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GOD, SCIENCE & WEIGHTY WORDS

22 Aug

 

Scientists say that once sound is made it never stops moving.  It endlessly roams throughout the galaxies never to find its final destination.  A group of Scientists at NASA also state that if you cross noise frequencies a certain way it can make matter disappear completely from existence, so in theory if you reversed the process you could potentially create matter (we have yet to do the latter).  Think about the beginning of these passages of scripture From Genesis 1 with that in mind…

 

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

6And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water

 

9And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”

 

11Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

 

14And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.”

 

20And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

 

24And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.”

 

26Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

God spoke, and it was.  Or maybe, God crossed noise frequencies, and it was?  However He created all that is, one thing is certain, there is something powerful and mysterious about God’s voice.

Psalm 29: 3-9

3The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.

4The voice of the Lord is powerful;

the voice of the Lord is majestic.

5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

6He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,

Sirion like a young wild ox.

7The voice of the Lord strikes

with flashes of lightning.

8The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;

the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

9The voice of the Lord twists the oaks

and strips the forests bare.

And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

WOW!!! And there are tons more passages throughout scripture just like this one, exclaiming the mighty power of God’s voice.

But what if we turned the attention towards ourselves?

Our Voices and words are obviously not comparable to the powerful Glory and wonder of God’s voice.

But what if he gave them some measure of power?

Some measure of eternal significance.

Proverbs 18: 21

21The tongue has the power of life and death,

and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Ephesians 4:29

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

Proverbs 15: 4

4The soothing tongue is a tree of life,

but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

 

Proverbs 12:18

18The words of the reckless pierce like swords,

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

 

Matthew 12: 36 & 37

36But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

 

James 3: 4-12

4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

–     James 3: 3-12

What comes out of our mouths is of great importance.  We must learn by the grace of God to tame our tongues.  To offer even our words as a living sacrifice to our God.  Think about how many times we complain or gossip.  How much of what we say is worth saying?

Traveling endlessly throughout the galaxies, If our words bear this power and weight to them than I want to always speak words of life.  Words that proclaim God’s work of redemption and a renewed mind.  Words of purpose.

Ill leave you with these passages of scripture

James 1: 26

26Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Psalm 19: 14

14May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart

be pleasing in your sight,

Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Amen.

-Josh Varnadore

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Saved and Kept

11 Jul

You know the moment when you read a passage of Scripture and something snaps in your head?  It’s as though the Word becomes alive and  fills you with unexplainable passion, confidence, peace, and hope.  I had that moment this morning as I came across this Scripture:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)

If you find yourself discouraged, fearful, or depressed, consider this text!  As a follower of Christ, you are born again through Christ and you are being guarded by the power of God through faith. Your inheritance does not fade and your salvation is sure.  The thing that I love in this Scripture is that it is the power of God that both saves us and keeps us.  I hope that you feel the truth of this… You are saved and kept by a God who does not make mistakes and who never fails.

Sometimes, it is good just to stop and think about the simplest truths of the gospel.  Hope this brings you some encouragement today!

-Justin Evans

How Faith Affects our Work

9 May

A great article  by Tim Keller on how faith affects our work!

Enjoy

-Josh Varnadore

I’ve had some busy people pick up Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, look at the subtitle, and ask: “OK, so, in a nutshell, how does God’s work connect to our work?” Always a good exercise for an author, to be asked to explain your book in just a few minutes! Here are four ways Christian faith influences and shapes our work.

First, the Christian faith gives us a moral compass, an inner GPS giving us ethical guidance that takes us beyond merely the legal aspects or requirements in any situation. A Christian on the board of a major financial institution—recently publicly embarrassed by revelations of corruption—told me about a closed door meeting there between top executives. Someone said, “We have to restore moral values.” Immediately someone asked, “Whose values? Who gets to define what is moral?” And there’s our problem. There once was a habitus of broadly felt moral intuitions that governed much behavior in our society. It went well beyond the legal. Much of the ruthlessness, the lack of transparency, and lack of integrity that characterizes the marketplace and many other professions today come because consensus on those moral intuitions has collapsed. But Christians working in those worlds do have solid ethical guidance and could address through personal example the values-vacuum that has now been recognized by so many.

