Well, I told you I would write more about the Sovereign Grace Worship Conference, and if I don't do it now, it might never happen. These were the general session titles: Knowing God with the Psalmist (Craig Cabaniss-pastor in Frisco), Expressing Emotion with the Psalmist (Thabiti Anyabwile-pastor in Cayman), Glorifying Christ with the Psalmist (Mark Devor), Enduring Trials with the Psalmist (David Powlison), Praising God with the Psalmist and Living Life with the Psalmist (Bob Kauflin).
The Lord was so faithful to bring His word and change our hearts over the course of the weekend. Jen and I found ourselves in tears time and time again. Tears over our own sin, tears over our lack of faith, tears over "waiting on God", tears over lack of sleep- you know it makes you cry about anything and everything : )
Here are a few key words that stirred my heart:
Craig Cabannis~Psalm 33: God can make something out of nothing. Bring new songs to our God- His mercies are new every morning, therefore, an old song can be new with fresh awareness of God's grace in our lives.
Our perception of God will shape our response to God in our worship.
Thabiti~Psalm 73: Man-centered emotions lead to despair, while God-centered emotions lead to a singular love of Christ and eternal joy.
Is happiness connected to prosperity? We are sad predictors of what brings joy.
In his trial, Asaph's circumstances didn't change, but his perspective changed. He acquired the ability to see the end from the beginning. He saw God as His provision, and this caused his heart and emotions to be poured out to God. He could "taste and see that the Lord is good".
We must come to God without denial (pretending that our lives are clean and neat), and without false theology about suffering, and make truth central to our proclamation to Him.
Mark Devor~The bible has one message and that is the cross of Christ. Jesus taught that the old testament was about Him (Lk 24:25, 44-45~ "then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures"). Christ is found in many Psalms. He taught that He came to fulfill the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a riddle, and the answer is in the New Testament. When we read the trials of David, we can often times see Christ's suffering as well.
David Powlison- We also see that the Psalms were for Jesus. He was a man of sorrows, suffering, and death. The Psalm is a pattern of human experience: need, joy, faith, love.
Faith and dependency don't always feel good. They can feel terrible when you're in dire need, but first admit your need to Him. Then name the problem like David did (for me, it's not my enemies beating down my door, it's waiting for the Lord to build our family). Lift up adoration and exhortation. Faith now feels good because it is full of joy! Faith leads to love, and we carry this out to others.
Bob Kauflin~Appropriate worship should be done from the heart as an expression of gratefulness for God's love and mercy; an expression of heart engagement. The Psalms demonstrate physical expressions. Our expressions can't be measured by raised hands, but it's a way we can glorify Him, and show others the greatness of the Savior we're worshipping. Oftentimes, raised hands and bowed knees engage our hearts. Worship is celebrating what He's accomplished. We share in His triumph!
Well, there's so much more, but I'm running out of time. I came away from the Worship Conference wanting to be honest before the Lord about my pain and need, and wanting to engage my heart in worship with TRUTH about my God. Our hearts cannot just be aflame. We need our minds engaged as well. (Remember the Hearts Aflame, Minds Engaged slogan from CBC?) When I'm dividing God's Word, He meets me in my need and brings joy (even in waiting) as I proclaim His faithfulness and promises found in His TRUTH! He is answering my prayers and meeting me in my trial~ it just doesn't look the way I thought it would. Praise the Lord for drawing near to me!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I just returned home from the Sovereign Grace Worship Conference, and it was such a time of refreshing and renewal. I will write more later about my time there, but for now I thought I'd post a few pictures. My Dad and sister were there and we had such a great time together. We stayed in a beautiful area in Gaithersburg, MD and were able to take walks and have coffee in the mornings there, while enjoying the beautiful scenery. The conference was at Covenant Life Church and there are some pictures of us in front of the outdoor tent where we would eat lunch. There were 1600people attending the conference and the praise and worship was amazing. That many voices being lifted up to our Lord. Wow!