Holy Spirit in Family Worship (Getty/Townend)

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I heard this song for the first time at TGCW12 in June.  Then my husband introduced it to FBCD a few weeks ago.  Last week it was our song we sang with our quiet times/family worship all week.  I love how we have started doing this because it allows a song to sit in your heart for a while and marinate! 

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May Your joy be seen in all I do
Love enough to cover ev’ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.

Song written by: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

What songs have meant a lot to you recently?

How do you incorporate singing/songs into family worship?


“Spirit”ual Experiences

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Do we really live our lives in such a way that we would be considered Trinitarians – not Bi-nitarians.  Definition: living life in such a way that we are in community with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not just Father Son.

In the biblical communities (ie churches) that I have been a part of for my whole life, the majority of the talk is either on God the Father or God the Son, Jesus.  Not many of the traditions I’ve been in focus in (if at all) on the Spirit.  I’m not necessarily talking about the “charismatic gifts” such as prophecy and speaking in tongues or lifting your hands and dancing in the aisles during a church service.

But, for many believers there is an error on either side:

1.  We don’t recognize the role of the Holy Spirit enough: whether in our prayers or our experiences

2.  We over emphasize the role of the Spirit in unbiblical ways.

“Spiritual experience that does not arise from God’s Word is not Christian experience.  But when we study God’s word we should pray that the Spirit of God will not only inform our heads but also inspire our hearts.” – Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, pg 31

I’ve heard many folks say: God led me to do this, God is calling me into this profession, etc.  The only thing wrong with statements like these is that in the instances I am thinkig about – the object of what God said for them to do does not line up with the perfect authoritative Word of God.  The Holy Spirit of God will NEVER contradict what is said (what God breathed) in His Word.

God has said that we have all we need for life and godliness.  The Spirit brings to mind what is written in the Word that can enable us to ive a God-glorifying life in every way.  That is His role (John 15-17).  He is our Helper and our Comforter.

So, while not living in one error – how do we not live in the other error:

1.  Pray for the Spirit to bring to remembrance Scriptures that can light your path (John 15-17, Psalm 119).  When you are in a situation that you need counsel on, first go to the Word.  He will guide you.

2.  Put every action or decision up against the authority of God’s Word.  It is perfect and will never lead you astray.  It is sufficient for leading us and for directing your life in perfect wisdom.  It has no errors.

3.  Read the Word and what it says about the Holy Spirit.  Find a concordance or look in a study Bible or even pick up books like Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrines, the Holy Trinity by Robert Letham, or Francis Chan’s Forgotten God (I’m sure there are plenty of others).  Study who the Holy Spirit is.  Strive to know Him just as well as you know the Father and the Son.

Book Review: Radical / David Platt

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There have been two similar books published in the recent past that were pretty much about the same thing: this one is better.  In my opinion, which really doesn’t matter, I know.  I loved Platt’s book: all except the familiarity of the stories he told through out the book.  I’ve heard him preach on several occasions – and I’ve heard them.  So, I could skip over them.

He is very practical and honest in his book: which I love.  He just doesn’t give lofty ideas of how to let go of American Christianity – but he actually gives you ways to do it.

If you are ready for a gut-check (as my cousin calls it) – read it.  If not, keep it on its shelf and pick it up when you are ready.

“Wake up and realize that there are infinitely more important things in your life than football and a 401(k).  Wake up and realize there are real battles to be fought, so different from the superficial, meaningless “battles” you focus on.  Wake up to the countless multitudes who are currently destined for a Christless eternity.” – p 15.  This hits home because what do we normally talk about in our chuches: this superficial stuff.

“As long as we achieve our desires in our own power, we will always attribute it to our own glory.” – p 46.  Do we dream big dreams?  I want to start dreaming big and praying big, so when things happen – God gets all the glory.  How big do you dream?  Do you dream for attainable things in your own power or do you pray for God sized dreams?  Ephesians 3:19-21.

We’ve been hearing a lot about this in our ed staff meetings at our church:

“The church I lead could have the least gifted people, the least talented people, the fewest leaders, and the least money, and this church under the power of the Holy Spirit could still shake the nations for His glory.  The reality is that the church I lead can accomplish more during the next month in the power of God’s Spirit than we can in the next hundred years apart from His provision.  His power is so superior to ours.  Why do we not desperately seek it?” – p 54

I need this especially for the work I am doing right now, because it is so often overwhelming to me: “Our great need is to fall before an Almighty Father day and night and to plead for Him to show His radical power in and through us, enabling us to accomplish for His glory what we could never imagine in our own strength.  And when we do this, we will discover that we were created for a purpose much greater than ourselves the kind of purpose that can only be accomplished in the power of His Spirit.” p 60

Do you really believe this for yourself? “God has created us to accomplish a radically global, supremely God-exalting purpose with our lives.” – p 83.  I don’t think I do.  I again ask petty things that I want.  But, I know one prayer I always pray that hasn’t come true yet.  But, I still pray it.

We are starting Backyard Bible Clubs this summer at our church.  I thought this quote went very well with the reason we are doing it: “Disciple making is not a call for others to come to us to hear the gospel but a comman for us to go to others to share the gospel.  A command for us to be gospel-living, gospel-speaking people at every moment and in every contest where we find ourselves.” -p 94

Who do I go to first when I need advice? “Jesus never intended us to be one voice among, many counseling us on how to lead our lives and use our money.  He always intends to be the voice that guides whatever decisions we make in our lives and with our money.” – p 121

Here is his one year experiment and ways that I intened to take him up on it:

1.  Pray for the entire world.  I haven’t decided yet how I am going to do this, but Operation World is a good start (that he mentions).

2.  Read the entire Bible.  Again, the plan isn’t in place, but it will be done.

3.  Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose: I’m partnering this year with PSSWF because its close, the gospel, and tangible.

4.  Spend your time in another context.  Every month my church works with two low-income/homeless ministries here in Raleigh: feeing the homeless in Moore Square and With Love From Jesus.  Once a month I will partner with these.  This definitely takes me out of my upper-white neighborhood.

5.  Commit your life to a multiplying community.  Pray dot org.  Done.

How will you live the experiment?  For one year.  This is a new year beginning, start now.