Monday, May 31, 2010

Fanatical Christians...

I was moved yesterday by the sermon. I always feel it is directed at me and really try to go back and examine the "weeds" in my own life. I have been thinking about commitment.


Commitment: the act of committing or the state of being committed.
      • dedication; application : the company's commitment to quality.
      • a pledge or undertaking : I cannot make such a commitment at the moment.
      • an act of pledging or setting aside something

It's a pretty big word that carries a huge responsibility. In Revelation 3:15, Christ tells John to write in a letter to the church in Laodicea: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!"  

I think He wants us to be sold out, on fire, working for His kingdom. What does that mean exactly? 

One thing the pastor mentioned yesterday was being in church...every Sunday. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 10, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

I love gathering with God's people to worship Him. I was not always this way, however. I think as I get older, and I realize the magnitude of what God has done for me I become more passionate in my love for HIm. We have so many older saints who clearly love Him. They are in church even though they are fighting incredible physical pain and a multitude of other issues. Oh that we can learn from them. 

So let's apply the commitment thing to the music ministry. Since God wants us to bring Him our best, we have to try our best to do that. What does that mean for us? It means we make a pledge to Him. It's not a commitment to me or to the church, but to God and His church. Which means:

- We need to be at rehearsals--every rehearsal and on time. When everyone is not at rehearsal we waste valuable time repeating the same thing for those who were not there. None of us are such great musicians that we can show up and sight read at Sunday morning's run through. In fact, incredible musicians don't show up and sight read. They prepare, and prepare many hours before bringing their gift. It can only hurt the team if people are missing.

-We need to be prepared for rehearsals, spiritually. We need to make sure our hearts are prepared to learn and worship. Rehearsal is also a time of worship as we prepare our offering to God. 

-We need to be in the services. We are the leaders of worship, and as such we need to be the example. As leaders of worship we should want to be in services. It doesn't provide a good example to lead on Sunday morning, then not be there at all on Sunday night. I guess the question we all need to ask ourselves is would we be there in the service if we weren't leading? I hope and pray the answer is yes. Sunday night could be when we have our most intimate worship with our Creator. 

God could do amazing things through us if we are committed to Him and His church. It's not easy. It requires a sacrifice. But the blessings are so amazing that we won't even remember the sacrifice. If we love Him, truly love him, then we want to be with him, serve Him, love Him, worship Him 24-7, not just Sunday morning. 

My prayer is that we all fall in love with Jesus all over again and are so on fire that, like the pastor said yesterday, we are known as those "fanatical" Christians. Would that be the coolest thing or what? 

He doesn't want lukewarm...He wants fanatical:-)

Anita

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pulling weeds...

I don't think I can sleep. My mind is always racing after services on Sunday. All week we focus on the services coming up, so after they are over, we feel recharged and start thinking ahead to the next one, or in my case, the ever-increasing pile of Christmas music on my desk to listen to.

We had incredible worship services today! I love being in the house of God with His people, singing His praises. I love listening to the message, knowing that I have some "weeds to pull" out of my life, but also knowing that home is only "14 inches" away. I love feeling His presence, knowing that He is working in the lives of the people He loves so dearly.

Sometimes we base the success of worship services on how we "feel" things are going. But we can't do that. We have to base it on faith knowing that, regardless of how we "feel," God is working in someone's life. I reminded myself of that this morning.

When we walked out and sat down, I felt a huge weight of responsibility leading us all to worship. And a small voice inside my head said, "Anita, you cannot do this." And I replied, "You're right! I cannot do this! I am not worthy." But somewhere deep inside the Holy Spirit reminded me that God CAN work through me and all I need is faith. Not feeling...faith. He is always faithful.

And He moved in His house this morning!! He worked through the choir and Beth as they sang that beautiful song. He worked through Cheryl as she lifted up praise in a stirring offertory. He worked through Mike as he juggled TV and live sound and made everything work so flawlessly. He worked through the pastor as he challenged me then sent me right back to pull out those weeds. And He worked in so many other ways that we will never know.

But he also worked in a mighty way bringing a beautiful new family into our congregation. A family with faith.

Faith in God.

God can do amazing things through people who trust Him.

I pray that all of us take our faith on a test drive this week. Pray and read, then go out and put that faith in action. There are people all around us who need to see the love of Jesus through our actions. They need to see our faith in action.


I just posted this scripture yesterday, but it keeps going through my head. Jesus says in Matthew 25, "For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’


Let's do it unto Him.

I love you my brothers and sisters in Christ!
Anita

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Give Him Your Best...

I've been thinking a lot about our upcoming "Free Market" lately. What a wonderful opportunity to reach out to others. In Matthew 25 Jesus says,

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

So we all know we are supposed to show the love of Christ to others by taking care of those in need. So it's such a blessing that people are willing to come together and bring items to give away for free. What I want to focus on are the items we bring. Let's make sure that we don't dwell on donating things we no longer want or need.  If we are really trying to show people the love of Christ do we really want to give them the cast offs and things we do not care whether we have or not? Really? I think God is calling us to make a sacrifice. Give something away you DO want. Give something you LOVE away. Go buy something NEW to give to a child who NEEDS it. Give your FAVORITE Christian CD away. Maybe someone will come to know Christ through it.

We must examine our motivation for everything we bring to God. Are we bringing our best or just some old stuff we don't want anymore? There's nothing wrong with sharing things we don't use or don't fit, etc., but this outreach event is not the place to dump all the "stuff" we just want rid of then sit back and think we've done something great and expect God to bless it. Now, let me stop right here and tell you that I'm in no way saying any of us would do that! I'm only saying that we need to consciously examine our hearts and motives so we don't stumble as we approach this event.  He deserves only our best and His people deserve our BEST. If we humble ourselves and give Him our best, just watch what He can do through us.

Our God is amazing! He can do incredible things with our "Free Market" if we are willing to let Him do what He wants to do through us and not what we want. Pray for the event. Pray for people who will come. Pray for the items we will all bring in to donate. Pray for God to use us to do His work. It's all about Him:-)

Love you all,
Anita

Friday, May 14, 2010

Worship Revolution with Darlene Zschech and Hillsong at The Cove...


You all know how much I admire the songs of Darlene Zschech and Hillsong, so I can tell you that this week's seminar at The Cove was incredible!! The worship was so intense and Christ-centered that we are exhausted! There were about 500 other worship leaders, pastors, and musicians there all worshiping, learning, and getting ready to go out and declare that God is here!! Isn't it amazing that the creator of the universe wants to have a relationship with us? We will be sharing more with everyone, hopefully, in a service. Just know that we are changed in a big way and ready to worship!!


Sorry for the iphone photos, but we were not ready! I just went to say hi and she gave me a big hug! She definitely has a heart for Christ:-)










Rise Up & Praise Him (Paul Baloche)

Saturday, May 1, 2010