Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’
For those that have been in church 20 or more years, you have no doubt noticed a shift in music.
We used to gather on Sundays, flip open a book (called a hymnal, or if you were REALLY up-to-date it would be a “chorus book”). The music team was often led by someone up front waving an arm up, down, left and right (sign of the cross?) and the “band” was a piano player or organ – and the back up singers were 50 in number … they called this a choir and they even wore choir robes. Everyone had a part to sing, whether it be Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass. Oh yeah, those books that they read from, had these little dots with lines going up or down. They were usually find on five lines that were stretched across the page.
Then … it went to song books which had several “updated” music in it. The arm waver was still there, as well as the music team, but maybe the addition of an acoustic guitar. The choir group, became an octet … and they all matched outfits, usually light in color.
Then … the discovery of using an overhead projector incorporated into the “modern” mindset. The overhead allowed you to show on a big screen quick changes of music. We all lifted our heads “up” (to the screen) instead of “down” to the book. The sound from those in the pews was more loud. The music team is now led by a guy with an acoustic (maybe) and the piano. The organ would be used for special music. The octet is now a quarter that MUST consist of two men, and two women. One of which has to have a bushy mustache (the males that is).
Then … the use of slide projectors that had sections of songs on each slide. Fancy. This was usually brought out with an additional team which consisted of the acoustic guitar player (now plugged in to the sound board), an electric bass, drums (but a very low key set and usually off stage somewhere), piano player (which is still a main instrument – but sometimes the piano might be replaced with a keyboard). What’s an organ? The quartet is now mostly ladies, and one of the ladies might have a resemblance of a mustache of some sort. The lone male on the vocals is usually really skinny. They still like to dress the same. The songs are much more upbeat and sometimes even somewhat modern (if you call 20 years in the past modern).
Then … the use of the infamous “power point”. We are smokin’ now! This means instant back and forth of songs, low cost, cool snazzy affects (like the flying in of words, or coloring of certain words … or even … with the artistic ones … an introduction of a picture in between songs). The band is a band with an electric/acoustic leader, backed up by an electric bass, drums (on stage), keyboard and some kind of brass/orchestra instrument of some sort now and then (violin, sax, tuba, etc.) The vocalists range from a single female back up singer that has sweet pipes and incredible harmonies to a hip quintet. They no longer feel it necessary to stand in a straight line that is angled, but now are in duets throughout the platform. The songs have now shifted from the yesteryear of the hymnbooks and are now songs that include songs of Jesus, but also more about our feelings. They also tend to be in a range that the only “men” that can sing it are ones that have been castrated or have not yet hit puberty and still have that ability to sing 12 octaves up.
Then … we ditched power point because it is so ‘linear’. We now go with other programs that allow the music leader (who is usually sporting some kind of fashion trendiness) to be able to go with the flow and be led by the spirit. This allows them to completely skip over a song or add a song as ‘they are led’. This means more headache for the sound crew (and now the light crew as the stage is more geared towards performance aesthetics). The looks of the screen have changed as we can now add video in behind the words that are being sung. Usually there is a lit candle somewhere on stage. The music team? They shift – they usually sound incredible, and are in constant rotation, but often are not the same weekly. The vocals share the music leading. The songs are now pretty much just three songs, in the key of D, that usually emphasize 12 words over, and over, and over, and over, and over. The only organ that is being spoken of is that of the anatomy. The songs are still outrageously high and the windows budget is astronomical as the songs sung are constantly shattering glass somewhere). There is usually one new song that is being sung every week, some of which come from the top 20 on some local radio station. Thankfully they shy away from doing country songs (for obvious reasons … is there any real joy in country music?)
What will tomorrow hold?
All of these have had major impacts in the lives of those that gather to worship Jesus. Music is an appreciated part of the life of believers. It is also a divisive part. Each generational shift in the music has catered to the current culture that the church is wanting to reach (albeit still from the culture of yesteryear).
