Interview::Theology and Practice of Worship

Here is a great interview of Bob Kauflin with the Desiring God guys on the Theology and Practice of Worship. If you have a few minutes it is well worth the time to watch the interview.  I have been preaching on worship for the last month or so and opened up our Christmas series talking about worship as well. It has been said that “worship is the activity of the human soul.” Everybody worships…the question is not “do we worship?,” but it is “what or whom is the object of that worship?.” We have found ourselves in the American Church with a real problem because we have placed an extremely high value on form and not so much on the theology and “God” behind the worship. We have these crazy things called “worship wars” that should never happen in the Church of Jesus Christ. We fight over the style of the worship, the dress of those leading, the instrumentation of the worship…all the while, the object of the worship is robbed of His deserved glory. I believe that there is always going to be a battle going on for our allegiance in worship. The Bible is pretty clear that (1) we have an enemy; and (2) he is battling hard to get the allegiance and affection that Christ deserves away from Christ and to any other thing that we might worship. The enemy is working overtime to get us distracted from the True object of worship–Jesus. We have had several really good conversations and discussions about worship here in this local body on Sunday nights following the messages, which is so good to see. We need to have honest discussions about worship in “spirit and truth.” One of our senior adults said it so well last night and basically quoted Paul in 1 Cor. 10:31 in our discussion. He said, “when you get up in the morning and have a drink of water…that is worship. When you go to your job…that is worship. When you have time with your family…that is worship.” Amazing time last night! Paul couldn’t have said it better himself!

    So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)


Sunday Sum Up and Monday is for Missions

Wow, what an awesome day at FP Carthage on Mother’s Day 2010!? We had two great services with two baptisms and four baby/child dedications.? Very cool stuff, indeed.? One of the baptisms was unplanned…the second in about a month.? We had another spur of the moment baptism on Easter Sunday and another yesterday! I think it is really cool to see God moving in the hearts of people so strongly that they disregard their own personal plans for the day, “what will people think of me,” etc., and simply respond to the moving of the Spirit of God.? Reminds me of a group of men that Jesus called out to be his first disciples early on in his ministry. The Bible talks of their reckless abandonment in Matthew 4:18-22

The Calling of the First Disciples

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him.

21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Monday is for Missions. . .

I have talked previously about my friend from high school, Matt, that is works for Convoy of Hope in Springfield, MO.? He is currently in Haiti on a exploratory trip for his Convoy of Hope interns going to serve later this summer in July.? Check out this video of him talking about the “capital C” Church “getting it done” in Haiti after the devastating earthquake this spring.

Forest Park is also going to Haiti this summer. Check out more info. here on our website. You can also email our missions pastor, Brock Cummins-[email protected] for more information about our missions trips this year.

Monday is for Missions…and mudpies

Wow, what an awesome day at Forest Park Carthage yesterday! ?We had a ton of new faces at both of our services. ?We also got a ton of people signed up for LifeGroups! Exciting things are happening here in Carthage!

Monday is for Missions…

  • Keep praying for Haiti. ?FP has had over 60 people interested in going on relief trips to Haiti. ?We have raised well over $1000 to go to Haiti.
  • FP has a group in Kenya this week. ?Pray for them as they minister in His name at the Mattaw Children’s Village
  • We just had a group get back from Fort Worth, TX yesterday that were working in the inner city with a church downtown.

Too good of a post to pass up on this Monday afternoon…Enjoy! ?This is from Matt Wilkie’s blog this week. ?Powerful!!

A few months?ago, I got my own?Haitian mudpie. It sits on my desk. This gift from our Haiti director,Kevin Rose, has reminded me to pray for the poorest people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


On Tuesday, like every other ?normal? day in Haiti, people in the poorest areas of?the country?were eating these for lunch. Some ate them for breakfast that morning and dinner the night before as well. They?re made of dried yellow dirt, vegetable oil and salt.

I?m going to type that again?they?re made of dried yellow dirt, vegetable oil and salt. They?re real mudpies. People eat them.

Then an earthquake hit.

I?m still processing things?but I for now, I wanted to mention the mudpies.

around the world with Jesus ? Blog Archive ? Mudpies for lunch Tuesday, and then?.

Just Another Manic Monday . . . and Tuesday . . . and . . .

Go ahead and sing along the old Bangles song with me!? Don’t you just love the 80s?? They don’t make cheesy goodness like that anymore!? Who knew that Prince, or “The Artist formerly know as,” or simply “The Artist” wrote that gem of a song?

