2.26.2009

Clothe Me With Christ

Romans 13:14 (NCV) - "... but clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and forget about satisfying your sinful self."

This is easy to say but so hard to live out. When I think about "clothing" myself in the Lord Jesus Christ the first image that comes to my mind is that of a nun in a habit. You see a nun and immediately know that it's a Nun. Do people see me and immediately know I'm a child of God by the way that I love others? Do I point people to Jesus?

2.25.2009

Winter Retreat: All I Have To Give - Sunday AM Devotions

“As humans, love is the most powerful emotion we feel. And when you feel it, you can't stay still. You have to move. You know why? Because love moves. When it's real, it evokes emotion. When you feel it, you will go to the extreme to show it. When Jesus was on earth, He basically boiled all of life down to a few simple statements about love. God loved. God moved. We should love and when we do, we should move. But move to do what?” – Clay Scroggins

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about what it means to love God and love people, about what it means to give all that we have to give. There’s a song by Tim Hughes called “God of Justice” that we’ve sung a couple of times together in PowerSource. The chorus goes like this:

Jesus, You have called us.
Freely we’ve received, now freely we will give.
We must go,
Live to feed the hungry,
Stand beside the broken,
We must go
Stepping forward,
Keep us from just singing,
Move us into action,
We must go

My favorite line in that chorus is, “stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action…”. For you and I, this is where we need to be.

All weekend we have been singing about, reading about, hearing about, and talking about all we have to give. The problem is that if all we do is sing, read, listen, and talk about giving all we have to give, and we never do it, all we’ve done is waste a lot of breath, ink, and time. It’s similar to being a doctor and diagnosing a patient with a disease. What would it be like if all that doctor did was talk about how to cure the disease? Maybe he writes a book about it, maybe a couple people read this book and it starts a revolution. Maybe people even sing songs about how to cure this disease. They print stuff about it on their t-shirts and on their backpacks. They even begin talking about it in some schools. But neither the doctor, nor anyone else involved ever actually cures anyone of this disease. It would be a tragedy. It’s very much the same way with us. Jesus is the cure for the disease of sin we are all infected with. He came to be the remedy for those who are dying and lost. For us to not share that cure with others would be just as tragic. Before you read any further, pause for a good minute or two and let that sink in.

In a couple of hours, you’ll hop back on the bus and head home, no doubt pull out the last of the Red Bull stash and make your way back to life as you know it. Now it’s in your hands. The question before you is the same as it has been all weekend. Will you give all you have to give? Will you take the cure to those who so desperately need it?

The Message captures I Peter 4:7-11 as follows... 7-11Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

The NLT translates v. 10...God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

God’s call to give all you have is not an option or a suggestion. It is not a “if you feel like it” or “when you have time” kind of a thing. For a Christ follower, it is commanded. God has equipped each of us with everything we need to love others. He commands us, to use all of those things well. Why? “To serve one another.” Period.

But, before you go, I would encourage you to begin to prepare your hearts for the last stop of the retreat. In our session this morning, you will be challenged by the real life stories of people in your community, the least of these. You will be given opportunities to give all you have to give. Hopefully, these opportunities are a starting point, the beginning of a long journey of giving all you have to give that becomes a permanent part of your life. So may you as you learn to love God and love people, step forward, do more than just sing, and go.

Winter Retreat: All I Have To Give - Saturday AM Devotions

Once again we meet. There’s a song by the band Jack’s Mannequin that goes “So this is morning, it’s when I spend the most time thinking about what I’m giving up.” Now, I don’t support much of what that band has to say about anything… in fact I disagree with most of it. I think this lyric can get us started today.

It is morning. You may be tired because you stayed up most of the night pranking your room leaders (I surely hope not) or because you have left over Red Bull and for some horrendous reason decided to pull an all-nighter. So here’s what I’d like you to do. Before you read any more of this page I want you to stand up and stretch a bit. Run in place for a couple seconds or try to touch the ceiling of your room or something to wake yourself up. Go ahead. (Insert Jeopardy music here)

Alright, now that everyone is done stretching out, spend a few minutes in prayer. Ask God to help you to understand the things He wants you to learn today. Look back at those notes you wrote down last night about giving all you have to give to God. Spend some time talking with God about those things and asking how you live them out. Maybe even today you could do one of those things. Spend some time in prayer now.

Ok, now we’re ready. Open your Bible, or share with someone, and turn back to the same passage we were in last night in Matthew 22:35-40. We want to look at verse 39. The verse talks about loving your neighbor as you love yourself. This is the “Love People.” part of the phrase in the top corner of your pages. Jesus doesn’t just give us the command to love God with all we are, He gives us a second command to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

So who is my neighbor? Are we talking Mr. Rogers, “Could you be my? Would you be my?” kind of stuff or is this the guy that lives next door to me or what? The word neighbor in the passage is actually referring to everyone. Other translations read “to love others as your love yourself.” In other words, “love people”.

