What a Fragrance: Feb 27th - Mar 5th

This Week & Beyond...

Hey friends!!  How are your shoulders doing this fine day??  For those of you that were there Sunday night, thanks for coming out!  I had a great time and trust you did as well.  Lots of laughs were had and I'm still pumped about Tim's final 2 pin to beat Nyk in the first game!!  Definitely one of my highlights of the night!!  Go TIM!!!

Team night #5 is currently scheduled for March 26th but will have to change!!
Due to spring break and my being on holidays, we will either move or cancel that nights event.  Please stayed tuned for further details.

Team night #6 - April 30th
It has been my desire, for a number of months now, to have a night of worship in a loft of some sorts.  Arrangements are currently being made to make this a reality.  Please mark your calendars and join me in praying for this night.  If you have any thoughts and/or questions, please let me know!

Devotional...

What a Fragrance
by Luane Guyton, St. Louis, Missouri

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

Open the door to a house of a good cook, and you'll smell wonderful aromas! You may not realize it, but the reason you can smell all those fragrances is because of diffusion.

During the summer, you'll find fresh vegetables and a variety of herbs growing in my small garden. Many times you'll find them filling my kitchen with wonderful aromas -- at least that's the goal!

Herbs are funny things. They aren't eaten by themselves. No one ever has a bowl of basil for lunch or a handful of rosemary for a snack. Herbs were created to be mixed with (stirred, sprinkled, rubbed into) other foods. That's when they shine. In fact, herbs are most potent when they are crushed. One of the easiest ways to identify an herb is to rub it between your fingers. The fragrance quickly reveals its identity.

As a cook and a gardener, I find it fascinating that God says He diffuses the fragrance of Christ through us. But it begs the question, How does He do that? Let me try to explain.

Serving in a worship ministry is not a solo gig. It is a team effort. We come together to create a musical offering to God, to lead others into His presence, ultimately, to bring Him honor and glory. We bring our individual parts and mix them together to honor Christ. We have lots of fun together. We work hard to make things sound great. Often there are amazing times of worship.

What happens, though, when things are far from fun? What happens when harmonies don't lock, beats are loose, and notes are sour? What happens when "great" or "amazing" are definitely not the words to describe what just occurred? What happens when personalities clash, when ideas are at odds, when expectations aren't met? Even worse what happens when words hurt?

The Apostle Paul was involved in lots of difficult and even hurtful situations. He wrote 2 Corinthians in response to one. In chapter two, he uses words like "grieved," "sorrow," and "distress." He describes a previous interaction as "painful."

Have you ever found yourself there, in a painful situation? I know I have. I didn't want to be there. I certainly didn't set out to go there, but somehow I ended up there just the same. Maybe you can relate.

So what do we do? Perhaps Paul can give us some advice. Let's go back to 2 Corinthians. People have been hurt, Paul is grieved, and there's lots of stress. He acknowledges it and then he says this, "Reaffirm your love..."

What? Wait a minute. Back up. Shouldn't we first get to the root issue and correct the problem? Shouldn't we get everyone on the same page?

Actually, those are good thoughts. In fact, if you read through the rest of 2 Corinthians, you'll find Paul doing some of them. However, it's not the first thing he does. First he reminds people of his love for them, (vs 4) and then urges them to love each other (vs 8). So regardless of whether you were the one hurt or the one who caused the hurt (and be honest, we've all been both places), the first step is to love.

So think about it like this: Could our messes be opportunities to diffuse the fragrance of Jesus? Absolutely! Maybe how we respond will reveal the beauty of Christ through us. Perhaps God will even use it to capture the attention of the world.

Aren't you glad that Jesus didn't say, "People will know you are my disciple if you never rub each other the wrong way"? Who could ever live up to that? Instead, He said we'd be known as His if we love one another. When we do that, we are diffusing the fragrance of Christ. Maybe the most beautiful sound we can make as a worship team is not musical at all, but the sound of forgiveness and love.

GOING DEEPER: 
1.If those of us in the worship ministry loved one another even when things don't go well, how might that affect the congregation?
2. What can we do to reaffirm our love for one another within the worship ministry?
3. Is there someone that you need God's help to love? Take a moment to pray for God's help.