"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Sunday, January 31, 2010

YouVersion Reading Plans

YouVersion Reading Plans
Today I completed one month of my reading plan through YouVersion. This has been a fantastic tool for viewing scripture online and adding the reading plan option has been a great benefit. I don't know how many times I've tried to go through a reading plan, whether it be the one printed in the back of my Bible, another print resource, Daily Audio Bible, etc., and have never managed to make it very far. But because of YouVersion's use of technology it has made it much easier to read scripture and stay on track with my reading plan. Because of technology I have been able to access my reading plan from my BlackBerry, though it's sad to say that I pretty much always have my phone with me but not my Bible. But reagardless of that, if I don't have the time to get into the Word first thing in the morning at home, I can always access the Bible and my reading plan via my phone. I do have to say it's been a blessing and one time where the technology advances in this generation has been a great thing and many thanks to for putting together YouVersion.

So far in one month I have read all or parts of Genesis, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Acts and Romans. I have experienced the creation of the earth, the fall of humans because of sin, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Sarah finally having Isaac and Abraham following in faith as he prepares to offer Isaac as sacrifice, the birth of Jacob and Esau, Esau selling his birthright, Jacob stealing his father's blessing, the rebuilding of the temple, the rebuilding of the wall around the city of Jerusalem, Esther risks her life to help save her people, Jesus' life, ministry, death and resurrection in the first book of the Gospels, and the miraculous conversion of Saul the persecutor to become Paul the servant of the Gospel.

I look forward to all that God is going to do in my life and I continue to read His Word. My prayer is that I really get into the Word and not just view the reading plan as a check list to say I read the whole Bible this year. So far it has not been a check list and I thank God for that. If this sounds like something you might be interested you can check out the reading plans here or click on the badge on the right side of this blog.

Sunday Setlist - 01.31.10

Week #80 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, January 31st.

- The Lord Reigns
- Revelation Song
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- How Great Thou Art (Paul Baloche version)

Another wonderful morning of worship. Had some great songs picked out for this week. My team really enjoys Klaus Kuehn's The Lord Reigns. It's great upbeat song and a great way to start a morning of worship. Our church also really likes Paul Baloche's contemporary version of How Great Thou Art. As a musician I really like how he changed up the end of the chorus. He adds an extra phrase of how great thou art and also changes the chord structure. Hopefully the theory isn't a bore, but the way he ends the chorus is twice through a progression of flat VII (Ab) to a IV (Eb) to a I (Bb). We do the song in Bb and I play with a capo on the third fret and play in G, so those chords would be F to a C to a G. It's a wonderful progression and a nice contemporary twist on a great hymn. You can listen to How Great Thou Art here on YouTube. As we were singing Holy, Holy, Holy I kept finding myself thinking about the passage in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah is allowed to look into the heavens and see the Lord sitting on the throne. I can't even imagine the splendor of everything he saw and what an awe inspiring glimpse into the worship of heaven. Here are these angels all worshiping the Lord shouting "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!" (Isaiah 6.3 ESV) That is their worship. And then Isaiah is humbled and he says "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!" (Isaiah 6.5 ESV) Here he was worried that because he was unclean and a sinner yet standing in the presence of God. Then an angel brings over a coal and touches his lips saying he has been made clean. That coal for us is the blood of Christ, the blood that has atoned for our sins. Those of us still on this earth obviously have yet to see the eternal Kingdom that God has in store for us and worship at the foot of His throne. However we have the wonderful opportunity to be able to meet with God and experience His presence right in His house together with the Body of Christ. He asks us to come just as we are, even as a sinful human being. He offers forgiveness as we repent and call out to Him. We can join in worship together to give honor and glory to the One who created everything, just as we are, and come into his presence right here on this earth. And what a wonderful reminded that is!

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Gospel According to LOST by Chris Seay

In a few days the premiere of the 6th and final season of LOST will hit the air waves and as if there wasn’t enough to think about during the show, after reading The Gospel According to LOST there will more to think about. I’d always heard people talking about the spiritual implications that this show has, but never really thought too much about it. Chris Seay takes us into the world of some of our favorite and maybe not-so-favorite characters on the island including Hurley, Sayid Jarrah, Kate Austen, James “Sawyer” Ford, Jack Shephard, Eko, John Locke, Sun and Jin, Benjamin Linus, Jacob, Desmond Hume and Penelope Widmore, and Daniel Faraday. We get a look into their characters and what they had to deal with in their life, on and away from the island, their struggles with each other and with what they believe. Chris Seay says this on the back cover of the book:
Inside you’ll discover what LOST has to say about
• the clash between faith and reason, on the island and in real life;
• the struggle with guilt that consumes each character – and sometimes us too;
• the dichotomy between fatalism and fate, and what the Bible advises;
• how being lost – on an island or in society – presents and opportunity for reinvention that liberates some and paralyzes others.
I believe the metaphors that are found in this book between the characters, the island, the show and faith are best summarized in the chapter dealing with Desmond and Penelope, the ultimate display of love between two characters but also between God and those He created. These are two characters that you would never imagine to be together. They come from two very different walks of life yet somehow end up together. Even though things got messed up between them, they never stopped loving each other. There was forgiveness in a broken relationship and eventually they found their way back to each other. We have messed up in our relationship with God through our own sinful nature, but God’s unconditional love never stops pursuing us. Because of Christ’s work on the cross and through His blood we can have forgiveness and a personal and intimate relationship with the Creator of the whole world. Chris Seay best says it in that chapter, “No matter what we’ve done, it’s never too late – because in His perfect love there is always forgiveness.”