This, once again, is easier to read than it is to live out. Loving people can be hard. Period. This means Jesus wants us to love the unlovable, the people who get on our nerves, the people who we don’t get along with at school, those who pick on us, those who we pick on, the nerdy kids, the band and choir kids, the jocks, the preps, the goths and punks, the kid who sits alone in the lunch room day after day. We need to love them. Why? Because Jesus first loved us. Yesterday we learned how much Jesus loves us. He died for us on the cross. What else does He have to say about loving people?

Turn in your Bible, or follow along with your friend, to Matthew 25:34-40. (No it’s not a typo I know it sounds and looks like 22:35-40, but its different. Just go there.) Go ahead and read that passage.

Jesus is saying some pretty heavy stuff here. The scenario is this: Jesus is telling us to look around us, to look for those who are sick, tired, poor, or imprisoned. He’s telling us to look for these people because He wants us to love these people. Now we may be thinking, are you kidding me? You want me to find someone who is sick? Someone who is in prison? I know these types of people can make us uncomfortable. It’s not easy to go into a nursing home and see the residents tired, sick, and alone. But the truth is, if we don’t go and love them, who will? It’s easy to say, “Well, maybe some kid from another church will go.” It’s easy to pass that responsibility off to other people, but Jesus says something at the end of this passage in Matthew 25 that should change our perspective. Jesus says, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me”. When Jesus says the least of these, He is referring to all the people we have been talking about: the ones that are uncomfortable to be around. He’s telling us that how we treat these people is the same way we treat Him. In other words, by loving people, we are also loving God. This requires more of us than simply going to church on Sunday morning. This requires more of us than going to a retreat in Ghent, WV. This may even require more of us than going out for a couple of hours on a Saturday with a SURV team to meet the needs of some of these people. When Jesus says to love people, He doesn’t put a time limit on it. He doesn’t put a price tag on it. He doesn’t put conditions at all. Jesus’ only condition is for us to love people as we love ourselves. That’s a lot of love. It sounds to me like that means giving all I have to give. So the question that we have to ask ourselves is quite simply…are we? Are we giving all that we have to give? Are we going out of our way to love the unlovable? To love the least of these?

Let’s spend some time this morning thinking about what we can give up: our comfort zones, our selfishness, and our fear. End this time like we began, in prayer. Ask God to make you aware of the least of these in your life, the least of these all around you. Ask Him to give you the courage to love them.

Winter Retreat: All I Have To Give - Friday PM Devotions

So chances are you, yeah you, the one reading the page, are pretty tired in this moment. Or you’re pretty wired because you snuck Red Bulls in your bag and were chugging those suckers on the way over. Regardless, here we are in Ghent, West Virginia. You’re in your room by now, probably unpacked and sitting in or near your bunk and are staring at the book in your hands and maybe wondering what this “AllIHave2Give” stuff is all about. Give all of what? Give all of a banana split to pastor Micah’s face? Give all my strength in an Anaconda Squeeze like Nacho Libre? What is “AllIHave2Give” all about?

You’ll notice on just about every page in this book in one of the top corners it says “Love God. Love People. Matt 22:35-40”. Grab your Bible, if you don’t have one, share with a friend. If you have a Bible and see someone without one, offer to share. Open it up to those verses. Matthew is the first book in the New Testament. It’s the first of four books that we call “The Gospels”. “Gospel” means “good news”. The good news in these books is about God sending His Son, Jesus, to Earth to die for the sins of mankind. It’s all about God’s love for us. We’ll talk more about that a little later.

The setting for these verses in Matthew is this: Jesus was a Rabbi; this is similar to a pastor in our time. The Rabbi was a teacher of the Old Testament law. He took a few disciples, followers, under his wing and taught them everything He knew. One day, Jesus was teaching His disciples when some Pharisees, other religious guys who weren’t fans of Jesus’ teaching, showed up and tried to trick Him by getting Him to say one of the Old Testament laws was more important than another. Read those verses in Matthew. Go ahead I’ll wait…

Wow. I don’t know if you know anything about the Old Testament law, but what Jesus is saying here is huge. In the Old Testament there is a book called Leviticus. The entire book is pretty much a giant
list of laws that the Israelites were supposed to follow in order to make themselves pure and holy before God. Jesus is summing that entire book up with this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus is saying that all of the Levitical law is supported by these two commands.

