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Showing posts from July, 2010

Worship Is A Big Deal: Part 3 by Tullian Tchividjian

(See part 1 & 2 on previous blog posts.)
In the opening verses of Isaiah 6, what the prophet encounters first in the house of God is the glory of God: “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple” (v.1). It doesn’t first say he encountered well-dressed people or hot coffee or influential power brokers or a booming sound system or a great organ. What he caught site of first was God’s glory.There’s a growing trend in some churches to offer door prizes to any returning visitor. One church visited recently by a friend of mine promised him a ten-dollar Starbucks gift card if he came back the following week.Isaiah shows us the door prize that awaited him when he walked into the house of God—the uncomfortable, wrecking presence of God’s glory: “Woe is me!” (v.5).In the Bible, the glory of God refers to God’s “heaviness,” his powerful presence. It’s God’s prevailing excellence on display. The glory of God is the “augustn…

Quotes to Ponder

It has been awhile since I posted some quotes from the books I am reading. Currently, I am reading Collaborate, Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys, and A Certain Risk.

Here are a few quotes to make you think:

From Collaborate (multiple authors)

"What the church can do best is communicate and execute a clear strategy that equips both parent and church to fulfill their God-designed roles."

"Find a way to build a common path for church and home for the sake of the next generation."

From A Certain Risk (Paul Richardson)

"He was confident that if God had given him a dream to reach those kids, then God would also provide the means to reach them."

"Be assured that for every barrier you encounter, He has already created a solution."

"As the Spirit opens our eyes, the everyday course of our lives becomes an adventure of innovation."

"Grace dares us to open our eyes and dream greater dreams. Dreams that are born in faith and that challenge the …

Worship Is A Big Deal: Part 2 by Tullian Tchividjian

(This post is part 2 in a series on corporate worship that I began a few days ago.)

Contrary to what many modern people believe, we can’t approach God any way we please. Trying to do so is extremely dangerous, as the Bible makes clear (see Cain, Nadab, and Abihu, for example). In the Bible, God provides us with commands, instructions, examples, and stories to illustrate how he wants us to worship him. Our worship, therefore, is to be regulated by God himself through his Word.

The often misunderstood “regulative principle” of worship simply means we must worship by the Book—that everything we do in worship must be divinely approved.

During the Protestant Reformation, two views emerged regarding how Sola Scriptura ought to be understood when it comes to worship practices. Martin Luther believed we could do anything we want in worship as long as the Bible doesn’t say “no”—whatever is not prohibited is permitted. John Calvin believed we can’t do anything in worship unless the Bible says “yes…

Worship Is A Big Deal : Part 1 by Tullian Tchividjian

As you have read before, I have been challenged much by Tullian Tchividjian. Here is a multi-part series on worship that I will be posting over the next few days. Hope you enjoy & are challenged too!

(Today I begin a multi-part series of posts on corporate worship: what it is and why it’s important)

At sixteen I dropped out of high school. And because my lifestyle had become so disruptive to the rest of the household (I’m the middle of seven children), my grieving parents had no choice but to kick me out of the house.

Having successfully freed myself from the constraints of teachers and parents, I could now live every young guy’s dream. No one to look over my shoulder, no one to breathe down my neck, no one to tell me what I could and couldn’t do. I was finally free—or so I thought.

My newfound freedom had me chasing the things of this world harder than most others my age. I sought acceptance, affection, meaning, and respect behind every worldly tree and under every worldly rock. Th…

Highs from last few days

I have had several great things occur over the last few days that I wanted to update all of you. First of all, I enjoyed our time at Harvey County East Lake on Saturday, July 17th. It was hot! But enjoyed playing with the kids and others from our church family. Smores were a great way to end our day even if the chocolate was a melty mess. Then on Sunday, we had our worship service at Harvey County East at Coronado Cove Shelter. It was hot again! But we had a great time of worship and baptism. I had the privilege of baptizing Travis Hershberger and my son, Mitchell. What a joy as a pastor and father! Hopefully, I can post some pictures soon on here or facebook.

