All posts tagged: worship

Praising God with Lyrics of Truth

-written by Nick Ivey Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 I remember the first time I ever stepped on stage to lead a room full of my peers. It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences I have ever had. It wasn’t just the thought of having to stand in front of a bunch of people and sing, but rather the weight which comes along with this responsibility. It is a heavy responsibility to direct and guide as we do the very thing we were created to do: give praise to our Creator. As a worshiper, singer, musician, and lover of music, I am convinced music stirs something inside of us like nothing else. It brings with it deep emotion and connection. We as leaders and facilitators of worship …

The Truth About Adulting in the Workplace

The work you do matters, but your attitude at work matters even more. Whether you are counting numbers on a computer all day, teaching elementary students how to read, or working outside under the sun, when you step into your workplace you can choose to work with an attitude of self-pity or an attitude that worships God. One of my all time favorite scriptures is found in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Here Paul is saying to commit your work, labor, or trade to God who is the master of your life. And as he adds the words “rather than for people,” he reminds us that while we have a boss in the workplace, he or she is not our ultimate boss. Part of adulting in the workplace is realizing that the work you do isn’t to please a boss or get a paycheck, but rather it’s an act of worship.  Jesus’s parable of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30 …

This Marriage of Mine

Mine! Me have it! Me like it.  I really do like it! We hear these phrases a lot in our house.  Our sweet little girl that we are fostering has a unique way of asking if she can have something.  She doesn’t understand the proper way of asking for something is to say “Can I have this?”  or “I would like to play with this.”  She has a much more direct way of stating exactly what her heart desires.  She doesn’t want the potential to acquire these things, she wants these things to be her’s and that reality comes out in her words. I go through life believing that I have a much more sensible way of living.  I delude myself into thinking that because I use better grammar and a larger vocabulary I strip away that selfish desire of me. I got married because I love my wife. My marriage is between me and my wife. Mine! I want my wife to respect and love me. I want everyone to know I love my …

This Week For Sunday

Presently in the office, we are gearing up for the Voscars. (Speaking of, have you RSVPed with your ministry lead?)  For those who aren’t familiar, the Voscars is our annual volunteer appreciation banquet where we recognize some of our volunteers for their outstanding service.  One of our traditions is writing parody songs about volunteering using the melodies of songs we sing on Sunday. Andrew Brooks has sung about exploding diapers, cleaning toilets, and stinky farts set to songs like “10,000 Reasons” and “Our God.” Re-writing these “sacred” songs got me thinking… What makes a song “worship” isn’t the melody, the story behind the song, the artist, or the fact that we sing them in a church building. The words of the song aren’t even what make it worship; it’s all about the heart. When we sing about surrender but have no intention of releasing control, we aren’t worshipping but loudly proclaiming a lie.  If we sing mechanically with eyes glazed over, we aren’t worshipping God but wasting our time and words.  If you don’t consider what you’re actually …

Are You Working Willingly as if For God?

What is your favorite scripture passage in all of the Bible? Maybe you think of the famous verse, John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Or maybe you learned Proverbs 3:5 growing up, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Of the 31,102 verses found in the Bible, I would have to say one of my favorites is found in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” We are not living for this world and we need to be prepared for opportunities to serve God through serving others. We must pray and live intentionally with our focus on living for God. Let’s break down Colossians 3:23 to help us grow in our walk with the Lord. Work willingly: Our work, or whatever we commit our time and energy towards, needs to …

Giving is Much More Than Money

–written by Jean Daniel Many years ago upon getting her weekly allowance, a little girl asked her father, “Daddy, how do you tithe a nickel?” She had been taught to tithe her money, but later learned it also meant giving of her time, money and personality. How does that apply to you? Personality: Does your Christian spirit come across through your smile, your words, your actions to your family or to strangers?  When my children were young, I accidentally recorded our conversation while preparing dinner. Later when playing it back, I was appalled at the manner in which I spoke to my kids. What would God’s recording of your comments and behavior toward others reveal? Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5, NIV Money: You know that you are supposed to tithe your money, but is it given with a tight fist or an open heart? Teach your children while they are young to tithe their money and they will give with eagerness and serve as an …

Thanks-giving Begins with Thanks-living

The aroma of golden-brown turkey wafting through the rooms of the house. The shrills of children startling anything still asleep. The caws of the crows piercing the fog that lies like gossamer on the outstretched arms of the trees. The occasional thunder of a gun in a young boy’s hands, fingers crossed, hoping for that first deer. Little girls playing hopscotch on the sidewalk while their brothers are pounding the pavement with basketballs. Football—inside on TV and outside in the yard. And, of course, jolly old Santa Claus—bigger than life—the grand finale of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But what if the stuff of which good Thanksgivings are made are just not there this year? I just received word that a friend of almost 45 years died. Try to imagine what his family’s Thanksgiving will be like. What about you? What about me? If we were to draw pictures of our lives right now, what would we draw? Would you draw a temple—stately, overwhelming, majestic? Or would you be more inclined to draw a picture resembling …

This Week for Sunday

Have you ever had a job you don’t care for? Maybe a job you hate? I have. Sometimes it’s hard to have a good attitude at work. It’s hard when you know you HAVE to work to pay the bills. To eat. To live. It can be hard because you deal with people. Angry people. Difficult people.  Whiny people.  The reality is, in every job and career, there are things we can find to complain about. What if we changed our perspective? Although, bills, food, and people are important, what if we decided that we aren’t working for all of that? Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23). Here at Southern Hills, we stress that worship is so much more than Sunday. Worship is an everyday, every moment, response to the greatness and glory of God. It’s in everything we do. We worship even at work. This week, begin to work for the Lord.  Choose to make your work space a place …

This Week For Sunday

I have always loved music. It’s a tool, a vehicle, an art, that helps us express ourselves to each other.  Music is also one lens that reveals what we are worshiping. For a long time, I’ve been a country music fan. However, over the past several months that has started to change because country music is changing. Country music used to tell stories, and some songs still do. But now, more often than not, country singers are singing about objectifying women, getting drunk, trucks (ok, I like that part), heartbreak, tailgates, breakups, and making love on the tail-gate of a truck with a sexy woman while drinking beer. When you sing along to what’s on the radio, are you paying attention to the lyrics? Are the words that come from your lips the desire of your heart? Jesus says they are (Matthew 12:34).  So when you sing along and never catch yourself saying “Get down in that Georgia clay and I’ll find peace at the bottom of a real tall cold drink,” consider what that means about what’s happening in your …

This Week for Sunday

Worship during music was incredible this past Sunday. Voices were loud, hands were raised, tears fell, knees were bowed, and hearts were being changed. I love mornings like that. However, worship is more than Sunday mornings. It’s more than singing. It’s more than a day. I’ve been reading The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio. He writes: Worship is a verb. Or so says Robert Webber. I think he’s right. Practically speaking, worship is always a verb. Worship is something you do. Worship is something you watch, contrary to the thinking many of us have who attend church… But here’s a news flash for you. Worship isn’t something you attend, like a movie or a concert. Worship is something you enter into with all your might.  Our worship HAS to be more than singing. What does your worship look like in the private moments of your day? Your week? If Sundays were book covers, and the weekdays were chapters in a book, would your cover be misleading or would it accurately describe what’s written on the inside? Think about …