I Know People that Know People…or How excited I am to Meet Shaun Groves

about-shaun

 

He’s coming here! To my church to lead worship….and here’s the supercool part ….cause I asked him to!

I feel like I am soooo coool!

No, but seriously, I am super excited to meet one of my favorite singer/songwriters and, well, just plain writers (check out his blog here), that I can’t hardly wait.  He’ll be here Sunday, March 3, 2013 during our AM service (10:15) sharing his music and his heart for Compassion International.  You should come…no, really you should!

When Fear Rushes In…

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

I haven’t been posting around these parts for a while. I am sorry for that. Life has rushed in…no wait, not so much life…fear has rushed in.

I have been experiencing quite a few medical issues lately. Neurological medical issues. The good news is I have a team of doctors…doctors who love Jesus and pray diligently over each patient…who believe that these issues actually stem from an old injury that is healing. This would be a wonderful God promised miracle.

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But still there are moments…moments when a hand tremors uncontrollably and mind-numbing fatigue rushes in…moments when words are hard to remember and letters get hopelessly jumbled in my head…moments when fear sweeps in and doubt creeps up my spine and I wonder where God is in all of this.  I wonder  how to live a witness of faith and hope when what I am feeling is lost and alone.  I wonder if God is really Jehovah Rapha and Jehovah Jireh and all those other things that His word proclaims. And then I wonder if I am a heretic for wondering and a sweet mentor who loves Jesus reminds me that I am simply human.

And in the midst of all this fear rushing and doubt creeping, I cry out to Jesus, “Lord, help my unbelief!” 

Then I remember what a friend taught me a long time ago…

“When in doubt….WORSHIP.”

When doubt and fear overtake you, and questions and worries begin to rush over….worship.  Focus on the awesomeness, the wonder, the amazing love of God.

And so I turn up my radio and I sit in the floor of my kitchen and I sing loud enough to make a voice crack and I hug my knees to my chest and feel God’s presence fill the room.  Weight from shoulders lifts and heart begins to tentatively flap wings and by the end of the second song, I am soaring. Prayers fragrance the room and tears wash worry lines from my face and me and God…well we are on speaking terms again.

So next time fear takes over, or doubt yells loud its questions in your head, remember the antidote to fear is not always courage….is not always pull yourself up by your bootstraps and walk on….the truest antidote is WORSHIP

Awakening: Reflections from Advanced Captivating

I wanted to share this song with you….oh man, this song…this song truly moves me.

This is one of the first songs we heard at Adv Captivating. It totally captured the heart of what I came to the retreat hungry and thirsty for.  I came for awakening.  I came for revival. I came to hear God’s voice fresh and new in my life.

I was not disappointed.

“Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice say
This is my awakening!”

Jesus, come.  Holy Spirit, we desire- awakening!

Three Questions with Shaun Groves

Several weeks ago, a fellow blogger (and awesome musician) Shaun Groves posted an invite to ask him any three questions in order to spread the word about his latest musical genius Third World Symphony .  (Really, this album is beautiful genius! You can take a listen here. The video above tells a little bit of the story behind Third World Symphony.) I jumped at the opportunity to dig a little deeper into this man’s heart and head and understand someone I have such great respect for a little better.

Shaun’s had a few things going on his life these days, which makes his taking the time to answer these questions super special to me (did I mention my love language was quality time? P.S. this doubles as a shameless plug for comments! 🙂 )

So here were my three questions:

 1.  Strings Attached Ministries next event is on  the topic of prayer and action.  How do you feel these two disciplines intersect? Do you find that intersection reflected in your music?

You know, Cari, I’ve read a great deal about prayer – enough to know I know very little. It is perhaps the most puzzling and frustrating aspect of my relationship with God. How does it work? Why pray when God knows everything already? When is taking action a lack of faith in God’s ability to act on my behalf?

I’m thankful that God did not give us a plan or procedure but a Person, Jesus Christ. Spending time in prayer is spending time with Him. It is one aspect, I believe, of “abiding in Christ.” Essential since apart from Him we can do nothing right? But as far as the nuts and bolts of how or why prayer works? Well, I just don’t know. After volumes read and hours of sermons heard – I don’t know.

