Worship Thoughts
 
Alex Darnall’s Blog

My Top 10 Favorite Christian Podcasts

Whether it’s during my commute to the church each day, getting ready in the morning, going to sleep at night, or any time in between, I listen to many podcasts to encourage and edify myself in my spiritual walk.  They can be found on almost any smartphone and are completely FREE! Podcasts are a great tool God has given us to grow in Christ.  Here’s my top ten favorites!
 
#10 – 5 Minutes in Church History
 
I’m not the biggest history buff, but it’s vital that we understand what the church has come from and how we got to where we are today. This podcast is entertaining and discusses topics like the King James version of the Bible and preachers of old.  And it’s only 5 minutes!  There’s no excuse not to listen!
 
#9 – Daily Radio Program with Charles Stanley
 
From the pulpit of Charles Stanley, this podcast has taught me a great deal about Scripture.  One time God convicted me so much in one of Dr. Stanley’s sermons that I called someone after listening at midnight and forgave them!
 
#8 – The Gospel Coalition
 
This podcast discusses basically every topic you could think of regarding Christian life.  Why is physical fitness important? How can we effectively share our faith?  How can you properly fear God?  I can’t say enough about how beneficial this podcast is!
 
#7 – Crazy Love Perhaps one of my top five favorite preachers, Francis Chan is truly in love with the Lord.  Hearing his zeal will encourage you to fall more in love with Jesus.  Give this podcast a listen.  You won’t regret it!
 
#6 – The Bible Project Want to know something about the Bible?  These guys have you covered!  They discuss deep biblical theology, but don’t let that scare you.  All that means is they look in depth at what the Bible means and how we can apply it to our lives!
 
#5 – The Rick and Bubba Show Straying away from sermons, this podcast discusses current events from a conservative perspective.  This is one of my favorite news outlets and can be heard live locally on 104.9 FM each weekday morning. These guys are FUNNY!
 
#4 – Wretched Radio Each Wednesday on “Witness Wednesday” this small group of people go to a college campus and evangelize to people live on the radio.  How cool is that?!  Take a listen and hear people discuss what it means to be a Christian and why we need Jesus.  Listen joyfully as God stirs the hearts of lost people on college campuses.
 
#3 – The Dave Ramsey Show God has called us to be good stewards of our finances.  I struggled with being a good financial steward for years.  I’m so thankful for how God has used Dave Ramsey.  He offers a simple yet profound plan to win with your money.  Though sometimes harsh, he tells you what you need to hear!  Give it a listen and never look at money the same!  DEBT IS DUMB!
 
#2 – The Daily Audio Bible Ever wanted to read the whole Bible in a year? Here you go! Beginning January 1 of each year, Brian Hardin sits down each morning and reads through the entirety of Scripture.  Not only does he read, but he also dives into the meaning of Scripture and helps you apply it to your life.  There is an app for this podcast as well with a growing community of believers.
 
#1 Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers Sermons from the pulpit of Adrian Rogers during his time at Bellevue Baptist Church.  Even after his departure from this earth, his sermons live on.  Listen to him beautifully preach the gospel and be forever changed by God’s amazing grace.
 
Well there you have it!  My top ten favorite podcasts.  I encourage you to give these a try soon.  There is undoubtedly some that you’ll find beneficial.  Listen to these with joy. Experience God like never before.  Until then, blessings!

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8 Reasons Why We Sing in Church

Have you ever wondered why we sing in church?  Couldn’t church be fine with just preaching? The answer, and Bro. Mel will agree wholeheartedly, is no! Here’s 8 brief reasons why.

  1. God commands singing.  Singing is referenced/commanded over 400 times throughout the entirety of Scripture.\
 
  1. God sings.  In Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26, Romans 15:9 and Hebrews 2:12 we see clearly that Jesus sang songs of praise.
 
