[ then ]

Hours before Jesus freely gave His life for us … he prays.

Here are several huge concepts found in John 17 that blow me away:

:: Here are His words: “Having completed the work you gave me to do, I honored you on earth [ by leading people to praise God].  I am blown away by the idea that Jesus completed God’s task by leading people to paise God.  And, it honored God.

// if we want to honor God, we can do so by leading people to praise Him //

:: Later Jesus prays: ” I pray that they can also be one in us [ or “be in us”].  Then the world will believe that you sent me.”  Did you catch it?  Then.  If, or when, we are one [unified] in God, then, the world will believe that God sent Jesus.  Later Jesus went as far as to say “I will be in them and you will be in me so that they will be in perfect unity.”

// they wont get it until we are united with God //

// they wont get it until we are united with each other //

My hope and prayer is that we can continue to honor God by leading people to praise God.  Both on our platforms and off.

:: keep giving ::

The Bible is full of examples of people giving sacrificially.

:: The poor widow gave ALL of her money.

:: The immoral woman drenched the feet of Jesus with extremely expensive perfume.

:: Solomon sacrificed 1,000 bulls instead of just 1.

:: God gave sacrificially – his only son.

:: David refused to sacrifice anything that cost him nothing.

As worshippers, followers, musicians, and worship leaders, we should be giving sacrificially.  It is [extremely] easy to give to God what is acceptable, the status quo.  However, true acts of worship and gratitude seem to contain large amounts of sacrifice. 

As musicians, it is easy to just get the job done.  I am hoping that we can create a culture where artists give so much to their work, that God can’t help but to be glorified. 

I have been challenged to step it up and give God more of myself.  He has given me so much.

:: Give something of yourself that costs you ::

:: Go big or go home ::

good word[s]

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Criticize by creating. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

– Mark Batterson

// Music Matters //

 I came across this post earlier today explaining one of the many reasons behind why we do what we do.

It’s been years since I picked up an instrument, but I’m still convinced that there’s something inescapable about music. It transforms words into lyrics. It changes walls into bridges. It turns listening ears into listening hearts.

As a performer, as a listener, as a visitor who might end up in a most unexpected place on a Sunday morning, music has a transformational power. And it moves people in ways that even the best communicator cannot.

Music matters.

It’s not just songs. Or musicians. Or lights and equipment. Music is much more than that. Music is a doorway to worship.

And as a pastor, one of my greatest honors is to point to that doorway. To announce the band and then step out of the way while we as a church, as a community, as individuals, answer the call to worship. A call that music sends out like nothing else.

// Andy Stanley //

Q|U|A|L|I|T|Y

Over the past several weeks I’ve been thinking about quality and excellence as they pertain to worship, particularly in the music arena ( I realize that we should strive for excellence and quality in every expression of worship).  So, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts that I recently read.  I think you’ll find this inspiring.

Psalm 33 urges us to ‘make music to the LORD… sing to Him a new song; play skillfully’.

Skillfully here means 2 things: be the best we can be on our instrument (as practiced and prepared as possible), and to learn how to play sensitively with the ability to flow with the Holy Spirit.  Without sensitivity, even polished musicians can be a distraction.                                // less is more//

In 1 Chronicles we learn that the Levite priests who took care of the worship in the Temple were priests who were ‘trained and skilled in music for the LORD’.  Likewise, we should work with all our hearts to spend time developing our gifts and learning to improve our playing as an expression of our love for Him.                                                                        //take lessons, study, push yourself//

As musicians we can express the heart of God through music and our playing.  Music is a language that God speaks through, just like he speaks through the rest of creation.  The more we learn, the greater vocabulary we will have to express what God is saying.

-thoughts from Les Moir

440

As a musician, I hate it when an instrument is out of tune.  You’ll be playing with a group and something is just off, and after several awful measures someone will realize they are out of tune. They could either be several cents sharp, or several cents flat.  So, they do whatever it takes to get back in tune. This might require only  several minor adjustments or some repair work on the instrument.  

Sometimes in my life I will feel like something is just off.  I’ll be doing life and after several awful actions or outcomes I realize that I am out of tune.  I realize that my heart is out of tune with God’s.  The hard part then becomes getting back in tune because it could take only several minor adjustments, or  some repair work that I cannot do myself.  The good thing is, like a dedicated musician, God does not want us to play out of tune and He will do whatever it takes to get our hearts back in tune.  

Is your heart singing in tune?