For the past several months, Michelle and I have been sensing God doing a new thing in our hearts. We have wrestled quite a bit to understand exactly what that is. We are constantly trying to follow His lead in our lives in all that we do — no matter what, no matter when, no matter where. It’s not always easy to step out into the unknown, and isn’t always easy to make a change. Yet, the one thing we have learned through the years, is that following Jesus and His leading is ALWAYS the right thing to do. One of our favorite songs over the past few years is called Your Promises (Elevation Worship). The lyrics in Verse 2 and the Chorus have always greatly resonated with us… “As I walk into the days to come I will not forget what You have done For You have supplied my every need And Your presence is enough for me Doesn’t matter what I feel, doesn’t matter what I see My hope will always be, In Your promises to me Now I’m casting out all fear, for Your love has set me free My hope will always be, in Your promises to me” We have felt God moving us into a new season and trusting in His promises for us. So we are stepping out in faith to follow His leading and guidance. So, with that being said…I will be stepping down from […]
It’s February 12th and hard to believe we are almost halfway through the second month of 2017 already. It has been unseasonably warm the past week or so (even for Arizona standards) and felt more like late spring, than the middle of winter. Football season is officially over, and basketball season for college and the pro’s is just starting to heat up. The Grammy’s are happening tonight, and Spring Break for most people is less than four weeks away. Most of these are indicators we are entering into a new season. For me, every year when I’m entering into new seasons on the calendar it always gets me thinking of bigger seasons in life that we encounter. What season of life are you in? What season of life is your family in? Your career? Your church? There is a season for everything. Are you recognizing the times and seasons that you’re in? Or are you trying to stop the inevitable changes of life? If you resist the seasons you lose. Are you trying to birth something that should die? Build something that should be torn down? Keep something that should be thrown away? Be quiet when it is the season for speaking up? Check out what Solomon says… There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: a right time for birth and another for death, a right time to plant and another time to […]
I’ve worked with a lot of musicians over the years, and many at different levels of musicianship and talent. A frequent question that I get often is, “How can become a better musician, or how can I improve my ability?” These questions are great, because it usually means that this musician has a desire to improve their craft. I’m a firm believer that as musicians (just like athletes) we are either improving and getting better or we are declining. There’s not really any middle ground. You are either getting better at what you do, or you aren’t. There’s obviously many ways to get better as a musician, but here are 10 things you can do that will help you become one. 1. Practice. Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Not everyone loves this word with gleeful passion, but there are always ways to make practice fun. How about bringing a friend along or learning a piece of music with someone? When others aren’t accessible, grab ahold of a good quality album of an artist you love, throw on your iPhone and play to it. The old phrase, “Practice Makes Perfect” is so true. You will never get better at anything you do (let alone music) with without practice and repetition. In our personal practice times is where we really improve our skill and get better. 2. Practice to a metronome or click. I’ve heard way to many musicians who say that […]
As I was reading the other day, this verse hit me right in the face. Listen to this… “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 When I read this, it’s like the word bold jumped off the page right towards me. I felt like God was saying, “Are you bold?” My first thought was like, well yea.. I mean.. sorta.. I mean, sometimes.. well, if it doesn’t make me uncomfortable.. I just found myself making excuses. I realized I’m not as bold as I think I am. I realized that I don’t come boldly to His throne enough. I realized I probably tip-toe into His presence, instead of running towards Him with my arms wide open. It got me thinking. I decided look up the word Bold: Dictionary.com’s definition of Bold is this: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff. Not hesitating to break the rules of propriety (propriety means the establishment or good behaviors/manners). Do you seek God with boldness? Or are you unsure of how to approach Him? Do you respond to God with boldness? Or are you timid? Do you worship Him with boldness? Or do you just stand there afraid of what other people are going to think if you raise your hands, or clap, or sing out really loud? […]
If you have the privilege of finding yourself on a worship team in a church responsible for the music on a weekend, there are some very simple things you can do to make life easier on your worship pastor or leader. Here are just a few of them… 1. Learn the parts Don’t waste your team’s time — prepare beforehand on your own time and come ready to rehearse! Know the songs, know the arrangements and be ready to contribute at a higher level — warm up if you are a vocalist, tune up if you play an instrument, etc. 2. Show up. On time! As musicians and singers, it’s so easy to think you’ve done the right thing by showing up at all… that song that was running around your head sidetracked you, those lyrics you had to memorize, the latest song that just downloaded to your iTunes account that you just had to stop and listen to… The truth is though, as a musician you play on a team… there’s no room for lone rangers or late-comers. Respect others enough to turn up when you should and where you should — be punctual! And if you have gear to set up, then arrive earlier! It won’t go unnoticed. 3. Take Lessons No matter how good you are, keep pushing the ceiling and keep getting better. Not just in your leadership and Christian discipleship but in your skill, technique […]
(Great thoughts by Adrian Carpenter…) Worship is the act of freely giving love to God. This forms and informs every activity of the Christian’s life. Worship can also be defined as a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual expression of awe, submission, and respect toward God. Worship is important because we have been created to worship. We are “wired for worship.” Worship is in our genetic code. Therefore, we will worship God or we will worship something else. We worship by expressing adoration. We praise God simply for who He is. We worship by expressing thanksgiving. We give thanks for what He has done. We worship by confession. We acknowledge sin and guilt to a holy and righteous God. There are several phases of worship. The first phase is the Call to Worship. It’s like a declaration of intent. The second phase is Engagement. It is the electrifying dynamic of connection to God and each other. The third phase is Expression which is the physical, emotional, spiritual awakening to His presence. This phase can take the form of tears, laughter, jubilation, etc… The fourth phase is Visitation when Almighty God visits His people. It is important to recognize that Visitation is a by-product of worship. We worship not just for His presence but because He is worthy. The last phase of worship is the Giving of Substance. It is when we allow the Kingdom, the dynamic reign of God, to flow […]
Ever step into a room and find that people aren’t as passionate as you are? You feel like Jesus is coming back in five minutes and it seems everyone else is sleeping? Sometimes we can allow the passion level of who we are with, dictate how we will be. As a worship leader, I succumb to this all too often. I’ll be excited to press into the presence of God and it seems no one wants to come with me. Do I lead the way with my passion for God or just relax? What should you do? “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11). I love this verse. Fervent means to have great intensity. Our zeal for Jesus should be burning hot at all times. When it is not, we should cry out to God and press into Him even harder. Here’s my challenge: Don’t let other dictate your passion level for Jesus. Be a leader. I’ve heard it said to be a thermostat, not a thermometer. If you live this way, you will bring others to a higher level.