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?
When I am putting a worship set together I do my best to take many different things in consideration: Songs that will lead people into worship; what is the theme for the day; what songs work well together to affirm an attribute of God that we are singing about. Then there are weeks that songs all come together and the connection point hits me on Sunday morning first service as we are in the midst of the set!
I have been reading the book “Worship on Earth as it is in Heaven…Exploring Worship as a Spiritual Discipline” by Rory Noland. The book is broken into two parts one that talks about the personal discipline of worship and then the corporate discipline of worship. He used the book of Revelation and what John saw to give us insight on what worship will look like in heaven. Noland makes these points:
Worship in heaven will be loud. Revelation 5:11-12 “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angles, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice…” Revelation 11:15 “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying…” Revelation 19:1 “After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heave, crying out…” Heaven is not going to be a quiet experience all the time, the styles will vary, the language will not necessary all be English.
Noland also talked about repetition as well siting Revelation 4:8 “Day and night they never cease to say ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” So this morning as we are singing the set I am looking at all the songs and how they work together and I catching a glimpse of what John was talking about in Revelation!
As we finished singing “Famous One” at the beginning of the service, Pastor Mike challenged us to think of someone in our lives that needs Jesus! God, began to weave in my mind the major connection throughout this morning that worship experience in Heaven and the need to share my faith with others. Life is incredible being a follower of Jesus Christ! Why wouldn’t I want to share that? Who am I sharing that with? The sobering reality of this morning for me was that fact, a fact I sang about as a child: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…Hide it under a bushel NO! I’m gonna let it shine!” Do my friends who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ see a difference in my life? The glimpse of heaven this morning…am I going to hide that from those in my life who do not know HIM?
What a beautiful morning together as a church family!
If my heart has grown cold
There Your love will unfold
As you open my eyes
To the work of Your hand
When I’m blind to my way
There Your Spirit will pray
As You open my eyes
From the song “Oceans Will Part”
What incredible words, what an incredible challenge! This morning we were reminded from Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for he good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Are we tuned into His whisper? Are you looking for hope? The past couple weeks I have been talking about the fact that we often default back into taking control of our lives! We forget what we sang about this morning that He is the God of the Ages “He is the first and last the One who matters most!”
It boggles our minds doesn’t it, this God, God of the ages is a friend of sinners! Maybe this morning you needed to hear that. Maybe this morning you are in the process of making bad decisions or you are having a hard time letting go of bad decisions that you have made! This morning you need hope, or you know people that need hope. I pray you were challenged either way. God is our healer…He is our portion…He is all that we need! In fact He is more than we need, He is all sufficient for everything and anything we face in life!
May I remind you of the bridge of the song “Healer” that says “Nothing is impossible for You, Nothing is in impossible, Nothing is impossible for You, YOU HOLD MY WORLD IN YOUR HANDS!” Again I want to remind you of the video last week called “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave. You may be reading this and accepted this redemption or you may not have…you may have forgotten about what Christ did for you, how He redeemed you! I pray you have walked away this morning with the reminder that you have been redeemed!
First Baptist Church of New Castle • 984 West Maitland Ln, New Castle, PA 16105 • [p] 724.658.2507 • [f] 724.657.0552