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

Hello Friends,

goldI thought I’d come up with a title that is sure to get some reaction .. “can God make me rich”?

First, let me start out by saying a few of things:

1.  I realize that “wealth” and “prosperity” are extremely controversial.
2.  I realize that there is extreme poverty all around the world, including here in America, and that it falls on the righteous and the unrighteous.
3.  I realize that “riches and wealth” are subjective.  To some folks, we are quite rich.  To others, we’re poor.
4.  I realize that if you do find yourself with wealth or an abundance of money and possessions, you have a responsibility to be generous and help others.
5.  I realize that being “rich” can include (and does include) much more than money or material things.

Now that I’ve had my disclaimer I’m hoping readers won’t think I have my head stuck in the sand of a warped prosperity gospel that is taken out of context and abused.  I just want to journal my thoughts on some verses I’ve been reading.

Which brings me to the real question I’d like to pose in this blog:

“How would my finances be impacted if I searched for wisdom and discretion and made my financial choices based on the leading of God”?

Clearly, that title wouldn’t attract many readers.  But that’s the real question here.

This morning I read Proverbs 8.  The subtitle of this proverb is “The Blessings of Wisdom”.  Throughout this proverb, Wisdom is personified as a person.  Wisdom even claims to have been present at the time of creation, and before.  This suggests to me that Wisdom is the Holy Spirit.  So when you read “Wisdom” change that to “the Holy Spirit” or “the Spirit of God”.   This Spirit is available to all Christians – we receive the Spirit of God at our salvation.  The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the “spirit of wisdom”.  [side note:  all my "quotes" are for the appreciation of my friend Travis]

Take a look at Proverbs 8:17-18:

17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

In studying about the blessings of God (please don’t get me started on that ridiculous bunch of nonsense that circulated the internet a few months ago about how Christians shouldn’t use that word) I have been very careful to dig deeper into the meanings of words like “riches” and “wealth”.  I can tell you that in many cases it’s not necessarily referring to money.  However, as I dug into these words for this verse in the Hebrew, it’s referring to literal riches – wealth, possessions, more-than-enough.  (for my friends who prefer “sick and poor” over “health and wealth” and are getting anxious, go back to my disclaimer #4).

The Bible says we shouldn’t worry about trying to get rich – there’s a lot of trouble with that.  But we also see a lot of Scripture that would suggest that He is able and willing to bless us financially, for a number of reasons.  Some people are even given a special “gift of generosity” which can’t be used without having resources to be generous with.

In the context of this passage, Wisdom is saying that riches and wealth are with him.  I quoted verse 17 before because it suggests that wisdom isn’t found without seeking it diligently.

So back to my original question … “can God make me rich”?

People will debate God’s plan for wealth until He returns, but I believe that if a Christian searches for wisdom and prayerfully, carefully makes decisions about their jobs, careers, investments, giving, spending, and saving … they would see a significant impact on their revenue.

That’s where I am!

For the Kingdom,
Fred

(image from “Riches in Christ – God, Money, & Me“)

 

 

Hey Gang,

all-sons-and-daughtersOne of my favorite bands right now is “All Sons & Daughters“.  I absolutely love their music, arrangements, and thought-provoking, heart-stirring lyrics.

One of their songs is called “Brokenness Aside”. As a Worship Pastor, I’ve been torn about whether i should use this song in corporate (or personal) worship because of one paramount lyric that is the hook of the chorus.  That lyric simply says:

“I Am A Sinner”

If you’re a Christian, how do you feel about that phrase? The song is beautiful, and in context, it still ministers to me.    I know that by definition, if you sin, you are a sinner.  However, there is the difference between being a sinner (one who sins, as we all have sinned, and will sin – [Rom 3:23]), and declaring that about yourself as an identity.

As Christians, I believe our identity is not that of a sinner, but as one redeemed by Christ.  (Paul says that while we WERE sinners, Jesus died for us in Rom 5:8) He sees us as saints (1 Cor 1:2) … even when we don’t behave that way.

Would you be comfortable leading a song that says “I am a sinner”?  I think it would at least take some context and explaining from a theological background.  Are you using the word by it’s simple definition or are you claiming that as an identity?  If we get that musical hook in our hearts and constantly repeat to ourselves “I am a sinner”, do we begin to contradict what the Word of God says about us?