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South Fellowship Church

Crying To You I Run – My Little Soul Journey

I doubt this will come as a shock to anyone, but pastors have doubts and fears too. The human soul (my soul) is such a fragile needy part of us. Our souls long for alignment with God’s good kingdom, alignment with Him. What is God’s kingdom? God’s kingdom is the “range of his effective will (Dallas Willard).” If you want to know what it is like, you can read about Jesus in the gospels. Jesus’ ministry on earth was designed to show us what God’s kingdom is like. It is a kingdom of mercy, righteousness, self sacrifice, love, and it is the only kingdom where a soul can truly thrive.

This week I found myself misaligned with God’s kingdom and my soul was hurting. Sin is what misaligns souls. I’m not talking just about obvious sins like adultery, murder, and theft, which misalign us as well: I’m talking about anything that takes place of God. Sometimes it’s hard to determine if something is a sin. I guess one of the best ways to figure out the answer is to ask, does this draw me closer to Jesus or not? So what was my sin? I’d simply not given my soul sufficient opportunity to see Jesus. I had replaced far to many of my usual times of prayer and worship with doing things for God (as if he needed it). You see, sin isn’t just bad because it hurts God, it’s bad because it hurts us. Frankly, one of the reasons God hates sin is because it hurts us.

As I walk with Jesus, I’m beginning to feel the effects of walking away from Him more deeply. For me, I find fears and doubts creep into my thoughts. I find my mind get’s dull. I literally feel dumber. As I approached a weekend where I was supposed to lead God’s church in worship, I felt empty and inadequate. One of the coolest parts about God and his kingdom is that when we step back in alignment we find ourselves in a kingdom of mercy. I began to pray, read the psalms, and beg God to remind me who I am because of Him. Honestly, it didn’t feel like much was happening at first, but it was. My soul slowly began to realign. God’s word and worship was like a soul chiropractor.

I woke up this morning with a notification on my Fighter Verse App with this verse: “I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me (Psalm 118:13).”  Oh how true that verse was for me this week! I sat down this morning wanting to meditate on it and God’s faithfulness to “help me.” This little poem is what came out.

Today I hope, for your sake, that you will find time to align with God’s beautiful kingdom.

 

Crying To You I Run

In the throng of doubts and fears
crying to You I run
When my weakness bright appears
crying to You I run
When I have neglected you
crying to You I run
And my soul is wavering
crying to You I run

Faithful are you in this hour
when crying to You I run
You were present all along
when crying to You I run
Reminding me again your love
when crying to You I run
Your love so strong it changes me
when crying to You I run
Oh how sweet to be with you
when crying to You I run
God hold fast my simple soul
when crying to You I run

Praises on my lips now ring
I cry to You my God
For your goodness overwhelms
I cry to You my God
Let the world know in you is hope
I cry to You my God
Reveal more daily your reigning good
I cry to You my God
My soul and others need your reign
I cry to You my God
Reign in me today sweet Lord
I cry to You my God
You are good, oh so good
I cry to You my God

Crying To You I Run – My Little Soul Journey2014-11-24T00:00:00-07:00

Suggestion From A Worship Pastor

Take a moment before you enter worship or a time of studying God’s word and ask God to open up your heart. It seems to me that my soul is like a fly buzzing to a fro with little logic. It’s hard not to bounce from subject to subject in your own mind; to think on the goodness of God in the same mental paragraph as what you will eat for lunch. When my soul and mind are buzzing around the room, it often helps to ask for help. It helps me to ask God to focus my mind and my heart. It’s as if the fly lands and is grounded when God settles my heart. The winds don’t bother me as much when I’m grounded. A prayer or a song my help you land long enough to notice the Lord. Maybe a song like this could help.

I may add this song to the church song list soon. It helps a church settle their hearts and prepare for God’s Word.

