Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Desires of Your Heart

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 

Today as I was doing my devotions I came across this great verse in the Bible that many of you probably have memorized and quoted time and time again throughout the years. I have quoted this verse many times myself as a prayer to God for the things that I desired...like a KOA Wood Taylor T5.  :)  Don’t worry, I honestly know that’s not what this verse is talking about.

But I was struck with a new understanding of what this verse is talking about, and I wanted to share this thought with you. 

One of the best things about being a dad is coming home from work and having your kids run up, hug you and tell you they’re so glad you’re home. They want to share with you all the details of their day, what happened at school, the test that they did well on, the disagreement they had with a friend on the playground, etc. It’s a great feeling! They are “delighting” themselves in your presence, they are truly happy to be with their dad.

I know that there should be joy in following Christ, He is indeed good in every way, but I wonder if I come into His presence like my kids come to me. Full of joy, excited to be around me, without ulterior motives, honestly just wanting to be with me—and wanting nothing in return. That makes me, from the very deepest part of my being, want to give my kids all the things they desire.

How often do I come to God bringing my requests to Him, instead of just simply wanting to be with my heavenly Father, just enjoying being with Him, telling Him what happened at “school” today, what test I may have done well on, or even the details of a disagreement I may have had? When my kids want to just be with their dad and that makes me want to give them the desires of their heart—how much more do you think God wants to do the same thing and bless us?!

Here’s my challenge for you today, consider what your own definition of "delight" involves, and meditate on how that meshes with the truest, deepest, most meaningful desires of your heart. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

Worship Recap from 12-28


That's about all I can say about how incredible worship was yesterday!

Take It All didn't work out, but that's cause I threw that one at Paul last minute and he didn't have time to learn it...my bad! But Salvation Is Here fit the bill for a great opener - nice job on the bass on that one Paul.

Your Grace Is Enough and Sing to the King are both great songs and I'm always amazed at how the congregation reacts, and engages at the last line of verse 2 right before Kevin jams on a great guitar solo!

Zach nice job covering for Meghan with the melody line for the intro and turn around on Who Is Like You...it was a nice addition to have you playing those! And Here In Your Presence, just couldn't let that song end...I'm so grateful to have a team that can follow when we take a different direction with a song and make it sound like we planned to do that!!!!

What an incredible day of worshipping God - already excited about next Sunday!!!

I Also thought I'd share some of an email I got yesterday...

... I just wanted to let you know what a blessing it has been to be at Mesa First. We have not decided that this is home yet, but we have "visited" about 8 times or so...We love your passion and down to earth, real, approach to God.  There is NOTHING better than just being in His presence.  Every need, every care becomes insignificant in His presence...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Birthday

Some 2000 years ago when Jesus was born, those who came to visit him brought gifts as a way of honoring the Saviour of the world!

Forty-four years ago there was another birth that has had a lasting impact on my life...that's when my wonderful, incredible, smart, loving, caring, funny, smokin' hot wife was born! Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing the birth of my wife to the birth of our Saviour. I'm just saying that when Star was brought into the world on Christmas day, 1964 - it was quite possibly the best gift her mom ever gave me for Christmas.

She has been an incredible wife, mother, friend, advisor, counselor, encourager that anyone could ever dream of being blessed with. Thanks babe for being so great!

I Love You Star!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Funny Christmas Story

Growing up my family always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, and I always, always looked forward to it! I remember one Christmas Eve that found me confused and shocked.

I had got my mom a pair of shoes and was very excited to give them to her for Christmas. I wrapped them all by myself and placed them under the tree. One night after my mom and I got home from church, I noticed a new gift under the tree without a name tag. I asked my dad who the gift was for and he said he didn't know who it was for, just knew that it was from me...this went on for a week or so leading up to Christmas Eve.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived and I excitedly opened my gifts, but I was equally excited to see my mother open the gift I had purchased for her. I handed her the box and she began to open it, when she opened the shoebox and saw that nothing was in there, I was totally confused and shocked - all I could think of was, "did I really forget to put the shoes in the box...and if so, where did I put them?"

Later in the evening there was one box left, it was the one my dad had been saying was from me...my mom opened the box and found the shoes I had purchased for her inside. Again I was confused and shocked, how did this happen, was I losing my mind at such a young age? My father could no longer hold it inside and began to laugh hysterically. The night I had noticed the mysterious box appear under the tree after church, well that night he had carefully unwrapped my gift, took the shoes out and re-wrapped my gift—placing the shoes in the new box. Very, very funny memory of Christmas.

What's a funny Christmas memory of yours?

PS - my mom did indeed like the shoes by the way!

Have a very, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Forbis Family Santa Movie

Every year we have our kid's picture taken with Santa...here's a fun video that allows you to relive these photos with us...

Worship Recap from 12-21

Christmas Sunday 2008.

Holiday Sundays are not always the best conditions for worship, we tend to sing songs that are "seasonal" and don't naturally lend themselves to worshipping God. Add to that the extra elements that take place and you loose time in the service that would normally be given to singing. This past Christmas Sunday was no different.

