Archives For Simple Thoughts

I am afraid that there are too many people (in churches today) that are more concerned about their preferences than with worshipping and praising God. Mike Hartland, Director of Worship for LifeWay Christian Resources says this about worship:

“Worship is our only reasonable response to God’s revelation”.

“The idea is simple – worship is not something we initiate or conjure up for the purpose of convincing God to act on our behalf. It’s not an exercise that dictates a reaction from a deity, nor a personal discipline intended to produce tranquility in our lives. It’s not a philosophy or an approach to spirituality, nor a belief system among many belief systems attempting to bring meaning to our existence. We worship in response to our God, who has revealed himself to us“.

The paragraph below was written by a friend of mine. He is a great pastor and an even better person and friend. He brings out an excellent point about worship and praise of God.

“The word worship comes from two words. One is the old english word “worth” meaning worth and the other is the suffix “-ship” meaning the quality. For example, friendship is the quality of being a friend,. Sportsmanship is the quality of being a good sport. So worthship literally is the quality of ascribing or declaring worth. When we worship we are saying that God has worth, that He is WORTHY. 

Worship’s first cousin is the word praise. To praise means to set a price on or attach value. The word “praise” comes from the latin word for price. The opposite of praise, in Latin, is the word for devaluation. So both praise and worship carry with it the idea of ascribing or declaring worth or value. SEEING AND SAYING THE WORTH OF GOD. Worship and Praise is our response to the WORTH of GOD. “Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.” – Louie Giglio

So your passion of your worship is directly related to your understanding of the worth of God in your life. It has nothing to do with how you feel, if you like the songs or the singers, if the music is good or bad. At it’s core, worship is a decision to respond to the work and person of Jesus by SEEING and SAYING His worth in what you say and how you live.

Drew Tankersley, Pastor – South Seminole Baptist Church

Be sure and check out Drew’s personal blog – Everything Is Borrowed

We can make the outside look at nice as possible but only God can remove the stains within. A beautiful lesson from a “Dirty Coffee Cup”.

Ebs and Flows...

I have a corner in my home office where I retreat to spend time with God. It separates me from the distractions of work, which sit just a couple of feet away from my prayer corner. I often enjoy a cup of coffee while reading from Scripture or elsewhere as God directs me. When I began to pray this morning it was the empty coffee cup rather than thoughts of work that began to distract me. Why? Because I knew that the coffee cup needed to be soaking in the kitchen sink and it was bugging me. So I got up and relocated the coffee cup to the sink. And then I went back to my prayer corner to sit quietly and listen for God’s voice.

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This morning I was listening to a new podcast from David Platt entitled “Pray The Word” with David Platt. (I highly recommend!!!) He was explaining & then praying through the verse from Philippians 4:9 where Paul is writing to the Christians in the Roman colony of Philippi.

Philippians 4:9 say:

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Did you catch those words? Paul is not only saying that they were to learn & receive what had been taught to them, but he is also saying that they were to look at him (Paul) and do what they have seen in him.

Paul was showing them by his own actions and the way he lived that he not only learned the Word, receive it, heard it but then also did it. What Paul was saying is that we must not only be taught the scriptures but we must live it out. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only”.

Warren Wiersbe has this to say,

“Paul balances four activities: “learned and received” & “heard and seen”. It is one thing to learn a truth, but quite another to receive it inwardly and make it a part of our inner man. Facts in the head are not enough; we must also have truths in the heard.

In Paul’s ministry, he not only taught the Word but also lived it so that his listeners could see the truth in his life.

Paul walked so closely with Jesus that anything that God asked him to do or told him to do he did it. It was that simple. Paul was a “doer” and not just a “hearer”.

So here are the questions: Are we living a life each and every day that points people to Jesus or are we pointing them to the world? Are we truly living out the truths of God’s Word or are we just listening to them as suggestions? And can the people that we are around every day see these truths being put into practice?

It has been said that you are the only Bible that some people will ever read. What are the people around you learning and seeing from you today?

These are some great rules and reminders for men! Many of these were passed down from my grandfather to my father and then down to me and my brother.

Aaron Conrad

A few favorites from the book Rules for My Unborn Son.

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.

3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.

4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.

5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.

6. Request the late check-out.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.

11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in…

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Today’s Worship Wednesday song comes to us from Bethel Music & singer Kristen Dimarco. The song is entitled “It Is Well”.

You may or may not have ever heard the story behind the great hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. If you have then hang on; if you haven’t then here is the short version.

Horatio Spafford lost most of his entire fortune during the great Chicago fire in 1871. Shortly thereafter,  his four-year-old son died from scarlet fever. In 1873, he decided to take his family to Europe to visit D. L. Moody & Ira Sankey. When an urgent matter detained Horatio in New York, he decided to send his wife and four daughters on ahead and he would join them soon.

The French ship Ville du Havre traveled across the Atlantic Ocean heading for Europe. During the night, the ship collided with an iron sailing vessel. Water began to pour into the ship and soon it sank below the waters. There were a total of 226 fatalities that evening, which included Horatio’s four daughters. His wife was saved and escorted to the country of Wales. Upon arrival, she contacted her husband by cable and said “Saved Alone”.

Horatio quickly boarded another ship heading to meet his wife. As the vessel was passing over the site of the downed Ville De Havre, the captain of the ship contacted him to let him know. Horatio said the following words “It is well. The will of God be done.”

Upon reaching his wife, he quickly penned the words to this incredible hymn:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Bethel Music has written “It Is Well” that talks about the same subject – when things get tough and the storms of life seem to be beating us down. Even in the middle of the storm, if we know Jesus, we can say … it is well!

The first verse & chorus of “It Is Well” says this:

Verse 1
Grander earth has quaked before moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard

Chorus
And through it all, through it all my eyes are on You
And through it all, through it all it is well
And through it all, through it all my eyes are on You
It is well with me

I don’t know what storms you are going through right now in your life but know this, Jesus Christ is the answer!

Matthew 8:23-27 says

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Let me encourage you today and let’s worship Him because He is the one that the wind and seas obey! I pray that we all can say in the middle of storms – “It is well. The will of God be done.”