Yesterday Tasha and I were back at Southbrook Church in Weddington, NC leading worship for the first Sunday of the new series, "One Month to Live."
1. (Pre-Service) Nothing Left to Lose (Mat Kearney)
2. Our Love is Loud (Crowder)
3. Counting on God (Desperation)
4. Be Thou My Vision (Trad. hymn w/ arrang. and addit. chorus by me)
5. I Stand Amazed (Trad. hymn, arrang. Chris Tomlin)
The One Month to Live challenge has got Tasha and me thinking alot lately--about priorities, what's important, what we would change or do differently if we only had 30 days left to live. It's been challenging to say the least. We're trying to make a list of 5 things we would change or adjust, and it's been really hard to do. If I was still in middle school, I could probably come up with 10 things right on the spot. But they'd be superficial and self-serving. So, I'm trying not to do that. But it's hard not to. So, I challenge you, dear reader, with the same. What would you do differently in your life if you knew you only had 30 days to live? Think about it. Leave your comments if you'd like.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Yesterday Tasha and I were back at Southbrook Church in Weddington, NC leading worship for the first Sunday of the new series, "One Month to Live."
Friday, March 28, 2008
When the stakes are high and in our favor, we want things to be a certain way, we want words to have a specific meaning, we want to claim a higher standard beyond our own. But when the deck is stacked against us, suddenly words can fluctuate. Meaning can change. Truth becomes relative. Subjective. A matter of preference and opinion. We see this type contradiction lived out to no end.
For example: A man claims that there is no absolute truth or standard to which he must answer and to which he must give an account. His car gets jacked. He’s livid. He suddenly wants to appeal to a higher standard, a standard of truth to which he can stake his claim that he’s been done wrong. That he’s been violated. But he contradicts himself. In normal life he indirectly submits to a standard of truth, though he wouldn’t admit it. But when he verbalizes his belief, whether in the academic world or simply in conversation, he denies the reality of the absolute truth to which he acquiesces in normal life. He lives a life of contradiction, and apparently it’s no problem for him. It’s only when he’s backed into a corner that he might even consider living this contradiction.
But most people won’t admit it. Or if they do, they don’t care anyway because the pragmatism that has guided their contradicting journey thus far presents little difficulty for them. They don’t mind living a contradiction as long as no one shoves it in their face all the time—“keep your truth to yourself” they might say. Maybe, at times, truth does exist for this person. Sometimes it doesn’t. It exists when it’s beneficial. And beneficial, subjective truth is the mentality that plagues our culture.
Do people genuinely not care that they live this contradiction? Are they blind to it? Are they immune to it? Yes. All of the above, I think. Romans 1 says that they, no, we do a good job of suppressing the truth through our wickedness. And I think that we can suppress it so much that we begin to build up indestructible, impenetrable walls around our truth-seeking heart. This is the cultural milieu that we find ourselves bathing in. It’s in this culture that Christ has placed us, His children, and by no accident. We must be truth-bearers and truth-tellers. That doesn’t mean that we point fingers of condemnation and judgment like the big-hair televangelists of another generation, bless their sweet hearts. But nor does that mean that we smile and say that everything is fine and that God wants to bless you with financial greatness and perfect health. Neither is valid. Neither is the mission to which we’re called.
Here’s the mission: 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ.
Eph 4:15 (HCSB)
And here’s the mission: 15 but set apart the • Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:15-16 (HCSB)
And here’s the mission: 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly the message of life …
Phil 2:14-16 (HCSB)
So let’s shine as stars in the world. Let’s speak the truth in love. Let’s give a defense for our faith to people that ask with gentleness and respect, without grumbling or arguing. Let’s be faultless in this crooked world. This is the mission. This is the task. To a world lost without Christ in the middle of contradicting beliefs, we must shine the truth of the Gospel and allow it to light the path, penetrate the cold hearts, reveal the truth and expose the contradiction.