That said, we actually had a pretty good worship service.

The kids started the service and did a fantastic job, it's always fun to have them on stage, moms, dads and grandparents love to see their little ones up there. Great job Bonita getting them ready!
We did a couple Christmas songs and that left us with only two songs for worship, Everlasting God and Rescue (first time we've introduced this song on a Sunday). Some songs make an immediate connection with the church, some don't. I felt that Rescue may not have made that immediate connection, but at the same time, I'm confident this one may become one of the church favorites...incredible song, incredible message!

A Very Encouraging Comment
After our service was over, I received a very, very positive and encouraging comment from a gentleman that has attended Mesa First for many, many years...we'll call him Bob. His first wife went to be with Jesus several years ago and he has recently remarried, as a result he is attending church with his new wife and is no longer with us at Mesa First. He attended this past Sunday (his son and family still attend Mesa First) and he told me that he's been all around the country as well as many churches around the valley and he thinks that our worship is, "the best there is!" He was very appreciative of our sound and the mix we have!

I just thought that was worth sharing, great job team!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Causing Trouble

So tonight I witnessed something rather humorous, I found myself laughing out loud...and wouldn't you know it, I got caught. A friend saw me laughing (with no one around) and asked me what I was laughing at. All I could say was that I was laughing at something on the inside. My friend pushed a little more, "what are you laughing at?" I still kept quiet, my friend then asked, "are you causing trouble?"

I can't share with you what I found so funny, but I can tell you that it was the highlight of my night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Christmas Song

One of my most favorite Christmas songs is, The Christmas Song, by Mel Torme & Bob Wells. I love this song for many reasons, two of which are the great lyrics with lines like, "kids from one to ninety-two." Mostly I love this song because of the beautiful chord progressions. I've always thought of this song being mostly a keyboard song because of the complex chords....but then I found this video of Marty playing this song on guitar, beautiful!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Worship Recap from 12-14

Yesterday was yet another great day of worship at Mesa First! I received many positive comments from people in church about how much they enjoyed worship yesterday, I also heard form a couple other team members that they too heard from multiple people about how great worship was yesterday.

One thing that really stood out to me that I'm very excited about happened at the end of service. After Pastor Jeff dismissed the service, the band begin to play through We Give You Glory. We played through the song staying on the "same page" and when it came to ending the song, without a word being said—all I did was look at the band—we all knew what to do and ended differently than we normally do and we did it together. Way cool!

You know you're starting to gel as a band when you can do things like this!

I'm thinking that no one reads my blogs - cause no one ever comments on them, but if you happen to read this one - comment on what you think is going well with our worship at Mesa First???

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Favorite Child...Part 2

So my wife posted a blog today titled, The Favorite Child, and tonight we were talking about her blog and a comment left there. Kyle, our oldest, heard us talking about the blog and asked us what the blog was about. We told him it was titled, "The Favorite Child" and Kyle blurts out (and I quote), "Is that me?"

Funny Kyle....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Worship Recap from 12-07

Yesterday we started our new series, The Gift...and with that our pre-service Christmas music. Reg, Cheryl, & Meghan - you all did a fantastic job. I'm already looking forward to what you're going to do next week. Adding some of the band for the last tune was a nice transition into our worship encounter.

Salvation Is Here, what a great song! The church is really, really taking ownership of this new song...and band/vocals you're sounding incredible on this tune. Paul, nice job on the bass solo...you rocked the house yesterday!

Overall, I felt that our worship experience was incredible again this week. It just seems lately like our worship has been getting better and better all the time - and I believe it's because our team (everyone included) is abandoning self and giving our all to worship Him. Thanks for giving your life to lead our community into His presence.

That said, I kinda miffed the beginning of The Stand, for some reason I can never get that song (even though I LOVE it) into my head until I see the words on the screen.

God of This City...what can I say about this song. I personally did not think this would be a keeper of a song. I thought we'd just use it for this series and then it would go away. However, I think I may have received more positive comments yesterday regarding this song than any other new song we've introduced in a long, long time...so what do I know???

Feel free to share your thoughts regarding our worship...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Signs of a Lukewarm Worship Leader

I'm stealing this post from another worship leaders blog (who stole it from someone else's blog) - it's a challenge to all of us!

A lukewarm worship leader:

  • Prays more on stage than off stage.
  • Is almost exclusively dependent on others songs to sing than writing songs for where their local church is at.
  • Cares more about how many songs he or she is leading than the overall shape of the service.
  • Is overly sensitive to criticism.
  • Is jealous or critical of someone else that God is blessing.
  • Spends little if any time in the Word preparing to lead His Church.
  • Sings more songs on stage than in personal worship.
  • Spends more time mimicking other worship leaders then being shaped into the worship leader they we made to be.
  • Says things on stage that his or her family NEVER hear them say off stage.
Do you have any bullet points you'd like to add?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Is Coming

Here's what I did today!