Month: January 2010

Finally Got Started

After realizing setting goals is easy, it’s time to get going. So I guilted myself into getting downstairs and setting up the bike.

Stats and info will be posted here if your interested in the bicycle stuff.

It has been so hard to start writing songs again. At Bible college it was so easy. I think because there is an anointing on the place for writing songs. So this morning I picked up a hymnal from 1895 "Gospel Hymns Nos.1-6". No music, no notation, just lyrics.

When I heard A.W. Tozer used to go into his room with his Bible and a Hymnal to have communion with the Father years ago I started picking up Hymnals. I love them.

There is a gate that stands ajar,
And through its portals gleaming
A radiance from the Cross afar,
the Saviour’s love revealing.

ref.- Oh, depth of mercy ! can it be
        That gate was left ajar for me?
        For me, for me?
        Was left ajar for me?

That gate ajar stands free for all
Who seek through it salvation;
The rich and poor, the great and small,
Of every tribe and nation,

Press onward then, though foes may frown,
While mercy’s gate is open;
Accept the cross, and win the crown,
Love’s everlasting token.

Beyond the river’s brink we’ll lay
the cross that here is given,
And bear the crown of life away,
And love Him more in heaven.

I sat in the parking lot waiting for Kim with tears in my eyes as I read these lyrics. So to take the lid off the process I have reworked the lyrics and tomorrow I will record the melody that is ringing in my head.

the book writing is already behind schedule, so not out of the woods yet.

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Real Heroes

It’s one thing to see stories like this on TV but when it’s someone you know it really brings it home.

Aaron and Tanya have been in this process for a long time and when they found out they could bring their boys home they could have just focused on themselves and that would have been fine but that’s not what they did.

With the help of Messenger International where Aaron is the CFO they chartered a 737 and brought home 80 children. They are considering other flights as well.

Watch this clip from the NBC nightly news and then go to the Messenger International website to see how you can help.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Setting Goals is Easy

Achieving them is the hard part.

Yesterday I woke up full of anticipation and excitement. I was going to be stranded all day at home without a car. The Honda is out of comission for awhile, hopefully not forever, long story.

This was going to be a day of writing and recording with my new PowerBook G4. I couldn’t wait.

Then it seems all heaven and earth conspired against me. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. The day ended with discouragement and feeling like the day was mostly wasted. This morning I have a new perspective thanks to my mentor.

Without really noticing I have become very “me” focused. I read recently the thing that you are most irritated with in others may be the thing you need to address most.

in your own life. Wow so true with me right now. Today I return to pressing into Him and trusting He knows what I need to be doing today.

Thank you Lord for people who love me enough to tell me the truth.

Tags: Goals, Dissapointment

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The First Day

Today I begin working toward the goals for 2010.

I have found a place to set up recording equipment and have a plan for writing the book and for getting in shape to ride the copper triangle.

Haven’t found a countdown widget so I’ll just keep track and post progress. Thanks for keeping me accountable.

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Hope International Schools

Just got home from a board meeting with Hope International Schools.

I met Joel Vanderkooi when he was an attorney for Mountain States Employers Council while I was the HR manager for Messenger International.

Joel had a vision to reach the world for Christ by planting schools. When he felt like the time was right he approached me to sit on the board. it has been an honor. Amazing to watch the hand of God on this family as they follow God’s call on their lives.

They have met with very significant difficulty and have stood firm in the face of it knowing they are called and God is the source and the substance of everything they need. They hope to open this spring and are well on their way.

Tonight we had our meeting on a Skype video call and were able to meet the teachers. I was so blessed as they introduced themselves, almost half of them through an interpretor, and spoke of how the school was an answer to prayer and how blessed they were to be able to serve God in this way.

They have an immediate need for a principle so they can finish the licensing process. As well as financial help until the school is fully enrolled and able to sustain itself. Then it’s off to plant the next one.

We have set up Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and WordPress sites if you would like more information.

Please pray for them and if you know of a great principle with a huge vision let us know.

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Wordle

make your own at wordle.net

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Looking Forward

2009 was a year of sowing and growth. I look for 2010 to be a year of continued sowing and growth however I am also expecting some harvest.

“A Broken House” a small book about my heart for the church is finished and on it’s way to the editor. Last night I laid out a plan to write the next one. It will be called “The Language of Heaven”. This morning I woke up singing a chorus for the first time in a very long time.

As I was on my way to mens prayer this morning I made a decision to set a songwriting goal. Later in the day it occurred to me to set a goal to finish the book as well. Then my friend Tom called and reminded me about a ride we had talked about late last year. So here are the 2010 goals.

  • Have “The Language of Heaven” written by July 1st
  • Write 35 songs by Christmas break, (Tom thinks this is too many)
  • Ride the Copper Triangle on August 7th, 2010

The ride supports the Davis Phinney Foundation for parkinson’s If you would like to  make a contribution you can contact me here.