  1. We remember what we sing.  Have you ever left church, gotten in your car and had a song stuck in your head from the service?  Or maybe while sitting at work on Tuesday morning you begin humming a song we sang Sunday.  You see, songs we sing at church contain rich doctrine that we otherwise might not remember. Music is a great tool to help us recall biblical truth. I’ve heard it said before that church singing is take home theology.  We sing because it helps us remember truth and grow in Christ!
 
4. Singing engages the heart and mind.  When we sing, we are involving our intellect and emotions.  How can one truly worship God with good thoughts about him but no emotion produced from those thoughts?  On the contrary, how can one truly worship God with only feelings about God and no thoughts to produce them? As our pastor always says, feelings are fickle.  However, emotions informed by biblical thoughts of God produce true worship of Jesus Christ.  Maybe John Piper can explain this thought better:
“Worship must be vital and real in the heart, and worship must rest on a true perception of God. There must be spirit and there must be truth. . . . Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (or half-full) of artificial admirers . . . . On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship.”

5. Singing is corporate.  Can you think of anything else in a typical church service that we all do together?  Singing is done by the entirety of the congregation.  Singing unifies us.

6. Singing is physical.   It has been proven that we learn better when we physically do something.  Physically singing can lead to better absorption of biblical truth (see reason #3). Also, our love for Christ is made better when we physically do something.  Just like going on a mission trip or telling someone about Jesus, singing is an action that displays our love for God.

7. Singing engages spiritual warfare.  Satan simply cannot handle true song.  Where worship of God is, Satan is not.  In Acts 16 Paul and Silas are in prison.  It is there that they begin to pray and sing to God.  While singing, a great earthquake happens and the foundations of the prison are shaken.  Everyone’s chains were loosed.   In 2 Chronicles 20 King Jehoshaphat sent the choir ahead of the soldiers in battle against the Moabites and Ammonites.  When the choir began to sing and praise, God set an ambush against the men who had come against Judah, defeating them (v. 22).  You see, singing is a mighty weapon against Satan’s schemes.

8. Singing brings joy.  We sing in church because we have joy.  However, singing also further enhances that joy.  On a practical note, singing releases endorphins, a hormone that promotes positive feelings. Singing increases deep breathing and therefore improves your circulation.  We sing because it helps us!

With these 8 reasons in mind, I hope you are as excited as I am to join together and sing on Sunday.  Singing to God is a significant aspect of Christian worship that must not be overlooked.  My prayer is that this post has given you a fresh perspective on why we sing in church.  It is my great honor and utmost pleasure to sing with you each Sunday.  This Sunday may you sing like never before, basking in the great mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Until then, blessings!


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10 Reasons to Serve in the Adult Choir

Ahh. The choir.  There’s no ministry in the church quite like it.  From social gatherings to praising God together on Sundays, there are many reasons to join the Calvary Baptist Church adult choir. Here’s ten of them.
 
