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Shackles

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance!
I just want to praise You!  I just want to praise You!
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands!
I just want to praise You! I just want to praise You!”

This song by Mary Mary has been one of my all time favorite praise songs since I was in high school!  As the years go by, the words have taken an even deeper meaning for me as I had to journey through life’s challenges and valleys.

“Everything that could go wrong
all went wrong at one time
so much pressure fell on me
thought I was gonna lose my mind
but Lord I know You wanna see
if I will hold on through these trials
but I need you to lift this load
cause I can’t take it no more”

We’ve all been there right?  When everything thing that could possibly go wrong does.  But you know what?  Even then, in our darkest hour, God is is with us.  Even when we feel alone and abandoned, the Lord is right there beside us.

“Been through the fire and the rain
bound in every kind of way
but God has broken every chain
so let me go right now”

Revelations 2:10 (NIV) Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

James 1:2-3 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

In these past 6 months, I had to leave all that I have ever known because I was not safe there.  And the Lord has provided for me and my family beyond what I could ever have imagined.  I did not step out in faith.  I leapt.  I jumped because I had to and the Lord caught me and has kept me safe.  This is what it means to trust in the Lord and not rely on your own understanding or knowledge.

Isaiah 55:11 (MSG) “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

So, whoever you are and wherever you are in this life, all that I can say to you, from one child of God to another, is that God is there for you now and forever.  Amen.

 

 

 

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O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou wisdom from on high
Who orderest all things mightily
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach us in her ways to go

Rejoice, rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Rejoice, again, I say, rejoice
For unto us is born the Savior of the world
Take heart, oh weary soul, take heart
For help is on its way
And Holy is His name

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Worship Leader

 

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World Aids Day 2017

(Original lyrics by Leonard Cohen)

I heard there was a secret chord
that David played and it pleased the Lord
but you don’t really care for music do ya?

It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift
the baffled king composing Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name but if I did, well, really what’s it to ya?
There’s a blaze of light in every word;
it doesn’t matter what you heard
the holy, or the broken Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

I did my best; it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I learned to touch
I told the truth, I didn’t come to fool ya
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of song
with nothing on my lips but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Oh! Yes, there is a God above
and we really need to learn from love
and not shoot at someone who outdrew ya!
We’ve seen the flag on the march arch
but love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

I know you came to rescue me
this baby boy would grow to be
a man, and one day die for me and you
Our sins would drive the nails in you
that rugged cross was our cross too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2017 in Worship Leader

 

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Victory Chant (Cover)

This is one of my all time favorite classic #worshipsongs that I just introduced to my #church this month. I put the words into this video so that you can all #sing along from wherever you are.

If you like this song as much as I do, then please comment #amen in the comments below and please #share and proclaim that #Jesusreigns! #VictoryChant #SingUntotheLord #ChristianMusic

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2017 in Worship Leader

 

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Be the Church

I am a Las Vegas local, and as of today it has been one month since the horrific mass shooting during the Route 91 Harvest festival that killed 59 people and injured more than 500 hundred others.   In our current informational age, it is so easy to become numb to tragedy because these events appear to be so far away. This time it happened in my own city. This happened to people I know.

And yesterday, there was yet another senseless act of violence in New York that killed 8 people and 11 others injured.

My mind and heart just cannot comprehend why. I don’t know want to know why. I want violence to end. I search for answers but my human mind is confronted with it’s own limitations. Emotions rage violently within me. They crash and hurl feelings of uselessness. I am drowning in my own thoughts.   What can I do?

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

We have become desensitized to the world around us. This must stop. Any violent act anywhere in the world is too many. Bring down the walls that divide cities and countries. We are all citizens of the world. What stops us from uniting in peace? What prevents us from doing something for those who are in need?

Yes, we must let go of things we cannot change but we should not let go of things that we can change. We don’t have to be numb. We don’t have to be unkind. We don’t have to be distant. We don’t have to be our differences. We can be kind. We can be the support that others need. We can listen and we can hear each other because we are united in the simple fact that we share the same humanity.

I don’t have the answers but I can see a potential first step of being the church. We can be the living embodiment of what is good and what is kind here on this earth. It starts with you and it starts with me. We choose. No one else chooses this for us. It’s time. #Bethechurch #VegasStrong #NewYorkStrong #HumanityStrong

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in Conversations with God

 

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Step out in faith

Step out in faith

Gracious and Almighty God, we’re here because, “relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done” (C.S. Lewis) and we “receive (our) nourishment by serving the will of the One who sent (us)”(John 4:34). Speak to us. Say something that compels us to hear truth that forces us to stop looking down on others and start looking above ourselves. We’re all sinners. And that’s ok because Grace covers all. So call us out from death and shame and encourage us to step out in faith onto the solid ground of the Living Word of God.

It’s time to release our fears and to be the church; “a community of healing not hiding, embracing not excluding, of life and not death” (Rev. Mike Kinman). “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for (us) to wake up from (our) slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). We do all of this, in the name of the Living God, Amen.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Conversations with God

 

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Be our vision

 

IMG_A66292F14424-1“Consider and answer (us), O LORD (our) God; Enlighten (our) eyes, or (we) will sleep the sleep of death” (Psalm 13: 3). You, O God, see the good in us. Forgive us when we just can’t see or hear You. We don’t want to have a heavy mind holding on to thoughts that pull us away from You. So provoke us, and call on us to continue on this search for truth. Give us a willingness to look beyond our own perspective and to look humanity in the eye so that we can unlearn intolerance and fear. Teach us to learn what being human is, and what your vision is so that we can help each other experience the possibilities of God.

“When there is a mighty movement of God, nobody can stop it” (Pastor James Phillips). We pray, Almighty One, that you would give us the strength and the tenacity to stand up, take a breath, and speak the truth that God is love and that Love is for all. For “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Conversations with God

 

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