possible for them to speak and pray the same Word at the same time; in other words, because they can unite in the Word.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 59

 

Yeah. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this might be the most incredible poetry you’ll hear all year. David Bowden does an unbelievable job.

Just hit play. You’ll be impressed at the 2:50 mark. Or at least I was.

And I saw him: Death, with his mighty sting, exhaling in every breath the plight he brings. To the grave he gave victory…

Triumphing over life with the fear of endless sleep. Endlessly, we hide from our mortality. Mortally wounded from birth

We lie to ourselves from infancy, infinitely investing time in a life that will inevitably be taken by this incredible creature that stands before me:

Death

He manifests himself on ordinary days. His 6-foot stomach growls with hunger pangs.

For his meal, he cannot wait. So we are forced to taste him even before the grave.

We are all dying, there is no other way. I see him in Haitian and Japanese earthquakes. He’s hating the escapees of his cruel wakes.

I see him in poverty impoverishing the quality of life for regions that are reachable, and in those with the

reach who find reason not to reach out to treat what is treatable. I see him in disease taking life out of uninfected yet affected families.

I see him in oppression, pressing down on the oppressed and the oppressor.

I see him in depression, in Prozac and pain pills, in razor blades and bed-side wills. I see him in abuse: physical, mental, emotional misuse.

I see him in spiritual confusion, material obsession, physical possessions. I see him in marital transgressions, childhood remorse from an ugly divorce.

I see him in our slavery to appearances, appearing to care more about our images than those in dying villages.

I see him in our ignorance, ignoring truth for some comfortable inference.

I see his emergence in our churches as we pull out emergency verses as deterrents to religious differences, going on the defensive, defending our way of worship, making community worthless.

Death is killing us before we even enter the surface of the earth. We are in the service of his words, “It is finished”; the end of our birth.

We cannot hide from his wretched curse. For death and his grave we constantly rehearse.

Even God himself was coerced. Divinity immersed itself in humanity, humbly taking on flesh, scorning vanity.

The world saw his way of life as insanity. Insisting he cease speaking of his radical Christianity. But Man found him guilty, accusing God of blasphemy.

Performing the ultimate usurpation by slaying Christ on Calvary.

But through their cowardly cross, Jesus embossed mankind with amnesty, championing over death with the beauty of his fatal injury.

And I know, many still doubt, and rightfully so, bringing up this inquiry? What does that poor Jewish man dying on a Roman tree 2,000 years ago have to do with me?

I reply simply: Christ came and died to marry his bride to be.

And though death could kill the groom, it could not kill the ring. God made us one with Christ and life in matrimony’s cling.

Now, the undying church, his ever-living wife can sing.

Oh Death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory? For we have risen above your misery! We will not succumb to your finality!

We have overcome your infamous mystery! In the infinite reign of Christ’s ministry! For we are the resurrection!

The insurrection of fatality! We are the risen deity, the intersection of a dead yet living body! We live through imperfections, for we died to become holy!

We cannot be contained by the mouth of the grave. We are the willing slaves to the one who rose from the garden cave.

We have passed through death to new birth.

We gave the grave to the earth, and we claim today the cross’ worth! The body of his rising!

We are the risen church.

Christ is Risen. Amen?