Thursday, August 28, 2008

worshipping together

If you looked at yesterday's entries, I was looking into a couple passages, which talk about psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. I have some input from our worship pastor and read some commentary. Here are my thoughts.

We are told to sing in our hearts to the Lord, which mirrors what Jesus said, we worship in spirit and truth. We worship with our hearts, souls, mind and strenght. It says to speak to one another, but I found it can better be translated to speak "with" one another. We speak as one to God in these mediums. We worship together as a corperate body, speaking in one voice.

We speak in Psalms. Many of the Psalms are David crying out for help, confessing sin and seeking forgiveness. We speak in a way that cries out in confession and repentance. We seek forgiveness from the Father when we fall short, individually and as a church.

Hymns are great theological truths. We acknowledge who God is, and what He has done for us. We sing about the majesty and the presence of God. We sing about the work of Jesus, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. These are hymns, they are great theological truthes.

Spiritual songs are those of praise and adoration, pouring from our hearts. We sing from our spirit, rejoicing in what God has done in us, through us and for us. We sing together as the redeemed, singing to the redeemer for all He has done for us.

We do all this with and through one another. As a church, we worship as a church, we seek God's face as a church. It's all about community.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

songs and hymns and spiritual songs

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Eph 5:15-21 (ESV)

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:12-17 (ESV)

In two different passages, Paul tells us to speak to one another or admonish one another singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. So if we speak to one another, would that preclude this from being worship, or is it worshipping together? What does this look like, and how does it work? I have some studying to do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

perfect evangelism

So I am trying to put together some evangelism material for Heartland, and I realize the gigantic pile of material I have acquired. There is more evangelism material then there are people using the material. So many strategies, which one to use, what to choose and what to choose from. Have we made sharing our faith more difficult by making it simple? Have we lost the focus of relationship, of caring and of connecting with people by condensing it all into a rehearsed, pre-planned routine? Maybe so, maybe not. I guess I'll just begin to wade into the sea of material that is the modern day evangelical curriculum, and hope I can make sense of it all. . . without drowning.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Statistical arminians

So I am reading a book written by a very famous research organization. I struggle with many of these books because they are very Armenian in nature. I think I understand why. When you have corresponding data, what we do and the results, it leads you to very performance oriented thinking. We try to work a method, we try to change things, and if we do it on our own power, then people accept by our works, leading to free will theology. Armenian theology.

So how does it really work? Paul said “I planted, Apollos waters, God gave the increase”. So we work and we toil, but in the end, it’s God that does the work. It grows when He wants it too and it doesn’t when He doesn’t want it too. It’s independant of our work. So by all means, work, but in your work make sure you are giving the glory to God, because the work is really His work.

medicine head

So I haven't posted in more than a week. It's hard to blog when your head is congested and you are full of cold medicine. Thoughts become pretty hard to get together, let alone put down into a decent blog. I have discovered this blogging thing to be difficult than I originally thought. I don't as often have anything profound to talk about, at least not anything I think it worth the writing and you reading. I strive to make the read worthwhile, which has led to less and less frequent blogs. Part of which because of this head cold, which is going on it's second week, I've been medicated.

I will continue to work on it, to try to find things to blog about that are worth reading. I prefer not to blog about blogging, seems overly ironic. Anyway, keep checking back, I'll see what I can put together.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Random thought about the US Postal Service

Ok, so I was on the porch, checking the mail. It was Saturday. I thought "there won't be any mail tomorrow" and realized that Sunday is the only day of the week the post office doesn't deliver mail. I think that's a very interesting fact, have you noticed how many government institutions are closed on Sunday. Even banks now are open half a day on Saturday, but closed Sunday. I am all for this, but how long do you think it will be until the ACLU begins to sue places for being closed on Sunday. After all, a day of rest was God's idea, to take a day of rest is the promotion of a religious ideal, isn't it? To not allow someone to bank or send mail on Sunday.

How is it that the church begins something, then the state takes it away and tells the church they can't have any influence. If I wrote a book, and someone else took the book, then changed the book and said I could no longer have any say in how the book was written, published or marketed, I would be upset. It was God who started the institution of marriage, it was a church function and ordained and watched over by the church. Now that state took marriage from the church and is now telling the church they can't participate in the dialogue about how marriage should be. It all seems silly to me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dull brain

Have you ever felt like you are losing the sharpness of your mind? For me, it wasn't too hard. Since I've moved to Sioux City, I haven't had to push myself as hard mentally. I'm done with seminary and writing papers, and I haven't had people asking me the hard theological questions lately. I don't have the Gregs (Buchanan and Hendricks), Larry, Simon or Don here to ask me stuff that makes me step back and really think. Sure, there is IM, and I try to keep up dialouge, but I am feeling soft around the midsection. Physically and mentally.

I played a few online "brain excersies" today, and tried to do some study of some things in I Peter 3. I talked with Greg Buchanan online and tried to challenge myself. Then I decided to blog and sat here and looked at the screen. I've been doing that a lot lately. Maybe I am trying too hard to be deep and spiritual, or maybe I'm just getting soft.

So here I am. I reminded myself that the purpose of the blog is to write so I can improve my writing. It's not to be profound and have a deep, lasting impact. I would love for it too, but I also understand the very limited demand for my blog. If you are reading this, thank you for taking the time to stop and look it over. Hopefully you are inspired to push yourself mentally, and we can do some brain-chin ups together.