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Spiritual Worship


“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Rom. 12:1 Chances are as Christians, we’ve come across this verse at one time or another. And for me, being a musician and worship leader, it can be easy to see the word “worship” and automatically think music. I mean, in church “worship” time is the first 20 minutes when the band is on stage playing, and ends right along with the last chorus of Mighty to Save. But Romans 12:1 doesn’t have anything to do with music; it has everything to do with service. It speaks to offering our bodies to God, so he can accomplish his will through us. Having this kingdom mindset where you know your body is not your own; that is the worship this verse is speaking to. And that’s all well and good, but how can we keep that in our minds constantly? Because for me, I forget things very quickly. It’s like that moment in your car when you’re singing sweetly along to your favorite worship song, and someone cuts you off. It sounds something like “Light of the world, you came down into – jerk! Learns to drive! – open my eyes let me…wait.” Its moments like that that can show so clearly what’s really in our hearts. The point is, this idea of spiritual worship is something we need to keep in mind on a daily basis. As we begin to strengthen our relationship and connection with God, we will be able to see this worship played out daily in our lives. This song is pretty old school, but singing it last Sunday at church reminded me how true the words are. Enjoy. – Briana B.


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Photos of our God providing


Working day-in and day-out for a non-profit, I come across photos and stories that normally I would never see. Stories of families moving from small, makeshift shanties into sturdy concrete homes. Stories about children receiving food at school, and how that one meal is all they’ll eat that day. Stories about children being saved from cholera thanks to a new water system being put in place. I don’t say this to boast about the work that we’ve done, I say it to remind myself that the world is so much bigger than the small problems we face in our lives on a day to day basis. And our God is mighty and awesome, never letting anything happen without his permission. Check out some of these photos of God providing, and celebrate with me the power of our God.  – Briana B.


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Homeless bringing revival to Nashville?


Southern Gospel singer Candy Christmas thinks so, according to CT: In November 2004, Christmas founded The Bridge Ministry—named for its location under the Jefferson Bridge near the riverbank—after taking a pot of jambalaya to a group of homeless people on a visit with a local pastor. The Bridge is now a thriving ministry which includes a weekly church service on Tuesday nights to feed and preach to up to 500 attendees. Other local churches and ministries (including the Salvation Army) also reach out to these homeless. Some of those organizations use the Bridge’s 20,000 square-foot warehouse—a resource hub for nonprofits—which is stocked with dry goods, toiletries, and coats to pass out for the winter. Here’s where the revival part enters: Their desire to give back to the community may be the most inspiring effect of The Bridge Ministry, convincing Christmas and many others of the revival they could lead. Their lack of resources is no hindrance.  That spirit was exemplified one night last year when Christmas shared about her other ministry—the Candy House, a school for orphans in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She recalls, still in awe, how she told the Bridge crowd about her 2009 trip to Haiti, noting that it’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. “They started getting up, bringing their quarters and their dollars,” she says. Though Christmas tried to stop them—she simply wanted to raise awareness, not funds—they kept coming. “That night we took up $42.53. So now I’ve got homeless people that are trying to get their passports to go to Port-Au-Prince to build this orphanage.” Christmas shares how serving the poor helped cure her of depression here. I remember Smitty mentioned this ministry a while back, but did not know that Candy was the one primarily used to get it going & flourishing. God apparently uses the things that our world considers weak and despised to show His glory (1 Cor 1).


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Investing in people, not property


Rolling Hills Baptist in Fayetteville, Georgia, sold their building and property and moved their meetings into a local movie theater. Why? According to their website: …we’ve come to the conclusion that we want to invest more deeply in people rather than property. We’ve grown tired of investing more and more of our budget on mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc… at the expense of ministry and mission… In the first 300 years of Christianity there were very few brick and mortar churches. While “religious people” were building elaborate temples and houses of worship to celebrate their faith, Christians were spending their money supporting widows and orphans; meeting the benevolent needs of their community; and sponsoring the work of apostles and missionaries all over the known world. That’s the kind of church we want to be; a church of flesh and blood, not brick and mortar. Video below or here. Pastor Frank Mercer has a great post on his blog about what it means to be ‘missional’ which in part says: It’s not about how many people come to our church services – it’s about how many people our church serves. It’s not about our seating capacity – it’s about our sending capacity. It’s not about making decisions – it’s about being disciples. It’s not about building a monument – it’s about being a movement. It’s not about being an organization – it’s about being an organism. It’s not about keeping pace with the Joneses – it’s about keeping pace with Jesus. It’s not about competing for members – it’s about creating partnerships for mission and ministry. Your church doesn’t have to sell the building or property to be effective in service to others. What are you currently and purposefully doing to serve those outside the congregation? HT:  Catalyst


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California debut for Harmony of Hearts


Crossroads Community Church in Rocklin held the first Harmony of Hearts event in the great state of California on Sunday, August 23. Pastor Harlyn Matson and I met at the Saddleback Worship Conference earlier this year, just before his trip to Burundi.  Upon viewing our music video, he immediately requested it for his church.  According to worship coordinator Mike Stonehill, there were few dry eyes in the service. Kudos to Dr. Matson and Crossroads Community for following God’s instruction for worship by serving the poor. To debut a Harmony of Hearts presentation in your area, click here.


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Is Facebook a fad?


Not according to Michael Brush of MSN Money, who compares the social networking site to Walmart: It’s a giant, like Wal-Mart Stores. And as a one-stop shop that lets users easily build networks of friends to share news and photos, join groups and search for school and work buddies, it has the potential to bury MySpace, Classmates.com and other competitors the way Wal-Mart has busted local retailers. He posts these facts as evidence: Traffic. In December, 108 million people, or 30% of the world’s Internet population, visited Facebook, compared with 81 million who visited MySpace, according to Nielsen Media Research. Users. Facebook now reports more than 175 million active users, compared with 130 million for MySpace, its closest direct competitor. “Facebook is eating MySpace’s lunch,” says Bill Douglass, a social-media strategist with Brainerd Communicators. Value. Two years ago, based on the sale of 1.6% of its business to Microsoft, Facebook might have been worth $15 billion. That’s up there with household names like Nissan Motor, Halliburton, and Kellogg today. Some pundits posit that Facebook could surpass Google (!) for total worldwide unique visitors. (hat tip to Nell Handley, colleague @ Cross International)


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