Sunday Thoughts

  • Wow!  God is moving — not only here at Parkway, but I saw that God did some great things at other churches in our district today.  These are exciting times.  More on that in a minute.
  • We are having some crazy weather around here.  8 inches of snow in 4 hours on Wednesday night.  Two almost normal temp days along with sunny skies put some serious hurt on the snow.  Then two days of above normal temps have made the 8 inches of snow almost disappear, but there is in the forecast more nasty weather — this time in the form of sleet/freezing rain/rain — over the next three days.  Should be interesting.  Last year at this time, we were getting ready for the BIG storm that occurred over SuperBowl weekend.
  • The weather was nice enough to go out for a run in just a long sleeve shirt and shorts.  I love it.  I am slowly building up my mileage in training for the Park to Park Half-Marathon at the end of April
  • We had a good showing at the “To Save A Life” movie last night and at least one person prayed with a counselor.  If only one life is changed, it is worth it.  Several who were at the movie last night, were in worship with us this morning.
  • This week slows down compared to the last several weeks and I am excited about that.  It will give me a chance to catch up and develop a clear picture of where God is wanting us to go in the area of Worship Arts and Student Ministries.
  • Getting back to my opening statement.  This morning was amazing and completely a God thing.  The Holy Spirit’s presence was very apparent.  The worship team was ON!  The congregation sang like I never heard them.  Pastor Barry preached an amazing message on The Powerful Cross.  People responded at the challenge.
  • Our worship team always gets together before the service to pray.  During that prayer, I handed over the bunch of little details that just seemed to get in the way and were determined to take our minds off the purpose of being there.
  • As we finished praying, God reminded me that it is in our weakness that He works through us.  That became the leaping off point for this morning’s worship.  I handed every thing to Him and became obedient and the rest was amazing.  God deserves all the glory for the service that He orchestrated to me.  I am humbled to be part of it.
  • Time to wrap this up and get ready to get some much deserved sleep.

Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

Sunday, January 30, 2011
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship and Invocation

Job 2:10 and Hebrews 4:14-16

Songs of Worship

You’re Worthy of My Praise

Blessed Be Your Name

Once Again

Connecting Through Prayer

The Nicene Creed

Song of Worship

The Wonderful Cross

Giving Back to God

Before the Throne of God Above

Worship Through God’s Word

Great Words of the Apostle Paul

The Powerful Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Song of Preparation

The Power of the Cross

Worship at the Lord’s Table

Responsive Reading – The Communion Service


Prayer – Consecration of the Elements

Serving of Communion

The Lord’s Prayer


The Nuts and Bolts – Introduction

As many of you know, I am currently the Worship Arts and Student Ministries Pastor at Parkway Wesleyan Church.  It’s hard to believe that we have been here a year and a half.  God is moving among his people.  It doesn’t mean that there aren’t struggles, but that God is working in and among us.

Several weeks ago, I got a message from one of the members of our Continental Singers tour group.  This year marks 25 years since we toured together.  Over the last two weeks, I received two issues of Worship Leader magazine.  That message that I received and some of the articles in the magazine got me to thinking.  Perhaps it was the Lord prompting me to put together a weekly series on some of the nuts and bolts of worship.

In my position, I am more of a generalist than a specialist in the area of worship.  My knowledge is more than just music.  While I lead the worship service and play an instrument, I serve as a vocal coach for our singers, an instrumental coach for our instrumentalists, I oversee our tech arts area — which at the moment is sound and video, as well as oversee other areas.  In the area of tech arts, I have a fairly good grasp on what looks and sounds good and how to make that happen.  I don’t say all that to make myself look good or to boast about it as the apostle Paul says it.  This is to show you my background.

So that is the inspiration for this weekly series called “The Nuts and Bolts of Worship.”  We will look at how I plan a worship service; how we rehearse the worship team; how we interact together; what I look for from our tech team and so on.  This should be good and in the process, you will see my philosophy of worship ministry.

Next week we will look at whether we should try to duplicate the recording or make it our own.  What do you think?

What Does the Lord Require?


Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (January 30, 2011)

Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15;1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

1 Listen to what the Lord is saying:

“Stand up and state your case against me.
Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints.
2 And now, O mountains,
listen to the Lord’s complaint!
He has a case against his people.
He will bring charges against Israel.

3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
What have I done to make you tired of me?
Answer me!
4 For I brought you out of Egypt
and redeemed you from slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you.
5 Don’t you remember, my people,
how King Balak of Moab tried to have you cursed
and how Balaam son of Beor blessed you instead?
And remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal,
when I, the Lord, did everything I could
to teach you about my faithfulness.”

6 What can we bring to the Lord?
What kind of offerings should we give him?
Should we bow before God
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?

8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

What a great reminder of what we are to do as believers!

