Latest Event Updates

Not everybody can read music or even stay on the right keys. But everybody can sing to God.

Posted on

A few weeks back I talked about Jehoshaphat, from 2 Chronicles 20, and the victory they received in battle by having the vocalist on the front lines.

In verse 22 we see the way in which God gives the victory.  “When they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men who had come against Judah, so that they were routed” They turn against each other!!

I love in verse 19 when people were kneeling in worship, the choir stood up to sing.  In verse 21 when people went out to fight, the choir went before them with songs of victory.

Worship is a weapon

That’s the direction I want to go with this post.  The worship is a weapon part.  I say, like a broken record (for those who were born in a time to never experience a broken record, I’m sorry and I hope you can still follow along with what I’m saying), …

Worship is a response to God for who HE is and what HE has done

I say that sentence ALL the time and our worship IS a response, but I want to add to that. It IS a weapon too.

It is the middle of the night, you can’t sleep because you are overwhelmed by something. You’re worrying about a child, money, the unknowns of a job, a sickness of a family member, a sickness you yourself are going through, your marriage, a friends marriage, family or friends that don’t know the Lord, maybe with the recent hurricanes we’ve experienced in our country you know someone who has lost everything.  I could keep listing things, the point is when we are in the place of desperation what do we do?  Pray!  That’s right we would all pray. We would cry out for help.

Would you sing?

I love the story of Paul and Silas in Acts 16.  They are for certain the next day was going to be their last.  Was the next day going to find them hanged, beheaded, flogged again… they had no idea.  But in the middle of the night, they prayed and sang!

Why singing?  They had learned that singing to God is not merely a response to God for who He is and what He has done.  It is also a weapon.  They had learned, like Jehoshaphat, that the enemies of God are thrown into confusion by the songs of God’s people.

God did for Paul and Silas (Acts 16:26) what he did for Jehoshaphat.

God accepts the offering of praise and makes it an occasion for His power  -John Piper

Satan does his best to keep a church from being a singing church and he does his best to keep you from being a singing person. Singing to God is not a nice little emotional trip to spice up a worship service, it’s a weapon.

Singing will bring a new power to your faith. And don’t fall for his lie that you can’t sing. Everybody can sing. Not everybody can lead. Not everybody can read music or even stay on the right keys. But everybody can sing to God.

God has ordained that the gifted singers be appointed for spiritual leadership in the choir. David appointed the Levites to the ministry of music. They were to serve in the house of God to bring a continual offering of praise and worship to the Lord. They were to lead and assist the people in singing to God. And, as we saw in 2 Chronicles 20 their work is warfare. When they began to sing, the Lord set an ambush against the enemy. So not everyone is called to lead, but everybody can sing to God.

God loves to hear your song, no matter how badly you sing.

We have two weapons in worship: the Word of God and song. So let us give heed to the Word of God and let us sing with all our heart.  -John Piper

Ephesians 5:18-19, …Be filled with the spirit, Addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Surrender all. How do you do that?

Posted on

I want you to read some of the lyrics from the songs we are singing this weekend at Brookstone Church.

“You are Good”, “You are peace”, “You are Lord”, “You are God”, “Of all else I’m letting go”,  “I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the maker of Heaven”, “I give it all to you God, Trusting you”, “I surrender all”.

Reading all that got me thinking about what it means to surrender.  I feel part of my job as the Worship Pastor of Brookstone church is not only to lead the church in singing but help you live out on Monday what you say, through song, on Sunday.  Make sense?  I read a book titled, ‘And Now let’s move to a time of Nonsense’ by Nick Page. In Nick’s book, he states at the very beginning, “When I became a Christian I stopped telling lies and started singing them.”  Sounds a bit harsh huh? I also think we all can detect the truth in that statement as well.  A lot of the Christian life is way easier said (or sung) than done.

Here is my attempt to help us all understand how to live out lives surrendered.

I think to “let go” of something is not to give up.  It’s to give it over.  Not give up, rather give it over to God.  I know, I know… How?  We are giving over the outcome and trusting God to do his perfect plan.”This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” Psalms 18:30.  So to give it over is not to sit back and do nothing but instead it is to do something and trust the outcome to God. That is surrender. 

We believe what we see.  All of us.  We see our problems, we believe what we see. But the Bible states,  “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

It could be safe to say at times we believe more in our problems than in our God’s ability to deliver us through them.   Remember, “walk by faith, not by sight”.  We like to fix things.  We like to be in control.  We don’t want to walk by faith.

I don’t SEE the extra income in the checking account that we need.  But I will choose to give to the Lord as we are supposed to do (Malachi 3:10),

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

Ultimately our giving is because God gave first… His son.  He gave us his Son as our savior (John 3:16) “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

Have faith in the promises of His word that He will take care of us. Continue to work hard (Colossians 3:23). Paul writes (2 Corinthians 9), ‘and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work’ (v.8). Giving does not mean handing over financial responsibility to God – but it does mean handing over the worry and the burden of it. That is surrender

We are told through Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

The Lord directs our steps, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.” Psalms 37:23-24

We need to acknowledge the Lord in ALL our ways, delight in his way, and the promise is that our steps will be established by the Lord, our path will be made straight.

