What do you value MORE than God?

This post is just a teaser of more to come……

(even though that sounded ridiculous, it’s true…..ridiculously true)

BUT, here are a few questions to ask ourselves in preparation…..

(if you trust that maybe something IS to come)

Do we have things in life that we value more than God?

Do we actually have to ask ourselves that question?

Do we spend our time on anything, ANYTHING, more than we spend it on God?

Do we spend our $$$$$ on anything, ANYTHING, more than we spend it on God?

Is there anything in our lives that are worth more to us than God?

Is there a way we can prove that there isn’t?

Is our everyday life filled with many more things than God?

Is our everyday life filled with any ONE thing more than God?

Might it be possible that those things, that thing, is what makes us who we are?

Might it be possible that, that very thing, those very things are the very reason God made us who we are?

Might it be possible that the things we value so much are the very reason we should value HIM?

Might it be possible that the time, $$$$$, efforts, etc. we spend on the many things (or one thing) other than God isn’t a bad thing but actually the bad thing is that we do it with out the realization that HE is why they even exist, making it the very reason we should value HIM in them, not necessarily extract them from our lives?????

Confused? Nah, just think on ’em for a bit if you would…..

This Generation is in need of something that changes their idea of what is and isn’t valuable, why the value exists, and how valuable that truth really is behind just that…..

Stay tuned…..

To Be Continued…..

Bb

How to get the MOST out of your team!

If you read this title the way a majority would, you would see a side of those words that was never meant to be so…..

You probably read “How to use your team to it’s fullest”!

Which doesn’t SOUND all that bad but in our minds, the definition, would mean……”drain your team of all they have, that’s what they’re there for”!

I may be wrong, God knows I’m definitely wrong about you, cause you would never do that, I would never do that right???

No, we wouldn’t, or at least, we would never mean to…..

And the truth is, when we get a glimpse of our own actions going in that direction, we pray for an intervention, “God help me change this”!!!

The bigger truth is that, our culture seems to have built a system that uses people for everything they got, till they ain’t got no more…..

And if you look at it from a fulfillment point of view, most of us, WANT to use everything we have and go to the grave with nothing left to give right???

Absolutely, how many books, quote’s, messages, challenges have you heard lately that say just that…..

However, and a HUGE however, is, “is it our job as leaders, managers, directors, etc. etc. to make sure someone else does that”, OR is it our job to make sure we, ourselves, me, you, I the ONE and only someone that we are completely responsible for does?

See, because of what we’ve been trained to do and learn-ed to do, we expect the same from those around us, especially when we have an authority over them (how easy is that) EVEN in good intent, for their own good, we push and drive, and “encourage” to give 1000%, to go till you can’t go no more…..

All most ALL the time, with good intent…..

Well, 

To put into words and simply come up with a solution for this is not easy, I DON’T HAVE all the words or the solution at hand, BUT, I do know that I’ve been on both sides of this coin, and I HAVE failed in both cases, and I will say, I do my best to make it not so NOW, no matter what the climate or DNA of the organization that God has allowed me to be a part of, effective leadership comes from effective influence, and effective influence comes with a heart of pure intent, one that seeks God’s heart for all that’s intended…..

“How to get the most out of your team”?? You decide, make your choice on how to lead, shepherd, direct, encourage, but make sure to do it with an intent to “love on” and care for as a true shepherd needs to, and know, always know, that those that are appreciated, truly appreciated, will love to do what they do, for the one they report to, and will have a true understanding of the One we all “report to”!!

Bb

“God can use Miley too”!

Genesis 50:20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

While it may be true, many young people are seeing what our media is promoting and following in the foot steps of our pop culture examples, it is also true that through some of these situations (like the one we saw this past weekend and continue to see through many media sources) are being turned through other media sources (blogs, posts, comments, interviews, etc.) for mercy and a true heart of what it is to be a christian.

Are we saying that God intended this?

Maybe, maybe not, that’s a whole other discussion on pre-determination that we don’t need to get into here and now…..

