Playlist for Southbrook Night of Worship
1. Sanctify (Return Worship - Josh Via, Dan Rutty, Andy Cherry)
2. Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
3. Yearn (Shane and Shane)
4. Lord, You Are (Traditional)
5. Carried to the Table (Leeland Mooring)
6. Grace Flows Down (Passion)
7. Just Fall (Via)
8. King on His Way (Return Worship - Via)
9. Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Playlist for Southbrook Night of Worship
Monday, August 27, 2007
Ah, yes, the “C” word. Conflict. We all deal with it. Some of us run from it. Some of us thrive on it. Some of us deny it. Some of us love it. We all handle it differently. We all share in that unique human experience in some way.
My wife and I have different ways of handling conflict. When the conflict involves both of us, one of a few things happen. One, we’ll shut the door to our room until we work it out. That’s usually the least exciting of the options. Two, we’ll both go jogging and forget the whole thing exists. Three, I’ll turn on the T.V., bake some chocolate chip cookies, brew some Starbucks Sumatra blend, and totally check out. Meanwhile, she’s in the kitchen trying to make sense of my behavior while steam pours from every orifice in her body, wondering if I’ll ever notice that she’s the reason the smoke alarm is going off. Well, that might be a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea.
Recently I was reading the book of Joshua and I came across a passage that is all about conflict resolution. Just from a very peripheral reading of it, I was able to pick out about 6 really basic observations and principles of conflict resolution that might help you the next time conflict is breathing down your throat.
It’s found in Joshua 22. Here’s the story in a large nutshell. The 12 tribes of Israel had just received their allotted portions of the land of Israel. 3 of the tribes had land on the eastern side of the Jordan River - Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh. To make for easier reading we’ll call them GRM, add a few letters just for fun and we get GRaMps. The other 9 tribes had land west of the Jordan. These other nine, Simeon, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, Issachar, Benjamin, Ephraim, Judah and Zebulun, we’ll call SANDI BEJZ, like a license plate which reads “Sandy Beaches” (I should write my own Bible Code). Anyway, so after helping Sandy Beaches get their land, GRaMps returned home to claim their part. This sets the stage for the conflict. Which brings us to the first observation.
Observation 1: Conflict will often happen following a great victory.
It’s like clockwork! So, be ready for it. Joshua had just led God’s people through months of fierce battles in order to claim the land that God had given them. They were basking in the thrill of victory and just around the corner conflict was waiting.
As GRaMps was returning, they decided to erect an altar to the Lord as a memorial to what He had done. They figured that it would be a good way to remind their children later on about what the Lord had done and how they belong to Him (v. 24) – a noble thing, no doubt.
However, when word reached Sandy Beaches, things went south. Their translation of the event went something like this: “GRaMps has erected an altar. I’ll bet your sweet bippy that they’re offering sacrifices to idols and false gods” (or something to that effect). In short, they had a misunderstanding on their hands.
So, Sandy Beaches immediately armed themselves for battle (v.12) and marched against GRaMps intending to wipe them off the map for their apparent rebellion. Come again?! Yea, they were about to have a civil war on their hands. They were about to enter a Middle Eastern conflict of astronomical proportions. This wasn’t your grandma’s conflict with the produce manager at Harris Teeter. This was huge. This thing was dangling over the chasm of civil war. This thing was like a Porterhouse in the cave of bad news bears. It was about to be bad. So, as soon as Sandy Beaches had marched up to GRaMps, they immediately brought their accusation.
Observation #2: Don’t jump to conclusions.
Verses 16-20 would have been completely obsolete had Sandy Beaches just allowed GRaMps to speak first. Jumping to conclusions usually means that #3 is also true.
Observation #3: Even the purest of motives can be misunderstood.
Throughout their accusation, Sandy Beaches used words such as “treachery”, “rebellion”, and “unfaithful” to describe what they thought of GRaMps. They assumed that wrong motives were involved, when in reality, nothing could have been further from the truth. GRaMps was acting out their faith in Yahweh through the only avenue that seemed appropriate at that time and they were still misunderstood. Sandy Beaches assumed there was a heart condition that needed fixing. They assumed wrong.
Observation #4: Hear Out Both Sides.
Finally, GRaMps was given the chance to explain what was really going on. Beginning in verse 21, GRaMPs explained their true intentions – that they were simply building an altar to the Lord as a memorial.
Observation #5: The motives of the accuser may be pure as well.
What’s interesting about this story is that we don’t find anywhere that Sandy Beaches was necessarily in sin for a wrongful accusation against GRaMps. Their motives seem to have been pure as well. Verse 33 says that the Israelites “were pleased with the report, and they praised God.” You can almost hear the relief in their voices. They were thrilled that their brothers were still walking in faithfulness to the Lord. And that’s exactly what they wanted to hear.
