I am very excited about this new track that will be out soon! I haven’t put out my own music in a few years so his is going to be a treat for those fans out there that enjoy the music I put out.
As a believer there are times when we’re on the mountain and times when we’re in the valley, and a lot of times we tend to praise the most when we’re on the mountain. I believe through reading about Job that it is hard to praise the Lord when things are tuff and sometimes we just need to tell God how we feel.
There’s a place of maturity where we can say God this really sucks right now but I choose to praise through my circumstance and I choose to worship through this hard time.
So many times we are looking for God on the mountain and believe it’s easy to find him there but I believe the mark of a mature believer is to search God out in the valley. God is waiting for us to cry out to him in any season and he wants to be with us through the entire journey and not just the glorious moments. That’s easy to say “God is so good, today has been great!” but what about when the day isn’t so great can we still look deep down inside our hearts and say “no matter what God you are always good and you are always worthy to be praised.”
I think about the current state our nation is in and how bad things seem and how there’s a lot of confusion and questioning, but I still know God is greater than anything, and I will choose to worship him more passionately because no matter what chaos is going on around me he is and always will be good.
For those that are going through tough times and it feels like everything is terrible and maybe even the worst time in your life, I pray God captivates your vision so you may look to him and see how good he is and how small everything else is.
My wife just recently lost her baby sister and had to fly out to Brazil. She said when she landed she felt an overwhelming feeling of terror but even at her low moment she chose to praise God and sing the Bethel version of it is well. In that moment of such pain and sorrow she was still looking to God and proclaiming her trust in him and his goodness.
May God’s name be praised above racism, terrorism, gender confusion, idolatry, abortion, the spirit of Jezebel, gluttony, cancer, and any other thing that tries to take our eyes off our conquering King.
The Lord has really been dealing with me over the past year or so with seeking Him in every moment. I believe He’s been speaking to me about finding Him in the now and not just a church service or event.
We all know the scriptures Hebrews 13:8 “Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” I think God has been showing me that He is constant and faithful in every moment of our lives.
Mila and I just took our teens to Youth for the Nations summer camp in Dallas and they all were ignited! I have been to many Christian summer camps where people really encounter God but then a few weeks later they are back to there old lifestyle. I have always been very big into discipleship and seeing people mature in their walk with God so going to this camp was awesome. I don’t think a camp “high” necessarily represents maturity but I do believe it represents progress in a very strong way. The true test of maturity are when the teens get home and how they deal with situations and what choices they make. Even while we were at camp I told the teens that a consistent walk with God is key to growing and that the camp will be a marker in their Christian walk they can look back on. I also told them a camp high will wear off but God will remain the same and He desires a relationship with them that is more of a constant pursuit than it is a once and a while stirring.
I challenged our teens to pray that God helps them realize that He is near in moments that may seem busy or hard.
I believe this will help create a lifestyle of constant communication with the Lord and not just a “once in the morning prayer” lifestyle.
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how Muslims pray 5 times a day and how Christians have some work to do to try and “catch up.” First of all, I don’t think we should be comparing in this way. Second, we shouldn’t need to tally the number of prayers we say in a day but rather be at a point in our walk with God that it would be hard to count them all if we tried.
I pray that as believers we don’t live solely off of past encounters or waiting for future events, but that we find God in the now. Yes times get hard and it may feel like hell is all around and about to consume you but remember that God is there in the midst of it all and wants you to call on him and trust him. It may feel like your stuck waiting on a promise God has given to you but know that He is in that waiting period and wants you to keep trusting him.
May we not limit our relationship with God by only living for big moments, because God wants to be with us throughout our entire journey.
So I play football on the weekends and practice during the week it is full contact football so we wear all the pads and helmet when we play.
Now that it is summer time practices tend to seem a little harder. Today our coach had us do a drill the entire length of the field. Half way through my legs felt worn out and my head started to throb. I thought I was back to being a freshmen in high school because of how I felt. At the time I thought I could totally quit right now I don’t really have to do finish, this is just practice not even a game. My body wanted to quit but I began to think to myself, what if my wife saw me quit, what if teens from our youth ministry saw me quit or what if my pastors saw me quit, would they still see me as a fearless leader or just someone that quits when things get a little too hard. When I thought of that I began to think my goal is the end of this field, if I keep going the closer I will get to competing this drill.
So I kept going with the best possible form I could. I had to stop a few times on the way because my legs just simply wouldn’t function but I kept looking to the end and think I’m almost there….almost done….I might pass out but people here will see me so I will be okay. So step after step I got closer and closer and the end looked bigger every step until finally right before I got there I blacked out….
Just kidding I made it the whole way and I felt very very tired my legs were shaking and my head was POUNDING but I knew I pushed through and I reached my goal.
