Tag Archive: worship


my nickname ‘FISH’ stands for Faithful In Serving God… the main focus of my blog is to hopefully help point people towards an incredibly loving Creator God who desires to be in relationship with them and to let people know that there is a Life To The Full that we are invited to live…

these pictures – taken from a camping worship trip in Namibia called Namrock – give some glimpses of the kinds of things that inspire my blog posting – God and nature and friends and community and the church in action and Love and relationships and worship…

[For the previous Photo Challenge on the theme of ‘Green’ click here]

Inclusivity.

This is one of my biggest strengths although, lately, I’ve seen it as a weakness.

I’m the worship pastor at my church. I love Jesus, I LOVE worshiping Him with music and I love leading people in corporate singing worship. I feel like this is one of the things I’m called to do.

In the Vineyard movement we have a saying “everyone gets to play.” John Wimber coined this phrase. I love the heart behind this saying.

Ministry is not for the elite few. Everyone gets to do God’s work and “play” in His Kingdom.

In worship I try my best to include as many people as possible in leading our congregation in worship. I’m always working to “extend the tent pegs” and make space for more people to use their gifts to serve the Body of Christ. “The more the merrier.”

The weakness aspect for me comes in when I have to organise an event. For instance, I am coordinating the worship for our upcoming National Vineyard Leaders’ Conference and have been asked to lead worship (not only coordinate it). I have to put the teams together and as always I try to get as many people involved as possible. What I end up doing though, for the sake of being inclusive, is I often am the one to give up my “leading slots” in favour of including others. Then, by my own doing, I end up not leading at all and just coordinating in the background.

Why do I do this when I know like I know like I know that I’m called to lead?

I’m desperate to be inclusive and not have the “elite few” mentality and I NEVER EVER want to be seen as the “stage hogger,” but if I don’t do what I’m called to do (and have been asked to do) then I’m disobeying God and dishonouring my leaders.

Lately this has been a big struggle for me, because I want to keep growing in and practicing using my gifts, but I can’t do it if I put them on a shelf in favour of inclusivity.

I’ve realised that I need to find a balance. I need to find the happy medium between being inclusive and allowing myself to lead when I feel I need to.

Inclusivity is an amazing gift. I never want anyone to feel like an outsider so I live my life being as welcoming and encompassing as I possibly can.

The key is to be aware of the fact that if not used well, and with awareness, any strength could easily become a weakness.

to follow the words and wisdom of this lovely lady, visit her blog

to read more about my friend Dalene’s Strength Weakness of AMBITION, click here

i don’t know who matthew hammitt is, but the other day i was in the car listening to the radio and this song came on with these lyrics which struck me:

“let me recklessly love You, even if i bleed, cos You’re worth all of me”

it happened to be a christian radio station [and i just asked uncle google to find out that matthew hammitt is the lead singer of sanctus real, a band i really enjoy] and so i saw it as a worship song to God [although looking at the rest of the lyrics of the song, it may not necessarily be that] and really enjoyed those lines from that perspective.

a lot of worship music and christianity has become about me – bless me God, look after me, make it all about me, and so it is quite refreshing seeing the giving shift from God to us and the extent of real love [whether directed at God, or a person] to the point of shedding blood…

here is the whole song:

MATTHEW HAMMITT – All Of Me

Afraid to love
Something that could break
Could I move on
If you were torn away?
And I’m so close to what I can’t control
I can’t give you half my heart
And pray He makes you whole

(Chorus)
You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me
‘Cause you’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear
You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I’ll start

I won’t let sadness steal you from my arms
I won’t let pain keep you from my heart
I’ll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I share with you

Chorus

Heaven brought you to this moment, it’s too wonderful to speak
You’re worth all of me, you’re worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you, even if I bleed
You’re worth all of me, you’re worth all of me

Chorus (X2)

It’s where I’ll start

one of my favourite freaky stories in the bible [and there’s lots of them – 2 kings 2.23 story of elisha and the baldyhead bear-mauling incident] is the story of elijah found in 1 kings 17.

now a bunch of things happen here – there is elijah being fed miraculously by ravens, there is the miracle of the flour and oil of the widow not running out and then the widow’s son mysteriously dies.

it is one of those crisis of faith moment stories many of us have experienced – having just witnessed this crazy miracle of the continuing food supply, the widow is now accusing the prophet [and God by association] of having it in for her.

