Tuning The Lyre

Sabbath

Life has been full of legendary experiences recently. And in keeping with tradition, these experiences have led to some painful lessons. But even the plains have to burn down in order to grow again. Several blogs will follow this post, delving deeper into the truths that God has granted me, but this old post from two years ago will sum up one recent working. This week, let us remember to sabbath…

This post was in response to a post by worship leader Vicky Beeching (www.vickybeeching.com)

ahh sabbath…I am currently enjoying my fourth sabbath day in row! (and at the beach no less!!) Thats right, vacation has finally come for this dude from philly! Its funny that this topic should come up because I just recently became aware of its importance. Im a young brother with too much energy. Im at the point in life where the words “i don’t have time” or “I can’t do that” have yet to register in my vocabulary. This, of course, is a very detrimental thing (both physically and spiritually). I recently said yes to way tooooo many things for the kajillionth time. Normally I can handle a “work overload” pretty well but this “overload” was capped off with one of the most amazing weeks of my life. Vicky, I ran into you at the East Coast Worship Summit…which was amazing (we talked guitar pedals..look up John Ladngraff’s “dynamic overdrive”…anywho)! But, by the end of the week I could barely keep my emotions and body together. Thankfully, my vacation came at just the right time. I believe God calls us to sabbath for multiple reasons. 1.) We are finite. therefore our bodies are exhaustible..thus…we need rest. 2.) Because we are finite, temporary, and fallen beings the Creator and Sustainer of life graciously offered to us eternal life. Therefore, the sabbath is important because it also reminds us of where life is truly found. 3.)When we rest, we are actively and consciously surrendering our lives. When I get up, “sabbath morning”, and step out onto the porch and embrace the morning glow I also embrace my weakness and dependency on Christ. When we rest we actively proclaim the Lordship of Christ in our lives because we’re saying, “shoot, I can’t do this on my own and really Im not meant to”. As disciples of Christ we have relinquished our former dreams and goals and acquired the dreams and goals of God….i know thats an increadibly broad statement but roll with me….God’s desire is to have all things submit to him willfully and worship Him as the King of Kings and that too is our desire. Therefore, when we rest we are saying “Lord, Im living for You and for the advancement of Your kingdom, and the glory of Your name. My strength fails me and I praise You for the that, for if my strength were enough you would be insignificant.” By resting we acknowledge our weakness, we acknowledge God’s greatness, we acknowledge our purpose by acknowledging our place in creation. We are limited vessels blessed with the righteousness of Christ, living for the glory of God.
Ok, I apologize…its 2:00am. If i spoke heresy let me know and we can discuss. Enjoy the ramblings and may the controversy lead us to the truth. Shalom family.
4.) oh yea, one last deep theological reason…working for the church can get mundane and repetitive so its good to throw in random movie days! If i may suggest, next sabbath day you should all spend it watching all 3 Jurassic Park films…it will change your life

Be still my soul.

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Today is a new day. As with every day, it possesses joy, sadness, moments of triumph, and moments of discouragment. As I drove to service this morning I had several moments just like this picture (took it while driving..shhh…don’t tell anyone) And in these moments, while I had worship music softly going in the background, I couldn’t but feel a nudge to stop and get still before the lord. So I did. I stopped my car in the middle of the road, looked to my left and exclaimed “oh lord, our lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth”. In stillness we find humility, in humility we find strength, for our strength comes from God. Let’s be still today, and ask our Lord to be our peace.

Psalm 8.

Stillness

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There is something about sitting in an empty house that stirs a song within my soul. No music, no extra footsteps; just me, a great book and the truth of God. In stillness I’m reminded of where my heart belongs.

If you’re looking for a good read on worship check out Skip Ryans “worship. Beholding the beauty of the Lord”.

I am a tree, planted by a stream, that will never die.

