A Call to serve…

serve

When it comes to serving God in our local assembly, fellowship or group, I’ve come to identify 3 Categories of us. And of course one may disagree with my research methodology however I still think we all fall into one of these categories.

Category 1: Those who don’t belong to any service group. Someone once told me _’but I can serve without joining any department…so why do I need to join one…between God is gracious whether I serve or not…and am not up for religion. So I go to Church listen to the sermon, worship, pay my tithe and offering…God is blessing me anyways….and that’s it’_ Well thinking this way, we’ve neglected the power of synergy. Just imagine the size of a sugar cube with that of a single ant. By itself the ant would never be able to move the sugar cube. A group of ants certainly would move it to the desired destination. The realization of their goal is due to teamwork.

Category 2: Those of us who serve with impure motive. Reason for serving could be _’I want to be noticed. Pastor needs to know I have what it takes to be here …’ The challenge is we’d get frustrated at some point especially if the expectations and the purpose to which we’re serving are not met. To the extent that some of us could leave the Church because we’re not assigned a leadership role. What I call ‘Career-Progression-Approach’ to Service. We need to understand that the employment progression in God’s kingdom is not measured in this pattern. In fact one might be called for same assignment from day 1 till his last breath.

Category 3: Those who serve with genuine heart. Sincerely, only ‘The Employer’ knows those in this category. They’re called faithful servants. They’re not bothered about rendering ‘eye service’. They’re not moved by the Pastor’s promotions. This is because they’ve come to a higher understanding of who their ‘employer’ is – The Head of the Church HIMSELF – Christ.

Again we must remind ourselves that ‘being in a department’ is not the same as ’serving in a department’. Though some feel they don’t have to belong to any department in order to serve I believe there’s so much synergy in united efforts.

No one else can sing your song. No one else can decorate the sanctuary the way you do. No one can teach the children like you do…You’re so gifted! And lives depend on these things. That sister’s heart was about to be healed if only you’d serve. That brother’s need could have been met if only you’d serve. We may not appreciate the importance of our service to the Body of Christ until we see ‘The Great Employer’ face to face when He’ll be giving out rewards. May we serve faithfully and may we not miss our rewards. May our strength be renewed in Christ.

Ref: Colossians 3:23-24, Colossians 3:23, 1 Timothy 1:12, Deuteronomy 28:47-48, Matthew 20:1-24:51

You’re blessed

Joshua

 

 

7 Ways To Praise – A Simple Teaching On Worship

-Written by theworshipcommunity

7worship

 

If you’ve been around modern worship, the ccm movement, or even a more non-traditional worship environment for any length of time you’re sure to be familiar with the phrase “7 Ways To Praise.” Some of you may remember Carman, a ccm mainstay in the late 80s/early 90s, known for his diverse stylistic approach, penned and recorded a song called 7 Ways 2 Praise that covered this concept.

We know that a lifestyle of worship and/or praise is so much more than just the songs we sing or even the motions we go through in our worship gatherings. That being said, there are seven specific expressions of praise used to convey different “shades” of praise throughout the Bible. When we look at the language that these words were originally written in we see that our English translators basically just popped the word PRAISE in when they could have been a LOT more expressive and accurate.

Think about that! Each time you see the word PRAISE, throughout the Psalms for example, it might be one of seven different word pictures (meanings).

Going through these in an interactive teaching style makes a great “worship teaching” for children, youth, and most of all for adults! Whenever I do this teaching, there are always a good number of people who come up and thank me for the information and convey something to the effect of they never realized that all this was in the Bible.

It’s not something that we’re going to build an altar to, base our doctrine on, or even make a denomination out of, but it is something that can enrich the lives of your congregants. And if you deliver it in a casual, interactive way, something that they will take home with them and apply in their own repertoire of outward worship expressions.

The key is to get your people to engage in what you’re doing. The simplest way to do that is to have them act out each expression of praise. Sounds threatening, right? Maybe in some environments, but the key is to just approach it casually and have good examples on hand so that they can also visualize the expression of praise.