To whom can you be a truth-teller this week?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
It’s been all over the news the last couple of days. It has consumed the airwaves, the morning shows, and the late night comedy routines. You can read about it here. What did Hillary Clinton actually experience when she visited Bosnia so many years ago? Was she, in fact, under sniper fire when she landed on the tarmac as she recently claimed? Was she delusional? Was she having a little too much fun on Air Force One just moments before she landed? Was she simply mistaken about the details? She says that she “misspoke” because she was tired and exhausted during that particular press conference. But can one “misspeak” on multiple occasions and the excuse still be legitimate? If you know me that well at all, you probably know that I care very little for the world of politics (although I do take seriously Romans 13), and you can probably tell that this is simply a great lead-in for me to broach the subject at hand. You got me. But there is something serious going on within the landscape and framework of America, exemplified perfectly through Clinton's little charade this week, that can't be overstated.
I find it ironic that the very week this news breaks, I am reading Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias. (What? You don't see the irony? No, I haven't been visiting my pot-rolling neighbor's house. You'll catch the irony in a moment. Visit Tasha's blog here if you are totally in the dark concerning the marijuana comments I just made. After you read it, give us your advice. But that's another issue for another blog post.) Ravi writes concerning the issue of truth and it’s relevance in the public square. He argues that individual ethics and personal and subjective feelings have replaced the notion of absolute truth, a fact easily verified by simply turning on the evening news. In illustrating how far our society has come from embracing the notion of unchanging truth, Ravi revisits the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. (Hence, the irony to which I earlier referred.) He says:
In our moral contradiction, an amazing cultural mood was uncovered. The president’s famous line that “it all depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is,” sent reporters scampering onto the streets with the question of the century: “Do words have a fixed meaning, or may we give them any meaning we choose?”(What could encroach upon itself more than purveyors of words inquiring if words have any meaning, while using words to ask the question?)
To the utter “surprise” of the surveyors, most people seemed to agree that words can sometimes mean different things to different people, assuming, of course, that there was no equivocation in meaning as the question was posed and the answer given.
That prompted the next question: “Is morality an absolute or a private matter?” The overwhelming response came back that morality is a private matter. These two questions became the lead-in on a CNN news report. First, that words only have personal meaning. Second, that morality is a private matter. Ironically, the third item on the news was that the United States had just issued a stern warning to Saddam Hussein that if he did not stop playing word games with the nuclear inspection teams we would start bombing Iraq.
Suddenly, words did matter. We would not let Saddam write his own dictionary. We would not let him live by his own ethic, but we could let each of our citizens determine the meaning of the words they used and insist that our morality is no one else’s business (pp. 116-117).
Words do matter. Truth does exist. Tomorrow I’ll expound on our responsibility as followers of Christ (Truth-tellers) in a world that lives like truth is dead.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tasha and I celebrated 6 years of marriage on Easter Sunday. It was awesome to be able to sit back and worship with my family at their home church in Roanoke, VA (Green Ridge Baptist Church) and then spend the next 2 days with my beautiful bride while my parents graciously took the kids. I'm convinced that free babysitting is a small taste of heaven on earth. And since it's free, I conveniently turn a blind eye to my dad's stereotypical grandpaish ability to feed the kids endless amounts of delights from the sugar food group, and being Easter, there was no small amount of yumminess to be had (And my mom wonders why Rainy won't eat her meals. Hmm ...) But Tasha has no problem giving my dad a piece of her mommy mind (in a loving, Christian way) when she feels that he's reached the point of abusing his grandpa privileges--more often than not, I'm afraid. I have to hand it to him though, he did much better this time, but only because my mom stayed on him. Good work, Dad.
After consuming my mom's incredible Easter dinner, Tasha and I traveled up to Lexington, VA and visited some of the historic landmarks. We got a hotel, visited Natural Bridge (one of America's natural wonders and, for bragging rights, taller than Niagara Falls), toured the caverns, took a nature walk, saw a movie, ate out like a bazillion times, and kissed a little bit. Things like that. A great time was had by all. Here's a few shots of our weekend, as well as a little video of our spelunking experience. It was pretty crazy what we saw down there. Take a look.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
On Thursday night during our devotion time, the kids sat down in the living room floor long enough for me to read a portion of John 13, the night before Jesus went to the cross. The event? When Jesus washed His disciples' feet. The purpose? To show that He came to serve, and to be the servant of all. Footwashing was a humbling act, performed only by slaves. Yet, Jesus did it. Jesus stooped down to wash the grimy feet of His disciples. He demonstrated the heart of a servant. The servant King. That's who Jesus was. That's who Jesus is.