The thing is.... these commandments are harder to obey than they are to read. See, there is one little word in those verses that changes the dynamic, the seriousness, of these commands. The word is ‘all”.
Jesus didn’t ask for us to love God with some of our hearts. He didn’t ask us to love God with some of our soul or some of our strength. He asked for all of it. He commands us, not asks us, to love with ALL we have to give. God doesn’t just want us on Sunday mornings at Daybreak or Wednesday nights at Focus Groups. He wants us Sunday through Saturday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He wants us to love Him with our lives.

Some of you may be thinking... are you kidding me? Dude, that’s a lot of time. 24/7 is more than I’m willing to give. God must be greedy to want so much of my time, after all who is He? What has He ever done for me to deserve that kind of love?

In the same gospel you’re in, Matthew, if you look at chapters 26-28 you will read the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I’m sure, even if you’ve never been on any trip or event with PowerSource, you have at least heard of Jesus. You may have heard He was a good teacher, or a good person, or you may have heard His name as an expletive when your friend stubbed his toe. The point is, you’ve heard of Him. The truth is, Jesus was a good teacher, and He was a good person. In fact, He was perfect. Do you know anyone who is perfect? I don’t. Sometimes we see people on TV that we think are perfect. Maybe you know someone who you think looks perfect, or who is the perfect athlete, or musician, etc. Let me tell you a secret…. those people… they aren’t perfect. (gasp)* I know, I know…calm down and hear me out…we all have flaws. We all do things wrong. We can look good on the outside and be ugly and dirty on the inside. We can be great at a certain skill, but really stink when it comes to treating people like people instead of objects.

The Bible calls these things that we do wrong sin, and it is that sin that keeps us from having a relationship with God. If you look on the last page of your handbook at The Romans Road you will see a series of verses from the Bible that talk about our sin. In Romans 5:8 we see that Jesus died for our sins. He died so we wouldn’t have to. He gave All He Had To Give. He loves you that much. That’s why He deserves all you have to give. He saved your life. You just have to accept Him. Read through the rest of the page with The Romans Road on it. Then spend some time praying and asking God to show you ways to give all you have to give to Him. Write them down in this booklet so you will remember them.

One Of My Favorite Dave Grohl Performances

2.24.2009

Don't Stop Believin'

There's just something about this song that gets me every time. I absolutely love it.
It makes me smile. This may be my favorite Journey song.


This Disease (Lyrics)













This Disease

I've climbed the highest mountain
I've swam the deepest seas
I've found my worth in nothing less than everything You see in me.

If I have the cure for this disease
How am I loving if I choose not to speak?

I work out my salvation
We're all sinners underneath
I've got a condition caused by Your love for me

If I have the cure for this disease
How am I loving if I choose not to speak?

I get lost in Your eyes when I try speak
You broke my chains and now I am, I am free.
Like a drug You flow through every part of me
Jesus You're the only cure for this disease.


2.23.2009

Random Band Game

How to get a band name and first album

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit "random"
or click 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
FAIRVIEW, MICHIGAN

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click 
http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
HUMAN FORM COULD HAVE INVENTED THE NOBEL PRIZE

3 - Go to flickr and click on "explore the last seven days"
or click 
http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no m
atter what it is, will be your album cover.




























4 - Use Adobe®Photoshop, or similar to put it all together.


2.19.2009

Hebrews 6:1-8 (NCV): Thoughts

Hebrews 6:1-8 (NCV):1"So let us go on to grown-up teaching. Let us not go back over the beginning lessons we learned about Christ. We should not again start teaching about faith in God and about turning away from those acts that lead to death.2 We should not return to the teaching about baptisms, about laying on of hands, about the raising of the dead and eternal judgment. 3 And we will go on to grown-up teaching if God allows.  4 Some people cannot be brought back again to a changed life. They were once in God's light, and enjoyed heaven's gift, and shared in the Holy Spirit. 5They found out how good God's word is, and they received the powers of his new world. 6 But they fell away from Christ. It is impossible to bring them back to a changed life again, because they are nailing the Son of God to a cross again and are shaming him in front of others. 7 Some people are like land that gets plenty of rain. The land produces a good crop for those who work it, and it receives God's blessings. 8 Other people are like land that grows thorns and weeds and is worthless. It is about to be cursed by God and will be destroyed by fire."

This passage brings so pretty heavy things to heart: Let's look at it in sections. (This is me simply looking at the text w/o any study materials and drawing some basic conclusions." 

