Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday is for Photos - Victory

Victory
(Click on the image to see a higher resolution picture)

I love this picture on so many levels. This guy is in my Sunday School Class, so that makes me a little partial. His van broke down on the way to NYC this year, but by the grace of God he made it in time to compete. He's amazingly gifted, but contrary to what you might perceive from this picture, he is truly humble. He's just a bit of a character.

I think they were getting ready to leave so he already had his traveling clothes on. Flip Flops, shorts (knee-length of course), and an exposed mid-riff -- I'm surprised some Truth and Peacer didn't tackle him as soon as he made it to the stage. :)

Best of all he got a trophy that I believe said something like - It's not about me!

Gotta love Free Will Baptists!

Guitar Praise Produces Mixed Reactions

Have you ever played guitar hero, but really didn't like the words of some of the songs, or some of the imagery that filled your screen? Well it looks like there is a new product coming out that will satisfy guitar players who really enjoy Christian music.

I have a few friends who would probably like to take a shot at this game. Unfortunately it's only on PC or MAC, not Xbox or Wii. My guess is this would be a lot more popular on the latter platforms.

But what really caught my attention was the reaction to this game. There are a lot of people out there who think that "Christian Rock" is an oxymoron. They also think that Christian music is not really music at all. You can check out some of the reactions at boingboing and gizmodo. (Let me warn you - many of them are anything but Christian.)

What's your take? Is this like wearing a "cheesy" Christian T-shirt? Is this just another example of Christians "selling out?" Or is this a way for people who like Christian Music to enjoy a fun game without worrying about filling their mind with trashy lyrics and images?

My next question - How do you feel about your youth group or kids playing regular guitar hero? Answer at your own risk.

:)

They Have All The Answers...

To watch the conventions and all of the other appearances by our political candidates, you'd think they have all the answers to our nation's woes. But Job reminded me of where real wisdom comes from...

Job 28:20 “From where, then, does wisdom come?And where is the place of understanding?21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air. 22 Abaddon and Death say,‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ 23 “God understands the way to it,and he knows its place. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder, 27 then he saw it and declared it;he established it, and searched it out. 28 And he said to man,‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

I love the phrase "Abaddon and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.'" No one else can seem to find true Wisdom, but Death is closer to finding it than everything else. This probably sounds strange, but I think everyone will be a lot wiser when they die.

When we die and are judged, we'll know what really mattered. We'll know if we should have spent more time mowing the grass or hugging our kids or spreading the gospel. When we die we'll experience in sight what we have believed by faith. We'll all know better. For most of us it will be quite an awakening and I'm sure we'll wish we would have done better.

Thankfully, God didn't leave us clueless. He told Job to fear the Lord and to shun evil. What's so amazing about Job, is he didn't just hear God's advice, he lived it. The Bible says that Job feared the Lord and he shunned evil. That's what he was known for. That's what I want to be known for too.

Lord, help us to live by faith. Help us to love everything you love, and to hate everything you hate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Not About Me...

One of my friends, who'll remain anonymous at least for the moment, made a comment about my Music Tuesday posts. He said, "Why aren't any of the songs you highlight in your Music Tuesday posts in your weekly setlists?" Here's my answer...

It's not about me!

We went over this a little bit on Sunday in the sermon. If I was having a worship service just for myself, I would do a bunch of the songs that I have highlighted on Tuesdays. But not all of those songs work in a worship context, and even for those that do, a new song a week might be a bit much.

On the other hand, we have done Hillsong's Mighty to Save the past two Sunday Nights at church. We have also done At the Foot of the Cross as special music. I also played Hear our Prayers as invitation music for our One Prayer series. And this past Sunday we did By His Wounds off of the Glory Revealed album for communion.

And when I led worship at camp a few weeks ago we did Before the Throne (man is that song high), To the Only God, Revelation 19 & Captivated. I was so close to doing Leeland's Beautiful Lord, but we had already done so many new songs, I didn't want to wear out the campers.

So when you see that the setlist doesn't match the Music Tuesday highlights don't be fooled. I am worshipping with a lot of these songs, just not always in our local church.

What songs do you like for personal worship that maybe you don't sing in church?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Music Tuesday - Paul Baloche

I think I'm getting addicted to Paul Baloche's instructional guitar videos. They really fit my current skill level. Just enough to almost be dangerous. You can find some clips of Paul on youtube, but you'll find most of his stuff on leadworship.com.

Paul wrote Open the Eyes of My Heart, and Above All. I also really like Hosanna and All the Earth will Sing Your Praises.

I think my favorite instructional video is Your Name. It is just plain beautiful. There's another one on youtube as well. But I like the first one better.




Some other clips you may want your worship leader to check out...

  1. My Worship Team Won't Practice...
  2. Worship Band Workshop...
  3. Performance vs. Worship Leading...
  4. Introducing a New Song in Church...

Tuesday Giveaway:
First person to reply can get their pick of any Paul Baloche song as an iTunes gift.


Winner:
1. Jeff


Calvary Setlist for August 24th
Come Now is the Time to Worship
I Love to Tell the Story
All in All
By His Wounds
We Fall Down

Serve Somebody

I talked about this clip a few weeks ago, but we didn't get to show it. It is a great story about customer service. Check it out...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Singing With Your Mind

Not sure what has gotten in to me today - I'm posting like crazy for some reason.

