Category Archives: Worship

Broken Praise

Rarely does a song move me to tears.  This one does.  Broken Praise by Todd Smith on the album Music Inspired by The Story.  It is sung from Job’s perspective but if you know the life of Todd and Angie Smith it takes on an even deeper meaning.  They have lost several children.  Two were miscarriages and one died shortly after birth.  So with that in mind…

If their story strikes a chord in your life you can buy Angie’s book here.

Brian

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6.19.11 @ Lynwood

Father’s Day is gonna be a packed day at Lynwood.  We will be hearing from and voting on our first College/Missions Pastor.  These are exciting times.  The field is white for the harvest around the world and right here in Cape!  And believe me when I tell you, we need as many people reaching out to the SEMO campus as possible!

Here’s the Sunday set:

Hallelujah, You’re Worthy To Be Praised (choir)

Hearing from Todd and the vote

Marvelous Light

Glory to God Forever

Jesus Paid It All

Here’s a little preview of the choir number:

Hope to see you Sunday!

Brian


let the waters rise

Thanks, Jamie, for reminding me of this song.

Brian


though there’s pain in the offering…//part 1

I started this post over a month a go, then never finished it.  Sometimes I wonder if my blogging days are over.  I used to love it.  Sometimes I still do.  I’ve seen a direct correlation between my stress level and my blogability.  When I’m stressed, I don’t feel like blogging.  When I’m relaxed, it flows like water out of a fountain.  I can also see that same equation with stress in other areas of my life.

Of course, the title to this post is my favorite line from the second verse of Matt Redman’s “Blessed Be Your Name”…

Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me, when the world’s all as it should be, blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name when on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be Your name.

Suffering and worship.  They go hand in hand.  I could write a mega post on this subject, but you can do the research.  Just read Job.  You see it right there in chapter 1.  God allowed Satan to take everything: his live stock, his servants, and even his own children.  After hearing such news, did Job fall to the ground, ball up in the fetal position, and cry all night?  I might have.  I’m not sure how I would handle that kind of news.

I hope I’d do better than that, but I’m not sure.  This year has been a tough one.  Following God’s will isn’t always as easy as it sounds.  There are many trials, though minor in comparison to Job’s, huge to you when you are in the middle of them: children adjusting and missing friends, us adjusting and missing friends, selling a house in a horrible economy, starting over.  Then there are doctor’s bills as our health has been attacked with increasing intensity lately.  Oh, I better stop or I’ll whine all day.  Yes, I’ll have some cheese with it.  Thanks.

So, I started this post after we sang that song one Sunday.  I was leading it when I sensed God asking me if it was true of me.  We’d had a hard morning with one of our children.  He clung to one of us as we tried to drop him off at his Life Group.  We knew he would do the same the next morning at school.  In the midst of all that was raging in my mind, God asked me, would I bless His name that morning?  Would I worship Him in the midst of trial?  Would I worship in because of the trial, not in spite of it, because I know He is using it for our good?

All of a sudden, I was free to worship.  I could see Job in my mind.  We were worshiping our Sovereign together.  Oh yeah, how did Job handle the news?

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

Job 1:20-21

He worshipped.  Will you?

Brian


Romans and Titus//definitely written by the same dude

I’m reading through Paul’s letters and I must confess that I thought I would just breeze through Titus.  I don’t know why I thought less of the book, I mean the Word of God is the living, active Word of God.  But for some reason I did.  Now, I’ve spent a whole week in this three chapter book.  I love it.  Chapter’s 2 and 3 are like a mini Romans – the Cliff’s Notes version.  Look at these verses in chapter 2:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (11-14)

Can’t you see Romans 12:1 in there?  He’s saying that we should think about the grace of God.  Think about our salvation and what that means in our lives.  We should be different.  Because of our salvation: we should live differently and we should be eagerly working for our Lord! (“zealous for good works)”.

