When I was a boy growing up I spent a few summers helping my dad plant his crops. I watched him plow the fields then cut them to prepare for planting. Once the fields were ready to plant, we would load the seed and fertilizer in the planter hoppers then bury them in the soil in neat rows. At that point nature took its course and the seed became a sprout that later became a crop which helped to feed many people.
Category Archives: On Worship
The Dynamics of Corporate Worship
Some time ago I received an e-mail from a lady wanting to know the difference between personal and corporate worship. The answer I gave was this: Personal worship is often a term used for private worship or devotion. It would be the time a person spends alone with God. Whereas corporate worship is a term used to describe the time a church body gathers for worship such as Sunday morning.
The Power of Song
We live in a day when our world is inundated with song. Song is a common thread that runs through every global civilization. Here in America alone we have Rock-n-Roll, Rap, Country, Pop, Head Banger, Heavy Metal and probably others I haven’t mentioned. Each of these song classifications carries with it a certain message and the power to drive that message into the hearts and minds of its listeners.
Praising God for His Mercy
A few years ago I listened to a series of tapes by James Ryle titled The Mercy of God. During the series he shared an incredible story that I want to share with you.
The Pleasure of Worship
A few years ago I was a General Manager at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant. While I was there a directive came down from the home office for our employees to respond with “my pleasure” anytime our customers thanked us for our service. As Chick-fil-A employees it was our mission to ensure that each customer had a pleasurable experience when they came into our restaurant to eat. The “my pleasure” response was one way to let them know that we labored for that purpose.
Contemporary or Traditional?
Over the years I have received e-mails from pastors who are struggling with the idea of introducing contemporary worship music into their congregations. It seems their biggest fear is that their congregations might become divided by, as one pastor put it, the “ubiquitous worship wars.” Many churches have successfully dealt with this issue by scheduling an additional worship service for those who prefer a more contemporary approach to worship. But, that is not always possible nor necessarily the solution.
The Center of Worship
It was in October of 1975 when I was 16 years old that I first remember kneeling at the altar to ask Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. I didn’t feel particularly convicted or remorseful of my sin. Our family had attended church all my life so up until this point I was a pretty good kid morally. It could be that at some point earlier in my life I had asked Jesus to save me, but I remember at 16 thinking I should really make sure that this is a done deal. Besides, there were some other kids in our youth group who were making that decision and if they were going to heaven I wanted to go with them.
Thanksgiving in Worship
For many years now, like most Christian families, in our home we have made it a tradition to give thanks before meals. When our children were younger and all still lived at home, I would choose one of them to say the blessing. Usually it was a short prayer, very short, and most of the time the blessing was the same prayer each time. I also noticed that the younger children would often pray the same prayer as the older children. The substance and the length of the prayer was never really an issue with me, but I did want my children to understand that God provided for our meals and to learn to have a grateful heart for his provision. My hope was that the gratefulness for food would also spill over to every part of their lives.
Chosen to Proclaim
Have you ever felt the excitement of being chosen for something? I can vividly remember the process of choosing softball or football team for physical education class at school. The two best athletes were chosen as team captains. They would flip a coin to see who chose first. The rest of us would wait anxiously hoping to be chosen in the first round by the better of two athletes. Though sometimes a captain might choose his best friend first, most of the time he would choose the “best of the rest” first in order to obtain the superior team.
Run, Don’t Walk!
When I played football in high school, my dad and I would frequently talk about my games. To my knowledge he never missed a game and usually had an observation or two to share with me. Occasionally he would share with me some of the highlights of his football playing days in high school. My dad played tackle on his high school football team. Though he was strong, he wasn’t a large man like the tackles you see playing high school football today. They didn’t grow’em as big in the 1950s.