All posts tagged "Worship"

Divine Shelter Schools and John Waller!


Cross International has had the privilege of partnering with well-known Christian Recording Artist, John Waller (Fireproof Movie Soundtrack) to help raise support and awareness for the Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti. The schools provide educations and nutritious meals to devastatingly poor children. Check out some of the pictures from the trip! For more information on the Divine Shelter Schools, visit Cross International


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Fresh Awakening


I’ve been entirely wrapped up in Jeremy Riddles Furious album lately. It’s such a raw, simple, and earnest cry of worship. His song “Fall Afresh” is a perfect example of what I see worship heading back to – a simple plea for more of God’s spirit. The chorus of this song says: “Spirit of the living God Come fall afresh on me Come wake me from my sleep Blow through the caverns Of my soul Blow in me to overflow To overflow” It’s so simple, so honest. And it’s a trend I see happening in our churches today. Large scale, complex worship has its place, but I can’t help but believe that this simple cry reaches God’s heart in a special way. Happy listening! So good.


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What is worship?


HT to Josh Riley & Worship.com for these quotes (interesting to note that God is not named in all of them): Josh Riley: Worship is everything we think, everything we say, and everything we do, revealing that which we treasure and value most in life. John Piper: Worship is what we were created for. This is the final end of all existence-the worship of God. God created the universe so that it would display the worth of His glory. And He created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it-with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. The church needs to build a common vision of what worship is and what she is gathering to do on Sunday morning and scattering to do on Monday morning. Mark Driscoll: Worship is living our life individually and corporately as continuous living sacrifices to the glory of a person or thing. Harold Best: Worship is the sign that in giving myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it. Warren Wiersbe: Worship is the believer’s response to all they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does. William Temple: Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin. John Stott: Christians believe that true worship is the highest and noblest activity of which man, by the grace of God, is capable. A.W. Tozer: To great sections of the church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program.’ This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the type of public service which now passes for worship among us. William Temple: To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God. William Barclay: The true, the genuine worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible. D. A. Carson: To worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’ is first and foremost a way of saying that we must worship God by means of Christ. In him the reality has dawned and the shadows are being swept away (Hebrews 8:13). Christian worship is new covenant worship; it is gospel-inspired worship; it is Christ-centered worship; it is cross-focused worship. John Frame: Redemption is the means; worship is the goal. In one sense, worship is the whole point of everything. It is the purpose of history, the goal of the whole Christian story. Worship is not one segment of the Christian life among others. Worship is the entire Christian life, seen as a priestly offering to God. And when we meet together as a church, our time of worship is not merely a preliminary to something else; rather, it is the whole point of our existence as the body of Christ. John Piper: Strong affections for God, rooted in and shaped by the truth of Scripture – this is the bone and marrow of biblical worship.


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Farewell to experience-oriented faith


Mark Galli says it’s the end of Christianity as we know it. And, says he, good riddance. Here’s part of his post: The Christian faith is, at its core, not about ethics or religious experience, but a message about a God who has gone to extraordinary lengths to be and remain on our side, to become the-God-with-a-name, Emmanuel, “God with us.” Christians are not primarily mystics (those who experience God in a special way) or activists (those who live the way of Jesus). We are mostly witnesses of who God is and what he has done and what he will do in Jesus Christ, the God who in Christ has “a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10). This is not to deny that our faith must be expressed in deeds and empowered by a genuine experience of God. Faith without works, or a genuine encounter with God, is not Christian faith. But after promising the disciples that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus told them what their main mission was: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We are shortchanging our people when we make worship mostly about experience or a pep rally to motivate people to good deeds. We practice religious neglect when we fail to witness to them the saving story of God in Christ and train them to be fellow witnesses of that story, so that they might share that story with a world that does not know its left hand from its right. A world which does not know God as Emmanuel, but merely as “Something.” A world that knows transcendence but does not have eyes to see God with us even to the end of the age. A world that senses “attunement with other people,” but does not recognize the One who holds everyone and everything together by his love. Mark Galli, The End of Christianity as We Know It, CT April 2010


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Gospel-centered worship


Christ-centered worship is not just talking or singing about Jesus a lot. Christ-centered worship reflects the contours of the gospel. In the individual life of a believer, the gospel progresses through recognition of the greatness and goodness of God, the acknowledgment of our sin and need of grace, assurance of God’s forgiveness through Christ, thankful acknowledgment of God’s blessing, desire for greater knowledge of him through his Word, grateful obedience in response to his grace, and a life devoted to his purposes with assurance of his blessing. – Bryan Chappell, president of Covenant Theological Seminary, interviewed by Collin Hansen of Christianity Today about his book  Christ Centered Worship:  Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice (Baker, 2009).


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Ravi Zacharias on worship


It is imperative in planning the worship services that church leaders give careful attention to every element and make sure that the worship retains both integrity and purpose. People come to church generally “beaten down” by the world of deceit, distraction, and demand.  There is an extraction of emotional and spiritual energy that brings them on “empty” into the community. The church’s task is to so prepare during the week that it is collectively the instrument of replenishment and fresh energy of soul.  Even being in the presence of fellow believers in worship is a restorer of spiritual hope. We so underestimate the power of a people in one mind and with one commitment.  Even a prayer can so touch a hungry heart that it can rescue a sliding foot in a treacherous time. – Ravi Zacharias, A Mighty Evangel, RZIM Read Ravi’s story on how God moved powerfully through prayer in a meeting with atheists, agnostics, and Marxists here. HT:  Josh @ blog.worship.com


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