Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Thirsty? Come to the Water

How often do you feel the need to drink?  If we listen to nutritionists, we should be drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day.  Thanks to coffee, I get about half of that amount within the first 2 hours of my day.

Now, if my math serves me properly, I should be good to go until about 4 pm before needing another drink.  But as we all know, that is not the case as our thirst will creep back around much sooner than that.

So what's the point here?  The point is that we can never really drink too much. (At least I have never heard that from a doctor.) The same is true in regards to our relationship with Jesus...we can never get too much.

Jesus revealed to John, "for the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water"-Rev. 7:17.  And there you have it, turn to Jesus and have your thirst satisfied.

I have recently found encouragement through the song "Come to the Water" by Kristian Stanfill.  The song is a simple invitation for us to come and experience all that Christ has to offer.

The song is not new which is why it serves as a pleasant reminder that the promise we have in Jesus, while not new to those who have called upon his name, can be like new every time we turn to him.

Stanfill sings:

Oh, come, come to the water
All who are thirsty
Come and be filled

Just like the drink that I would need to have before 4 pm rolls around, I am in need of more Jesus no matter how much I have already had.  It's absolutely amazing to me to know that we have a savior who can fully satisfy our thirst for life when we truly seek him.

And as the song delivers:

We believe you will satisfy
You bring our hearts to life
We are alive!

If you want to listen to the song, here's a link:  https://player.vimeo.com/video/164281784

Have a blessed week!


Monday, April 11, 2016

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

I have been in a battle lately.   A battle that often consumes my thoughts, deprives me of sleep and fills me with fear.  And because I know how the great deceiver works, I know I am not the only one facing battles today.   It is during these times of battle that I find solace in music.  I am so thankful for the gift of music and God’s word reminds us He can use music to help us overcome battles.

King Jehoshaphat was in a battle and the reality looked grim for him and the nation of Judah.  Neighboring countries had banded together and were marching against him.  The strategic plan would be to send an army of men armed with arrows and swords to the front lines to protect the nation of Judah.  But instead, Jehoshaphat did what any great king would do.  He established a choir.  A what?  Yes, the king armed his men with songs.  Marching into battle, they sang “Give thanks to the Lord!  His love never ends!”  (2 Chronicles 20:21) The enemy became so confused by the sound of their praise they began to fight one another and by the time the choir reached the battlefield, the entire enemy was dead.   The choir returned to Jerusalem in the same manner as they came into the battle, singing songs of praise to God with harps and lyres and trumpets.  (2 Chronicles 20:28)

This story reminds me that the battle isn’t mine.  “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s”. (2 Chronicles 20:15) 

Are you in a battle today?  When God’s children sing or play music to Him, it moves the heart of God and He chases away the enemy.  No matter what you are going through, no matter what battle you may be facing, sing songs of praise to the Lord and you will see the enemy defeated. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It Is Finished!

And…it’s over.  It’s finally over.  This year’s Passion Play is done.  And I for one am grateful that it’s behind us.  Now, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good.  In fact, this year’s play was AWESOME!!! Everyone loved it!  It’s been 2 weeks and I’m still receiving cards, emails, and messages from people telling me how much they enjoyed it.  We’ve seen a number of people make decisions for Christ and I believe that almost everyone who either attended or participated in the play would tell you that they experienced the power and the presence of God.
But it was hard.  This was the 10th Passion Play that I’ve directed.  They have all been difficult at times, but this one was by far the hardest.  The weather was bad and forced us to cancel and shorten some practices.  Sickness was rampant and we had people out for practice all the time.  Plus, our church members are some of the busiest people on the planet.  So, needless to say, having everyone together for rehearsals was difficult and nearly impossible.  But we also have some of the most talented and dedicated people that a church could ever have.  And so, eventually we got it all worked out.

And as soon as it was done (I mean that very night after the last performance) I started getting the “are we going to do it again” question.  Well, here is my answer:  NO

…well maybe…I don’t know.
I can tell you that we will not be doing the play next Easter.  I believe that having last year off from the play really made people appreciate the play that much more this year.  Sometimes you don’t really know how important something is until it’s gone.  And so if we are going to do the play again I believe it needs to be on an every other year basis.  That will keep us from getting burned out and possibly keep me sane (maybe).  I hope that it will also keep people coming back.  After doing the play for 7 straight years, some people had stopped attending because they had “already seen it” or had come the year before. So, hopefully doing it every other year will keep it feeling fresh and new.  Plus, it will give us the opportunity to do/try some other things.  We've got a new worship album in the works (Praise Team/Band/Worship Choir) and I want the Drama Team to do a big Christmas Play next year.  Those things are hard to do with a Passion Play dominating your practice and planning time.

I hope everyone will be okay with this.  I completely understand how important the play is to the church.  Our church members take a great deal of pride in the play (not in a bad way).  And they should, because it is really, really good.  It is a wonderful outreach and a great way to reach people for Christ.  But it is also absolutely exhausting.  The church as a whole is still recovering from the amount of effort it took to put the play on.  I believe we are all dragging a little bit.  A year off will do us some good.  

So, in the words of Jesus-"It is finished!"  And no one is more grateful than me:)

Worship Big!