But the fact that He knows what will and won’t happen and can and will use it for His glory is absolutely a sure thing!

Though the enemy is at work and doing his best to lie, kill and destroy, we serve the one who already holds the victory…..

Is God using Miley for His good…..you tell me?

Has there been an influx of media from christians that at first thought, disgusted and outraged, attacked, judged and voiced there opinion?

Yes!!!

Has there been a follow up of media from christians that have mercifully promoted prayer and a heart for not only her but the rest of our young people that are “acting out” from whatever the case may be and giving them the grace and mercy they should receive?

Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!

Some of “us” who felt the former have found our hearts to join the latter…..

Is Miley and many others still affecting many in a negative way?

Yes!!!

Is our response as christians affecting many in a way that could shape how our generation is viewed to the world?

Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!

Is God possibly using this, Miley, and more to rise up a culture that reflects Jesus and how he would respond?

I believe so…..

How bout you, what do you believe???

Bb

Here’s a friend of mines response that has caught the hearts of many:

http://jarridwilson.com/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/

13 Reasons why “Singing songs is such a small part of our worship”!

Because:

1. Most of us only do it once a week, twice if we’re “real churcheez”…..

2. Most of us who only do it once a week go to a church that relegates it to 17 minutes (not knocking, I COMPLETELY understand the parking issues)…..

3. Most of us who only do it twice a week don’t appreciate the midweek worship team so we really only do it once a week (see number 2)…..

4. 4 of our 17 minutes is a top 40 opener so “the reality is”, 13 minutes of our week is spent singing in worship (if we fall into the number 1 or 2 category)…..

5. Some of us can’t sing at all, and are afraid that “Simon” is sitting next to us so you won’t catch us even trying, giving us our own category (see number 6)…..

-it’s starting to get serious

6. Some of us don’t ever sing songs as worship…..

7. worship is a lifestyle (see number 8)…..

8. If worship is a lifestyle and “singing songs” is such an important part of it than very few are really worshipping, and those few are doing it very seldom…..

9. If that is true than there’s a book (or an app if you don’t like carrying that leather thing) that says “the rocks would be crying out”…..

10. Rocks aren’t singing…..

–uhoh

11.  Prayer is also a form of worship, and the app (or GIANT leather relic) says “pray without ceasing”, giving the notion that we should probably be praying more than singing…..

12. There are way too many other forms of worship that are constant in our everyday lives like actions, re-actions, routines, habits, etc. etc. etc…..

13. See numbers 1-12…..

 

Just to throw in some clarity, here is just a bit about the word “worship”…..

 

Worship*       (wər-shəp)

noun

1. reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence

2. extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

verb

1. to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power

2. to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion

 

*The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning, worship, honor shown to an object, which has been also described in history as “worthiness or worth-ship”—to give, at its simplest, worth to something

 

Bb

 

“Forget the Bible, I got social media”!

It’s been over a week since my last post.

It ain’t that big of a deal if you consider the fact that before a couple few months ago it had been 35 years!

I might be new to blogs but Facebook, twitter, Instagram, heck, whatever social media was available I was on it ASAP!

Wake up……check my statuses, check out others statuses, post a comment, hit the like button…..

oooooohhhh that’s a good thought for the day…..

aaaaaahhhh that’ll help the area of my life that needs to change…..

wowwww I think the Lord is speaking to me through that…..

Are any of those things bad?

No, why, why would they be bad?

They’re NOT!

BUT, are all THOSE things the BEST way to spend time with God?

To find what HE has for my day?

To seek fixin’s for the changes needed in my life?

To, yada, yada, yada???

Well, if you’re like me at all, you might be guilty of putting social media on a bigger pedestal than maybe you should.

Is it more important than anything else in life?

Is it the first thing we think of in the morning?

Is it the last thing we do before going to bed?

Has it become our God, our avenue to God, our way to find Him?

Maybe, maybe not…..

But in this season of life for me personally, in a season of some major transitions, some major changes, maybe it was better to not find what was needed on social media……maybe just for me, maybe just for my season, maybe just for now…..maybe not!

