Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our Eyes Are On You

I love God's word. Tonight I have been doubly blessed. I received a word of encouragement from the Lord and was reminded of a great story too!

First the word of encouragement...
2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Sometimes I feel just like Jehoshaphat. I don't know what to do, but I will put my eyes on the Lord. I know He is able to deliver. And boy did He deliver...He used the choir?
21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,

“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his steadfast love endures forever.”

22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.

Yes, the choir. What did God ask His people to do? He asked them to sing and He delivered in a mighty way. What a mighty God we serve!

Lord, when I don't know where to go or what to do, please help me to keep my eyes on You.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Music Tuesday - Tenth Avenue North

I don't know much about this band, but I really like the song "Love is Here." You can check it out for free over at Rhapsody.

You can also check out their video at youtube. (I'd listen to the audio first.)

Tuesday Giveaway...
First person to reply can have an iTunes gift for this song.

1. Mike.

Calvary Setlist for July 27th
He is Exalted
Everlasting God
Worthy, You are Worthy
Wonderful Cross

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our Effort, God's Pleasure

From today's reading...
1 Chronicles 19:13 Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.

Keith Green used to sing:
So keep doing your best
And pray that it's blest
And He'll take care of the rest.

Lord, help us to do all within our power to fight for your kingdom, but in the end our prayer is that You will do what seems good to You.

Music Tuesday - Leeland

One of my E-Teamers put me onto some new music by a group called Leeland (Thanks Autumn). We also sang one of their songs during our worship services. I'm not exactly sure how I missed this group - I've heard the name before, but never took time to check out their music.

Also just realized that the drummer in the band must have been a Leeland fan.

It's been a while so here's this week's giveaway...

First 3 responders will get their pick of any Leeland Song as an iTunes gift. All you need to do is send me an email letting me know which song you want. You might want to check out some of the songs on Rhapsody.

Winners will be posted here:

Calvary Setlist from Sunday July 13th, 2008:
This is the Day
I Will Call Upon the Lord
I Stand in Awe
The Love of God

Monday, July 14, 2008

E-Team "God & Me" Moments

I have so many wonderful memories from our trip, it's hard to say what my "favorite" ones are. I thoroughly enjoyed going through the Lord's Prayer in our Team meetings every night. And I also loved hearing the rest of the team share their "God & Me" moments.

Dustin M. was moved by the concert of prayer in a special way the night before we left. Hannah had a moment by this beautiful tidal pool were everyone was talking and climbing, but she was listening and hearing from God.

Emilee had the Lord give her some clear direction about some decisions she needed to make. I think everyone including my family had a moment or two on this trip where God spoke into our lives.

One of my favorite "God & Me" stories was Dustin A. and his missing camera. Dustin accidentally left his camera at Point Udall. Later that afternoon, when he realized it was gone, he was sick about losing his pictures. That night it rained, and we were sure that even if the camera was found, it was probably ruined. He even got a motorcycle ride back to Point Udall - Thanks Mr. Dave! - but to no avail.

Later that day someone called Pastor Nelson saying they had found the camera. We didn't tell Dustin about it until we had the camera in our hands. (I think we could hardly believe it ourselves.) A couple from Arkansas found the camera and left it at the Scuba Shop.

This was one of Dustin's "God & Me" moments and one that to which the whole team lays claim.
This is one of the 350 pictures we would have lost, if it hadn't been for the Lord and a couple of nice people from Arkansas. :)

God was so gracious, and this was just a simple reminder of how much He loves us.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is Congregational Singing Dead?

After my E-Team worship experience, I'd give a resounding no to the title question, but I'm sure that in other churches this may be happening.

Here is an interesting article: The Slow Death of Congregational Singing.

Pass it along to your worship leader and feel free to comment below.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday is for Photos - Please Take Me Fishing

Please Take Me Fishing...
(Click on the image to see a higher resolution picture)

This is one of my favorite shots of the entire Virgin Islands trip. This is Mr. Greenway's boat and he was gracious enough to haul us to Buck Island and back while we visited St. Croix. We did have one fishing adventure, but we didn't catch any fish. On the other hand, we did see about 50 flying fish, some dolphins swimming close to the boat, and 2 huge tuna crash out of the water. It was amazing.

Thanks Mr. Greenway for taking such good care of us!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Apple Care and Me...

I had a crazy day on Monday working through the Apple Care Support System. My Macbook has been intermittently burning CD's since about February - shortly after I upgraded to Leopard. I would try different CD's and different speeds and usually get something to burn. But it continued to get worse. It finally got to where it wouldn't even load blank CD's. What's crazy is that sometimes when you change the language in System Preferences, it would work another time or two. Go figure.

Finally after our E-Team trip I had a day or two to devote to fixing this issue so I called Apple Care. They were really friendly, but of course I had to walk through what seemed like 100 steps. First we did a reset. Then we did an update. Then the dreaded Archive and Install. Then an attempt at some hardware diagnostics. You know you should be nervous when the guy on the phone says hit D on bootup and you'll get diagnostics, and then after failing twice, he says that's normal.

