John Mayer and Worship

John-Mayer-1So last week, I went to the John Mayer concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Oh man, I love that guy. He is super talented and the show he puts on is phenomenal. Phillip Phillips opened up for him, and he was great, but John blew him out of the water. (John… like I know him on a first name basis or something… lol). The show was sold out, and everyone was excited to see John Mayer and his band play because he hadn’t been on tour for a while… due to his vocal surgery. But amazingly enough, his voice sounded better than I had ever heard it before (Yes, I have seen him 2 other times in concert). It had a sweet and smooth quality to it, and he seemed like he could sing for days without getting tired. I was very impressed. He even had vocal breakdowns in a couple of his songs, where he was able to showcase his voice alone. Good concert and great show.

But what does this have to do with worship?

As I looked around the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night, I saw people (and actually sat next to one) who were completely and whole-heartedly in awe of John Mayer. They were lifting their hands, singing at the top of their lungs, and shouting for a man who they WORSHIPPED and LOVED in every sense of the word. They were followers of John Mayer and because they loved him and his music so much, it was easy for them to get excited at the concert. It was a no-brainer. John Mayer appeared and they responded to who he was and what he was doing.

So why don’t we do this on Sundays? Why don’t we get that excited during worship or the message? Why do we come to church and stand there with blank stares on our faces, arms crossed, and minds wandering? We serve a God who created the entire universe and everything in it. He is the one who put the stars in place and the moon in rotation. He is the God who made roaring water-falls and majestic mountains. He created the intricate nature of our minds and the beating of our heart. He sent His only Son to live on this earth, die on the cross, and resurrect to life 3 days later, all so we could access Him blameless and clean. He is holy, mighty, sovereign, great, majestic, perfect, gracious, loving… I could go on and on and on. Isn’t our God worth the best of us and the best of our worship? Shouldn’t we come to church on Sunday ready to lift our hands in surrender, sing at the top of our lungs, and shout for joy to a God who deserves it all?

John Mayer can be great… and he is.
But shouldn’t our God be GREATER?

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“The Vow” Challenge

For those of you that don’t know, I am on staff at Christ’s Church of the Valley as one of the weekend worship leaders. I love my job and I love my church. I feel so blessed to be a part of what God is doing in the life of our church, and I love seeing how God has been moving in the lives of our people. However, this particular post is not to tell a story about someone else within our church… it is to share what God has been doing in my life through this season of ministry. I thank God for my church and the way that the leadership is stretching me in my walk with God.

Our pastor, Jeff Vines, recently challenged us to take a Nazarite Vow. This is a challenge taken from the Old Testament (Numbers) and brought into our current context. It is similar to a fast… where you are giving something up that is very dear to you, and in the midst of this fast you are pleading with God to help remove a sin in your life. (To see the entire sermon, CLICK HERE) In summary, the vow comes with 3 challenges:

20130801-115937.jpgAs I prayed through this, I realized that there were some specific sins and issues in my life that I needed God to deal with. I am going to keep those between me and God right now, but these issues have been eating away at me lately. So I came to a point where I needed God’s help. And to show Him how serious I was about getting rid of these sins, I decided to take part in The Vow with our church. Since I started this fast, God has been working on me and my heart in a huge way.

For the first challenge, I decided to get rid of TV completely. For those of you that know me, I love my shows on Netflix and watching TV is a way for me to decompress from the day. I am refueled when I get the chance to curl up on my couch and watch the latest episode of whatever show I am into that day. TV has become my “thing to do” when I have nothing else to do. So giving up TV has definitely been a huge challenge for me. I have had to learn to fill my time with other things… such as time with God, time with family/friends, reading, songwriting, etc. I have had to ask God to give me rest in other ways, because the main challenge has been finding the same rest that I find in TV. But amazingly enough, God has been teaching me how to find rest in Him, and rest in other things. Now I am not going to lie, after a month into this, I am not looking forward to not having TV for two more months! But I know that God is going to teach me so much in my time of sacrifice and fasting. And every time that I have the urge to watch TV, I am reminded to pray through my sins and refocus on God. Lord help me though! Haha!

Wherever you are in your walk with God, I challenge you to listen to the sermon from my Pastor (link above) and take The Vow. We all have something that we need to work on, but how serious are you about getting rid of that issue in your life? We have a God who can help us through anything and deliver us from the chains of sin, so why not plead with Him to help? I challenge you to get serious about your sin, because freedom awaits us on the other side.