Ok, to the heart of the post . . . It seems as though I am really, really busy, but I can’t seem to get ANYTHING done!? Do you ever feel that way?? We had a great staff meeting yesterday morning, but the day seemed to get away and before I knew it, it was time for Life Group at our house.

We had an AWESOME Life Group.? I absolutely love hanging out with our new found friends and study the Bible and hang out together!? We are really starting to gel and “click,” which is really cool.? We are studying “Discovering God’s Will”–an Andy Stanley/Northpoint study.? Man, what a great study so far.? Some highlight statements that really spoke to me from this week:

“The problem with knowing God’s will is not God’s unwillingness to speak; the problem is our unwillingness to follow through. Discovering God’s Will by Andy Stanley & Reggie Joiner, 21

“God does not give us direction for our consideration; He gives us His direction for participation.”

“God is more interested in your discovering Him than His will.”

“In the process of trying to know His will, we get to know Him.”

The message was built around Proverbs 3:5-6–

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

I think this verse is very appropriate for my Tuesday that I had today . . .

Have you ever noticed how we seem to tell God “how it’s going to be?”? You know the deal.? We basically expect God to get on board with what we are doing.? When He does something we don’t want, weren’t expecting, or makes us uncomfortable; and we get all bent out of shape.? We tend to work harder, plan more thoroughly…work YOUR plan and ask God to bless YOUR plans.

God doesn’t work that way!? He wants us to wait on Him.? He wants more than anything a relationship with us that is real and personal.? He wants us to be so close to Him, that of course we would know what to do in order to do His will.

I am learning that the more plans I put together, the more they will not go so hot.? When I seek God and work on my relationship with Him, then I set to planning. . . that is when the my plans will become His plans.? When I am so atuned to His heart, that His heart becomes mine.

When things are seeming to “go your way.”? Maybe it is a perspective change?? Maybe it is a change in who is making the plans.? As Experiencing God says, “God is always at work around you.”? You need to find out what He is doing and do it.

Never Give Up in Doing Good . . .

I have really had several encouraging moments over the last week or so that have really made me rethink Paul’s words in Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

First off, I went to my new dentist here in Carthage and one of the dental hygentists is a daughter of a fellow pastor way back when (’95) , when Jenny and I were in Pryor, OK.? Her father is a great man and served in the Methodist Church in both Pryor and Locust Grove (where I was serving).? The work in Locust Grove was especially challenging, but he was always faithful to the call of God on his life.? I learned a lot from him in a very short time.

Then, later on that evening, I got a Facebook message from a former student in my youth group.? He was recalling a particular message I preached on a Wednesday night a LONG time ago that was still impacting his life!? What??? He talked about a simple phrase has stuck with him all these years and has helped him finally deal with some “junk” in his life and actually let some other people in the body of Christ to help him along in the journey!? At this point, I’m feeling really pumped about what God has done through me.? It gets better. . .

This Saturday night, I was studying for the next morning . . . looking over service, message, etc.? I had my email inbox open and got a latenight message from another “blast from the past.”? It was from a young lady that was in my youth ministry in Burleson, TX while I was in seminary.? She had been thinking about me and looked me up on the internet and found the Finley Crossings website and eventually this blog.? While she was looking at the CFC website, she downloaded a podcast–happened to be my last message at Finley before moving to Forest Park Carthage.? As she and her husband were sitting in their kitchen listening to the podcast, they made a decision to find a church in their city and really follow the call of God on their life–AWESOME STUFF!? So now I am really thinking that God is amazing and what am I mopeing around about, right??? It gets even better–last night . . .

I took Dinwiddie with me to Hopedale Baptist Church in Ozark, where I was a student pastor starting in ’99 after seminary.? We went to hear Aaron Hill give his first sermon ever.? Pretty stinking cool!? Aaron? was a 7th-8th grader when I left to plant Finley Crossings.? He was always one of “those kids” that you know God was going to do an amazing work through–you know the kid.? I am really good friends with his dad, John, who’s blog is linked over in the right margin.? Jenny and I have been worship pastors at their (HBC) children’s camps for about 5 or 6 years now and have gotten the opportunity to spend some quality time with Aaron in a cabin with a bunch of crazy elementary kids!!? I have always thought God was going to “do something” with Aaron. . . and I think he deep down thought the same thing.? It was really great!? He did an awesome job!? Brought back a ton of memories of student ministry at Hopedale as well as my “first sermon.”

