Posts Tagged: Worship

January 2, 2020 Genesis 2

I wish Genesis chapter 1 ended after Genesis 2:3. But since chapter and verse breaks are not inspired (they were standardized in the 13th and 16th cent. respectively) I will not spend too much time worrying about it.

When I read Genesis chapter 1, I read about an overview of all creation.

When I read Genesis chapter 2, I read about the relationship of the creation to story to man and man’s relationship to that creation.

Genesis chapter 1 is a wide angle lens and Genesis chapter 2 the lens zooms in on that which is most relevant to the reader…our relationship to creation…

Wait a second, maybe that is why Genesis 2 begins with:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Genesis 2:1-3, English Standard Version

Genesis chapter 2 is about mans relationship to creation and thus to the creator…

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11, ESV

November 2012: Top Posts

Education, Politics, & Angus T. Jones helped to make November 2012 the most “visited” month in the history of this blog w/ more than 2300 people stopping by this site to have a look.

So here are the top 10 posts for the month of November, 2012.

  1. Adventist Education: It is “Something Better” this was the second most popular post in the history of this blog nearly catching In Defense of Ted. It also was one of two Adventist Education posts that made the top ten this month. Which I guess means my readers are passionate about Adventist Ed.
  2. Faster Pastor: Episode #4: God & American Politics is our second most popular post this month. This fourth episode in our web series “Faster Pastor” I believe was the best of the series thus far. In part because of the content & special guest, Dwight Nelson; but also because the three of us, Albert, David, & I are getting used to talking to one another over a computer screen. Stay tuned another Faster Pastor will be released early in December.
  3. Angus T. Jones’ Testimony Part 1 & 2 : What can we say? Angust went viral everywhere. I think we all need to pray with for his journey with Jesus right now as I’ve heard he won’t even be able to attend church this Sabbath due to the media presence.
  4. The Superiority of Adventist Education our second post on Adventist Education in our top ten list was actually something I wrote in May of 2011 but just decided to repost this month & like the first time around it found it’s way into the top ten list.
  5. Jesus Would Endorse…Doesn’t the Presidential election seem like forever ago? Yet it was this month & thus three posts on politics made it to the top 10 for the month.
  6. Entitled Lakers’ Fans, Entitled Worshipers I had the idea for this blog while driving back from Union Executive Committee meetings. I actually pulled out my phone and recorded the idea on the dictaphone app. It addresses a problem I think is very prevalent in our society.
  7. We Can’t Change for Our Kids another dangerous trend within the society of “Christian” parents.
  8. Faster Pastor: Episode #2: Unity in Diversity this episode of Faster Pastor has remained in the top ten for three straight months now. It addresses the delicate issue that has been floating around Adventism this year, Women’s Ordination.
  9. Donkeys, Elephants, & a Lesson Learned at Chick-Fil-A has been in the top ten for four straight months holding the #2, #1, #5, & now #9 spots respectively. I think that the political season is now over I’m assuming it will fade away.
  10. The Ordained Women Pastors of China is holding the number 10 spot by one viewing over another Faster Pastor episode. This is a great video that as I shared last month made me cry the first time I viewed it!

I hope if you missed any of these posts this past month that you will be blessed or at least enjoy the time spent catching up!

Entitled Lakers Fans, Entitled Worshipers

I grew-up a Lakers fan. For me most of my experience with enjoying my team came through the radio. You’d try and tune the radio just right depending on where you were in California to hear the classic game call of Chick Hearn and his transition of analysts from Keith Erickson to Stu Lantz. As I got older I began to be able to watch some Lakers games on television. In the late 80’s & early 90’s about half of the Laker road games were broadcast on KCAL channel 9. Before that the only Laker games that I was able to watch were the 3 or 4 a year that NBC broadcast on the Sunday National Game, oh & of course the championships since the Lakers were in the championship 9 out of 12 years in 80’s & early 90’s. But to move-up to about 20 games a year was fantastic.

