Preparing for Worship: am I ready?

Thursday and time to wind down my office work week. The question that always
comes up this time of the week is: “am I ready for worship this Sunday?”  For me that question has two parts: Part 1, has
all the stuff been done that must be done to pull off a Sunday morning at
ClearView; Part 2, am “I” ready for
Sunday worship?


Both parts
of the question are important but emphasis must be given to “am I, (me, not the things) ready
for Sunday worship?” All the stuff can be done: tech scripts written; stage
set; musicians rehearsed and even clothes decided upon, but that doesn’t really
make me ready for worship.  I am ready
for worship when I stay in a conversation with God throughout the week. Am I
talking to Him? Am I actively listening for His voice? If I hear His voice am I
responding properly?


I want to,
personally, be ready for Sunday…it is such a great day to celebrate and
continue in a conversation with God through worship and study with people of
like mind.


If you were
to ask yourself the question “Am I ready for Worship this Sunday” what would be
your answer?

Leaders With Influence

When I
think of leaders that influence my life and others that I have come in contact
with there are a few names which come to the top of the list. However, this
week I have been reminded of two who set the example of being leaders and true
followers of Christ…my parents. 


precipitated this reminder were connections that I have made on Facebook. As I
connected with persons from different parts of the country and different
periods in my life; graciously they asked about me, but very quickly turned the
conversation to inquiry about my parents. There were people my parents lead as
ministers in a local church and those who they mentored in a college setting
and still others they met in a social setting.


Why did
these people ask about my parents? I believe it was because they witnessed
these traits:

  1. they have always felt a call of
    God on their lives and it was evident.
  2. they have served faithfully in
    every situation that God has placed them in.
  3. they treated everyone equally,
    accepting everyone.
  4. they cared about the spiritual
    well being of those whom they were around.
  5. they took and continue to take
    the Bible as the authority every situation and encouraged others to do the
  6. they did and do make spending
    time in conversation with God in prayer a priority.


These are
lifestyle characteristics that will set followers of Christ apart from all
others. These are lifestyle characteristics that I hope I model for those that
I come in contact with.


My parents
= parents yes, but also leaders with influence.


Worship: recognizing the presence of God

Worship is
the strategy by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend
to the presence of God.  Eugene Peterson

Preparing for worship: from the inside out

Stating a
conviction again:  worship is not
exclusively what we do in services, but how we live our life and if I am truly
a follower of Christ then that ‘living’ changes.  If I am becoming more like Christ then I will
begin to act more like Christ and therefore love the things He loves and hate
the things he hates.  My vision of what
He loves and hates changes because I know more about Him.


Okay that
went around in a circle….


This week
we are introducing a worship song to our people: “From the Inside Out.” The
words to this reflect the thought of being more like Christ: ‘a thousand times
I failed;’ ‘consume me from the inside out;’ and ‘Lord I give you control.’ You
can find this song on YouTube here.


So how should
we prepare for worship this week?


  1. take time to privately worship;
    this can be in a quiet house, in the car singing songs of worship and also
    private worship spending time hearing God speak as you read His word or
    listening for God in silence.
  2. find out from your church what
    the theme of the service will be and pray that God will speak to you.
  3. Contact your worship leaders
    and ask what songs will be used this Sunday. Find recordings of them and
    do some practicing or just listening so that you can sing to God and not
    be distracted by the newness of the song.
  4. live a life of worship…trying
    to see things more like Christ everyday.
  5. How about taking a few minutes
    on Saturday night to get in a quiet place and talk to God about Sunday’s
    worship. (I am amazed at how much more connected I feel when I do this.)
  6. Pray for the people who will
    lead. This week I want to pray specifically for the tech people.  The activity on Sunday morning is
    hectic, but it is also ministry and we are connected in worship because of


Here are
some thoughts for the ClearView people:

Remember we
are in the middle of a sermon series, a study of the book of 1st

The theme
of this book is centered around the question: “does my life demonstrate that I
am a follower of Christ?”  There some
encouraging words in this book and there are also some themes that can cause
one to do some deep thinking.  Last week
our pastor covered the last part of the chapter and the title of that sermon
was “The Sin Test.” The first thought covered was “a genuine relationship with
Jesus Christ will result in a changed life with clear marks.” This week we jump
into chapter 2. Take some time to read through 1st John chapters 1 and 2.

If you missed last week’s service you can
find an audio file of the sermon here or you can subscribe to the podcast here.

Fitness: love it AND hate it

Being intentional about fitness and exercise has become a part of my daily and weekly routine. For the last nine years I have made an effort to exercise each week. Most weeks it is five or six days a week very rarely less. As much as this is a routine there are still many days that I dread getting out of bed and going to the gym or out for a run or bike ride. This is the hate it part…

The love itpart is knowing that being active is the right thing to do.  I know that I feel better when I get in 5 or 6  days of exercise.  I know that we are created to move and 21stcentury lifestyle does everything it can to be against intentional movement.  I know that research shows I will have fewer days of being sick, fewer days of ailments and less chance of chronic and catastrophic disease.

So even though I might hate  the thought of exercise some days, I know it is the right thing to do.