I remember my first sermon in January of 1994 at FBC-Springfield at “College Night at Christmas.”? I gave the message and several of my other buddies did the other parts of the service.? It was a real nerve-wracking experience to say the least!? I was really nervous . . . in a suit and tie . . . had microphone feedback issues . . . and forgot (are you ready for this)–John 3:16.? I think they probably should have pulled my license at that point for sure!!

Again, I am reminded of Paul’s words of “never give up in doing good.”? Even thought things don’t always “go your way” or turn out the way you might want them to turn out . . . never give up.? Life and ministry are difficult and Paul was encouraging the early church to keep pressing on and hope for the harvest.? I am so thankful that the Lord has called me to do what I do and really thankful for His encouragement this week!? Thank you God!

Wow, what a weekend!

We have had a crazy busy and productive weekend so far!? Tucker and Jenny went to Springfield on Friday so Jenny could do an inservice training for the Elementary music teachers in Springfield Public Schools–she’s so stinking talented and smart it’s pretty amazing she hangs out with a schmuck like me!! While they were gone, I took the opportunity to fix the brakes on my car that were about 3 weeks overdue and the rotors showed!? Thanks to my friend Devin Bobbett for helping me change my first set of brakes probably about 7 years ago.? I have always tried to repair them since then after I found out how “easy” it is.? There is always something that goes wrong when I try to do anything it seems.? This time, I stripped out some screws and had to go get some screw extrators from the store to finally get the brakes repaired.? Of course, I had to put the old brakes back on, go to O’Reilly’s and then come back and finish them.? I finally got them fixed at about midnight last night. Henry (our new puggle) and I went to pick up Taylor after school and decided to go to the pet store to get some stuff for the dog.? The pet store has another puggle for sale and the girl was really pushing hard for us to get another to keep Henry company.? Funny thing happens–Henry poops right in the store–while Taylor is supposed to be watching him on the leash!? I told the girl, “see I’ve got one that poops all over the place, I don’t need another!” Jenny and Tucker got home and we went to eat at the Ranch House.? We walked in and saw our good friend Kent Doyle and the Ozark High School varsity girls softball team that was in a tournament here in Carthage.? It was awesome getting to hang out with him for a bit.? Sweet people!? Taylor got to talk to Kaleb on the phone and Morgan got to talk to Jenny.? Pretty cool deal for everyone. Had our first CONVERGE this morning.? It went pretty well.? The next CONVERGE will be in January.? I am really excited about what God is going to do this fall through Forest Park Carthage! Went to Crosswalk tonight to hear John’s message “Dirty Jerseys.”? We are starting a spiritual growth campaign tomorrow called Generations.? It was an awesome message and I am really excited to see the response from our people tomorrow morning.? We have the potential to really reach a TON of people for Christ in the next decade or so through this campaign. The key verse is, “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.” Psalm 102:18.? Stratton, McBride and I went out on Thursday and shot some videos for our children’s ministry classes.? It was a lot of fun!? The best part is related to this verse. . . we have an opportunity in this campaign to reach people of the future generations by our faithfulness to get involved with God in this generation!? I am excited that we are helping Taylor and Tucker’s generation to have a great facility here in Carthage.? My hope and prayer is that they will in turn, because of our example, build His Church for their future generations!? I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through this campaign!? Fasten your seatbelts.

Monday is for Missions & Multisite

Here are the pictures I said would be awesome if we had any!? I absolutely love what God is doing through this concept of multisite!? We had 366 people and the 2nd service was PACKED!!? That is the highest attendance we have had since the launch or Easter 2008–on a non holiday weekend!!

Enjoy from Stratton’s iPhone . . .

Monday Night Reflections

  • Mythbusters was AWESOME!!! It is really great to be a part of a church that is willing to be creative to share the Gospel with a hurting world.? Yesterday’s message was one of the clearest Gospel presentations I have heard in a long, long time.? I am really excited about this series at Forest Park!
  • We had a really good staff meeting this morning!? Our staff is really coming together as a team and I am pumped about this group of people!
  • We have a new staff member coming on board September 2nd!!? I am TOTALLY pumped about that deal!!? I will save that for a post of its own an announcement of that magnitude!
  • We had over 300 people at church yesterday!!? WOW!? There were a TON of kiddos running around.? I love that!
  • I am praying for some dear friends that lost a baby last weekend.? Jenny and I lost a baby in between Taylor and Tucker.? We really feel for them in this time of grief, anger, helplessness.
  • I am praying for Ronnie Sanders dad.? He is having open heart surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6:00 a.m.
  • Tucker goes to the doctor tomorrow.? Hopefully he will be released completely from the doctor and won’t have to wear that silly brace anymore.
  • I thought I put on the belts correctly on our new (to us) lawn mower on Saturday.? Boy, was I wrong.? I wondered what that smell of burning rubber was on Saturday!
  • The boys finally got to jump into the pool this evening–bugs and nastiness included.? It is really not that bad, mom!? WAY BETTER than the pea green nastiness that I started with!? Just in time to winterize the thing!
  • Wow, Michelle Obama is a great communicator.? That is difficult to do that and pull it off.? Two very talented communicators in that family.? No matter your politics, that was an amazing speech.
  • The Olympics just called–they said I can have my life back until the Winter Games!

