Saturday, 23 May 2009

A Question of Character (or How We All Need a Regular Reality-Checkup!)

This has been a fascinating week for me. With my increased responsibilities with regards the music ministry within the church I have spent the last few months studying ‘Worship’ – trying to establish what I believe and why I believe it. I have also been looking at why we do the things we do within our church services – putting each practice through a biblical filter (not a giant bible machine – although how handy would that be!), trying to establish what is biblical truth and what is just a tradition that has been passed down through the generations.

I am totally blown away by what God has shown me. While I have been searching for practical answers to only too real problems, God has been revealing his character, drawing me closer and setting a far more important agenda - Glorifying God. Giving God glory should be the only agenda. Everything I do needs to come to that conclusion. It’s our goal, purpose, role, position or as some of our predecessors put it – the chief end of man.

Westminster Larger Catechism
Question One: “What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever”

Now I love the second part of that statement “fully to enjoy him forever”. It reminds me of a couple of my favourite verses:

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”(Pslam 27v4)


Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere (Psalm 84v10)

It reminds me of the joy that I get when I worship God.

You see when we praise God, God is pleased.

he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing’ (Zeph 3 v 17).

When God is pleased he sings his love song over us (sounds a bit weird but just think about it – God, the creator of everything, the giver of life, the all-powerful, all-knowing, showers us with love – Now that is mind-blowing).

You might remember as a child when you did something for your mum or dad. You put effort into making a pencil holder, paper weight or even some buns – maybe it was because it was Mother’s Day / Father’s Day or maybe you were inspired by those overly enthusiastic presenters on Blue Peter. Any way, why did you do it? Because giving the homemade gift was a simple way to show your love. Was it perfect? No (in fact some of the baked goods I produced were downright poisonous). Were they totally pleased and excited when they saw it? YES!!! I feel it’s the same when we give our worship to God (not just our songs but in everything we do to glorify his name). It may never be perfect, he may not need it but is God pleased when we put our heart into it and give it to him simply to show him we love him? I know he is!!! And I get that same feeling when I think about my Heavenly Father smiling upon me as I did when I saw the joy on my mum or dad’s face.

We complicate things so much. My head at times is a total mess. You see, I was worried about problems and God reminded me of his promises. I was worried about my responsibilities and God reminded me of our relationship.

Talk about a reality check!!!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Myths of Parenthood part 1

MYTH No. 1 - Kids are so much easier to manage before they can walk

There are a set of standard questions parents ask of other parents when discussing their kids. For example we have the classic - What weight was s/he? (Most appropriate just after the baby is born - not so appropriate when discussing potty training!). Then we come to probably the most common question in baby small talk history - Who does s/he look like? It’s really funny because everybody sees something different. For example my wee boy Callum who at the weekend had my eyes, today has Steph's eyes! When asked this question I like to throw in a few curve balls - "He has Yoda's face, Abraham Lincoln's nose and Ben Afleck's eyebrows".

To me it’s all a bit weird, like there is some desperate need to see some part of yourself in your offspring. Frankly if Callum looks nothing like me I'll consider it a blessing for the wee man - he dodged a massive bullet there!!!

Anyway, enough false self-deprecation, the point is, kids change so much in such a short space of time. For example 2 weeks ago Callum could hardly walk the length of himself then almost overnight he was up, up and away!

Before this momentous occasion occurred we were inundated with the comment “Enjoy this time before they can walk cause afterwards it’s a nightmare, they just get into everything!” It’s a total myth people!!! My life just got sooooooo much easier. He was already into everything anyway. From the moment he learned how to roll to get where he wanted (this later developed into lightning fast 4-limb drive crawling) he was seeking out danger in all its forms. His determination to kill himself has been unprecedented. We had his unwavering pursuit of sticking electrical things in his mouth; his resolute quest to throw himself down the stairs and his favourite game “What happens when I hit my head against this object?”

Before you phone the social worker, super dad has prevented most major incidents from happening.

Anyway, now he can walk I no longer have to carry him everywhere. He wants to walk. It’s brilliant – that’s 2 stone less I have to worry about. I have enough weight of my own. Plus he’s getting some really funky dance moves (usually to the Mr Men theme tune or Girls Aloud on the radio – he gets that from his mum, honest). Most entertaining.

That’s enough change though for now. He’s already growing up way to fast. I just want him to stay this age for at least a few more years….please!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

More challenges than you can shake a stick at

I'm really in the thick of things now. My new responsibilities as Worship Coordinator are unravelling themselves as each day passes. Its really exciting. I love a challenge and this is definitely my biggest yet. Having attended my first church council meeting this week I feel it is now official (technically it's not official until September - but that's just a administrative technicality).

The work also began last week in converting the church sports hall into our new worship space. You see we've out-grown the current church building and with the current global financial mess the new church could be a few years away.

Challenge 1 : How can you turn a barn like sports hall into an appropriate space for worship?

One word 'Carpet'. Okay, that's not going to quite do it but its a great start. There is an outstanding team of experts assembled (and me). Building and electrical experts, decor design geniuses and a techie wizard (not literally a wizard mind you, especially now he's shaved his beard off, but he knows his Peavey from his Bose. If it has a button, a knob or a flashing light, he knows what it does). My input so far his been a lot of nodding in agreement and telling them how big a platform we needed for the band. As has been established in the previous post I have not been asked to do any rewiring! God willing the grand opening of the hall will be the end of August.

Challenge 2 : How do you manage a nearly 50 person strong music team?

Answers on a postcard please!!!