My Big American/Canadian Wedding

Some of you already know that Dale and I are planning a wedding for our oldest, Rebecca. The big day is coming in June of 2011. The happy couple will be having two weddings – one in the United States and another in Canada. We get to plan the American wedding. We are really excited about this wedding. We will be getting a great son-in-law and while we haven’t spent much time with his family they seem like wonderful people Michael is the perfect guy for Rebecca and Michael’s family seems like they are a fun loving family like our family.

When I think of wedding it is not the planning of the wedding that the most stressful. It is the time after the wedding that can be stressful. “Why,” you ask, because you are taking two strangers who grew up in two different worlds. They have to make a family from both of their worlds. The husband and wife also have to learn to get along with their in-laws too.

One of the favorite movies in our house is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Dale has never seen the whole movie before this week. I borrowed it from our local library this week. The reason I really like the movie is because it reminds me of our own relationship. I came from the big, loud, crazy family. When my family gets together, you never know what will happen. In my memories of holidays, there was always something crazy happening. When I was younger, my grandmother was always in the middle of the craziness and my parents were not too far away from it. One of the most memorable holidays was the Thanksgiving before Dale and I dated, we had a funeral for the turkey. An empty butter dish was the coffin and the eulogy was done by one of the pastors in the family. Every holiday, there is one person who can’t resist shooting whipped cream at someone. Dale’s family was small and much quieter. Their holidays are much quieter too. Mostly they sit around and talk, then someone gets a guitar and they will sing for hours.

Imagine when we got together; when we got to my home after our first date, two of my sisters and their families were at the house. Dale was a overwhelmed with every one there. My mother wanted to talk to my brother who was upstairs. She went to bottom of the stairs and yelled “James Michael Scott’ Dale looked at me with shock on his face and asked me “A there more people here”. I told him my mom was just calling my brother. Her nick name for him was James Michael Scott. My parents only had one boy and my mom wanted to use all the boys’ names she could. I had to get use to the quietness of his parents’ home too. Dale and I decide to get married despite the differences in our family. Yes, my family did chant “smash the cake in his face” which I did. His family is still wondering why I did it.

Our family is a mixture of both families. It is not as crazy as mine but not to quiet. This past Thanksgiving I was trying to find a place to sit and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. James had some pillows on the loveseat. I start to throw them off and James threw them back at me. This started a pillow fight with all of the kids including Michael and yes a mess was made. I cleaned up. The important part was we were having fun and I want our children to have great memories of their family.

The Calm After the Storm

According to the weather channel, we had the equivalent of an category 1 hurricane blow through here today.  I don’t ever think it got that windy.  In fact, the wind was pretty calm up here on the hill today.  I almost thought that they had missed the forecast.  That was, until 3 o’clock.  Then the snow started coming and coming and coming.  By 7 PM there was 8 inches on the ground.  It snowed fast and furious.

This evening, when the snow finally stopped, I went out to see what I could do about getting some of the snow cleaned up.  I shoveled the sidewalks and started on the driveway.  Our driveway is gravel, so it takes some gentle scraping.  I was really enjoying being out there.  The temp was a “balmy” 34 degrees.  The warmest it had been all day.  It felt nice out there.  As I began shoveling the driveway, I looked up and saw the clouds starting to clear away.  This revealed at least a planet to the west and directly above me was the constellation Orion.  Even with the porch lights and pole lamp on all the stars of Orion were in clear view, including his sword.  It was so cool.  That’s when I realized how quiet it was out there.  The thick 8″ blanket of snow has a wonderful sound-dampening effect.  We live just off a major highway, but except for the occasional snow plow, it was wonderfully silent.  Before the sky cleared off and the temp started dropping there was a cool fog over top the snow.  It was just a wonderful time to be out.  Even though it was dark when I was out there, I could see that the 8″ snow was a heavy, wet snow, so it should be perfect for some winter photos in the morning.  I put those up sometime tomorrow.

The snow came fast and furious enough that we had to cancel church and all our rehearsals, so tomorrow I have to reschedule those.  But for tonight, it appeared time stood still.

True Worship

William Barclay: The true, the genuine worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible.

Life Is A Journey…


Life is a journey, not so much to a destination, but a transformation. Looking back doesn’t it sometimes feel like our richest times come right in the midst of our hardest? But God made us to life in community, to laugh and cry. To hurt and to celebrate with each other, no matter what were going through. And transformation is tough, and we dont always end up where we think we will. But we have to remember, that even when we struggle to believe in Him, He always believes in us. He fills our lives with purpose and passion, if we just let Him. And the best part of the journey, is that the God of the universe, sometimes allows us to play a part in changing the world. Isn’t that a trip?

Chris Vaughn – “To Save A Life”

I encourage everyone to pray for Parkway Wesleyan this week as we show the movie “To Save A Life.”  We believe that this movie has the power to impact lives in the Staunton/Waynesboro/Augusta County area for Jesus.  This quote is really what it is all about — to see life transformation.  We realize that we can do it alone and we can do it for people, but with God through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can help people along the path and God can help them live a life transformed.