Praise Works

Praise Works is a personal devotional to God. It contains meditations, prayer, praise, thoughts and even rants to God. Its purpose is to be consistent in relationship with God through a written log exchange. While this is personal, perhaps others will be inspired.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Serving a Ministry is Tithing, Praise, and Worship

I am thankful that I am able to serve in ministries that I care about and have a passion for. To me, ministry is both for someone else's benefit and my own. Sometimes it takes other circumstances to for me to see that.

I had a somewhat difficult conversation with a friend the other day. What started out as me encouraging her go back to the choir which she had left, turned into a heated discussion.

She had left the church - personal circumstances - and was gone for about a year before returning back. I encouraged her to join the choir again. Her response was that she didn't see any benefit to her.

Much of her response was self-centric (not self-centered, centric!). She questioned if it would make a difference. She thought her voice wouldnt make the choir stronger and that she would not have a solo. She questioned the politics behind the ministry's management. It was disturbing to me because the reasons against it were so emotionally visceral. To me there was clearly some damage behind it.

I pointed out to her that she may not think others would be ministered but that she never knows who observes her. There are people who scan the choir and could latch on to her singing, her ministering, and be led out of something they are struggling with.

My friend said that she knows she still has issues and that she's happier singing in the congregation and worshipping than she is up there with the choir. And perhaps that is exactly what she needs - alone time. She recently came back - so in a way, she is like the prodigal son returning. She needs the alone time to be ministered to by God - and not out there ministering. After all, you cannot give what you do not possess.

My friend pointed out that her work is her ministry and that her life is a ministry - and I agree with her. All of that is true - but so is ministry in service a church.

What it came down to was that she did not believe it would make a difference. And the bottom line is, if you cannot believe it, you cannot receive it.

I personally believe ministry is important to a Chrisitan's walk. I believe that the ministrial service you provide, that you sacrifice for, opens doors that you cannot possibly imagine or see. I believe that when you show favor to a person, God shows favor on you. When you show mercy, God shows mercy. When you show service, God shows provision.

So, I thank God for the ministries He has me serving. They are a blessing. They keep me busy and they open opportunities for me.

Thank you, Lord. To God be the glory forever and ever.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Being a Part of Something Big: A Sunday in April

My company, Servaunt, is involved in a big project. Our friend is launching his music ministry this year and he has gathered a group of talented people to help him launch his ministry.

Servaunt, naturally, is building the website and the "marketing". The other people involved include a photographer, an image consultant, a director, a camera expert, a PR expert, a church events organizer, and countless other people providing this ministry with favor.

What is amazing to see is that this ministry's goal is first and foremost to use music convey the concept of liberty and freedom through praise and worship. Our friend's passion is that the music reaches people of all nations, all backgrounds, all skin color, and reach the unsaved.

It's amazing to see this passion reflected in the energy in everyone involved.

On April 30, 2006, this ministry did its first photoshoot. We were blessed to have a chique Philadelphia restaurant close on a busy Sunday just so we can have the restaurant to ourselves. The lighting and the restaurant's setting was absolutely beautiful.

No time was wasted as the women involved were quickly ready with their hair and makeup. The men were quickly dressed and touched up. The photographer quickly set up his equipment. When it was time to shoot group pictures, everyone quickly got into place. When it was time to shoot individual pictures, no one wasted time.

Even during the down times, no one grumbled. In fact, some of the ministry members sat and sang praise songs.

What was amazing to me was seeing how people worked together for something bigger than themselves. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was present with us that day. Things worked smoothly, effectively, and with excellence. Even now, still, all involved are working hard, working towards excellence.

Too often I feel selfish and uncooperative. I know that is not of God - just my flesh. I have to be continually mindful and remember what I witnessed that Sunday in April. When working as unto God, and striving towards excellence - with a single mind, a single passion, and leaving it all to God - we honor God. And when we honor God, God honors us.

And ultimately, for me, the most important thing is that my life, my character, what I say and do, brings honor and glory to God. I am not perfect and never will be until I come to glory in His presence, but as long as I am here, the best that I can do is to choose God's way, and do everything to bring glory to His name.

So as always, to God be the glory forever and ever.

Praise Works Launched

This new blog is really my own personal devotional, meditations, thoughts, even rants to God. Along the lines of AK Works, I figured I'd call this one Praise Works.

The "works" means a lot of things but I focus on a select few meanings:
  • praise works = n. my own personal acts of praise - doing, a job, a duty and activity: the acts, the job, the duty of praise
  • praise works = v. the act of praising God works for my benefit
  • praise works = n. highlighting events, sermons, news, and other things that praise God; highlighting opportunities and revelations to praise God.
For me this personal devotion is a way for me to keep focused on God because the things I am involved in can carry me away from what I should do. So since I've gotten used to blogging more frequently, I am using this blog as a way for my own spiritual growth.

This is also probably one of the ways to use blogs in its "purest" form - as a weblog or online diary.

I expect that I am one of the legions of faithful using this new technology to help in their faith walk. So I give God the glory and pray that some of them go on to be power bloggers whose blogs will lead many others to Christ. I pray that others who come across this and other similar blogs are inspired to choose God.

To God be the glory forever and ever.