With any live performance, there’s always the possibility of something unexpected happening. I was reminded of this once again last week during worship. The tracks/click we were using went wacky during the first song. I had no option but to kill the tracks and click. After the tracks went down, the whole band was on edge having to adjust. And of course that led to a mistake. Me, the keyboard player, started a song while still transposed a half step down. I didn’t realize it until the singer came in. That’s the worst feeling in the world – trying to decide between two equally awkward options.

So after the message I decided to restart my iPad and maybe get our tracks back online for the last song. Not today! As soon as the iPad powered off it sent a bone rattling buzz into the mains that wouldn’t stop until I yanked the cable out of the iPad. At this point, I was ready to curl up in the fetal position and go to my happy place or grab the prayer oil and begin casting the demons out of the room.

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I’m sure mine is not the only church with a running joke about staff only having to work one day a week. Worship pastors get to take this to the next level when we say, “And all I have to do is play guitar!”

If only this were true.

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Worship leaders, in general, are artists. Artists, in general, tend to be emotionally invested in their own situation. Emotional investment, in general, results in assumptions which have varying degrees of truthiness.

And we all know what happens when we assume.

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Almost all of the inspiration for the record “Before There Was” comes from the teachings and revelations unpacked in the book of Ephesians. In these scriptures, Paul paints the picture of God’s love and grace with such an eternal scope that it’s almost paralyzing. It leaves you stunned with the most breathtaking sense of Gods supremacy and His purpose for creation. Ephesians says that even before the foundations of the earth, God had us in mind and set out to make us a part of his family through Christ. It’s an overwhelming thought. God desires union with His creation and even before time itself, He set out the make it possible. He would go to such great lengths to set us free. It was his plan from the very start. What love. What grace.

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Jonah couldn’t do it. Nor could Moses nor David nor Paul. They couldn’t escape God’s call. Jonah literally jumped ship and still wound up in the will of God in Nineveh. Moses protested when God called him to deliver His people from slavery yet became one of the greatest leaders in Israel’s history. David was initially overlooked by everyone to be the next king, everyone but the Lord. And Paul killed and convicted the ones he eventually became like after an encounter with God on a road.

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“Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire”

– Hebrews 12:29

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God has always been a fan of fire. All throughout the scriptures it has consistently been one of the main ways He chooses to reveal Himself. As Psalm 104:4 says it, ” He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.” It’s a tool used by the King to make His presence known; to demonstrate His power. Whether it’s with Moses and the burning bush, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, or Elijah on Mt. Carmel….there is just something about fire.

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Yes! Okay, that would a pretty boring blog post, so allow me to digress. I’ve been in church pretty much my whole life. Admittedly, my church experience, as with most of us, is limited to a pretty narrow stream. But why is it that most of the time when I worship at church, the band looks like they are either mad, scared or bored?

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We caught up with Sean from Bellarive, who shared his thoughts on worship, gadgets and musical influences.

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The In-Between Songs

Jimi Williams —  July 10, 2014

There are stages of every Christian life: Justification (salvation), Sanctification (working out our salvation) and Glorification (heaven).

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