A couple of weeks ago a friend came up to me and said “Dave, I just can’t worship today, or recently for that matter. I haven’t been getting into the word, praying as much as i should, or even worshipping much. I don’t know why, but Im just having a hard time worshipping God today”. Im sure many of us can sympathize with such a statement, I know I can. More often then not I’ve found myself waking up Sunday morning thinking “crap, I’ve been an absolute slob this week. How the heck can I go and worship this King when I have denied Him monday through saturday?” The funny thing is though, its clear that we aren’t stuck in this “slob” state. I mean, if we took grace seriously we’d understand that the mere acknowledgement of it [slob-ness] is the result of grace! The reality is that we know only because He imparted the knowledge there of. Jesus Christ represents the answer of our prayers, the prayers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. There was an extension, from God, to man the day that Jesus came, died, and rose again. Therefore, our worship is never rooted in ourself, which is INSANE!! Think of this, worship and praise of God is but a stream that flows from the father, passes through our lips, and returns to Him again. Our songs are the truths that God has placed within us.

When we arrive in a place when we can’t worship, we’ve fallen victim to the lies of the enemy. Think of it this way, there’s nothing a stream wants more then to flow. It was created to flow, its all it knows to do, and when it gets dammed up, well its just plain ugly. The same goes for us as worshippers. We were destined to worship in word, thought, and deed and evil wants nothing more then to deny us that opportunity. It has nothing to do with God, Satan knows he cannot overcome Him. He does, however, know that he can slow us down (dam us up), and thats what he wants.

Sunday morning does not exist because God needs it. Sunday morning exists because God knew we needed it. We gather to, as Lewis and Augustine taught us, re-order our loves. The goal of sunday is to get together as a community and sit under the authority of the gospel. Therefore, when we arrive on that faithful morning full of doubt and uncertainty, let us cling to truth of the gospel- to the fact that Christ lived, died, and rose again for the cries of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The worship we harvest is but the worship that He planted within us. Let us cling to Christ in our brightest moments and darkest hours. We were created to be dependent upon Him. And let us not forget that when we our dependent upon God, His glory abounds, for in our dependence is celebration.

So to my friend who said he couldn’t…of course you can’t, YOU never could,  but HE has. You don’t create worship, instead, you harbor it. Release your worship as an act of war, a declaration to the enemy that he cannot hold you down because he could not hold Him down. Finally, release your worship because He planted it in you, to make you beautiful. Release it, and you will see His beauty.

“I am a tree, planted by a stream, that will never die”

-Tuningthelyre.

Song Suggestions for Dependence:  “We Need You” (Brenton Brown), “Jesus You are Worthy” (Brenton Brown) “I will Boast” (Paul Baloche) “Shaken” (Paul Baloche) “We will Hold On” (Paul Baloche)

8.14.2010 Willowdale Worship

I was recently asked to post my worship sets and the “why” behind them. Here’s my first post…shhaabam!

For over a year now I’ve led worship at Willowdale Chapel in Kennett Square, PA (the mushroom capital of the world!!!). As a church we’ve been blessed with great musicians. So needless to say, we’ve taken advantage of that. Sets are always full of intriket movements, well produced hits, stuff like that. I decided, that after a year, it was time to approach worship differently. On this particular Sunday I gave half of my team off and invited just two others to join me. The goal was to bring worship to our body in a format that weren’t predicting with the hopes of catching them off guard, allowing the truth of the gospel to hit deeper. I did an acoustic set. 1 guitar, 1 djembe/cajon, 1 acordian…thats right, an accordian. Here’s what we played..

Set 1:

1.) Our God Saves

2.) Hosanna (Praise is Rising)

Set 2:

3.) Jesus, You are worthy

4.) In Christ Alone

5.) Above All

Classics, who doesn’t love any of these songs?? My hope was that people would be able to “exhale” worship; take a deep breathe and allow the praises that God placed within them to flow out. From I heard, it worked. We used different passages of scripture to transition between songs which helped solidify the moment. Oh yea, we used a different set of lyrics for Above All (which people really got into). In place of the line “…and thought of me, above all”, I simply said “…and rose to be, above all”. Worked well and ties in with the lyrical content of the entire set and the sermon.

