Faith

Finding Fulfillment in Personal Worship

I have very strong feelings about worship. Worship has opened many doors for me in ministry and gives life to my personal relationship with Jesus. It has been a continual study of mine, and I think it about it so much i even wrote a book about it.

According to one personality profile, music is so important to who I am that not having it in my life for an extended time can actually be harmful to my mental health, and the vast majority of the music in my life is worship related.

Worship is a powerful element of our life in Jesus Christ. It isn’t something new, finding purpose because of the growth of the worship music industry. Quite the opposite, actually. It is because of our inner desire for and benefit from worship that kept lead worshipers going and be able to take advantage of today’s technologies to explode worldwide.

But maybe you go to church and wonder what the big deal is about worship. Maybe you haven’t grabbed hold of what it can mean for you. You are not necessarily opposed to the music at church, it just does not affect you like it does others. You love God, but this worship thing is not really a “need” in your life.

In a previous post I talked about how COVID-19 is giving us an opportunity to rediscover personal worship, to spend time with God, singing to and about Him, all on our own. This post cracks the idea of how it is different from congregational worship and bit of how to make it happen.

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Faith

Are You Willing to Worship Alone?

Church has changed in the past couple of years. COVID-19 will do that. The good news is we are in a slot of this pandemic where in most areas churches are allowed to be open.

We are glad to be able to get together and feel the power of Holy Spirit connection in one room. For a lot of folks this is better than the online church we had before. But it still isn’t the same, is it?

In my slice of the world we still have to wear masks, social distance, and are not supposed to have congregational singing. That last one is hard. Some sing anyway under their masks but most try to open themselves to God’s ministry through the worship team and quietly set their hearts and minds on Heaven.

It seems like an oxymoron, worship without singing. Yet it feels like a good to remind us of a lesson I learned while leading worship teams and writing a book about worship: the importance of being able to worship on our own, away from everyone else.

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Christian Living

Tackling COVID-19 Vaccination Questions from a Christian Worldview

Note: The posts on this website are my personal thoughts and conclusions based upon Scripture. They are not endorsed by any church I have attended, pastored, or served in.
This is an especially important distinction to keep in mind when reading thoughts on hot-button topics, such as the one discussed in this post.

Christianity and the COVID-19 vaccine. Chances are I already have your attention. These two worlds bounce off each other, all around us, every day.

To say they collide is to imply it is a war. To say they are partners together is to suggest an ease in fitting together. To quote a science fiction starship captain, “It’s never easy.”

In the North American, capital “C” Church at large, there are believers who take a strong position for both sides of vaccines. Local churches are often more split than they realize, until a side conversation becomes a lengthy, passionate discussion.

But what is the right side? Is there a right side? What lessons are we supposed to be learning and putting into practice as we go through this season? This is my take on a Christian’s perspective regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Imprisoned freedom

As an American, freedom is a term that is both familiar and foundational. There are battles over various freedoms in our Western nations, and we wonder at the lack of basic freedoms around the world.

Freedom is an essential building block of Christianity. Though it neither demands nor forces the freedoms many fight for today, it offers a deeper freedom that cannot be bound by any earthly shackles of inequality or oppression.

Proclaiming freedom for captives and the truth that sets us free, the church invites the hopeless to a life of freedom in Christ. At the Oxymoron Church, while shaking the keys of freedom before the chains of sin and death, they hold open the door a new life where hope slowly dies in a different kind of prison.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Conditional, failing love

Love. It could be the most powerful verb in any language. When we love and then act out of love, the possibilities are endless.

God’s desire to love and be loved motivated Him to create the human race. Scripture proclaims: God is love. It also tells us how we are ambassadors of Christ. If Jesus is fully God and fully man, and we are His representatives on Earth, we are supposed to be representatives of love.

The love of God, which motivated Him to create the universe and to later send His only begotten Son for our salvation, sets a high bar. Souls are searching for this love when they come to church. If only the Oxymoron Church knew how to love.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Broken Community

When talking about a topic like the Oxymoron Church, the question comes up, “Where do we start?” Do we jump straight into the big issues and risk scaring people off? Or work our way up from the little things? Let’s start somewhere in the middle.

Church is a word we often use improperly. It is not a place, but a people. It isn’t something we do, it is who we are. The church is about a group, a family, a body made up of many individuals. (If you’re my age, think Voltron.)

A healthy church is a group of believers in community. The bonds between them should draw the lonely into arms ready to embrace them, and a place at the table with many brothers and sisters.

In the Oxymoron Church, the promise of community falls to pieces. What should be one whole is smashed by division and strife.

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