Diving Deep: Grown-Up Teaching
Verses 1-3: Here the author of Hebrews, I take the stance that it was most likely Paul the Apostle, raises the idea that we should not go back to the basic fundamentals of the faith. Rather we should continue on to "grown-up teachings". Does this mean that we should stop teaching the fundamentals? At what point do we cease this teaching? When? I believe that here Paul is saying that there is more to God than simply the fundamentals. There is more to God than what we know. After we know and understand some of the basics we should dig deeper. We shouldn't just keep rehashing the same thing over and over again but rather we should dive deep into what God has for us. The kicker/reminder to all of this from Paul is that we can only go as deep as God allows. In verse 3 he says: "And we will go on to grown-up teaching if God allows." 

Walking Out Of The Marvelous Light: Never To Return? 
Verses 4-6: This verse hits hard for me. Paul is saying that there are those of us who have come to understand and accept the truth and life found in Jesus Christ and Him crucified and of those of us who believe this where there are those who "were once in God's light and enjoyed heaven's gift, and shared in the Holy Spirit." and then fell away or walked away from God. Paul quite plainly states that there are SOME of these people who cannot come back into God's light because by they walking away they are "nailing the Son of God to a cross again and are shaming him in front of others." I honestly don't have too much more to say on this beyond that I don't understand it all. How far does one walk away from God before it's too far? I've known friends who claimed to be followers of Christ only to walk away to complete Paganism only then to realize the error of their ways to turn back to Christ and now they follow Him whole heartedly. Were they not saved to begin with? The answer in my mind is not to see how close to the line we can tread but rather to turn away from the line and "press towards the prize". 

Good Crop / Bad Crop
Verses 7-8: Here Paul is giving the comparison between the unbeliever and the Christ-follower. The believer who dives deep into the "grown-up teachings" and their relationship with God will produce good crops. They will be blessed and rewarded in their relationship with Christ for spending that time with Him. Those who don't know Christ and therefore also haven't spent time with him will dry up and due to their sin they will be "destroyed by fire." I believe verses 7-8 are a capstone ending and conclusion to the first two sections here. It addresses both sets of people as verse 7 addresses those who have been diving deep in the grown-up teaching while verse 8 addresses those who have either walked away from God or never accepted him in the first place.

ABC's

A - Age: 24

B - Bed size: Queen

C - Chore you hate: Cleaning Bathrooms

D - Dad's Name: Ret. Col. Robert Glenn Hasty Jr.

E - Essential start your day item: Bible & Coffee (They Are Inseparable)

F - Favorite musician(s): This Changes Depending On The Week. I'm A Sucker For 90's Alternative Rock Though...

G - Gold or Silver: Both The Economy Stinks. 

H - Height: 6'1

I - Instruments you play(ed): Guitar, Bass, Keys, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Glockenspiel, Cowbell, Loops

J - Job: Associate Youth Pastor / Worship Director / Graphic Designer

K - Kid(s): 200+ On A Given Sunday

L - Living arrangement: An Apartment With My Lovely Wife & 2 Kittens

M - Mom's name: Anita Yvette Hasty

N - Nicknames: "Micah, Micah, Micah" - I Have A Thing With "Threes"

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Tonsils, With My Wife Before She Was My Wife When She Was Really Sick. I Was By Her Bedside The Entire Night

P - Pet Peeve: My DVD Shelf Not Being In Alphabetical Order...

Q - Quote you like:
"The problem with many of us is that we sometimes treat Jesus as our president instead of our king. We act as if His kingdom is a democracy, as if we get to cast a vote for His leadership, as if we can voice our opinion about His agenda, as if He should adjust His policies based on our wishes." 
- Matt Willmington


R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 1 Brother - Brian, 1 Sister - Nichole

T - Time you wake up: 7ish

V - Vegetable you dislike: Brussel Sprouts

W - Ways you run late: Not Being Able To Decide What To Wear.... I Know I'm Such A Girl....

X - X-rays you've had: Wrist, Teeth

Y - Yummy food you make: Cereal: Put Cereal In Bowl, Add Milk. Simple. Tasty.

Z- Zodiac Sign: Caner - This Is Stupid. 

The Modern American Family

I've never had the experience of the pain that comes from parents separating. 
I come from a home that to this day is still together. 
Whole not broken. 
I'm so thankful for that. 
I can't imagine that kind of hurt. 
I used to think that I'd never be able to relate to a student going through that situation. 
Now I'm glad I can point to my parents as an example of how a marriage should look like. 
Thank you God for my parents. 
To all of those of you hurting because of a divorce...
I don't know what to say other than to hold tight to the only love that never fades...
The love of Jesus Christ for you. 
Blessings and Prayers. 

2.16.2009

How The Day Sounds - Free Starbucks Download

























So I picked up one of the free Starbucks: Pick of the Week cards this afternoon on my way home. They are normally hit or miss. This one is a definite hit. It's by an artist named Greg Laswell and the song is called: How The Day Sounds. It's really really good. Go grab a free download card and listen for yourself. It feels a bit like The Fray but more original. Enjoy. 