Jump forward to 2012 at the beginning of this Lakers basketball season fans were up in arms, some were in hysterics. Why? Because there was limited access to Lakers games on television (until just yesterday). You see over the past two decades Lakers fans had been able to enjoy every single game that was played by their beloved professional basketball team on television–the limited coverage days of my childhood were gone and people now had total access. So when this year started and that accesss due to television contracts had changed people didn’t know what to do. They screamed, “it’s not fair” “this is not right” “We deserve better than this.”

Newspaper headlines read:

“Deadlock brings confusion”

“New Lakers Media Deal Holding People Hostage”

“Limits on TV Coverage Have Fans Upset”

Radio was still available, but how dare anyone suggest that the Lakers fans settle for radio!

Lakers fans had decided what they liked and if that is not what they were given they would act irrationally!

They felt ENTITLED to full access & if they couldn’t have it they were going to pout, grump, & raise a ruckus cause that is what entitlement causes!

So what does this have to do with worship?

Well there was a time in history in which you could enter most Protestant churches and worship would be very similar. There may be a difference in teachings here and there but for the most part worship looked the same and sounded the same and felt the same. I grew-up going to churches and for the most part this is how I saw worship, no matter where a person went in my faith practice worship was the same.

Which is why when I was a 4th grader and the new church Celebration Center burst on the scene it blew everyone’s mind! Some in a good way and some in a bad way.

The music was upbeat, with drums, and electric guitars, there was drama, and powerful altar calls. There was standing room only and sometimes we stood for 20 minutes or more just singing. No more was there just a single hymn then sit down, then stand-up to greet your neighbor, then another hymn though you could sit for that hymn. This was all new, but it was really the only place around in the Adventist faith community that was doing worship like this. 

Jump forward to 2012 there is now a lot of different styles of worship within Prostestantism, even within Adventism. More and more church goers have experienced and tasted different varieties of worship. And for the most part we all have defined what type of worship we like and what type we don’t like.

And whereas before we were simply satisfied to be worshiping the God of the universe, now many having experienced something else have decided that worshiping the God of the universe in any context is no longer good enough.

You see many folk have decided that if the pastor preaches something they don’t like, or if the music isn’t what they want, or the length of the service is too long, or too short, there aren’t enough prayers, there are too many prayers, the pastor uses powerpoint, he/she doesn’t use powerpoint, (the list could go on and on…) then they’ll pout, grump, & raise a ruckus. Why? Because no longer is worship just about worship. 

Worship has become about what we expect it to be–which is Entitlement Worship–when folk feel they have the right to define what worship is and isn’t. What should be preached and what shouldn’t. Whether a service should be long or short. What instruments are sacred & which are secular.

And for some (which is too many) “worshipers” if any one of these things is not what they expect it to be, like entitled Lakers fans, they act irrationally.

Because that is what entitlement does it moves us away from rational thinking to self-centered thinking which is always irrational!

Now in sports this may not be the biggest deal–isn’t all sports fandom in some way self-centered in the long run anyway.

But in worship, the entitled worshiper may just find that they have the exact worship they want, but in the process they’ve stopped worshiping the God of the Universe and have instead established themselves as the “g”od of their worship.

Be careful before you define a worship or leave a worship simply because you don’t like it.

It may just be that is the very place God can keep your worship more about Him & less about you!

No matter how much you may or may not like it!

 

Sabbath Evening Music

Powerful, Powerful Song–The Collingsworth Family: “Resurrection Morn”

From 1989 Gaither Vocal Band “Daystar”

The Collingsworth Family–At Calvary

Also from 1989 GVB “Alpha & Omega” my wonderful Mom’s favorite song.

Oh What a Mom!

“The mother is a teacher, and to a great extent she moulds the character of her children.” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, July, 1889).

Childhood Friday Night’s

I don’t have a ton of Spiritual moment memories as a child growing-up. But the few I do have almost all center on music and Friday nights. On Friday nights in our home it would get very peaceful!!! My Dad would often read to us, I remember us reading the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and all the Uncle Arthur Bedtime Stories. Even more than reading though we would enjoy music. My Dad loved music of all kinds and taught us to do the same.