God values our worship of Him in any way it can happen (Music, life, prayer, etc.). But music tends to be the one thing that the whole church can do together … a community thing.
I tend to go into moods with singing at church. Sometimes I am just not in the mood because I am too busy critiquing what is going on (repetition of words, songs about feelings, and high pitch). I wonder if I would be more effective by shutting my mouth and reading the words. Regardless of my approach, God desires my worship of Him.
What do I do to allow God to outwardly see what is going on inside?
How could singing be so important to God?
How many octaves high are we supposed to reach?
Do most men actually sing in church?
I think my buddies Vin Thomas and Tyler Braun have sounded off on this before. Check ‘em out.
What are your thoughts on this subject?
I do grow weary of holidays at times. Even more so when I am busy (like now). But this coming Sunday is the day those who follow Jesus celebrate as the day Jesus rose to life again after his crucifixion and death three days prior.
This is probably the most significant event for followers of Jesus because of the impact … yet it seems to be left in the shadow in comparison to Christmas and even the Superbowl.
I am tired of not focusing with my family on this event and am curious how some of you have celebrated/observed the Death and Resurrection of Jesus with your family. I don’t want it to be about eggs and gathering with the family to watch tv.
One thing I have heard about is beginning Friday night, turning lights off, tv off and gathering to reflect/remember what Jesus did in relation to our sin. Then Sunday morning (the day of the rising of Jesus from the dead) lights on and PARTY!!!
I would love to celebrate the resurrection, but have it celebrated in comparison to the death. Why celebrate anyone like this? Because with Jesus our sins can be forgiven. When our sins are forgiven, we can actually be from from that kind of bondage that propels us to not do anything for God – in many ways we are broken. But with sin out of the way, we can do the things we desire for God: serve others, love others, lift others up, etc. … rather than just serve myself … or even serve others with the hope of being noticed for it (back to serving self). God is so holy that he can’t have sin around him, with the forgiveness, we can have a relationship with God. There is more to discuss on this topic …
… right now I just want to know how you plan to celebrate the Resurrection (if at all).
When my girls were younger, I would arrive home and they would run to the door to greet me by hugging and kissing on me. Though now when I get home, they don’t come running to me, they at least look my way and smile big smiles and say something like “Daddy’s home!” or “Hi Daddy!”.
We also have this thing we do if I get a chance to sleep in and am not rushed in the morning I’ll yell out “Where’s my girls!!??” at which point their response is usually to come running into the room yelling “Daddy!!!” and hopping in my bed and one will snuggle to me on my left and right side. (If I am really lucky, sometimes Mer will play along and run and jump on the pile of Mooney’s!)
I LOVE IT! I CRAVE IT!
I love their attention and excitement for me. I crave it. In many ways it is much like worship. (Now hold back, I will never accept worship to me … so put your minds to ease).
I believe that kind of devotion and excitement is the kind that God both loves and craves. If my girls were to see all of my self (thoughts and actions) they probably wouldn’t be as devoted to me. God, on the other hand, has no sin or imperfect thoughts or actions and is totally worthy of all thoughts/devotion/attention/love.I have to check myself often on how I even give any kind of attention to God. If Jesus were to walk in the door right now, how would I greet him? A quick glance, or longing devotion?
A couple of weeks ago I decided that I would step down from Men’s Ministry. A bout a week ago I made that knowledgeable to the church leadership. This week it is now official.
I feel like a failure.
I shouldn’t … but I do.
Strange how I think that I have grown a bit in my faith enough to get over insecurities of not having a “title” or “position” in the church, like a trained assassin this came back in my life and skillfully knifed me. I can look back and can see how I had been establishing myself in the position, as if God really needs ME to do it. I am doing ministry, but not being very effective. I held on to the title of Director but didn’t do any directing. After talking out loud with a pastor at church I realized that what I REALLY want to do and what I am currently doing are not lined up. It’d be like asking a football player to play basketball – sure it’s a sport, but is it the one you are skilled in?