Peace.

Christian Hipster

When I was in college all I ever heard about was social justice and how Jesus never intended us to be the church we currently were. Somewhere early in my senior year I got sick of having these conversations, even though I started many of them. It was late fall in my senior when I realized that following Jesus down the path of social justice could be just like the elitist swing to eat organic, it was a fad. For Christians, at the time, taking a stake in local social justice was such a foreign concept. The 90′s and early millenia were filled with big missional pushes to Africa and Asia so when the home town was forgotten, it gave “radical” people the chance to be peeved at their own church, or their own parents (which was my case). I’ll be the first to say that I would have dreamed to be considered a “Christian Hipster” while I was in college. But now, well I hope I know better. I hope I can say I am experiencing the Gospels call to redemption in all area’s. Either way, enjoy this little diddy and don’t forget to scroll over the picture!

Click the below link to be taken to the “Christian Hipster” page.

http://www.hipsterchristianity.com/anatomy.php?sceneNum=2

#6

I’ve got some great friends, as Im sure you do. Each of them introduces a unique perspective on life which I always benefit from. Many of my friends are artists (fashion, music, textiles, etc…), in for this brief moment I wanted to highlight the gifts of one particular friend. What I appreciate about this individual…hm…lets call “him” jasmine…what I really appreciate about jasmine is his authentic and honest handling of life. Jasmine never shys away from dealing with his actual feelings. Whether its excruciating pain, unbearable joy, intense lonliness, or undeniable appreciation, Jasmine will embrace and experience each feeling. Its hard for most of us to do that, we are afraid of the consequences. So whenever…oh yea, Jasmine is a writer, an amazing writer…so whenever Jasmine says he has a new jotting, I can’t wait to hear it. Anywho, I hope you’re blessed by this like I was.

#6

There are brighter moments ahead

For the time if may hurt my eyes

But for the sake of my sanity, I will try

Well, I heard you encountered the Lord

Was he all that you hoped for right now?

I wish I had followed you there to see him smile.

O Lord, you ruined me

You forced me back to my knees

I lost everything as consequence

Lord, return it to me

Blessed are the weak

Theirs is the whole world

Oh yea, this gem is copy-r’d so don’t even think about it :-)

Simply Spurgeon

I often find myself needing to sit in stillness the night prior to a morning set. There’s something about bouncing around aimlessly and falling asleep helplessly that seems to set me up for disaster on Sunday morning. You may be thinking, “Yes, a good nights sleep equips the mind to execute quicker, play more efficiently” and so forth. This, is not what I’m talking about. Its easy for me to forget God. To forget who He is, what He has done, what He says. I forget who I am in when caught in His light, in fact, I tend to believe I’m like Bilbo, forever capable of avoiding the GREAT EYE, even when its upon me. But thankfully, admist my pride God finds a way to prick my heart and punch my gut. The night before a set I find myself laying in bed asking myself and my Savior, am I ready for this? Am I ready to take Gods children before the throne of grace to which we’ve been invited? Its in this moment, usually sparked by a thoughtfully written word of Sprugeon, Packer, or Lewis, when I say no. I’m not ready because I haven’t already gone. On this day oi have rejected Gods invitation, how then can I take others. Of course we know that grace is a mysterious paradise, but it must remain the point- if you haven’t worshipped you can’t tell others too.
I was encouraged tonight by a gentle reminder from Charles Spurgeon that said something like this..be mindful of our sufferings and our responses. Some sufferings are the result of our union with Christ, and for those the humble heart rejoices. Some sufferings are the result of rejection of Christ, and for that, the Lord and mourns and the body complains.

In my weakness, where do I turn…I look to the mountains.

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