Look at what he says in chapter 3 verses 4 through 8:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

What a description of the gospel.  But remember, he’s not writing to lost people.  He’s writing to the church, the saved, the saints, His servants.  He’s saying that we should be talking about the gospel.  We should be discussing God and who He is.  His love.  His goodness.  His grace.  We should explore His attributes.  Understanding who He is makes what He did for us even more amazing.  Then we should explore what He did for us.  Talk about salvation: our sin, Jesus Christ, the cross, the resurrection.  We should search the scriptures to know what that means for us.  Is it just fire insurance?  Or is it more?  Are we just waiting on heaven or does it change us here?  We are heirs now!  We are His children through adoption by His blood.

Why should we continually teach these things?  Did you see the “so that?”  Of course you did, I put it in bold print.  So that we – the church, the people of God, His children – would devote our selves to good works.  It’s Romans 12:1.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

What’s he saying? Something like, go serve like it’s worship to a holy, loving God who wondrously saved you by the sacrifice of His Son and has showered you with blessings beyond our finite human imaginations.  Something like that.

Brian


5.30.10 @ MeadowBrook

Wow.  I haven’t written all week.  It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say, just no time to write it.  So, here we are at another weekend.  Big family plans.

Tonight we watch The Biggest Loser Finale with some homemade popcorn (made with our new Crazy Corn Popper compliments of Matthew and Kathryn Johnson – thanks guys).

Friday night is a double feature at the Sand Mountain Drive-in with some friends.  Shrek the Final Chapter and Iron Man 2.  Something for the whole family.  $15 a car load for two movies.  We are in baby.

Saturday, Brotey turns seven.  Seven.  He’s getting so big.  More on him later.  Big swim party.  Lot’s of kids.  Lot’s of urine to shock out of the pool later.  And I promise I will use lots of shock.

Sunday, we worship.  We will also remember the sacrifice of those who died for our freedom to worship.  Here’s the song list:

Hallelujah Anyhow (choir)

Cover the Earth

Oh For a Thousand Tongues

Still the Cross

Jesus Paid It All (O praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!)

I’m already pumped about Jesus Paid It All.  See you Sunday.

Brian


idolatry and Hosea//I feel like I should wash my mouth out with soap

I started reading Hosea last week.  I’ve read it before, but not in the English Standard Version.  There are lots of phrases like this one:

Though you play the whore, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty.  Hosea 4:15a

I’m not going to discuss this particular verse.  It’s just the only one I felt good about typing.  Even so, I feel I should wash my mouth out.  In fact, the first four chapters, especially chapter two, make me blush and feel a little embarrassed.

Why is it like that?  What should we learn?  This: idolatry is serious issue to God.  It is ugly.  It is disgusting.  As disgusting, maybe more, to our Lord as the sins of sexual impurity and marital unfaithfulness.  As marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church, so unfaithfulness is a picture of our idolatry to the Lord.  The analogy goes both ways.  I challenge you to read Hosea and see it any other way.

But what about us?  There are no Baals here.  [insert pause here, then see my head leaning to the side with my eye brows raised]  Really?  This book wasn’t written for Old Testament Israel only.  It was written for us.  I have to confess that I have been idolatrous and the pictures I see in Hosea make me ashamed for my sin.

Don’t put idolatry only in that “worshipping false gods” category.  Anything we put ahead of God is idolatry.  When we choose to watch T.V. rather than answer our kid’s questions about God, that’s idolatry.  When we sleep rather than answer His call to prayer, that’s idolatry.  When [and now I’m really getting uncomfortable] we choose pushups and pull-ups over spending time with the Almighty, that’s idolatry.  When we choose the Great American Pastime over discipleship, that’s idolatry.  When the Saturday game leaves us so tired that we need to sleep in on Sunday, that’s idolatry.  When we hold back some tithe to make sure we have enough, that’s idolatry.  When we serve ourselves rather than submit to the King of Kings, well, you get the idea.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Just things I’ve been praying about lately – in my life and in the church in general.

We need to wake up.  This is a serious issue to our Lord.  But don’t take my word for it, God spoke a pretty strong one through Hosea.

Brian