Monday, February 9, 2009

Satan, the Fallen Worship Leader

I saw this on and thought it was a very important read to anyone who participates in worship at the church.
"The Bible names three angels - Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. The last angel is, of course, better known as Satan. Ps 103:20 tells us that angels are "mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word" - each of these angels represent the various ways we serve God.

Michael is known for being an angel of works, putting into action what is needed to help others ("then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me", Dan 10:13). He is also an angel of warfare ("Michael and his angels fought against the dragon", Rev 12:7), and represents the spiritual battles we fight for others in the community. The second angel is Gabriel, who is known for delivering God's Word. Gabriel is most well known for preparing Mary for Jesus' birth (Luke 1:26-38); he was also called to speak to Daniel about a vision (Dan 8:16).

The last (ex)angel, Lucifer, served God in worship, like many of us. I find it quite uncomfortable to be compared with the devil, but the truth is that we we need to keep on our toes against vanity and pride.

Ezekiel 28:12-14 tells us that Lucifer was a beautiful creature:
"You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.. every precious stone adorned you... Your settings and mountings were made of gold; You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones".

In the same way, musicians can look quite good on stage, and do get quite abit of attention from their friends. I do get abit of 'fame' in church, from people recognising (recognising, not admiring!) me from playing the guitar. When I meet friend's friends in church, I'm always introduced as the guy who plays the guitar on stage, like its something cool.

The attention can get to one's head, as was with the devil:
"Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor" (Eze 28:17).

Satan himself has walked down the path of pride, and tempting people into self-glorification could very well be his most powerful weapon against us. After all, it was what led to the first sin and the separation between man and God. As a result, musicians are very exposed to his temptations. We must guard our hearts and minds, and constantly walk down the path of humility. We must also see ourselves not as musicians, or worse, rock stars, but first and foremost servants of the Lord.

Look forward not to your friends' praises, but to the Lord's delight in you. James 4:10 tells us to "humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you". Imagine finally coming before the throne of God - seeing His glory, we prostrate in unworthiness before Him. Yet, God comes to us, brings us back to our feet, and tells us that He is proud of us, for putting Him before our pride. Just as Ps 84:10 writes that "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere", better is one word of praise from the Lord than to have fame amongst the multitudes.

On a more practical level, here are two tips:
  • The small things matter. There's alot of 'menial' work in the ministry, like hauling amps and mixers around. You might also feel reluctant to serve for smaller services, like prayer meetings. Take up your cross and serve in these areas wholeheartedly.
  • Deflect & avoid attention. Sometimes, my friends say I 'perform' on stage. I usually tell them, light-heartedly of course, that I prefer to use the word 'serving'. Also, don't do anything that gets you too much attention on stage, e.g. running to the front during a guitar solo.
Do drop a comment if you've more to share!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Brooklyn Mae Burgin

So Brooke is finally here!!! Here are the stats on my baby girl:
Weight: 7lbs, 7 oz
Length: 19 1/4 inches
Time: 10:27a.m
Date: 01/06/09
Other: She's got a full head of hair, beautiful eyes, that where open for about the first 2 hours (she was really peaceful and just looking around), she only cried when they poked her and bathed her.

This was a very peaceful delivery. Of course it was a c-section and planned, but the process (including Alicia's recovery) seems so much easier. We are back at home. Alicia is doing fabulous and up and about. Brooke is being extremely curious about her surroundings constantly looking around.

Ray is taking good care of his baby sister and makes sure she has plenty of kisses. He even gave her his favorite blanky to borrow for a little while. He has acted out a little, but I think this is because Daddy has been up at work and comes home and goes to bed as I am up helping Alicia feed, burp, and clean Brooke every 2 hours. So we don't get our good rough housing time in and haven't gotten it for about 3 days now. Tomorrow is a day just for him so he is well cared for and he'll have plenty of opportunity to beat me up.
Here are some pics:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year 2009!!!

What a year this will be!!!
I'm going to try to not concentrate on this last year as it was one of the harder years I have had. It was a great year for God to show His blessings in my life and to show how He can carry us through. I still cannot believe my store is open after some of the hard times, but just as though God wanted us to depend upon Him, He gave us the hard times and gave us just what we needed to get by.

Just a review of the amazing things that happened in 2008:
1. We became pregnant with Brooke and are expecting her any moment
2. We bought our first house! Glad we didn't take the lenders advice and get into a bigger house.
3. We found a great church that really has ministered to us as though we were in Acts 2.
4. As a family we drew closer to God and each other.
5. I am in great physical health and plan to continue getting in even better health!

The plans for 2009:
1. Enjoy our new edition for 2009 - Brooke Mae!
2. Continue to grow in Christ!
3. Get physically stronger and compete in a Body Building show!
4. Start worshiping God more with the gifts he's given me, even if it means leading worship in a church! (I have grown to dislike the modern churches idea of contemporary worship and what is expected for a typical service...i.e. worship whip-lash)
5. Join Woods Baptist Church.

