Tuesday Refocus

Archives for November 2015

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24 November 2015

'Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.' GK Chesterton Gratitude should be the perpetual posture of the servant leader. Happy because 'The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad,' and wonder-filled because 'what is mankind that He is mindful of us?!' (Ps 126:3, 8:4) And at the intersection of happiness and wonder we find gratitude. Servant leaders should be...

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17 November 2015

'O, chief musician, tune our lips to the melody of thanksgiving!' Spurgeon What is the melody of thanksgiving? Like the leper in Luke 17, who was healed, and 'turned back, praising God with a loud voice,' and falls 'on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks (v15-16),' it is the natural response to seeing God for who He is, recognizing what He has done, and understand...

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10 November 2015

"We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him." Oswald Chambers We all know it is not our actions but our faith that justifies (Rom 5:1, Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9). So why is it so hard for us to live like we actually believe that to be true? Ultimately, and obviously because we are sinful and we constantly desire to justify, prove, and save oursel...

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13 October 2015

'The long painful history of the church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, and being a leader over being led.' Henri J.M. Nouwen As we're reminded from Joshua 24 the choice is daily before us who will we serve (v15). And most people involved in ministry from full-time paid vocational positions to those servi...

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27 October 2015

Part 2 - read Part 1 here. 'Our serving doesn't automatically bring glory to God. We can serve with bad attitudes, with impatient hearts, out of expediency, or to impress others. But true worshipers are first of all receivers who know that their serving originates not in themselves, but in God's good gifts. Considering how God enables us to serve transforms our service in...

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6 October 2015

True worship is to love God so much that an offering is the only possible action, even though a world full of such actions can never suffice. - Harold Best One of the passages we read during the responsive reading at the Praise and Worship night was Acts 17:24-25: 'The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples m...

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20 October 2015

Part 1 - read Part 2 here. 'Our serving doesn't automatically bring glory to God. We can serve with bad attitudes, with impatient hearts, out of expediency, or to impress others. But true worshipers are first of all receivers who know that their serving originates not in themselves, but in God's good gifts. Considering how God enables us to serve transforms our service in...

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3 November 2015

'For God is not unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do.' Hebrews 6:10 Both of our churches are celebrating large transitions for Liverpool, the movement to three Sunday services, for the Wirral the development, growth and assembly of a team to lead corporate sung worship. There is a learning c...

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1 September 2015

'only he who loves can sing.' - Augustine It is love not teeth-gritting, boot-strapping, forced effort that leads to servant leadership. True love changes you, it changes your thought process, your intentions, and your actions. That love is supernatural and only comes from knowing God (1 Jn 4:8). Hearts that love respond in action. Hearts that love God respond in song a...

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8 September 2015

'Let love keep the door of your lips' John Wesley From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Lk 6:45). So what comes out of our mouth is the fruit of what we have planted, and allowed to grow in the depth of our hearts. There is not a word that slips out that has not first grown up from the soil of the place known only to you and God. In the way that we conduct o...

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15 September 2015

'People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it m...

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22 September 2015

'Empathy fuels intercession' Mark Batterson Humans love to categorise, organise, and label things including one another! When used properly with people it can help us to better understand the unique elements that have shaped the individual (English/American, Christian/Non, Male/Female, Northerner/Southerner, Church Denomination, on and on). But those categories removed...

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29 September 2015

"Intercession is also a daily service we owe to God and our brother. He who denies his neighbor the service of praying for him denies him the service of a Christian." Dietrich Boenhoffer 1 Peter 2 reminds us that we are saved to be a people not just an individual. And as a part of that people, that community of faith we are to both know and be known. As the Batterson qu...

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23 June 2015

'The secret of a servant's life is that he stays in tune with God all the time.' Oswald Chambers Servant leadership, as we've discussed so far is motivated by love for God and others, it is self-sacrificial, it happens in the secret place, it is humble and giving, it is counter-cultural, it is not how we are naturally wired but is ultimately a response to the way that Go...

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30 June 2015

'Hesed loves regardless of the response. It does not demand recognition or equality. It is uneven.' Paul E Miller We cannot serve if we do not first love. We serve as an act of worship (Rom 12:1) in response to the love of God (1 Jn 4:19) towards the people of God 'do you love Me?' then 'feed My sheep' (Jn 21:17). God's love for us is 'hesed' love covenant-keeping, loy...

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8 July 2015

The proud and self-righteous always feel that they are not treated as well as they deserve.' Leon Morris There is no room for pride and self-righteousness in the heart and life of a servant leader. There is no room for pride and self-righteousness in the life of a believer, period Pride got Lucifer kicked out of heaven (Is 14:12-15), banished Adam and Eve from the Gard...

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14 July 2015

'In the temple and presence and worship of God, everything is worthless that is not pervaded by a deep, true humility toward God and men.' Andrew Murray Servant leadership is not a light switch to flip on when you are playing in the band, and flip off when you are not. It is the continual choice of those who seek to serve as Christ Himself served (Phil 2). Because when w...

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21 July 2015

'Take time to be in God's presence before you lead people Let Him revive you, then lead others to revival.' Christy Nockels Good leaders are first good followers and good followers are first good listeners. Being a good listener means that we are not quick with our words, but quick to keep our mouths closed so that our ears and hearts open as we get to know the voice, h...

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28 July 2015

'Try pushing the boundaries of gratitude, you'll find there are none.' Mia Fieldes Having time away I have continually found myself with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Grateful for the good relationships that challenge, support, encourage and last over country lines and many many years, grateful for what we get to do, grateful for this season on life, and of course ...

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Guest Post: 4 August 2015

'You can't get second things by putting them first. You get second things only by putting first things first.' -CS Lewis The first things first principle applies to many things and of course chiefly to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and to love your neighbour as yourself' (Luke 10:27). But I think it also applies to how we think about...

