Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Does God Hate Vegetables? A post for Worship Leaders.

Have you ever wondered why in Genesis, God rejected Cain's offering?

Genesis 4 says this:

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Seems to me like an honest attempt. What's wrong with offering the fruit of your labor to God? Does God hate vegetables as much as I do? Maybe God just really prefers the smell of a good steak to grilled veggies which makes sense. Have you ever accidentally burned an onion? Disgusting.

No doubt Cain and his brother Abel had grown up hearing the story of how their parents had been evicted from the garden in Eden. Adam and Eve sinned and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. God said "Let me cover you with garments of skin." They tried to do it on their own and God said "let me do it for you."

That is a picture of the grace of God; God doing for us what we could never do, even when it's our fault.

So back to Cain. Knowing full well that he was required to offer a blood sacrifice, he offered vegetation. He came to God with an offering that he knew was an insult to His grace, and God rejected it. Cain in essence was declaring that he would do things his own way and in his own power, outside of the plan and the requirement God had put in place; that he could atone for his sins by the sweat of his brow and the fruit of his fields. Cain was spitting on the grace of God so God rejected his offering.

As worship leaders, it can be tempting to bring our offering to God with the attitude that we have done all the work in practice and in preparation. We put in the hours learning chords and scales, we picked out the songs, we spent the time figuring out smooth transitions. We can fall into the trap of thinking that outside of the grace of God, we can do anything. God's grace is that He has given us the gifts and the talents and the anointing to bring worship to Him. When we think that we can do it on our own, we spit on that grace.

So how do we avoid that? By acknowledging His grace to us and not trying to do things in our own power. Instead of making our offering the focus of our worship, make God the focus of our offering. He has graced us with everything we need to bring an acceptable offering to Him.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Marathon but with Words

I just finished reading Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin. It is by far the best book for worship leaders I have ever come across. I would highly recommend it as it also has a chapter for Lead Pastors on how to relate to/support worship leaders.

I am currently in the middle of a 4 book marathon. The other books are:

Worship By The Book by D.A. Carson
I Am Not But I Know I AM by Louie Giglio
Engaging With God by David Peterson

I really want to challenge my paradigm of worship and what it means to be a worshiper and never get stuck thinking that I know everything there is to know about worship and music.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I had a very unique opportunity last weekend; I got to fly in a float plane up to a mountain lake and camp/hike/fish. I have been to Lake Isabel 3 previous times and all three involved a good 4 wheel drive and a brutal hike. The trip always takes at least 5 to 6 hours of driving up Hwy 2, taking the Reiter Rd, driving across a creek, taking your rig as far as you can and then and hiking. This time, we started from Lake Washington and after a 30 minute flight over Bellevue, Carnation, and Gold Bar, we were on the water.

The last time I was there was 3 years ago while I was in the worst season of my life. Working at a job I hated for a guy I couldn't stand, wondering why there were no ministry doors open. I think I literally spent the entire trip complaining about my boss. I was emotionally unhealthy to say the least. I will spare you the details, but that trip really started the chain of events that lead me where I am today.
This time around, I think I spent the whole trip in amazement at the fact that I get to do what I love for a living at a church that blows me away. What a difference.

So Tim and I got up to the lake on Thursday afternoon and got our gear to the shore. After the plane left it was unbelievably quiet. It was pretty peaceful except for the biting flies but they calmed down after some liberal doses of bug spray. Once the sun went behind the mountain and shade hit the water, the fish started surfacing. I put on a little black dry fly and caught a couple beautiful brook trout. Brookies are the most beautiful trout I've ever seen. I will believe that until I catch a Golden trout. None of them were very big, 9" was the largest but they were fun on a fly rod. We camped on the beach that night and got up in the morning. Did a little fishing, did a little exploring and in the afternoon, the plane came and picked us up. We flew back to the Renton airport and went home. It was a beautiful trip and a great getaway.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Worship Fast

I started a "Worship Fast" a couple days ago. For the month of August I have decided to cut out any music that isn't what you would traditionally call "worship" music.

I understand that this can be a touchy subject and sound real religious and I can hear your mind beginning to get all worked up already so relax, and let me explain:

I am not saying that all secular music is bad.
I am not saying that some secular music can't be worship.
I am not saying that Christian music is bad.
I am not saying that Christians should never listen to secular music.

What I am saying is that I am taking a month to feed my spirit only music that is focused on bringing honor and glory to God. If you are what you eat, then as a worship leader, I want to be full of worship. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus says that "...out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." (NIV) I want my heart to overflow with worship so that when I stand in front of New Life Church, I am not drawing from a dry well.

We are beginning a series on worship on August 16th and I would invite you to join me on this fast during those 2 weeks and finish the fast with the first Simply Worship of the fall on September 2.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Passion Problem

Have you ever met someone who was more passionate about something than you are? Chances are you have. Passion is an amazing driving force that makes our world what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. Now, have you ever met someone who was more passionate about something than you and actually looked down on you because of it? I have, in fact, I was that guy. As I've aged and mellowed a bit, I came to the realization that everyone doesn't and won't share my passion. I have been created and uniquely designed to be passionate about certain things. This seems to be a problem in the church world. You hear people say, if not directly, "If you aren't actively reaching out to the homeless, you aren't doing God's will", or "If you aren't sharing your faith with everyone you see, you're lukewarm."
Romans 12:4-8 describes us as the Body, made up of many different parts and many different gifts. My gift is music, I don't look down on people who aren't passionate about music, I think they are weird, but I don't look down on them. Can you imagine saying "If you don't do the songs we do at our church then you are doing it wrong"?
Everyone doesn't have the gift of an evangelist, and everyone can't be a public speaker, and everyone can't be a Pastor. Find your gift and be passionate about it and be the best whatever you are that you can be.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maybe later

I don't really feel like blogging right now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I once again, have the honor of being featured on Spirit 105.3's Local Music Project. It used to be on the radio every day at around 5pm but now they have it online 24/7. Swing by and give a listen. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and the player is there.