Just a thought…..

Yours?????

Bb

Song Selection, Comment Cards & pleasing EVERYONE!!

It’s a well known statement and, a 100% true statement that says, we worship for “an audience of One”!

A statement without if’s, ands or buts…..

However, (which is not an if, and or but) the team that programs, plans and works hard on our worship services has a lot to put in to play when it comes to creating an atmosphere for ALL that would lead to our worship being the best presentation for the “One” who is on-looking, receiving & inhabiting it!

Let’s make sure we all agree on one thing……the platform is only a part of that presentation, those who are in the congregation or crowd or community, whatever term you wanna use, has a HUGE part of it.

Most worship leaders are driven by participation, which is a GOOD thing, coupled with the right heart and intent.

If a leader does his or her best to lead from a Christ centered perspective or a Holy Spirit guided direction or a God’s eye view than he or she are gonna have a crazy drive in them that looks to please God with the whole package……”What does God want for His people, what does He want to do here, what does He see that we miss all too often”, and many other things that go on in “our” hearts.

To do that, to at least try our best to do just that, there are many things that need to be in action…..

Prayer

Discernment

Submission

Humility

Preparation

Teamwork

Just a few, but a few that I personally have found to be the constants!

There is no formula to a great worship service and the truth is, a lot of people would say, “how do you know when it’s great, that’s for Him to judge”, well, very true but if He’s entrusted some to lead those things than hopefully He’s equipped them to discern when it’s going in the right direction and fulfilling it’s purpose, and hopefully they are submitted to that, right???

If there’s no formula than how do we do it, how do we build a consistency, how do we approach it weekly, daily, or whenever it’s in “our” hands to determine what’s right for the “whole”!

Just a couple of my own personal thoughts that have worked for me over some time now…..

If you’re doing “too many”* new songs, expect the “engaging” to be limited

*too many – 2 out of 4, a new one every week……just a couple of thoughts, try a new one for a couple weeks, if it seems to be working give it a week off than come back with it as a regular

Have a “staple” song”*, Mighty To Save, How Great is Our God, The Stand, 10,000 Reasons, just to name some obvious ones, your church might have a few of their own that are always great for EVERYONE to engage in…..

*just 1 out of 3 or 4, it’ll make the difference for that few that are looking for a reason not to engage

*maybe even just a chorus, or a chorus and bridge

Know your Pastor’s heart, know the people’s hearts, know that YOU are serving them and in that, God will honor it

Know that when comment cards come in, it may not mean you have to make a change, but it BETTER make you think and discern if there is any truth to it

Know that the phrase “played out” is only used by “us”, you might be “over it” but “they” might not be…….if it’s the right one, it’s the right one

Know that shifting a culture takes time, trust and a true heart for the “why” and every single “how”…..this topic we’ll save for another post 🙂

Know that YOU may not like a song or style but the person next to you may love it

And for you personally, on stage, off stage, in prep, out of prep…..

Know that your gift, talent & calling is ALL from Him, be confident, but be confident in Him…..

and SMILE, it truly does make a HUGE difference when it comes to building trust and ultimately, people wanting to follow YOU as a leader in your planning, preparing and building what is needed and/or desired.

There are many other truths and constants that you may have found, but these are just some that I’ve found and wanted to share.

If you have any to add or inject, please do…..

Bb

 

 

 

“I don’t have a dad….”

I wanted to take a moment to step outta my own shoes and into the shoes of those who “don’t have”, have lost, or have never experienced the love and sacrifice of an EARTHLY dad!

To you,

I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have a dad in my life……

BUT, I can be sensitive to share in the grief and emotion of those who do on tough days like today.

I can’t begin to try and make it better……

BUT, I can encourage you to BE better for your kids, or step in and be a father figure for those who have experienced the same/similar struggles you have.

I can’t tell you to let it go……

BUT, I can tell you that forgiveness will bring a joy to your life that can overcome walls that have been built up in defense.

I can’t fix what has been done…..

BUT, I can pray that the Heavenly Father through his Holy Spirit will bring comfort and restoration to the hurts and broken heart.

