Effective Worship

Some “e-mail updates” I just delete. Then others, I take time to read because I know there’s something special inside. “Notes from Terry” is one of the ones I read, because in his role as “Team Strategist” for Music and Worship Ministries office of the Florida Baptist Convention, Terry Williams always has some great stuff […]

Sacred Space

I’m reading the story of Joseph this week and it strikes me how his life was a continuous cycle of ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs. One minute he’s the favored son, the next an exiled slave in a faraway land. He’s up with Potiphar, then down in jail, favored in prison, […]

Life Preservers

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 (NIV) Why did I get stuck with the stupid-looking life preserver? I’m out here in the sun, getting sweaty, giving up my time to invest in the lives of our youth from church, and they […]

Given to You

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38 She was NOT a happy camper. As I sat at the diner-style counter eating my eggs, it […]

Sacrifice

“But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for [the field].  I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”– 2 Samuel 24:24a For the past few weeks I’ve been playing schedule ping-pong with some new friends who want to get my thoughts on some […]

Worship in Waiting

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I hope.” – Psalm 130:5 In 2001, my grandfather lost his words. He had been visiting family out of town when he had a stroke, and fortunately they were able to get him proper medical care that saved his life and prevented much […]

Chinese Drywall (pt.2)

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” – 1 Timothy 4:16 Chinese drywall could be one of the best things that ever happened to us. That’s probably not something you’d expect to hear from someone who’s being forced […]

Chinese Drywall (pt.1)

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” – 1 Timothy 4:16 I never thought it would happen to me. Just the other day, I was thinking and thanking God that out of the dozens of houses in […]

Religion, relationship, service and sin (pt.3)

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” – James 1:27 I learned something interesting about puffins the other day. You know, puffins.  Cute little birds with faces like French mimes.  Apparently, puffins have a […]

Religion, relationship, service and sin (pt.2)

James has been called the most practical book in the Bible, and indeed, it is full of great specifics about how to properly live out this relationship we have with God. If worship is a lifestyle, then James is a how-to-guide for the type of lifestyle God desires for us. In this context, look at what he says “pure” religion is: “…to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” Now, there are a couple of ways to look at this…