Observation #6: Retaliation should never be an option.
If GRaMps were more like me, verses 21-22 would read something like, “The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh answered the leaders of the Israelite clans by raising their fists in the air and crashing them down hard upon the faces of the Israelites all the while hurling horrific vulgarities and calling down curses upon them and their children and their children’s children and their children’s children’s children . . .” You get the point.
But that’s not at all what happened. In fact, their response in verse 22 so totally contradicts the realm of reason, that you may have to do a double take like I did. The first words out of their mouths were, “The Lord is the God of gods! The Lord is the God of gods! He knows, and may Israel also know.” What!? Did I read that right? There was no “Shut up and let us talk!?” Or “You’ve got the wrong freakin’ idea so get your oozy out of my face!?” Nope. None of that. They simply opened their mouths and glorified God as the only true God. They opened their mouths and recognized God’s omniscience in the situation. And by acknowledging his all-knowing mind, they were in effect saying that God was their vindicator. He would exonerate them. He knew their hearts. He knew their motives. He knew their intentions. And He knew where their loyalty lay.
Remember that God is your vindicator. Psalm 26:1 says,
Vindicate me, O LORD,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the LORD
And Psalm 72:4 says,
He will vindicate the afflicted among the people . . .
So, the next time an army of several hundred thousand soldiers knocks at your door with guns pointed at your face, just remember what 3 small tribes did in the face of 9. And pray a lot.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Lord Jesus, I pray for all of my friends in ministry today - that You will fill them with Your Holy Spirit. Use them as they preach and teach Your inspired Word, and as they lead Your people in the worship of You, the only Living God. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Monday, August 20, 2007
The band was tight last night at Ridge. You guys sounded great. Brandi Martin rocked out "Hosanna." Rusty, the sound was the best yet. Chris, awesome message, bro.
Highlight verse: "...for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost [me] nothing.”
2 Sam 24:24 (HCSB)
1. All Because of Jesus (Steve Fee)
2. Let the Praises Ring (Lincoln Brewster)
3. Hosanna (Hillsong United)
4. Carried to the Table (Leeland) *Note to worship leaders: That darn Leeland has a range like the Rocky Mountains. You might want to consider dropping it down a full step or have an alto do it! I didn't do either, but should have!
5. At the Cross (Pocket Full of Rocks)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Playlists from this past Sunday (late, I know)
AM Southbrook Church
1. Take It to the Streets (Redman)
2. Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
3. Sweetly Broken (Jeremy Riddle)
4. You Never Let Go (Redman)
PM Ridge Church
1. God is Great (Hillsong)
2. He is Exalted (Shane and Shane version)
3. At the Cross (Pocket Full of Rocks)
4. Sweetly Broken
5. It is You (Newsboys)
Friday, August 10, 2007
What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matt 7:9-12 (HCSB)
[12:32 pm – Josh slowly creaps across the yard, sweat dripping from every pore. He looks as if he’s been ravaged by a wild beast.]
Today I was weed-eating my yard in 104-degree heat – the hottest day of the year so far. I’m not sure why I waited until today. It seemed like a good idea at the time. No, actually it never seemed like a good idea. I don't know what I'm talking about.
[12:33 - The weed-eater begins humming softer in a neutral holding pattern. Josh is seen gazing intently at a small toy dump truck, looking as if he might pummel the unsuspecting 4x4.]
During one of many hallucinations throughout the process, my thoughts quickly went to my family, as they often do. As I was trying to maneuver my weed-eater in and out of the Fisher Price yard ornaments left so meticulously by my children, I resisted the urge to wipe them out of existence and get them out of my way. In so doing, I quickly realized what was happening. I was losing the respect and care for my kids' stuff, even though I still expected it from them.
[12:34 – Josh’s gaze moves from the ground toward the sky. Still clinging to the sputtering weed-eater, he nearly obliterates his sweaty afro in the process.]
So, my thoughts then went upward. I imagined God giving me toys. Actually, He has. He’s given me precious gifts. And He’s given you precious gifts. And they’re not just precious to me or you, they’re precious to Him. In the grand scheme of God’s economy, He’s got tons of toys and tons of children, so they may seem insignificant. But they’re not. They’re important to Him. His children are important to Him. So, the two shouldn’t be separated. He likes giving good gifts to His children. And once He gives them, He doesn’t kick them around the yard. None of God’s gifts are insignificant. None of them are unimportant. None of them lose their value after the rains of life weather the paint. No, He’s a good gift-giver. Because He’s good and because He loves His children.
[12:35 – Josh gently and carefully moves the Little Tykes dump truck out of the way and continues weed-eating.]