Category Archives: Church and Worship

House Church and seeking…

We have been in a quandary at our house church…

We want to be lights to our community, to grow, to deepen, to meet with God alone and together in a powerful and dynamic way… but its not really happeing in the way we think it should be happening. If that is just our perspective and not God’s timing… hey that is fine. BUT if something is missing, or we are wrong somehow, we want to know it!!!

Continue here…

Worship Gathering – Wrath of God

I laugh sadly sometimes, when I hear people talk about the emerging church movement and accuse it / us of not sticking to God’s word, watering down truth, only tickling people’s ears and giving them the feel good Gospel… Because it has always been so DIFFERENT for us.

We have started through Romans in our worship gatherings on Sunday evenings. It has been INCREDIBLE. MJ (pastor) made a New Years Resolution that he would not teach / give a message or sermon to Souljourn unless he believed it was specifically a word of God FOR Souljourn… in other words, he wouldn’t get up and gab about the passage, Truth as it may be, unless he felt GOD gave it to him for THIS church body at THIS time. (no word = lots of music and reading of Scripture, open sharing, whatever) yeah. I over explained that, sorry!

This last week’s sermon… Romans 1: 24-32… God’s wrath… (our 2nd week on this!) Mmmm… you might think this was a depressing sad scary week. NOT SO! Because if you look at Romans 1 in context, you realize, firstly, that God’s wrath is NOT what we think of as wrath (angry man cut off in traffic, revenge, etc.) God’s wrath is (3x it says this) giving us over to our sinful nature and depraved minds… it is God leaving us alone. Taking His hand off us.

Its VERY good to read Scripture in context… 🙂 you know, hear ALL of God’s conversation with us!! From 2 Sundays ago, check this out… if you throw some questions into the text, see how Paul answers them…15 "So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. why in Rome? For I am not ashamed of the gospel why? for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (us) why to everyone who believes? For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written "but the righteous man shall live by faith" why is righteousness needed to live by faith? For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, how do we know? because that which is known about God is evident within them; why? for God made it evident to them how can it be made plain? for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse, why the wrath? for even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. and what resulted? professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of the corruptible man and of birds… (IDOLS)

as a result of their/ our idolotry they / we sin…

therefore God gave them over… v24 – end.

MERCY MERCY MERCY – it is SO SO good, and God just washed us with it Sunday night. In light of our depravity, and God’s mercy in accepting our repentance, how can we NOT desire changed hearts… and God’s mercy includes not only life everlasting in heaven, free from sin anywhere! But included is a life of joy and freedom from the BONDAGE of sin HERE!!! by-by slavery to sin…hello slavery to Christ! Its a great place to serve… in my mercy clothes.

pros and cons of house church…

having been a part of a house church and hosted a house church for 3 years now, I thought this was a rather accurate list of pros and cons… I can’t get the image to upload… since I don’t know what I’m doing!! but I’ll list them.  I found them on tallskinnykiwi’s blog

The Cool and the Lame about House Church
                cool                         lame
1. seating         armchairs and couches         no back pew to hide one
2. bathroom     always close                       everyone notices
3. Music          if there’s a DJ                   if its an attempt at Kum-By-Ya
4. no sermon    teaching is interactive         if you’re a preacher
5. DIY potential  anyone can do it                  if you want to be a paid professional
6. Size            small is intimate                  bad for babe scouting
7. Cuisine        bring on the love feast         no potlucks in the church hall
8. Movement    room floating encouraged     expect to be interrupted by the dog
9. Security      less likely a bomb target     who took my CD’s?
10. Speed        it could happen tonight        it could happen tonight at your house

I related to a lot of those… in fact they made Bryan and I laugh.  We love our house church, we love having it in our own home (especially when its 10 below 0!), I love the things there are to love about it.  BUT there are those times you’d like to skip church, or you get tired of cooking, or you change your mind about being a hospitable person but there you are.  Where God put you and you willingly went.  Serving where you are needed.  and you realize there are pros and cons no matter where you are!!

some new music

Since my husband got me an iPOD for Christmas… I only just figured out what the heck they were!!