When I stood there looking back I thought to myself of how many times when I was younger I would stop because things got hard and I would convince myself that quitting was okay cause I made it far enough or I don’t really need to finish all the way.
I wonder how many of us treat our pursuit of God the same way where things get a little hard and we pull back from what we’re doing or we don’t read the bible as much or we don’t pray as much or dare I say we quit all together.
I want to encourage whoever reads this DONT QUIT, KEEP GOING! We need people that are carriers of the presence of God to blaze a trail for those that will come after them. We may not see the fruit of our labor now but what we do now will effect people we may never even meet.
Life gets rough, our pursuit of Christ gets hard, we have to deal with other people that are going through tough times and may even take it out on you, but keep going DON’T LOSE HEART.
Let these words from Hebrews ignite something in you to keep you persevering.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
So I usually post on what the Lord is personally dealing with me and this one is a mixture of my personal walk and what I have seen. Being humans we tend to do a lot of self promotion and I do not think that is kingdom at all. I see it in people’s life and online and I just think to myself how much the world and social media has discipled this generation. It does agitate me but then I think to myself why does this happen?
I think the biggest part is a struggle of us putting ourselves before God and believing that it isn’t really self promotion if it is related to kingdom things.
Just reading from Psalm 105 I feel the Lord redirecting my heart to make sure everything I do pleases him and points to him not back to myself or any “cool” thing I do.
I see and hear sometimes people doing awesome things by a worldly standard that brings them fame and even to the point of “name dropping” because someone has a great following. Has it really come down to trying to leach from others who God has promoted to try and gain popularity?
I want to be found as a faithful steward of my time on this earth and doing all I can to make him known so that others may have a relationship with him and experience his presence.
This could just be a personal conviction I’m dealing with but it all goes back to our lives pointing to God and how great he is.
What better joy is there than to have a relationship with the creator of heaven and earth and get to lay down our lives at his feet that he may be glorified.
My wife and I have a dog named teddy and he is a very crazy loving dog. Having raised teddy since he was a puppy the Lord has really showed me a lot of his likeness even through this little dog. For instance he loves Mila so much (even more than me) he does whatever it takes to be by her or to protect her.
I believe God was showing me that his desire is to be near her is because he knows she will take care of him and she has a deep connection with him to the point that he will do whatever it takes to be near her.
The picture above is one that I took while Mila was away at the store and I asked him “where’s your mommy teddy” while he was chewing on his bone and he dropped the bone ran to the balcony and looked out with concern and to the point of whining because he couldn’t see her.
I believe God was showing me that our desire for him needs to be so much greater than anything else to the point that it hurts us if we aren’t near him. Thankfully we do not have to be away from him but by his blood we can enter his presence (Hebrews 10:19-22) at any moment. Even at the mention or thought of God we should desire to be in his presence and acknowledge he is near. He also been helping me with connecting with him in my busyness and craziness of life and to know he is with me always in every moment of my life.
I just want to challenge you to think, is there anything (like teddy’s bone that you aren’t dropping) that is keeping you from desiring God on a deeper level, or are you so occupied with things of life you forget how the nearness of God is our good.
Anything in this world will never even come close to how good God is and how his presence is nothing but good for us.
I remember as a young boy going to church and enjoying the “music” part of church more than the preaching and not really understanding what was happening. As I grew up I was involved more in what I later found out to be called the worship team. At first I wanted to be a part because I liked music and wanted to play any chance I had. The more I would play the more I would practice, and craft my talent to be a better musician and it would work. After a while I began to hear teachings on worship and how we worship God because He is worthy of it and music is an avenue we use to worship. As I got older I would encounter God more and my walk with him would grow stronger. I ended up getting to a point where I would practice because I wanted to give God my best as opposed to just being the best musician.
I realize that everyone’s walk is different and everyone doesn’t play instruments. One thing that is the same is our God and His greatness and how He never changes.
God reveals Himself in different ways to everybody and how we respond to Him is our act of worship.
In John chapter 4 it talks about worshiping in spirit and in truth. I believe a way to see it is first with heart and then with our understanding.
Here are a few things that have personally helped me in worship.
1- If you are a musician practice and do it with a heart of wanting to give God your absolute best.
Work on your heart towards God and work on your skill that you use to worship God because He is worthy of your best.
2- A stage is not the goal, God being glorified is.
Having a desire for people to know how good you are is robbing God of the glory He deserves. We should direct worship to Him not to ourselves.
3- Worship should be your daily life giving glory to God, not just during a worship set.
So many times we get caught up in sound and lights and the “cool” factor or worship but really God wants our lives to be instruments of worship.
I pray that this helps you in your worship endeavors and challenges you to make sure God is getting the glory he deserves.