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Category Archives: worship

Breaking Tradition

While searching for worship songs with sound theology, I came across this article with a wonderful idea for engaging corporate worship. If your church worship services are like most in North America, then you typically have a format for corporate worship. I am writing about the time during the service where the congregation is engaged in singing and lifting up their voices in song to the Lord. (side note) I believe the sermon portion of the service is also a form of engaging worship before the Lord. When you have a preacher in the pulpit proclaiming the truths found in God’s Word, I believe, that is worship as well. The subject of this post is for the congregational singing portion of the service. (end side note)

Most of the singing worship done in churches today is done through the typical formula of displaying the lyrics of the song on an overhead screen for all to sing along and a worship team or leaders who lead us into the song. I am not, <repeat>, not saying anything is wrong with this formula. But, what if once in a while, we combine scripture reading as a congregation or even from the worship leaders, with scripture from the Psalms, as an example, to magnify the content of the worship to God? This was the gist of the article mentioned above. What a wonderful, and engaging, opportunity to bring praise to our Creator. I like the idea of the leader and congregational response in the reading of Psalms 145:1-13 in the article example. Or even just having someone read the verses prior to the congregational singing.

I think the idea is to choose scriptures based in the worship song (as many of them are) or choosing scripture very close in context of the song.

Maybe it would go like this:

I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever.
 Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name forever and ever.
 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.

 One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.
 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
 The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.

 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your saints shall bless you!
 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
    and tell of your power,
 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

and then the song:

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

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This Looks Like a Good Place for a Toilet

The bible can be the source of wonderful amusement while reading through it. Today my daily reading took me through 2 Kings 10. The text describes the events of Jehu, king of Israel, and his purging of the prophets of Baal. In an effort to round up all of the worshipers of the false god Baal, Jehu proclaims that he wishes to have a grand assembly of the prophets, worshipers, and priests, of Baal. He does this by also proclaiming that whoever is missing from this assembly of worshipers of Baal will be put to death. The worshipers go into the “House of Baal” and offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. As soon as the end of the offering is made, Jehu and eighty of his guard go in and slaughter all of the worshipers. Jehu also orders the demolition of the “House of Baal” and  “made into a latrine to this day.”

Ok, my first thought was of a pile of rubble and the infamous Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbs) peeing on it. But I chose a more appropriate image as you see.

And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. (2 Kings 10:27)

28) Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.

God is very serious about that first commandment.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

 

Reflections of Mother’s Day

I will have to admit I am one of those people who tend to get cynical with days like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. I mean, why do we really need to focus on one day to celebrate our lover, or another for our mother, right? We should be appreciating them throughout the year. My mother passed away a couple years ago so Mother’s Day has some what of a bitter sweet tone in the years following her death. But I get real cynical when folks try to lump Valentine’s Day in with Mother’s Day by substituting the wife for mom. When someone asks “What are you going to do for your wife on Mother’s Day?”, my response in past years has been, “Why, she isn’t my mother?”. A bit cynical, right?

This year Mother’s Day was particularly special. My bide and I went to church to worship and fellowship with the local saints. We did a bit of yard work, and then traveled the twenty or so miles into Omaha to participate in the Starbucks Frappuccino happy hour, and pick up a few things at Walmart. I know, the phrase “the little things in life” is our life song. When we returned, our son Corey and his wife Sara, their daughters, our daughter Amanda and husband Reece, their daughters, our son Beau stopped by for a visit and to wish my bride a happy Mother’s Day. We had a wonderful day. We filled up the new kiddie pool for the granddaughters and Crysta, cooked some barbecue chicken, and visited for several hours. It was a glorious  and God blessed day spent with family. It was one of those days we will be able to point back, smile, and remember.

I know we should appreciate all of our days as blessed from God, but there are some days that stick out more than most of the others as indeed blessed. I believe this was one of those. It brings to mind one of my favorite contemporary worship songs.