The Way I See It #26

The Way I See It # 26

Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. 
If you're successful at the wrong things, 
the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever.

-- Po Bronson
Author of stories, screenplays, and nonfiction, including: What Should I Do With My Life?

2.12.2009

Modern American Fiction



I've started a new musical outlet. Modern American Fiction. Go figure. It's not to replace The Great Rescue but rather to channel some music tendencies that have always come to mind after reading most modern American fiction literature. There are normally loads of one liners that stick out in my head for days until I end up writing about them or blogging about them so on and so on. So this is how this works. I'll read through a book. As there are one line statements that really stick out to me I immediately write instrumental music that comes to mind with the line. Then I write lyrics while listening to the instrumental demo. I think put it all together and post it online. I hope you enjoy them. All the songs are free for download. Enjoy.

The Role Of The Worship Leader Pt. 2

Part 2 of my friend Michael's posts on the role of a worship leader. It's really been beneficial reading for me to check my own heart and life. Am I lining up? 
















A good worship leader…

  1. Has the ability to lead people.  Leading worship requires leadership skills.  It’s not all notes and guitars and chord charts.  A worship leader needs to have people skills in order to lead a band.  A worship leader needs to inspire people.   I truly believe that if a person has the gift of leadership, then he could fill a variety of roles in church.  How can a person lead a church in worship if he can’t lead his family or lead a small group, or lead a Bible study, or lead a meeting, or lead her friends.  I’m not saying that all these things are required, but leadership isn’t just for administrators and pastors.  As we look for a worship leader and explore different avenues, the ability to lead in general will be one of the qualities that rises to the top.
  2. Has presence.  Maybe this is the ability to not look dazed and confused in front of people.  You can tell after a few minutes or a few chords if a worship leader has stage presence.  You can work on this to a certain degree, but for the most part, you either have it or you don’t.   Worship leaders with presence know how to stand before a crowd and shift the focus onto God.  They make eye contact with people, not just have their own private worship moments on stage.  That’s all well and good, but I want our lead worshipper to recognize the responsibility of leading people in worship.  I don’t speak with my eyes closed.
  3. Has talent.  I know this won’t sound very spiritual but when it comes to leading worship, heart and passion are not enough.  There are a lot of passionate singers and musicians who really want to make a difference who should not be singing and playing in public.  I know everybody has to start somewhere.  But good worship leaders posess a certain amount of talent.  They learn from other worship leaders,  go to concerts and get ideasfigure out how things are done, and practice.  While it’s hard to teach presence, you can grow in this area.  
  4. Doesn’t talk too much.  This may be a pet peeve of mine, but I also believe it can kill a service.  There are times that a song requires an introduction, or when a worship leader needs to share thoughts on a subject.  But that can’t happen before every song and during every break.  For the most part, that’s just wasted time because people are checked out.  People can only process so much.  They can only listen to so much talking.  There is a communicator who has put hours and hours into preparing a message.  As a worship leader, you wouldn’t like it if the speaker got up to speak, picked up your guitar and launched into a few more worship songs. 

Worship leaders are so crucial in the life of the church.  It’s a crucial role.  Some people judge a church by the quality of the music or the personality of the worship leader.

Mark Driscoll's Starbucks Cup

Just thought it was interesting. I'm sure it's photoshopped but regardless. 

Mark Driscoll's Vulgarity Draws Media Attention: My Thoughts


A good friend of mine sent me this article. I've posted it as well as my responses in italics at the bottom. Let me know what you think?

Driscoll's Vulgarity
Draws Media Attention
By Staff
 
EDITOR'S NOTE: The story contains references to sexual matters that Baptist Press tried to veil somewhat in order to lessen the possibility of offending readers. However, Baptist Press needed to include a reference to these adult elements so that readers might fully grasp the importance of this news item.
 
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--An in-depth New York Times Magazine feature on a controversial Seattle pastor has generated a new wave of debate about vulgarity in the pulpit.
 
"Who Would Jesus Smack Down," a 3,200-word profile of Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., focused on Driscoll's Calvinist theology but, like most secular reporting on the Seattle pastor, began with a vignette on his "racy" sermon topics and casual clothes.
 
Critics like pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., however take Driscoll to task over his use of sexually explicit language and "purely gratuitous humor" they say degrades the Gospel and the pulpit.
 
In a December 2006 issue of Pulpit magazine, MacArthur, a renowned Calvinist himself, complimented Driscoll's theology but said the young pastor suffers from an "infatuation with the vulgar aspects of contemporary society" and models a lifestyle "especially his easygoing familiarity with all this world's filthy fads -- [that] practically guarantees that [his disciples] will make little progress toward authentic sanctification."
 
