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Advent: welcoming Jesus

Advent-welcoming-jesus

If you grew up like me, you grew up in a home that did a great job of celebrating the birth of Jesus each year, but without much liturgy.  I didn’t grow up in a liturgical church so it should be no surprise that liturgy wasn’t a part of our our celebrations.  In fact, I didn’t really know what Advent was until I was a worship pastor at a church and my lead pastor said we should have Advent candles in our services this season.  I said, absolutely…then quickly googled “advent candles”.

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The Faith To Stay Still

faith-to-stay-still

Growing up in a pentecostal tradition I’ve heard a lot of pre-message sermons on faith.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the pre-message sermon, that’s the sermon you get before the regular sermon.  It can be anywhere in the service, but pentecostal pastors like to give their congregants their money’s worth — so we normally get 2 sermons.  (Sorry for that rabbit trail…see I make a good pentecostal preacher).

So, as I was saying, I’ve heard a lot about faith — mostly in the context of moving or doing something.  We even have a phrase for it: stepping out in faith.  It’s a very biblical concept.  After all, Peter stepped out of the boat and walk on water (Matthew 14) — albeit for a brief moment, but nonetheless he stepped out of the boat.

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What Are You Worshiping

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The other day I was talking with a friend who said, “My favorite part of worship is when the drums build into an exciting climax.”  This is not an unfamiliar statement.  I’ve heard similar comments like this before — you may have too.  I love my friend and know he loves Jesus, but whenever I hear comments like this concerning worship it vexes my spirit.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I love music.  I love musical dynamics.  In fact, music isn’t musical without dynamics.  I believe God made us emotional beings.  I believe that to strip ourselves of emotions when we worship God devalues who God created us to be. (Everything in balance of course.)

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