Here's another interesting passage...

1 Corinthians 14:15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

Paul is urging the Corinthians when they speak to speak in a way that "speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation."

I think sometimes we "sing to ourselves" in worship. We sing songs that make us happy, but don't necessarily edify the body. It's difficult sometimes to find the balance. I love new songs, but it's pretty obvious that not everyone likes the music I like. I need to be mindful to sing in a way that will communicate and edify, not just to make me feel good.

Walking with the Devil

Something in Job chapter 2 intrigued me...

Job 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

I think I usually think of Satan watching us from somewhere, but I don't really think of him walking among us. But if the truth were known, he probably still walks on this earth seeking whom he may devour.

This reminded me of an old Andy Gullahorn song I heard this week called If I Were...

If I were the devil I wouldn’t wear red. I wouldn’t have horns or a pitchfork. I wouldn’t breathe fire cause it might give me away. But if I were the devil you’d never know. I’d befriend you quick and corrupt you slow so you don’t notice until its far too late.

If I were the devil. If I were the devil.

If I were the devil I’d spend all day lowering standards of what’s okay to think to say to watch on your tv. I’d break down the value of promises kept and fade out truth till there’s nothing left except gossip and lies popping up as thick as weeds.

If I were the devil, If I were the devil.

I might not be as foreign as you think cause I wouldn’t always show my evil side. I’ve got the time and patience just to wait and steal your soul just one sin at a time. Like I would if I were.

No I’m not the devil but if I was, I’d take God’s people and split them up to keep their minds off who they’re called to be. So they’re no longer fighting over living or dead its is it the body or just bread while all the unfed die hungry on the street.

If I were the devil, If I were the devil

I’d make moms and dads who never stick around. Pain so bad you have to drink to drown. And guilt so I can kick you when you’re down. And I would if I were.

If I were the devil I wouldn’t wear red. I wouldn’t breathe fire cause it might give me away.

Friday is for Photos - Relaxin'

Relaxin'
(Click on the image to see a higher resolution picture)

Every time I look at this picture, I want to go back to this place. Buck Island was mysterious and beautiful all at the same time. I can't wait to go again some day.

Blessed Be The Name

Every time I read this I marvel at Job's Faith...

Job 1:20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Lord, I don't know what you have in store, but please help me to bless Your Name whether in good days or bad.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 Things I learned from E-Team

I wanted to post this before I forgot about it. I had a friend who asked me to write down some of the things I learned from my E-Team experience. Here they are:

(Ceiling at the Miami Airport - Here's a tip, expect layovers in Miami!)

1. Hallowed Be Thy Name. (We did our devotions from the Lord's Prayer. And I think this is the most important phrase in the whole prayer.)

2. Don't let your circumstances determine your attitude. Thank You James Evans! Philippians 2:5 (When you let your attitude be determined by your circumstances it shows your immaturity.)

3. Listen for God, Watch for God, Touch for God, Smell for God, Taste for God.

4. Let others lead.

5. Watch for God & Me Moments.

6. Sometimes you just must shut up.

7. Finish your day with questions - Where did you experience God today? What did you learn about yourself? Tell everyone something that you really appreciate about them.

8. Take lots of pictures. Journal about your trip. Tell others what you learned about
God.

9. Enjoy the differences of others and other places.

10. Be Friendly, most people will be friendly back no matter where they are from.

Watering Down the Message

For all those folks who wonder if the reason that the big contemporary churches are growing is because they are watering down the gospel... Here's a list from Craig Groeschel at Lifechurch on 10 Ways to Make Your Spiritual Invitation Stronger

I especially liked number 3
Hate sin. Explain repentance. Preach Christ.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Revelation Song

I was looking through praisecharts.com and found a new song (at least new to me) called Revelation Song. (This is NOT the Revelation 19 song we did at E-Team and Camp.)

The Kari Jobe version is the most popular, but so far my favorite is from the IBC (Indiana Bible College) You can download the chords from Gateway Worship.

(A quick disclaimer here - IBC is a Oneness Pentecostal school. I.e. I don't agree with all of their theology. But they have some tremendously talented musicians and vocalists.)


IBC Version



Kari Jobe Version


Tuesday Giveaway:
First two people to email me can get an iTunes gift of Revelation Song by whatever artist you choose - (IBC doesn't have an iTunes version. So you'll have to pick someone else.)

Winners:
1. Travis H.
2.

Calvary Setlist for August 17th:
Great & Mighty
I Will Call Upon the Lord
I Am Resolved
Victory in Jesus
Still

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday is for Photos - Covered in Pollen

Covered in Pollen
(Click on the image to see a higher resolution picture)


I shot this picture with a 17-55mm I rented. My daughter and I were trying to get a good close-up without getting stung. This is about as close as we wanted to get. This guy looks like he was having the time of his life rolling in pollen.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For All You Prosperity Preachers Out There...

I'll never understand why people believe that after they receive Christ they should be "healthy, wealthy & wise." If we follow after our Lord, we are blessed whenever we receive health, wealth or wisdom, but we can expect suffering and trial.
1 Corinthians 4:11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

Something We All Should Strive For...

I really like the fact that Ezra wasn't just studying God's law, but he set out to do it and to share it.
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.