On the heels of the New York Times profile, Christian talk show personality Ingrid Schleuter criticized Driscoll for a series of explicit "sex advice" posts on the Mars Hill Church blog -- material appropriate only for married couples but available to any visitor, including children. Schleuter also castigated Driscoll for linking the blog to a website, christiannymphos.org, "which features articles on how a Christian wife can turn herself into a dominatrix, the glories of an-l and or-l sex, and the use of sex toys."
 
"At a time when American young people are hit in the face with graphic sexuality in every facet of our culture, the church should be a safe haven where the sacredness and privacy of the act of marriage is respected by pastors," Schleuter said in a press release. "Those with sexual issues need to receive private counseling -- not sex seminars in a church auditorium.
 
"For generations, Christian pastors have managed to convey the Scripture's teachings on fornication, adultery and the beauty of sexuality within marriage without sullying and cheapening it" Schleuter added. "Mark Driscoll is a sad product of our times. While waving his orthodox doctrinal credentials, he has simultaneously embraced the spirit of the age when it comes to his treatment of sex. In the process, he is pornifying the church and only adding to the moral squalor of our culture."
 
Coarse language has no place in the pulpit, said David Tolliver, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
 
"I am distressed to hear about what some misguided men call preaching," Tolliver said. "Vulgarity has no place in the speech of Christians -- certainly not in Christian preaching. How can Christian preachers expect to 'speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel' unless they vow never to 'let any unwholesome word come out of [their] mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen'?"
 
Pastors must commit themselves to engage the culture without endorsing it, Tolliver added.
 
"It is important that pastors address issues like sexuality, but they must address those topics biblically and reverently -- not in a way that titillates or entices," he said.
 
Addressing sensitive topics like sexuality is important because both church members and unchurched people struggle with those issues, said Bret Robbe, a longtime pastor who now directs leadership and adult publishing for LifeWay Christian Resources.
 
"We need to learn how to address sensitive topics in appropriate ways because they are real issues in our culture and they present real dangers for people's lives and their relationships with God," Robbe said. "They aren't just issues in the culture; our church members are wrestling with these issues too.
 
"When we debate issues like these, it helps us get better perspective of what is acceptable and not acceptable," Robbe added. "How do we best address sensitive subjects in a way that both helps people and glorifies God?"
 
Giving God the honor He deserves must not take a back seat to promoting a sermon series, Robbe said.
 
"If a pastor is preaching or teaching on an edgy topic just to get the attention of people in the community, and not to glorify God, then he has stepped over a line," Robbe said. "I would never endorse unwholesome speech from the pulpit or anywhere else.
 
"It's a two-fold issue. We need to remind ourselves what unwholesome talk is, and we need to make sure we are addressing in a biblical way the issues people face."
--30--
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.

MY THOUGHTS:
I think Mark speaks the way he does to engage the culture where he is.
Is he blunt? Yes. I think he’s blunt in ways that no one else has been in a long time.
He’s not afraid to skirt around the issues and flat out tell you what scripture says about a certain topic.
How do you address the issues of sex without talking about them flat out?
It’s hard stuff to talk about. As the pastor of his church he must have felt the need to discuss these things with his people.
In a largely college aged crowd it’s no surprise he’s focusing on these topics.
I agree with having tact and letting no unwholesome talk come from our mouth (How can I argue with the truth of scripture?)
I’d also like to know how speaking against a topic is endorsing it...
I guess whenever we speak out against anything we unintentionally endorse it.
Case and point, The Golden Compass. When news of the movie hit IMDB and the church suddenly quickly took a stance against the movie and the book series, and rightly so, millions of people who had never even heard of or cared about the Golden Compass suddenly cared and wanted to know more about it. I know more people who saw that movie because of the controversy surrounding it than who were planning to see it from the get go. So one way or another we’re always drawing attention to the things we speak against. The choice is in the hands of the listening congregant. What will they do next?
I would want to make sure the article really is concerned more about unwholesome talk than simply turning red and shying away from hard issues.
Just my initial (not too thought out) remarks on the article.
What are you thoughts?  

2.11.2009

Psalm 143:5-6: Do I Thirst For God Like I Thirst For Coffee?























I'm sort of an addict when it comes to hot drinks. My favorite being coffee. After a recent stint on not drinking coffee I came to realize I can't really go without it. It's not an addiction per say.... it's a deep appreciation for that lovely bean beverage. When I wake up in the morning it's the first thing I want to drink. I love the smell of it. When I'm thirsty the first thing I think about is coffee. 