Suggestion From A Worship Pastor2019-02-09T12:13:17-07:00

It’s Not My Job

worship-leaderIt just hit me that you might be more qualified to do my job than I am. I’ve been leading worship since I was in high school.  I’ve been told for years that God has given me certain gifts that help me do that.  I love leading God’s people in song.  Even though I’ve been leading worship for most of my life I’ve discovered more about this task in the past year then I had in the previous decade.  I think I’ve been sorely missing some of the most important parts of being a worship leader.  These discoveries have made me realize that in many ways the task of “worship pastor” is different than you would think.

In order to demonstrate the shift I have gone through I must give you a few theological assumptions that I have.  The highest pursuit of a human soul is worship and the greatest object worth worshiping is God.

The first question of the Westminister Shorter Catechism is, “What is the chief end of man?”  In other words, what is the meaning of life?   The answer to that question is, “A Man’s (old world way of saying a human’s) chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever.”   The meaning of life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  You can also read these passages to see this truth: 1 Cor. 10:31; Rom. 11:36; Ps. 73:25-28.

We all worship.  Worship is making much of something or someone.  We worship the things we value.  Some worship fame, money, sex, safety, sports teams, food, power, or God.  We all worship all day every day by valuing things. Christians and non-Christians alike are wonderful worshipers.  I believe the greatest thing we can worship is the one who created all lesser objects of worship, namely God.

These are all truths I have embraced for years BUT I think they are incomplete.  How are they incomplete?  They don’t tell us the highest mode or means of worship.  The truths I’ve given you thus far sound good on pages, but what I need is truth that looks good with flesh on.  How do I worship God well in the everyday?

I’ve been reading a book called, Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper.  In the first chapter there is a section heading that has been branded into my brain.  It articulates a shift in the foundation of what I believe about worship leading.  It reads like this:  Adam:  Creation’s Worship Leader.  Have you ever thought of Adam as a worship leader?  I have never read any psalms by Adam.  I don’t remember any worship songs he wrote.  Mike Cosper goes on to write,“We see a large, slowly developing story:  of the good creator God making a wonderful world, and putting a Human in charge of it to rule it wisely and to gather up its grateful praise.”  Adam was the quintessential worship leader as he gathered up creations grateful praise.

This idea spreads through all of scripture.  The problem with the world is that people are not worshiping God.  The brokenness of the world is all caused by this problem.  The task that God has given to every human and every church is to worship AND to gather up worshipers.  This is the core of the mental shift for me.  We are all not only worshipers.  We are all meant to be worship LEADERS–people who lead non-God worshipers to worship God.  Evangelism and missions is the greatest act of worship leading.  So as a person who has the title of “Worship Pastor/Leader,” I must be thinking about leading lost people to worship God.  If I don’t think that way, am I really a worship leader?

This is where the title of this blog comes in. It is not my job to lead only saved people to worship the living God.  It is my job to lead lost people to worship the living God.  Actually, that is your job too.  Christians are all worship leaders.  In fact, that is exactly what the church is.  The church is an institution created and commissioned by God to lead all of the world back to what they were made for, namely worshiping him.

You may be more qualified to do my job if you have greater access to lost people than I do.  God has called me to grow as a worship leader.  In addition to improving as a musician and worshiper, maybe I need to find ways to increase my access to lost people.  Let us all lead lost people to worship.

Invite

EXTREMELY practically:  What does that mean for the day to day?  It means inviting people to worship with you. You can do this by inviting them to a worship service or by sharing the reasons you love and worship God.  Evangelism should feel more like sharing your favorite movie with someone.  Think about it.  The greatest joy of finding something you love is sharing it.  A good restaurant is better if you find others who share your joy in that.  A good movie is best enjoyed by a group of friends who can quote every line and together.  Sharing your joy in something is what helps you find the fullest joy in that thing.  The same is true about our worship of God.  Sharing your joy in God is the highest joy of worship.

So here are my new theological assumptions.  Worship is the highest pursuit of the human soul, God is the greatest object worth worshiping, and missions/evangelism is the purest and fullest joy and expression of worship.

Balsinger, Robert B. (2007-06-07). Westminster Shorter Catechism with Proof Texts (ESV) (Kindle Locations 73-74). Lulu (Hardcover). Kindle Edition.

