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But sometimes I think the church has forgotten how to celebrate How to party Maybe it is because we have forgotten what Jesus has done for us. Or maybe because the stories the Bible have gotten old and we haven’t been around any new believers to remind us of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. That reminds me of what happened to a tribe in the jungles of East Asia, when missionaries showed them the Jesus film. It was a big deal when I was in Seminary and one of my friends was a missionary telling me about all that was going on with the Jesus Film. The movie was being shown as an evangelistic tool to people all over—in the desert, and in the jungles Not only had some of these people never heard of Jesus, they had never seen a motion picture. And on that one unforgettable evening, they saw it all—the gospel in their own language, visible and real. Imagine again how it felt to see this good man Jesus, who healed the sick and was adored by children, held without trial and beaten by jeering soldiers. As these East Asians watched this, the people came unglued. They stood up and began to shout at the cruel men on the screen, demanding that this outrage stop. When nothing happened, they attacked the missionary running the projector. Perhaps he was responsible for this injustice He was forced to stop the film and explain that the story wasn’t over yet, that there was more. So they settled back onto the ground, holding their emotions in tenuous check. Then came the crucifixion. Again, the people could not hold back. They began to weep and wail with such loud grief that once again the film had to be stopped. The missionary again tried to calm them, explaining that the story still wasn’t over, that there was more. So they composed themselves and sat down to see what happened next. Then came the resurrection. Pandemonium broke out this time, but for a different reason. The gathering had spontaneously erupted into a party. The noise now was of jubilation, and it was deafening. The people were dancing and slapping each other on the back. The Christ is risen, indeed Again the missionary had to shut off the projector. But this time he didn’t tell them to calm down and wait for what was next. All that was supposed to happen—in the story and in their lives—was happening. SOURCE: Ben Patterson, "Resurrection and Pandemonium," LeadershipJournal.net 4-13-04
Song writer and worship leader Graham Kendrick said, "Worship is first and foremost for His benefit, not ours, though it is marvelous to discover that in giving Him pleasure, we ourselves enter into what can become our richest and most wholesome experience in life" (Boschman, A Heart For Worship, 58).
Music is major influence for "mosaic" generation
On a recent edition of the radio program "For Faith and Family", pollster George Barna discussed the significant cultural influence music exerts on the Mosaic generation (those born between 1984 and 2002): "Music is really interesting because essentially that is the language of our culture. If you need an example of how that works just think about churches. Even in churches this is true. What is the biggest war we have in churches? It doesn’t tend to be theological. It tends to be over what style of music you’re going to use in the worship service. We’ve had all kinds of fights, but music is the way that we suggest to somebody, Hey, I understand where you’re coming from. I speak your language. This is the feel; this is the sound that constitutes who you are and what you’re about."
"One of the ways I would describe it is every generation has to have it’s own private language that people over 30 can’t penetrate. And that’s really what today’s music is doing for young people. They have icons within the culture that we don’t understand - many of whom we don’t appreciate - but they’re important to the Mosaics because it helps them to develop a life philosophy. Many of those individuals become role models for them. It helps them to identify some of their values and lifestyles. And, it also helps develop a sense of community among themselves. So it’s hugely important."
PreachingNow Newsletter, August 6, 2002
“Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God—it whets our appetite. Our need for God is not taken care of by engaging in worship—it deepens. It overflows th...
This may be an urban myth, but it’s good anyway...
The US standard railroad gauge – that’s the distance between rails – is 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches. Why such an odd number? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and American railroads were built by British expatriates – that is, people who used to live in Britain.
Well, why did the English use that particular gauge? Because the people who built the pre-railroad tramways used that gauge.
They in turn were locked into that gauge because the people who built tramways used the same standards and tools they had used for building wagons, which were on a gauge of 4 ft, 8-1/2 inches.
Why were wagons to that scale? Because with any other size, the wheels did not match the old wheel ruts on the roads.
So who built these old rutted roads?
The first long distance highways in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. The ruts were first made by Roman war chariots. Four feet, 8-1/2 inches was the width a chariot needed to be to accommodate the two rear ends of war horses.
Maybe “that’s the way it’s always been” isn’t the good reason some people believe it is. (Clark Cothern, “Leadership”, Winter 1998)
During the Middle Ages there was a popular story which circulated about Martin of Tours, the saint for whom Martin Luther was named. It was said that Satan once appeared to St Martin in the guise of the Savior himself. St. Martin was ready to fall to his feet and worship this resplendent being of glory and light. Then, suddenly, he looked up into the palms of his hands and asked, “Where are the nail prints?” Whereupon the apparition vanished.
Theologians tell a story to illustrate how Christ’s triumph presently benefits our lives: Imagine a city under siege. The enemy that surrounds they city will not let anyone or anything leave. Supplies are running low, and the citizens are fearful. But in the dark of the night, a spy sneaks through the enemy lines. He has rushed to the city to tell the people that in another place the main enemy force has been defeated; the leaders have already surrendered. The people do not need to be afraid. It is only a matter of time until the besieging troops receive the news and lay down their weapons.
Similarly, we may seem now to be surrounded by the forces of evil -- disease, injustice, oppression, death. But the enemy has actually been defeated at Calvary. Things are not the way they seem to be. It is only a matter of time until it becomes clear to all that the battle is really over.
Uncommon Decency, Richard J. Mouw, pp. 149-15
Worship & Live Longer: Researchers have concluded those who go to church regularly have reduced levels of a body chemical called interluekin-6, a protein linked to weakened immunity. Harold Koenig, M.D., of the Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and health at Duke University claims, “Social support from religious sources is greater than that from secular ones because the belief system is more durable.” (New Choices 5/00)
Jim Dunn was serving as the pastor of the First Baptist Church, and his wife, Gladys, was very friendly and welcoming to people.
One particular Sunday when the sermon seemed to go on forever, many in the congregation fell asleep.
After the service, to be sociable, she walked up to a very sleepy looking gentleman. In an attempt to revive him from his stupor, she extende...
It may be that praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value to its scarcity, as Samuel Johnson said, but most of us would prefer to err on the side of giving too much praise than too little. One who would agree was the wife of an old Vermonter named Eb. Old Eb was, like many of his breed, rather stingy with words. He said very little, and then rather grudgingly. One evening he was sitting on the front steps with his wife. The long day’s work, the good supper, and the peaceful sights and sounds of dusk must have softened him up. He took his pipe out of his mouth and said, "When I think of what you’ve meant to me all these years, Judith, sometimes it’s almost more than I can stand not to tell you."
Bits & Pieces, October, 1989, p. 8.
WHO DID YOU COME TO WORSHIP?
Henry Ward Beecher was one of the great preachers of the 19th Century. He was ill one Sunday, so a substitute pastor walked up to the pulpit as the worship service began. Seeing that Dr. Beecher would not be speaking that day, a number of people got up and headed for the door. The substitute preacher said, "All those who came to worship Dr. Beecher this morning may leave. All those who came to worship the Lord, may stay in their seats." Everyone sat back down.