Sunday Night Thoughts

  • Wow, what a weekend.  It started out with WinterJam on Friday night.  Then a great time with the family yesterday and a great day with the church family today.
  • It seems I have caught another cold and while I don’t feel bad, it’s just enough to notice.
  • Because it has been such a great weekend I am worn out and don’t have much more to say, except:
  • Worship was amazing today!  The team was on-point.  I am so thankful to the Holy Spirit for directing today’s service.  What a blessing!

Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

March 20, 2011
Second Sunday of Lent

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship and Invocation

Psalm 121

Songs of Worship

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Happy Day

Made Me Glad

Connecting in Prayer

Songs of Worship

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Once Again

Missions Moment (Rick and Clara West)

Giving Back to God

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

Worship Through God’s Word

Faces In the Crowd


Song of Commitment

How Deep the Father’s Love For Us


WinterJam 2011

Last night, we took a group of our teens to Roanoke, VA to attend WinterJam.  For those of you who don’t know, this is a one night Christian music festival that cost just $10 to get in and uses festival seating, so first come, first served and when the arena is full, you are out!  We left Staunton around 1:30 and arrived in Roanoke around 3 and stood outside for 3 hours.  It was a lot of fun fellowshipping with the group.

At about 5:45, they started to let us in and we found some good seats toward the back of the arena and it wasn’t long before pre-festival music started featuring Jason Castro, Chris August, Small Town Poets.  Before Chris August, Pastors and Youth Pastors were invited to a special meeting where we received greetings from several of the artists who were performing last night.

By the time I got back, Red had taken the stage.  This is a pretty hard-rocking band – I don’t listen to much heavy music, so I really don’t have anything to compare it to.  But the musicianship was good, albeit loud.  KJ-52 had several stints during the night and provided transition music between the band.  Newsong was next and did good job, singing mainly new songs.  This led up to my favorite part of the night:  Francesca Batestelli and David Crowder Band.  These two did a great job – the volume was just about perfect.  I was amazed how much Francesca’s songs sounded like the songs we hear on the radio and didn’t seem to catch much backing tracks if any.  The David Crowder Band rocked with songs like “Here Is Our King,”, “There Is None Like You,” “How He Loves,” (My personal favorite of the set – interesting observation – Crowder’s music is full of difficult timings and some high notes and yet, you could hear the crowd singing along.  The sound of 5,000 people singing “How He Loves” was amazing.  They also did “O Praise Him” and finished with a bluegrass flavored medley of “I Saw the Light” and “I’ll Fly Away.”  That was cool.

After an intermission, Kutless began their set.  The volume definitely came up a few db’s as they worked there way through a worship-music influenced set.  Because of the volume, it made it difficult to sing along, plus unlike Crowder, they didn’t provide the lyrics on the screen.  Finally the main act arrived on stage, The Newsboys.  These guys love to put on a show and a show they put on.  I don’t want to give it away for anyone who hasn’t seen the WinterJam show, but it was cool.  Much more performance oriented than David Crowder.  Can you tell who I really enjoyed?  All that being said, The Newsboys did great and I enjoyed their great, albeit, way too short show.

Overall I would give this WinterJam a grade of A.  The mix for the most part was very good, but occasionally too loud.  I’m not a fan of music that is over 95 dB’s.  I’m really not certain why it has to go much above 105 dB’s but it does.  The other thing that lessened the experiencedid not give a perfect score were the amount of commercials and heart rendering pleas.

It was a great show and I look forward to next year’s version of WinterJam, hopefully in Charlottesville!

God Calls Abram


Second Sunday in Lent

March 20, 2011

Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.


God of amazing compassion,
lover of our wayward race,
you bring to birth a pilgrim people,
and call us to be a blessing for ourselves and all the world.
We pray for grace to take your generous gift
and step with courage on this holy path,
confident in the radiant life that is your plan for us,
made known and given in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord

And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;

Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Worship Is…

Worship is the response of an adoring heart to the magnificence of God.  In the highest sense of the word, it is the occupation of the created with the Creator Himself.  It is the pure joy of magnifying the one whose name is above every other name.

Ron Owens, Return to Worship: A God-Centered Approach

Eight Ways to Have a Good Day

From my good friend and blogger, Mark O. Wilson

Eight Ways to Have a Good Day | Wesleyan Life Online.

1. Determine to have a good day.

Make up your mind that you are going to make the best of this day, no matter what! A firm decision to live positively is half the battle.

2. Start your day with a prayer.

Before you get out of bed, pause and thank God for your life and ask for guidance and wisdom.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Isn’t it funny how we can become so uptight about nonessentials? My friend, Eunice Walker, calls these petty frustrations “bugs on the windshield of life.” Refuse to let minor annoyances get the best of you.

4. Look for postcards from heaven.

Every day God sends postcards that say, “I love you.” He hides them in the most unexpected places – and you have to search in order to find them. Each day is packed full of blessings for you to enjoy. Look again!

5. Release your resentment and regret.

Some people are hostage to the past. Regret and resentment (the Siamese twins of misery) bind us up so we cannot enjoy the present. Yesterday is history. You can’t go back and change it – but you can do something about today. Make the most of your moments – and do not allow bandits from your past to rob your joy.

6. Invest your life in service to others.

One of the best ways to be happy and fulfilled in life is to be a blessing to others. Look for ways to help and encourage other people, and you will be rewarded with happiness. I’ve never yet met a generous grouch.

7. Always tell the truth.

Honesty brings freedom to the soul.

8. Nurture your most important relationships.

Be sure to cherish your faith, family, and friends. Don’t get so caught up in the hectic pace of making a living that you forget to make a life. The human heart is rich, indeed, when full of love.

-Mark Wilson serves as pastor at Hayward Wesleyan Church in Hayward, Wisconsin.

Sunday Night Thoughts

  • I spent most of the day, recovering from my week away and getting ready for today.
  • This morning was sunny and warm.  It was such a nice change of pace from last week.
  • The grass is starting to turn green and it won’t be long until we have to start cutting it.
  • The trees are beginning to bud.  Spring is just around the corner.
  • It was good to be back at church this morning.  The praise team did a great job leading worship and there was a good spirit in this morning’s service.
  • I took a nap this morning, trying to gain back that hour we lost last night.
  • We had a good choir rehearsal tonight.
  • We also a good missions team meeting as well
  • This evening I am relaxing with Pam watching Undercover Boss.
  • Looking forward to what this week has in store.

Seize the Day!