Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Songs of Advent

May 4th 1959, is certainly someone’s birthday or special day. Yet, in the American music industry this is the birth date of the Grammys.  This was an annual gathering of music artists, critics, bands, writers, composers and more to celebrate the various artists, genres, and music that shaped the culture that calendar year.  The first winners of the Grammys were; Ella Fitzgerald & Ross Bagdasarian who won the most awards with 3 each.  Count BasieDomenico Modugno, and Henry Mancini, each won 2 awards. 

Music has always been a part of every generation and culture. It is similar in that everyone enjoys a good band or song. Yet, they are diverse in the forms, types, and contexts of music culture. You can ask anyone what their favorite song or artist is and you will likely get an answer. I for one, am a child of the 70’s, a teen of the 80’s, and a young adult of the 90’s. “One hit wonders” was what the 80’s gave to music.  Take for instance A-ha, the 1985 band from Oslo, Norway. The song “Take on Me” was a one hit wonder, selling over 7 million copies and making it one of the top selling singles of all time.

Music draws people in, it communicates a message, and it is personal to those who arrange, sing, or perform it. Songs magnify. 

This 2019 Advent season at Elevation Church we are unpacking 4 songs of advent. Arranged by the Holy Spirit, composed by God, and sung by people who magnified Jesus. They weren’t trying to make a number one hit, or sell anything. They were ordinary and supernatural in their arrangements with the Son of God coming over 2000 years ago. In fact, you can look all over the music charts and you will likely find nothing about them as ‘artists.’  However, you will see a theme of melody that magnifies the Lord. Their lives and message have been used for over two millennium to communicate the incarnation of Jesus, the Christ. These Songs of Advent have forever sung the melody of God’s grace to mankind, and that’s a song worth listening to over and over again. Come join us at Elevation. www.elevationauburn.com

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Epic

I like epic movies! Brave Heart, Gladiator, and Glory. All epic war time dramas of people facing massive difficulties, challenges, and victories. They inspire me. In many ways they draw me into a narrative that internally I find myself walking in. In fact, life can be an 'epic' journey of challenges, callings, and celebrations.

The narrative of Easter is Epic! It is full of drama, that is real to life for Jesus and his followers. Then and now. The implications of how Jesus journeyed in the epic experiences of His life has personal implications for me as a follower of Him. His entrance into the passion of His mission to save lost people. The epic events of His death are sobering; and His epic victory over death in the resurrection, sets Jesus aside from all others as the way, the truth, and the life, that God demanded and people can follow. 

I hope you will both take time this spring to investigate the Epic stories of Jesus, in the Gospel's of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Elevation Church will be spending three sermons on three parts of Jesus' life. First with his triumphant entry into Jerusalem (4/14/19). What did that mean for those then and now? Then a look at the Cross, Jesus' death, and the implications of it for people of all time (4/19/19). Finally, the resurrection; how this singular miracle of God, brings the necessary victory of God's salvation in Christ alone (4/21/19). Please take some time to listen to these Epic messages by linking to www.el-church.com and going to the messages page.

May your Easter 2019 be...

Going there again with Jesus

In many ways our faith in Christ, is informed many times about our 'ideas' of Him. This can cause the disciple of Christ to waffle in his/her own faith of the Christ. Oswald Chambers in his devotional, gives an encouraging word about that; I hope you will take some time to read and reflect. Looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of my faith...
Isn’t There Some Misunderstanding?
"Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to Him, "…are You going there again?"  JOHN 11:7-8
Just because I don’t understand what Jesus Christ says, I have no right to determine that He must be mistaken in what He says. That is a dangerous view, and it is never right to think that my obedience to God’s directive will bring dishonor to Jesus. The only thing that will bring dishonor is not obeying Him. To put my view of His honor ahead of what He is plainly guiding me to do is never right, even though it may come from a real desire to prevent Him from being put to an open shame. I know when the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence. But when I begin to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate enter into my mind, I am bringing in an element that is not of God. This will only result in my concluding that His instructions to me were not right. Many of us are faithful to our ideas about Jesus Christ, but how many of us are faithful to Jesus Himself? Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything (see Matthew 14:29). But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.
Are you debating whether you should take a step of faith in Jesus, or whether you should wait until you can clearly see how to do what He has asked? Simply obey Him with unrestrained joy. When He tells you something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a misunderstanding of what honors Him and what doesn’t. Are you faithful to Jesus, or faithful to your ideas about Him? Are you faithful to what He says, or are you trying to compromise His words with thoughts that never came from Him? “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5).