We are also told that even though we are striving to delight in his way we will fall, we will face problems, but don’t be discouraged the Lord upholds us. In Psalm 139 it states, “your hand leads me and holds me”(v10).  I trust you, Lord, you are God, my times are in your hand (Psalm 31:14-15)

The key to all of this?  Read the bible and apply it.  The more we do this the more we will find ourselves delighting in HIS WAY rather than trying to force OUR WAY.  We’ve all been there… we keep trying to force our way and we keep coming up empty.  Well… try God’s way.  Just try it.  Remember His promise, that when we are trying to do things His way and we fall (because we will) He upholds us in his hand.  He is there to pick us up!  Seriously… you have nothing to lose and everything to gain in doing things God’s way. It’s kind of like a money back guarantee.

Don’t give up, give it over.

Trust the promises of His word not the problems of this world. 

Surrender is deciding God’s way over our way.  

 

 

 

Short and sweet continued

Posted on

So last week I shared about King Jehoshaphat knowing a battle is about to take place.  He is seeking the Lord crying out to the Lord saying, “I don’t know what to do but my eyes are fixed on you Lord”.  Others follow his leadership to seek the Lord to seek help from the Lord.  During this time the Levites stand up and lead in a song of praise to the Lord.  All the while knowing the next morning they were going to get up early and face their battle. The challenge I left you with was to Ponder this…, If you knew of an impending battle on Monday how would that affect your worship on Sunday?  It is one thing to profess faith among an excited assembly at church on Sunday morning.  It’s another thing to profess that same faith when you walk out the door Monday morning to meet the battles of life.

So lets continue this discussion…

After this awesome time of worship the people get up early the next day and get ready for battle.  Jehoshaphat gives them a great word of encouragement (2 Chronicles 20:20) saying, “Believe in the Lord! You will succeed!” He is assuring them that God will give them victory.

Then Jehoshaphat selects his front line troops.  The singers.  I mean, that seems like a good choice.  “Hey guys, I need all you with swords and spears to take one step back.  All the vocalist please take one step forward.”

In verse 12 Jehoshaphat was saying, “I don’t know what to do but our eyes are fixed on you Lord and we are seeking you for help” In 2 Chronicles 20:15 Jehoshaphat was told to not be dismayed or afraid for the battle was not his but God’s. Then he appoints the singers to go out front and sing songs of thanksgiving to the Lord.  They specifically sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever”.  Can you imagine the questions swirling in Jehoshaphat’s head, “did I make the right decision?”, “did I hear the Lord correctly?”.  The bold step of faith it took to send the singers out front because he was trusting the promises of God.  Wow. That is some faith and trust. Surrendering that control to the Lord is admirable.

Knowing the battles we face in life belong to the Lord and that victory in the Lord is a sure thing should produce songs of thanks!

In verse 22 we see the way in which God gives the victory.  “When they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men who had come against Judah, so that they were routed” They turn against each other!!

I love in verse 19 when people were kneeling in worship, the choir stood up to sing.  In verse 21 when people went out to fight, the choir went before them with songs of victory.

Worship is a weapon

We see the enemies of God thrown into confusion by songs of praise by God’s people.

Your worship is a weapon, use it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short and sweet

Posted on

“Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.” 2 Chronicles 20:18-19

This weeks post is going to be short and sweet because I want you to ponder something.  Read the verses above.  I guess you probably already have since it’s the first part of this post…but read it again.

King Jehoshaphat bows in prayer to the Lord, others follow his lead, then the Levites stand and begin praising God with a loud voice.  Being Levites this loud voice was probably a song because we can go back to 1 Chronicles and read about David putting a group in charge of serving the Lord through song.  These Levites in 2 Chronicles were a part of the group who ever since the time of David had been appointed to do the ministry of song in Israel. So the chances are pretty strong this loud voice was a song.

Now look at verse 20. “And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”” 2 Chronicles 20:20 

Jehoshaphat knows a battle is about to take place.  He is seeking the Lord crying out to the Lord saying, “I don’t know what to do but my eyes are fixed on you Lord”.  Others follow his leadership to seek the Lord to seek help from the Lord.  During this time the Levites stand up and lead in a song of praise to the Lord.  All the while knowing the next morning they were going to get up early and face their battle.

Ponder this…, If you knew of an impending battle on Monday how would that affect your worship on Sunday?

It is one thing to profess faith among an excited assembly on Sunday morning.  It’s another thing to profess that same faith when you walk out the door Monday morning to meet the battles of life.

 

…to be continued

 

All my fountains are in you

Posted on

“As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.” Psalm 87:7 

What does that mean, “All my fountains are in you”?

The image of overflowing water is an image of life, growth, energy, passion, refreshment, hope, security.  (Go check out Ezekiel 47. )

Jesus says in John 7, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out,”If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

You again see this image of life, growth, energy, passion, refreshment, hope, security.

