No matter how hard I try, it always seems to be the reality that I get sick during the Christmas season. Everyone always makes fun of me for decorating my house for Christmas right after Halloween, but now with the way I feel I really don’t care…and actually as I read what people are posting on FB about dreading to decorate their houses etc. I sit back and kinda grin, because I know why I decorate so early. Knowing all the planning that goes into the Christmas season here at church, for me decorating early isn’t about making my house inside and out look perfect…its about preparing for a celebration! You know often we wait don’t we, especially when it comes to our relationship with God…we wait until the last minute. No please do read what I am not saying! For me, I need to prepare ahead in order to make the celebration of Christ’s birth the best it can be not only for me and for the church that I have the honor to lead in worship, but for our Saviors birth!
Our memory verse for this month has really blessed my life, set some perspective, challenged me, gave me focus! Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given. And the Government will be on His shoulders. And His name will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” . I don’t know about you, but for me I NEED that reminder each day! Though His counsel may not always be easy…it’s always right! He is the Almighty God, there is nothing that He cannot conquer! He is Everlasting, there is not end…He WILL always be there! And He is the Prince of Peace, so often I need to be reminded of the healing power of peace!
So I challenge you this Christmas, don’t get caught up in the crazy of the season…GET CAUGHT UP IN THE NAME OF THE SEASON!!!!
What an incredible video to watch, especially for myself as I was granted the privilage to work with these incrible people when they were students! I had a great team of mentors who investe their lives into these and many others! It is so awesome to see how God is using them! I just came back from a conference, where I have been challenged and refreshed. We were challenged to invest in people, to love people! That has always been the example that Jesus laid out for us in the Scriptures! It is my prayer that FBC would continue to invest and love! Special thanks to my former students who took out time to share what God is doing in their lives! Love you guys!!!
What an incredible morning of worship! There were several times that I dropped out and to hear you all singing your praise to the Lord was overwhelming for me! I often marvel at how God orchestrates the worship set to fit with the sermon when there was no connection intended! What drove this week’s set was purely the focus on God and his healing power, the reality that we cannot do this life on our own and a plea to Him to work within our hearts! The focus was the Great I Am! When I realized that this was also the week we look back on remember 9/11 I found a great video that challenged us all that despite the realities that came along with such a terrible attack that “our faith is our refuge, our hope sustains us, and love endures all. Here is the link to that video:
As I sat and hear Pastor Josh preach and listened to his points that God is trustworthy and that His Goodness cannot be overwhelmed each of this mornings songs fit so well!!! Loved the reminder of 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “Here on this holy ground, You made a way for peace, laying Your body down, You took our rightful place, This freedom song is marching on…” You know, not a moment should go by during your day that you don’t praise God for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! What is the key to success in Jesus Christ? Surrender. Have you surrendered your life to Him? My prayer this week is that you will be blown away by the reality of the Great I Am and surrender your life to Him!
Wednesday night, September 4th, 6:15-7:30 PM in the Adult Learning Center will be the launch date of the 2013-2014 Choir Season! Honestly it has snuck up on me! I found that the boxes of music to listen to sat untouched on my desk until just a couple weeks ago! Finding the right music, working out all the dates, and putting it all together with the topics set for the fall is a real process. I am excited about the songs that have been selected, we will be sining some great pieces with incredible messages of God's love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, guidance, etc. We will also be performing with a full orchestra in December again. You can pick up all your music in the choir cubbies located in the worship wing. See you in a couple weeks. If you are not a member of the choir, there is room for you! Contact the church office for more information.
What a great night to be together! Love the different generations interacting! So much food!!!!! Thank you everyone...thank you Hogue family for your hospitality! It's gonna be a great year! To God be the glory.
God is faithful! What an example He is to us today as we looked at the fruit Faithfulness. We were challenge with am I faithful! It is important for us to remember that the God of the ages has been faithful from day one…consistent, always doing what He said he would do! Mikayla was right in her welcome when she looks to His example to live out the fruit of faithfulness, that is what God wants from us as well to be faithful followers! We are to be a people who keep their word! We were challenged by Isaiah 43:1-3 that God is faithful, He has kept his word from day one! There is nothing we need be afraid of! No matter what you are going through, He is there to see you through! Great is His faithfulness, we are reminded each and every day as we go throughout our day! If we could just slow down a little and see it! This morning as we worshipped Him for His faithfulness, we see the importance of this fruit in our own life…the impact that it will have on those around us! So this week, as you live out the fruit of the Spirit, take Pastor Mike’s challenge to heart and become a person who is faith, who can be depended upon!
