About Me

My photo

I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Worship Wednesdays:The Name of the Lord (Part 6)



Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

                                                               -Exodus 3:13-15

God refers to himself as I AM in this passage and The LORD. The word for The Lord here is YHWH sometimes written as Yahweh or Jehovah it is closely related to the Hebrew verb meaning "to be, to exist." This isn't the first time this name is used though. It first appears back in Genesis 2:4.


This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

                                                              -Genesis 2:4

Now the word for God in the above passage is Elohim, God the Creator, but look at the name that comes before God: LORD. This is the name Jehovah or Yahweh. This name implies a being who is absolutely self-existent. That means He always was, is , and always will be. He doesn't need anyone or anything in order to exist. 

He is also the same yesterday, today and forever. Let that sink in. The attributes that make Him God never change, also He is never taken off guard or by surprise. Nothing happens that He isn't aware of. It is a pretty awesome thought that God allows us to have free will, and yet He is already aware of our choices and has planned accordingly, in order to fulfill His will, and He does this on not just a global scale but a universal scale.

When we worship Him we should take time to reflect on this amazing mystery, that as Christians the great I AM is now dwelling in our hearts. He is the hope of glory.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaching Tuesdays:Board Games

Who doesn't like games? Why not use that love of games to help our kids learn things?

Some of my favorite games also teach some basic and not so basic concepts. Today I want to go over a few of my families favorite games and what makes them so special.

Carcassonne


My daughter began playing Carcassonne at age 6, though much of the games mechanics were lost on her at first (she really liked to complete roads so that they looked pretty.) No at 14 she can give me and my wife a run for our money. So why is this a great learning game? Well, let's start with the whole scoring system that involves basic addition and multiplication. Then there is the spacial reasoning and also the ability to plan ahead. Resource management is also something to take into account. You could also go extra geeky and look up the actual city of Carcassonne on which the game is based.

Made for Trade

So my next pic is Made for Trade. This game is designed to be a learning tool, but unlike most games of this nature was actually entertaining to play. The game includes 4 different levels of play and is based on collecting items in a barter economy. This is definitely a great addition to any study of colonial America.

Stone Age

The last game I want to mention is Stone Age. This has fast become one of our families favorite games. The game revolves around collecting resources in order to build your village and develop tools and agriculture in order to survive. This game makes the list due to its involved scoring system in which makes use of multiplication and division as well as addition. It can also spark conversations about history and the development of civilization.

This of course is just a sampling of the many games that we have used, usually without my daughter realizing it, in teaching.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Worship Wednesdays: The Name of The Lord (Part 5)

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.( Jeremiah 32:17)



So after a long hiatus we are back with our series on the names of The Lord. If you want to get caught up or refresh your memory you can check out Part 1 here.

So this week I want to focus on the name Adonai (pronounced a-doh-NIE). It first appears in the book of Genesis in chapter 15 verse 2. Lets look at it in context:


After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”
Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6 NASB)



In verse 2 Abraham addresses God as "O Lord God" in the NIV it is rendered as "Sovereign Lord." What Abraham is saying here is that he acknowledges God as Adonai, or Lord, Sovereign, or Master if you will. It is interesting to note that later in this passage it says Abraham believed and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. You see Abraham received salvation(righteousness) through believing God, but he first had to acknowledge that God was sovereign. God He recognizes Him as his Lord and Master. The owner of his life.

As worshipers and especially worship leaders we need to remember to include an acknowledgement of God's sovereignty in our worship sets. I'm a firm believer that our worship can be used by God to convict of sin and lead someone to salvation just as much as the preaching of the word. That's why I feel it is so important that our worship be focused on God and His saving grace, but if we fail to express that God is the master and creator of our lives then why would people believe that He has any say in how we live those lives. We give glory to God not just because of what He has done for us but also because of Who HE is.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Worship Wednesdays: Are You Willing?

When I sat down to write this article, I found it difficult at first to decide on a topic. Nothing seemed to feel right and there were too many distractions, and that is when it hit me. I should write what I know.

Sounds simple and well it is. You see, I'm not some great theologian or philosopher, gosh I'm not even that great of a musician and singer. But, what I am is willing. I was willing to step up when our church needed a worship leader. Strangely enough it was because I was literally the last man standing. I never really wanted to be in charge, and I would give it up in a heart beat if I felt God was moving me someplace else. the reality of it is that I just want to serve him. God in turn has placed me in a position not only where I can best serve Him, but also where I can do what I love.

Don't get me wrong, I love to sing, and I thoroughly enjoy leading worship every Sunday, but I was willing to do anything God called me to do, and remain content singing in my pew. God called, I answered, and He provided me with the ability to get the job done. Also, I don't want you to think that I think I'm all that. I know my strengths, but I'm also painfully aware of my weaknesses. I'm far from perfect, but God doesn't require perfection. If He did, none of us would measure up.

So, here it is, another challenge. Would we be willing to give it all up and do some other less than desirable job in the church, maybe one with little or no recognition. If God told us to give up being worship leaders and go clean toilets, would we? Are we willing to do everything God has called us to do?



Monday, January 14, 2013

Managing Mondays:Meatless Mondays

So my wife and I have decided to do the whole Meatless Mondays thing. So, to that end I thought I would share some of the meatless meal ideas we come up with.We started last week with cheese and spinach filled tortellini with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in Alfredo sauce. It was really good, then of course cheese makes everything better.

this week I'm going to be making spinach and ricotta stuffed crepes with roasted chickpeas. Sounds ambitious I know, but I've been dying to make crepes for a while and this is an excellent excuse.

I'm very curious if anyone else has tried Meatless Mondays, and if so what meal ideas you might have.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Worship Wednesdays: Are You Ready?

So after a brief hiatus and a week of being laid up with a bad chest cold, we are back.

This past Sunday our pastor presented his theme for the new year, "READY."
He defined Ready as follows:

Ready 1. Standing in the place of anticipation 2. Having a made up mind 3. Poised for action.

Being a worship leader I of course began to think about this in the context of my ministry, and I began to ask myself, "am I ready?"

First, am I standing in a place of anticipation? Do I approach Sunday mornings with an attitude of an obligation that I need to fulfill or do I come expecting, anticipating great things every Sunday? There is a great song by Matthew West called The Motions, that sums this feeling up.

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me.

the second definition really made me think about the songs we sing. Do they convey what we believe? Do they present a clear and honest picture of the God we serve? As a worship leader, I take my job extremely seriously. I spend hours in prayer when selecting songs for our worship services, but I still scrutinize every song we do. Also when I sing a try to think about the words and their meaning, allowing the emotions those words stir inside me to be evident on my countenance.

The last thing is being poised for action. Am I ready to respond to when the Spirit moves? Do I allow room for Him to move? Is my set list more important than what God is doing in the service? I like to believe that if God begins to move in our service that I would be sensitive enough to His Spirit that I could change my set list on the fly.

So, this year I'm going to challenge myself to be READY, and I want to extend that challenge to my fellow worship leaders. Are you willing to be READY?