pretty destruction

•February 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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“It’s scary how destruction can be so pretty.”
That was the comment I recieved from a friend when I posted this
picture on my facebook profile recently. So very true in so many ways.

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music monday . . . CLEAR THE STAGE

•February 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

CLEAR THE STAGE, Ross King

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze if that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols — Jerk the pews and all the decorations too until the congregation’s few then have revival — Tell your friends that this is where the party ends until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social — Then seek the Lord and wait for what He has in store and know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

‘Cause you can sing all you want to, yes you can sing all you want to, you can sing all you want to but don’t get me wrong . . . worship is more than a song

Take a break from all the plans that you have made and sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper — Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak and pray for real upon your knees until they blister — Shine the light on every corner of your life until the pride and lust and lies are in the open — Read the Word and put to test the things you’ve heard until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken

‘Cause you can sing all you want to, yes you can sing all you want to, you can sing all you want to but don’t get me wrong . . . worship is more than a song

Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
Anything that I give all my love is an idol
We must not worship something that’s not even worth it
Clear the stage, make some space for the One who deserves it

I can sing all I want to, yes I can sing all I want to, I can sing all I want to and still get it wrong

You can sing all you want to, yes you can sing all you want to, you can sing all you want to and don’t get me wrong . . . worship is more than a song

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze if that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols

shelter from the storm . . . part 1

•February 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

At the beginning of the last week of January, we were hit with an ice storm that has since been reported as the largest natural disaster in Kentucky history. The entire National Guard for the state was called up for crisis management and is still active managing the clean up efforts and making sure people are safe in their homes. Many MANY families are still without power and expect to be for the next couple of weeks. Our city experienced 100% power outage for the first 2 days of the storm; the extent of damage to the power grid here is equal to the damage in New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina. I spent a week in a Red Cross Emergency Shelter housed at a local church. There were about 200 people there with me (35+ are still living there) living with no heat or electricity and only a few lights powered by a generator. I don’t know that anyone there would say it was easy or even pleasant, but we were blessed to be safe and cared for. And regardless of difficulties experienced in that place, there was an incredible reminder in our face at all times . . .

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recommended reading

•February 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever bought a book because you knew you needed to read it but put off reading it because you knew you’d be challenged – and changed – by it?  Well, a little while ago I came across a book that everyone who is serious about committing to a life-long journey of  faith in God should read . . .  STAND: a call for the endurance of the saints.   As I skimmed through the pages I was immediately captured by the penetrating words of truth and encouragement and I knew this was a book that I needed.  I purchased it and added it to the top of my stack of ongoing reads.  The book is fairly small and not overly “academic” so I had every intention of reading through it in a relatively short period of time.  But I quickly realized this book should not be read quickly or taken lightly.  I am now reading it slowly, with Bible in hand, allowing the Spirit to do its work.  Here’s a sample of what I encourage you to read for yourself –

We are to be thankful people.  But what about the bad things, the things that we would choose not to have in our lives?  Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances,”  and then he adds “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

How do we do this?  We do it by faith.  We don’t just grit our teeth and say, “Lord, I don’t feel thankful but you said to give thanks so I’m going to give you thanks even though I don’t feel like being thankful.”  That’s not giving thanks.  We do it by faith.  We do it by trusting in the promises of God.  We do it by faith in the words of God through Paul in Romans 8:28-29, where he says “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.”  And then he defines the good in verse 29 as being conformed to the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is what God is after.  He wants to conform us to the likeness of Christ; so he brings or allows these various circumstances, circumstances that we ourselves would not choose.  He brings them into our lives because he wants to use those circumstances in his way to conform us more and more to the likeness of Christ.  And so by faith we can say, “Lord, I do not know what particular purpose you have in this difficulty or this pain, this trial.  But you said you will use it to conform me more and more to Jesus Christ, and for that I give you thanks.”  So we give thanks by faith.   

(from Jerry Bridges’ chapter “Four Essentials for Finishing Well”)

music monday . . . on tuesday – TIL I SEE YOU

•September 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

TIL I SEE YOU, Hillsong United

The greatest love that anyone could ever know
That overcame the cross and grave to find my soul
And til I see You face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I’ll trust in You

With all I am I’ll live to see Your kingdom come
And in my heart I pray you’d let Your will be done
And til I see You face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I’ll trust in You

I will live to love You
I will live to bring You praise
I will live a child in awe of You

You are the voice that called the universe to be
You are the whisper in my heart that speaks to me
And til I see You face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I’ll trust in You

I will live to love You
I will live to bring You praise
I will live a child in awe of You

I will live to love You
I will live to bring You praise
I will live a child in awe of You

You alone are God of all
You alone are worthy Lord
and with all I am
my soul will bless Your name!

You alone are God of all
You alone are worthy Lord
and with all I am
my soul will bless Your name!

The greatest love that anyone could ever know
That overcame the cross and grave to find my soul
And til I see You face to face and grace amazing takes me home
I’ll trust in You

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FOR MORE GREAT SONGS, CLICK HERE

we are not our own

•September 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

If we are not our own, but the Lord’s, it is clear to what purpose all our deeds must be directed.  We are not our own, therefore neither our reason nor our will should guide us in our thoughts or actions.  We are not our own, therefore we should not seek what is only expedient to the flesh.  We are not our own, therefore let us forget ourselves and our own interests as far as possible. 
     We are God’s own; to him, therefore, let us live and die.  We are God’s own; therefore let his wisdom and will dominate all our actions.  We are God’s own; therefore let every part of our existence be directed towards him as our only legitimate goal.

I found these words by John Calvin quoted in a book called DISCONNECTED: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World (by Chap & Dee Clark).  They were used to share the idea that the primary role of parents is to represent God as they care for His children.  As someone who works with teenagers through the church, I am committed to this role as well.  Yet I fully believe that this role does not only apply to how we relate to young people but to everyone with whom we connect. 

And so the challenge comes.  If we believe that we are God’s creation, designed for His glory and His purpose, and if we believe the words of 1 Corinthians 6:20-21 . . . You are not your own; you were bought at a price, then EVERY area of our life should be surrendered to representing God well.  Easier said than done, I think.

famous one

•August 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Michael Phelps.  Is there anyone in America who doesn’t know that name?  Probably.  But for the last few weeks I’ve heard or seen (or said) his name almost everywhere I’ve been.  At the restaurant with friends his name makes his way into the conversation.  At the Y, his races are broadcast on the TVs.  On my yahoo home page, he is the subject of the main post.  Michael Phelps.  8 gold medals and 7 world records in one Olympic Games.  12,000 calorie diet.  Multi-Million dollar endorsements.  Michael Phelps.  He is an amazing athlete.  His name and his accomplishments are known world-wide.  

But there is a name that is greater.  Only One name that will have everlasting fame.  Jesus.  Sacrificial Lamb.  Risen Savior.  Righteous King.  The Bible tells the story of Jesus . . .  miracles performed, words spoken, lives changed.   Today there are many who do not know the name of Jesus, many who misuse the name of Jesus, and many more who refuse to speak the name of Jesus.  But His day is coming.  On that day, “every knee will bow . . . and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11).  I can’t wait!

FAMOUS ONE, Chris Tomlin