My question to my self then is this: Do I thirst for God like I thirst for coffee? In Psalm 143:5-6 the psalmist writes about his thirst for God. "I remember what happened long ago; I consider everything you have done. I think about al you have made. I lift my hands to you in prayer. As a dry land needs rain, I thirst for you. Selah". (Ps 143:5-6 NCV) Do I thirst for God like that? Like a dry land that needs rain to sustain life? When I wake up in the morning... is God on my mind as quickly or before coffee? 

Just processing through these truths about God I'm finding in the Psalms and trying to make them real in my own life. Blessings to all of you who follow and read these posts. Leave comments once in a while. I appreciate them. 

2.10.2009

Great Quote #1

"We need church leaders today who are models of holiness and reverence, pastors who "flow into silence before the very Name of God, who speak in hushed tones in the sacredness of God's presence, and who speak of themselves and their tasks with a sense of gratitude and wonder." - Scot McKnight

The Role Of The Worship Leader

My friend Michael Larkin posted this on his blog and I really enjoyed it and wanted to repost it here. Enjoy. 

















“The relationship between a lead pastor and worship pastor is very important for our style of church to operate. It is almost as if we are married. Our children’s pastor can be doing something that doesn’t totally jive with what we in the worship center are doing and it really doesn’t effect us. The same is true with our youth pastor. However, when it comes to a worship pastor, it is of utmost importance that we are on the same page. We basically play in the same sandbox and what we do better jive.

The worship leader who filled in today was very good and he is very talented. Matter of fact I would go as far as to say he could LEAD worship in many of the churches I have visited. He has a strong voice, he led the crowd well, and he connected with our people. To someone who has been attending RSC for a short time, they probably noticed very little change.Matter of fact, they might have even noticed a slight improvement in the vocal area. I on the other hand noticed several things that made me appreciate the job that Tim does here even more.

I am convinced a church plant will never be what it could be until it has the right worship leader. Matter of fact, I would say this should be the first hire for a church planter maybe even before you bring yourself on full time. In today’s culture, music is that important. When Tim leads worship for us, I am at peace and I am comfortable. That makes my job of teaching much easier. It seems like everyone I know is looking for a worship leader and they are hard to find. I thought today I would just give you some things I learned in the process of looking for a worship pastor:

1.) Make sure their style fits your style. We went six weeks without a worship pastor. During those six weeks we rotated some very gifted worship pastors in on Sunday mornings. All of these guys could lead in a lot of churches but not at RSC. Our worship pastor is a good fit for us because he compliments my style of teaching very well. He is energetic, he has a good time on stage, and he keeps the crowd up beat. That goes very well with my style of teaching. It is important that the crowd is alive when I come up to teach. This week for instance, the worship was good. But, it was much more “worshipful” then normal. The music was a little slower and it didn’t have the edge that we are used to. Though it was good, I found it very hard to get up and teach after worship because our crowd today was much more mellow then normal.

2.) A Worship leader doesn’t have to have the best voice – I was not looking for a singer, though Tim sings very well. I was looking for someone who understood what corporate worship was about and could lead our people in worshipping God on Sunday morning. I was looking for someone who could gauge how to lead by how the crowd was responding.

3.) Make sure their philosophy fits your philosophy – We are very stubborn in the way we do church on Sunday morning. We understand there will be a lot of seekers there and we keep that in mind. I don’t want a worship pastor who wants to free flow or worship in song the whole service. I needed someone who understood our philosophy and had no problems with that. Think about your philosophy and make sure your worship pastor has the same one.

4.) Be VERY specific in letting them know the style of worship you want – Everyone is doing “contemporary” church today. No one even knows what that means anymore. Buy some CD’s of current guys whose style you like, buy secular CD’s of guys you like and let your worship leader know the style you feel God would have the church to be.

5.) Define their role – Everyone has a fancy title for the worship person: Worship pastor, Worship leader, Creative Arts Pastor, Creative Worship Pastor, etc. I could care less what you call it but, define the responsibilities. For example, our worship pastor not only has the worship band under his leadership, but all the media ministries as well. This includes, sound, CD table, audio visual elements, etc. Because we are portable he is also responsible to see to it that those elements get set up on Sunday mornings. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you place under them, just make sure the role is defined.

6.) Make sure they want to lead worship and not be a rock star – I find so many pastors who settle on a guy because he has led a band and they think he can lead worship. I know several worship pastors who really don’t want to lead worship but that is what puts food on the table. What they really want to do is travel and be in a band. Nothing wrong with that but not a good fit long term for a worship pastor.

7.) Make sure they can lead a band – There are a lot of guys who can lead when it is just them and a guitar. Playing with a band is a totally different story. In our type of church, a band is a must. So therefore he must be able to play with a band.