“Gentleness is on of the rarest of all the distinctively Christian graces.”
--Robert Strand, Gentleness
You know, this morning I was really challenged by our worship service! Gentleness is so important. It is truly amazing to come week after week and be challenged by living out the fruit of the Spirit in our everyday life! In Ephesians 4:2 we are challenged “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Kelly Cournan shared with us this morning during the welcome that Jesus is one of her examples of gentleness to live by! I was taken back to the Scripture that talks about Jesus interacting with the children…one of many examples of our Gentle Shepherd, Jesus! So I am challenged today, and every day from this point to live a life of gentleness and I challenge you to do the same!
This morning I wanted the set to be filled with songs that worship God for His goodness, His generosity towards us. What better example of how to live a life of goodness and generosity. Ultimately God was good by giving up His Son as the sacrifice for our sinfulness! What a beautiful picture of generosity to a sinful mess like us!!!! For that we give Him the praise and we see that through God’s example how we can be a light, how we can…just by following His word, with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can be that light, that goodness to a world in need. I am not talking about the world way out there, but the sphere of your influence. The people you work with, hang out with, go to school with, share meals with! I think often we wait to long in those situation. The Scripture tells us in Proverbs 3:27, 28 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’—when you already have it with you” (NIV)
It truly is about surrender isn’t it! If we live a surrendered life, allowing the Holy Spirit complete control things do play out differently! Living out the fruit of the Spirit come more naturally when we aren’t concerned with living out our human nature. This morning we sang some powerful words about following Christ forever, does our life show that…or is that easy said Sunday morning during worship? I challenge you as the last song did we have an intimate relationship with a God who is “Holy, Righteous, Faithful to the end, Savior, Healer, Redeemer and Friend!” Our God delivers! He does everything He says that he will do! He promised us a helper, His Holy Spirit…are you allowing the Holy Spirit to help you?
It is always a challenge to put together a service that falls on a national holiday. This weekend we remember, Memorial Day, is a day of remembering those who lost their life for the freedom that we have here in the United States! We showed a video this morning that honored their memory well http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/31170/We-Remember I love the ending of Scripture John 15:13 “No greater love than this, that one lays down their life for their friend”. I said this morning that there is no one who understands that more than God does, as His Son was the ultimate sacrifice for our sin! Such love!
Pastor Mike’s message this morning spent time talking about Abraham’s faith! As we read in Scripture and know how God has been faithful to them, we also know that God doesn’t change and He is faithful today! Faith is a genuine action! We see all through the Scriptures God’s faith! He is good, this morning through the music we are reminded of that goodness…His faithfulness! So as we sang this morning, the attributes and characteristics of God that we sang of remind us of how faithful He is! At the end of the song set we are challenged with a great hymn of the church “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”…such powerful words! Do we believe that. As I was singing this morning I found myself worshipping during this hymn in such a way that it I blocked out the fact that I was leading. It was so important to me that I had completely focus on what I was singing, the words that were coming from my mouth. Now you may say, “shouldn’t your focus be on God completely Pastor Scott as you worship?” Please understand my job as the worship leader, I am responsible to lead the congregation, vocal team and band, as we worship, so it is a juggling act many times! This morning though, I took a break as we sang “My faith has found a resting place not in device or creed, I TRUST THE EVER LIVING ONE HIS WOUNDS FOR ME SHALL PLEAD. I need no other argument I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me!” As we went into that chorus of “My faith has found a resting place” I was taken to the throne of God in worship! Thank you God, I have faith in YOU!
It is my prayer as each Sunday morning we worship together, that our time goes beyond songs, and style…but that the words we sing carry a lot of meaning and hold great truths of the attributes and character of God! I trust that you are engaging not with the worship team, but with God! I trust that the words you sing ring true as you sing such a great commitment to God such as “My faith has found a resting place”!
Who do you put your faith in?