Cosper, Mike (2013-03-31). Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel (Kindle Locations 375-377). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

 

Aaron Bjorklund

It’s Not My Job2013-11-06T00:00:00-07:00

We Pondered Christ Together

This week we remembered Jesus in our worship through this little video and passage of Scripture. If you want to listen to the full version of Be thou My Vision you can do that here.

Fix Your Eyes On Jesus from South Fellowship Church on Vimeo.

 

 

Pause and soak in the truth of the GOSPEL

 

We were sick with sin

He SOUGHT us out

And BROUGHT us back

 

We were unable to SAVE ourselves

But, the great divide he HEALED

 

It was only by his GRACE

It was motivated by his LOVE

It is in his RESCUE that you FIND LIFE

And, the courts of HEAVEN RING!

Therefore…

“Let us FIX OUR EYES on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Jesus, give us vision.

Jesus, be our vision.

High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

Aaron Bjorklund

We Pondered Christ Together2013-10-21T00:00:00-06:00

My Spiritual Coffee

bible-coffeeI have head knowledge about how to walk with God well. I have experienced seasons of deep fellowship with Jesus but not always. Sometimes I can’t get enough spiritual coffee in my soul to wake it up to the wonders of my salvation. These are the scariest moments for me because I am not flagrantly sinning or burning with spiritual passion I am simply BLAHHHH. Have you ever felt that way? So how do I deal with that situation? Most of the time I don’t deal with it very well. I just live in the blah and move on to the next thing. I read my bible for a while in the morning looking and hoping for some spiritual defibrillator paddles to jump start my heart. I give in a few good shocks, “CLEAR….BZZZZZT!  CLEAR…BZZZZT” and then I give up and move into my day. But when God is so gracious to remind me I use few techniques that help me slow down.

These tools are designed to preach the gospel to my own soul. This is important!!!!!!! The Gospel is where the life is at. That is true NOT JUST for an unbeliever. The gospel is the message that gives a human soul the energy to spiritually function well. Dwelling on a passage that clearly lays out the gospel helps. Singing gospel centered songs helps. But one of the ways that helps me the most is writing poetry. Writing by it self helps me too but poetry is even better. Why? It slows me down. I am feeling under the gun to get to the next thing. When I write poems expressing to God my frustrations and then reminding myself of the gospel It slows me down enough to taste the gospel again.

So this is a poem I wrote to God and to my own soul today after feeling like I just couldn’t start delighting in him:

 

Get Me Going God

Oh how weak is my desire
Though my head does know the way
Can I not hitch your feet and fire
To the wagon of my soul today?

I want and need to be uplifted
Higher than my fleshly state
And I know that you have lifted
I must simply rest in it.

But husband duties and fatherhood
Practically don’t see the change
Why does my knowledge always fail me
When it should lift and change my frame

God show me quickly in fast paced world
The beauties of your gospel sweet
It is the precious refined gold
That moves my deadly heart to beat

I was and am apart from you
Deserving of the flames of hell
But grace, mercy, and hope too
Was what you had my soul to tell

Yes I without your work for me
Am weak and poor and lame and sick
But with you I fly fast and free
The gospel is your greatest trick

Today I stand on shoulders broad
Spread out upon a bloodied tree
I will by grace live today load
Declaring all you’ve done for me

Okay I am ready.

Aaron Bjorklund

My Spiritual Coffee2013-10-07T00:00:00-06:00

Music and Our Church

On an upcoming Sunday after our second service we will hold a seminar/Q&A time centered around the music at South. Ultimately we hope this time will enable us to worship God better. A common vision for how we intend to use music will enable us to align our hearts as we sing together. We plan to split the time into two parts. About 30% of the time will be spent presenting our philosophy of music and worship. The second part will be a Q&A session where our church family can discuss the role of music in the life of the church.

We will provide some food (probably not a full meal) and will meet in our Connections room. There will be no child care, but children are welcome to join us.

Music and Our Church2013-04-26T00:00:00-06:00
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