Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thoughts on Worship

The following is some thoughts about worship expression that I posted on another blog. I am a volunteer worship leader at my church and have been been part of our Worship Team for many years. Sometimes I'm discouraged by what seems like a lack of response to God in our church. I sometimes look out at the congregation as we sing see some people just standing there "stonefaced" and that is discouraging sometimes. But the truth is that its not about me or them. It's about the Lord, and lifting our praises to Him. When I think about what God did by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for me--for all of us--I sometimes want to jump for joy, or sing or cry or kneel or just lie prostrate at the foot of the Cross. The paragraphs below were a conclusion of the passage in John 4:24.

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24, NIV)

The Greek word spirit (pneuma {pnyoo'-mah}) in this passage obviously refers to the Holy Spirit, but one definition given in Strong's Concordance is: the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated; a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides.

"The power by which the human being feels, the vital principal by which the body is animated;" indicates to me that outward expressions such as lifting of hands, crying, dancing or whatever it may be are a natural response to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I've been trying in my mind to separate the "filling" of the Holy Spirit from emotion response or in other words; trying to make a distinction between the intellectual ascent to the fact that the HS lives in us and the emotional expression of it. But I can't seem to draw a line there.

Again it seems that an outward (and emotional) response to the Holy Spirit is natural—and rational. What is it that prevents one from outwardly expressing the overflow of the spirit; pride, lack of surrender? Perhaps somehow they see it as irrational. (In the same way it would be pride that prevents us from outwardly expressing our love for our kids or spouses or family members). I love my kids, I love my wife, I love my Mom and siblings; and so it would be natural and acceptable for me to express that in some outward manner like a hug or kiss. So why would it not be acceptable for me to outwardly express my love for the Savior in some "rational" way?

Obviously we can't physically hug the Lord, but we can reach out our hands to Him, sing to Him, and cry out to Him. We can express our excitement of knowing Him by dancing, or clapping, applauding, or making a joyful noise to Him. We can express our humility and surrender by kneeling or lying prostrate in His presence. Honestly I can't think of anything other than pride or fear or embarassment that would prevent one from expressing their love for and joy of knowing the Lord.

Just some thoughts...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Worship Conference - Day 2

Day 2 of the Worship Conference was even better than the first. The morning worship session was lead by Carl and Leann Albrecht, Jared Anderson, and Steven Ford, on the B3 and keyboards. The music had an R&B feel and though it was a little unfamiliar, it was awesome none the less. We attended a workshop on Servant Leadership by Carl Albrecht, and then a couple of Steven Ford's workshops in the afternoon. Steven Ford's workshops were a blessing. He is an extremely gifted keyboard artist.

The day culminated in a worship concert featuring
Paul Baloche, Don Moen, Jared Anderson, and Lincoln Brewster. It was an awesome concert of praise and worship. You must try to go to a Lincoln Brewster concert if you can. He's very energetic and is a talented guitar player, but don't plan on sitting! You'll want to be on your feet!

It was truly a blessing to go to this conference and we're looking forward to the next one.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Worship Conference

Joan and I are in Tualatin, OR (Portland Area) at a Seminars4Worship Conference, along with Pastor Dan and Jim Brown Jr. The first day was a great time. The worship sessions were awesome and we've learned allot. I pray that we'll be able to take these things learned home and put them into practice.
Note: This is the first worship conference Joan has ever attended and I was pleased that she decided to accept the invitation to attend.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Initial Thoughts

Hi Friends. I set up this blog account mainly so I can comment on a friend's blog but who knows, perhaps Joan or I will occassionally blog some random thoughts! I entitled our blog Bill and Joan because I don't believe in excluding my wife from any part of my life. We are one, united in marriage by the Lord:

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman', for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:18-25)

Marriage was created by God to be between and man and a woman and I (we) believe this with all my (our) heart and soul. Some may view it as a political (politically incorrect) statement. For those of you who do, I do not apologize for stating something I believe and what I know without a doubt is the truth.

So, there you have it, my initial thoughts. I hope I didn't open up a can of worms! Happy blogging to you all!