The grace of God on full display.

In his book, Future Grace, John Piper does an outstanding job of explaining how God’s grace infiltrates everything that we experience in this life.  Even as a pastor there were things in this book that opened my eyes to how limited a view of grace that I had.  He touches on topics ranging from how grace and the law work together to how having faith in grace is a sanctifier for us a Christians to how grace plays into our suffering in this life.  I would strongly recommend this book to any and every follower of Christ.  It is a lengthy book and it deals with some heavy subjects.  There were several sections that I had to re-read in order to fully grasp what was being said.  However, I would say that it is a fantastic book that should be on everyone’s shelf.

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Published in: on October 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mr. Big Stuff, Who Do You Think You Are?

God has called me to lead His people in worship. I would love nothing more than to be able to lead the people that God has placed me in front of in a way that they don’t experience me, but rather they experience Christ. This is my goal week-in and week-out as I lead here at church and other venues. I dream about creating music that the church can use to voice what Christ is doing in their hearts as an offering of worship back to Him. There is incredible power to be found at the center of a worshiping church that rallies around the cross each week, and I want to be a part of leading people to that experience. I also want to mentor the next generation of believers/worshipers so that long after I have gone on into eternity with Jesus, they are still worshiping the same Creator and Savior.  My identity is found in Jesus and Jesus alone.  It is not in music, an instrument, a certain church, a given preacher, a style, or a preference.  I am first, and foremost, a follower of Christ and worshiper of Him.

Published in: on December 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Winds Of Change Are Blowing

Check out the new blog that my wife and I are doing together. wewood.wordpress.com

Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Who Knows Where We’ll Go From Here

So I can’t really sleep right now for some reason. That stinks, but what are you going to do. I was just thinking about something that my wife said as a comment on my blog from the other day. It was random, but it got me thinking. She suggested that her and I start doing a blog together. I personally think that it is a great idea, so look for a link to it soon. But more so than that, the next thing she said is what got me thinking. She suggested that we do a blog together, because we might be more productive in writing if we work together. Okay follow me here. I think that it is such a perfect way to look at marriage initially and ultimately the Christian life. Of course, Kim and I are more productive when we work together, but I think that we are also more creative when we work together as well. This makes for great innovation in the way we parent the girls, and it makes for less dull time in our relationship as well. The work for the Kingdom of God would benefit greatly if we could follow this simple way of living. If we work together, serve together, and love God together we can accomplish so much more for Him. The Lone Ranger mentality truly has no place in the realm of Christianity. However, it has come to the point now where pastors and lay people alike feel they have to one up each other in order to get people to “their” church. Seriously?! I am pretty sure that is not what God had in mind when Jesus gave the Great Commission. Why does it matter if people you meet and serve in your community go to specifically your church. Just the fact that they enter any church, so long as it is a Bible believing, God serving church, is a good thing. So much cooperative community outreach ministry is hindered by the fact that each of the churches involved is too concerned with who will get the prospects from the event.

I did not mean to go on a rant, but I think that it is unhealthy, and unbiblical for that matter, for each of us to think that we have the corner on the outreach ministry market. Think of what we could do if we were willing to put aside the idea of growing “our” church and focused on growing His kingdom. This is the point that I currently find the American church, and I think these are questions that must be answered if we desire to continue to be relevant in the world.

Be encouraged to make alliances with other Christians in your community, and infiltrate your city with the love of Christ.

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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You are holy, great and mighty. The moon and the stars declare who You are.

Have you ever thought about the fact that worship is not about us?  It really isn’t, you know?  It has everything to do with God.  We are pouring out ourselves so that we can be filled with Him.  Our worship is a response to all of the things that God has done for us.  When we weigh out all of the things that He has done for us, we truly have no other response than a genuine, biblical worship that involves thanksgiving, praise, and adoration.  I wonder if any of you have taken to time to think about what we are actually doing when we worship.  Worship should be an engagement between mankind and God, between the finite and the infinite, between humanity and deity.  It is an opportunity for us, as humans, to thank Jesus, as God, for the many things that He has done for us.  There are no rituals that must be performed or special words that must be said, only there must be a heart willing to connect with the eternal greatness of the Creator.  Think about that this week as we are inching ever closer to Christmas.  It is the point where the eternal God intersected with temporary humanity in order that we may have life.

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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On your mark, get set, GO!

So I have been listening to and watching the CDs and DVDs from Catalyst ’09.  I am remembering all of the great things that I heard at the conference, and I cannot help but have the question rattling around in my head, What is keeping me, or anyone for that matter, from being on HIS mark?  I us the word HIS purposefully.  Anyone can make a mark for themselves, but only a few can truly say that they can make a mark for the Lord.  In the opening session, Andy Stanley made this statement, “My mark is something far too small to spend my life working for, but God’s mark is worth everything within me and all my energy.”  That idea has caused me to think a lot over the past few days.  Am I wasting my life trying to make a mark for myself, or have I truly committed myself to letting God make His mark in and through me?  I believe that I have committed myself to God’s direction and His mark, but at times I know that my sinful and selfish nature shine through in doing things for myself.  It is the constant struggle between my flesh and my spirit.  I have the desire to live for God, but at times I stifle it in order to serve myself.  I hate it that that has to be a struggle for all of humanity, but I know that it is so that God can be glorified.  Therefore, I leave you with this question: Are you spending your life striving to leave your mark, or are you surrendering your life so that God can make His mark through you?  I would love to hear your responses.

