August 2013

Monday August 23, 2013

One thing that I have discovered later in life that I wish had been more clear to me in my first twenty years of life is that there are two kingdoms on planet earth that are in fairly non stop and violent opposition to each other; and every person on the planet is born into one of them and never escapes being its slave (see Jn. 8:34) until Jesus Christ rescues him or her from its chains and then places them in His kingdom (Col. 1:13);….. and that one of the mediums that fuels both of these kingdoms is music.

I didn’t journal in my first 19 years, so I don’t clearly remember when I began to listen to music and sing along with it on a daily basis…. But it probably coincided with the emergence of the Beatles and the Monkeys – – soon followed by groups like Blood Sweat and Tears, James Taylor, Chicago, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Allman Brothers, etc., etc.. So from about age 9 or 10 for the next 10 years I was immersed in that world of music to the point that today – even though I intentionally stopped listening to those artists when I moved to CA a few months before my 20th birthday – – today if I hear one of those songs in a restaurant or coffee shop or grocery store – – I can still recite the lyrics. Continue reading The Kingdom of God and Corporate Worship

Read more

August 18, 2013
INTRODUCTION – I’ve had discussions with enough of you regarding last Sunday’s service to know that lots of light bulbs were going on, and lots of questions were raised from all that we discussed. This morning we need to revisit some of those things and tie up some other things I sought to convey to you..
Before we discuss some of the subject matter – I want to set the record straight – – I do not have any Harry Potter books by my bedside. But I did win one once at Baywood Elementary – not by design…We were attending Caroline’s open house. And I think I won a door prize. I believe my wife sold it at a used bookstore a few days after I won it, so even if I had wanted to read it, my window for such was very short.

I want to review a few of the truths or principles we discussed last week. What got us going down this path in the first place was what happened in our service two Sundays ago. I felt right before that service – that the Holy Spirit led me to start the service off by reading Matthew 16:13-19. This may be one of the most tragically neglected passages in scripture. So let’s read that now for context:
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Continue reading A Biblical Theology of Music & Singing II

Read more

August 11, 2013
INTRODUCTION – Jesus Christ – during His earthly ministry had an intriguing conversation with a Samaritan woman about worship (among other things). In that conversation He revealed that those who want their worship to be accepting and pleasing in the sight of the living God must worship Him “in spirit and in truth.” He repeats that phrase again to make sure she and we get it. You can read about it in John chapter 4.

One of the ways we have sought to apply this principle in our worship services is that we try to provide an environment wherein truth in all of its breadth and depth is valued and sought – usually in the form of a thoroughly prepared sermon or teaching; and we also try to provide an environment wherein revelation from the Holy Spirit is valued – usually in the form of a spontaneous prophetic word, scripture reading, tongue with interpretation, spiritual song, exhortation, testimony, etc. And we try to cover our worship gatherings in prayer in the days leading up to it. Continue reading A Biblical Theology of Music and Singing – part I

Read more

“The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.” Cher

“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” Albert Einstein

I’ve been fairly embroiled in the battle to strengthen and sometimes salvage marriages for the last 35 years or so. Sadly I’ve seen a few come to an end. But many have grown and strengthened – some have thrived. Continue reading Marriage and the God Factor

Read more
Resize Font