Sunday, June 26, 2011
I took my wife and son to Joplin awhile back. While it could officially be deemed a "gawking" visit, I wanted to see the damage for myself. Several of the folks I work with have gone to Joplin and I heard their comments about the devastation. Even a month after the tornado, the devastation in Joplin is staggering. Once the initial shock wore off, one thing kept going through my mind as we drove through seemingly endless blocks of destruction - What are we going to do as a church? I realize that we have taking up a special collection, but there is more.
LifeQuest Church, I don't know when it will occur, but get ready - We need to go to Joplin to do our part, however small it may seem to be in the big picture that is their recovery.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Church of God movement that our church is a part of has long championed the cause of unity in God’s Church. But that was not anything we came up with. When you look at NT scriptures, the apostles constantly urged the churches to unity in their letters. Even Jesus prayed—just before His betrayal—“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one” (John 17:21 NLT).
If the NT church led by the apostles struggled with this unity, how much more has the church struggled through the ages as factions and splits and denominationalism has driven many Christians apart and, thus, driven many in the world away from the Church! I have been much encouraged of late, though. I have a sense that unity is gradually becoming more of a reality in the Church of our day. Technology has served to bridge gaps amongst the global church, denominations are choosing to focus on the essentials of faith rather than bickering and arguing the minutia, and worship...the newfound passion and value that has been injected into the Church’s worship over the past decade or two has been astounding.
Nothing draws unity from the church like worship does. Consider our time of singing on Sunday AM: When else is our church in complete unison? When else does the church act in complete harmony? When else do we all focus our attention so single-mindedly? Somehow, there’s something special about echoing the same words of faith as the guy sitting down the row or the gal across the aisle. It’s called unity and we need it—and in greater abundance—because it honors God and draws the world to Him (see the rest of John 17:21).
Thursday, June 23, 2011
We at LifeQuest Church recently experienced a very special worship service that centered on a theme of “Incense”. As a core part of that service, we introduced a new song to you titled Like Incense by Brooke Ligertwood, David Strasser, and Rich Mullins. This song has been one of my favorite worship songs for awhile now and I’ve been looking forward to teaching it to our church. I love worship songs that have such rich lyrics...especially when those lyrics are drawn straight from God’s Word: May my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering (Psalm 141:2, NASB).
There’s also a section of the song where we simply sing “Oh...” over a beautiful melody in 3-part harmony. I loved singing this with all of you on Sunday, it felt like we were offering some kind of audio-incense to God as the room was filled with a palpable sense of worship! I look forward to singing this more with you in our coming worship services.