Sermon Enhancer: A young student once asked Ravi Zacharias if one form of worship was better than another. Ravi was quick to say we need to honor the memories of those who love the old hymns, but embrace hymns of the new culture. Different cultures through the ages and geographical regions around the world have celebrated many different forms of indigenous worship. As God has created many people there are many forms of worship. None are higher or lower than another, just different. But in the end I believe that God loves to see His children worship in many diverse and unique ways. As we continue our series 'For He is Worthy', we are digging into the Scripture to see how the earliest people of God, the Hebrews, worshipped. There are seven different words for 'praise' in Hebrew. We started with Yadah, to worship with extended hands. The second was Halal, from which we get the word 'Halelujah', which means to praise God. The third was Zamar, which rhymes with 'guitar' and means to worship by plucking the strings. This week we'll learn the word, 'Towdah'. 'Towdah' (pronounced 'tow - dah'), is derived from the same word we get 'Yadah' which means to praise God with extended hands but adds an element of expectancy. Many times we praise God for things not yet received. We who have the hope of Heaven long for something we believe to be coming but have not taken ahold of yet. Our passage this week comes from Psalms 42:1-11. It's one of my favorite Psalms because of the depth of emotion. Like our psalm of David last week, the psalmist is going through a very difficult time and in the midst of his sorrow he calls out for God. Sometimes I think we fail to worship because we have been blessed so much. As the psalmist begins he describes his longing for God 'as the deer' who pants for water. In verse seven he says 'Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls'. Starting with praise the emotion plunges into the depth of despair. He effectively gives himself a 'pep' talk and rises from the depth of despair to back to new heights of assurance and impending salvation because God is the 'rock' on whom we can rely and the One who is worthy of our 'praise'/'Towdah', for what He has done, for what He is doing, and for what He will do in the future. May we all find strength and 'Towdah' for our promised future in which we place our hope. God bless you all and thanks for being a part of our church!
Sermon Enhancer: This week we continue our studies of the Hebrew words for praise. I want to thank you for your patience as we go through this series. I realize this study is challenging for many people who have a long standing cultural understanding of worship. It's exactly why we need to do this study. Could it be that we are missing out on a fuller understanding and expression of our praise for God? While I don't expect everyone to be able to recite each Hebrew word, if we move the needle closer to being open to the true variety of ways to praise God it will be a success. Many of the unchurched are not attending because they 'don't get anything out of it'. Well..., brother, sister, kindly, it's about our need to worship the God who has done everything for us. Worship is not something we get, it's something we give. We gather weekly to celebrate and give God the praise! This week's word is 'Zamar' (Za-mar). Zamar means to praise God with music and song, with an emphasis of musical instruments, 'praising with strings'. Due to our Talent Show and Dance recital, the stage will have to be cleared, so in the contemporary services we literally will be worshipping with strings (guitars). Our passage comes from Psalm 144:1-10. Please read ahead and be ready for a great weekend of worship!
Sermon Enhancer Plus This week we'll begin a new series on 'Praise'. We are called to be the people of praise. Often, people who speak English wonder why it's important to understand the Bible in the original languages. Sometimes our language doesn't capture the full understanding. Case in point, many of the words in our English bible are translated as 'praise'. In Hebrew there are seven different words that describe different ways of loving God. NT Wright suggestions that we, the church, should follow up Lent with a Season of Praise. So, over the next few weeks we'll be learning many of the Hebrew words, and maybe even opening up a greater understanding of how we can bring 'praise' to the Lord. Our Bible passage for this week will be from Psalm 63:1-5. Please read ahead and be ready to praise our God! God bless you all and look forward to worshiping with you this weekend.
Sermon Enhancer Plus: This week is a little different. Pastor GH will be preaching on the 'Indwelling of Christ' from Colossians 1:15-17. Cherie Gamble will be filling in for me as we visit family in GA this weekend. Cherie is one of our trained Lay Servants and always does a great job. Her message, 'The Two Journeys,' will come from Philemon 1:8-21. Please read ahead and be ready for a great weekend of worship. We had a number of visitors last weekend so please be on the lookout for any returning visitors and welcome them warmly.
Sermon Enhancer: Have you ever had a 'power tool' that lacked power? I was working on my computer the other night. I'd gotten the warning that the battery was wearing down. I bent down, plugged in the power cord, but within a few minutes the screen went blank. I kept pushing the power button but nothing happened. I looked down and realized the cord was unplugged. No power! As we approach Easter, we remember there was a huge problem for many of the Jews. Through Abraham, God had called them to be a 'light into this world.' For 2,000 years they worshipped God, and looked forward to the coming of a Messiah. Scholars estimated that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies of the Messiah, and still, many of them couldn't 'see.' The major problem for first century Jews, and for many 'Christians' today is not what they had, but what was missing... power. Many have tried 'religion' and have found it 'tired,' 'boring,' 'lifeless.' True faith doesn't come from the outside in, it comes from the inside out. In our passage this weekend, we'll celebrate His Resurrection, but look for His response to His disciples that made all the difference for them, and for us today. Please read Luke 24:36-49 as we look for the 'Power for a Change'.. God bless you all. I look forward to worshipping with you on the holiest, and most joyful day of the year! Please, invite someone new. Come early, be kind to anyone in 'your seat.' Let's show the love of Christ as we gather and celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.