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Father in Heaven? 6th October, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Art, Worship.
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I enjoyed these words….

What does it mean that our Father is in heaven?

It means that there’s no one bigger than our Dad – our Dad rules

He flung the stars into speckled space

He fashioned the blazing sun and deep lagoons of cloud and cluster

He created the planets, the constellations, and the galaxies

He conceived the Milky Way, the Helix Nebula, and the Pleiades

He made bubbles and arcs, nebulae and auras

He paints supernovas in effervescent colours

And stellar jets of iridescent glory

He out-thinks the physicist

And he dazzles the theologian

He preoccupies the astronomer

And inspires the poet with abundant wonder

He is beyond the reach of the Hubble telescope

Or the probing range of any Orbiter

He is what Eistein called “The Superior Reasoning Power”

And the Bible calls “The anther of Heavenly Lights”

He is my Dad, and he is your Dad

Our Dad, who is in Heaven, the Third Heaven,

Who dwells in unapproachable light

And who will one day make his home with us, on this tiny dot that is Earth

Mark Stibbe
(I am Your Father, p119) 

Overwhelmed CD 21st June, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Music, Worship.
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I’m excited for YOU!  In just over a week…  on June 29, Jake Schwein‘s CD Overwhelmed is released to the general public.  You have to buy it!!!

I always get excited when an artist I like releases a new album, but there’s something more awesome about an artist you know personally releasing a CD having watched him pour blood, sweat, tears, and prayers into the project.

Jake Schwein (pronounced Sh-ween) is the Creative Arts pastor at Grace Chapel, my home church in Portland.  I remember the first time I ever visited Grace.  I have always been in the habit of writing down song names, lyrics, and artists whenever I heard a song that I liked, so that I could find it and use it to lead worship.  Well, this day at Grace I heard a song I love, I wrote down the key line from the chorus: “I am overwhelmed by the love of Christ” and the artist’s name (who I’d never heard of).  I went home, typed the details in google, to be lead to the Grace Chapel site where I found that Jake Schwein had been the guy leading worship.  I felt dumb.

I remember thinking, I wish I could get a recording of that song.  People will love it.  And now, a few years down the line, after a lot of time, effort, and prayers, his album is being distributed.  So jump on his site, onto iTunes, onto amazon… wherever you like to get music, and order it.  He’s made all the chord charts and lyrics available for download on his site.

Jake is an amazing guy who deeply loves Christ.  His passion for God and for revealed Christ to people is clearly seen in his songs.  My personal favorites are Overwhelmed, Body and Blood, and Stir Up and Belong (a song he wrote as he went through the process of adopting his daughter from Africa, reflecting on what it means to be adopted into the family of God).

I love this guy.  I love his heart.  I love his CD.  And I’d love it if you’d support him by buying a copy or two!

Disturb Us 2nd June, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Church, Heart, Prayer, Worship.
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We had a really great prayer night at Grace last week where we, as a body, called on God to shake us up.  After 30mins of individual contemplation there were a couple of worship songs to bring us together and to join corporately in raising our voices to God.  During that time Jake read this awesome prayer by Sir Francis Drake.  It is the kind of prayer I long to hear every Christian praying:

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Bible Crazy 12th May, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Bible, Heart, Prayer, Spirituality, Worship.
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On Monday Joe and I are heading off to camp for the week, with one goal in mind:  to read the entire Bible in one week.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but have never made the time for.  My church at home does Bible Week where the congregation take 1hr slots and they read the entire Bible aloud in the church building.  It usually takes 2-3 days.  I’ve always wondered how it would be to take a week and on my own read through the Bible in one week.

The idea is not comprehension, nor deep mediation and reflection.  It is simply about being saturated in His Word.

In our fast paced world, where we are bombarded with everyone’s version of Truth, we want to spend a week cut off from all distraction, and allow the Word to be our only focus.

We’re both excited.  The Bible.  One Week.

It’ll be tough, but it’s do-able.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

ALMOST (saved) 4th May, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Challenges, Video, Worship.
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I just watched this video and man this guy (Ezekiel Azonwu) has talent.  He’s an amazing lyricist using his gift with words to challenge complacency and lukewarmness. I don’t usually post videos but I thought this way pretty good so thought I’d get it up here.  I think I might even try and get around to transcribing it.

