Friday, November 10, 2006

I have fond memories of observing BJ during worship.

When he entered the sanctuary, for him it was like Martha's sister Mary, who constantly abided at Jesus' feet. An intense longing to draw closer, to learn more, to have greater understanding, and to offer up praise from a heart that was overflowing, or perhaps broken. You did not have to observe him for long to realize he was connecting with Christ!

I grew up in a church where there was no outward demonstration of what was happening inside. I am not declaring this to be wrong or misguided in any way, for I know we all worship in different ways. Unfortunately this has become a divisive issue in churches across our land. You have traditional services and contemporary ones. There is often a chasm in age and attitude toward the differing styles.

What is the solution? Jesus.

Each side tries to defend their position and pride wells up in both attitudes. One side says "we've always done it this way," while the other says, "your Hymns did not exist in Jesus day, so why are we stuck on them now?"

Neither attitude is right, because neither reflects the uncompromising love of our Savior. What they reflect is opinion, and personal preference.

I grew up with Hymns, and learned to worship with them. For me what was lacking was the presence of worshipful attitudes from some of the congregation. Honestly, what I remember, is men with their hands in their pockets, staring straight ahead, unmoved. Yawning was common. Women gave more of themselves in singing.

I guess that stands to reason, because women are emotional beings, and men are...not! Well, at least many men are not.

I was moved in church at a young age by the song "Jacob's Ladder." God drew me into His presence, and I yielded to His authority in my life through that experience. I confess though, that I did not truly learn to worship my King until I went to my first youth camp as an adult sponsor, in 1997.

I did not know that worship could be like this. Gathering a group of students away from the world, and allowing them to pour out their hearts, unfettered by adult rules and expectations of what it should look like, changed me. These young people were giving their all in worship. I had never seen or been involved in anything like this before.

I was freed to give all to Jesus through that time. I returned, no longer caring what other adults thought worship was supposed to be. I had learned how to give to Him through worship. This began a change in me that revolutionized my whole walk with Him.

BJ was eight at that time. I know he learned that it was okay to express himself in worship. This did not find him running the aisles, and cavorting over pews. It did find him offering all of himself to his Savior, his King.

When you enter into the presence of royalty, the appropriate attitude is closer to bowing, being humble, or even extending a hand to testify to the power and presence and desire to be faithful as a loyal subject. I don't think kings find respect from those who stand by yawning and in general are disinterested at experiencing their presence.

If this is inappropriate behavior in the presence of kings, why would it be appropriate in the presence of the King of kings?

We are to give our all to Him. Approaching the Throne of Grace with this attitude will humble and move the most stoic of men.

"David... danced before the Lord with all of his might." (2 Samuel 6:14). His attitude in worship was to give his all. He gave the best of what he had for his King.

I am not suggesting we all "dance." I am suggesting we give our all. This requires laying down our rights to ourselves, our thoughts, our dreams, our goals, and our futures. We do so because He is worthy. He has a better plan for our lives than we do.

We must be more like Mary. Submit to Him in worship and humility, for then we find who He wants us to be. After all, when we get to heaven, the songs will be new, and the worship more intense than we can imagine.

I believe BJ is right at home!



At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Brent and blog family.

What awesome timing. Today my family is going on our church's family annual retreat. The connection is that the messages are always wonderful, even when they are very different from what I envisioned the speaker would be discussing/style. The music is outstanding and I tend to be expressive when the music starts anytime, always rocking side to side, sometimes hands raised, although most often not. But at retreat, the spirit always moves me so deeply I just love it and seeing the whole room joining and worshipping is fantastic. Even our boys, ages 8 & 9 who often just stand watching the musicians, sing, clap and move around with others during the music time at retreat! I really feel that we truly are connecting with the Holy Spirit and can't wait for it.

2 prayers requests please: 1. My sister, Sue, who I have written about before who continues to struggle with daily seizures, will be in the hospital Monday to Wed. or Thurs. to have her brain activity monitored to see if they can find the source.
2. My mom, who is 67 yrs. old and who has advanced emphysema from many years of smoking, asked her doctors the other day how much longer could someone like her expect based on the stage she's at. The doctor told her they're actually surprised she's still around and able to still get up a bit and "function" daily. That was not good news, especially for my mom who tends to look at the negative side of things. I'm not sure how to handle this information either. My parents live 4.5 hrs away and I only see them a few times a year. I am actually hosting Thanksgiving this year and my parents are planning on coming down as well as my three sisters. My 2 brothers will not be able to be here but it will be nice to have a big group of us together. Please pray for peace for my parents and for me and my siblings.

Thanks for all of the support from my blog family.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Brent, Your comments today really hit home. My husband and I have totally different feelings about church. He grew up in a very conservative, quiet church. I enjoy having a good time and praising the Lord in church. We have really struggled since moving to Indy to find a church that pleases us both. He was traditional, conservative, boring (in my opinion.) I want to enjoy being at church and not to dread it.
I see it that I gave in and went to his church for the first 8 years of our marriage, now I am being given the opportunity in a new town to try out new things. Please pray that we can come to a happy medium that pleases us all!

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the solution? Jesus Enough said.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a correlation here... All of us across this place are having issues struggling with worship styles? I feel it is important to remember God is there with us, no matter the style of music. The underlaying secret here is to make sure you are worshiping with your heart. I struggle with times at my church- loving my church family but find myself getting bored with some of the worship services. I, being younger (27) enjoy the more modern music to praise my God. I am also the youngest person in church! Well, almost. My wife and I have started to attend worship concerts and conferences outside of Sunday morning. It has worked out awesome. We are able to worship with the music we love and still enjoy the "quieter side" of worship at our home church.

I just remind myself when I feel bored on Sunday mornings- God is there, get rid of this ho-hum attitude and remember you are in the presence of true royalty.

The Mark Schultz concert in Tulsa last week was phenominal! My wife and kids, as young as they are, truly enjoyed it. Big Daddy Weave was quite the comedian as well. We were blessed.

Kurt Bachmann
Drumright, Oklahoma

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