Today I got nostalgic and decided to try and find some of the songs that still are in my head from those Friday nights at the Stuart’s.

I believe God used these songs to plant seeds in my heart that began to grow roots that kept me in a small way connected, even in the years I was trying to go far from Jesus. I believe this because in the days when I was listening to Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, Cypress Hill, etc. In the days when I was depressed and stoned and pondering what value life had. I remember pulling out a mixed tape my Dad had made of all that great Friday night music, and I’d listen and sing at the top of my lungs, “Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus and He will turn your sorrows into joy.” I didn’t believe it then, but Jesus kept a seed in me, He kept me singing, and He kept knocking at the door of my heart.

So here is a little Friday night music for you to enjoy. I pray that if you haven’t opened your heart to Jesus that one day very soon you will sing the songs hear the knock and accept Him as your Savior!

Dallas Holm–Rise Again

Sandi Patty–Via Dolorosa

Evie–Give Them All

Heritage Singers–Me & My House

Gaither Vocal Band–I’m The Lighthouse

Amy Grant–El Shaddai

Larnelle Harris & Sandy Patti–I’ve Just Seen Jesus

The Gaither Vocal Band–I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary

Del Delker & The King’s Heralds–Holy

Thoughts from Pastor Carlton Byrd on Worship, Church Growth, Evangelism, etc.

A few months ago I attended the Pacific Union Conference Ministerial Meetings in Ontario, CA.. While there I attended a seminar by Pastor Carlton Byrd has in the very near past become the speaker/director of Breath of Life Ministries and also just recently became the new Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hunstville, Alabama.

I attended the seminar because I wanted to learn from Pastor Byrd, not about preaching, which he is a great preacher, but about how wherever he has gone his churches has grown (yes I know part of that has to do with great preaching)? I believe it was last year at the church he is now transferring from Berean Church that they baptized 800 folk. Their membership is now 4077 people, they have three sevices, they have a closed circuit feed into their basement for the overflow of folk, and all of this without being attached to a Seventh-day Adventist school of higher education (in the United States our mega-churches have typically only existed next to our colleges).

So I was curious…people come to your church for great preaching, but 800 in one year don’t get baptized without first of all the Spirit of God, but secondly some intentionality.

The following are the notes I took. I didn’t edit them or pick and choose what I thought was great or not. I am simply sharing with you the thoughts I wrote down from him in this seminar.

“I’ve never had a vision for ministry I could afford; If I did, it wouldn’t be from God.”

“Do good (pardon my English) just to do good and God will bless you.”

“If worship is to contribute to the growth of your church, three things must be true:

  1. Members can’t wait to attend
  2. Members are proud to bring their friends
  3. Whoever attends is eager to attend again

“The greatest advertisement for your church is word of mouth.”

“Intentional careful selection of parking supervisors, greeters, ushers, and worship leaders must be done!”

“Don’t let people box you in!”

“Sabbath needs to be a celebration!”

“We can’t do music just to please older generation.”

“We’ve kept our hymnals but lost our children.”

“Should the church be held hostage over someone picking at the instruments? NO!”

“The Senior Pastor should be involved in decision of what songs we are going to do.”

“Singers sing, preachers preach. Don’t let your singers get up there and think they can preach a sermon or share something they think is just so wonderful. They are there to sing.”

“Don’t let your minister of music say, ‘I am running this (worship). LET’S BE CLEAR, there is ONE leader! If there were multiple leaders in Israel the children would still be slaves in Egypt. God gives the vision of the ministry to the leader and it is not a compromise of your idea and my idea.”