After the worship service, we headed to Iola, KS where I served as Associate Pastor at First Christian Church. They were dedicating their new church on Oregon Road. It was great to see everyone again. The church looked good. It was the first time for me to see it except on paper. I was very involved in some of the …

Keep Praying

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2

I read these words as part of my daily Bible reading yesterday. They really resonated with me personally as well as in ministry. However, I discovered today that I actually read the wrong book. I was supposed to read 1 Thessalonians, but instead read Colossians. So, I think the Holy Spirit directed me to this passage for a reason.

As I read these words, I think about my church. About 3 months ago, I challenged the congregation to pray faithfully during our transition and search for a lead pastor. I hope this challenge is being followed through on. However, I know myself and know I sometimes forget so I am going to post again the prayer guidelines that I shared on May 2nd. Please be praying for Hesston MB church and know that Satan likes to create chaos and problems during transitions such as this.

Before I post the insert, a couple of quick observations. First, we are to devote ourselves to p…

God is so good!

As you may know, we have had two offers on our house in Iola this weekend. We actually heard from a third who was still interested as well. Things are still moving forward and we hope for all payments and paperwork to be signed by this weekend. Praise God!

However, God continues to provide in amazing and unexpected ways. I received a gift today in the amount of our monthly rent. The individuals felt "convicted" (their word) to provide this gift to our family. I was blown away. I had already believed God had provided in an awesome way with multiple offers. But God exceeds our expectations. Ephesians 3:20-21 says, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." God truly provides in ways that we cannot comprehend. Even though, it was unexpected and left me speechless, I thank God…

Practical Ideas for Family Worship by Tim Smith

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Practical Ideas for Family Worship
Tim SmithWorship Pastor at Mars Hill ChurchIn my previous post, I spoke of the importance of regular times of family worship. I have three daughters aged 5, 6, and 8, and I have failed as much as succeeded. Here are a few things I've learned:1. Keep it shortI would recommend 15-30 minutes, as a general rule. If things are going well, you can always keep the conversation going, but the goal should be brevity. If you make a discussion too long, it will become tedious and can actually turn your kids away from God. This time should be an overflow of all the Scripture, prayer, and discussion going on in the rest of your lives—not the only place where it happens. 2. ReadMost importantly, family worship is a time for Scripture. Make sure to read small chunks, maybe only a verse or two, at a time and then unpack it together. You can go through a book of the Bible, pick a verse that applies to the day’s events, or choose something topical. The …

Two Offers

Well, we have had quite the journey in relation to selling our house in Iola. We have been trying to sell the home since September 2008. God has provided through renters over the last 20 months. He has also provided through unusual gifts of cash, meat, and opportunities for fun. God was faithful in getting us to Hesston and worked everything out so wonderfully including finding a great home, easy transition for kids to school, smooth move, and a great church family and community to live in. The one thing left: selling the house.

We feel confident that is about to occur. Another thing I should mention is that we have not had a realtor over this entire time. Would that have made the sale happen quicker? Maybe. But we did not feel after much prayer, that was the direction we were to go. A few months ago when our last renter had informed their plans of moving out, I considered getting a realtor again. But before doing it, Bethany and I prayed. We prayed that if were to not hire…

Highs of the Week

Here are my highs from the past week:
4th of July in Yates CenterSupper at Applebee's with my parents on TuesdayOur new to us TV from my parents which we finally got to the basementGod Provides Bible StudyPlaying noon basketball again
WipeoutSeveral phone calls about the house including at least two possibly three serious inquiries. One is talking with the bank, the other working on an offer, and the third might pay cash after working out some details with back pay.Watching Mitchell play tennisDate night for Bethany's early birthday. We ate a late supper (8:30) at Red Robin, went to Target, and then to Freddy's for dessert (about 10). Steve & Shirley kept the kids overnight.
Quiet morning on Saturday so I mowed the yard and did some various yard projects.

Freedom

As 4th of July approaches, we begin to think about the freedoms we have as a country. We live in a great country. We truly are blessed in so many ways. I know my kids enjoy shooting fireworks off at grandma's house. Unfortunately, Bethany and I are cheap and don't buy them fireworks. Maybe when they get older. We will worship at Hesston MB on Sunday and then head to Yates Center for the afternoon and evening for fireworks and most of the day on Monday. Both Bethany and I have to be back for Monday night meetings.

Even better than our freedom as a country is our freedom in Christ. Think about these verses:

2 Corinthians 3:17 says, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Romans 8:1-2 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

Have a safe and fun 4th of July! Remember to…