I suggest you watch it once and be impressed.  Then once the initial coolness is out of the way, watch it a second and third time and really pay attention to what he saying.  Prepare to be challenged.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqfU3OFNZA0

Red Moon Rising 17th March, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Books, Ministry, Mission, Prayer, Worship.
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You have to read this book!  I devoured this book a couple of weeks ago and it now resides near the top of my favourite books list.

I really enjoy how the book is written.  It follows the development of the 24-7Prayer movement, a fairly organic process.  In a join-the-dots fashion, the writer pieces together a number of events spanning several countries, demonstrating in a captivating and inspiring way, the Sovereign hand of God working in and around His people to accomplish His will.  I love that at no point do the writers try to claim credit for their work.  Instead, their humility seeps through the pages as you are swept into their astonishment at the way God was obviously working in the background creating something much bigger than they had ever imagined.

The book has a lot of wonderful things to say about the sovereignty of God and the power and primacy of prayer.  There is one line that crops up a few times that struck me at the core:

“God is mobilizing an army, but it is a broken army that marches on its knees” p162

It is Simple.
The principle is simple.  A room is set apart to be a place of prayer.  People sign up to pray for 1hr slots, passing the baton of prayer from one to the next to create a continuous cycle of prayer 24-7.  It is simply about creating space for people to practice the discipline of meeting with God, because when people meet with God nothing else can satisfy them.

“When we get our heads around God’s character, prayer, devotion, and discipleship ceases to be a technique and becomes and instinct”. p14

It is Empowering.
The amazing thing about getting people back to the basics of the Word and Prayer is that they learn to encounter God on their own.  We are guilty of spoon-feeding in the church today.  It is well-known in the education world that people are more likely to remember things they discover themselves, and that we grasp what we learn better through the process of teaching it to someone else.  Red Moon Rising shows clearly the benefit of creating space for people to encounter God on their own rather than depending on someone else’s experience.  I also love the way he demonstrates the interplay between the Word and Prayer.  The two are inseperable!  The two together are powerful…

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The Chasm: Short Version 26th February, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Books, Heart, Musings, Worship.
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I have often said that “worship flows from a thankful heart” .  It is bang in the midst of the Truth and Grace Paradox that I believe we worship most fully.

Step One: realizing the Truth…

If we see God as He really is, and ourselves as we really are, there’s only one appropriate response:  to worship Him.
(The Grace and Truth Paradox, p32)

Step Two: accepting Grace…

If I grasp that I deserve Hell, I’ll be filled with gratitude not only for God’s huge blessings [redemption through Christ’s death and resurrection]… but also for His smaller blessings… I’ll be overwhelmed with the knowledge that I have plenty else I don’t deserve.
(The Grace and Truth Paradox, p33-34 [comments added])

Step Three: merging Truth and Grace…

When we realize the Truth about the nature of God and of ourselves, and when we rest in the Grace that He bridged the infinite gap to give us what we don’t deserve, we can’t do anything else but be thankful.

It is from that thankful heart that our worship errupts.

Baptisms 23rd September, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Church, Friends, Worship.
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Once a year Grace Chapel does church out on Hunter Creek Farms: a fun day of church, food, inflatables, games, and baptisms.  This year, I got to enjoy one of the coolest moments… I got to baptize some of the people I have been investing in over the last couple of years here.  What begun as one friend asking me if I would be able to do her baptism became me getting the privilege of baptizing six of the Young Adults from Grace.

Josh: my first baptism EVER!

Holy Spirit Fire 14th May, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Blessings, Friends, Heart, Worship.
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I recently stumbled across a poem called Holy Spirit Fire and really liked it.  In fact, I copied it down into my journal and have prayed the words of them poem a few times now.  I enjoy it so much that I thought I’d post it so that you could enjoy it too:

holyspiritfire

Holy Spirit fire,
Light inside of me,
A fire burning with passion for you,
That will grow and never cease,
A light to all dark paths,
Begin the kindling,

Holy Spirit fire,
Live inside of me,
Guide me into all truth,
I will listen as you teach,
Burn away all my pride,
Let me soar upon your wings,

Holy Spirit fire,
Heal my broken heart,
Bring the perfect Fathers love,
Let all fear be cast out,
Blow this flame with your wind,
Take me where you please.

by Dustin Jovan Olson

The Starting Line 31st January, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Bible, Heart, Worship.
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starting_line

I’m pretty excited, because today I finished memorizing The Book of Romans!!!

The plan:  I’m gonna spend a couple of weeks reviewing it, and then I’m going to start memorizing 1 Peter.

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