Shout To The Lord

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have
In You

Soli, Deo, Gloria!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Family, God, Mother's Day, worship

 

Worship God with the Psalms

Our local church Omaha Bible Church recently went through a sermon series on worship. The series culminated with the final two sermons focusing on music in worship. While we were in the middle of the final two sermons I happened upon this little group from “down under” called Sons of Korah. They record and perform songs with lyrics that are straight out of the biblical Psalms. I found this live performance of them doing Psalm 117. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2007 in Omaha Bible Church, Praise, Sons of Korah, worship

 

Anti-worship

On Sunday morning my pastor, Patrick Abendroth, has been doing a series on worship.Neyland Stadium The first three parts centered on what worship is. The fourth and fifth installments focus on the often controversial topic of music in worship. Last week Pat pointed out six of the twelve misconceptions of musical worship. The misconception point I particularly liked was number 5, “Loud Music is Unbiblical.” He pointed to passages such as Psalm 95, and Psalm 98:4, and 2 Chronicles 30:21 which states:

The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread {for} seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day after day with loud instruments to the LORD.

I liked this because I usually like my music loud, with drums and electric guitars. The misconception is that worship music should be somber and suppressed. I know as Reformers and Calvinists we are known for theology and doctrine but not emotion. What’s wrong with a little emotion? What’s wrong WITH A LOT OF EMOTION! Pastor Pat did ask a humbling question. Do we worship God like we do in the stadiums on Saturday’s in the fall of the year? You know…college football. (There were many Nebraska Husker fans including myself in attendance) Yes, we do get loud for that. I would like to turn that a bit. I would like to state that what might actually be going on in front of the televisions, or in the stands, is anti-worship. Anti-worship at least where God is concerned. What is anti-worship? I would contend it is idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of something other than almighty God. When we put other things before God it is idolatry. We should be concerned with the worship of God alone. Because worship does matter. It matters to God.

The audio for the Worship Matters series can be found on this audio page.

I found a brief video from Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church that refers to what I am talking about as anti-worship or idolatry. It’s only a couple of minutes long. Check it out.

 
 

John MacArthur on “Why I Love The Church”

John MacArthur has written a series of articles called “Why I Love the Church” at Pulpit Magazine online. The four part series (including today’s conclusion) focuses on Christ’s church as it is defined and spoken of in scripture. MacArthur provides some great insight for all of us to consider regarding the Church. From pointing out the careless approach to the Church that many in the evangelical world have taken, to what the Church’s role is on the earth and how this role differs from the idol created by the RCC. Christ is the chief cornerstone as mentioned in Ephesians 2:19-22. He is the head and must be the one we serve. The link is in the text above. It will take you to Part 1 of the series. Once you are on the page just find the additional links to the series in the upper right column of the Pulpit Magazine page. 

 

The pendulum swings

My senior pastor has been doing a series this summer on worship, so this subject hasFoucault pendulum been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. For this reason I was researching worship and stumbled onto an interesting article.

I know that most of us know what the term “seeker sensitive” means when referring to the local church. For most of us with a “high view” of scripture, meaning we believe it to be the final authority in faith and life, have seen the seeker movement as a watering down of the scripture or gospel to make it more “understandable” for the unbeliever. Yet scripture teaches that “the Word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing”. (1 Cor. 1:18) Which means that the seeker sensitive churches are watering down something that the unbeliever is not going to naturally understand anyway.

Today I read an article in Christianity Today Magazine online that throws the pendulum in the other direction. The article quotes a medieval mystic, yes you heard right, Meister Eckhart who states, “to know him (I think he means God) is to know him as unknowable…God’s worth and God’s perfection cannot be put into words…”. I wonder why the Holy Spirit of God spent all that time inspiring the writers of the bible to write about God? The author of the article goes on to say “In other words, God is anything but “meaningful,” “understandable,” or intelligible.” And worship, if it is authentic worship of the biblical God, will, at some level, remain incomprehensible.”

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