Second, your Christian faith gives you a new spiritual power, an inner gyroscope, that keeps you from being overthrown by either success, failure, or boredom. Regarding success and failure, the gospel helps Christians find their deepest identity not in our accomplishments but who we are in Christ. This keeps our egos from inflating too much during seasons of prosperity, and it prevents bitterness and despondency during times of adversity. But while some jobs seduce us into over-work and anxiety, others tempt us to surrender to drudgery, only “working for the weekend,” doing just what is necessary to get by when someone is watching. Paul calls that “eye-service” (Colossians 3:22–24) and charges us to think of every job as working for God, who sees everything and loves us. That makes high-pressure jobs bearable and even the most modest work meaningful.

Third, the Christian faith gives us a new conception of work as the means by which God loves and cares for his world through us. Look at the places in the Bible that say that God gives every person their food. How does God do that? It is through human work—from the simplest farm girl milking the cows to the truck driver bringing produce to market to the local grocer. God could feed us directly but he chooses to do it through work. There are three important implications of this. First, it means all work, even the most menial tasks, has great dignity. In our work we are God’s hands and fingers, sustaining and caring for his world. Secondly, it means one of the main ways to please God in our work is simply to do work well. Some have called this “the ministry of competence.” What passengers need first from an airline pilot is not that she speaks to them about Jesus but that she is a great, skillful pilot. Third, this means that Christians can and must have deep appreciation for the work of those who work skillfully but do not share our beliefs.

Fourth, the Christian faith gives us a new world-and-life view that shapes the character of our work. All well-done work that serves the good of human beings pleases God. But what exactly is “the common good”? There are many work tasks that do not require us to reflect too much on that question. All human beings need to eat, and so raising and providing food serves people well. But what if you are an elementary school teacher, or a playwright? What is good education (i.e. what should you be teaching children)? What kinds of plays should you write (i.e. what kinds of stories do people need)? The answers to these questions will depend largely on how you answer more fundamental questions—what is the purpose of human life? What is life about? What does a good human life look like?  It is unavoidable that many jobs will be shaped by our conscious or semi-conscious beliefs about those issues.  So, finally, a Christian must think out how his or her faith will distinctly shape their work.

How wonderful that the gospel works on every aspect of us—mind, will, and feelings—and enables us to both deeply appreciate the work of non-believers and yet aspire to work in unique ways as believers.  Putting all of these four aspects together, we see that being a Christian leads us to see our work not as merely a way to earn money, nor as primarily a means of personal advancement, but a truly a calling—to serve God and love our neighbor.

Integrity

25 Apr

Almost every week we talk about worshiping God with our lives and the importance of living out the songs that we sing. I think there is one word God wants to speak to us today and that word is integrity.

As worship leaders, and not only that, but as followers of Christ, we are called to live a life set apart, a life of complete integrity. I’ve been thinking about this lately; I want to have integrity even in the little things, in every single thing I do. When we decide to surrender our lives to Christ it doesn’t mean we won’t be tempted or mess up but it does mean that we are trying the best we can to live a life holy and pleasing to God. It is necessary that people can look at our lives and know we are different.

1 Peter 1:14-15 says, “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But NOW you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.

Let us choose holiness. Let us be people of integrity on and off the stage so that when we lead people every weekend it is authentic and real and an overflow of our lives. We don’t do this so that we can have the glory or recognition for ourselves, we do this to bring honor to Him, to please Him, to be an example to all believers. There is no other way to follow Christ.

-Macy McKinzie

The Beautiful Call of a Worship Leader

18 Apr

“Let our love to lead worship never overtake our love for the people who we are leading in worship.”