Monday Morning Reflections

kidstuf916.jpgWe had an awesome Sunday yesterday as we had our first KidStuf! It went really well and I think it did all that we wanted it to do and more! We really just wanted it to be a “promo” for our church family to see first hand what it was about and invite people to the next KidStuf. We had a really great crowd about 120 people in the sanctuary, not including those in the nursery! We were talking this morning, I think we are going to have some space issues on October 7th!! What a great problem to have!

All of the actors, hosts, dancers, singers, and kids did an awesome job! I can’t be more proud of the production!!

  • The set looked awesome! Margaret Dollarhite did an excellent job cutting and sewing yards and yards of black fabric for the curtain!!
  • Patrick Chandler and Jim Price helped us frame in the door! Great job guys!
  • Eric and Kris did an awesome job in hanging the curtain and signs.
  • Josh Harrold did a great job running the computer. He came for the tech rehearsal on Thursday night to “watch” and learn for next time! But because of some schedule problems, he needed to do it on Sunday morning!! He did an awesome job in such a short amount of time. The learning curve is quite steep on that stuff and he did a great job.
  • The drama was excellent!! Chris Jones, Mark Wofford, and Kalynn McMurray did their best presentation yet! I was so proud of them!
  • Chris Hatley has grown so much in the past 3-4 years since they have been here at CFC! I was teary when Kenzie was so proud of her daddy! Chris, you did such a great job teaching us the Bible!! Awesome!!
  • Jenny had the singers ready to go–Great job Wes, Jill, Becky, and Jenny. It sounded like the background vocals on a professional CD! I got “ants in my pants” just thinking about it!!
  • Kim Scott and the dancers have worked so hard and it showed! The routines were awesome!! Great job Schawo, Eric, Tracy, Tabby, and Katy (and Wes on one song).
  • It is always great to see people laughing and enjoying being at church of all places. I know that God smiles when His people are telling others about His Son–and having a great time in the process!

A huge thanks to EVERYONE who had a part in making this first KidStuf a HUGE success! I know I am forgetting some people, but I am so proud of EVERYONE! You will want to see next month’s production–it is going to be “off the hook” as the kids say!

One tease . . . Gordo returns to make his actual KidStuf debute! Get your pocket protectors ready and invite your friends and family to the next KidStuf, October 7th!

Monday Evening Catch-up

I intended to get around to this a whole lot earlier, like last Monday, but here’s what’s been going on lately.

  • Taylor headed to 1st grade on Thursday! Wow, I am feeling quite old now! He had a great time. (He didn’t want to go this morning, but didn’t want to leave this afternoon–go figure.)sunday-best.jpg
  • The ol’ alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is back in the embarrassing news–again. There was a segment on the Today Show on Friday telling about the new “homemaker” degree Paige and Dorothy Patterson instituted. Fellas–need not apply. Unbelievable. And we wonder why people don’t want to come to our churches anymore. Just google “Southwestern homemaker” and look at all of the blog discussions. A really funny post on the degree program here (ladies need not apply for this one). Someone needs to get the idea that it isn’t 1955 like this picture. . .
  • The cable internet is in at the church!! It is WAY faster than the poor DSL. The manager/installer of the contracting company was an awesome guy that really displayed some great customer service after the mother company dropped the ball big-time! Thanks Jason!
  • We gave out journals to everyone this Sunday! I am really excited to see what can happen in our entire church family decides to get on board with God and meet with Him daily to have devotions!!
  • The band was really awesome on Sunday! Great time of worship!
  • KidStuf is really looking great! I’m in on anything with a “dance team”(Kris Schawo included) and a “comedic host.” September 16th is going to be AWESOME!!
  • It was really great to see everyone having a great time hanging out before and after church . . . reminds me of the “old days.”
  • I think I have some guests coming on Sunday!! I am really excited to see them at CFC! They are perfect people for our church–unchurched and overchurched!