So there you have it. I’ll look for a countdown widget for the blog and you can keep me accountable. I appreciate all of you reading and your encouragement.

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“Leading” Worship

One of the themes I am seeing around the blogosphere and on posting boards is the idea a worship leaders job is to simply worship. People will either follow or not but it’s not the responsibility of the worship leader.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Though there is some truth to the notion that we can’t make people follow and we definitely can’t make people worship however; the idea that the leaders job is simply to stand and worship in front of people couldn’t be more wrong.

Our job as leaders begins well before we stand on the platform in front of the congregation. Every situation is different and we need to make sure we are seeking God for what He wants to say to His people. When were in leadership we must consider every revelation or communication from the Lord as to whether it is for us or for the people we are leading.

We must live in the secret place. Seeking Him and His desire for His people. Leading worship is not about choosing 5 songs in the same key or chord family. It’s not about doing what were, necessarily, comfortable with. It’s about going to the mountain and hearing God’s heart for His people.

After spiritual preparation it’s about preparing your craft. Whether it’s an instrument, your vocal, a video, a congregational reading, or whatever we must prepare ourselves. Remember we must be about excellence not perfection. Excellence is about offering our best not being perfect or even the best.

When we show up to the service we should invite the Holy Spirit to ruin our preparation. We should have been listening to Him through our preparation but it is so critical to invite Him to disrupt the service. Make it clear to Him and the worship team that we are going to go with Him wherever He goes.

Finally when we stand on the platform in front of those who Jesus bought with His own blood, those who He loves so much He would rather die than be without, we must engage them. We must draw them into the secret place with us. Not by manipulating emotions but by being genuine, leading them to the throne and then getting out of the way. Having been with Jesus we should know where they are and what He has given us to say to them should connect with them right away.

I understand sometimes it’s hard work. There is an enemy who knows the power of God’s people in unity worshiping the living God and is actively at work to disrupt that activity. I am not saying if we follow the right formula everything will work. Sometimes it doesn’t. But if it doesn’t it’s not because we weren’t prepared and haven’t done everything within our control to make sure it does work.

Eddie Espinosa says “worshiping in front of a congregation is like eating a 5 course meal in front of starving people”.

Leading worship is about going somewhere and taking as many as will come with us. This is not a passive activity but a very engaging, purposeful, passionate activity. We cannot take responsibility for how “good” the worship was but we must take responsibility for being prepared and engaging God’s people.

Please don’t embrace false humility in any form but especially when it comes to the responsibility of leading God’s people in worship.

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A Touchy Subject

Today I want to tackle something that has been on my heart and mind for a long time but haven’t really known how to approach it because I know what the response will be from some.

Before I begin please understand I believe evangelism to be the responsibility of every believer. Having said that I don’t believe we are all evangelists. We should all be ready to answer anyone who asks about the hope we possess. The primary way we cause people to ask is to “Set Christ apart as Lord in our hearts” and when we are asked we must answer “with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience” 1 Peter 3:15-16.

With that preface here is my premise:

We have emphasized evangelism at the cost of making disciples.

We have all heard the “great commission” so many times we can recite it verbatim. Or can we? We know the part about “go”. but do we know the whole passage, Matthew 28:18-20, and the context?

Jesus did say go but the last thing He said was not go but wait. That’s right wait. Jesus last words are not recorded in Matthew 28, they are recorded in Acts 1.

“While he (Jesus) was with them (the apostles), he declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me.” Acts 1:4

Why wait? times a wastin! people are going to hell! the devil isn’t waiting!!!

Jesus gives the reason in both Mathew 28 and Acts 1.

Matthew 28:18, Jesus said “all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”, 20 “and lo, I am with you always.
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you”

Have we so overemphasized evangelism that we have actually hindered the work of evangelism?

One of my favorite authors and preachers A.W. Tozer suggests that may be the case. In his devotional he states:

“The popular notion that the first obligation of the church is to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it.”

When we go out of obligation and of our own strength believing we must “go” we can spread a “degenerate brand of Christianity to pagan lands” which does not fulfill the command of Christ. He never said make converts He said “make disciples” and a disciple who has “set Christ apart as Lord in his heart” will evoke the question, “what is it about you?” and that same person will be able to answer “with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience”.

Again please don’t misunderstand. There may be a place for the person at the mall passing out tracks. however if all of us were setting Christ apart in our hearts and communication with those entrusted to us with courtesy and respect how much more effective would we be making disciples?

I also believe if we are all walking in the fullness of our calling, being who God has called and created us to be, the church would grow. Ephesians 4:15-16 says as much:

When we all grow up in “Christ who is the head from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according the the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Paraphrase: When we are all walking in the fullness of our gifts and calling the church will grow.

A.W. Tozer points out Jesus chilling words in Matthew 23:15:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

Are we living our lives in such a way we can say “follow me as I follow Christ”? I know I could grow in that area. Please pray with me for the church to get a revelation of her primary purpose.

Blessings,

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