Mostly everyday is started looking at the positives in life. I need to attract more positive energy. I've got a blessed life and I often focus on everything else but the blessings! As American's we are blessed beyond comparison. Even when the market crashes we are more blessed than 98% of the countries out there. There is no greater place I'd rather be than right where I am at.
You are blessed and I hope you find that blessing daily. Start each day off with positive thoughts and see how much better each day becomes. The things we worry about are not ours to worry about. Do you think the bird wonders and worries all day about where it will sleep at night or if there will be food or if my windshield is going to be the cause of its demise? So what is keeping you from reaching your full potential, go and get what God has promised you. You know the promises He has for you. Maybe today it is Salvation, maybe you are promised a hit song, poem or book. Maybe have been promised a fulfilled life, so just look around and look at how fulfilled we are.

May you be blessed in 2009!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

What a Great Christmas!

I really enjoyed this Christmas. The gifts where awesome, but I'm pretty sure that's not the reason that this Christmas was so special. I didn't even get to see my entire family (sister in France, sister&bro-in-law, niece, nephew in Alabama, mom-in-law in Houston). I think what made it feel so complete was that it was at my house, a 3 year old who is getting into Christmas, and with the expectation of a special arrival ourselves, it made me focus more on Mary and Joseph and the excitement of Jesus' birth.

We did not travel as it was not recommend for Alicia to be far away from the hospital, yet Mary and Joseph had to by order of the law. Had that one fact been changed in the Bible, the first of many prophecies would not have been fulfilled "Today in the city of David (Bethlehem)". Bethlehem = The City of David. I'll save how the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled amaze me for another blog on another day.

Ray is really into Christmas, or as he refers to it, "Jesus' Birthday Party". He was really shocked when he saw the tree. I'm not sure he really expected to get presents for "Jesus' Birthday". Will be a great transition for sharing Christ with my son one day. He is really starting to understand concepts, which I find amazing!

I really think the biggest reason, was that Christmas dinner was at my house. My family all around enjoying each other and visiting. Playing guitar with my cousin and Dad, talking with my Aunt Linda, and of course playing with Ray's new toys! It's really a different experience and some how seems complete and the way it's supposed to be. I liked having Christmas at my house, and will probably do it again next year!

Blessings to you this New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

All I Want by Staind

I don't often listen to a lot of secular music, except some Rock. I heard this song in the background of a sport center highlight and other than "shit" being used in the lyrics, this is almost like a worship song!
I am amazed at how many secular songs could be changed around just a little bit and are a praise to God.

Here are the lyrics:
What I leave, When you go,
What I see, And what you show,
And what I guess, And when I don't,
Is something you all ready, all ready know,

I can't live without, All I think about,
All I want is you, You're all I dream about,
I can't live without, All I want is you,

The things I do, I go through,
And all I see, When Im awake,
And what I make, The shit that I take,
Is something you all ready, all ready know

I can't live without,
All I think about,
All I want is you,
You're all I dream about,
I can't live without,
All I want is you,

Is you,
Is you,
Is you,
Is you,
You're all I dream about,
That I can't live without,
All I want is you

I can't live without,
All I think about,
All I want is you,
You're all I dream about,
I can't live without,
All I want is you,
I just can't live without you,
When all I think about is you,
And all I want is you

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2nd Samuel 23:5

For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all {my} desire, Will He not indeed make {it} grow?

The progression of my life is the order of things so far. God has secured them. I am blessed to be secured with a wife and a child and a child on the way. I am secured that he will care for me in the will he has for my business and life. He has fulfilled my salvation. Then comes the tricky part of "my desire" (NASB version by the way). I'm actually glad he doesn't always fulfill this at times, but sometimes wish he would. I hope He increases my desire for Him and less of my desire for the things of this world. The things that bind me and separate me from Him. Yet, he has ordered all things.
I often think of my degree from college as a waste, but then I know it delivered me my greatest earthly prize, which is my wife. I often am bitter towards Christianity as the training mechanisms that are used to teach ministers really kill off the creative aspects. I've heard seminary referred to as "The Cemetery" as it is the final mark of killing off any hope of the Holy Spirit working in a church. It further ingrains the denominational fence posts that separate us from one another. Why will tomorrow morning (Sunday) be the most segregated day in the country. Why can God not bond us as one? Yet I step away from my focus (digress, but I hate that word for some reason)
I pray that he does make it grow daily and that my desires become His and that I have the same emotional connection to God as it appears God has for me. A desire is much greater than just wanting, it is deep, it is passionate. When I say, "I desire my wife", it really means I want to know her more intimately than anyone else on earth. God wants that with us; though he knows us, He still seeks our desires and offers us free will to express those desires.......and sometimes, He gives us what we want even though it causes us more harm. He loves us enough to give us the choice! Make my desire yours oh Lord!

Coolest Christmas Songs of All Time

#2 and #3 are interchangeable here. Mostly for the enjoyable part of the song, not the reasoning!

#4 Santa Baby - MADONNA

This is the hottest song and makes me want to make babies at Christmas....and give a lot of gifts away!

#3 Please Come Home For Christmas - The Eagles
Okay not a song to be combined with Alcohol or ammunition, but I love this song. I like to imagine that the girl comes back to the guy on Christmas day as a gift under the tree wrapped in something sexy!

#2 RamahanaKwanzmas - From the Glen Beck show

Kind of representative of the times we live in nowadays. My favorite is how the say "Merry "bleep"mas."

#1 Silent Night -
Really haven't heard a version I didn't like. It sort of encompasses the whole story of Christmas night. I'm sure Sheryl Crow will go and now create a version for me to hate or really really love!