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Guest Post: 11 August 2015

'Letting go of my pride, giving up all my rights.' -Chris Tomlin For me one of the biggest marks of a servant leader is someone who gives up their preferences for the good of others. As musicians it is tempting to make decisions based on what we enjoy, what will allow us to best display our musical talents and what is easiest for us. But, in the words of Stephen Miller, '...

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Guest Post: 18 August 2015

I don't know about you but one of the things I've felt whilst thinking through all that we have discussed regarding servant leadership is 'flip, this is a big ask!' I can see how God is calling us to it and I can see how beneficial it would be for us as a team and for the church. But it just seems too hard. To constantly be thinking about other people's needs and be puttin...

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Guest Post: 25 August 2015

'And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, "go and carry them to the city." 1 Samuel 20:40 I was on a camp last week where the topic was the life of David. One of the things that really struck me was the story of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20. In particular verse talks about how Jonathan took his weapons off before going to meet with David despite him ...

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7 October 2014

'Corporate worship is meant to alarm you with the darkness and depth of your sin and enthrall you with the presence and glory of God's grace.'- Paul TrippThere is a contrast that happens as we gather together for corporate worship. As God reveals who He is, and we see Him in the light of His perfection, we see ourselves for who we really are - broken, and sinful. And like ...

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27 April 2015

'Excellence is the process of becoming better than I once was. I am not to become better than someone else is or even like someone else.' Harold Best God deserves our best, I'm sure there would be no disagreement among us about that. But saying it is so much easier than offering our best. It can be easy for us to fall into the trap of essentially believing that showing u...

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5 May 2015

Talent and passion are lost without discipline to steward it and integrity to guide it.' Chris Quilala Whether you consider yourself someone who's musical talent and ability could take you down the professional route, or someone who is 'good enough for church music,' or anywhere in between the truth is the expectation for all of us is the same. We are given varying level...

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12 May 2015

"It is sweet to give or do simply to please Him without respect to the public eye." Charles Spurgeon Leading with excellence is balancing and managing tensions. The balance and tension for those of us that lead corporate sung worship is that when we stand up to lead, what SHOULD be happening is the result of the overflow of the 'Lord Most High' being our 'Dwelling Place'...

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19 May 2015

'If the Church was worth His blood, is it not worth our labour?' John Stott I think for me an unexpected reaction I've had to our current series on the Ascension is not just the fact that Jesus is now ascended, but the reality and weight that Jesus first came. Jesus was already in God's presence (Jn 1:1) but stepped into creation (Phil 2:7) to make a way for us to be wel...

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26 May 2015

'If serving someone is beneath you, then leading is above you.' Kevin Monahan Below the surface, whether just below or buried deep down, we all long to be in a position where we are served, to be the leaders not the servants. Because what is true of leaders? Their role is prominent, influential, respected, noticed and admired by peers and beyond. Leaders are served Or ...

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2 June 2015

"The best test of whether you really have a servants heart is how you react when people treat you like one" Andy Piercy We live in a consumeristic society that believes everyone and everything exists for their own pleasure. Sadly, this is no less prevalent in the Church than in culture. But if we are truly servant leaders, whether we are treated more like servants than l...

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9 June 2015

'The humblest and most unseen activity in the world can be the true worship of God.' William Barclay For those of us in a public position it can be easy to confuse our public act as real worship and service. All throughout Scripture we see how the Pharisees and Scribes love the attention that their role brings, while their hearts were far from God (Matt 23, Lk 20:46). Th...

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16 June 2015

'It's easy to be the most important person in your own life, but worship denies your self-gratitude and makes Him the utmost important One' Thomas Miller Loving ourselves does not have to be taught, we naturally love and value ourselves over others including God. But worship (the right response to God's revelation of Himself) puts us in our proper place. Seeing, knowing...

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17 March 2015

'Success is focusing on what God is passionate about and using your gifts and passions to join Him in what He is already doing.' Louie Giglio We can have all of the hopes, dreams, plans and vision for the future that our hearts and minds can hold but if 'success' looks like anything other than using our whole lives to make much of Jesus, then what a small, pithy waste. ...

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24 March 2015

"I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow." Martin Luther Jesus is coming back, that is clear. But like we heard on Sundaywe do not know when, so we're called to stay 'dressed and ready for action' as we live in light of His imminent return. crucified yesterday As we move into the Easter season, let's be ...

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31 March 2015

'O thou Beauty so ancient and so fresh.' Augustine This is my prayer for our team as we journey through this Easter season together. A ancient story of redemption, set in motion before the foundations of the world (Eph 1:4-5) would again awake our hearts to worship and wonder. If you're heart and affections need a kickstart, spend time reading about the majesty of our Go...

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7 April 2015

'So shall I fulfill the great end of my being to glorify Thee and be a blessing to men.' Puritan Prayer There should really only be two motives when leading on a Sunday morning to honor, lift up and glorify God, and to love, serve and bless His people. Anything else borders on self-serving. Over the past couple of months the image that has been burned in my brain of w...

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14 April 2015

"Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened." Charles Spurgeon Often we are quick to talk about what should be happening to and in those who we are leading in worship, but all three of these should be true of us when we are leading worship. Gratitude awakened The opposite of gratitude I've found is discontent. It's an intense vocal (out l...

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21 April 2015

"Most people plot and plan themselves into mediocrity, while now and again somebody forgets himself into greatness." E. Stanley Jones The world is busy making a name for themselves. But at the end of the day, all of their striving will return to the dust (Ecc 12:7). And there is only one name that is above every name, so even the most established, the most well-known, th...

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