In Jeremiah 2 & 17 the Lord is referred to as a fountain of living water

I’m going to quote Spurgeon now, I love his take on Psalm 87.

Churches have not such all sufficiency within them that we can afford to look to them for all, but the Lord who founded the church is the eternal source of all our supplies, and looking to him we shall never fail.

Without thy Spirit I should be as a dry well, a mocking cistern, destitute of power to bless myself or others. O Lord, I am assured that I belong to the regenerate whose life is in thee, for I feel that I cannot live without thee; therefore, with all thy joyful people will I sing thy praises.

This weekend we are starting off our time of singing with the song, All my Fountains.  My hope is that we will better understand the lyrics to the songs we are singing this weekend.

All my Fountains “you are an everlasting stream”, “a flood for my soul”, “a well that won’t run dry”, “Come living water, All my fountains are in you”

Great are you Lord “You give life”, “You give hope”, “Its your breath in our lungs”, All the earth will shout your praise”

Good Good Father “You are perfect in all of your ways” “you are a good good father and I’m loved by you”

We make music and sing, “All my fountains are in you”, May we look to the Lord for all inspiration, comfort, strength, joy, life and everything

Heman not He-man

Posted on

As a kid I was quite the fan of an animated television series, ‘He-man’.

He-Man

He-Man had super speed, indestructible skin, and superhuman strength. On one occasion he was able to hoist Castle Grayskull and throw it through a dimensional doorway. He-Man also demonstrated his strength by lifting mountains and icebergs and hurling them towards a desired target. On one occasion, he welded a broken metal chain together merely by pushing the links together. So…needless to say he was a pretty cool guy.  But as cool as this He-man is I want to talk about another one.

Heman not He-man  

As a kid He-man was this fictional hero of sorts.  As an adult I can still draw inspiration from Heman… the one that isn’t made by Mattel

Heman was called to serve with the gift he had been given.  He used his ability to sing and make music to point people to the steadfast love of the Lord that endures forever. He was positioned to play songs to give thanks to the Lord.

“David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari, their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;” 1 Chronicles 15:16-17

“These are the men who served and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer the son of Joel, son of Samuel,” 1 Chronicles 6:33

“With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever. Heman and Jeduthun had trumpets and cymbals for the music and instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were appointed to the gate.” 1 Chronicles 16:41-42 

I’m inspired by his faithfulness to serve the Lord.  Even passed it down to his kiddos…

“All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him, for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the LORD, all who were skillful, was 288.” 1 Chronicles 25:5-7

I can’t imagine this scene.  I have 3 kids and they run around the worship center while we are practicing music, they dance on the stage while we practice, they sometimes fight while we practice.  Imagine Heman hauling 17 kids in for worship team practice.  I bet he really did have superhuman strength.

Notice in verse 7 how it states the musicians were TRAINED and SKILLFUL. Psalm 33:3 says, “Sing to him a new song; play SKILLFULLY on the strings, with loud shouts.”

I can draw motivation from this to ever by improving, training, getting more skilled in the area God has called me to serve in.  Like Heman, I have the privilege of using the tool of music to do this.

Your area might not be music but find out what it is and seek training to become better skilled!

Also, if I’m honest, it would be pretty cool to have my kids “under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you saying?

Posted on

All the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Or in other words “All the promises of God find their Yes in Jesus. It is because of Jesus, we say amen to show that God gets the glory.”

Ever wondered why we say Amen?  Amen is a word taken straight over into Greek from Hebrew without any translation, just like it has come into English and most other languages without any translation.

Which reminds me of another word, Hallelujah.  I was in Nepal several years ago and had the opportunity to play some songs for a worship service.  I knew they had no clue what I was singing because most, if not all of them, didn’t understand english.  Until I got to one word…Hallelujah.  Like Amen, it is one of those words that we just decided to not translate.  It was so cool to hear them all start singing, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah”.  You probably remember what Hallelujah means because our Pastor here at Brookstone church has taught us.

The word “hallelujah” is two Hebrew words, “hallelu” and “jah”. The first word, “hallelu”, is “praise.”  The second word, “jah,” is the short form of “Jahweh” (or “Yahweh”).

So when we say, “Hallelujah!” we are inviting others to join us in praising Yahweh.

That is exactly what it felt like in Nepal.  It felt like once I said Hallelujah they received the invite to Praise Jesus together!

Ok, well let’s get back on track.  Our Pastor has also taught us what Amen means.  It’s an “I agree,” or “I affirm what you just said,” or “This is true.” Simply put, “Amen” means, Yes. “Amen” and “Yes” mean the same thing.  Now go back up to the top of this post and read 2 Corinthians 1:20 again.

We are singing all about this, this weekend.  He is in control, we can trust Him, He is an anchor, a rock on which our hope is built. He is faithful in his promises. We can rest in his promises, find confidence in his faithfulness because… In Jesus, God says Yes to us through his promises and in Jesus we say our Yes to God.