They offered to let me mail in my laptop, but I wouldn't see it for 5-10 business days. Ouch. This almost made me want a Dell again. Then I inquired about some sort of local tech support. The nearest support was about 60 miles away, but they would probably be able to turn around the repair in 3 or 4 days. That did sound better, but I wanted to check one more time so I read some forums and then went to Walmart.

I bought a $9 CD lens cleaner, popped it into the macbook and then tried burning some CD's at full speed. So far I've burned 5 in a row without a hitch. I'm so glad it was this easy. Too bad I didn't figure it out before the Archive and Install.

So the next time your SuperDrive stops burning see about some lens cleaner. The 9 bucks is so worth the 4 hours you won't have to spend on the phone!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

E-Team: First Full Day on the Island

Workin' Hard.

When we left the training, one of our main prayers was that we would be a hard working group, and that we would be able to accomplish some tasks to encourage the Church at St. Croix. Little did we know that our eager hearts would lead to blistered hands. I wished that on that first day we would have worked as "smart" as we did "hard."

We were scraping up tile to prepare some classrooms for new carpet. I don't think most of our hands had done much labor in recent weeks and most of us ended up with blisters. But at least we got to soak them in salt water! :) Okay, maybe that was the second "not real smart" thing that we did. But we just taped up our hands on Thursday morning and went back at it. I really don't remember hearing much complaining at all. I was really proud of the team.

Breach of Faith

I thought it was interesting how the ESV worded what the NIV termed "unfaithful."
1 Chronicles 9:1 So all Israel was recorded in genealogies, and these are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith.

1 Chronicles 10:13
So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14 He did not seek guidance from the Lord.

Lord, help me to inquire of You before I step.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

E-Team Training Week

Another thing that just amazed me about E-Team was the singing during the worship services. These kids belted it out and they sang from their hearts. The band did a great job, but with these kids as a choir, it was easy.

Every night I went away from the worship service with a "just happy to be there" feeling. We sang a variety of new and old songs, and learned a song, Revelation 19. It became a favorite for many, and our St. Croix team taught it to the church on the Island while we were there.

You can listen to the Mars Hill version here. You can download the lyrics here. And you can get a chord chart to a similar version from Stuart Townend here.

You can also get a slightly different version from iTunes. It goes under "Great is He Who's the King of Kings" by Spring Harvest Live Worship. Great song. (It's hard to go wrong with scripture songs, and I have a feeling we will be singing this one for a while!)

Thanks again to everyone who made worshipping the Lord such an amazing experience during E-Team 2008

Music Tuesday - What Did I MIss?

I've been out of the loop for a month. What's new on your iPod?

Drop me a line or leave a comment... and maybe I'll give something away soon.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Some Catching Up To Do...

I wish that I had been able to blog my E-Team experience while it was occurring, but I just wasn't able to make it happen. So over the next few days, I'm going to try and recount some of the highlights of our trip to St. Croix, if for no other reason than to further cement them in my memory.

We pulled into Nashville on June 9th, not exactly sure what to expect. What I really didn't expect is how many new friends we would make. While finishing a project is a noble goal, any missions trip should be about more than painting a room, or digging a trench. It should always be about people and about making disciples.

The Lord used some new friends and some old ones to continue discipling me. Two of my new friends are Josh and Alicia Crowe.

Alicia is as sweet as she can be, and Josh is as crazy as he can be, but they both have a huge heart for Japan and I know that God is going to use them to change lives in that country. We met other team leaders on Monday and Tuesday, some young and some not as young, but all dedicated to encouraging these teens and serving the Lord.

Jonathan and Teresa Snow were also a huge encouragement to me during this time. Their love for the peoples of the world was evident to all and their attention to detail reminded me that leading a team was not to be taken lightly. I felt privileged to be in the company of folks like these.

Right away we learned an important lesson. Not everyone can lead. We would learn this again on our St. Croix team in just a few days. When you have so many strong leaders, it is sometimes hard to sit back and follow and even harder not to share your opinion. I want to thank Benchmark Adventure Ministries for doing a good job of teaching us things like this.

Hopefully I can come back to this idea in another post, but one thing I took away from training week: "Don't let your circumstances determine your attitude."

Chew on that one for a while.

Pondering Anyone?

I'm familiar with the quote - "Be angry and sin not", but I like the rest of this quote from Psalm 4
4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.

I think part of the key to "not sinning", is taking time to ponder what is making us angry, and then to be silent before the Lord that we may have his mind about what we should actually do. It's so much easier for me to react, than to actually think and then act.

I need to practice my pondering.

Bet you haven't heard this quote before...

"Let us and the functional hyper-calvinist semi-pelagians both repent."

If you want to check out the context of the quote head over to 9 marks. Basically it's about people who have strong theology in their speaking and teaching, but little action in their witness.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Gonna Make A Change...

Some people talk about change, and some people really make change. Josiah heard God's word and he acted on what he heard...
2 Kings 23:24 Moreover, Josiah put away the mediums and the necromancers and the household gods and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.

Lord, please help me to act upon the truth that you give to me each and every day.