8.) Make sure they are open minded – They last thing I want in a worship pastor is someone who isn’t willing to change because they are so stuck in their “art.” If I hear another worship pastor who is not willing to do what is necessary to reach the lost because of their “art” I am going to scream. I want someone who could care less about style, I want someone who is willing to do what is necessary to connect with their target.

9.) Make sure their heart is in the right place – Do they want to lead worship because it is “cool” or do they want to serve the people of their church? This is a question that must be answered.”

I love all of this. What do you think? 

Psalm 119:165: True Peace

Psalm 119:165 (NCV) - "Those who love Your teachings will find true peace, and nothing will defeat them." 

I would say that my life in general is pretty peaceful. I've never known persecution or anything beyond a student in my 9th Grade home asking why I wore WWJD t-shirts all the time and me feeling self conscious about it. 

I have peace. I have true peace in my spirit in knowing Jesus Christ. How do I have this peace? How do I know these things? Through my times with my Father in the Bible. I love the teachings of the Psalms and the Proverbs and every page in my Bible. 

Do I understand it all? No. Do I always live it all out? No. Do I have it all together? No. I have a lot I need to work on. I have a lot I need to work out. I have found peace in the teaching of scripture. I have found peace in the ways it teaches me to live my life. 

Am I invincible? Not physically. Bullets don't bounce of me and unfortunately I don't regenerate like Claire Bennet from Heroes. 

I can have peace however that I don't have to worry about eternity. I will live beyond this body. I will live beyond this dust. I will live in the kingdom of God and I will forever worship Him. This life begins now...

Psalm 119:136: Am I Broken?

Psalm 119:136 (NCV) - "Tears stream from my eyes, because people do not obey Your teachings."

Am I broken for the world around me? When I look out at the people who pass by me on 460 East as I drive to work every
morning do I have compassion for them? When I look at the average person serving me at the McDonald's drive thru or at my
local coffee shop with my barista or the other patrons in the shop, do I see value in them? Do I hurt for them? Do I see people in
need of a savior? Do I care? We're getting ready to go on a Winter Retreat called "ALL I HAVE TO GIVE". That's our theme. That's
what we're teaching. Do I do this in my day to day life as much as I can? Have I focused so much on "practical needs" that I've lost
sight of "spiritual needs". If I have I've done those I've come in contact with a great disservice. Father teach me to love the
unlovable.

2.09.2009

2.06.2009

A Million Different Names

I'm only doing this because I laughed so much on the inside when my friend Olivia did. : )

1. YOUR REAL NAME:
Micah Andrew Hasty

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle.)
Micizzle

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color and favorite animal)
Green Dog

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (your middle name and street you live on/or neighborhood if it's a number)
Andrew Buckhead

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)
Hasma

6. YOUR SUPERHERO/CRIMINAL NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite drink)
Blue Coffee

7. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your last name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dads name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, and last letter of your moms first name).
Ishabba

8. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents middle names).
Yvette Glenn

9 . YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets).
Black Ginger

10 . YOUR HOOD NAME:....first 3 of your first name and add -iqua....
Miciqua

2.05.2009

Living In The Waiting.

I feel like right now I'm living in the waiting. It's that space between moments. The space before something needing to happen. When I was a little kid my Mom taught me about prayer and how God answers through me wanting a puppy. I wanted a puppy bad. So I prayed and prayed for a puppy and a puppy never seemed to come. Mom taught me that God answers our prayers with either a "Yes|Right Now" "Maybe|Wait For It" or "No|This Is Not What Is Best For You". She told me that God was probably answering for my puppy "Maybe|Wait For It". My job was continue praying and asking God and wait on Him. A few weeks later I got a puppy. I call this "living in the waiting". It's the hardest place to be in my opinion. Just waiting on God. Praying in faith for Him to do something and take care of you like He says He will do... and then waiting on him. I'm stuck in the middle of the waiting. I'm trying my best to persevere through it but, it's getting hard. My Mom calls these times "a crisis of belief". For those who don't know my Mom has been the largest consistent spiritual influence in my life. It's almost like I'm at the point of breaking. I'm at the point of being stretched so thin... It's just hard. Do I still believe and trust in God's promises? Yes. It's just easier to say "God has something better coming up for you." Than to live in the waiting for that to happen. 

"God grant me the strength to rest in You. I lift my hands and cry, "How long till Your voice speaks clearly? How long till Your arms envelope me?" I cry, "Be my strength when I am weak." Oh Lord, have mercy on me... mercy on me please.""
- The Glorious Unseen: Tonight The Stars Speak