To reinforce the Word to our kids, we wet a rag and took turns washing each other's feet. They loved it. Whether it entirely clicked for them or not, I can't be sure, but for all intents and purposes, at least we had clean feet before bedtime. It was a pretty cool moment in the life of our family, one that we won't soon forget.
(Ahhh!!!! ... I shoulda known better. My NCAA bracket is blown. I had Duke going all the way! What was I thinking?!)
Thursday, March 20, 2008
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, the little Resurrection ditties that I've been writing this week for my kids are now up and ready for your free downloading pleasure right here ("My Jesus" and "Jesus Got Up"). For those of you who are so inclined to scoff at my efforts to produce children's worship songs (however feeble they may be), you probably don't have kids, so you probably wouldn't understand. Nonetheless, my tender heart is laid bare and vulnerable before you as I open up our living room to the company of your listening ears, CD player or iPod. Don't crush it too badly. Still, my kids really like them (I guess that's what matters), so perhaps there are some other kids out there who will benefit from them as well. Enjoy!
Typically in Jewish families, the Wednesday before Easter is set aside for the menial duties of cleaning the house in preparation for the Passover. Of course, we're not Jewish, but I love the idea of having a day of cleaning and preparation to prepare for the event--not only in the physical sense of the word, but in the spiritual sense as well. As we took time to clean the house as a family yesterday, we tried to emphasize to the kids that what we were doing on the outside was a reflection of what should be happening on the inside--that we should desire to have clean hands and a pure heart before the Lord, and not just in preparation for Easter, but every day of our lives. (Check out Rainy's vacuum cleaner. Only state-of-the-art equipment for my employees!)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Last night before bed, we had our family devotions out on the back deck. To illustrate the new life that we have as believers in Jesus through His death, burial and resurrection, we decided to let the kids help us plant some flower seeds in potting soil. It's always a great feeling you get as a parent when you're trying to drive home a spiritual and biblical point to your child and when you ask them what the point is, they stare at you blankly like you're speaking ancient Gaelic. Well, they say (I've often wondered who "they" really are, or is? until Wikipedia cleared it up for me: " 'They' refers to the masses of those who are among the pop culture. 'They' quote sayings of individuals who could put complex events in to understandable context; believing that what 'they' have just quoted would justify an event or action which had just occurred.") the best way to learn is through repetition and reinforcement, so one day it will click for my kids.
The day it clicks will be an awesome day! I'm sure I'll blog about it. I'm sure I'll journal about it. I'll thank God for it. I'll ask Him for a fresh sensitivity to the tender hearts of my children as Tasha and I seek to raise them in the nurture and admonition of Christ. I'll ask Him for wisdom ... again (James 1:5), as I did in the hospital only moments after Areyna was brought into this world with my Mom standing over my shoulder with the video camera interrupting my prayer of dedication to tell me that the "Low Tape Capacity" icon was blinking at that very moment. Perfect timing. But I still love you, Mom.
No, it really was perfect timing. God's timing. With both of our kids. A timing that goes beyond the planning and preparation that you might think goes into starting or continuing a family--a planning that you actually have zero control over. Because here's what I sometimes need to be reminded of--I don't create life. Rainy and Zeke aren't mine. And they're not Tasha's either. They belong to God. And I'm so thankful for that. And I'm even more thankful that He has chosen to bless us with children and, for reasons that go beyond me, He has entrusted them to us for a season to train up in godliness and in the fear of the Lord, and that's what we plan to do, to the best of our ability and with His help.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
For the most part, my generation has been one that has disregarded church traditions and viewed them as meaningless and nothing but religiosity. In many ways, they're right. But I think we've thrown the baby out with the bath water. I can't say that I haven't done the same. Growing up Southern Baptist, traditional forms of high church worship and symbolism within Christianity have been somewhat foreign to me. And as religiously routine as they can become, I think there are some good things that can come from them.
This being Holy Week, Tasha and I have been researching and thinking of our own ways that we could celebrate this week within our own family, finding creative ways to teach our children the importance of the death and resurrection of Christ--perhaps not totally high church, but symbolic and meaningful nonetheless, intentionally reinforcing the key truths to our kids. We've decided that each day this week we will employ various activities to accompany our normal family devotions and worship time so as to help our children begin to understand what it is that Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection.