Published in: on November 19, 2009 at 10:42 am  Comments (2)  
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We hurts with those who are hurting

So all this week we have been trying to get our oldest daughter, AG, to feel better.  She has the flu, unfortunately.  No, it isn’t H1N1 or anything, but it is the flu none the less.  I absolutely hate seeing her in pain and not feeling well.  This has been going on since Friday evening.  As I sit and watch her either sleep peacefully or watch TV while she is awake, I cannot help but think of the way that God the Father watches us.  I know that it may seem like a stretch to some people, but my relationship with AG is a reflection of God the Father’s relationship to me.  I know that the Bible says that God hurts with us in our suffering.  I hurt with AG as she has been going through the flu.  I wonder how incredibly more upset God is as he sees us suffering in the world be it through our own miscues or be it because of something else in this sinful world.  I just know that, as a father, I simply cannot stand it to see my little girl hurting, and I also know that my love and concern for AG is dwarfed by the love that God the Father has for me.  Therefore, I know that God is concerned with the suffering that we experience while here on earth.

However, I also know that God’s grace is made new every morning.  We can rest assured in the fact that God is still in control, and He is still on His throne.  Just as our spiritual strength is renewed every morning by God’s grace, I pray that the morning will bring renewed strength and wellness for little AG.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Then we will see the glory of the Lord, all eyes will see…”

I have begun reading a book entitled “Engaging With God: A Biblical Theology of Worship” by David Peterson for one of the courses I am taking this semester at seminary.  I have been challenged and uplifted by this book in just the first few chapters.  I love the way that Peterson thinks and articulates his thoughts.  On page 100 he writes, “New-covenant worship is essentially the engagement with God that he has made possible through the revelation of himself in Jesus Christ and the life he has made available through the Holy Spirit.”  I love that thought.  So often we think about what we, as humans, can bring to the table in worship.  However, in all truthfulness worship does not even originate within us.  We worship because God allows us to do so.  We have nothing to offer on our own, and the only way that we ever have anything to offer back to God is because he gave it to us to begin with.  When we come into worship we have nothing of our own to offer back to God, but rather we give back out of the overflow of what God has filled us with.  On page 101 Peterson writes, “God’s presence and God’s glory…are fully and finally experienced in Jesus Christ.”  The Old Testament understanding that the presence and glory of God dwelt only in the tabernacle or temple was done away with in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  As Jesus is revealed to us, the very glory of God is revealed to us as well.  Think, then, of the implications of knowing Christ ever more intimately.  We begin to understand the glory of God more intimately as well.

We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning.

In case you have not heard, I finally got a firewood rack for the back patio.  It came yesterday evening, and I put it together and Kim and I filled it up.  I really like it.  It came with a cover that fits it perfectly, and it looks really nice and neat on the patio.  It will really be nice to have all of the wood up off the ground and away from the side of the house.  All but a few fires worth of wood fit on it, so we still have a little pile of wood on the ground.  But that is okay, I guess.  I am just really glad that all of our firewood is in one location that is up off the ground and away from the house.  It looks really neat and clean.  I am so ready for some fireplace weather.  I love the fall.  It is my favorite time of the year for weather.

Today is also a happy day, because my best friend David got engaged this morning.  I am so happy for him and Katy.  I really look forward to his wedding and being a part of their new life together.  I wish them all the best for sure.

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the day, and enjoy some time in corporate worship tomorrow.

Published in: on October 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Life is full of light and shadows, oh the joy, oh the sorrows

It has been a while since I blogged.  I just get so busy sometimes, and sharing my thoughts falls to the bottom of the priority list.  However, I am here now, and I will share.  A lot has happened since I last blogged.  We are starting a Hispanic service at Westside Baptist Church.  I am really excited about it.  A Hispanic service is something that is really needed in our community, and I really think that God is going to use this to change lives in the Hispanic population of our community.  We have felt as a staff that God has been leading us to this point for several months, and it is now actually going to happen.  I pray that God will bless and direct it.  Another thing that has happened is that the new David Crowder Band album has come out as well.  It is a great album.  I highly recommend that you get it if you do not have it already.  I think that it is one of the band’s most theologically deep works to date.  The title of today’s blog comes from the song “Shadows”.  One portion of the chorus says, “When all seems lost when we’re thrown and we’re tossed, we’ll remember the cost, we’re resting in the shadow of the cross.”  I love that!  No situation that we come into contact with in this life seem nearly as significant when viewed from the lens of the cross.  I think that we, as Christians, lose sight of that fact from time to time.  We can truly rest in the shadow of the cross.

I hope to bring a word of encouragement from several other songs from the album.  I hope that everyone has a great day.