I have been downloading itunes… just a few…

A new favorite artist from IHOP Misty Edwards… I downloaded a whole album!! I usually only do a couple of songs so that is a splurge for me!! I am really enjoying her vulnerable lyrics.  I hope to bring some of them into our worship servicel

Also new for our band this upcoming month:

Shane and Shane’s Be Near and Yearn… (amazing)

David Crowder No One Like You

Charlie Hall   Marvelous LIght

Passion Majesty

Does anyone have some suggestions of some favorites your church does, or just some favorites??? I am always interested in hearing how God speaks through musicians to different people!!

Christmas Eve Service

Doing Christmas Eve services is rather new for Bryan and i… this will be our 3rd year… ok we have only been married like 9ish Christmases… but STILL!

I like it though.  We used to collect special foods all years (mustards, sauces, chocolates, things like that) from our travels or occassions… then Christmas Eve we would get them all out, buy a few more fun things, like shrimp, water crackers, some port or wine, and have a fun snacky dinner with the Christmas lights, Christmas music, and the Nativity Story… and then we started inviting people to our little celebration… and NOW… we do a Christmas Eve Service with Souljourn. 🙂

This year, it is in our home… candles, the fireplace lit, music, communion, prayer… it will be a lovely celebration of Christ’s coming for which we have been preparing the month of December.

Although, in regards to the candles, I did have to insist to our pastor that we NOT use the taper candles  with the little cardboardy things around them… I mean sure I’d love new carpet… and a couch… but I’m pretty sure Souljourn can’t pay for them, and we definitely can’t!! I’m picture children / old and young! tripping, tipping, wax everywhere… aagh!!

So we will have tealights in little votive holders… it should work just as nicely, I think.

Last year we met around a dumpster by a one hour motel… being as there was "no room" inside!  It was a very special night – if COLD!!   Plus my parents were here to celebrate with us!

Have a lovely Christmas weekend…

Advent – Week 1

I have so enjoyed being a part of the planning team for our worship services and learning what advent is all about.

Before we became part of this church startup I had never hardly heard of it… That may not be entirely true.  It is possible I just wasn't listening!!

Anyway, the last few years it has become a more and more precious time for me, and our family as we look forward and hope expectantly together.

This year our church is trying out some liturgical formats and utilizing some wonderful resources to help us plan our services.  We are reading a different creed together each week, lots of Scripture of course, some responsive reading, a big emphasis on communion, and just a few songs, chosen specifically to help us look forward…

Last week, we sang O Come O Come Emmanuel, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (both of which we will sing each Sunday until Christmas Eve) and Better Is One Day… we talked much about waiting, and that we wait with expectation and hope… preparing our hearts…

The most BEAUTIFUL part of the service for me was after the teaching and saying the Nicene Creed together, we CELEBRATED the Eucharist (communion)

We had a beautiful table set up downw the front with the advent candle and wreath, and two low tables with candles, the cup and matzah bread to break and dip in the cup.  The tables were low enough for us to kneel at, and the picture on the screen was a beautiful staine glass window…

This created the most poignant scene of Christ worshippers, kneeling in submission and adoration, receiving communion, a united body… WOW it was awesome!! That ministered more to me than anything else that night!!

Worship Gathering October 22

The worship gathering this week was kind of fun!!  the parable was the 10 virgins, 5 prepared, and the 5 unprepared… we set the room up to be the SUGGESTION of a wedding… which was pretty neat!!

We sang some great songs, had the teaching, sang some more, read some great Scriptures!! on us being the bride of Christ, sang one of my favorite songs ever “We Will Dance” – I wanted to dance, but I was stuck behind a microphone, then I saw our lovely little reserved Karen praising God… and I could just tell she wanted to dance, so I had the band continue playing, the let the other vocalist continue singing, and went and grabbed karen and we whirled around the room, joining some other girls.

THe boys are such party poopers!!! what is with that?? 🙂
 So hear are the words…

WE Will Dance by David Ruis

Sing a song of celebration, lift up  a shout of praise
for the Bridegroom will come, the glorious One
And oh, we will look on His face
We;ll go to a much better place

Dance with all your might
Lift up your hands and clap for joy
The time;s drawing near, when He will appear
And oh, we will stand by His side
A strong, pure spotless bride

We will dance on the streets that are golden
the glorious bride and the great Son of Man
From every tongue and tribe and nation
will join in the song of the Lamb

Sing aloud for the time of rejoicing is near
the risen King, our groom, is soon to appear
the wedding feast to come is now near at hand
Lift up Your voice, proclaim the coming Lamb