Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

Meaninglessness

Ravi Zacharias has to be one of my favorite speakers.  I love listening to his podcasts over and over again.  I always walk away challenged and inspired.  I have to admit that sometimes I listen again because I don’t get it the first time, but I don’t mind.  Anyways, listening the other day I was captivated when he quoted G.K. Chesterton.

Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain.  Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.

What do you think?

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Weekend Setlist: May 1st/2nd

Not sure if I am leading worship on Sunday yet, but I’m definitely on for Saturday.  So here is what we are looking at this weekend at the Utica Campus of Redeemer.tv.

You Deserve (G)

Happy Day (C)

I Will Sing of My Redeemer (G)

Hope of All Hearts (C)

Stronger (C)

We are currently finishing up a series called Redeemed.  We spent the last few weeks listening to stories of redemption.  At our Utica campus we have heard testimonies from Ken Mansfield, Charlie and Judy Pucillo (church leaders), and Michael Franzese.  This has been a great way to really drive home what Jesus Christ did for us in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Intentional

The dictionary defines the word intentional as being done on purpose or deliberate.  With the craziness of life and leadership in the church it can be hard to be intentional.  I’m not saying that things are not getting done, but if you’re a leader in the church it can be easy to fall into just getting things done.  We gear up for the weekend then we do the weekend then we start again.  In the midst of this we can lose the intentionality with people, our process, and our church.  I am learning this with the process of recognizing, developing, and releasing leaders.  So instead of just allowing the craziness to dictate how people are developed I decided to be intentional.  So instead of just allowing people to grow on their own as they serve I have to create those opportunities.

In our world of multiple services and multiple campuses how do I do this?  One idea I had was to start bringing our worship leaders to the campus that I primarily lead worship at.  I bring them in on the Saturday evening service so there are not schedule conflicts on Sunday.  I am still on the stage, but allowing them to lead.  It gives me the opportunity to coach, observe, and correct if necessary.  I just created the opportunity.  I was intentional.  What can you do this week to be intentional?

Weekend Setlist: 10/17

Leading worship only once this weekend and I have to tell you it feels kind of weird.  Tonight was the first night of our new stage set up.  Things seemed to go very well.  I know that we will have to keep working through things, but I am very pleased with the direction that we are moving.  I am so appreciative of everyone who helped make it possible.  Over the last day we took everything off the stage, rewired the stage, moved every back, tested the lines, started tuning in the system, simple EQ, soundchecked, and led worship.  Busy, but worth it.

Anyways, we are in the middle of our Prodigal God series and this week we were talking about redefining lostness.  Our focus was mainly on the older brother.  Now you might be thinking this story is just about the younger because he was lost?  But what about the older brother?  He was in the father’s house, but he did not want a relationship with the father, he wanted the father’s stuff.  He was all about controlling God.  He was also lost.  Here is the setlist we followed this weekend:

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

You Deserve (G) – Matt Crocker and James Dunlop (Hillsong United)

God of Agers (G) – Ben Fielding (Hillsong)

Amazing Grace (E) – Chris Tomlin arr.

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.

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)

Lesson’s from Leviticus pt. 2

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consist of all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what is pleasing to the Lord.  – Ephesians 5:8-10

You might be asking yourself is this suppose to be about Leviticus?  Your right, but just follow.  In our worship the goal should be to find out what pleases God and to do that.  In the book of Leviticus we learn about all of the gory details of the sacrifices that God desired the people to bring.  Now God’s concern was not so much with the actual sacrifice, but the approach.  He was looking deeper to the act of faith.  The heart attitude that says that even though I don’t completely understand if this is what You desire I will bring it.  The heart of faith is more concerned with pleasing God.

God’s desire was that Israel would trust Him.  Where things probably got off track (and still do) is when our faith shifted to the offering that we bring from the one who said this type of worship would please.  Where is your faith today?  Is it in the way you worship or in the one you worship?