what comes next is incredibly dangerous and as with so many bible stories, we have lost the edge of the danger because we know how it ends – shadrach, meshach and abednego risking being tossed in the fiery furnace, daniel risking the lion’s den, david heading out to take on the giant goliath armed with a slingshot, gideon with his muchly reduced army taking on an army whose tents were described as ‘swarms of locusts’ [judges 6.5] armed with torches and musical instruments and peter stepping out of the boat on to the water…

we know how they end so we read them and get excited by God and what He has done, but i think it is important to go back and read this stories as the person really desperately hoping that God is going to make a dramatic appearance…

so you have this widow and her dead son and elijah is taken to the room with the dead son and in 1 kings 17.21 it says this, ‘Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him.”

why is that a cool story? because it worked. God heard elijah’s prayer and resurrects the boy and he lives again. yay God, well done elijah.

but what if he hadn’t? if God didn’t pitch up then you have a grown man, climbing on to and lying on top of the body of a dead boy… now i’m not sure we can tell from the story if he did that twice with no results and then the third time God answered because that would add in a whole other dimension, but from elijah’s point of view it has to be coming from a point of ‘i really believe this is what God wants me to do and i am going to risk reputation and possibly life to be faith-full and obedient to what i have heard God say.’

“yeah, but it’s elijah”

the same elijah who goes on to witness another robe-wetting moment on top of mount carmel where if God doesn’t show up with the sacrifice then he will lose reputation and life for sure… but also the same elijah who shortly after that incident runs away because a woman threatens him and ends up moping to God that he is the only one left [when God secretly has thousands of other faithful followers stashed away in a cave] and so clearly there were times when ‘but it’s elijah’ was not good enough to guarantee success and bravery in the face of consequences.

there are so many others like this – noah builds a giant boat in the desert, Jesus spits into a blind man’s eye, peter and john tell a crippled man to get up and walk… so many miracle stories that only took place because someone was faithful and obedient to what they heard God calling them to do… if you have known me long enuff then you will have probly heard the story of the safe house for kids in cape town that was birthed out of a worship meeting [http://www.uthandolenkosi.co.za] – a lot of people called them crazy, even some pastors took action to try and protect them from the foolish thing they were going to do… and yet because God said it, and because people responded faithfully it happened.

i think it is important to finish off by saying that the point is not to go out and do stupid things… if you go to the local swimming pool and step out on the water you will sink. why? because God did not invite you to. the key here is listening out for what God is saying to you and acting on it regardless of whether it makes sense or not to those around you. [altho seeking good counsel from strong Jesus-following people around you to make sure it is God’s thing He is calling you to and not just a hare-brained scheme is worth doing]

but if God does call you to lie on top of a dead kid and call out to Him three times, and you’re sure it’s God speaking, then you had better act on that and you will only know whether God is going to show up or not the moment it is too late if He doesn’t…

i have met matt redman [worship leader, song writer] on two occasions – on the first i was a chop christian radio presenter trying to be clever and yet no matter how many times i asked him if he was a vegetable what would he be and what superpower he would dig to have, all matty wanted to do was speak about Jesus…

the second time was at the Soul Survivor festival in Holland [and a third time i observed him when louis giglio, him and chris tomlin did a Q and A at Jubilee i think it was a few years back which was also inspirational] where he and a young dutch guy called antonie fountaine were taking turns leading the worship – the memory that stands out for me was the one session antonie was leading where matt redman went and sat with his feet dangling over the edge of the stage, in front of this massive stack of speakers right off to the side [pretty much out of view] and played his guitar and contributed to the worship without being the focus at all.

having come across a lot of worship leaders in my life who are so amped on the focus being on them, matt redman is such a breath of fresh air – i’m sure he is not perfect but his heart for God and “He must become bigger, I must become less” is so evident…

i came across a new song off his upcoming album and was just completely blown away by the lyrics, especially the chorus which goes like this:

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

i know that God!

the rest of the song words are below and you can get access to the song sheet for free by going to http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1846861

Verse 1
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Verse 2
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Is Your power in us

Pre-Chorus
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Chorus 1
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Repeat Verse 2
Repeat Pre-Chorus

Chorus 2
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Bridge
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Ending Chorus
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

“Liturgy is public poetry and art. You can make beautiful art by splashing paint on a wall, and you can also make art with the careful diligence of a sculptor. Both can be lovely, and both can be ugly. Both can be marketed and robbed of their original touch, and both have the potential to inspire and move -people to do something beautiful for God. So it is with worship. More important than whether something is old or new, winsome or classic is whether it is real. The Scriptures tell us to “test the spirits,” and the true test of the spirit of a thing is whether it moves us closer to God and to our suffering neighbor. Does it have fruit outside of our own good feelings? Beauty must hearken to something beyond us. It should cause us to do something beautiful for God in the world.” [from http://commonprayer.net%5D

especially that last bit – the true test of the spirit of a thing is whether it moves us closer to God and to our suffering neighbour…

very good blog by donald miller about pointing towards the light rather than being the light – check it out here

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