The wonder of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob is how He loves being more than any earthly dad could ever be. The great I am is the embodiment of love; God is love - he doesn't just do love. He doesn't just eat with sinners, he laughs, cries and smiles over us. This page explores some of the ways people have experienced the tenderness of their heavenly Father, as well as the more sensitive issue of how he sorts us out!
The song Father, you're weeping (© THM 1987; lyrics) came from the author seeing the tears flowing from God's face. It seems to vary how long it takes for us to become accustomed to recognising our Father's voice and seeing his glory. Sometimes the Holy Spirit weighs so heavily on his people that they sob almost uncontrollably; the reason for the tears can become an end in itself - worried friends try to explain the sorrow as simply personal; others recognise, for example, God's grief over his people. It is easier for us to try to explain the tears than to look into the face of the giver of tears... and joy!
When a congregation - or a part of it - burst in cahoots of laughter and heavenly joy, it makes others sit up and take notice, especially if there's no comedian (or pastor!) on the platform. There is often much effort put in to explain what's going on - but perhaps we should try simply to enjoy the Father's heart behind it all.
Who you are or What you do?
How easy is it to react to someone with a disability by saying "How does it affect you?" or "How do you cope?"? Sometimes we learn to see that same person for who they are and discover their character and heart for life. It elicits the same joy when we recognise the importance of seeing others for who they are, not just what they do. It's very easy to misinterpret others actions - we all make mistakes! It may take time for a servant heart to bear fruit - hence the importance of looking at the heart.
In just the same way, take time to look for our heavenly Father's heart in his actions. Signs and Wonders are beautiful fruit, but they simply tell of the wonder and glory of the creator God.
When your congregation are leading the worship in your community, watch for the Father's heart amongst the people.
Love and Justice
Just as God is the two extremes of Alpha and Omega, his nature stretches to both love and justice, both compassion and judgement. God prefers his people to listen to him - he promised never to flood the land a second time! We earnestly desire to have a pure relationship with God - only possible by keeping the lines of communication open. It's a good idea to keep good communication going in any relationship, especially when a team of people are responsible for leading others.
There are many ways that God uses to speak to his people: his Holy Spirit, the Holy Bible, his creation, friends, church leaders and even those who don't know him. The more open we are to hearing his voice and understanding his teaching, all the more we'll be open to learning from each other. It's worth building the strongest foundations both with God and with his people by listening well and responding honestly and openly. Avoid building walls; build bridges and foundations.
Honesty with each other
We so often struggle to love each other in God's way, and the same goes for the way we try to sort each other out. We know we can't judge each other, but when your music group sing so badly that the congregation walk out, it's usually time to make some improvements. If your musicians and choir are above hearing comments for whatever reason, use the laws of love first. And second. If your leadership team struggle in dealing with the situation, pray, and love the people concerned! It is more healthy to sort concerns out in an atmosphere of God's love.
When channels of communication start opening and honesty prevails, take time to establish the original foundation of the group. Check out the reasons why people have joined, and help each member to express their calling. It is always worth exploring the confirmation of gifting throughout the church, not just within the music group. Don't limit the analysis of God's gifting to "finding out your gift". Make sure those responsible for confirming the gifting see the fruit and know God's confirmation. Finally, be organised in the way you nurture the gifting. Nurturing helps to refine the gift, or will bring about the recognition that the gifting may not be for now - indeed, the time may have passed.
This website grew from a deep foundation; the first pages established what Christianity is, then worship has been defined. By making sure we all know the security of a strong foundation we will weather storms. A truly secure foundation will not need a strong leader to maintain the temple - it will be based on God's love, his timeless truth and it will serve under his banner and leadership. Check out your mission!