I have been blogging now for over 7 years and at the moment I need to take a break. One of the great things is that Pam has graciously accepted my invitation to take over blogging for the month of July. While I will put up occasional posts, most of the posting will be from Pam while I take a blogging vacation.
Via David Santistevan
Over the last 10-15 years there has been a beautiful resurgence of worship songs about pain and suffering.
Songs like You Never Let Go, Whom Shall I Fear, and The Desert Song have provided weary saints with declarations of faith in the midst of their pain. This is wonderful. Our worship expression needs to touch on all the areas of human experience – joy, celebration, lament, suffering, confusion, hope, and loss.
Worship isn’t a place to forget your circumstances. It’s a place to bring them. It’s a place where they find their God-ordained context.
But until your life has been touched by fire, you don’t know what it’s like to actually worship in the midst of it.
“Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. We expect things to go one way but they go another. So where is God when bad things happen to good people? God specializes in putting us in situations where only He can deliver us. That way, we can’t “thank our lucky stars” or compliment ourselves on our own cleverness or resourcefulness. Rather, we must say, “Only God could have done this.” The Lord wants to receive the glory for what He does. And He clearly says in Scripture that He will not give His glory to another. (Isaiah 42:8) Job was a man who knew something about suffering, whose very name, in fact, is synonymous with the word. Here was a man who lost his children, his home, and everything he owned, including his health. Job had a lot of questions, the same questions that many of us have. He said, “Oh that I knew where I might find Him that I might come into His court! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which He would answer me, and understand what He would say to me.” (Job 23:3-5) Job honestly admitted what he was struggling with. Then he added what would become a classic statement of faith: “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job was saying, “I don’t know what’s is going on. I don’t know why God has allowed these things to happen. But I know this: when I am tested, I will come forth as gold.” That was God’s objective for Job. And it’s His objective for you, too.”
What a great message for a Monday morning!
Today and this weekend have been absolutely amazing. Yesterday we were able to spend a wonderful family day. One of the places that we checked out this weekend was the planetarium at James Madison University. It is a state-of-the-are $2 million facility. While we ended up being at a family show about the planets, they also finished the presentation of the sky currently above Harrisonburg. One of these weeks we are going to go back and catch another show. It’s great because the shows are free. You can’t beat that for a deal. The rest of the afternoon we spent shopping. It was interesting driving home in the rain.
Today was great – in two ways:
1. This morning we had a wonderful worship service that concluded with a healing service. The worship team did a great job in leading the musical worship. It was one of those special mornings when the whole team just seemed to flow together as well as the songs. It was very moving as we prayed for each one who came to the altar at the conclusion of the service.
2. The rest of the day was spent preparing for Vacation Bible School. This year we are doing Mega Sports Camp. My very first impressions were so so, but as we checked it out and heard more about the program, it became clear that this was something that we really wanted to do. I had a wonderful volunteer recruiter and we had almost as many volunteers/coaches/assistants as we had kids but that was ok and they all had a great time. It was great seeing even the adults really getting into the music tonight.
Our Mega Sports Camp continues through Thursday night and concludes with a picnic on Friday night. I am looking forward to seeing what God does through Mega Sports Camp.
It’s time to get going especially since our wi-fi isn’t working at home and I’m typing this from the computer at church. Looking forward to getting into bed so that I can get up and get in my long run for the week.
June 22, 2014
Second Sunday after Pentecost
Opening Song – How Can I Keep from Singing
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation – Psalm 86:1-3
Songs of Worship
Made Me Glad
Worship Through Prayer
Song of Worship – God Leads Us Along
Worship Through Giving
Worship Through God’s Word
Song of Preparation – Healer
O Lord, Make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your lovingkindness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.