Yes, I have been blessed beyond words with an earthly father that HAS been there for me, always, and HAS made countless decisions of sacrifice for me and gave up selfish desires to make sure that I had an example to follow, BUT, WE, share a Heavenly Father that has done and will continue to do all those things and more for both YOU and I.

Today, Fathers Day 2013, my prayer is that no matter if you have a dad or not, have had a dad or not, or have never known the love of a father, that OUR Heavenly Father is more than enough for all of us.

Bb

“Sundays are my favorite”

I know you’re proly thinkin’ “uh ya don’t you lead worship every Sunday”?? Negative! I USUALLY lead worship every Sunday but sometimes not, and even if I did, that’s still not the reason.

(I hope you read that sentence in a very 8 yr old smarty pants accent…..yep, 8)

I’m gonna confess something to you right now……

I pretty much cry at some point or another during every movie, tv show, play, service or any other type of thing that people are involved in. Even reading a book, or an article, blog, whatever. It’s ridiculous, if you only knew, sad moments, happy moments it doesn’t matter, whenever something significant happens, I’m biting my cheek, doin a quick wipe of the eye, a few times, and doing everything I can to NOT!

What does any of this have to do with Sundays????

Well, I cry because for some reason my heart is tugged on easily. I cry because that’s what is supposed to happen isn’t it, an emotional moment that makes the watcher, reader, attender say “this is so good”, even when really it’s not. But, the writer, director or creator whoever, he/she thinks it is, or thought it was, that was the original goal right!

God created us in his image and even though we’re born into sin, we still have a desire to connect back to the heart of who we are, the image and likeness of the creator. If you asked yourself what’s the thing that matters most to the creator, what would you come up with? I come up with people, I ALWAYS come up with people, them coming together for him, changing for the better, lives being touched, hurts being healed, restoration taking place, salvation becoming real, and so on and so on. We want our worship to always be about him and yes, it always is, but it is even more so when it’s so much about him that we begin to see, hear and think like HIM! When THE creator of EVERYTHING originally created this whole life thing, he wanted us to get to that “this is so good” point, and for me, that point is on “Sunday”.

Bb

Threepeat

Three things that ring out when looking at how to continue to do life day after day and as best as possible not burning bridges, not losing friendships, respect, trust, you name it, have to be repeated!

Honesty

Humility

Integrity

Be honest about YOU, where YOU’ve been, what YOU’ve done, what makes YOU who YOU are. “What you do in the secret place WILL be shouted from the house tops”! I’d rather be open about my nasty self from the get-go than having to always clean up rumors, gossip, or even truths that have been exposed by others. Most of the time when people see honesty, if they’re heart is right and led by Jesus they are much more willing to let the guard down and build trust. Whether that’s becoming a part of a team, getting a job or just building a lasting relationship. BUT, just because you’re honest about YOU doesn’t mean you have to be running around honest about everyone else, or worse yet, throwing in someones face what THEY need to change or what YOU don’t like about THEM.

Humility is always a tough one, most people think humility is just an act of being humble when really, in my humble opinion :), humility is more so “walking in confidence” of who’s in you. Knowing that you are who you are, have what you have and can do what you can do is ALL because of the creator puts just a bit of a different realization in our tiny minds. It makes ME think, “uhhh well without Him those little gifts, talents, favor, etc. are GONE, then what”, who am I….???? Knowing that whatever is great in you is because of Him is a sure way to never take the credit, absorb the glory, or steal the show……He is great, we are, to let ALL know that.

My Dad had this one thing that he said to us growing up and as simple as it is I try my bestest to live by it, “no matter what someone else does, it doesn’t negate your responsibility to do the right thing”! The “right thing” is always up for interpretation, maybe it just seems that way, maybe it’s a solid truth, maybe not, but I do believe that the “right thing” can be different at different times and one who has integrity finds it at ANY time.

Repeat these three things and the least it’ll do is up your chances of doin life maybe a bit better than before….or if you already live by them than repeat, repeat, repeat……..

Bb