screenshotToday’s “Verse of the Day” on the popular Bible/YouVersion app is Proverbs 16:3.   It’s one of my all-time favorite proverbs.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established”.

One of my favorite translations of this verse actually says “your plans will succeed”.

Who doesn’t want success?   Who really wants to waste time with futile efforts and failed plans?  Nobody that I know.

This verse rings true for me in so many ways:

– as a husband and father
– as a worship pastor and leader
– as an entrepreneur and business owner
– as an employer/boss
– as an employee
– and on and on and on …

The list could go on and on.   There are two principles in play here.   First, we have to commit our work to God.  Some translations use work, some use actions, some use works (plural) .. the NIV covers it all by translating as “commit whatever you do”.

The second principle is that in doing the first, we will see success in our plans.   Why is this?  Because it says our thoughts will be established.

Thoughts are so incredibly powerful.  The direction that we think is the direction we tend to go.

In my life I’ve made so many decisions – big ones, like selling a business, hiring employees, or choosing an amazing woman to marry … and every day ones like choosing the right song for a worship service, buying a friend’s coffee, or keeping my mouth quiet when I want to rant.   If I’m fully committed to the Lord, I can trust that He is also ordering my steps and my thoughts.

People often ask “how can I know that I’m doing what God wants”?   For me, I like to try and stay surrendered and committed to God.  When I’m in that place, I feel very confident that my thoughts and plans are from Him, and that gives me confidence to act because I know those plans will succeed.

What does succeed mean to God, though?  Well, I suppose that’s a blog for another day!

My encouragement today is that you take some time to dedicate and commit your day, your ideas, your work, your wonderings, your decisions to the Lord.  Surrender them to Him.  Roll them over on Him.  Then, trust the thoughts in your heart and let them lead you into actions and plans that will lead to success.

For the Kingdom,
Fred

Bethel Worship Night Tour - Jacksonville, FL

Bethel Worship Night Tour – Jacksonville, FL

Let’s just say it’s been a while …

A while where I was free to dive head-first into praise and worship without the responsibility of leading
A while where I had an extended time to soak in an atmosphere that I was created for
A while where I was the one receiving fully instead of giving

And I’m here to say … “it was good”.  My soul is stirred and my spirit filled.

Fresh off the 2015 Iron Man Men’s Retreat from SSCC, I traveled down to Jacksonville to participate in the Bethel Music worship night tour.  Honestly, I was tired and although I was expectant, there was a part of me that was struggling with the “I’ve been there and done that” attitude.   It’s an attitude that comes up in my heart many times after attending and leading thousands of worship services.   It’s an attitude that has a stench of arrogance and price that God has been revealing in my heart.

It’s no secret that the worship culture at Bethel leans into what most would call a charismatic feel.  I’ve always hated that label for the very reasons of the imagery that probably comes to mind when you read this sentence.  Yet, that’s my background – that’s my home.  Passionate, unbridled praise and worship is my happy place.   Spontaneous musical flow where a brand new song and prophetic-filled messages come forth are deep in my well.

It’s also no secret that the 60-70 minutes of time we have at my home church on Sunday mornings isn’t modeled this way.   I knew that when I signed up.  There’s a philosophy of ministry here at SSCC that is true and it works and the Holy Spirit moves in powerful ways in our church. I’ve also been around the block enough to know that you can never compare a “worship night” event to most Sunday corporate gatherings for the simple reason that the people who attend a worship night are, for the most part, passionate about expressive praise and worship.

That being said, I felt myself remembering what it felt like to push further and deeper in my worship.   Those are the cliche’ words that people throw out that confuse people and if used carelessly, tend to cast judgment on a worship service that doesn’t “look or feel” like the Bethel worship last night.   For me, I simply mean I had that time through song and reflection (I sang a lot and I just got on my knees and listened a lot .. prayed a lot … ) to unwind and find myself progressing into a powerful encounter with God.

My heart was stirred … not to try and come back to St. Simons and recreate a blow-out worship night (although we do that several times per year).  My heart was stirred with the fact and reality that God’s Presence is available to me like that EVERY … SINGLE … DAY.   It simply requires my time and effort.  

I drove over an hour to get there.
I stood in line for almost as long as we drove — a line of expectant, hungry-for-God worshipers that wrapped around this huge facility.
I stood/sat/kneeled on that floor for a few hours.

Essentially, I used an event as a catalyst to pursue God’s presence.

I quickly realized that the deep, intimate place I found myself in was freely available to me in my home … in my car .. in my studio … on our beach … and I was grieved that I’ve allowed LIFE to rob me of consistently making this time of worship a priority.

At the same time, I was stirred to return … and prayerfully consider a venue or environment where I could flex those old muscles of leading from a more spontaneous, prophetic mantle for no other reason than ministering to God and allowing Him to minister back to us.  I am eager to setup a room, gather a few trusted musicians and vocalists who can flow, and invite whomever wants to come … and just worship.   Sing whatever songs come to mind.   Play and not sing.  Sing the new song.   Pray and respond to what God says.

Honestly, I’ve been a bit burned out on the produced, huge worship nights.   They are powerful and give us that mountain top experience, yet they are physically, spiritually, and emotionally demanding on our team.   I am ready to prayerfully start planning the next one … but at the same time, I want to chase after more of my own time in God’s Presence and a more casual, less-produced venue where the only real effort in making it happen is sitting down, plugging in, opening the door, and letting it flow ….

To the folks at Bethel … thanks for refreshing my soul.   I know from experience how HIGH you are, yet, how DRAINED you are.   You refreshed my soul and stirred my spirit.   You handed me a shovel so that I could dig up some wells that have been filled in for a long time.  (Genesis 26:18)

Forever grateful,
Fred

 

Hey Gang,

Hard to believe it’s November already.  I am excited to announce some brand new music and the re-release of some older music.  What better way than to dust off the ole’ blog and post about it.

“QuietTimes” Series Re-Release

Many years ago I recorded two free-flowing, instrumental albums.  “QuietTimes” Keyboard Instrumental and “QuietTimes” Volume 2 Keyboard/Sax Instrumental.   Both of these were created with the thought that they would provide continuous instrumental music that was perfect for praying, meditating, relaxing, or during altar/ministry times in churches.   The first recording was released on cassette tape (remember those?) and the second album was on cassette and CD.   Both went out of print many years ago and I decided to re-release these in digital version.

So, checkout the newly designed “QuietTimes” series, now available on iTunes:

QuietTimes Keyboard InstrumentalScreen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.01.22 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Community Live – Volume 1″ from SSCC

Over the past year I’ve been re-learning the art of mixing and producing and I’m pleased to announce the release of our church’s first-ever CD, “Community Live, Volume 1″.  This 4-song EP features various leaders and members of the St. Simons Community Church Praise Team where I have the honor and privilege of serving as the Worship Pastor.   This is also available on iTunes.

Community Live - Volume 1 - St. Simons Community Church Praise Team

Songs include:
“You Never Let Go”
“Holy Spirit”
“Sanctuary”
“With All I Am”

These are some of the favorite songs we’ve been singing here in our congregation over the past few years.   Hopefully we will continue to release recordings of the music we’re so blessed to celebrate at SSCC.

Well, I hope this update finds you well and that you’re able to grab some of this music.   If you don’t mind, consider leaving a review for each album on iTunes.   It’s really easy to do and will help us out!

For the Kingdom,

Fred