I do think that prayer does not negate our need to often take action. Sure, sometimes God’s answer is “wait” or “not yet.” But so often we find in action the opportunity to answer our own prayers, or the prayers of others, by using the gifts and resources He has given us to meet the needs He has caused us to take notice of. I try to remember that God’s calling is often at the intersection of need and ability. Hunger. Injustice. Poverty. These are needs I have the God -given ability to meet. So I am called to do so.

What good is it, James asked, to tell someone you’ll pray for them in their need when you could meet that need and answer their prayer instead?

 

2.What do you feel is your greatest challenge when leading corporate worship?

 Our Christian culture here in the West is very music-focussed, whereas biblical worship had nothing to do with music at all. The word “worship” is translated from 16 different Greek and Hebrew words and not one means “music.” So, how do I, as a singer guy, lead singing but at the same time communicate that worship must be more than music, that Church and faith can exist without music? That’s a challenge for me. How do I sing well without making singing the main thing for anyone else?

3.  What is (currently) your favorite Bible passage and why?

Proverbs 30:7-9 is a dangerous prayer at the center of my new record and of my life right now. In it Agur asks God for only two things. That’s remarkable in itself isn’t it? Only two things?

He asks that God keep him from believing lies.  And, second, that God would give him neither wealth not poverty.

He explains that if he becomes wealthy he will likely lose his dependence upon God and believe that he himself is god of his life – that all he has and does is his own doing.

But, he says, if he becomes poor there is another equal danger – he may steal in order to survive, not trusting God to provide him daily bread, and so dishonor God.

So, he prays that God give him only what he needs – no more and no less. Daily bread and God – that is all I need, he says. I wish that were always true for me. I pray that it is more and more.

 

Wow! That is good stuff! Do you see why I am such a fan?! My hope is to one day get to work face to face with Shaun during one of our community wide worship conferences, but for now I’ll have to live with soaking in his words of wisdom from my playlist and through my computer screen.  Stop by his blog, stay a while. Read his heart…it’s there for us to see and be blessed by.

 
Shaun Groves is a communicator who’s known by a lot of titles: Singer/songwriter. Speaker. Blogger. Husband. Daddy. Friend. He feels and thinks deeply and laughs easily. And he’s helping Christians discover what they were saved for, and being a voice for children around the world, desperate to be saved from poverty.

Why I love camp: Camp Songs that make you go hmmm…

We had a pretty spectacular worship leader this week at kid’s camp…I will make sure to post his information later (I only remember his first name was Reylin because the kids would chant it every night). Regardless, one of the songs that we sang every time we gathered was a song called “Undignified” by Matt Redman.

The song goes something like this:

I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King.
Nothing Lord is hindering the passion in my soul.
I will dance, I will sing to be mad for my King
Nothing Lord is hindering the passion in my soul.

And I’ll become even more undignified than this.
Some would say it’s foolishness but
I’ll become even more undignified than this.

It’s a catchy tune and I find myself (and my son) singing it regularly, but something our children’s pastor said keeps haunting me. He said “What we need is to be more dignified in our approach to worship.  We need to enter with more reverence.”

I totally agree.

I totally disagree.

Well, maybe I don’t totally know what to think. 🙂

I agree that we have lost the fear of the Lord. We have lost a reverence of our King.  We have stopped defining worship as “showing profound devotion and respect to God” and started defining it as a place or an activity.  It’s become less about showing humility and bowing down and more about making everyone comfortable. I think that’s what Pastor Bruce was trying to say.

David Dances by Shoshannah Brombacher

I also think that a little dancin’ and shoutin’ and foolishness for the Lord never hurt nobody. 🙂 I think we could use a little less legalism and a little more joy. I think the good Lord gave me a body that responds to rhythm for a reason.  So, in that sense, I can respect the songwriter’s desire to encourage an abandoned and unashamed style of worship and some have said that the song is based on the story in 2 Samuel 6:20-23, where David dances in his ephod (his undergarments) in celebration of bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

So again, I agree. And I disagree.

And now that I’ve typed all of this out, I think I probably lean towards Pastor Bruce’s estimation that what we need in our worship is more dignity, not less.

What do you think?