Monday, April 18, 2005

What is Worship...???...

I had one of those moments today. The kind of moment that sends a chill down your spine and you feel in the very presence of God. What caused, or more accuartely contributed to this? We were playing Agnus Dei, a song that has been played forever a million different ways. When we play songs like this, I need to sit back and really read the words and think about them. If don't they will just come out and it will be like a machiene running and not worship. We have rehearsed the song played it before, and the same result everytime. Right at the climatic moment, HOLY, everyone is on a different chord, the band falls apart. Rehearsal was no different, horific. But my prayer tonight was different. Not mistake free music, but facilitating an environment for worship. It came time to it, from almost nothing musically (one guitar and one vocal) to a huge hit, of bass, drums, two heavily distorted guitars, and the chill was sent through my body. That is all I ever wanted to acheive as a band, but had a revelation. I wanted it because it was musical excellence and sounds good, and God showed me the real reason for it. Facilitating an environment for worship. When that is your goal, it seems everything else falls into place (you still have to practice and prepare). There is a huge spiritual movement going around our society today. Even non-christians are trying to be more spiritual in their lives. You see Hollywood inventing religions and watch Oprah or whatever and everyone needs to be more spiritual and at peace. I see this same effect taking place in younger generation christians. I have talked to younger christians lately that believe worship to God has to be soft and somber, a very spiritual aspect to it (spirtual in the sense of how I mentioned before, at peace and soft). I have been told that music with solos, or with loud distortion guitar is not real worship. It is worldly and gets in the way of someone's heart opening to enter God's prescence. I think that is non sense. Music enhances and magnigys every emotion. Have you ever tried to watch a scary moment of your favorite scary movie without the music, not so scarry. Have you ever seen a piece put together by a network of a recent champion sports team? Something that is just a game can almost make you cry because the music they put to it magnifies the emotion so much. I belive that is why we use song to worship. IT allows us to open up and let all our emotions come out to sing praise to our creator. If that wasn't true, every church would just replace their worship time with poetry reading prasing the Lord.
The kind of music you like will probably facilitate the best environment for you to worship. If you like country, go get a country worship album, if you like rock and roll go get one, alternative, organ and choir, it doesn't matter. The sound and the music doesn't matter. Third Day's recording of Agnus Dei is amazing, but when listening and worshiping along with it, it isn't the verse, the chorus when I feel closest to God, it is in the guitar solo (be careful that isn't real worship to a lot of people). The music creates the perfect environment for me to enter an intimate time of worship with God. I love Kutless' new worship album (Strong Tower). I get chills every track. It has, musically speaking, hard and soft moments. From rockin', distorted guitars, to nice acoustic moments with great vocal harmonies. You get both in their first track which is an arrangement of "We Fall Down." For me I like quiet moments of just lifting my voice, and then I like climatic huge moments where I feel passionate and my whole body is involved in worship. If you are involved in leading worship, you need to focus on musical excellence, but at the same time we need to check ourselves and see why we are striving for that. Is it for us, or for him? In today's world, their is so much good worship music available to us in so many different varieties of music. You can get classic hymns, or modern rock. We should not knock the way people worship, but embrace it. As I have told you I have been criticized of my worship to hard and showy. I have also criticized the other side as being boring and lacking passion. I think we all need to just embrace our time of worship, and go somewhere that facilitates that environment for you. As long as our heart is right for worship, it doesn't matter if we have a 50 piece band, or a kazoo. It is our heart at the time we enter that worship.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Return of a lost blogger...

Well here we are April 17th, weeks since my last post. For those of you who know me, you know why. Tax season gets a little (ha) busy the beginning of April. But the worst of it is over and life returns to some aspect of normalcy. Nothing great to say right now, just wanted to drop a line to say I am still here. I will get back to posting regularly. And if you know a tax man that managed to have time to blog the past three weeks, tip him extra because he/she is probably in need. Just kidding, see you soon.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Flag Page

At the conference in my last post, I was turned on to I have taken persoanlity tests before, I have read the 5 love languages, but this is extremely pracitcal. It can change teh way you view, treat, and admire your spouse and really anyone. Especially if you are in a leadership position, this can show you what makes the people you are leading tick, and how you can motivate, or destroy them. It breaks the 4 basic personalities down (control, peace, fun, and perfect) as orginally stated (in more sophisticated terms) by the greek philosopher Hippocrates. It goes into much more detail and you get a greater understanding of yourself, AND ESPECIALLY OF OTHER PEOPLE when you look at their flag page. You end up with a flag with five traits listed in order of priority of how important those traits are to make you feel happy, loved, and appreciated. So often we (usually not realizing it) start to tear at other people because their flag looks completely different than ours and they are driven by completely different things. WE go around critisizing people for not being like us. This will give you an insight on how to motivate people and make them feel loved and appreciated. If we go through life motivating people by means that motivate us, we will in a sense motivate nobody. Flagpage is a revelation to what you need to feel loved. And if you look at somebody's flag page and you have critisized those characteristics, you need to step back and evaluate how you relate to that person. I am pretty sure that we are to lift our brothers up, which means encourage and motivate, not try to convert everyone to adapting the same personality traits we have. There is balance among the four traits in this world. Could you imagine a world where only Control people lived. Yikes. There is a way we are wired the way we are, and we need to embrace each other. There is a $10 fee for using the on-line service, but it will be the best $10 you have ever spent. And if you know me personally, let me know and I will send you my flagpage.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The dreaded marriage conference...

With my anniversary being last week, I touched a bit on being a husband. MY wife and I are attending a marriage conference (far from what it sounds like) this weekend. Laughing your way to a better marriage I would recommend to anyone and everyone who is married, whether you think your marriage is great or not. So often our society puts emphasis on change. We need to express our feelings, so we can change the way our spouse treats us. This organization is set out to pointing out bluntly the differences between men and women and learning to understand them, NOT CHANGE THEM!!! Mark Gungor believes most marriage conferences try and make men more like women. We need to realize that God made women and men biologically the way they are for a reason. We need to accept, embrace, and use that understanding to be successful in our marriages. By the way, Mark is also probably the funniest speaker I have ever heard. Order his DVD today and share it with everyone you know. It is about 75 minutes and fun the whole time. And if you get the chance, go to one of his workshops (6 hours), it will change our life! There is no guarantee from the Laugh Your Way organization, but men I can almost promise more and better sex.