Archive | December, 2012

Advent

20 Dec

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In the churches I grew up in advent was about as foreign a word as a capella. It just sounded like a King James word and the use of it was strategically avoided so as to not appear like you had gone to some stiff old church with wooden pews and pipe organs. After all, we had padded chairs and electric guitars and danced and sang worship choruses together! This made us obviously superior to people who only stood to sing archaic hymns because their butts were falling asleep.

But, here we are in the 21st century and we are seeing a revival of the love for hymns among younger generations. We are hearing words like Lent and Advent more often. And for a boy who grew up in charismatic circles, this is refreshing. I understand that some of you have never stopped singing hymns or observing Lent and of this you may be tired, but I think that it would do all of us well to heed the original call of the Advent season.

Advent = Arrival

We should take time this season to do two things:

1. Imagine what it was like at the time of Christ’s birth as creation waited for the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah. Come into this Christmas with a sense of reverence and awe for what God accomplished through Christ. Love came down to earth. The message is preached in countless carols and plastered on department store walls, “Joy to the world, the lord is come!” Worship Him!

2. There is yet another arrival that we are anticipating. The advent of the Lord’s return. He will come again!

“He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.”

Hebrews 9:28

This advent are we eagerly waiting for Him? Are our ears and eyes open? Are we about the business of our Father or are we squandering the moments before His arrival on meaningless things?

Let’s prepare for His arrival just as Mary, the Shepherds, and the wise men did, with a willingness to do what He says and follow where He leads.

-Aubrey

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Our Level of Spirituality

6 Dec
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I’ll start today by reminding you of our worship team mission statement:
To inspire and develop leaders who are committed to a lifestyle of God-worship.
The more we journey this out together, the more I am completely sold on it! The guys who came up with this were just brilliant! 🙂
Several months ago I spoke during our weekend services about worship as the foundational context for our lives and that is what our mission statement is all about. Nothing we do on any given weekend matters if the rudder of our whole life is not God-worship.
That being said, I would like to debunk a myth and maybe even explain my own unorthodox ways a little. In the past I have been part of teams that have passionately prayed together in the countdown leading up to a time of worship. There is something so awesome about a team genuinely uniting together in prayer before we go out on stage. But we must be careful not to put too much weight into that prayer. At times in my past, the myth that I believed was that if everyone prayed passionately enough in the final minute before we led worship together that it would guarantee a powerful move of God. Although the prayer in itself is awesome, trusting in that prayer is not. Ultimately it is not the power of prayer that brings God’s presence. There is no such thing as the power of prayer. It is the power of God through prayer. It is His power that we are trusting in and going back to our mission statement, the main way that we can live in His power is to live an ongoing life of God-worship. We can deliver the most powerful pre-service prayer known to man, but if we are not living it that prayer is no more than a coach’s pep talk before a game. On the contrary, we can say a quick, “Thank You Jesus, Amen” and God could also move powerfully during our worship time. A spiritual emotional prayer does NOT necessarily prepare us spiritually for leading in worship. It may pump us up emotionally and mentally but it will not cover the gap if there is a lack of spiritual discipline and communion with the Lord at all other times.
Our level of spirituality Is not best determined in moments of public visible expression. So, how do we know? “You will know them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:16) We need to pay attention to the fruit that is growing from our lives.
Let’s live with integrity in our worship and pray fervently for God to move in our midst… every day!
-Aubrey