We started last night by reading the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and we reenacted the event with the kids, using flower pedals and tree branches in place of palm branches. After an hour of scraping embedded flower pedals off of the couch cushions, we sat down with the guitar and wrote a couple of cheesy children's songs together, focusing on the death and resurrection of Christ--songs that we'll continue pulling out throughout the week. If I have some extra time this week, I may actually record them and make them available for download. We'll see. It partly depends on just how vulnerable I am willing to make myself and how willing I am to expose that tender side of me to total cyberspace strangers. Hmm ... decisions.
I'll try to keep tracking our progress throughout the week and let you know whether I think our kids are "getting it" or not. In the meantime, if you have kids (or even if you don't) I encourage you to think of some creative ways to reinforce and to remind your children and yourself of the incredible price that Christ paid for you on the cross and of His glorious, sin-defeating, death-swallowing resurrection.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I read this verse this morning, a verse that I’ve read probably fifty times before, with different eyes. It was one of those moments where the thing I had been looking at for hours finally came into focus. (like those cursed 3-D images from the 90s that took over every kiosk in every mall in America. They never worked for me, so I don’t know how well it fits as an analogy. Nonetheless …) It finally came into focus for me.
Psalm 100:3 - Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
What became astounding to me in this verse is the unmistakable emphasis upon God—the Lord—the Creator—the Maker—the Shepherd—the Life-Giver. None of these titles or functions can be true of any of us. None of these titles or functions will ever characterize our lives. We are but sheep. Stupid. Clumsy. Fool-hearty. Prone to wander. Prone to disease, disaster and destruction. We are nothing in and of ourselves.
But, here’s the beauty of it: We are His. We belong to Him. We are His people. We are the sheep of His pasture. Even the pasture we graze in belongs to Him. We own nothing. We can claim nothing. We have nothing to our name. God owns it all. He created it all. And as the emphasis is placed on God, where it belongs, a funny thing happens. We decrease and He increases.How can you decrease today so that God can increase in your life?
Awesome day yesterday! In the AM we led worship at Parkwood Baptist Church. Pastor Jeff Long and I have had a ton of mutual friends over the years, but it wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that we finally met. He's an awesome man of God doing a great work at Parkwood. We're privilege to be able to help them out for a few Sundays in the near future as they are in the search process for a worship pastor.
We led with their existing praise band and they did a phenomenal job reading and following me.
1. Joyful, Joyful (trad. Charlie Hall version)
2. Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
3. Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners (trad.)
4. Come Thou Fount (trad.)
5. Jesus, Paid It All (trad. Passion version)
6. Hope of My Heart (Via)
We finished up the day at Ridge Church last night as they concluded their Joe Jacobson series. It was a great night. They announced that they will be partnering with Kinetic Church, near Concord Mills, for Easter Sunday morning.
Kinetic has a crazy story. This past week, they had one of their storage trailers stolen containing over half of their Sunday morning gear--children's ministry stuff--hospitality stuff--worship center stuff. All of it. Gone. In a second. You can check out Dave Milam's video blog post on exactly what went down and how they're coping. In the midst of all of that, God connected them with Ridge Church to partner with for Easter Sunday. Ridge will bring the gear they need and together they will combine forces to lift up the name of Jesus in north Charlotte. Pretty cool story. And pretty cool example of the church being the church--that it's not about the name on the marquee or the logo--it's about the name of Jesus. And it's about the body of Christ functioning like the body of Christ.
1. The Time Has Come (Hillsong United)
2. You Never Let Go (Redman)/Never Let Go (Crowder) medley
3. God is with Us - (Michael Olson)
Friday, March 14, 2008
As kids, my brothers and I had countless pets. Dogs. Cats. Hermit Crabs. Hamsters. You name it. The present subject of this post involves the hamsters. They have some very special memories attached to them. We bought four to start with. 2 males and 2 females. Within about 2 weeks we had about 47, which is only a slight exaggeration. Madness most definitely ensued. They took over our house. (Please don't relay to PETA what I'm about to describe!).
One night the cage door to our VW Bug-sized monstrosity of a hamster cage was conveniently left open for our furry friends. The next morning, we awakened not to 47 hamsters, but to maybe a dozen (the few who would have connected to me heart-to-heart in my love for sleep had God made me a hamster). The other 35 or so were now walking the halls, enjoying dinner leftovers in the kitchen, playing with my SEGA Genesis, cruising in my matchbox cars, and ... somehow finding their way between the inch and a half of space between drywall and studs. Yes, they had found their way into the walls of our home. We could hear them scratching, gnawing, chewing, and dropping hamster pellets of digested drywall. But we couldn't get to them. They were utterly inaccessible. They had passed the point of no return.