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 01.24.10

Week #79 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, January 24th.

- Hosanna
- New Doxology
- Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
- My Savior My God

Lots of good music this morning. Musically things were a little rough this morning. Had a hard time keeping tempos straight. Just tried to keep my focus off that and on God this morning. Always the hard thing to do because I want things to go well and always get a little frustrated with things like that happen. Overall it was a great morning though. I've got a great group of volunteers in the worship/music ministry and I'm so thankful for all of them. They've taken on some challenging songs that I've given them and have done exceptionally well. Mornings like today are few and far between. Our pastor continued his series in Hebrews, our Sunday school hour "Revive" continued in our study in Romans 8, and we announced our next Revive topic which is put out by Focus on the Family called The Truth Project. It's a study on worldview and how to gain a Biblical worldview. Will be neat to go through this study as we had a lot of worldview training and classes at Cedarville University. Our president Dr. Bill Brown is a worldview guru and has a lot of study on the subject. He also developed a study for students, re:View Worldview Study, which has been a huge success. Anyways, that's a lot about things other than our worship services but it's what's going on in our church. Hope everyone else had great Sundays.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 01.17.10

Week #78 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, January 17th.

- All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises
- Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
- Mighty to Save
- I Am Yours (Take My Life)

Had a great time of worship this morning. Some powerful songs and great time of prayer and scripture reading. I am very thankful for my team that takes on these songs every week. They are fantastic to work with. This morning our pastor also continued in his new series on the book of Hebrews. This morning we were in Chapter 1 verses 1-3; learning about how God spoke in the days of old and still speaks now. Him speaking is so powerful and wonderful as even creation happened with He spoke. He challenged us to spend quality time with God and listen for Him speaking to us.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 01.10.10

Week #77 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, January 10th.

- O Worship the King
- God of Wonders
- All Creatures of Our God and King
- He Is Exalted

I had the chance to have a Sunday off and was enjoying the cold, snowy lands of Northwest Ohio. One of my worship ministry members led this past Sunday. This Sunday our pastor also started a new sermon series on the book of Hebrews. Really looking forward to this series. So this post is short this week. I will be back in the office tomorrow and leading this coming Sunday, so next weeks post should be back to normal.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to Reach Your Full Potential for God by Charles Stanley

As I closed this book after finishing it, I found myself glancing over the title once again on the cover. Originally I thought this book was going to be a kind of "how-to" manual and in a way it is. However as I thought about the title again, I found myself putting it in the form of a question. Then thinking about that question, the only answer I could come up with is God. I realize that may sound cliche, but it is also the ultimate answer. Then reflecting upon the content of this book, everything we do should be based upon Him and His Word.

One thing that I really liked about this book is that we are all different, which is the way that God made us, yet even though this book is in a way a "how-to" manual, it is applicable to every single one of us. Even though God is the basis of everything we do, I can't forget the question the Lord asked of Charles Stanley at the beginning of the book, "Do you want to reach your full potential?" We are still a part of achieving that full potential. Granted what we bring to achieving that, God has already given us, but it is the gifts that we have, the desires that we have, and the goals that we have that are still pointing us to that potential. Using all these in light of God is what makes it full. The seven essentials Charles Stanley works through in this book are exactly what is needed to keep God in the center of achieving our full potential:
Essential #1. A Clean Heart
Essential #2. A Clear Mind
Essential #3. Using Your Gifts
Essential #4. A Healthy Body
Essential #5. Right Relationships
Essential #6. A Balanced Schedule
Essential #7. Taking God Approved Risks
Another thing I appreciate in this book is how he backs up what he is saying with scripture and uses examples of people and what they're going through and have learned to help illustrate again what he is talking about. God is the key in reaching our full potential. It begins and ends with Him and this book is a fantastic reminder of that.

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and the Book Review Bloggers program for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 01.03.10

Week #76 and the first of 2010 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, January 3rd.

- Open the Eyes of My Heart
- Surrender
- Sanctuary
- Healer (communion)
- I Am Yours (Take My Life)

Starting January 1 our church began a journey of 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting. This morning our pastor brought a message on the basis of prayer and fasting. We also spent some time this morning as a church praying for different ministries, leadership, staff, elders, missionaries, and other things. It was a wonderful time this morning and a great way to start off the new year. The last couple months I've allowed some special music during our communion time. We don't normally have it because we just don't have time in our service, but the first Sunday of every month is communion, so I've started slotting special music during that time. This morning my lovely wife sang Healer. We had the band play behind her and I even sang some harmony. It was wonderful to be able to minister with her in this way. I feel so blessed to have a wife who loves and enjoys music and is a part of the music/worship ministry at Bethel! Unfortunately we went way over time wise this morning so we didn't get the chance to do "I Am Yours." I chose songs that are just prayers because of our message on prayer and fasting this morning and this is a fantastic rendition of the hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be" done by Michael Neale. A fantastic way to begin the year and this message by just telling God to take our lives, moments, hands, feet, voice, lips, will, and heart and to lift our voices in praise to Him saying:
I am Yours, set apart for You
I am Yours, hungry for Your truth
Take my life, You are all I live for
I am Yours
I pray that all of you who come across this post, whether a part of Sunday Setlists or not, had a great first Sunday of 2010! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at