As a worship leader, our ministry can be intoxicating and exhilarating.  We take the stage every week and play music for people who love us and our music (for the most part 🙂  It is a highly rewarding ministry that brings recognition and often admiration.  People want to be a part of worship ministry, and our auditions fill with people who desire to be a part of the team.  As a worship leader, it is easy to love worship ministry.  However, my fear is that we have a tendency toward loving ministry more than the people to whom we minister.
My prayer for our team today is that our love for ministry is driven by the people who we are serving.  Let our love to lead worship never overtake our love for the people who we are leading in worship.
We are called and commissioned by Christ to live missional lives for the glory of God as we share and model the gospel.  Our God-given purpose is people.  Our God-given mission is people.  As messy as people and relationships can be, our God-given ministry is people.  My prayer is that we never separate our ministries from the people to whom we are ministering.  Instead, my hope is that every time we step on the stage we are driven by our calling to share the truth of Jesus Christ with our people so that they may be transformed by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.  This is the beautiful calling of a worship leader.
-Justin Evans

Worship Night – Song List

21 Mar

We had an amazing night of Worship at the McKinney Campus a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful time of worshipping together as “one church”. We wanted to post the song list from that night with links for you to listen and incorporate these songs into your daily worship time.

Here for You – Matt Redman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXIeSfaOPdo

Furious – Jeremy Riddle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjdnU4ZYXRE

Our God is Love – Hillsong Live

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd5g8OEpoUA

Because of You we Are – Aubrey McGowan, Taylor Whiddon, Josh Varnadore, Macy McKinzie (Hope Original Lyrics)

VERSE 1:

Out of the madness

Christ lifted us from the fall

Into the promise

The father adopting us all

PRE:

And This now we know

Because of Christ we live

This now we know

He is ours and we are His

CHORUS:

We are the sons and daughters

We are the proof your love can change a heart

So unashamed we’re running to you

We know Death is defeated love is complete in

The cross that’s declaring our freedom

We are the sons and daughters of God

Because of you we are

VERSE 2:

Hope that was lost is

Bursting now inside of us

Clothed in His mercy

Wrath has been shattered by love

BRIDGE:

We know this is the power of God

We know this is the power of God

We know this is the power of God

That change, that change, that changes us

We will Rise  – Macy McKinzie,Justin Evans, Jennifer McGowan, Aubrey McGowan-Hope Original Lyrics)

Verse 1

Father we long for more of who you are

For more of your heart in us

Father we yearn for You to revive

Our human hearts, with holy life

Verse 2

Jesus we long for more of who you are

For more of your light in us

Jesus we yearn for you shine

In this world, through our lives

Chorus 1

And this our desperate cry

For more of you and less of our pride

These are our hands, lifted high

Singing we will rise, we will rise

Verse 3

Spirit we long for more of you are

For more of your power in us

Spirit we yearn for the Church to decide

That we will rise, we will rise

Chorus 2

And this our desperate cry

For more of you and less of our pride

These are our hands, lifted high

Singing we will rise, we will rise

We will rise, We will rise

Bridge

Creating, saving, comforting God

For you we will go, we will shine, we will rise

Creating, saving, comforting God

For you we will go, we will shine, we will rise

We will rise, we will rise

We will rise, We will rise

We will rise, we will rise

We will rise, We will rise

Chorus 3

And this our desperate cry

For more of you and less of our pride

These are our hands, lifted high

Singing we will rise, we will rise

Copyright

Arms Open Wide – Hillsong United

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQPfWlCP_Y

Be Thou My Vision – Dallan Forgaill (feat. Ascend the Hill)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jEuPIahKSw

I will Exalt – Bethel Live (feat. Amanda Falk)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT1LWYVnBVw

Set A Fire – Will Reagan & United Pursuit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A8almp_nCU

Immeasurably More

7 Mar

 

Ephesians 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

When was the last you lived as if you believed that? When was the last time you prayed as if you believed that? I’m guilty.

This verse hasn’t left my heart for about a month now and I think there is reason for that. God loves our prayers, but He desires our big prayers. It’s good that we have faith in who God is, but He is longing for people who have faith beyond just belief, beyond the natural. In Matthew 5: 20 Jesus tells us: “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as this mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

This scripture in Ephesians says that His power is at work within US! We have no reason to doubt ourselves when the creator and the redeemer of all things is working within us! We can live our lives in faith knowing that God is able to do more than we could ever imagine. This world and this community needs more people who can live out this revelation. It can start with us.

He can do immeasurably more in your family.

He can do immeasurably more in your marriage.

He can do immeasurably more in our cities, in our church, in this team.

He can do immeasurably more in our friends who are lost.

He can do immeasurably more in our nation and in this world.

I challenge all of us (myself included) to walk in faith this week and live like you believe it!
-Macy McKinzie