Evangelistic Outreach:

  1. Musical Programs & Concerts (have had major Gospel singers at their church)
  2. Block Parties (very much a city and Southern thing)
  3. Tract attack: Once a quarter each of the elders lead a group out to knock on doors and hand out literature. Seniors at the church call individuals and have prayer bands.
  4. Service oriented ministries: Health fairs, oil change ministry every Sunday
  5. Civic Initiatives: civic guests, honor community guests, clean-up of city
  6. Marketing: Television, Radio, Billboards, Internet
  7. Bible Workers

“An evangelistic cycle throughout the year with good worship, a friendly environment, and strong leadership will grow.”

“Build database from EVERYTHING done at or through your church. I have over 8,000 names in our database that are not members but have attended one of our events.”

“Send communication by Monday to every visitor within two days of their visit.”

A Bible Workers work six weeks before the evangelistic meetings:

  1. Week One: They gather one hundred names each day (2 or 3 Bible workers always). “Yes I said 100! They may not always get there, but they can get pretty close by simply knocking on doors to pray with people. And if they don’t try or I don’t see them trying, they don’t get paid. PERIOD!”
  2. Week Two: Follow-up w/ prayer interests. You’ve been praying for their requests, now you go back to check on those requests and to build further connection.
  3. Week Three: Follow-up w/ prayer interests & leave Bible Studies 1 & 2
  4. Week Four: You’ll begin to weed out folk that may not be yet ready to respond. Pick-up Bible lessons 1 & 2. Leave Bible studies 3 & 4
  5. Week Five: Pick-up studies 3 & 4 conduct some time visiting in the home w/ the Bible studies. Drop off lessons 5 & 6
  6. Week Six: Conduct home visit drop off studies 7 & 8. Invite to public evangelistic campaign.

“When folk come to our public campaigns and become interested or are baptized they are assigned a Spiritual Guardian. We don’t want to just baptize people, we also want to keep them. We don’t want people going out the back door where we wouldn’t notice, especially in our large church.”

“Singers sing & preachers preach” (seriously he said it again, must be a pet peeve)

Typical length of meetings 2 weeks 5 & 5

I always cover and usually go in this order:

  1. Salvation
  2. 2nd Coming
  3. 1000 Years
  4. State of the Dead
  5. Sabbath
  6. Sabbath Change
  7. Diet
  8. Baptism–“I make a baptism appeal and a come to Jesus appeal EVERY night!”
  9. True Church–Someone asked him about this one and whether or not he thought it was too early to cover some of these topics and this one in particular. “When I was younger I danced around it, I was a little more concerned. But look this stuff is in the Bible and this is who we are, we are the remnant and I don’t want anyone joining our church that doesn’t understand what we believe and why. And besides for a lot of these people it isn’t the first time they heard this message if they have been receiving the studies leading up to the meetings. Some of you might not like that, but that is fine. I’m old enough now (I think he is 38) to not mess around and try to be secretive about stuff.”

“I always then do some special midweek. Why? I don’t want someone that just was convicted of the Sabbath or true church or something like that to then go back to their church and be discouraged from our message. I don’t want them at their old church I want them at Berean!”

“I do two to three public campaigns a year.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

And those are my notes from Pastor Byrd. Some powerful stuff. He is a dynamic individual that beleives 100% in what he is doing and Whom he is serving!

 

 

 

Memorize Scripture: Exodus 20:5, 6

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”  –Exodus 20: 5 & 6

As I said yesterday we make idols not through a lack of belief in God, but a lack of faith of God.  This happens in the everyday living of our lives (which is worship), but often times it happens in what we specifically as followers of Jesus refer to as “worship” what we do Saturday mornings (or Sunday mornings).  We create idols in “worship” when God isn’t enough. What do I mean by this?  Worship for many is not successful unless the music was to the standard they desired, or the music was not of the genre they prefer.  It is not successful if the speaker they like to listen to isn’t the speaker or if the speaker did not finish by 12 or 12:30.  Even if truth, clear and direct truth from scripture was presented if the above were not up to their standard then worship by them would be deemed as not successful.  Why because worship has become about what they prefer and not the truth of God’s Word!  When this happens idols are created because we are no longer worshiping the Lord, but rather our own desires for worship! 

 

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