Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

What’s in Your Heart?

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 32:24-25 (NIV)

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:24-25 (NIV)

But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

2 Chronicles 32:31 (NIV)

Have you ever heard someone say that how you deal with adversity shows a lot about who you are?  I’m sure you have and while this is true we do need to look at the other side of things.  How do you deal with the good things that come to you?  Hezekiah was ill to the point of death and when he prayed God gave him a miraculous sign and healed him.  But the Bible tells us that Hezekiah did not respond to the kindness shown him.  After experiencing the wrath of God he repents and God removes His wrath.  A little while later it said that while some rulers of Babylon (to ask about the miraculous sign) were visiting God left Hezekiah to test Him and see what was in his heart.  In experiencing displays of God’s power and success at every corner the greatest challenge he faced was how he would respond to these good things.

Success can be one of the greatest test we face.  This is a tough test because our natural tendency is to gravitate towards pride.  Instead of an attitude of thankfulness and remembrance we might experience some short-term memory loss and think we did it all.  Instead of praise for God and others our language might be filled with personal pronouns.  These are signs that you are failing the test of success.

So if you are in the midst of this test how do you pass?

  1. Remember – Remember ultimately God is the source and remember you probably didn’t do this alone
  2. Thankfulness – This is one thing that God absolutely loves.  Say thanks for everything you can think of.
  3. Watch – Be mindful of the pronouns you use.
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Sunday Setlists: 7/11 – 7/12

This post will be part of Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival called Sunday Setlists.  Worship leaders from all over are sharing about what’s happening in their services.

We had another great weekend at church.  Since our worship pastor was out of town last weekend and will be out of town through next weekend I am picking up an extra weekend this month.  I am blessed because I have strong teams around me and for most of the services I will have at least one person leading with me.  The only obstacle we have had to really deal with is the conflict that summer and volunteering brings.  There has been a lot of swapping and playing with the schedule.  Anyone else dealing with that?

Over the last 2 summers our sermon series have centered around one book.  This summer we choose the book of James.  This shouldn’t be too bad for developing set lists for the weekends.  This weeks sermon was more of an introduction to the book of James.  With the set list we decided to focus on our response to adverse situations that sometimes fill our lives.  As Christ-followers our response to adversity should be different from those who are not following Christ.  We always have a reason to give God praise.

Home (E) – Marty Sampson

Let Everything That Has Breath (E) – Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your Name (A) – Matt and Beth Redman

The Stand (A) – Joel Houston

Still (C) – Reuben Morgan

Called from/Called to

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.
1 Kings 19:21 (NIV)

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.

1 Kings 19:21 (NIV)

Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.

2 Kings 2:12-13 (NIV)

I can’t remember where I got this from but Peter Marshall once said, “a call of God is a two-sided call–there is a call ‘to‘ a work, and there is a call ‘from‘ the present work.  In the story of Elisha we see the call to and the call from take place.  In both instances Elisha decisively walks away from what he was doing to embrace the new season.  It’s not that what Elisha was doing was unsuccessful or bad but God was calling him from that to what was next.

I think it is harder to move from something we enjoy or have found success in, than it is to move from something we hate or have had difficulty with.  Regardless of what God is calling us from we need to completely embrace the new.  Elisha set the example.  He literally destroyed what represented the past so he could walk into what was next.  If you are in that transitionary season of being called from something to something what do you need to destroy to move forward?

Don’t stop

Good things grow even in the darkest times. – pg. 26 Inc. June 2009

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

This really stuck out to me.  It was in reference to creating a start up in the midst of a recession, but I think this can be applied in every aspect of life in every season of life.  Beyond this quote as Christ-follower  I must also remember what God’s word tells me in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Inspiration

Inspiration is the impetus that causes a burst of creativity. – Amy C. Cosper Editor-in-Chief Entrepreneur

Today what will inspire you to bursts of creativity?

Sunday Setlist: 7/5

This post will be part of Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival called Sunday Setlists.  Worship leaders from all over are sharing about what’s happening in their services.

Last week we brought an end to our Satan’s SexED series and with yesterday being the 4th of July we decided to do a patriotic service.  We built the entire service around moving people to a place of thankfulness, prayer, and thinking about others as we celebrated this Independence Day.

I am really proud of all of the people who brought this service together, but I am really thankful for the worship team.  Everyone really contributed to pulling this off.  I am blessed with so many great musicians, but more than musicians great followers of Christ.  I actually was having a hard time getting out the door this morning.  Things were a bit hectic, but the team really rallied around me.  It was great.

You Are GoodIsrael Houghton

I Am FreeJon Egan

Announcements/Offering/Bumper

Bumper Video: I Am The FlagBeamer Film (found at Worship House Media)

America (D) – Chris Tomlin, J.D. Walt, Jack Parker

God Bless America (G) – Irving Berlin

America the Beautiful (C) – Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Augustus Ward

Video: In Their Own WordsGood Brand Productions (found at Sermon Spice)

Sermon: America, Bless God

Lesson’s from Leviticus pt. 3

With every offering that Israel brought there was a cost involved.  By definition sacrifice means to give up something valuable for the sake of something that is considered more important or worthy (from the dictionary on my MacBook).  Worship will always cost us something.  The interesting thing is that if we are not worshipping God we will worship someone or something.  Whatever we are worshipping there will be a cost involved.  So if you are going to give up something valuable shouldn’t you make sure that what you worship is more important and worthy?

The sacrifices that we offer today are much different, but the there is still a cost involved.  In the New Testament we are given examples of how we can offer sacrifices that are pleasing to God.  So at the beginning of this day don’t forget to ask God what would please Him today.

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.
Romans 12:1 (NIV)

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. – Romans 12:1 (NIV)

I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. – Philippians 4:18 (NIV)

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name. – Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)

Sunday Setlists: 6/27 and 6/28

This post will be part of Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival called Sunday Setlists.  Worship leaders from all over are sharing about what’s happening in their services.

This was the last weekend of our Satan’s SexED series and I would say that this has been a great success.  To test the waters we kept this to 3 weeks and based on the response we are definitely going to do this again.  It’s such an important topic and as the church we need to address it on a regular basis.  This weekend Harry Flanagan from Pure Desire Ministries was our speaker.  The main idea he tried to communicate was that we need to find our value in who God created us to be and not in our performance.

This weekend was a little hectic, but things went really well.  Saturday, we added a second electric to the mix.  It was a great add on, but we had to be mindful of our stage volume.  Not as many people in the room as there are on Sunday’s so decibels are not sucked up as easily .  Sunday was a little crazy because I was late.  I live about and hour and a half away from our Albany campus.  The team was great though.  They were prepared and ready for me.  We had a great soundcheck and service went well.  I’ve been trying to be intentional about being more engaging with the people I am leading each week.  I need to remember that I am there to worship, but I am also leading the way for everyone else.

Saturday Night – Utica Campus

Your Grace is Enough (G) – Chris Tomlin Arr.

Hosanna (G) – Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown

Holy is the Lord (G) – Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio

Holy, Holy, Holy (G) – John Bacchus Dykes and Reginald Heber

With All I Am (D) – Reuben Morgan

Sunday Morning – Albany Campus

Your Grace is Enough (G) – Chris Tomlin Arr.

Everlasting God (A) – Brenton Brown and Ken Riley

How Great is Our God (A) – Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash

Mighty to Save (A) – Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan