By Pastor Domenico Danesi
After praying and waiting on what to write regarding parenting I feel prompted to bear my heart as a father. This article will simply share some things that I have learned as a parent over the last 12.5 years. As many of you know my wife Leslee and I have been blessed with 6 children. We love each one so deeply that words cannot express the depth of our love toward them. We have laughed, cried, yelled, prayed, played, supported, and failed many times with our children.
I have discovered that being a parent involves equal parts of two things: joy and suffering. The verse I would pass along to a prospective parent is this: “… for the joy set before Him He endured the cross …” (Hebrews 12:2a). Yes the cross, an instrument of death, in the end can produce joy. When Jesus was carrying His cross up to Golgotha He was suffering; when He was nailed to the cross He was suffering; when He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), He was suffering. The joy that was set before Him was the end result, the joy of rejoining the Father and allowing those for whom He was praying in the time of suffering to now have the power to become the children of god, (John 1:11,12).
I am going to list some topics and areas from my heart that have come through joyous-suffering. The aim is to pass along wisdom for you as parents, to help you, to challenge you, and to encourage you.Read more ...
By Collin Zweigle
Excellence in worship is an imperative ingredient for creating a space for the Holy Spirit to come and move.
Colossians 3:23-25 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.”
I have a question. When did “whatever you do” become something that doesn’t apply to worship? Last I checked “whatever” means “whatEVER.” I’ve seen this in the church and at times I’ve seen this in MYSELF. At times worship leaders get to a point where they feel confident enough in themselves as musicians, or feel that they have enough songs under their belts to get by, and they stop pushing themselves forward as a worship leader or a musician.
I share this because I have been there. When I was a young budding worship leader I would spend hours on the computer charting songs, pausing and playing a track all the way through until I had every word and every chord typed out on a Word Doc. The computer I had wasn’t hooked up to the internet to allow me to copy and paste chord charts or download MP3s. I had to get songs from CDs and type every word and phrase out myself. This was a meticulous process, but happily I did this for countless songs. I would slap a capo on my guitar and figure out where I could play “in the key of C or G” and I would try all the different chord combinations I knew until I had each chart as perfect as I possibly could. I cared about what I was doing so much and was willing to put the work in to make it as excellent as possible. I wanted my charts to be perfect. This might seem like a silly example, but as a young worship leader this was “being excellent” for me.Read more ...