worship


171 Are you looking for music that helps your kids memorize Scripture and actually sounds good?  I’ve been really impressed with the songs from Seeds.  They have quality songs set to Scripture and put in different themes:

Do you ever feel like the little drummer boy?  Like a little child, with just a little drum, with little to offer the King?  Not very impressive.  Not very noticeable.  Just drummin your drum saying,

 I have no gift to bring … pa rum pum pum pum … That’s fit to give my king … pa rum pum pum pum.

If so, let me encourage you with the following words from a member of our church, named Cathy Wills, who sang “The Little Drummer Boy” to our congregation last Christmas:

I normally don’t do a song like this in a worship service.  On the surface it appears to be a sentimental, sweet Christmas song.  But I decided to do this song because it’s about someone who feels like their gift is unworthy.  And I feel like many of us in the body of Christ feel this way, that our gift is not worth offering.  But if we are in Christ than we are God’s workmanship created in Christ for good works.  And if he’s placed us in this body, this church, than he’s uniquely gifted each one of us, and in order for the body to function and be built up, each one of us must do our part.  But we might look at others and think, “my gift is not that great.”  Yet in God’s sovereignty he has a purpose for me to offer my gift and it will build the body up somehow, someway.  So because I want to get that point across to you I’m willing to sing a song with it’s main lyric, “pa rum pum pum pum.”

So take a risk.  Use your gift.  Play for the King.  Drum your drum … pa rum pum pum pum.

kings_star1Advent is a time of expectation and preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth.  What a great time of the year to talk to your children about Jesus for just a few minutes after dinner or before they go to bed.  Here’s some great Advent Devotional Material for personal or family use.

Each individual devotion contains a passage of Scripture, a brief reflection on that passage, sample prayers to guide the prayers of children and adults, and hymns to sing together to give voice to your praises and longings.

(HT: JD)

Can you believe Christmas is only two months away?  Last Christmas I had the opportunity to hear my friend, Eric Schumacher, preach a sermon from the book of Ruth.  He ended the service with this song he wrote below entitled, A Sweet and Pleasant Providence.  The tune is “Carol” to which we typically sing the Christmas song, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” 

A Sweet and Pleasant Providence

Events that seem unfortunate
May often line the way
That God has paved to guide his saints
To bright and happy days.
Naomi’s dismal hopelessness
Was shown to be untrue.
Remember this the next time God
Deals bitterly with you.

In faith let your heart learn to trust
That ’round the corner lies
A sweet and pleasant providence
Designed through sov’reign eyes.
Like Ruth, take refuge in the Lord
And rest beneath His wings,
You do not know what God intends
Nor what his kindness brings.

The cloud is black before it breaks
And dark before it yields
A flood of kindness over you
To bloom your barren field.
So turn your eyes upon the One
That ev’ry good flows from,
For in his great redemptive plan
The best is yet to come!

Tune: Carol
Text: (c) Eric M Schumacher
Permission granted to reprint unaltered text in temporary, nonsalable worship media. For other uses, please contact the author.

Brent Thomas pointed me to a site called Wordle where you can enter your text and it will create a word cloud for you which you can edit.  You can change the colors, fonts, etc. Pretty cool, huh?!  Here is a tag cloud that Brent made of the book of Colossians:

One of the most helpful ways that God keeps me from being distracted in my prayer life is by simply praying to Him aloud.  I find it to be more intimate.  I find it to be more real.  I find it to be more personal, in the sense that I’m really communicating with the God who loves me and calls me his child.

David Powlison says,

I’ve known many people whose relationship with God was significantly transformed as they started to speak up with their Father. Previously, “prayer” fizzled out in the internal buzz of self-talk and distractions, worries and responsibilities. Previously, what they thought of as prayer involved certain religious feelings, or a set of seemingly spiritual thoughts, or a vague sense of comfort, awe, and dependency on a higher power. Prayer meandered, and was virtually indistinguishable from thoughts, sometimes indistinguishable from anxieties and obsessions. But as they began to talk aloud to the God who is there, who is not silent, who listens, and who acts, they began to deal with him person-to-person.

So, while our Christian subculture continues to encourage us to have a “quiet time,” maybe we shouldn’t be so quiet.  If you’re struggling with your prayer life like me, make one simple change–pray aloud to your God who is real and right there with you. 

  • Read Powlison’s entire article, “Should We Really Call it a Quiet Time?”

seu521.jpgDavid Murrow, author of the book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, writes, “Almost everything about today’s church . . . is designed to meet the needs and expectations of a largely female audience. Church is sweet and sentimental, nurturing and nice.”

Murrow argues:

 1. Church makes men feel uncomfortable because it emphasizes feminine values

2. Church forces men to do things that they find uncomfortable

3. Men assume that church will require them to give up masculine traits

4. Church does not present a compelling model of leadership

Jamie Dunlop, elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, writes a helpful review of Murrow’s book.  He says that Murrow sets forth a proper description of the problem but fails in his prescription of what to do in light of Scripture.  Dunlop says,

Murrow’s descriptions are useful and adept. But the book’s usefulness declines dramatically as it turns to prescription. Murrow roots his recommendations in doing away with what rubs worldly men the wrong way—rather than viewing this challenge within the context of the scriptural mission of the church and the biblical principles God has ordained to govern the church.

So what biblical recommendations or changes do we make in light of this problem? 

By the way, this is not a new problem.  Cortland Myers wrote a book called Why Men Do Not Go To Church over hundred years ago—in 1899! Myers was minister at Baptist Temple in Brooklyn, New York when he wrote this book.

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