Eventually, the squeaks and scratches of our wall-trapped hamsters trailed off. After about a week, the sounds dissipated completely. Gone. My furry fleet of hamsters were off to hamster heaven. Lost in the corridors of what appeared to be their way of safety. Their escape. Their life of freedom. Yet, the end was one of death, decay, lostness. There's a sermon illustration here, no doubt. I think you can see it. But I'll spare you. Instead I'll just say this: Read this verse and figure it out.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
CharlotteONE this week:
Acoustic set with me and Tasha, Andy Cherry and Sarah Scott:
1. Come and Listen (David Crowder)
2. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (Delirious, Martin Smith)
3. Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
4. He is Exalted (Twila Paris, Shane and Shane version)
5. I Stand Amazed in the Presence (trad. hymn)
6. Marvelous Light (Charlie Hall)
7. Yearn (Shane and Shane)
8. Awesome God (Rich Mullins)
9. Our God Reigns (Delirious, Martin Smith)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
This past Sunday was another full day of ministry. In the morning we led worship at Carmel Baptist's The Edge service at 9:30 and 11:00, filling in for Heath Nestor. It was a great time. They are in the middle of a series called Un-Christian (based on the book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons) that deals with the common perceptions of Christianity in our culture.
1. O, Worship the King (trad. Passion hymns)
2. Marvelous Light/O Praise Him-medley (Charlie Hall, David Crowder)
3. Center (Charlie Hall)
4. From the Inside Out (Hillsong)
In the evening we were back at Ridge Church landing in the middle of their new series called The Legend of Joe Jacobson (principles from the life of Joseph). It was an amazing night and as always, Rusty Burchard had the stage looking phenomenal!
1. We Shine (Steve Fee)
2. Sweetly Broken (Jeremy Riddle)
3. Never Let Go (David Crowder)
4. Never Alone (Barlow Girl)
Friday, March 07, 2008
Drained pretty much describes my sentiment. But what a great day it was. Tasha and I and our amazing band of friends (Andy Cherry, Nolan Verner, Tim Morrison, and Marty Connell) led worship at Northside Baptist Church here in Charlotte for the Greater Charlotte Association of Christian Schools, In-Service Day (whew ... don't make me say that again!). About 400 Christian educators in the Charlotte area came together for a day of workshops and seminars, and we were asked to lead the worship for the event. It was a great day. Northside's staff was terrific to work with and made us feel right at home. The atmosphere buzzed and the Lord's presence was obvious.
We took the kids with us, and since we had to leave the house at 6 am, the little rascals were dragging by the time we left at 2:30. Zeke and I crashed when we got home.
We played 2 worship sets:
1. Blessed Be Your Name (Matt Redman)
2. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (Passion, Hymns)
3. Center (Charlie Hall)
4. Jesus, Paid It All (Passion, Everything Glorious)
1. O, Worship the King (Passion, Hymns)
2. He is Exalted (Shane and Shane, Clean)
3. Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
4. Your Grace is Enough (Chris Tomlin)
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Guest Blogger: Smooth
So tonight on the way home from church, Cana and I had a conversation that actually turned out to be pretty profound for a two-year-old. We were about a mile from our house, so I started trying to mentally prepare Cana for bedtime. I told her that when we got home it was time to go "night night." The rest of the conversation went like this.
Cana: But... I don't like to go night night.
Me: Well, I'm sorry Cana, but we have to go night night.
Cana: But... I do de-otions first
Me: Yeah, we'll do your devotions first. Won't that be fun?
Me: NO?! Cana, I thought you liked your devotions!
Cana: Yeah, but... going night night... not fun.
Me: I know it's not fun, baby. But we have to go night night. Cana, when we get home, are you going to be a good girl and obey?
Me: Cana, were you a bad girl for mommy today?
Me: Does that make Jesus happy or sad?
Cana: Sad... and mommy sad too.
Me: Yeah, it makes Mommy sad too.
Cana: But... I don't... LIKE to obey... but.. I don't... WANT to... disobey.