What I feel gifted in is leading, training (discipling) and teaching. For me, directing a program involves some of it, but adds on another element of what I don’t want/need to do. I had this constant pressure of wanting to keep the program going and pleasing guys (guys who don’t email back – ya know, the whole reading thing). The problem was that even though the turnouts were well attended for the various things we have done, I wasn’t being satisfied.
I also know that right now, I am in the midst of some pretty big things at work that are tugging my time away. I -can not- be split in too many ways. My wife and I are trying to make sure that we spend adequate time with each other as we need to. Stepping down from this role really is a wise thing to do.
Yet, I still struggle with that failure thing. If I had put more effort, more time, more thoughts into it, it would still be running. But I can’t. I am just a dude. Yet still … I battle this thing of what makes up my worth. I can say on the surface that I know that my worth isn’t in what I do or what my title is. But I swing that way. Argh! This will be a trying time for me. I need to make sure that I find my value in Jesus and what He thinks of me and not in the things I do. If I move in this direction of faith, I will be better and leave this foolishness of pride behind. It is easy to evolve ourselves into the proverbial human-doing (instead of human-being) I know corny corny corny, but quite true. My doing should be a result OF who I am.
So “what am I?”
I am a sinner – who has been given an incredible amount of grace by Jesus who died for my sins so that I can have a relationship with the Creator of the world and also has the ability to not be eternally effected any more by my sin which gives me an incredible amount of freedom to live life in the way that Jesus did which allows the world to see Jesus to also be redeemed. Whew … long sentence.
What does it mean to be selfish?
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I sit here pondering if I will have another year like last year. A year filled with me pushing my own desires out instead of waiting for God.
I have talked much about this lately with others and haven’t found a simple non-cheesey, non-religious way of following Jesus.
For some this would mean MORE bible study, MORE prayer, MORE ministry, MORE meetings and MORE potlucks! Others it will mean as my friend stated “do I just sit in bed waiting for Jesus to speak to me to show me what to do next?”. This stinks for me, as having been a pastor for over a decade you’d think I would know how to best and quickly answer.
How I would love to live my life is different then how I actually live it. Does that make me a hypocrite? … Yes, yes it does. What do I do when I sense that about my life? I push harder, try harder, make things happen only to be found … once again, seemingly distant from God and not feeling like I am doing much in the way of eternal impact in peoples lives … shoot, I almost would be happier with any kind of impact – even if temporal.
I am not wanting to plan my year out for fear I will be in that same spot. I also don’t want to simply wait … and then second guess if that was “God’s voice” calling or my own.
I do have a job that I like, but it isn’t my calling. I really do yearn for doing ministry full time, but my debt is holding me back. I don’t see that I am pouring my life into my children so that they can “taste and see that the Lord is good”. My ministry at church is ok, but since the lay off I haven’t gotten plugged back in … and then when I did, I was frustrated at how many guys aren’t plugged in online to interact with easily. It would be easy to blame the complexities of my current job as the reason for what is going on … but I think it is much deeper. I think it is a longing to be near Jesus again, in a way that there is no doubt as to what His will is in my life.
How do I get there again?
All I know is to go back to the things I did when I was much closer.
What was I doing?
- I was spending time daily reading the Bible recognizing the intent is to know more about God. The Bible is God’s revelation to humanity to reveal not marching orders, but to reveal God himself in ways we might better comprehend.
- I was spending time talking to Him.
- I was spending time sharing Him with others in a way that people also want a relationship with God.
Simple, really. Just need to do it, without making it too complex! Do I really need to drag out all of my study books, just to read the Bible? Is it necessary that I write in a journal, just to pray? Do I have to set up a meeting and strategize with others, just to continue the story of God in the world today? WHY do I make things more complicated!?!
Take my life, make it how You want it. Allow me the privelege of seeing You work within my world. Help me not be so complicated in being with You. Let my girls tell I am connected with the Creator of the world.