I suggest just going down the list and hitting each expression for just a few minutes. There’s SEVEN of them so be mindful of your time frame! With a little creativity and good illustrations this could be a great one Sunday message in between series or at a camp or retreat or even for your worship team!

1) Yadah (yaw-daw’) 3034:
This means to show reverence or praise with extended hands. The word pictures associated with the root words for this type of praise is shooting an arrow or throwing a rock. It literally means to extend the hands, or to shoot and arrow.

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 42:5, The Dedication of The Temple in 2 Chronicles 7uses this expression of praise (visualize Levites blowing the trumpets and calling everyone to worship and the “praise” that everyone is expressing is through standing and lifted hands).

So when we share this with our people we get them to visualize a small child who wants to be picked up. They extend their hands high above their heads in a sign of surrender and desire to be held. You could also use the image of throwing or shooting your praise outwardly to God instead of holding it in. Have your people lift or extend their hands.

2) Towdah (to-daw’) 8426:
This word is very similar to yadah, but has a slightly different flavor. It means to show agreement with by extending the right hand. In today’s society the closest thing we have is a handshake to seal a deal or pact. The idea is that it is usually associated with sacrifice (specifically things given up to show thankfulness to God).

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 50:23 (the thank offering NIV, KJV uses the phrase praiseth)

When we share this, we get them to visualize offering our thanks to God (and our agreement with His promises) by visualizing the extended hand. You could use a handshake, if so have people imagine they are shaking hands with God. Or you could have people lift their hands (similar to the yadah, but instead of surrender the underlying notion is thankfulness and agreement).

3) Barak (baw-rak’) 1288:
This flavor of praise is one that we commonly see around altars. It means to kneel down. It means to bow low as a sign of adoration and reverence. It carries with it the idea of humbling yourself to a place that is lower than the recipient of your worship (God).

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 95:6 (expresses this idea literally); Psalm 103 (uses the phrase “bless the Lord” to convey this expression)

This one might be the most physically “uncomfortable” expression to have people do, but you can have people stand up and bow or kneel right where they are. I also like to have people think about a royal court of years gone by. Have them answer what would be the first thing you’d do before approaching the throne to have an audience with a king or queen. You would bow low as a sign of reverence and deference to their power. The same applies here: we bow and kneel to outwardly express our awareness of God’s greatness.

4) Tehillah (tel-hil-law’) 8416:
This type of praise is singing, but not just any type of singing. It’s the singing that bubbles up from our hearts. It’s a spontaneous type of singing. These songs are unrehearsed and unprepared. They are straight to God.

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 22:3 (these are the types of “praises” that God enthrones or inhabits, which is interesting because it’s so specific: God literally lives in the SPONTANEOUS praises of His people!); Psalm 33:1 (this type of praise is “fitting” for God’s people, or it literally makes them “look good”); When Isaiah talks about trading garments of ashes and mourning for garments of joy and praise, the word praise their literally means SPONTANEOUS praises!)

This is also a tough one to get people to just do because of the spontaneous nature of it. But you could have everyone on the count of three to stand up and just blurt out a praise to God! That would illustrate it. It would be coordinated, but each person would be “praising” spontaneously.

5) Zamar (zaw-mar’) 2167:
This literally means to pluck the strings, to celebrate in song and music. Basically it’s probably the most common form of “praise” we have across the world in our churches. It’s just singing songs put to music. What’s neat about it though, is that it can also refer to JUST PLAYING, as well. It is usually translated as “sing praises.”

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 150 (this psalm illustrates a picture of instrumental worship).

A fun way to illustrate this is to have everyone clap together (playing their five fingered instruments!). There’s not much needed to illustrate this form of praise though, because it is so prevalent in our churches. Our regular Sunday Setlists are filled with ZAMAR.

6) Halal (haw-lal’) 1984:
This might be one of the most “fun” forms of praise because it requires one to step outside of “dignity” for a moment. It means to be clamorously foolish. To boast. To shine. This is the kind of praise that David exhibited when he danced for joy at the return of the Ark of The Covenant to Israel. It’s also the form of praise that prompted his wife to ridicule him for his lack of dignity.

This is also where we get the word Halellujah from. It literally means “Praise the Lord” but even more literally it means to BE CLAMOROUSLY FOOLISH unto the Lord! This includes dancing and laughing and leaping and twirling before the Lord, but it also (and probably more accurately) includes the state of the heart before God. A heart that is turned towards God and not afraid to BOAST in and of God is a “halal” heart. Halal is not only demonstrative praise, but can also be the force behind any of these other forms of praise. You can sing or shout or even play an instrument as a halal.

Scriptures to reference: This word appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. 1 Chronicles 16:4 (there were actual appointed musicians to “halal” before the Lord);Nehemiah 12:24 (an example of call and response halal)

7) Shabach (Shaw-bakh’) 7623:
Are you ready to get loud? Shabach means to address in a loud tone. It’s typically associated with freedom or triumph. But it’s more than just a loud shout, it’s the idea of putting everything you have into it. An attitude of wholehearted praise.

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 63:3-4 (We typically look at this psalm as soft cry of thirst in a dry place, but the words in these verses literally mean to SHOUT praises!)

This is pretty simple to illustrate. Ask people to stand up and shout a phrase (Hallelujah or Praise the Lord works great) together on the count of three! Encourage them to view it as a wholehearted expression of praise. One of the best comparisons for this is the spontaneous, electric cheers and yells that fans at a sporting event utter when something good happens to their team.

***

Well, there ya have it! You could distill this into a quick and easy message to help your people visualize different expressions of praise. I’ve had great success teaching this message to students, youth and college, and adult gatherings. If you’re really bold and your leadership sees the value in TEACHING your people expressions of praise, you might even be able to do a 2-3 week series on praise!

Another good idea is to cover this message in small groups, where people can interact with one another and discuss each expression more in detail.

Hope this blesses you!

Why are we here?

By Michael Batley (centralpc.org)

Comedian Jackie Mason said, “I see life as a dance. Does a dance have to have meaning? You’re dancing because you enjoy it.”

Actor Leonard Nimoy said, “I find the question- why are we here”, now this is Leonard Nimoy who played Spock on Star Trek and he said, “I find the question why are we here typically human. I suggest, are we here to be the more logical choice?” Thank you Leonard. Thank you.

Paleontologist Steven Gould, maybe unfortunately said this, “We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures because the earth never froze over entirely, and the Ice Age because a small and tenuous species arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago has managed so far by hook and by crook to survive. We may yearn for a higher explanation, but none exists.”

I don’t know about you, but I can only take so much of that before I have to re-center myself with more dedicated theologians. It is then that I reach for one of my favorite books, this little book called Children’s Letters to God. I don’t know if you have seen it. These are actually children’s letters to God, six, seven and eight year olds as they pen their concerns or cares or their thoughts or questions to God.

Like Jane who is seven said, “Dear God, in Sunday School they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on vacation?”

Or Joyce, “Dear God, thanks for the baby brother, but I prayed for a puppy.”

Allison writes, “Dear God, I read the Bible. What does begat mean? Nobody will tell me.”

Or Anita, with a little concern here. “Dear God, is it true that my father won’t get into heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?”

Nan, getting a little transparent here, she is just six, what can you expect? “Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four in my family and I can’t do it.”

But here is by far, my favorite. “Dear God, it rained for our whole vacation and boy is my Dad mad. He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyways. Signed, your friend, but I am not telling you who I am.” That’s awesome!

And then finally Nora, “Dear God, I don’t ever feel alone since I found out about you.”

See these kids seem to recognize automatically that God exists and he is a rewarder of those who seek him. They go to him for help, security, and just because they know he cares. What a great picture.

One of the famous people quoted in that Life Magazine article is Mortimer Adler; he is a philosopher who came to Christ late in his life. When asked about the question about what the meaning of life is he said, “The question is not why am I here, but how should we live our lives?” So our first step is maybe to take a cue from this learned man and also say, if I was made by God for God, if I understand anything at all about his character, his majesty, his pursuing love for me, even in a general sense, my first response should be to give my life to him. That initial offering of our lives is our first act of worship and it’s a picture of how our lives need to be continually offered to him in worship.

Back in January of 1982, I had a chance to worship God for the first time myself. I was a sophomore, second semester in college at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, originally from Wisconsin, hader, hodar, go Packers. And I was pursuing what I thought would fill me in life, and the more I pursued, the more hollow I felt, and it never crossed my mind that it was anything spiritual because I had kind of been there, done that. So I came back that second semester in my sophomore year knowing that I needed to finish out that semester, but thinking, I just got to get some other answers, and maybe I got to switch my major or change schools. So I am sitting in my next-door neighbor’s room, a guy named John Sweetlan who was my RA and I was asking him, “What did you do over Christmas break?” Pretty typical question. And he started to tell me about this Christmas conference he had gone to with Campus Crusade and the more he talked about it, it was like, oh my gosh, I missed a great time. So I said to him, “Sweets, why didn’t you invite me to go?” And he said, “Well Mike and he kind of hemmed and hauled. It was a Christian conference.” He didn’t think I would be interested in that. Which, he was true. And I said, “Oh come on John, give me a break, I am a Christian. I mean I believe in God. I go to church kinda. I am an American,” which I thought was the resume. And thank goodness John had the courage to say, “You know Mike, the Bible is a little more straight forward about who and what it calls a Christian.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, you need to have a personal relationship with God.” And I have never heard that phrase before and I said, “What?” He said, “Well, do you have about 20 minutes?” I said, “Sure.” So he pulls out this little yellow booklet called The Four Spiritual Laws, maybe you have seen it. This is a straight forward verbatim how to become a Christian and John, I didn’t’ know this, I found out later, had only come to Christ himself about three months prior, so all he knew to do was read the book. So, he literally read me the book. I swear he read me the copyright information at the end. He just read me the book, and for me that was the most personal, the most, I mean it was like someone was watching my life and the hand penned that for me because I was ready by God to worship him.

Romans 12:1 reads, “Therefore I urge you brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” So offering your bodies, your very self to God in your conversion was your first true act of worship. So therefore continuing to offer your bodies, your very self to God everyday, is true worship. It is simply our number one priority of our lives. It’s the most important thing that we can do as human beings. We find our reason for existing, in worshipping Him. To worship God is to get the equation of life right.

But, unfortunately, worship lately has been misunderstood. It’s been clouded over. As Rick Warren in his book and you will read this in the chapters this week, says that worship lately has gotten to be defined by music, and sometimes even by a style of music. And when we do that, we do a great disservice to the greater issue about worship. And because you will read the Rick Warren quotes, I don’t need to go into that in detail, but I want to share an amazing quote to you about this. It’s from Michael Hamilton, who is the coordinator of The Pew’s Scholars program and concurrent assistant professor of history at University of Notre Dame. I think this is one of the best quotes I have ever read on the issue of music and its place in our life of worship, and particularly music in this context of the worship service. Listen to this.

“The Bible has four different gospels. No single one of them tells us the whole truth about the life of Jesus. Likewise, no single musical style brings to full flower more than a few of the many possibilities of communing with God. It is said that when King George II of England heard Handels Hallelujah chorus for the first time, it was not the glory of the music that to the astonishment of the audience pulled him to his feet. It was rather the glory of the Lord surging through the conduit of music and it is much the same” He goes on to write here. “When my neighbor Elise Hudson lay in a coma for several days, she responded to no one, not even her closest family members until her pastor sat beside her and softly sang the simple gospel songs that she had sung all her life. The power of God surged through that music also to the astonishment of the hospice workers waking her one last time before she went home to be with the Lord.” Hamilton goes on to write, “It is fruitless to search for a single musical style or even any blend of musical styles that can assist all Christians in true worship. The followers of Jesus are a far too diverse group of people, which is exactly how it should be. We need rather to welcome any worship music that helps churches produce disciples of Jesus Christ.”

So, I hope that makes this issue clearer for us. If we are to worship God correctly we need to do it in a way that brings Him pleasure. For worship is for Him, but in doing it we find ourselves. For us to grow in true worship, we need to take a lesson from a lonely harlot. Would you follow along with me as I read in the Gospel of John, Chapter 4? Grab a pew Bible if you want. And I am specifically going to read from verses 15-24 of John 4. But I will give you some background first. Jesus was up north in Israel preaching, but he was getting all sorts of resistance from the Pharisee’s. So he decided to head south. Now, for most Jews, if not all Jews, in order to get from north to south they had to walk the long way around Samaria because they wouldn’t go through it. But the scripture in this passage says that Jesus had to go through Samaria, almost as if he knew there was a divine appointment waiting for him. Sure enough he shows up in the Samarian village around noon, hot part of the day, and he stops by a well to get a drink. We would all do the same. No one is there except a single woman and the reason why she is there alone is that she does not want to be seen by anybody else. No one goes to the well at the hot part of the day. You either go in the morning when it is cool or in the early evening when it is cool, but she is there in the middle of the day. They strike up a conversation. She is amazed that not only a man would talk to her, but a Jewish man. And they begin to talk about this water. She keeps coming at it like, yeah, give me water so I don’t have to come here anymore and Jesus keeps coming at it that he has eternal water that can slake the thirst of her soul. So let’s pick up in verse 15.

“The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, that you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Now, there is the nugget that we must get. That the Samaritan woman, who had five husbands, and was living with another man understood. True worshipers; worship in spirit and in truth. Kind of like balanced wings on a plane. So let’s take on the first one first – to worship in spirit is the affair of the heart. Now, let me ask you this. Are you ever amazed at the length that some people will go to be Raven’s fans? I mean, it’s unbelievable what grown men will wear, what they will put on their bodies, even paint on their bodies, for a team. Now let me set up a scenario for you. It’s late in the season. Raven’s need a win. They are playing the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s late in the game with about a minute left,75 yards to a touchdown. The ball is snapped from the center, a pitch out is made, tackles are broken and the guy streaks for 75 yards. You watch this happen, and you just sit there. You don’t say anything. You don’t do anything, you just watch it happen. What are you kidding me? You are up, you are like whoa! Yeah! You are embracing perfect strangers. You’re spilling your beverages on people around you. You are high fiving people. You know, in other words you are worshipping in spirit. Spontaneous worship erupts out of you in that moment.

Pastor John Piper says this in his book, Desiring God, “Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God, the radiance of his worth.” Let me say that again. “Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of his worth.” As our heart is captured by who God is, what he has created, how he works, that his purposes are always good. What he sacrificed for me and you and how he pursues us in love even at this moment, it moves me. It makes me grateful, happy, joyful, glad and I want to reflect that back to him in worship. My heart spontaneously overflows in joy. You know where this consistently happens to me truly is when I go in to my boy’s room at night. I have four boys, from 10 to 4, and at night when they are all asleep they are quiet. They are not moving. They are not wrecking anything. No fights are breaking out and they are beautiful. And inside me, and not sought by me in any way, I get this welling up of joy and I just have to say to God, “What did I do to deserve this? What an amazing blessing these boys are. Thank you God.” And I have to worship. I have to high five God in that moment. To not do it there is like sitting on your hands at that point in the game. I would again say that in that moment, worship, that spontaneous worship, completes that moment and that experience for me. Only in my boy’s bedroom, that’s worship that actually matters. So worshipping God in spirit you have to open up your heart to him. You have to see him as the only true source that can truly make you glad and that in him is fullness of gladness.

This Purpose Driven, “Why am I here?” question was actually tackled very well 100 years ago or so by the Westminster Catechism, which states, and you probably don’t even know it.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

But I agree with Pastor John Piper who says this, “and” like sometimes I get to glorify him and sometimes I get to enjoy him, no, no it says, “chief end of man, not the chief ends.” Let’s just say that,

The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy. I want to be glad. The good news is, God wants that for us too. To find him to be the source of happiness in our life or as philosopher Blaze Pascal said, “Happiness can be found neither in ourselves nor in external things, but in God and ourselves as united to him.”

Now, we have this great choice of seeking God for things that I think can make me happy or I can settle for seeking God himself. But friends, we do need to consider what we do settle for. What safe pleasures we do embrace. And we need to know that these things are the moral enemies of true spirit worship. Listen to this quote by C.S. Lewis. See if it resonates with you at all.

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us,like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at sea. We are far to easily pleased.”

Or as John Piper put it,

“The great hindrance to worship is not that we are pleasure seeking people, not at all, but that we are willing to settle for such pitiful pleasures. We have settled for a home, a family, a few friends, a job, a television, a microwave oven, an occasional night out, a yearly vacation, a new laptop computer. We have accustomed ourselves to such meager, short lived pleasures that our capacity for joy has shriveled and therefore our capacity for true worship has shriveled. Many can scarcely imagine what is meant by “a holiday at sea”- worshipping the living God.”

Somehow, and I do this, I forget. I need to remember that I forget that we lose sight of the great feast that worship is. This losing of sight comes as we don’t worship in truth. There is the other wing of that plane. For they must be in balance truth and spirit. So the affair of the mind is to worship in truth. Now I know even for my short time being here at Central that this place values at an amazing level the revealed word of God. That God’s word here at Central is deeply respected, loved and followed. Your adoration for God’s word, his truth is wonderful and I thank you for it. It’s what Jesus was talking about when he had his conversation with that Samaritan woman at the well, as well. It’s this very ongoing growing love and knowledge of God’s word that is the fuel for the fire of spirit worship or worship in the spirit.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:8, speaking of the Jewish leaders, “These people they honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me.” Now there is a picture of truth, but no spirit. Their hearts were far away. Equally bad is spirit with no truth. For Paul says in Romans 10: 1 and 2, “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing in my heart and my prayer to God is that the Jewish people might be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal.” Here we have zeal and enthusiasm, but it is not anchored in truth. So again, they cannot worship. But we need to have our worship centered in truth, the truth about God again about his character, his work, his story, his pursuit and the rich truth about his son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen to these words from Jonathan Edwards about Jesus and the truth about who he is and it will make you want to worship.

“We must see and feel the incomparable excellency of the Son of God. Incomparable because in him meet infinite glory and lowest humility,infinite majesty and transcendent meekness, deepest reverence towardGod and equality with God, infinite worthiness of good and greatest patience to suffer evil, supreme dominion and exceeding obedience,divine self sufficiency and childlike trust.”

Man. Who wants to worship? But wait, like the two wings of the plane, they need to be linked to something. To worship in spirit and truth is only the “how” part of worship. We need to ask what do we worship with? And, the what, is our lives. Again, Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore I urge you brothers, by these mercies of God, these things we just heard, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” We need to offer all of us – all of ourselves – to God in worship. Instead of worshiping with our hearts in love to God when we learn or hear truth about him, we need to worship in service to others, so they can catch a whiff of the aroma of that same Jesus that we came in contact with. We need to worship with our giving of tithes and offerings, our money, so that’s a thank you back to God for all he has given us. We need to worship with our obedience that our following him is an attitude of gratitude. We need to worship with our lips by telling others how they can know this great savior that moves us. And yes we need to sing our fool heads off. But not just here. We need to sing a melody with our lives. Let your life be a pleasing song to God.

One of the series of books that I love reading to my boys has been The Chronicles of Narnia. And in the 7th book, the last one, it’s called The Last Battle. Lewis has one of his characters say this short but power-filled line. “There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious.”

God is both that happiness and wonder. Let us be serious worshippers.

 

Quotes on Worship

The whole person, with all his senses, with both mind and body, needs to be involved in genuine worship.” Jerry Kerns


“The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.” C.S. Lewis


“When God’s people begin to praise and worship Him using the Biblical methods He gives, the Power of His presence comes among His people in an even greater measure.” Graham Truscott


“God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.” Charles H. Spurgeon


“Without worship, we go about miserable.” A. W. Tozer


“‘A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you.” Manley Beasley


“We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God.” C. S. Lewis


“If we are going to worship in Spirit, we must develop a spirit of worship.” Michael Catt


“As worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. Holy obedience saves worship from becoming an opiate, an escape from the pressing needs of modern life.” Richard Foster


“Worship changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped” Jack Hayford


“As John 4:23 says, Its time, as worshipers of God, to give him all we have. For when he is exalted, everything about me is decreased. So many times we stand in the way of really stepping into the secret place of worship with God. Just abandon tradition and the “expected” ways of Praise & Worship and get lost in the holy of holies with the sole intention of blessing the Fathers heart.” Jessica Leah Springer


“When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.” Lamar Boschman


“Worship is first and foremost for His benefit, not ours, though it is marvelous to discover that in giving Him pleasure, we ourselves enter into what can become our richest and most wholesome experience in life.” p.58 “A Heart For Worship” by Lamar Boschman Graham Kendrick


“Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God tailor-made our bodies, souls and spirits to work together in consonance to produce pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express praise, that which is internal becomes visible.” p.60 “A Heart For Worship” by Lamar Boschman Don McMinn


“How quickly we forget what it’s all about. We can get so strategic that we worship so our church will grow, not because He is worthy. But we’re doing all this because God is worthy and we want to worship Him.” Tommy Walker


“The first element in worship is adoration. The Hebrews expressed this by their posture and not alone my their word. For they prostrated themselves before God. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. They did not come with an easy familiarity into the presence of God, but were aware of his greatness and majesty, and came with a sense of privilege to His house.” H.H. Rowley”Worship in Ancient Israel” p. 257 H.H. Rowley


“It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.” C.S. Lewis


“Whenever His people gather and worship Him, God promises He will make His presence known in their midst. On the other hand, where God’s people consistently neglect true spiritual worship, His manifest presence is rarely experienced.” Ralph Mahoney


“Surely that which occupies the total time and energies of heaven must be a fitting pattern for earth.” Paul E. Billheimer


“When we worship together as a community of living Christians, we do not worship alone, we worship ‘with all the company of heaven.'” Marianne H. Micks


“If there is one characteristic more than others that contemporary public worship needs to recapture it is this awe before the surpassingly great and gracious God.” Henry Sloane Coffin


“The time has come for a revival of public worship as the finest of the fine arts…While there is a call for strong preaching there is even a greater need for uplifting worship.” Andrew W. Blackwood

Influence [Edition 0001000]

Andrea  Crouch

Andraé Edward Crouch was born in San Francisco, California. His father, Benjamin Crouch, had a street ministry, and ministered in hospitals and prison. Andrae was eleven years old when his father was invited to preach at a small church in a farming community. The church didn’t have a pastor so the bishop invited Andrae’s father to become the pastor. That first Sunday, Andrae’s father asked him to come up front. He said, “Andrae, if God gave you the gift of music to play and sing for him would you do it for his glory all your life?” Andrae said, “Yeah daddy.” A couple of weeks later, his father asked him to come up as the congregation was singing. He said, “If you’re gonna play, play.” Andrae found the key, and started to play the piano. As he got a little older, he started to write songs, and lead a choir. Until he was fourteen, he had a stuttering problem so he let his sister talk for him in public.

Crouch’s first group was the Church of God in Christ Singers (COGICS) in 1960, which included Billy Preston. The COGICS were the first group to record the song “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”While attending Valley Junior College in California for a career in teaching, he was called to the ministry and formed The Disciples in 1965, along with Perry Morgan, and Bili Thedford. The group became a frequent attraction at “Monday Night Sing” concerts in southern California put on by promoter Audrey Meier. Meier would introduce Crouch to Tim Spencer of Manna Music Publishing who would be the first to publish one of his songs (“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” which was written by Andrae at age 15 but tossed in the trash because he thought it poor. Sister Sandra thought differently and salvaged it.)

In turn, Spencer helped launch their recording career by introducing the group to Light Records founder Ralph Carmichael. Sherman Andrus and Reuben Fernandez were added to the group in time to record their first album, Take the Message Everywhere, in 1968. They were subsequently replaced by Andrae’s twin sister Sandra in 1970. Sherman Andrus went on to join the Imperials. In 1972, singer Danniebelle Hall, trumpeter Fletch Wiley, Harlan Rogers and drummer Bill Maxwell joined the Disciples. Many support singers, Kathy Hazzard, Bea Carr, and James Felix were part of the Disciples entourage. In 1996, Crouch’s songs were the impetus for the Grammy Award- winning CD, Tribute: The Songs of Andraé Crouch (released on Warner Bros. Records), which featured a range of artists performing some of his classic songs including, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Take 6 and Michael W. Smith. In 2006, Crouch released Mighty Wind, a 40th anniversary album featuring guest performances by Marvin Winans, Crystal Lewis, Karen Clark Sheard, and Lauren Evans.

Andraé Crouch was a key figure in the Jesus Music movement of the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, helped bring about contemporary Christian music, and began to bridge the gap between black and white Christian music. Though sometimes criticized for diluting the Gospel message by using contemporary styles, his songs have become staples in churches all around the world and recorded by mainstream artists such as Elvis Presley and Paul Simon.

Crouch is also credited with revolutionizing the sound of urban Gospel music. Crouch was instrumental in bringing Walter and Tramaine Hawkins, Jessy Dixon and The Winans to Light Records, all enjoying successful gospel music careers. His influence has extended to countless artists like BeBe and CeCe Winans, The Clark Sisters, Wintley Phipps, Anointed and Israel Houghton.

Source: wikipedia

Musicians | Money | Ministry

Paying Church Musicians? We all have our views. However I would not want to limit my discussion to personal thoughts on this subject. From recent research, a number of church musicians shared their best reasons for and against paying musicians in their churches.

VIEW 1:

Some believe that music is a ministry therefore; it must be done with volunteers. There always seems to be someone available who will play the organ or direct the choir in the weekly anthem. And as we would expect every member to offer their time and talents to the work of ministry in the church, so we also are musicians expected to support the ministry. For example ‘Sunday school teachers are not paid…neither do elders or deacons.’.

VIEW 2:

There are other churches which maintain a prestigious standard of either classical or pop Christian music. They expect to pay a salary to maintain the standard repertoire of vocal, choral and organ music. Often some large churches even employ choral and instrumental arrangers on their music staff because they do a great deal of original music in their churches. The music budget is often quite large to make certain that this great tradition continues. These set of group uses the scripture about the workman ‘being worthy of his hire’ In addition, they believe that when a person is paid, the church has a right to expect a higher level of commitment.

I’d like to hear your view on this subject.

News

‘I AM WITH YOU’ – (Released Oct 2016)

IMG_5729This song, my Mum’s favourite, is dedicated to everyone going through the storms of life. Remember ‘Every flower must grow through dirt’ and what you are going through is a ‘journey’ and not yet your ‘destination’. For weeping only endures for a night, your joy comes in the morning. GOD is with you…“fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness”

Download on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby [Watch the video]

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The album ‘PRAYER OF JOSHUA’ – Reviewed by Keren Perrott (Cross Rhythms)

‘London-based Tosh is undoubtedly a talented singer/songwriter and musician and this, his second collection of contemporary and worshipful African-inspired gospel grooves, is a consistently solid offering. The majority of the album is decidedly upbeat and Tosh kicks straight into two well crafted praise tracks, both backed by a high calibre chorus of singers providing just the right degree of depth to “Love Me So Much” and “I Have A Father”. One of the standout tracks, “Push”, has enjoyed significant airplay on a number of US TV channels and a well produced video has received thousands of hits. If you like the video, you will love the extended (nine minutes plus!) album version, packed full of praise and calypso rhythms. “Everything Will Be Alright” and “Prayer Of Joshua Tosh” take the pace down a notch but the groove never really departs and the album finishes on an unequivocally uptempo note’

Grab a copy! | PUSH! 2012 Ticket | Advertise your biz @ PUSH! 2012
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Do you need Musicians, singers, bands for your services or special events? Or you’d like to organise training sessions for your choir/worship team? We can connect you to the right individual(s) that meet your criteria. Simply tell us your requirements.

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