So already at two years old Cana is struggling with and reasoning through (in her two-year-old way) the very same thing that the apostle Paul was struggling with and reasoning through nearly 2000 years ago:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do... For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing... So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!As I sit here writing this, I'm getting teary-eyed. Not because this particular conversation with Cana was emotionally moving. No, I'm thinking of the day when the struggle will really begin for her. Who will deliver her from this body of death? Certainly not me. If I'm a good dad, I can give her tools to make wise decisions in life. But try as I might, I will never be able to empower her to live a godly life. I'm looking forward to the day when the Almighty God of this universe comes to dwell inside my little girl to rescue her in the way that only he can do. And my heart will rejoice. No, my heart rejoices now: "Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
7 "Will the Lord reject forever
and never again show favor?
8 Has His faithful love ceased forever?
Is [His] promise at an end for all generations?
Has He in anger withheld His compassion?"
I think we all ask questions like these at various times in our lives. When you find out that two people who are closely connected to you are battling cancer, and they're both in their twenties. When you can't quite discern the will of God, and it frustrates you more than anything. When the state and condition of the world seems so utterly depressing that you wonder what difference you could ever make. When evil seems to take the upper hand.
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Of course, the answer is a resounding, rhetorical, "NO!" But so often the hairy details of life are much more evident to us than the gracious hand of God. (like the long black neck hair on a pretty girl!) Too often our limited perspective clouds the full reality of what lies beyond what we cannot see (i.e. the simple fact that my family and I made it home safely tonight in our SUV driving home from CharlotteONE through torrential downpours and psychotic Charlotte drivers).
I'm thankful that Asaph, the psalmist, doesn't leave us hanging with those verses that offer little hope for our human situation and predicament. He actually leaves us with quite a bit to hang our hats on:
11 I will remember the LORD's works;
yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders.
12 I will reflect on all You have done
and meditate on Your actions.
Here it is: Remember what God has done in the past!
Remember His ancient wonders. Meditate on His actions. Remember when He parted the Red Sea?! Remember when He healed that guy in your church?! Remember when He rained down manna?! Remember when He healed that other guy in your church by ending his earthly pain and bringing him home to heaven?! Remember Samson, the deliverer?! Remember ______ and ______, the couple who once helped deliver you out of financial debt?!
Whatever He's done for you, remember! And rejoice because God hasn't changed (Heb. 13:8). The 21st century means nothing to God. His economy of time and actions is not dependent upon or limited by the time He created. So, think back. Recall what He has done. Don't live in the past. But remember it. And take comfort in knowing that He can work in that way again, if He so chooses.
When we start doubting God's work for the future, we have only to recount the myriad of ways that He has been faithful in the past.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
It was a great day back at Southbrook. My parents and sister were in town for Rainy's birthday party yesterday, so they stayed over last night to worship with us this morning. It was awesome having them there. They came to CharlotteONE this past week, as well. I've got the best parents in the world. They support Tasha and me 100% with the task God has given us to do. Mom, Dad, Joy, thanks for your support!
Today was a standalone message by our Executive Pastor, Paul Allen, on the relationship between stewardship and loving God. Great stuff. He focused on John 21:15-17 and Matthew 25:34-40.
Our worship set:
1. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (Passion Hymns version - I never get tired of playing this one. This is a great tune for any context, because anyone with even the most minute sense of musical awareness can sing along with this familiar melody.)
2. Counting on God (I got several comments on this one asking if we wrote it. No. I wish. It's by Desperation Band, off their latest project Everyone Overcome. When Tasha and I visited New Life Church back in June, I had the privilege to meet Glenn Packiam, frontman for Desperation. They had just had their live recording of this latest CD the week before we were there, so we just missed it. But this is a great tune. The bridge makes the song: "And the miracle of Christ in me, is the mystery that set me free; I'm nothing like I used to be, just open up your eyes, you'll see!:)
3. Majesty (Delirious - worshipful and reflective - I thought it was a great lead-in to the message!)
4. From the Inside Out (Hillsong - a beautifully reflective tune - It focuses on the mercy and forgiveness of God in the midst of failure and striving to be like Christ. The lyrics that affect me the most are these: "and the cry of my heart is to bring You praise from the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out.")
5. Father Let Me Dedicate - (also from Passion Hymns - Andy Cherry led this one. A great tune to end the day on with the simple chorus, "Be glorified in me, be glorified in me!")