  1. Choir is a great stress reliever.  I can vouch for many if not all of our current choir members that singing in the choir is a major tension releaser.  Sitting up straight and breathing deeply is a great way to relax yourself.  Our choir members agree that they consistently leave choir rehearsal with a better attitude than the one with which they entered.
  2. You’ll meet new people.  At CBC, we have two morning services.  Both are almost equally attended.  Because of this, many people at our church don’t know each other personally. However, when you join the choir you will develop close relationships with other worshipers who you’ll see on a consistent basis.  I know many instances where deep friendships began at choir rehearsal.
  3. The choir is a great picture of the body of Christ.  Consider 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.  We are all individual members of the body of Christ.  While we all individually have a purpose, we also have the purpose of living together in unity with other believers.  This is the body of Christ. The same is true of the choir and its members.  Each section of the choir has its own purpose in the beautiful picture of musical unity. When you sing in the choir you’ll show that many members working together in Christ can create something beautiful.  This is how the body of Christ works. Christ’s body and the choir are both individual units with many members working together. What a great picture!
  4. You CAN sing!  I talk to so many people who say they simply aren’t good enough to serve in the choir.  You are!  Without even hearing you sing I know you are.  I’ve heard it said that the most beautiful thing about choir is how God takes many voices – some strong and others not as strong – and blends them together to create music that honors him. Sounds like the body of Christ again (point #3)!
  5. You don’t have to be a musical genius to serve in the choir.  The common misconception about serving in the choir is that you must know how to read music.  Let me refute that statement right now.  Out of our thirty-five choir members, only seven or eight of them read music.  Let that sink in!  Many are learning to read music through their experiences in choir. What’s stopping you from singing with us?
  6. Choir doesn’t interfere with other active ministries in the church.  We sing on Sunday mornings and rehearse on Wednesday nights from 7:30-8:30. Nothing else is generally going on in the church during our times together.
  7. You’ll get to lead worship, not just experience it!  From my perspective, there’s simply no greater joy than leading God’s people in worship.  When you sing in the choir, you also gain the privilege of leading others to encounter the greatness of God.  Don’t you want to join us in fulfilling that great honor?
  8. You’ll get to learn many songs, old and new.  In choir rehearsal we work on many songs.  You’ll learn songs you’ve never heard before and others that you may have known for years.  We also introduce congregational songs in rehearsal that you’ll learn before the rest of the church hears them for the first time.
  9. Because summer is the perfect time to join!  With Easter being last week, we are now beginning to work on brand new songs that we’ll rehearse over the course of the summer.  By joining now you’ll enter the choir on the same level as everyone else.  You won’t be behind musically.  Everyone will be learning new songs together!
  10. Three words: CHOIR. IS. FUN.   Whether you believe it or not, I encourage you to come to one of our rehearsals and see just how enjoyable it really is.  We laugh, pray, and fellowship together each time we gather. Many of our choir members describe Wednesday night rehearsals as their midweek pick-me-up.

There’s no denying that singing is one of the best vehicles we have to worship the risen Christ.  Singing in the choir is one of the greatest things you’ll ever experience. 

So what are you waiting for?! See you tomorrow (4-24-19) at 7:30 in the choir room!

Until then, blessings!


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Your “Guitar” Can Wait

I learned a valuable lesson a few years ago while in school.  One of my beloved professors (we’ll call him Dr. Smith) had recently submitted a blog entry to the school’s website and encouraged me to read it. The blog referred to a young worship leader who was outstanding at everything he did.  It went something like this:

Johnny was the ideal worship leader.  He was a gifted singer, knowledgable in the realm of sound and media, punctual, loving, kind, and more.  Johnny was a guy any church would be blessed to have as her worship leader. However, over the course of many Sundays I witnessed Johnny make a crucial mistake in being a worship leader.

After a service one Sunday morning I ran in to Johnny.  I was excited to see him.

“Hey Dr. Smith! Wasn’t that a great service? God moved and three people passed from death to life!” Johnny exclaimed.

“Yes it was! You did a fantastic job leading us to experience God,” I replied.

Humble as he was, Johnny responded, “Thank you. I give God all the glory for what He has done!  Do you think there is anything I can do better as a leader?”

I took a deep breath. “Yes, as a matter of fact, there is.”

Shocked, Johnny’s face turned as red as the carpet on the church floor. I suppose he expected me to say the opposite.

“When the service ends, I notice that you typically begin to put your guitar back in its case, wrap up your many cords, and put away microphones. When you finish all that, virtually everyone has left the building.”

“You’re right,” Johnny replied, “but when the service is over I like to put everything up quickly so I can get home and rest.”

I paused for a moment and responded, “Your guitar is not your calling. People are. Go and greet people. Your guitar can wait.”

This story is not simply for church leaders.  This is a reminder to all church members that loving others and helping them to feel welcome is vitally important.  Do you ever find yourself acting like Johnny? Are you too busy to greet others? If you are like Johnny, I encourage you to examine your heart and remember that being the hands and feet of Jesus is all about loving people.

I challenge you to forget about your “guitar” and greet five NEW people this coming Sunday.

Until then, blessings!


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