Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spiggots and Sponges

The other day I was flipping thru channels and stopped on one with a woman's Bible conference being televised. The speaker was talking about people who continuously arrive late at church and have the attitude well I made it for the sermon. Her next points got my attention and stuck with me. She made the point that our worship services should be in basically two parts - Worship and Word. The 1st 1/2 of the service or the "Worship" part is all about us pouring out our love and adoration and praise and worship to God. It is the part where we are the givers and God is the "taker". The time where we are the active participant, the performers, and He is the audience. Then the 2nd 1/2 of the sermon, the "Word" is the time when He pours out on us and we are the receiver of the message He would have us hear. I used to not get the churches that had 1 hour of music and 1 hour of sermon, but more and more I am getting it and more and more I am reevaluating the typical Sunday service in a typical Baptist church. How can we effectively worship or pour out our praise and adoration and thanksgiving to God in a corporate worship setting if we are so limited and broken on how we do it? The hymn, hymn, announcements, offetory hymn, offering, special setting just doesn't cut it. I love my church, but lately I have noticed that our worship time is severely lacking. Most Sundays we sing 2 hymns and a fellowship song. OK 1st why is a fellowship song necessary? Take this past Sunday for example...before the service, I was making observations from the piano bench...I had started out playing To God Be the Glory and some other joyful songs in the prelude until I noticed that the atmosphere in the congreation was getting rowdier and rowdier and rowdier and I thought why are we here? I need to stop here and say that I am not saying we should come into the sanctuary and sit like a bunch of zombies not looking around or laughing or visiting with others; what I am saying is it was like we were at a Youth Rally or like how the kids are all excited and loud and hyper before VBS each night. So, I changed to more reverent songs and then I kept observing things - -ok announcements are important, but does it take 10 to 20 minutes to do them? Do we have to announce everything coming up in the next 6 weeks every Sunday? Do we have to go over everything that happened in the past week? {Yes I am extremely frustrated!:)} So within the 30 minutes alloted for the musical part of the service we have 2 hymns, the stupid fellowship hymn [which for the record if you have been walking around visiting others before the service and you talk to people after the service why do we need to take time away from when we are supposed to be worshipping God to visit with others!?], 10-20 mins of announcements, the offering and the special music and it's just gonna have to be enough, but it's not. The people are begging for more music. The choir thinks it is stupid to come up for just a couple of songs and you know I am not gonna fight them on it, because I think it is too. I also think it is incredibly tacky to go to the mike and say all right choir come on up! The choir should be adult enough to know who they are and to know that there is a choir on Sunday mornings and to pull on their big boy/girl pants and come up without being asked or to at least have the brains to come to whoever is leading the music that day and ask are we having a choir?! I miss worship. I miss having the songs back to back to back to just lift our praise and adoration to God.
I guess what it all boils down to this is sometimes you should be the spiggot and sometimes you should be the sponge and in most of our church services we have all become swollen, overfilled sponges and clogged up spiggots. We sit and take so much in but we are never give the opportunity to let it flow back to God.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good will come

I awake the other night with the thought in my head of the phrase "No good can come of this". Then God just spoke to me and I realized the falsity of that statement. In every situation, no matter how bleak or dreary there can be good. While we may not see it at the time, good can be seen in the end. When we are faced with losing a loved one or a parent having to sit and watch their child struggle with cancer or watching a person loose their dignity to alzheimers, we don't always see how there can be a good outcome. These are the times God molds us and grows us. It is in these times that people learn to reach out to God and trust Him. It is in these times that we learn to face our fears and fully trust in God and His faithfulness. I never thought I would have been 36 and divorced and single with no kids. Me the girl who played mommy from the time I could 1st pretend. My only dream in life has been to be a wife and mom and active in ministry as a helpmeet and supporter to my husband. I so desire to be & fell the calling to be a pastor's wife. So I have struggled with why I am still single. Today I remembered the scene in Facing the Giants where she declares that she will still praise God even if she's never a mom. I do feel that way, I know that I can praise and serve God to my fullest ability as a single woman. I know that God has opened so many opportunities for me as a single woman in His service. I know that I am continuously being molded for something special. I have never wanted to be a part of youth ministry - -I worked in the children's department. However, lately God has given me such a heart for youth ministry. I have the desire to reach out to teenage girls and to show them I love them and that I care about them and what happens to them. We have a group of 6 girls in our church that I have such a burden for these days. I find myself praying for them as I drive by their school and I just want to reach out to them and show them that they are special and God loves them and He wants them to be the sprecial young ladies he has created them to be. I have also learned lately that alot of time I pray something continuously but in my head I have a desired answer. I have been praying about someone I was interested in and while I have had some nagging doubts in the back of my head about some things, I chose to ignore them. So I prayed that God would either take away the feelings or bring someone else into either of our lives. Last week the prayer was answered when I realized that I no longer had feelings for him. So good has come from it!!!