Silent Night: Aug 29th - Sept 4th

This Week & Beyond...

Hey everyone, happy last week of August!  Just wanted to wish you all a great long weekend as summer draws closer to a close.  If you're a teacher, well, that has a few more implications than the rest of us.  You inherit more children, whilst the rest of us, see ours disappear for hours each day.  I'll let you all decide how great this is or isnt! :)

But seriously, I trust you all had a fabulous couple months.  I'm excited for the year to kick off and am looking forward to new things!

Couple things to think about...

1. We introduced a new song last Sunday called "All to Him".  If you were not here, a great idea would be to click the following link and become familiar with it.  You may just find yourself asked to play it at some time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpmrwZB8GHQ

2. If it comes to mind, say a prayer or two for the team and congregation this week.  It's so easy to focus on disappointments and things we "wish" would happen on Sunday mornings.  Let's lift up the church!!  The Lord loves us and strongly desires to meet with up powerfully!!

3. Thanks for filling out the survey!  They have been rolling in now and I so appreciate the feedback.

4. Have you responded to me as to your involvement this year?? :)

That's it!!  If you have any thoughts or comments, there's a place to do so at the end of this blog!

Blessings!!
Gregory

Devotional...

Silent Night
by Karen Morerod, Kansas City, Kansas  

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)

I heaved twelve pounds of frozen hamburger patties into my car. It was my turn to cook for a church meeting. On the drive home, my mind raced about the upcoming week. There were two big church events I was helping plan and several others I would be attending. The unfinished details swirled in my mind as I dodged rush hour traffic on the interstate. When would I get it all done?

Why is there so much traffic, I murmured, as my shoulders tensed and hands gripped the steering wheel. I knew it wasn't just the traffic that had me on edge. Thinking of all I needed to do made my stress soar to levels off the Richter scale. I felt my nerves beginning to get the best of me.

My youngest son was in the car next to me. He had put on a CD -- Christmas music, no less! It didn't matter that it was March. He had always been an equal opportunity music consumer. And his latest craze was a Christmas CD.

Suddenly, the mellow words caught my attention: "Silent night, Holy night, all is calm..."

Calm? I thought. Not in my world! My brash thoughts caught me off guard -- so off guard they must have been a wake-up call of my need to re-focus.

Think about the words, Karen, and what they mean. Soon I found myself engrossed in the smooth, melodious music as well as the words. I pictured the quiet night in the stable in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. I could see Mary cradling Him while the stars twinkled above. And I started pondering on the miracle of the birth, what Jesus did here on earth for me (and the rest of the world!), and how blessed I should be that He brought peace to this chaotic world.

It was almost uncanny how my spirit calmed, those anxious thoughts settled -- and my grip on the steering wheel relaxed. Even the cars zipping by didn't seem so important now!

That's one of the things music can do. Oh, it's not all about feelings and emotions; although it appears God did give us those for a reason. Instead, it's about how music can help focus our attention on the eternal One thing that really matters -- God.

Many people come to a worship service weighed down, stressed out and sorrowful with more serious concerns than cooking hamburgers. Maybe it's employment or financial concerns, family disharmony, or relational dysfunctions. Musicians, praise teams and leaders have the privilege of aiding in the process of re-directing peoples' focus and sharing the good news, through music, that God loves and cares about them. As the Holy Spirit draws their spirits to Him, the musicians simply flesh out what is happening in the spiritual realm.

As I've been a participant in the congregation, I've been so grateful for those who put their talents together, and collectively speak into my life with their talents and service in music. Many Sundays my heart has done an about-face as I join with the Body of Christ in worshipful celebration.

Our Scripture verse today says we should use our gifts to serve others. I encourage you today to use your musical gifts to help your brothers and sisters in Christ to focus on God. I'm confident that the Lord would commend and bless those who actively, authentically direct His children's thoughts and hearts toward the Father.  

GOING DEEPER:

1. Have you thought about your role in the worship ministry as one of a steward? How should such thinking affect how you approach that role?

2. The writer said that musicians help to "flesh out what is happening in the spiritual realm." How should that sort of thinking affect what we do and how we do it?